A Day at the Flea Market
by Tracy the Sith Vixen
[Read Tracy's author bio]
All the characters in this tale of woe belong to George Lucas. I just borrowed them. Also, special thanks to Monty Ashley for the Posing and Cackling.
"Yes!" Maul shouted in triumph as the end-game graphics danced on his TV screen indicating that he had mastered Sith Kombat: Extermination. He glowered at his apprentice, who was unimpressed and simply squinted her eyes back at Maul in boredom. "Tell me, My Apprentice, who is hot shit?"
"I cannot vouch for that," a voice behind him said, making Maul spin, lightsaber already in hand to slay the intruder. But it was Sidious, draped in his Palpatine regalia, arms crossed in exasperation. "But you are in deep shit."
"What do you mean, my Master?" Maul asked, fear crumbling away his recent video game victory.
"Maul, do you realize you have not paid for your books this semester?" Sidious picked up a stack of books from the cluttered coffee table. " Sith Mind Whammy 201 - unpaid for. I Came, I Saw, I Kicked Ass: the Life and Times of Axar Kun - unpaid for and unread, I see. Posing and Cackling 101 - unpaid for...and Calculus from the Dark Side - unpaid for. What do you intend to do about his, my apprentice? Do you think that the Sith Academy is free?"
Maul scowled. "I thought I was attending on scholarships...my Master."
"But scholarships don't cover book fees, Maul! Now...from what I calculate," Sidious punched a few numbers up on his pocket computer. "You owe me 223 credits."
"I don't have that kind of money!" Maul felt the anger rising in him.
"Good, goooood, my apprentice. Let your anger guide you and strike me down if you dare!" When Maul made no move, Sidious continued. "What about the money you make from your job--what are you doing again?"
"I'm telemarketing for Coruscant Online right now and it doesn't pay enough, especially now that I have a monthly cell phone bill on top of everything else. Although the constant hang-ups at work are helping me hone my rage to a nice fine point."
"Excellent! But you still need to pay me for these books." Sidious looked around Maul's squalid apartment. Stacks of conquered PlayStation games littered the floor and the top of the TV. Maul's old TV, which he had impaled on his lightsaber after seeing Kathie Lee talk about Cody one too many times in an hour sat in a moldy corner. Out-dated computer programs were scattered everywhere. "Maul, I have the perfect solution to your financial dilemma and your cluttered apartment AND it will be a most propitious lesson in hatred development."
Maul felt that crumbling fear turn into a white knot in the pit of his stomach, but was compelled to ask, "What is it my Master?"
Sidious grinned with an evil delight. "Gather everything in this apartment that you have not touched in the past month and bring it out to my car. We're going to sell at the Coruscant Flea Market!"
Two hours later Maul was driving Sidious from his home at 223 Midichlorian Terrace where he had decided to gather up a few things to sell himself. The back of Sidious'ss luxury vehicle looked like a garbage truck with all the junk Maul and Sidious had gathered to take to the flea market. Furious with having his Saturday ruined by his Master, Maul took it out on the hapless Coruscant commuters, weaving in and out of traffic, lopping off sideview mirrors with his lightsaber.
At the southernmost point of Coruscant, the two Sith made their way to the massive open air Coruscant Flea Market and Swap Meet. The place was crawling with all the scum and villainy of the universe that even Tatooine refused to allow on-world. There was more than one Hutt scooting about in overalls, Neimoidians were drifting in and out of the crowds picking pockets and hawking boiled peanuts, and the Jawas! Gah! The Jawas were everywhere, dodging the larger aliens like roaches.
"There's an empty table over there, Maul. Go park in front of it and we'll unload."
"Yes, my Master," Maul mumbled.
Eager to be done with this smelly place, Maul jumped out of the car and started throwing his and Sidious's things on the table.
"Maul!!" Sidious shouted. "Take these items off of the table. We must make our display presentable to the public." And he dragged out a flowered tablecloth, daintily placing it over the rickety table. "Help me straighten it out, my apprentice."
Maul seethed. None of these space idiots are going to notice a table cloth, he thought to himself, watching a couple of Gungans bob along scarfing down sno-cones. Anger came to a rolling boil in Maul's gut.
