Bar Hopping (or: Maul the Bouncer)
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It was a typical Saturday night at the Sith Academy. Dressed in his "Sith Lords Kick Ass" t-shirt, a pair of dingy gray boxers and Ewok fur fuzzy slippers, Darth Maul lounged on the litter strewn floor of his apartment playing Jedi Roadkill III on his beloved PlayStation.
His apprentice lay on the back of the battered sofa, her ears flicking back and forth as the sounds of anguished screams erupted from the television set every time the Sith Lord mangled another virtual Jedi. Curling a paw out, she set it on Maul's shoulder and kneaded, sending her needle-sharp claws piercing through his thin cotton shirt and into his skin.
"You dare strike out at me, apprentice?!" Maul growled, carefully setting down his controller before spinning and glaring at the thoroughly unimpressed kitty. "Very good," he continued, gloating. "Use your anger and it will make you strong."
The cat blinked sleepily and rolled onto her back, baring her white belly.
"Let your hate feed your strength and soon we will be all powerful," Maul crooned, rubbing at the soft fur then trotting into the kitchen to open a can of tuna, having suddenly gotten the notion that his apprentice was hungry.
That task completed, the Sith grabbed a beer and headed back out to his game only to find his Master standing in his living room. Sidious's lip was curled in a sneer as he studied the accumulated garbage, plainly trying to avoid getting near anything that might rub off on his electric blue spandex outfit and swirly pink velvet cape.
Wishing he had a pair of sunglasses to shield his eyes from the glare of the dark lord's ensemble, Maul settled for squinting instead. "You have need of me, my Master?"
"It is a fine night, my Apprentice. Tonight we shall strike fear into the very hearts of the population. Clothe yourself and come with me." Pausing only to rub the cat behind her ears, Sidious swept from the apartment, preferring to wait in the hall rather than the squalor his student lived in.
Growling and cursing under his breath, Maul rummaged through the basket of clothes he had washed at the laundromat but had never found the time to put away. Finding a pair of black jeans, he tugged them on, hopping in place while trying to get the zipper up. Damn things must have shrunk. The close fit made taking a deep breath impossible but, he admitted as he caught a look at himself at the dusty mirror in the bathroom, the pants did make his ass look good.
Pausing only to grab a pair of black mirrored sunglasses (Ray Ban Darkfarers, UV and nova flare protection guaranteed) and run a buffing cloth over his horns, Maul strode from the apartment, double locking the door behind him to ensure his PlayStation's safety.
"Hey! You're going out too?" a chirpy voice asked from down the hall.
Grinding his teeth in anger, the dark lord turned to see his neighbor, Obi-Wan Kenobi, pulling his door shut. The Jedi apprentice was dressed in his usual boring tunics and leggings though it appeared he had tried to dress the outfit up by tying a blue bow to the end of his Padawan braid.
"I am on a mission for my Master, one that will cause great pain and suffering across the surface of Coruscant," Maul sneered.
"Cool! I'm on my way to meet Master Qui-Gon at a club. He promised to teach me some new moves!" Obi-Won giggled at this and winked. "Dance moves I mean. Gotta run, can't be late or we won't get in! Cute jeans by the way!"
His right cheek twitching with the desire to cut the Jedi twit into tiny pieces and feed them to his apprentice, Maul didn't notice Sidious until the elder dark lord spoke in his ear. "I feel the hate pouring from you. Channel and store it for you shall truly be tested on this night."
Pulling his sunglasses on to protect him from his Master's blinding attire, Maul stared at the other man, refusing to ask what torture was planned.
His cheeks dimpling under the light dusting of rouge, Sidious patted his apprentice's tight butt. "Come, Maul. Universe-54 awaits and they have need of a bouncer to watch their door. The task will offer many opportunities to increase the agony of the population."
Baring his teeth in glee, the Sith apprentice rubbed his hands together in preparation for the blood-bath to come.
The lights outside Coruscant's hottest nightclub burned red, blue and green, illuminating the wide walkway in front of the fabled "velvet rope". The wired-looking club manager led Maul and the simpering Sidious through the barrier and into the dim recesses of the bar. "Okay, baby. Now what'cha gotta do is pick out the "in" people and let 'em in. I don't wanna see no dweebs or toadies in here, I want a happenin' crowd. This place is hotter than a neutron star and I intend to keep it that way.
