Darth Maul "Gets the Spirit"
Disclaimer: Georgie-porgy-pudding-and-pie Lucas owns the toys, I just steal them and play with them once in a while. Special non-thanks to all professional sports-teams owners for emotionally blackmailing the fans into paying for new stadiums [would that be stadia?].
Also, big thanks to Siubhan for her patience, and the Minneapolis Sith for their company.
Sidious stealthed into Maul's apartment, as usual, carefully dodging the pizza-box lifeforms' exploration of the Corn Pops box, picking up a fine coating of cat-hair on the hem of his lovely velvet robes.
He paused to build up his voice for Dramatic Entrance #69, posed, and called out, "MAUL!!!"
Piqued, he tried again, adding a little flourish of lightening: "MAUL!!!"
Still no answer.
Scowling, he actually looked down at the couch, expecting to see Maul passed out or dead, since he wasn't snarling or groveling, as was his Sithly duty. He was there all right, and he looked more like a plastic figurine than a lifeform. Dark Side energy was practically shaking the room, which Sidious would have noticed if he hadn't been focused on his Dramatic Entrance.
Sidious stared, taken completely off-guard at the amount of concentration his apprentice was exerting. Sweat rolled down his face and (buff, gleaming) chest. His ratty "Sith Lords Kick Ass" t-shirt and "Love my Lightsaber" boxers were soaked and clinging to his (shapely) body. Sidious wiped the drool off his chin (luckily Maul didn't notice this) and tore his attention away from Maul's body to focus on--well, whatever Maul was focusing on. It was pretty obvious. Three feet in front of him sat My Apprentice, also still, also coiled as tightly as a spring. They were locked in a pretty obvious battle of wills, and it appeared the cat was winning.
Suddenly, My Apprentice shifted focus, turning her whammy on Sidious, and he tut-tutted Maul with a "You don't feed your cat nearly enough, Maul. The poor thing is starving."
Cheater, Maul thought at the cat.
I was getting tired of the game anyway, she snottily shot back, strolling into the kitchen after Sidious.
As Sidious worked the can opener, he shouted in to the living room, "I have another task for you to hone your hatred, but you'll need to get out of those sweaty clothes--" Maul gagged "--and come with me."
Maul felt the queasy chill that enveloped him every time he had a "task". Another game of "hide the package," and he was committing suicide, one way or another. Fighting to keep the tremor from his voice, he answered, "What might that be, my master?"
Sidious emerged from the kitchen with a large foam hand with its index finger raised. "We, " he said, "Are going to the ball game downtown!"
Maul saw red. Literally. He must have popped a blood vessel. "NoooOOOOoooo!!!"
Sidious merely cackled and Force-shoved Maul into his bedroom, where Maul had to fight with several stacks of clothes before they'd free up some jeans and a less-ratty "Sith Lords Kick Ass" t-shirt, and those only in exchange for some of the flat Pete's left over on the dresser. Pouring the beer over his clothing, he left, remembering to grab Qui-Gon's Alderaanian Express credit card.
Since Sidious refused to be seen in Maul's disgusting "car", they took his limo. Maul was briefly elated at the pleasure of driving such a fine machine, but that feeling quickly died as he pulled into the line of other hovervehicles at a standstill to get downtown, 100 klicks away. At the crawling rate of 2 klicks per hour ("I could walk faster than this!") it would take forever to just get there, much less find a parking spot. Maul felt his rage growing ever greater, and Sidious humming some annoying Backdoor Bantha Boys tune was only making it worse. "Yessss...." Sidious hissed at him, "Feel your rage build! Use your anger!" Maul slammed White Zombie's "La Sexorcisto" into the limo's CD player and swerved out of the lane, directly into the oncoming traffic. Speed building, Maul used his Sithly reflexes to cleverly avoid accidents, swerving and ducking enough to turn Sidious a pale shade of green under his Palpatine make-up. Sidious was no longer humming or hissing with pleasure, but his discomfort made Maul grin and accelerate even harder. Between the music, the speed, and his Master's nausea, Maul was higher than Qui-Gon after an evening of "reminiscing" with Maaaace Winuhoohoo.
