Sith Academy: Darth Maul Gets Audited
Wrinkled tie with exploding Republic freighters on it barely covering up his "Sith Lords Kick Ass" t-shirt, Darth Maul walked into the waiting room, hauling, as did most of the other occupants, his Nike box full of jumbled receipts. Snarling at a little old lady who shook her cane at him, he sat down, box on his lap.
"How long have you been waiting?" he asked the little old lady.
"Let me just say this, sonny," she replied, smiling to show off her teeth, like two rows of baked beans. "When I arrived, I looked like Carrie Fisher in A New Hope."
Maul groaned. "Cinnamon-bun hair is not considered a 'hot look' by the Sith!"
"How about Return of the Jedi?"
"Metal bikinis and neck chains," he said, grudgingly, "are worthy attire for a Sith love-slave."
"I've got that on underneath this outfit," the little old lady leered.
"Ugh!" Maul picked up his Nike box and, cape swirling over his brown tweed sports coat with leather elbow patches, moved over to the other side of the room.
The door to the waiting room opened, and Jedi Apprentice Obi-Wan Kenobi strode perkily in, carrying his receipts in a Puma box under one arm, an empty milk crate under the other. "Hi!" he said, sitting down beside Maul. "Are you getting audited, too?"
"No," Maul snarled. "I like to spend all of my time picking up little old ladies in government offices." Seeing the little old lady's face perk up, he bellowed, "That was a Sith joke!"
"Isn't it great giving all of our hard-earned money to the Republic?" Obi-Wan chattered on. "And only 75% percent of it, too? That's barely enough to buy one of those round spaceship-seats for the Senate."
Fixing him with an evil stare, Maul nodded at the empty plastic milk crate and asked, "What's that for?"
"Nothing," Obi-Wan said, paling and looking away.
Just then, the door opened. Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn walked in, and Obi-Wan leapt to his feet, landing on the milk crate. Even standing on tip-toe on top of the box, he still only came up to his Master's armpit.
"Obi-Wan, why are you not in getting your audit?"
"There's a line, Master."
"Use the Force, my young Apprentice."
"But the little old lady was here first - "
"Was she?" Qui-Gon waved his hand in front of his Apprentice's face.
"Uh, no, Master. Of course not." Obi-Wan picked up his receipts and prepared to follow his Master into one of the auditing offices.
Darth Maul gave the Jedi Master a questioning, almost respectful stare.
"I'm double-parked," Qui-Gon said, waving his hand.
"You're double-parked," Darth Maul replied, dazed. "Please go ahead of me and all of these other people who have been waiting half their lives for the privilege of paying more money to the Republic."
"Oops - didn't mean to wave my hand, that time. Come, Obi-Wan."
Another of the doors flung open, and a voice called out, "Next!"
"Enough of this waiting!" Maul snarled. "I am going next!"
"Go for it, sonny," the little old lady said, sweetly grinning. "You think I want to get audited?" The sound of her cackling followed Maul into the office.
Inside the office, Maul sat down.
"Ah, my young apprentice, I see you have arrived for your audit."
"My Master!" Maul was shocked to see Darth Sidious sitting behind the desk, green shade drawn low over one eye, peeking out of his dark hood. "You are having me audited?"
"Yes, my young apprentice. This is the next step, the way to truly release your hatred for me. Before this day is over, you will feel enough rage to strike me down with it!"
"I could do that right now - "
"NO! You are not enraged enough! You must be audited - only then will you see the true path to the Dark Side! The IRS - "
"Imperial Revenue Service. The way of the future, my young apprentice. Now show me your T-4s, and prepare to defend your deductions." Sidious grinned evilly at Maul. "All of them."
/meanwhile, in the Jedi audit. . ./
The forty-something red-head, granny glasses perched on her nose, held up a sheaf of receipts and asked, "All of these are for 'C' batteries from Radio Shack - "
"Lightsaber," both Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon said, at once.
"All of them?"
"Lightsaber," they said again, not looking at each other. Obi-Wan blushed a little. Qui-Gon looked at the ceiling.
"Nine hundred credits worth of batteries, for one lightsaber?"
"I'll allow half," she sighed, marking the figure down. "Next time, just say 'sex toys', and I'll give you 75%." She narrowed her eyes at Qui-Gon. "And no more waving your hand around, Mr. 'I'm a Jedi Master'. I'm a Tax Auditor. Your puny Jedi Hand Tricks don't work in here." She picked up another sheaf of receipts. "Now about the three thousand credits at 'Larry's House of Love' - "
/. . .in the next room. . ./
"I am disallowing your travel expenses, your repairs to your Sith Speeder, and your lightsaber," Sidious said, ripping the receipts in question into a thousand tiny pieces and blasting them to oblivion.
"But, my Master!" Maul protested. "Those are all legitimate business expenses! I need my Speeder, my lightsaber, and my bus pass in order to wreak havoc throughout the galaxy!"
"True, my young apprentice, but technically, 'Sith Apprentice' is not a legitimate business. You have no home base. You have no fellow employees."
"Only two there can be - " Maul said, feebly.
"You have no health plan," Sidious continued. "You pay nothing into a retirement package. No life insurance. No union dues." He raised his eyes, an evil gleam in them. "Frankly, I question whether you are actually employed by the Sith at all."
"But, but - you are my Master!"
