Darth Maul Wants To Be A Millionaire
by The Plaid Adder and Joan the English Chick
[Read The Plaid Adder's author bio] [Read Joan's author bio]
"--and we're back! Let's meet our hundred and fifty new contestants, each of whom is itching to become our next millionaire!"
Darth Mary Sue slumped back against the headboard and yawned. She had turned it on hoping that the old sting of family embarrassment would pierce through the layers of numbness and ennui that had come to envelop her since her arrival at the pinnacle of professional and financial success. Alas, at this point in her life, nothing her father--or, indeed, her brothers--could do had the power to shock or even amuse her. If Senator Palpatine thought that the quickest path toward political power was sitting in the middle of a lighted studio in his best wig and most flounced robes busting the balls she almost doubted he had trying to give away a million credits to a bunch of pencilnecked, pasty-faced geeks who were probably out of the house for the first time since they'd had their Ethernet connections installed, then that was his decision. Once you've put on a Glinda costume and sashayed down a runway waving a spangly wand, why should you balk at becoming a game show host. Why indeed.
Mary Sue's drooping eyelids lifted a fraction in something faintly akin to interest.
Mary Sue sat up and took a good look at the screen.
"...Qui-Gon Jinn from right here on Coruscant!"
Sure enough, Qui-Gon's blissed-out smile and ragged ponytail greeted her bleary eyes. Across the circle she could see Maul and Obi-Wan, interspersed among the ranks of hopefuls. And yes, there was Mace Windu, flashing a shit-eating grin and punching his fists in the air as the camera panned onto him.
"And here's our first Fast Fingers question," Palpatine said, with a suggestive leer that Mary Sue felt sure was lost on most of the viewing audience, if not most of the contestants. "Whoever puts these four items in the correct order the fastest will be our first contestant. Listen carefully."
Palpatine paused for dramatic effect.
"Arrange these items in their proper order of progression: fear, suffering, hatred, anger."
Maul's bad teeth ground in furious concentration. Within seconds, however, he was goggling in outrage from a swiftly darkening seat as Palpatine led Qui-Gon out into the winner's circle.
"...and I understand that apart from being a Jedi master your main hobbies are karaoke and toking?"
"That's right, Senator."
"Excellent. Here's your first question for two hundred credits: What famous Jedi master and part-time gigolo originally hails from Dagobah? Is it...A) Yoda, B) Soda, C) Pagoda, or D) Mace Windu?"
Qui-Gon's glazed eyes reflected pink and frightened in the studio lights. "Uh..."
"I don't believe it," Mary Sue muttered.
"Come on, man!" shouted Mace from the sidelines. "You can't be that stoned!"
Spurred on by this friendly challenge Qui-Gon blinked, rallied, and said, "Mace Windu."
"Is that your final answer?" Palpatine said.
"Uh..." Mace was shaking his head violently. "Yeah."
"Dude!" Mace howled, as Palpatine clucked sadly over Qui-Gon's defeat. "You didn't even get to use a lifeline, man!"
By the time Mary Sue got back from the bathroom, Palpatine was reading the answers to the second Fast Fingers round.
"...and the correct order is: Glinda, Scarecrow, Tin Man, Cowardly Lion. And I see we have two correct answers..." Maul and Obi-Wan's screens were both flashing. "But it seems Obi-Wan Kenobi's fingers are the fastest. Come up here, Obi-Wan, let's all get to know you a little better."
The audience certainly wanted to get to know him better. They could hardly sit still while Palpatine probed him. Neither could Palpatine. "And who have you brought with you to the studio?"
"I've brought my hamster Cuddles. He watches a lot of daytime TV so I thought he'd be useful to have along."
"Sure." Palpatine was clearly thinking of other possible uses for the hamster, so clearly in fact that the hamster shrank into a tiny shuddering ball of fur at the very back of his enormous chair. "So let's do it."
"Come on, Obi-Wan." Mary Sue was surprised to find herself rooting for him. "Don't let the family down." She sighed. There wasn't really any way to let their family further down than it already was.
"Which of these rules does not appear in the Sith Handbook? A) Sith do not date each other; B) Sith do not date Jedi; C) Sith do not ever, ever visit the dentist; D) Sith are hot shit."