They managed to get downtown in record time, losing 25 police cruisers along the way, mainly to the accidents they caused. Now, Maul was feeling much more mellow, the anguish of others and the soothing music having calmed his nerves. Until he realized there was no parking available within 10 blocks of the stadium. Maul's rage began to build again as he circled the blocks, fruitlessly trying to find an available (and affordable) parking spot. He briefly considered mowing over a herd of Gungans crossing the street, but reluctantly held off when he realized how much damage they could do to the paint job of Sidious's limo, and Maul did NOT want to think of what Sidious would do to him for that.
After 25 minutes of futility, Sidious lazily said, "You know, Maul, there's a Senator's parking lot right next to the stadium. I have a reserved spot."
"AAAAAAUUUUUUUUGGGGGGGHHHHHHH!!!!!!" Maul thought of making his Master into Sidious-burgers on the spot, but the comfy leather bucket seat made it impossible to reach his lightsaber in time. He contented himself with grinding the points off of his teeth. Slightly calmed, Maul pulled into the nearby parking lot, sliding into the "Palpatine" spot, when he saw an innocuous little sign labeled "Parking Rates".
Per half hour.
Fortunately, he had Jinn's credit card. Maul just hoped he wouldn't pass the hippy's credit limit with this one. Parking lot attendants were notorious for being immune to mind-whammies. Well, that's a problem to be solved later, Maul thought, fondling his lightsaber meditatively.
Maul and "Palpatine" walked toward the gate. Sidious stopped and looked at him. "Aren't you going to buy a ticket?"
"Aren't you?" asked Maul.
"I have a season pass," Sidious replied, "You go wait in line. I'll be at the souvenir booth nearest the turnstiles." Maul snarled and walked to the end of the ticket line.
The LOOOOONG line.
It wrapped around the block.
Fortunately, the amount of hatred pouring off of those waiting was intense enough that Maul could forget his own misery briefly. As he walked past the line, towards the back, he spotted several opportunities for mischief. One matron was "goosed" by the Ewok behind her, causing her to boot him clear across the busy street. He landed on a Coruscant Transit bench, and was swept away uptown on the next bus. His friends ran after the bus, brandishing spears and rocks. Several were squashed by impatient motorists.
Farther down the line, a punk "farted" at the other punk behind him in line, starting up a lovely knife-fight that gathered cronies from near and far, and ended up with 30 people in the hospital, some of them innocent bystanders.
The line was getting slightly shorter.
Maul finally reached the end, right behind half a dozen jersey-clad fans who apparently had started the tailgating party days earlier. Their breath smelled like one of Maul's pizza boxes after a week under his dirty laundry. Maul did not want to spend an hour breathing their noxious fumes. "Sith do not inconvenience themselves," p. 312.
After eavesdropping briefly on their conversation, Maul tapped the largest, drunkest partier and whammied, "Your speeder has just been towed. You must go complain to the City Impounders." The lout bellowed, and they all ran off, following the leader like a herd of cows off a cliff. Maul breathed the relatively fresh air and smiled.
After about 20 minutes, Maul's smugness was wearing off, and his rage was beginning to build. And why should he be the only one who was pissed off? Time to find another victim. He carefully scanned the line around him, feeling the rage and frustration building. However, he was still at least two hours away from buying a ticket. This would not do. Maul needed something BIG, something that would get rid of EVERYONE in line and leave him to buy a ticket.
After thinking for a minute, Maul decided that people, as a whole, were entirely too unimaginative. Why wait to riot until the Playoffs? Why not at a normal game? In fact, why not before the game? His smile widened into something truly terrifying to behold.
Reaching out with the Force, Maul felt the emotions of the other fans. Irritation was gently fanned into frustration. Frustration was pushed up to anger. Anger was nudged one step away from full-blown rage. Several minutes of tweaking had pushed the crowd into a near frenzy.
Now, Maul thought, I need a trigger, Looking around, he saw the thing that would do it: the ticket booth. So simple as to be child's play, really. Maul jammed the machinery in the ticket booth, and whammied the first few people in line to believe there were no more tickets/the prices had tripled/the game was cancelled. Within seconds the three separate rumors were streaking through the crowds, and the combined rage of thousands of drunk and/or stupid fans erupted into destruction. Maul channeled them into the rest of the downtown area, and once the last of them cleared out, strolled leisurely up to the ticket booth, which now, miraculously, was able to dispense tickets.