"'Master' is such a vague term, however," Sidious crooned. "'Foreman' or 'vice president in charge of development' - now those titles say something." He picked up two receipts, one greasy and smelling of french fries, one so crisply folded that it took him twenty minutes to unfold and read. "I see from these T-4s that you were temporarily employed last year at 'The Gap', and 'Burger King'. That income I can allow." He marked down the amounts from the T-4s. "Six hundred ninety credits."
"AHHH!" Maul unleashed his lightsaber, prepared to strike his Master down.
"Yes, my young apprentice. Feel your hatred. Let it flow through you. But do not strike me down just yet."
Maul faltered. "Why, my Master?"
"We have not yet discussed your charitable donations." Sidious picked up a receipt. "Three hundred credits to 'Jerry's Kids'? My young apprentice - I expected better from you. Those poor, sad-eyed children need our help."
"That is all I gave the first day of the telethon, my Master." Maul plucked another handful of receipts from the pile. "The second, third, fifth - second week - "
"Mmm," Sidious nodded. "Expanding the telethon to a year was a good idea."
"So you will allow the deductions?" Maul half- smiled, half-snarled hopefully.
"No. It exceeds the amount of your legitimate income, therefore I can allow you no deductions." The other receipts flared into a smoking pile of debris.
"That yell sounded familiar - " Obi-Wan mused, but was interrupted by the high-pitched squeal from Bunny, their auditor.
"Rental deductions? I know for a fact that Jedi don't pay rent in the Temple."
"It isn't at the Temple," Obi-Wan said. "It's a - private residence."
"Ah, yes, I see. 'Coruscant Arms'. Why aren't you living at the Temple?"
"The other Jedi Masters are afraid of our wild monkey love," Obi-Wan said, grinning.
Qui-Gon groaned, resting his head in his hands.
Qui-Gon waved his hand. Both Bunny and Obi-Wan's eyes glazed over, as they waited to do his bidding.
Maul lay in a shivering heap on the floor, the ashes of his disallowed receipts fluttering around him like black snow. "Are we finished, my Master?" he asked, his powerful voice reduced to a mere whisper.
"Almost, my young Apprentice," Sidious replied, keying figures into his adding machine. The piece of paper coming out nearly touched to the floor. "I am calculating your adjusted rate, late penalties, interest charges, and jail term for tax fraud." The machine 'chinged' for several minutes, and then stopped, belching forth a final number. "You owe the IRS four hundred fifty-six thousand credits."
Maul gaped at him. "My Master - you yourself said I only cleared less than seven hundred in income last year?"
"Yes, you did. In legitimate income. However, although I cannot officially recognize 'Sith Apprentice' as a legitimate source of income, I can nevertheless continue to tax you on all of the income that you have declared, including that from illegal means. It will disallow your deductions on said income, but if you refuse to pay the tax, you will be issued a stiff fine and jailed. You don't want that, do you, my young apprentice?
Maul stared at him, hatred filling his eyes. "How will I be able to pay that much tax?" he managed through clenched teeth.
"If you asked for your job at Burger King back, that would help. I would also be happy to discuss several helpful payment plans with you, my young apprentice." Glancing at the clock Sidious smiled evilly at the cowering Sith. "However, it is now two-fifteen. We will have to continue this audit later."
"Coffee break?" Maul snarled, hopefully.
"This is a government office. It is closing time. I will make you another appointment, my young apprentice. I am afraid my audit of the Jedi Temple will be taking most of my time for the next four weeks, but I have some free time at the end of next month - "
"But won't waiting to pay my tax increase my interest payments?"
"Yes, my young apprentice," Sidious nodded. "Also your jail time."
"That's it! I refuse to pay any tax! I refuse to deal with such a unintelligible taxation system! Do you know how long it took me to read your Helpful Guide to Preparing Your Taxes? Six days! And even then I had to go to HR Block and pay twenty-four ninety-five to have my return completed!" Maul switched on his lightsaber.
"Yes, feel your anger," Sidious said, pleased at the hatred emanating from his student. "Strike me down with it! But know that once you have taken my place as Sith Master, you will be bumped into a higher tax bracket."
"AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!" The Sith Apprentice leaped into the air, striking out blindly with both ends of his lightsaber. He tore through cubicle walls, scorching auditors left and right, destroying tax records, receipts, and giving hope to the cheering citizens still waiting in the waiting room.
"Go get 'em, sonny!" the little old lady cried out, pumping her fist in the air. "Down with the evil Republic!"
"No!" Maul screamed. "I am the evil Republic! This - this - this is beyond mere evil! It is insanity! IT IS THE IRS!!!!!!"
When he was finished, all the cubicles were destroyed. Bunny sat there, stunned, her high red hair smoldering, a cigarette in her lips.
"There's no smoking in government buildings," Obi-Wan, his robes similarly singed, whispered helpfully to her.
Darth Maul, halfway out of the room, heard what the pathetic young Jedi said, and came back. "Once the Sith rule, you will be fined for not smoking in government buildings," he snarled, striking his lightsaber down on Obi-Wan's milk crate and melting it.
"NOOOOOOOOOOOO!" Obi-Wan yelled, jumping to his feet.
"What is it, Padawan?" Qui-Gon asked, also standing. He paused a moment, looking up and down at the boy, who now only came up to his waist. "Are you standing in a ditch?"
"At last," Maul muttered, under his breath. "I have had my revenge."
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