Glancing over at his master who was staring in rapt awe at the garish decorations, Maul nodded, fingering his lightsaber. "May I dispatch the unworthy ones in any way I choose?" he asked, envisioning gutting hordes of rejects.
"Sure, baby. If they can't get in then they shouldn't be allowed to live anyway! Oh and one more thing. If a couple of Jedi show up, send 'em in to me. They've got reservations."
Nodding absently, Maul totally disregarded the last order and, squaring his shoulders in thought of the battle to come, stalked out to man his post. Sidious, meanwhile, was drooling over an autographed picture of the cast of "Priscilla, Queen of the Tatooine Desert" and trying to Mind Whammy the manager into giving it to him.
Five minutes until opening time and already the crowd reached out to the street and halfway around the building. This was power, this was the dark side, this was his destiny, this was . . . Maul's fantasy came crashing down as someone poked him in the side.
Totally unfazed by the Sith lord's glare, the being before him poked him again, its vermilion colored nails jabbing through his shirt and into his ribs. Maul honestly couldn't tell if it was male or female, only that it had fuchsia hair teased to about a meter in height and enough makeup to keep the Queen of Naboo happy for a millennium.
"What?" he snarled, his hand straying to the hilt of his lightsaber.
"When yooze gawna open da daw?" it asked, most of the words made incomprehensible due to its accent.
"What?" This time the question was asked in complete bewilderment.
"Da daw, da daw! Is yooze braindead aw something?"
Oh, the door. "The door will open when I'm ready and not a moment before," he spat, gathering a bit of the Force and using it to wilt the being's massive hairdo.
"My haiw!" the creature shrieked as bright pink tresses went limp, mercifully covering its face so that Maul didn't have to look at it any more. The now crying being was led away by another of its species and the Sith resumed his position in front of the portal.
Beyond the red velvet rope, the crowd was getting restless, jostling and shoving, each person trying to make themselves seen so that they could be granted admittance to the inner sanctum. For a moment Maul thought of simply letting no one in but no, that was too easy.
Selecting a bizarre looking couple for no other reason than he liked their tattoos, he let them pass. Other patrons were picked for similarly random reasons and Maul actually laughed as the angry buzz grew.
"Excuse me . . ." A naggingly familiar figure was waving at him from the side of the blocked of area and the Sith lord turned his head to see who it was. Oh damn, not here . . . Oh good . . . Grinning maniacally, Maul approached Obi-Wan, ready to have some fun.
"Hey neighbor! I didn't know you worked here! Can you let me in? Master Qui-Gon got here earlier and he's waiting for me, don't want to make him mad by being late!"
The Jedi was practically bouncing in his eagerness to get inside and Maul sneered as he looked him over. "Can't let you in here that way, Boss's orders."
"B-but . . ." Obi-Wan stuttered, looking as if he was going to cry. "I need to get in there!"
Plastering a fake smile on his face (a trick learned from studying Darth Sidious when he was in Senator Palpatine mode) Maul leaned in, affecting a sympathetic tone. "Look, you know how bosses are. Go change into something more trendy and I'll let you in, won't even charge you!"
"Gee thanks, you're swell!" Smiling brightly, the Jedi darted through the crowd, heading off in search of an open shop.
Go to Wild Child Leather Goods, Maul urged, and was rewarded by a sudden change in the other man's direction.
After three hours of mentally brow-beating the poor unfortunates who remained outside, clinging to the belief that they would somehow get into the club, Maul was bored.
"How are you doing, my Apprentice?" Sidious asked, from the doorway, his arm wrapped around a preening muscular boy toy who was playing with a lock of the senator's hair.
"This does not amuse me any longer, Master. Even the hate of these wretches is not enough to sustain me."
"Then come inside, we shall find something more worthy of your talents," the elder Sith promised, blowing a kiss over his shoulder at the horde outside before ducking back through the door.
A mad howl met the gesture and the masses stormed the rope. Igniting his lightsaber, Maul gleefully mowed the would-be rioters down, taking vicious glee in gutting those that offended his sensibilities the worst.
