Dark Side Living with Dartha Stewart
By Katherine the Art Chick and Darth J. Landry
[Read Darth Landry's author bio]
Disclaimer: The Star Wars stuff belongs to George Lucas. Sith Academy belongs to Siubhan. Dartha belongs to Plaidder. The meringue belongs to Song Weaver. The shoe and pillow tricks belong to Martha Stewart. Everything else, what's left of it, belongs to us, and if you mess with it we'll sic Darth Mary Sue on you, so nyah! © (copyright) 1999 Katherine the Art Chick and Darth J. Landry.
Maul was sitting on his sofa wearing his ratty cutoffs and nothing else, playing Jedi Tomb Raider 5 with the Force and eating Ben and Jerry's out of the carton with a spoon, when he looked up to see Sidious, wearing his Palpatine drag. The Jedi in the game sliced Darth Lara Croft into multiple pieces. Oh my God, they killed Darth Lara! You bastards! Sidious smirked.
"Perhaps one day you WILL strike me down and become the master," Sidious said dryly. "But not until you figure out how to anticipate and detect my arrival, and quit wasting your time on mindless entertainments."
"What is your bidding, my Master?" Maul asked, sullenly.
"I want you to attend a lecture at the Jedi Academy."
"I'll be refused admission. I'm not a Jedi." Well, that, and I'd rather gnaw my own wrists open then listen to some lecture at the Jedi Academy, Maul groused internally.
"It's a guest lecture, open to the public. The topic is Gracious Living with Dartha Stewart. Dartha is an old friend of mine, and a very powerful former Jedi Academy student herself." He looked around. "You've improved somewhat since you learned to cook and won the cleaning droid in that silly video game contest, but you're still far from gracious, my young apprentice." He chuckled. Maul seethed. "The lecture begins in an hour, and you will pay close attention. After the lecture, you are to greet Dartha and bring her to my home. 223 Midichlorian Terrace." He smirked slightly in memory. "Not 225. Now hurry up and get ready."
The Jedi Academy lecture hall was done in those horrid earth tones with which the Jedi seemed so enamored. Rows and rows of swivel chairs in serene, soothing brown. Maul hated it, and sullenly went to sit on the back row. He was enjoying a few fantasies of killing his master--he had a particularly fetching mental image of tracks from that accursed car Sidous had forced him to repair forming artistic diagonals across Sidious's dead body--when a perky voice distracted him.
"Hi, neighbor!" Obi-Wan chirped. "Hey, are you saving this seat for anyone?"
Maul said nothing, just scowled a little deeper. Obi-Wan took that as encouragement and sat next to him. The padawan was fresh from a shower, ponytail and braid still damp and smelling slightly of shampoo.
"I sure love Dartha Stewart!" Obi-Wan gushed. "She's the best. I wouldn't have imagined she was YOUR type, though, what with you being such a slob and all... sorry. Anyway, I heard she used to be a padawan herself! and was supposed to be very powerful."
"So why is she not a Jedi?" Maul asked, in his best ask-me-if-I-care voice. Obi-Wan sighed.
"Nobody will tell me the whole story," he complained. "No one ever tells me any good gossip. I guess people think I'm a blabbermouth or something. Anyway, I think she got kicked out, or quit or something. I heard it had something to do with Senator Palpatine." He sighed again, oblivious to Maul's upsurge in attention. "In fact, I was hoping you knew so I would finally have some good dirt on SOMEONE."
Whatever response Maul was formulating was cut off by a spotlight shining on the back of the room. The back wall opened to reveal a more elaborate stage, and the audience rotated their chairs to face it. Maul was horrified to find himself on the front row. Obi-Wan was delighted, and all but bounced up and down in his seat in excitement.
As Dartha stepped onto the stage, Maul felt an astonishing disturbance in the Dark Side of the Force. Dartha Stewart practically glowed with the Dark Side. In fact, there was something about her that reminded him of... he couldn't put his finger on it, but there was definitely something familiar about her.
