Coruscant Fried Ewok
Darth Maul, Sidious, Obi-Wan, Yoda, Qui-Gon, and Mace do not belong to me. They belong to George. I make no money off of them. I'm just a poor grad student so getting money from me is akin to trying to extract blood from a turnip. Anyway, I'm just borrowing them. The sick sense of humor expressed here, though mine, was fostered by the Sith Academy, its creatrix Siubhan, and the many fine writers the site spawned long before I stumbled in. Thanks to all for letting me play. A very special thanks to Jedimom for a kind and careful beta and to Siubhan for (as always) pointing out the draggy bits. (No, not that kind of drag.) Thanks to Basingstoke for the Tommy name, and to the Plaid Adder for Ophidia. Thanks to Phranc and Garnet for the inspiration, the footwork, and the chicken indulgences of all sorts. Feedback is always welcome.
Any likeness to the current Kentucky Fried Chicken urban legend making its way around the Internet is purely intentional. Check out the University of New Hampshire Web site (www.unh.edu) or Snopes.com (www.snopes.com) for details and links.
Maul glanced up from where he was standing to see Sidious standing on the landing platform reserved for Senator Palpatine. However, his master was not in his usual Palpatine drag. Instead, the old guy was wearing the insignia of the Supreme Chancellor.
Maul was a bit baffled by his costume change. Even in drag, thought Maul, Sidious's delusions were not usually this bad. And certainly they were not usually this dangerous to his long term goals. Maul walked cautiously towards his master. He could feel Sidious trying to sense Maul's thoughts.
"Maul," he said, "that boyfriend of yours has made you too soft. Don't tell me you forgot about my election to the Chancellorship that quickly. We must see that you get yourself back on track, free from distractions. I think Obi-Wan has become a liability, especially now that he's been knighted."
"Knighted?" Maul thought. And the Jedi hadn't mentioned this because... why exactly? He shook his head as if to clear his thoughts. Something felt very, very wrong here. Instead of having a perfectly rational thought about why Obi-Wan would have neglected to mention such a thing, Maul instead noticed that on top of the full Chancellor drag, Sidious had his nails done in black and red nail polish. Wasn't that a bit too obvious? Even for a queen with a flaming streak a mile wide? Maul blinked and looked up from his woolgathering only to realize that Sidious was still blathering on. Damn, he thought, I hope I didn't miss anything important.
"...Though he is my son, he is also beginning to threaten my plans. The time has come for you to reveal yourself to at least one of the Jedi." Sidious scowled. Oddly, though, his master didn't seem to feel any remorse about this.
Still trying to piece together what went between the sentences Maul had heard Sidious utter, he tried not to snort at the double entendre.
His master seemed to sense where Maul's mind had been. Purple sparks danced at his fingertips as he took a few steps closer to his ward. "Not that way, my apprentice. The time for jokes and passing dalliances is over. Now, I want you to kill my son. He knows enough to be a threat to us. Bring me his lightsaber when you are through."
Maul paused as he realized that his master was serious.
"The incorrigible do-gooder that passes for my spawn is currently in the hold of my shuttle. I've drugged him. You may rouse him before you skewer him if you wish, though frankly, I'm not sure you can best him while he's conscious. He is my son, and he gets his sex appeal from me." Sidious smiled an unnatural smile, turned his back on his apprentice, and began walking away from Maul and the shuttle and towards the building which housed his soon-to-be-vacated Senatorial offices.
Besting the nausea that last comment evoked, Maul felt the hairs on the back of his neck stand on end. Something about the whole situation felt wrong. Deeply, deeply wrong. He had a vague feeling that it had something to do with what that Ophidia woman had suggested, but he couldn't place what.
Maul, Sidious intruded, Get going. I want you to be done in time to attend the Metallica concert. I have purchased floor tickets for you. A reward for your progress these last few days.
Now Maul really knew something was wrong. Sidious didn't like Metallica. He used to cringe in horror anytime he'd appear in the apartment when Maul was having a Black Album kind of day...if he could just place what was off here. He could not have been lucky enough for a cool alien to have taken possession of his master. No, that wasn't it ...
Sidious turned and let loose a volley of purple lightning. Maul dodged the first few spates, and ignited his lightsaber to parry the next assault.