Everything was set out nicely on the table under Darth Sidious's direction and keen eye: old lightsaber parts, the impaled TV set, Palpatine's old Fabio romance novels, PlayStation games, Maul's old Clone a Wookiee chemistry set that Palpatine had given him on his 11 birthday (the Wookiee clone had escaped a long time ago), and so on. Now it was up to the people to come and buy all of it.
"Howdy, neighbor!" A gratingly familiar voice said beside Maul as he sat down behind the table alongside his Master. Maul turned and scowled at the twit Padawan sitting with his Master, a bright smile on his pimply face.
"What are you doing here?" Maul spat.
"Oh, Master Qui-Gon and I are up here selling Padawan Cookies for the Dagobah Preservation Society. Did you know it's one of the few fresh water swamp planets left in our galaxy? Hey, you wanna buy a box? We have Ewok Sandies, Padawan Hot Brownies, Sebulbas, and Naboo Nuggets."
A passerby with an incredibly long neck and bowling pin head stopped at the Jedi's table and inquired, "What's a Naboo? Is that a Naboo?" it said, pointing at the cookies. As Obi-Wan set to cheerfully explaining, Maul settled in to a nice surly mood.
About that time, a big dumb Gungan ambled up to Maul's table and, giving both Maul and Sidious a bucktoothed grin, he said. "Hey, meesa Jar Jar Binks. Whosa be yousa?"
"None of your business," Maul answered. "What do you want?"
"My be lookin' for bery big boom box to be replacing one I broke of Boss Nass's. He bery bery angry with me. My was told don't come back to Gungan City without a replacement. Yousa got one?"
"No," sneered Maul. "Does it look like I have one?"
The Gungan's stem eyes drooped only a little then perked back up. "Yousa thinkin' you might be getting' one today?"
"No," snarled Maul. "I'm trying to sell things, not buy them."
At this, Jar Jar examined Maul's PlayStation games. "Yousa gots the CDs but no boombox den?"
"Those are games, you moron," Maul hissed, beginning to lose his temper.
"Ooooooh, my be likin' games! Yousa got Twister here?" Jar Jar started shuffling through the games, tossing them to and fro.
Maul jumped over the table and shoved the dumb Gungan away. "Stop manhandling my belongings, Gungan scum! I'm not here to chat with you idiots, I'm here to sell. So buy something or move along!"
"How wude!" Jar Jar huffed away to the sound of Darth Sidious laughing.
"Excellent, my apprentice! I can feel your hatred growing!"
As soon as the Gungan was out of sight, someone a few tables down from Maul and Sidious cranked up their sound system full-blast with some horrid music that immediately turned Maul's stomach. That twang! That maddeningly bland voice! It was a nightmare. Maul was compelled to clamp his hands over his ears.
Sidious cackled tittered gleefully. "Only at the flea market can you still enjoy the folky strains of Darth Brooks."
"Darth Brooks was on our more vicious Sith, young apprentice. He invented a Force-made audio weapon named for Axar Kun called Kuntree Music. Prolonged exposure to Brooks's music can kill anyone but flea market regulars. They thrive on his music, but it makes everyone else sick. It's one of the greater Sith Mysteries."
Maul noticed Qui-Gon trotting off to the restroom holding his belly, and Obi-Wan was doubled over, groaning. Even though he felt like his head was going to explode, Darth Maul could not help but smile.
Eager to be rid of this place, Maul used the Sith Mind Whammy on the next five customers, making about 50 credits off of stuff that was worth 20 credits at best. Well-pleased with himself, he smirked in superiority when an unpleasant blue alien flew up to his table.
"Ahhhhhhhh, how much for your junk TV, ehhhhhhhh? I need it to spruce up my junkyard a bit, huuuuhhh."
Waving his hand, Maul said, "I'll take 75 credits for it."
"Seventy-five credits, what? Are you brain dead? The screen, it has a burn hole in it, huhhhhhhh."
Waving his hand again, Maul replied, "It's in perfect condition. Well worth 75 credits."
