However, the moon is actually home to the Scavenger Worms, a species of giant worms which live in underground caverns. The Worms steal the Accelerator and abduct all the Irkens, except for Theen, who escapes. The rest are taken below ground to the Worms' cavern home, where they survive by living off of a rapid growing mold, while the Accelerator is kept within the Worms' colony along with all the other stuff they've scavenged.
Meanwhile, Theen gets back to the Massive and tells the Tallest what happened. While they barely remember the Time Accelerator project and are initially hesitant to send anyone on such a dangerous mission to retrieve it, they ultimately send Zim to do so.
After Zim arrives on the moon and, thanks to GIR-related mishaps, ends up falling down into the Worms' caverns, where the research team have been living for 37 years, due to the Accelerator's field of effect speeding up time for them. When they mistake him for the returned Theen, Zim quickly takes over the group and makes them carry out many plans to get past the Worms, all of which fail horribly.
Finally, after many decades (except for Zim, who thanks to the Accelerator's containment field only experiences an afternoon's worth of time), the now elderly Irkens create a lifelike Worm disguise. This allows Zim to sneak into the Worms' colony, until he gives himself away and catches their attention. They chase after him, somehow wielding weapons, and almost catch him. However, he grabs ahold of the Accelerator, which speeds up time for him even further and allows him to escape. Zim then leaves the moon, leaving the Worms and the other Irkens behind.
Facts of Doom
- Despite appearing to merely be animals, the Worms are shown using blaster guns of some kind when Zim breaks into their colony, implying intelligence at a basic level. He questions how they're even able to hold them.
- Zim's fight with the Worms to retrieve the Time Accelerator marks the second time he's had to fight giant animal life that's stolen Irken property, the first being against the Blerks who stole his Voot Runner in Issue 7.
- Just like Earth worms, the Scavenger Worms don't have any eyes.