Hmm. I thought the handbook said that Force lightning was not parryable by lightsaber. Don't the laws of physics suggest that the energy would simply short the blade out or travel down the blade to the highly conductive handle and zap me? Why am I thinking this in the middle of a fight?
Maul shrugged and went with it.
As Maul pressed towards his Master with the saber, Sidious was startled by the fury and skill of the attack, and hesitated for a fraction of a second.
That was all Maul needed.
I am hot shit.
He faked a thrust to Sidious's left hand with the uppermost right blade, knowing full well that his master knew, better than anyone, that he favored that side in close combat. He could feel Sidious begin to move to defend against the expected blow. At that moment, Maul ripped the lower energy blade viciously into Palpatine's crotch. In one of those unreal moments that sometimes happen when the world seems to move in slow motion, an image of the disgust he'd felt when hiding the package for a drag show popped into Maul's mind. Maul cackled with glee as he disemboweled the sadistic prick, beginning with that most offensive spot. When his former master's terror exploded into a million colors in his head, the pleasure of that most Sithly emotion hit Maul like a wave. He twisted the saber blade deeper as he felt Sidious's lifeforce--and entrails--begin to slip away.
Maul stepped back, so as not to sully his freshly polished boots with the rancid mess. He was beginning to drink in the waves of hatred and anger that were swirling around the dying body, listening to Sidious groaning in agony when he caught a wave of anguish across a familiar mental link.
Oh Shit. Maul thought. Obi-Wan. He was supposed to be drugged, but Maul sensed that he somehow knew what was going on.
Maul? Are you alive? came a mind-voice that could only be described as tentative.
Maul couldn't even begin to think how to answer this one, "Sure, I'm great, but your Da's innards are really making quite a mess on the Senatorial landing pad. Why don't you give your sister, who I'm sure will be thrilled to see me now, a call? I'm sure MacroStiff has a sweeper team or two I can borrow."
Obi-Wan? Maul answered, treading as gently as if the mental link were filled with mines Sid-Palpatine said you'd been drugged?
Pfah. All those years on Perkium and other pharmacological substances and he thinks a little tranq'll work on me? He's dumber than I thought. I'm fine. What about you?
Maul noted that he was a bit singed around the edges and had a funny ringing in his ears, but was not too bad, all things considered. Other than that pesky little I've just risen up and slain my master who happens to be the father of my ...
Maul, I know you killed my father, but he was a Sith. Maul nearly retched at the waves of reassurance Obi-Wan was sending his way. Damn the Jedi, that shit was killing his buzz. You've done the Republic and the Jedi a great service...
Ugh! This was all he needed. This was not an act of selflessness.
And me. I am truly grateful.
At that moment, they eyes on Sidious's head popped open, and he began to sing Braht'nee Spheres tunes As Maul screamed "NOOOOoooOOOOooo!!!" Obi-Wan emerged from the cargo hold, fetchingly bound, but draped in hot-pink robes and a lavender feather boa the likes of which he hadn't touched since his Perkium detox, and--horror of horrors--began singing harmony. Just as Maul was about to set a new record for anguished screams, he awoke to the sound of a repulsorlift powered blimp hovering entirely too close to his apartment building. If Maul didn't know better, he'd say based on the volume that the bloody thing was right outside his window.
Maul blinked in the light, then, realized that the Tommy Nerfherder blimp was the reason he'd been saved from the most horrific nightmare he'd had in a long, long time.
Though he was relieved to have been saved from a horrific sight, Maul was not pleased to have been awakened so early on a holiday.
"Sith are not grateful for small favors," he grumbled, unsure whether the Handbook flapped approvingly or not.. He couldn't hear anything over the drone of the repulsorlifts.
He stormed to the balcony. This was the second time in the past two days that the low-flying air traffic on Coruscant had woken him. Above the constant buzzing of the repulsorlift blimp, Maul heard the fft-fft-fft of the helicraft. He could see the news crew cameras hanging out of its viewport.
Damn them all to the nine Sith hells. He wanted to sleep on his holiday. Not get strafed by reporters spouting platitudes.
