Irkens live in a height-based society ruled by a single dictator (or in the present case, a pair of dictators). The leader, the Tallest of the Irkens, has complete control over the Empire and can do anything he/she wants. While the Tallest do have supreme power, their kingdom is pretty much a fully automated machine. They do not have to put much effort into ruling, because the Irken Empire runs itself. Irk itself is like a giant computer under the surface. The Tallest don't even have to make very many decisions as they have the control brains to serve as the thinkers. The main job of the Tallest is to keep the Irkens in line and make sure THE IRKEN MACHINE is running smoothly.
Official Irken Currency: monies (may be spelt moneys) -Irken coins have pictures of the Tallest on them
Irken birthing and mentality
Irken birthing is a key aspect of how the Irken Empire functions the way it does. Irkens are not born naturally, but instead in a huge birthing facility under the surface of Irk. Irken fetuses develop in the many tubes that line the walls until they are at the right stage for 'hatching.' Automated machines remove the tube from the wall, crack it open to drop the young Irken Smeet to the ground, then place its Pak into its back. Why are Irkens born this way? Besides being an easy way to keep a constant supply of soldiers for the military, it gives the Empire complete control over its people. From birth, Irkens are fed all the information they need through their Paks, but they are likely only given what the Empire wants them to know. Thus they are brainwashed into accepting their lives, and order amongst the Irkens is kept in place. Also, tabs are kept on every Irken, no one is unaccounted for, and everyone is put to full use. Lack of individuality can be blamed on the way the Empire runs their lives.
One question brought up by the existence of a birthing machine is why all the Irkens are different shapes and sizes instead of being a bunch of identical clone things. This is just a theory, but it is what I think. The birthing machine may create Irkens by randomly combining all past genes (and eliminating reproductive organ genes to ensure that no natural unmonitored Irken births occur), courtesy of the Control Brains which would contain this kind of information about the Irken ancestors. If the machines tried to use the same genetic information for all Irkens, then there would be no Tallest or social class system. By not manipulating the Irken genes, the Empire is kept in order.
Life for an Irken starts from the second an Irken Smeet is zapped to consciousness. Fresh Smeets are dropped down further into the planet in a download chamber, where they are pumped full of all the necessary information. After this point, not everything is known. Irkens whose futures involve the military get placed in underground training facilities for over 10 years, never seeing Irk's surface. It is not known whether or not every Irken goes through this basic training though. Irkens marked to be Service Drones are probably pulled from training and put straight to work. It is unknown if there are any non-military Irken Civilians at all, as such a vast Empire would be in constant need of new soldiers (some good evidence against the existence of civilians is that Tak is placed on the Janitorial Squad after she is denied a retake of the Elite Exam instead of just being made a civilian). Most likely is that most Irkens go through the basic training on Irk, and then they are separated based on their skills. The best soldiers are sent to Devastis, where they train for whatever military position they are after, whether it be an Elite Soldier or otherwise. After their training is complete, they are unleashed onto the Universe!
If a fully trained Irken (perhaps only the Invaders) encounters an inescapable situation, they are expected to activate their personal self destruct device.
Horrible Painful Overload Day- This was the day Zim was born. After the knowledge of the Download Chamber was uploaded to Zim, he claimed the chamber as his own. He shoved the Smeet that came after him back into the delivery chute, causing a clog that shorted the power on the whole planet for 5 years.
Horrible Painful Overload Day part II- When Zim and Skoodge abandoned their training to go see Irk's surface for the first time, they were attacked by a Dermis Prowler Security Droid guarding the area. The damage caused while evading it plunged Irk into darkness for another 4 years.
Tallest Miyuki's death- During Zim's time spent as a military scientist on Vort Research Station 9, Zim created an infinite absorbing energy creature. The creature ate an infinite energy producing thingy while Tallest Miyuki was visiting. The creature grew out of control and ate Miyuki. This may be the source of the rift between the once-allied Irkens and Vortians, as the Irken Empire was unaware that Zim was the cause of Miyuki's death.
Tallest Spork's death- While Zim was training to be an Invader on Devastis, Tallest Spork gave a speech to the invaders. Shortly after, the infinite absorbing energy creature returned and ate Spork.
Operation Impending Doom I- The first attempt at galactic conquest, made under Tallest Red and Purple's power. It ended as soon as it began when Zim stole a Frontline BattleMech and went on a rampage.
Operation Impending Doom II- The second attempt at galactic conquest, also made under Tallest Red and Purple's power. This time Zim was sent far away to the isolated planet Earth, in hopes that he would never interfere again.
Holidays and Planned Events
The Great Assigning- This event is held on planet Conventia. It occurs whenever there is some large galactic take-over being planned. At the event, the chosen Invaders are revealed and assigned to their planet of conquest. The Impending Doom operations may be the only galactic conquest plans, but presumably other smaller scale invasions have taken place judging by the planets seen under Irken rule.
Probing Day- On this day, the Tallest check up on any invaders assigned to a planet to see their progress. If they are not satisfied, that invader gets a pummeling.
Final Canon Sweep- In any interplanetary invasion, the first invader to successfully finish their work on their assigned planet is celebrated. When the Armada arrives to perform the organic sweep, the Tallest greet the invader personally. The invader then gets the special treat of performing the final canon sweep on the planet themselves. This tradition was altered for Invader Skoodge when he conquered Blorch in Operation Impending Doom II; instead, he was launched as the final canon sweep.
Blood sport- Irkens participate in gladiator-style battles to the death. In a cut scene from The Nightmare Begins, Zim was forced to combat the Digestor, an arena beast