"...and I've found that the easiest way to brown the meringue is with a laser," Dartha said with a pleasant smile as she passed the beam of a miniature lightsaber over a meringue pie, lightly singing the peaks of fluff. "Perfect!"
The audience was overwhelmed with a frenzy of admiration, much to Maul's disgust. But Dartha herself was most admirable. Not even Palpatine could feign pleasantness so convincingly.
"People have written to me, asking about the proper number of pillows to have on a bed..." Maul glanced over at Obi-Wan, who was staring at the stage with a doe-eyed expression of admiration. He glanced around at the rest of the audience, and they all had the same expression. She must be whammying them, he realized.
"...if you don't want to buy the stackable, plastic shoeboxes, you can use the original cardboard boxes. Just take a Polaroid of the shoes, and glue the picture to the front of the box. Then you can find the shoes you need at a glance. That's a very good thing."
Dartha received a standing ovation as she concluded her presentation and made a sales pitch for her incredibly large product line. Maul had to shake his head to shake off a whammy to buy one of those adorable little mini-lightsabers for meringue-toasting. He blinked and looked up at the stage, amazed at her power as the Jedi all put swooned at her homemaking prowess and rushed to purchase merchandise.
"Isn't she the greatest?" Obi-Wan enthused. "Wait 'til I tell Qui-Gon about the floral arranging tips. Maybe Qui-Gon will even let me get some Corellian vodka to feed the roses. I can't wait to try it." He glanced at his dayglo swatch with the floating glitter in it. "Whoops! Gotta run. I have to go pick up Qui-Gon for the party."
Kenobi left, and Maul tried not to check out his butt as he was leaving. Unsuccessfully. Someone tapped him on the shoulder, and he looked up into the face of the dark doily diva herself. "You're Maul, aren't you?"
"How did you..."
"You didn't buy anything," she observed with a smirk. "I believe you're my ride."
"And in Coruscant Road Rage Traffic, major slowdowns all over the city! A major sixteen vehicle collision has blocked traffic heading to Senatorial Point..." the radio announced.
"Argh!" Maul snarled. "We have to take Senatorial Point to get to Midichlorian Terrace!"
"Not a good thing," Dartha observed. "Oh well, I wasn't looking forward to that party anyway. Sidious can never resist the urge to overdo it. It's that campy streak." Maul started. "Yes, yes, I know all about Darth Sidious." She leered evilly. "So, is Sidious still hot in bed? or has age caught up with him?"
"WHAT????? How would I know??? Ew!" Maul exclaimed in disgust. Then he did a double-take. "HOW WOULD YOU KNOW???????" Dartha just chuckled evilly. "He doesn't like girls!"
"I put the lust whammy on him." Dartha shrugged. "I wanted to experience motherhood, and he was the most powerful person with the Force I knew."
"Lust whammy? On Sidious?" Maul pondered this for a moment, then rejected the idea. "I don't believe you."
"I'd whammy you to prove it, but red and black clash with my coloring. You'll just have to take my word for it." She frowned slightly. "You must find it hard to find clothes that don't clash with those... although you seem to favor black. That's probably a good choice..."
"The lust whammy..." Maul thought about this for a moment. "I've only encountered one other person who used that."
"I know," Dartha said, mysteriously.
"Do you know my girlfriend Mary Sue?" Maul asked.
"Does Mary Sue know you tell people she's your girlfriend?" Dartha taunted. Maul shrugged. "She's never mentioned you."
"Well, it's not a formal relationship," Maul admitted. "How do you know Mary Sue?"
"Sidious doesn't tell you much, does he," Dartha observed. Maul shrugged again. "She's our daughter, of course."
Maul was stunned into silence for several seconds. "Damn. The whammy. I should have known," Maul said, realizing why Dartha seemed familiar. Dartha must have taught Mary Sue her moves. "All this power--you can whammy Sidious--and you waste it on--"
"On a comfortable life," Dartha said. "I'm not interested in politics or the military. I don't want to control the galaxy, except to make sure that everyones' homes are accessorized properly. I just want my pool and my dogs and my 68-bedroom house and the unthinking adoration of quintillions. And my merchandising empire." She's Mary Sue's mother, all right, Maul thought.