Though it had sounded as if it had been directly above him, it wasn't. The blimp was now flashing a sign that read "Celebrate the Holiday. At Long Last We Can All Just Get Along. Buy Tommy Nerfherder Tunics at the Coruscant Center Mall." He could have sworn he detected a whammy that followed the message because he suddenly thought that the true definition of interspecies unity was when white, humanoid teenagers from houses in suburbs like Midichlorian Place would wear the Nerfherder tunics popularized by rap music. He shook his head to clear that image. He looked back at the blimp. It and its helicraft friends appeared to be hovering above the Assembly Stadium a few blocks over. Then he remembered. That was where the Jedi Temple was having its Republic Civil Rights Day Celebration.
Maul corrected himself. The SECOND day of the holiday. Maul ducked as a squad of precision fighters flew over, their engines roaring enough to shake the building. Maul watched as My Apprentice darted under the bed, trying to appear as if she had not been in a panic--that she always decided to scoot under the bed at full speed early in the morning for no reason whatsoever.
That was the last straw. They had woken him twice. Yesterday they had interrupted a particularly creative use of a water bottle, duct tape, and a whisk by Obi-Wan. His cat was reduced to hiding like a...like a ... like a cowardly hamster.
Sith and their pets do not suffer such indignities, Maul thought. He watched as the Handbook flapped approvingly--visual confirmation his only option given the roar of low-flying newscraft.
Maul tromped over to the computer, logged on, and began surfing for Web sites devoted to military weaponry. Maul vowed that the next day of the three-day commemoration of Republic Day would not go so smoothly.
Maul paused to note the misnomer. If Republic Day were just a day, how could it last for three?
The Jedi do not concern themselves with such accuracies when it suits their needs, My Apprentice mentally grumbled. Still under the bed, she sighed dramatically as she flopped onto her side and placed a paw over her eyes.
After entering the aging hippie's Coruscant Express number, Maul opened his email account to check his messages while he waited for his confirmation number.
Maul logged on and was greeted not by the standard cheering chime of Coruscant On-Line and Yoda's voice saying "New mail you have." Instead, Darth Lara Croft's voice stated, "You are hot shit. Your new messages await your bidding, my master."
One of his favorite improvements.
The subject line of the first message read:
"Please Read If You Eat CFE"
What on earth was this about, Maul wondered, as he stared over at the litter of boxes from Coruscant Fried Ewok left over from the last fast food run he'd made before the bulk of the planet shut down to observe the holiday by closing for the long weekend. The latest civilization was just beginning to emerge from the primordial soup of the gravy left on the pseudo-mashed potatoes he loved so much.
Darth Lara's voice gently jarred his attention back to the screen. "A pitifully inadequate confirmation message has been sent to your account, my master." Maul glanced back to the screen, and opened the first new message.
MESSAGE TRANSMISSION, TEXT ONLY, DATE 24/18/001, ZULU 14:42:12 FROM: SCOTSSABER@JEDI.TEMPLE.EDU TO: DARKLORD@COL.COM RE: FWD FWD FWD PLEASE READ IF YOU EAT CFE ************ Maul, I've gathered by the litter in your apartment that you frequent this particular place. Thought you should know what you were eating. >> > Subject: PLEASE READ IF YOU EAT CFE >> > >> > I guess they "Don't do Ewok Right"!!
Actually, Maul thought, they hadn't been lately. It seemed his fried Ewok was increasingly soggy and not greasy enough. Amazing how they could manage to do both at the same time.
>> > CFE has been a part of our Republic traditions for many years. Many >> > people, >> > day in and day out, eat at CFE religiously.
Maul tried not to groan audibly at the patriotic overtones of the message.
>> > Do they really know what they are eating?
Maul braced himself, worried that the hippie had Obi-Wan on yet another mindless diet. And worse, that Obi-Wan was going to try and drag Maul down with him. Maul ate as much fast food as he wanted, as deep fried as he wanted, now that he and Obi-Wan dragged each other down as regularly as they did. The diets might not have worked, but their new exercise regimen had. Maul grinned a Sithly grin when he thought of the send off Obi-Wan had given him before heading off to that stupid Jedi touchy-feeley assemblage.
When Maul purred his contentment with the unusually enthusiastic Obi-Wan, the Jedi had simply said, "Well, you'll have four very long days without your usual workout partner. I thought you might need an extra strenuous one before I left to tide you over."
Maul had had to use the Force to pick up My Apprentice, who was rolling on her back, laughing hysterically at the idea. He held her suspended frighteningly close to the filled bathtub to get her to stop her mental giggling so her could concentrate fully on the inventive padawan.