Unfortunately, Maul's triumph was short-lived. A feeling of foreboding built quickly within him, and he knew that Sidious had more torment waiting. Sith fear nothing! The Sith use others' fear! (p.583) He stalked up to the small booth, cloak billowing ominously. "One," he snarled.
"Okay!" replied the chipper ticket-seller, "Your seat is in row 5,048, seat ZZ. That'll be 300 credits please." Maul almost choked on his own tongue, then reached out to whammy the bimbo into giving him a closer seat. There was a disturbance in the Dark Side. When he reached out to her, there was nothing there. She wasn't even a droid, she was just too empty-headed to be whammied.
"Shit," he said, slapping down Qui-Gon's credit card.
"Thank you!" said the Chipper Bimbo, and handed him a ticket. Maul stalked off to the turnstiles.
"Palpatine" was waiting for him, with the aforementioned large foam finger, a curious hat with straws on it, and a jersey with the name of the home team, the Coruscant Capitals, emblazoned across the front. Worn over his robes, it looked absolutely ridiculous. "Where's your seat?" he asked, taking a sip of a blue snarfberry slurpee. Maul told him. "Why didn't you buy a ticket from a scalper? They're no more expensive and usually a lot closer." Maul's eyes started to glow. Lightening actually started to play around his horns. Sidious smiled, "Very good. Your hatred is growing nicely. Soon you might be ready to strike me down!"
Maul stalked off to find his seat. He settled in, slouching down nice and low, resting his jack-booted feet on the seat in front of him. When someone came to claim it, one simple snarl was enough to send them away with an "Eep!". "Palpatine" was, of course, in the luxury boxes, schmoozing with other Senators, drinking Nabooan champagne.
Maul's snarls increased when he realized why these were commonly referred to as "nosebleed" seats. Not only was his nose bleeding copiously onto his only "good" Sith Lords Kick Ass t-shirt, his brain was getting a little fuzzy from lack of oxygen, and a particularly large bird was convinced that his head was one of her eggs. Landing on his head proved someone difficult for the poor fowl, as she was sliced in half by a large red weapon.
Maul looked down at the bird, still flapping weakly at his feet. He was hungry, she was there. Maul ripped into the carcass and started eating the bird raw. Most of the few surrounding fans vanished quickly at this point.
"Welcome to the Coruscant Capital's Season Opener!" boomed the announcer's voice, "Tonight we have several special guests--" Maul continued eating, ignoring the insipid twit "--including the good Senator Palpatine of Naboo, here with his ward!" The Jumbotron showed a split screen: Palpatine waving and smiling beatifically at the crowd, and Maul devouring a raw bird, blood dripping down his chin. Maul looked up and saw Palpatine's smile freeze in the fraction of a second before the Jumbotron dropped Maul's image. A groan went through the stadium, hundreds of people collapsed or vomited under their chairs. Several had to be carted off to the nearest hospital. Maul's stomach churned when he thought of what Sidious would do to him for this, in an election year.
Maul dropped the carcass and kicked it under his seat, wiping the blood from his chin. Fuck it, he thought, Sidious can claim it was a hoax or something. He could sell sand to a moisture farmer.
Maul spent the first half of the game trying to see what was going on (the clouds were blocking his view), trying to get a beer (or twelve) from the roaming vendor, and trying to ignore the large, loud, drunk fans next to him. Unfortunately, the same group that he'd convinced to go chase their towed speeder had eventually discovered the ruse, and had come back for tickets, which they were able to get because everyone else was out getting arrested by the riot police. Since they couldn't actually SEE the game, they were going to simply continue the tailgate party they'd started days ago. They'd managed to get hold of some Budweiser, which meant "piss-water" in Tatooine, and were drinking gallons of it to maintain their buzz. Maul scoffed at their inability to drink anything decent. When the Sith rule, Budweiser will be banned, he vowed.
Finally, halftime. He needed some food. He needed a drink. He NEEDED to pee. And the line for the bathroom was halfway around the stadium. Maul looked around for an alternative, trying to avoid doing the pee-pee dance. His rowdy neighbors had all left for nachos and hot dogs. Maul looked at their almost-empty Big Gulps, and decided that one type of piss was as good as another. He grabbed one of their cups and put it to an alternative use...
