Sith Academy: Darth Maul vs. Kittens
Characters owned by Lucasfilms, but use of them here copyright 1999 by Lianath.
Sidious approached the door of his apprentices' apartment, his distaste growing as he took in the sights - and smells - on his way up the stairs.
He pulled hem of his robe away from a particularly pungent stain on the stair, fastidiously. During the last couple of months, as he made his obligatory tour of his planet of origin (one of those nasty senate duties he planned to do away with, once he'd taken over the galaxy) he had really forgotten what squalor Maul lived in.
At last, he reached the door and pushed it open. "I hope you've continued your studies in my absen--" Sidious stopped. And stared.
The apartment had been cleaned up, and the floor was no longer carpeted with junk and half-sentient leftovers. The air conditioning was working and it was pleasantly cool in there. But that hardly reached the Sith Master's notice.
He was busily staring at the kittens.
They were everywhere - on the couch, on top of the TV, playing Jedi Roadkill - the Revenge, and using Maul's robes as a playground.
Wait - "Maul!" Sidious barked, startling his apprentice into losing the tug-of-war with a kitten for his favorite t-shirt. "What in the name of all that's unholy is going on in here?"
"My Apprentice found a mate," Maul growled, sulkily. "She left these creatures in the middle of my bed shortly after you left. Then she trained them all, and they made me clean up and fix the air conditioner. They don't like it messy. Or hot."
Just then, the kitten chewing on the t-shirt sat up and waved a paw. Maul's eyes glazed over as he turned toward the kitchen.
"I thought you had your apprentice spayed, my apprentice?" Sidious looked in the general direction Maul had gone. Had his apprentice lied to him again? He would have to be given a passing grade in Deceiving Your Master, if so.
"I thought I had, as well," Maul replied, fingering his lightsaber significantly. "I think I'm going to go back to the veterinarian and make certain it's done properly this time."
Sidious frowned, stroking his chin thoughtfully. "A horde of Sith kittens. Hmm. The possibilities are--OW!"
He jumped back, zapping the audacious ankle-biting kitten with a jolt of purple lightning. "Maul!" he snapped, this time causing his tattooed apprentice to drop the can of tuna he was bringing back from the kitchen. " You must dispose of these creatures immediately. You may only have one apprentice at a time."
Maul scowled down at the kittens devouring the dropped tuna. "Gladly, my master."
Then he frowned even more, counting the fuzzy little felines. My Apprentice was still playing on the PlayStation - and he counted six kittens at the tuna. Where, then, was -
From next door came an anguished wail. "NoOOOOooOOoooooo! Mister Fluffy!"
Maul smirked, tilting his head to one side as he listened. "Did you leave the door open, Master, and allow a kitten to escape?"
Sidious turned around, then shrugged. "It would appear so," he observed, just as the padawan from next door came charging in, with tears streaming down his face, and holding a kitten by the scruff of its neck.
"Your cat ate Mister Fluffy!" Obi-Wan accused, jabbing a finger in Maul's direction.
The Sith merely sneered and waved his hand disdainfully. "You didn't like that hamster, anyway."
"I didn't really like the hamster," Obi-Wan echoed, lowering his hand again.
"You want to keep that kitten," Maul added, motioning toward the feline in the Jedi's hand.
"I want to keep this adorable widdle kitty-witty." Obi-Wan cradled the kitten gently in his arms, cooing down at it as he turned and left.
"Very nicely done," Sidious observed. But, to make sure his apprentice didn't get too cocky, he added, "Now find places for the rest of them."
"I thought I told you to get rid of these kittens, my apprentice." By now it had been a week and Sidious was tired of having to defend himself from the attentions of sharp kitten claws every time he paid a call.
Maul didn't bother to look up from his use of the first aid kit on his myriad of new scratches. "I tried, my master. I tried. Nobody wants them."
"Did you put an ad in the paper?"
"I put an ad in the paper."
"Did you stand on the street with a sign that said 'Free Kittens'?"
"I stood on the street with a sign that said 'Free Kittens' and the children all ran away screaming."
"Did you growl at them?"
"Well..." Maul hissed appreciatively at the sting of the antiseptic in the cuts. "Maybe a little."
Sidious shook his head. "Tsk, tsk, my apprentice. You must find something to do with them."
Maul glared balefully at his master. "Why don't you get rid of them? It was your idea."
Sidious paused, then stroked his chin thoughtfully. "You know...that just might work."
"That cat wishes me to vote for whatever Senator Palpatine wants," one glassy-eyed senator observed, to another.
"It wishes me to vote for whatever Senator Palpatine wants, as well." The other senator nodded solemnly, absently handing the remnants of his lunch to the half-grown kitten. A small group of them appeared to have taken up residence in the Senate building in the last little while, but nobody really seemed to mind. Or notice.
"Shall we go vote, then?"
Darth Maul settled in front of the PlayStation, controller in hand. Now that My Apprentice was recovering from her surgery (performed correctly, this time, under threat of a double-bladed lightsaber), he could play Jedi Roadkill much more often.
As he played, he could hear the anguished cries of his neighbor through the paper-thin walls of the apartment. "No, kitty! You want to take a bath! No, don't scratch -- NOOOOOoooOooOOooOoooo!"
Maul smirked to himself. Life was good.
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