Only two days until Obi-Wan returned, Maul thought longingly.
Darth Lara's voice again dragged Maul's attention back to the computer.
"You have received another new message, my master. You are truly hot shit."
Maul continued reading the already open one.
>> > During a recent study of CFE done at the University of New >> > Alderaan, they found some very upsetting facts. First of all, has anybody >> > noticed that just recently, the company has changed their name? >> > Coruscant Fried Ewok has become CFE. Does anybody know why? We >> > thought >> > the real reason was because of the "FRIED" food issue.
Yep. Damn Jedi health food nuts taking over all the best junk food on the planet. Even Pizza the Hutt now had a synth cheese version of pizza with this non-fat cheese substitute made from Olestra. Mind you, there were these reports that Olestra had been associated with what was euphemistically referred to as "anal leakage" but that didn't seem to matter to Pizza the Hutt.
>> > It's not.
Maul raised his eyebrows expectantly.
>> > The reason why they call it CFE is because they have been legally forbidden from >> > using the word Ewok anymore. Why? CFE does not use real Ewoks. They actually >> > use genetically manipulated organisms. These so called "Ewoks" are kept alive by >> > tubes inserted into their bodies to pump blood and nutrients throughout their >> > structure. They have no eyes, no fur, no feet, and no vocal cords so that their cries . >> > of pain do not disturb the barbarians that breed them. Their bone structure is >> > dramatically shrunk to get more meat out of them. This is great for CFE
Yeah, Maul thought, that vocal cord bit could be helpful. He wondered if there was anything more annoying than Ewok screams.
My Apprentice, still under the bed, sent, Yes, that pointless advertising contingent out there is far worse than Ewok screams. With Ewok screams we can get off on their fear and anger. But the blimp and helicraft offer no such bonus. We must slay them. Now.
Maul paused, truly horrified at the Sithliness of his cat. He wondered briefly is she could rise up and slay him. He shook his head. Nope. But if he didn't calm her down, she might well try. "This is an opportunity to hone you rage, My Apprentice."
Oh Please! Like you could have planned this in advance.
Maul wondered whether there wasn't some truth to Obi-Wan's comment on his ownership of that cat. Obi-Wan had said that there were no coincidences in the Force. Maybe he was right. Otherwise Maul would have ended up with a more tractable pet.
Sith are not tractable.
Maul shuddered. He was not sure what was more frightening--the fact that his cat knew the word tractable or that when she used it, the Handbook seemed to bounce with glee.
Maul decided that the message was far safer territory. He continued reading:
>> > because they do not have to pay so much for their production costs. There is no >> > more skinning of the Ewoks to get rid of the fur or the removal of the eyeballs and >> > feet. Furthermore, CFE has dramatically reduced the costs for therapy for workers >> > psychologically traumatized by listening to their screams. The Senate has told them >> > to change all of their menus so they do not say Ewok anywhere. If you look closely >> > you will notice this. Listen to their commercials, I guarantee you will not see or hear >> > the word Ewok. I find this matter to be very disturbing. I hope people will start to >> > realize this and let other people know. >> > >> > Please forward this message to as many people as you can. Together we can >> > make CFE start using real Ewok again. >> > T'wilantya Suzeen >> > Department Administrative Assistant >> > University of Naboo >> > Ecology and Evolutionary Biology >> > (949) 555-6006 >> >> >>
At the bottom, Maul read Obi-Wan's attached message.
Maul, some of us are planning a protest against CFE . I know it isn't your style, usually, but will you join us? I'll make it worth your while. (See attachment). Obi
Maul opened the attachment and was treated to a videotape of Obi-Wan in a position he didn't think the padawan had even tried with Qui-Gon. The caption read "Flexibility is important to warriors."
My Apprentice interrupted his reverie when she leapt onto the keyboard using it only as a launching platform for her pounce onto the mouse, which she batted around until the tracking page from Corellian Anarchist Marketplace popped onto the screen.
You will attend to our vengeance first, she informed him.
Maul used the Force to suspend the cat in front of his face, the backlighting from the monitor giving her an eerie glow.
"My Apprentice, do not forget who is the master here. I await the shipment and can do nothing else in the meantime. I suggest you not encourage me to use you for lightsaber practice. I haven't had a moving target to spar with in a while."
The roar from his tone of voice was loud enough to send seismic disaster upon the pizza-box civilization under his feet. My Apprentice was distracted by the escape pods jettisoning from its cities.