"So is that it? Your mastery over the Force consists of the lust whammy and the greed whammy and that's all?" Maul asked, a bit scornfully.
"The lust and greed whammies are my specialty, but the living force is strong in my family," Dartha answered serenely. "I have it, my daughter has it... and my sons have it."
"Mary Sue never mentioned any brothers," Maul said.
"Oh, and you're so close that she would have surely told you," Dartha mocked. Maul snarled. Dartha smirked. "Mary Sue was one of triplets. I only wanted a daughter, so I gave the two boys up for adoption. One of them's a singer now, and the other one's a padawan. I wouldn't know them if I saw them, though. Their adopted mother keeps me informed... whether I want to be or not."
Maul suddenly had a very bad feeling about this. "You wouldn't happen to know their names, would you?"
"Of course," Dartha said. "I named them both Ben. I liked the idea of having twin names for twin boys, and demanded that the adoptive parents keep the names. Of course, I hear they have nicknames for both of them..." She sighed at the gaucherie of it all. "But what do you expect from a couple named Maree-Jayn and Shawn-Penn?"
Life hates me, Maul thought.
Dartha and Maul entered Palpatine's spacious and elegant home, to deafening applause for Dartha. Senators and Jedi crowded around Dartha to congratulate her on her brilliant presentation. Mary Sue waved at Dartha, but made no attempt to penetrate the throng of her mother's admirers. Maul looked around the room and noted Yoda, Windu, and Jinn deep in conversation, with Kenobi listening. He spotted his master standing next to his large French doors opening onto a balcony overlooking a breathtaking view of the city. He took a drink from a serving droid and went to talk to Sidious.
"My master, we have GOT to talk," Maul said, dragging Sidious out onto the balcony for some privacy.
"I sense your disturbance, my apprentice," Sidious said, closing his eyes and savoring it. He smiled.
"Why didn't you tell me?" Maul demanded.
"Tell you what?" Sidious asked.
"That I'm sleeping with your daughter... and your son. Oh, shit! you slept with him, too!"
"My son?" Sidious said, performing a quick analysis of the intersection of the set of his sexual partners and the set of Maul's sexual partners. "Kenobi? Well, who'd have guessed it? He certainly doesn't look like me..."
"But... you slept with him!"
"So?" Sidious asked. "Really, Maul, your prudishness is so unbecoming." He sighed at Maul's expression of stunned horror. "It's not like I realized at the time. I didn't really keep track of Dartha's children--I'm not exactly paternal, you know--and it's not like there's anything I can do about it NOW, is there?" He smiled evilly. "Besides, it gives me a perverse thrill to think that you've slept with two of my three children... you haven't slept with Ben-Wa, have you? that would make you three for three." He chuckled at Maul's expression of disgust. "Since Sith should not date Sith, I figure that's as close as I'm going to get to sleeping with you myself."
"Please," Maul said. "I'm nauseous enough."
Sidious just chuckled. "Enjoy the party." He left Maul contemplating where projectile vomit would hit if he hurled off the balcony.
"I sensed a disturbance in the Force," Obi-Wan said, as he came out onto the balcony to check on Maul. "Are you okay?"
"I don't want to talk about it."
Obi-Wan put a hand on Maul's shoulder. Maul flinched at Kenobi's Palpatine cooties. "Tell me," Obi-Wan urged.
"I can't," Maul grunted. "It's too disgusting."
Mary Sue appeared and said, "I'm missing something, I sense it. What's up?"
"He's your father," Maul blurted out.
"Palpatine?" Mary Sue asked. Maul nodded. She grinned. "I smell a paternity suit! Woohoo! I'm in the money!"
"What's so disgusting about that?" Kenobi asked.
"There's more, and you won't want to hear it," Maul said. Odd, he'd never noticed that Mary Sue and Obi-Wan had almost the same eyes before. "And I sure as hell won't tell you!"
Dartha appeared on the balcony. "Mary Sue," she said, "that drink clashes with your outfit."