Shrugging as he passed his wide-eyed replacement, he started inside. "Don't worry, the others will move them out of the way if they want in badly enough."
He had just opened the massive black lacquered door when he heard the Jedi pest's voice behind him. "Hey! That guy said I could come in if I changed, and I did . . ."
The slamming of the door cut off Obi-Wan's pitiful wail. Bright flashes of light cut through even the sunglasses' polarized lenses, making the Sith apprentice wince. Smoke filled the air and people were jammed onto the dance floor moving to the beat of the sound system. All in all it was a scene out of the fifth Sith hell and Maul loved it.
"Come with me, Apprentice," Sidious grinned, appearing from out of nowhere at Maul's side and pulling him toward the DJ's booth. "It is your destiny tonight to mix the tunes--and none of that Led Zeppelin crap or you will be most sorry."
Maul growled, the grating of his teeth audible even over the techno-pop that blared from the speakers.
"Use your anger, strike me down and you can listen to 'Black Dog' all you want but until then, I choose the playlist."
Taking his aggression out on a hapless waiter who passed by at the wrong moment, Maul upended his tray, sending glasses and drinks flying in a thirty foot semi-circle and then stalked up the stairs to the DJ's booth.
"You, out," he snarled to the pimply faced boy running the show. The man ran for his life, babbling incoherently and Maul sat himself behind the massive console.
"Techno-pop my ass," he snarled, looking at the list of "acceptable" songs his master had given him. The next five tracks were already programmed in so he was forced to wait through the hell of what was considered top forty music.
As his rage grew, he surveyed the crowd, noting with some horror that his replacement had actually let Obi-Wan in. The Jedi apprentice was out on the dance floor dressed in tight leather pants and a wet looking vest with nary a sign of his tunics and leggings anywhere.
A slow song came on and immediately the young Jedi threw himself into Qui-Gon's arms and the two began to dance so closely together that they may as well have been in each others' shoes. Their sickeningly sweet look proved to be the last straw and the Sith let loose with an enraged bellow.
Drawing his lightsaber, he slashed through the control console. The music first sped up, then slowed into unintelligible distortion and then finally died all together. Smoke belched from the fog machines and colored lights and lasers flashed, further disorientating the customers.
Seeing an opening, Maul leapt through the one sided mirror that closed off the sound room, landing in the center of the dance floor, his blade hacking wildly. Terrified patrons fled the club, knocking over benches, seats and half the bar in their flight.
"But I wanna daaaannnnnccceeee . . ." came Obi-Wan's faint wail as he was carried away in the rush.
Finally all still, the only sound the muted dripping of liquor from the shattered bottles behind the bar.
"Very good, Maul," Sidious smiled, coming out from his hiding place followed by the beefy pretty boy who had been clinging to his arm earlier. "Complete and total chaos. The number of people turned to the dark side tonight is astronomical. You have learned the power of peer pressure today my Apprentice. Always remember this lesson: People are like lemmings, if they are told 'everyone' is doing something, they will do it too. This is what will give us control of the Republic some day."
Eyes widening in understanding, Maul looked around the ruins of the club that had once been the hot spot on the planet and a speculative look entered his eyes. "Perhaps my Master, we should consider opening a new club here? We could call it 'Edge of Darkness'."
"A very excellent suggestion Maul. Why don't you draw up the plans and have them to me in the morning, I have," Sidious gave the hunk alongside him a glance, "other priorities tonight."
Rage choked Maul and he took a step toward his master, prepared to cleave the old fool in two and end his torture. He made it only two steps before being flung back and over one of the loveseats that had ringed the balcony.
"By tomorrow morning." Darth Sidious' laughter hung in the air long after the Sith lord had left the ruined building.
Groaning quietly, Maul pulled himself from the wreckage of the couch he had landed on and looked around miserably, trying to decide where to begin. Sending an arc of energy toward the still-smoking sound booth, he was awarded with first a pitiful wail and then the jamming sounds of his favorite Led Zeppelin tune. Taking a look at the broken lights, the smoke-stained walls and the trampled furniture, Maul smiled. "You know, I could really get to like this place."
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