Sith Academy: IKEA, for All Your Decorating Needs
By Maya, the Mad Mambolica
[Read Maya's author bio]
Darth Sidious was assaulted by a blast of hot, stale air as he entered Darth Maul's apartment. He looked around at the room, gaping in horror at the squalor his apprentice existed in. What was not damaged by the cat's claws, was obliterated by Maul's frequent fits of anger. Sidious grimaced when he noticed Maul napping on--well, no, more like napping IN--the couch. The cushions lay on the floor as the seat had apparently collapsed.
It was too much for an evil lord of the Dark Side to bear. "Maul!" he shouted, causing the Sith to wake violently, smashing his head into the couch's frame.
"Yes, my Master?" Maul staggered to his feet.
"You are utterly disgusting."
"Yes, my Master," Maul replied meekly as he glanced sheepishly around the room.
"I have just this minute devised a new lesson for you. We're going to buy you new furniture. Come." Sidious turned abruptly and left the apartment leaving Maul to scurry quickly after him.
"IKEA, my Master? This hardly sounds challenging. They hire especially helpful floor staff to make sure you get exactly what you want. And everything is so well designed and coordinated. How is this to be a lesson?"
"You assume to much, my young apprentice. Even in this haven of Light can we find and master the Dark." He smiled in that particularly disturbing way that made him look like a ferret, causing Maul to shiver with uneasiness.
They approached an attractive young woman dressed in the store's blue and yellow uniform. "Hi," she began, "My name is Padmé, no, Amidala, no, uh, just call me Angel. What is it that you're looking for today?" She smiled blankly. Sidious nudged his apprentice.
"Must I speak with her? Could I not simply strike her down instead?" hissed Maul. Sidious rolled his eyes and shook his head.
"No, Maul, you must hold in your aggression. It will be needed soon enough." He made the snarky ferret face again causing Maul to growl audibly.
The Sith muttered, "Could I just have a catalogue instead?"
So far, they had picked out a new computer desk, three new bookcases, and a brand new bed complete with box spring and mattress. All that was left was a chest of drawers. The experience had been completely hassle-free. As if this weren't annoying enough for the hostile Sith, his master seemed to be enjoying himself way too much. The anger began to build deep within Maul as he trudged through one coordinated living room set after another.
"We're done, my young apprentice!" Sidious exclaimed enthusiastically. "Now for the fun part!"
"More fun, my Master? I cannot bear this burden of mirth one minute longer. I ache to rend someone from limb to limb, to-"
"Now, now, Maul, you must exercise patience. Now we enter the self-serve warehouse and check out centre. This will not be a wasted day, you will learn much. And besides, you'll have new furniture."
There were throngs of people everywhere. Everyone was running around helter-skelter with dollies and hand-trucks, desperately searching the towering shelves or looking for someone--anyone!--to help them. It was chaos. A large family sat on their dolly, carefully guarding their matched dining suite, while the father of the troupe surrendered himself to tears over his mislaid wife. Now this might be interesting, thought Maul as he chuckled over their plight.
"You go and get someone to help us find our stuff, while I look for that matched garden set I saw," said Sidious.
"Of course, my Master." And Maul was off. He charged down one aisle after another. By the time he'd run around the warehouse twice he'd only found the mattress and box spring. He could feel his temper rising. He curled his lip and cursed as he looked back and forth and up and down, clueless and frustrated at the poor signage. A small voice broke through his ire causing him to wheel around and stare into the pimply face of Obi-Wan Kenobi.
"Can you help me?" pleaded the padawan, "I can't find the "Kurs" style chest of drawers in birch color."
"What do I look like? Do I look like staff? Find it yourself!" hollered Maul as he pushed the young Jedi into a distraught Wookiee. Before the Wookiee pitched the whimpering Obi-Wan into a pile of garden furniture, the Jedi saw Maul's "Sith Lords Kick Ass" tee shirt and realized his mistake.
"Ah, Maul," said Sidious, "Well done finding the matched set I was looking for." He shoved the crumpled Jedi to the side and picked up a package containing a garden table "to be assembled."
Almost an hour later, Maul, now a mass of rage and anger, had succeeded in finding everything but his bookshelves. He came across the only staff person in the warehouse and grabbed him buy the collar, dragging him away from helping a deeply frustrated college girl and her mother as they pleaded for help.
"Now you will help me!" Maul shouted into the face of the uniformed boy. He blubbed something about helping the highly agitated women first, but was silenced by the Sith's blood-freezing glare. Enraged to the point of insanity, the college girl wheeled on Maul.
"Damn you! What gives you the right to get help before me?!" The girl shoved at Maul.
Maul seethed with fury. He waved his hand in front of her, "I have more right than you, because I am Sith." The girl did not look impressed.
"What's that? You trying to use some stupid Whammy trick on me? That won't work on me, I'm pre-menstrual!"
Maul tried to take control of his fear, but he had never met such a frightening opponent before. He considered slicing her in two with his lightsaber, but thought better of it. He'd heard about those of the Pre-Menstrual, a demonic Force of unstable women. He pushed the boy toward her and backed away.
The boy staggered away saying as he fled, "Um, m-ma'am, the bookcases you want are over there..." Maul looked in the direction the boy pointed and rushed ahead. At last! He found what he needed. He was manic with impatience and foiled aggression as he frantically scoured the shelves looking for the 6 foot models in black. There!--but no! Could there really only be two? He needed three!
"ARAAAAUUUGH!" he howled in rage. He heard his Master's voice telling him to clear his mind and feel the Force. He smiled as he saw Obi-Wan retrieving a shelving unit.
"Good, my Padawan, now you will have a lovely coordinated bedroom suite in birch color. It is good that you have found the only remaining bookcase in this style," said Qui-Gon in a pleased tone as he looked upon his apprentice with pride. Obi-Wan smiled stupidly.
Maul seized his opportunity and snatched the box from the young Jedi's hands. "You shall not have victory today, you vile little man, for I, Sith Lord, need this unit in order to complete my bedroom set!"
As Maul stalked triumphantly back toward Darth Sidious, he felt black tendrils of fear crawl over his body. He sensed a dangerous presence.
"I NEED THAT BOOKCASE!!" Maul turned only a second before the Pre-Menstrual was upon him. She hit him repeatedly with an ornamental garden umbrella, screaming and kicking at him. "I WILL HAVE THAT BOOKCASE!!" She was a blinding fury. Maul could not withstand her assault and fell to his knees--she was simply too strong. He dropped the box.
Still on his knees he apologized to Sidious, "I'm sorry that I have failed you, my Master. I await your punishment."
"Nonsense," replied Sidious, picking up the girl's discarded umbrella. "She's completed my garden set. And as for the bookshelves, you can make do with two. Besides, she will find hers rather difficult to put together." Sidious smiled evilly. Looking to the floor, Maul smiled too, for there, lying in a little plastic bag, were the screws and instructions to the bookshelf the girl had taken.
Somewhere on the peaceful planet of Alderaan, a college girl wailed in anguish. Darth Maul smiled to himself as he relaxed on his new bed, his kitty curled comfortably around his head.
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