"Nooooh it's not," the alien argued. "It's nothing but junk, I tell you, huuhhhhhh. I'll give you five credits. What do you say, ehhhhhh?" Maul's anger rose and he decided that he would use the ulitimate Whammy on this creature: the Sith Brain Mangler. This flea market rabble would buy his TV if Maul had to lobotomise him. Maul waved his hand one more time. "This TV is new and you will give me 75 credits for it."
"Noooh, I won't! What, do you think you're some type of Sith waving your hand about like that? I'm Toydarian! Mind Whammies don't work on me, only deeeeeaaaals. So... you'll take 5 credits for this junk, ehhhhh?"
Darth Maul ignited his lightsaber and split the table in two. The Toydarian backed away, eyes wide. "Ahhhhhh, you are a bad businessman! I'll be telling my friends about you. Keep your TV, you swindler!" And the alien flew off.
Sidious scowled at Maul and Maul scowled back not, caring if he got zapped in front of everyone. "Your expression of rage was admirable, young Sith, but now our display is destroyed. What do you intend to do about it?"
Before Maul could answer, Obi-Wan tapped him on the shoulder. "Uh, neighbor? Would you mind watching my table. I really need to go to the restroom. I'm feeling kinda sick and I need to check on Master Qui-Gon. He appreciates me checking in on him in the bathroom, you know." Obi-Wan moved in the direction of the restrooms. "If anyone wants to buy some cookies, they're two credits a box."
"But--" Maul protested. But Obi-Wan was already gone. Maul looked back at his Master and suddenly got an idea. He got a marker and a sign from the car and wrote a couple of lines on it, placing his new sign in front of Obi-Wan's on the cookie table.
People began flocking to the table, showering Maul with money. He sold box after box of the Padawan Hot Brownies to an endless stream of customers. A Neimoidian even bought 20 boxes and trailed off with his partner saying, "What a paaaahhhty we will hahve at the next Traaaaade Federaaaation Meehting!"
The other Neimoidian said something worriedly, but the his superior replied. "Oh, you worry too much Lott! I hahve heard that if it is at the Fleh Mahket, it is pefectly leeehgal!"
In the course of 20 minutes, Maul had sold 71 boxes of Padawan Hot Brownies. He saw Obi-Wan returning with Qui-Gon, smiles on both their faces, so he quickly hid his sign underneath the Jedi's table and counted out the money he'd made for Obi-Wan.
"Here," Maul said, shoving the money at Obi-Wan. "This is yours."
"Wow!!" Obi-Wan sang as he counted it. "142 credits? Maul, I could kiss you!"
Jumping back, Maul growled, "Do it and die, Jedi twit!"
"Well, anyway," Obi-Wan shrugged. "I really appreciate it. You're quite a salesman! How did you do it?"
But Maul wasn't listening. He was too busy counting out 223 credits to his Master and packing up the car to get out of this hellish place. Knocking over a Jawa as he heaved Sidious's bean bag chair into the trunk, Maul cursed. "Get out of my way, you little freak!"
"Oooo Tee Nee!!!" the Jawa screamed as it scurried along.
Sidious stood off to one side counting the book fee money, genuinely amazed. He asked his apprentice. "Lord Maul, how did you manage this and so quickly?"
Maul gave his Master a satisfied smile. "I did a little bit of advertising for the Padawan Scum's brownies, charged 10 credit's a box, and made enough money to pay for my books, pay my rent and cell phone bill, and buy the next 3 Jedi Roadkill games to come out."
About that time the Coruscant Controlled Substances Task Force came up to Obi-Wan's table and began a thorough search of the Jedi's cookies and supplies. They came across Maul's sign and one of the cops said. "Mr. Kenobi, I'm afraid you're going to have to come with us."
"What seems to be the problem, officer?" Qui-Gon asked, standing between his Padawan and the officials.
"Mr. Jinn, this is the problem," and the official held up the sign that read:
PADAWAN POT BROWNIES ~ CHEAP!
10 CREDITS A BOX
"NOOOOOooooooo!" Obi-Wan wailed as the cops cuffed him. "Master, help me!"
"Hey didn't we arrest this jerk for drugs at the airport once?" said one cop to his partner. "Some people never learn."
As Maul drove out of the Flea Market, Darth Brooks music was drowned out by Sidious's merry cackling.
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