Maul dropped her to the floor so that she could chase them, realizing that toys might distract her.
Maul turned his attention back to the message. If it were true, Coruscant Fried Ewok had hatched a truly Sithly plot. But the Force didn't have to tell him it was untrue. His common sense nagged at him. Something was not right here. This had all the hallmarks of an Internet hoax. Or a Yoda theory, which were both pretty much equally implausible.
He quickly typed in a response.
MESSAGE TRANSMISSION, TEXT ONLY, DATE 24/19/001, ZULU 10:03:47 FROM: DARKLORD@COL.COM TO: SCOTSSABER@JEDI.TEMPLE.EDU RE: FWD FWD FWD PLEASE READ IF YOU EAT CFE Obi-Wan, I wouldn't go storming the gates of the fried Ewok emporium just yet. Have you been in the Perkium again? Are they lacing the food at the rally with it? This is an Internet hoax. Don't you see it has all the characteristics of one? Maul
At that moment he heard cheers go up from the stadium. The blimp and the helicraft all dropped altitude to zoom in on whatever was going on.
Maul's rage had hit a new high.
Maul found himself in a long, eerily lit tunnel. He keyed a code into the keypad that would open the door in front of him. As he moved further into the room, the Force told him that something here was very wrong. As his eyes adjusted to the dark, he was horrified, greeted by the image of sightless, furless Ewoks, ripping free from their tubed feeding stations to stalk him through the halls of Sidious's basement. That and a crazed kid on a bicycle with what looked like a ski attached to its wheel. The small human was incongruously shouting, "Two dollars! I want my two dollars!"
Maul was abruptly ripped back to reality, when My Apprentice scrambled, claws out, from her perch on his chest, over his face, and down the headboard to the space under the bed.
Maul, growling, removed the earplugs from his ears, leapt out of bed, and knelt down, face to face with the semi-animate pile of laundry behind which the cat was hiding.
"Do not use me as a scaling post again, My Apprentice, or you will be sorry."
A shivering cat sent, I will cease using you as a scratching post when those Jedi minion blimps depart this planet in a blaze of explosive glory.
Maul grinned. At long last he had caught his cat being less Sithly than he was when he, um, slept with Obi-Wan.
"My Apprentice, control yourself. Draw power from your fear. Sith do not whine. Is it my fault the weapons have not yet arrived? You know that shipping services are delayed because of the holiday. I had to pay extra just to get an courier from the Outer Rim who doesn't recognize the holiday to deliver the missiles. I'm smuggling as fast as I can."
Maul paused as he realized that he was trying to be rational with a cat. Way losing battle.
She glared at him and continued to shake.
Those missiles better arrive today. Or I will shred every one of your Sith Lords Kick Ass t-shirts.
With the earplugs now out, over the din of the news and advertising brigade out there, Maul heard a beeping from his computer.
Maul wandered over to the terminal and logged on.
MESSAGE TRANSMISSION, TEXT ONLY, DATE 24/18/001, ZULU 18:23:35 FROM: SCOTSSABER@JEDI.TEMPLE.EDU TO: DARKLORD@COL.COM RE: FWD FWD FWD PLEASE READ IF YOU EAT CFE Maul, You know Maul, I thought you gave me more credit than that. This message cites that University of Naboo Study. Did you notice who wrote it? Just don't eat there until I get back. I don't want to argue. See today's attachment for what I'd rather do. Obi
Maul groaned. He thought that the de-Perkiumed Obi-Wan was not as gullible as this.
Just as he was trying to figure out, despite his rather intimate knowledge of Obi-Wan, exactly how the lad could have gotten that portion of the emergency brake from the hovercar into that orifice, a knock on the door disturbed his reverie.
Maul growled at the cybercoitus interruptus, but seeing the cat on top of the stack of reserve Sith Lords Kick Ass t-shirts, he left the computer to answer the door.
He opened the door to see a rather bedraggled man with a very large crate. The crate was being used as a bench by a young human female, who had a model of an ancient warrior from Earth in her hands. She was prattling on to the smuggler about it.
"But Dad, don't you see. It's a great plan. You don't actually want soldiers who think. You want dumb and replaceable, kind of like Hansel's pet rodents. In fact, the best thing for them would be if they didn't even have brains. If you could control them all like puppets, you know?"