Much relieved, Maul strode up to the refreshments stand, then realized that the line for food went ALL the way around the stadium. The traffic, parking, admissions, seating, and urination frustrations added to his hunger and culminated in a rage so total his t-shirt exploded off his body (earning several appreciative stares). Drawing his lightsaber, his charged up to the front of the line. "GIVE ME A NACHO HAT!!! AND SOME PETE'S WICKED ALE!!! NOW!!!!!!!" When the vendor tried to refuse in that brain-dead automaton way they must have been programmed into, Maul jumped up on the counter and started slashing.
Servers were dismembered, chips went flying. A deadly cascade of melted "cheese" flowed down to engulf several patrons. The slurpee machine was sliced in half and an avalanche of fruity ice poured over the floor (children squatted down on their hands and knees and began sucking the liquid off the floor). Pizzas flew like frisbees to be snatched out of the air by waiting fans. Hot dogs and popcorn exploded like a space station after being hit by a proton torpedo in its exhaust port. The waiting patrons started to cheer at the free food.
When everything was destroyed, Maul grabbed a nacho hat, scooped some cheese into it, plopped the whole thing on his head (covering his horns with warm "cheese"), and picked up two ice-cold Pete's, since he'd worked up quite a thirst. However, he was quite chagrined, as he had unfortunately eased the rage of the other fans.
Even so, the chaos caused by the destruction was rife with opportunity. Maul paused for a second to encourage the looting, turning the happiness of the patrons to greed, which quickly led to a brawl, made far more exciting by people slipping on cheese, slurpee and squashed hot dogs.
As he walked back to his seat, he heard "Oh man! I wanted a nacho hat, Mace! And now they're all gone!"
"Chill out, Qui, we'll get munchies later!"
Maul snickered as he sat back down just in time for the second half. His rage had given him much.
The rowdy neighbors were back, exclaiming over the extra beer they didn't know they'd had. Maul watched as they eagerly drank down their "Budweiser," commenting over the improved taste.
Maul didn't know what effect his piss would have on those not of his species, but he figured he'd find out soon enough. And find out he did. The drunken fans started to get rowdier as their "beer" kicked in. Within several minutes, after the first rush wore off, they quieted, and started making alarmed noises. Soon, they were almost catatonic, lying in pools of their own vomit. I guess it's mildly poisonous, he thought. Maul chortled and left his seat to find one of the medical droids that wasn't preoccupied with the food-riot or the vomiters.
After informing the droid of his "inebriated" neighbors, Maul pondered what else he could do to amuse himself. He sat back down in his seat and saw that there were only a few minutes left of the game. Betting that he shouldn't be seen with his master, Maul left early and made his way to "Palpatine's" limo, beating the rush.
Sidious was already there. Smirking evilly. He handed a copy of the Coruscant Express ("Hourly news delivered right to your door!") to Maul. I'm not being roasted, Maul thought, And Sidious is looking happy. I wonder what torment the twisted old goat has found for me now.
The Express already had the picture from the Jumbotron on its front page. The Banner headline read, SENATOR PALPATINE RESCUES FERAL ORPHAN, VOWS HELP and the article went on extolling the virtuous Palpatine, who's desperately trying to rescue this poor, poor "Zabrakian" from his wild ways.
Maul scowled at the beastly references to himself, but kept quiet. He knew this was the only thing keeping him from becoming Maul-kabobs. And he knew this was Sidious getting subtle revenge. Sid must be incredibly drunk, or he's just whammied a bunch of other Senators. Maul accepted it. Embarrassment was better than death.
After paying for the parking with Qui-Gon's credit card, Maul pulled out into traffic, which was quite light after all the rioters had been carted away. The drive home was relatively quiet, especially with White Zombie to calm him down.
Maul parked the limo next to Padawan Tower, and got out. Palpatine moved over into the driver's seat. "Maul," he said, "you should spend the evening meditating on how to behave properly in public."
"Yes, master," Maul said meekly, and went upstairs.
Sidious concentrated for a second, then waited until he heard the faint "NoooOOOooo!!!" from 42 floors up, signifying that Maul had found his PlayStation, once again as a heap of smoking slag.
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