"Oh, FORCE!, Mom! I'm wearing the basic little black dress!" Mary Sue exclaimed.
"Exactly! Parasols, basic black... BAD combination." Mary Sue rolled her eyes.
"Dartha Stewart is your mother? You're so lucky!" Obi-Wan enthused.
"Dartha," Maul said, casually, starting to feel truly Sithly, "I don't believe you've met my neighbor, Obi-Wan Kenobi."
Dartha's face didn't change, and a normal person wouldn't have noticed a reaction at all, but Obi-Wan, Mary Sue, and Maul were not normal people, and they all noticed a tremor in the Force. Obi-Wan, in fact, started to wonder if he'd done something wrong and looked from Mary Sue to Maul to Dartha and back again.
"Hello, Ben," Dartha said.
Obi-Wan didn't get it.
"Oh, shit!!!" Mary Sue exclaimed. "All those nights with my vibrator thinking of him and he's MY BROTHER? I'm gonna hurl!!!"
"Please," Maul said. "That amount of information is sufficient."
"You're my birth mother?" Obi-Wan asked Dartha. She nodded. "Cool!" He smiled at Mary Sue. "I always wanted a sister."
"I always wanted a brother, too," Mary Sue said. Dartha and Maul both raised an eyebrow in surprise. "Girl toys suck. I always thought that if I had a brother I could steal HIS toys."
"You're not still going on about that supersoaker?" Dartha asked. Mary Sue sulked.
"I have a supersoaker," Obi-Wan volunteered. Unbidden, an innuendo-laden remark about Obi-Wan's supersoaker almost escaped Maul, but he squashed it ruthlessly. "Come over to my house. We'll have a supersoaker war." He beamed sweetly at Maul. "I don't get it. This is great! What's the problem?"
Senator Palpatine appeared on the balcony. "I want an allowance," Mary Sue announced.
Kenobi's eyes got big, and he clapped both hands over his mouth and raced off to the little padawan's room to puke his guts out.
"What the...?" Mary Sue asked.
"He gets it," Maul replied enigmatically.
After a moment, Mary Sue looked accusingly at Palpatine. "You screwed my brother?" Palpatine shrugged. "You horny toad!" she snapped, going to comfort her sibling. It was horny, exploitive bastards that turned her to the Dark Side in the first place, she seethed to herself. Perhaps the three of them could band together and kill Palpatine. Or just blackmail him into bankruptcy.
"My young apprentice is sleeping with two of our three children," Sidious told Dartha, conversationally.
"So?" Dartha asked. She waved her hand at Sidious. "Let's go upstairs."
"Let's go upstairs, my dear Dartha," Sidious said, kissing her hand. She smirked at Maul over Sidious's head before leaving with him.
Yes, he was definitely going to hurl, Maul decided. Too bad projectile vomit wasn't lethal to Sith Masters.
Mary Sue patted Obi-Wan comfortingly on the back. "Would you rather get sick again right away, or wait?" she asked.
"Tell me now," he groaned.
"I'm screwing your boyfriend," she admitted.
"No, silly. Maul."
"You know, if that was the only revelation of the evening--that Maul was sleeping with my hitherto unknown sister--I'd be a little queasy, but as revelations go this evening... what the hell. It's not like we're exclusive or anything... Oh, shit, Qui-Gon is sleeping with Palpatine!" Obi-Wan threw up again. Mary Sue patted him on the shoulder.
Maul stuck his head in and wrinkled his nose. "Plotting murder?" he asked, "or just barfing?"
"I'm plotting murder," Mary Sue said. "He's just barfing."
"Murder?" Obi-Wan squeaked. Mary Sue patted him on the shoulder again, and winked at Maul.
"How about blackmail?" she asked. "How much do you think the Galactic Enquirer would pay for a story about a politician sleeping with his son and selling gropes of his daughter to Hutts?"
"He let Hutts grope you?" Obi-Wan gasped, and threw up again at the thought.
Maul closed the door and smiled. He knew that when the day came to rise up and slay his master, Mary Sue would help. And maybe Kenobi would help, too, if they played it right. He could feel that day coming soon.
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