"Gretel, hush. Daddy has business to do." the man managed, still seeming a bit winded.
Maul looked upon the short girl with admiration. This was a bright mind.
He noticed his cat kicking around the top shirt on the stack and moved on with the exchange.
Well before the light of dawn reached his windows, Maul was awakened by My Apprentice. She was sitting bolt upright on his chest. Meowing. Loudly.
"What?" he snapped. Then he realized there was no helicraft and blimp brigade. Then, he realized it was still dark. He abruptly sat up. My Apprentice anticipated his move and leapt to safely nanoseconds before he's shifted.
I'm hungry. It has been days since you last gave me tuna. You will feed me now and give me an extra can to make up for the shortfall.
Maul found himself in the kitchen placing two different cans of tuna into two different dishes before he realized what had happened.
"That would be because you haven't been out from under the furniture in days," Maul reminded the cat, as he headed for his Count Chocula box.
After three whole days without her morning tuna, My Apprentice overdid the tuna whammy. Had Maul been able to see the other apartments on his floor, he'd have seen the residents of the thirteen apartments that were neither his nor Obi-Wan's all trooping into their kitchens to put cans of tuna on the floor. Whether they had cats or not.
With bowl of Count Chocula in hand, Maul strolled to the computer. He logged on and headed to the University of Naboo website. Easy enough to find the Biology Department, and the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology homepage. But, no list of contacts. Damn. Okay, different strategy.
University of New Alderaan. Ah. Maul waited for the web page to load. He grinned. He was hot shit.
"Click here for Ewok hoax."
Right there on the university's main web page. Not that they'd had a lot of inquiries about this or anything.
Maul sent a message through the browser right off to Obi-Wan, including the URL. He didn't even bother to open his inbox.
When he logged into his email he found a message waiting for him.
MESSAGE TRANSMISSION, TEXT ONLY, DATE 24/19/001, ZULU 07:16:01 FROM: SCOTSSABER@JEDI.TEMPLE.EDU TO: DARKLORD@COL.COM RE: Oops. Maul, Fuck. (Yes, please, and soon, but I digress.) You were right. I found the University of New Alderaan page. Only problem is that I already told Yoda. He seems to believe that the whole genetically engineered Ewok thing is a Sith plot, and that UNA is in league with them. I've got to go since Qui and Mace are going to try and stop him before he does something more embarrassing than bottoming himself out in biker bars. Only one more day 'til I get home. I've a few ideas about some of the ways I can let you gloat about being right. (see attachment) Obi
Maul grinned. This was going even better than he'd hoped. If all went well, he'd be behind two of today's top news stories. He opened the attachment to see a photo of Obi-Wan in a kilt doing things with a caber that really defied the laws of anatomy. Scots Saber indeed.
Maul gathered up the collection of surface to air missiles in one hand, a Pete's Wicked Ale in the other, and headed for his balcony, thinking about just how much life loved him.
Maul turned on the television and tuned into CNC, Coruscant News Channel. Sure enough, there was Yoda standing in front of the masses at the stadium. Or rather, standing on a crate on a chair behind a podium on a stage at the stadium.
"Conspiracy it is. Designed to thwart the Republic laws against genetically altered and enslaved organisms it must be. Against the laws of nature this is. Boycott Coruscant Fried Ewok we must." Yoda slammed his gimmer stick on the podium.
Maul noticed an uncomfortable looking Palpatine off to the edge of the frame.
Then he got a great idea.
Maul picked up the phone and dialed.
Senator Palpatine was pleasantly surprised by the burst of vibration from his belt. Then his face fell momentarily as he realized it was just his cellular comlink set to vibrate. Damn!
He reached into his Senatorial robes and read the text that scrolled across the screen.
A little note from his apprentice. "CFE an Internet hoax. Check U of NA Web site for details. You can embarrass Yoda on Republic-wide live television. Maul."
Palpatine smiled and nodded. He was impressed with the efficiency of his apprentice. He'd thought that little bit of misinformation would have taken longer to make its way to him. Still, Maul had not yet guessed Sidious's master plan.
As Yoda wailed on, representatives from the Coruscant Fried Ewok and the University of New Alderaan approached the podium.
Maul watched the television as Sidious practically purred with delight. For a moment, he truly thought the Senator from Naboo was going to lose all sense of decorum and roll around on the ground in that same obscene way My Apprentice did with catnip. Maul then tried not to revisit his Count Chocula as he realized his sex-crazed master was getting off on the cell phone call Maul had initiated. He must have the only cell phone in the universe set to vibrate that strongly.
Maul's stomach quieted down as he watched Sidious read the message and smile.
Why wasn't he stepping in to discredit the little green freak?
Then, as reps from UNA and CFE began speaking, Maul began to guess.
That devious prick had started the rumor himself.
Maul grinned and began laughing. Through his chortles, bits of the conversation like "Malicious slander" "Jedi Council should not involve themselves in commerce" "unsubstantiated rumors" faded in and out.
The CFE rep brought out a small contingent of happy little Ewoks, all of whom loudly claimed that they were being treated exceedingly well in their farms. Unlike the teaching assistants at the University of New Alderaan, they had dental and health insurance. They started up a holovid of their spacious living quarters. Maul was jealous for a moment of the kitchen they shared, until he remembered that Sidious was behind this.
Note to self, Maul thought: when I am a Sith Lord make sure my apprentice has good enough quarters that he will not rise up and slay me for lack of a dishwasher or garbage disposal.
He heard Yoda squealing, "A Sith plot must it be! In league with each other they are. Think you not it strange that together these people arrived when in advance we knew not such allegations the Council would make?!?!?" The last thing he saw was Mace Windu shaking his head as Qui-Gon gently placed his hand on Mace's back.
The coverage was cut for a break in news announcement.
"We interrupt your regularly scheduled coverage to bring you breaking news. For those of you who have not been with us all morning, earlier today at the beginning of the culmination of Republic Day Festivities, a terrible tragedy occurred. The Tommy Nerfherder blimp and five separate news helicraft crashed in a flaming conflagration. All aboard perished. CNC has just learned that investigators who suspected devious foul play have a lead in who may be behind this gross travesty." The reporter paused, and Maul hoped it was because someone was going to edit the overblown phrasing. This bimbette took redundancy to a whole new level. He saw her face change into one of pure horror. She shook her head slowly as she began again.
"It seems a sardonic irony that on this august solemnity, celebrating the freedom and civil rights of all in the Republic, that the Jedi--Defenders of Peace and Justice--would be deeply and persistently embroiled in two incidents of such lawlessness and slanderous calumny."
Maul groaned. Who was proofing this idiot's commentary? Whoever it was needed to look the word verbose up in a dictionary.
"On a day that honors those who fought to make all men free, the Jedi Council is accused of malicious slander against Coruscant Fried Ewok. In addition, CNC has just received confirmation from its sources that the missiles which destroyed the historically archival dirigibilic blimps and single-rotor powered helicraft..."
Maul was tempted to impale the reporter with a red pen.
"...were purchased by a Jedi Master, a master previously cited for abusing the Code and the imbibing or consumption of illicit substances outlawed within the Republic. His name, Master Qui-Gon Jinn."
Maul was writhing in agony from the "illicit substances outlawed within" bit, when he paused to see a picture of the aging hippie in full peace and love regalia before he'd aged quite so much. Where on Coruscant did they find a photo of him where he looked so stoned?
And why hadn't he thought of sending them one like that sooner?
As he listened to the reporter prattle on, he watched Mace slap his forehead in the background. For his part, Qui-Gon began protesting his innocence. Maul purred.
For a day that had started off not so well, this one was shaping up nicely. Maul noticed that My Apprentice was again stalking the refugees from the pizza box civilization that were relocating to enslave the less evolved lifeforms in the CFE gravy swamp. She seemed to have forgotten about the noise assault entirely, which meant his t-shirt stash was safe.
He muted the television set and made a mental note to find a way to take his revenge on that reporter and whoever wrote what went into her teleprompter. He wandered into the kitchen only to find an empty fridge.
Perhaps it was time for a run down to the local CFE. There shouldn't be any lines.
But before he went out, he decided that he needed to show Sidious that he had figured out who was behind the little bit of misinformation. Maul hacked into an untraceable account and began to write:
TO: SIZEMATTERSNOT@GREENKINK.COM FROM: SITH_DEFENDER<ADDRESS WITHHELD> RE: Don't Flash Your Headlights at Speeders With Theirs Off: It's a Sith Initiation Plot.
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