"Um..." Obi-Wan tried to think back to his brief clandestine glimpses of the tattered volume he had found stashed above the toilet in Maul's apartment, but to no avail. "I'd like to use a life...oh, damn." He couldn't call Maul, since Maul was in the studio. "I'll say...c, Sith do not ever, ever visit the dentist."
"C is correct!" The crowd went wild. "Next question: Which of these phrases describes a popular sexual position first pioneered by Master Yoda?"
"I'm gonna hurl," Mary Sue muttered.
"...B) The Rampant Lizard. C) The Flying Gremlin. D) The Green Hornet."
Obi-Wan's expression was one of mingled disgust and concern.
"I'd like to use a lifeline," he said.
"Oh no," Mary Sue groaned.
The phone was ringing. Palpatine's smarmy grin was getting wider.
"Hello?" said That Voice.
"Hello, Master Yoda! This is Senator Palpatine from Who Wants To Be A Millionaire!"
"Alone leave me!" Yoda's voice got immediately and markedly sharper. "Ruined already by your show, my life is! Because drunk once you got me, repeat my sordid ravings must you?"
"Obi-Wan Kenobi has a question he'd like to ask you to help him try to answer."
"Do, or do not, there is no try," Yoda said.
"I thought that was 'Do me, or do me not,'" Obi-Wan answered.
"Respect you must show to your master!" Yoda shrieked. "Help you I will not!"
The phone line went dead.
"Well, Obi-Wan, will you use another lifeline?"
Obi-Wan hemmed. "Welllllll...Maul and I have used almost all of those positions, and I don't believe that Yoda could do the Flying Gremlin, despite the rumors..."
"Great balls of purple lightning," Mary Sue grumbled, burying her head under the pillow.
"...and for the Rampant Lizard I think both participants need to be better-endowed than Yoda..."
Suddenly the phone was ringing again.
"Master Yoda, you've already had your--"
"Judge me by my size, do you?" Yoda shrieked. "Hung like me, in your dreams you are! Why skirts do I wear, think you? Inadequate to the task, trousers are! Of my enormity, terrified are all--"
There was a click, and the sound of a dial tone.
"Well, we seem to have lost Master Yoda. What a shame. Obi-Wan, I'm afraid I'm going to need your final answer."
"Wellllllll..." Obi-Wan made up his mind. "I'm going to say D, the Green Hornet."
"Is that your final answer?"
"Yes, it's my final answer."
"Oh, I'm sorry, Obi-Wan...it was A, 'The Groveling Frog.'"
"Dammit, I knew that!" Obi-Wan muttered.
Mary Sue poked her head cautiously over the covers in time to see Palpatine administering the next selection round.
"Place these breakfast cereals in the order of sugar content, starting with the least sweet. A) Sugar Crisp, B) Corn Pops, C) Count Chocula, D) Wheaties."
"Fix! Fix!" Mary Sue was calling as Darth Maul ascended to the podium.
"What a pleasant surprise," Palpatine oozed with a wide grin. "My very own ward, whom I rescued at a tender young age and have been nurturing ever since. I assure you, ladies and gentlemen, this is a complete surprise!"
"Just get to the damn questions," Maul growled. Palpatine's fake smile never wavered.
"The first question is: Name the buxom star of the popular video game Jedi Raider XVIII. A) Doctor Laura, B) Lara Croft, C) Lara Bilsado, D) Jabba the Hutt."
Mary Sue rolled her eyes in disbelief. "You've got to be kidding," she complained aloud, wishing she had some popcorn to throw at the screen. Instead, just for fun, she threw one of her pillows. By the time she had Force-lifted it back into place supporting her back, they had moved on to the next question.
"Well, Maul, I think you'll find this one somewhat challenging," Palpatine smirked. "Which of the following does Dartha Stewart recommend as a cleaning agent to remove bloodstains from bed sheets? A) Vinegar, B) Baking soda, C) Seltzer water, D) More blood."
"Hmm...." Maul's face screwed up in concentration. "I'd like to use a lifeline." Mary Sue raised her eyebrows. Who could Maul call that wasn't already in the studio?
"You can't call Dartha Stewart herself, you know," Palpatine pointed out smarmily. Maul's eyes narrowed.
"Yeah, like she would really take my call anyway," he sneered back. "But I'm thinking of someone who's very close to her."
"Oh, you wouldn't dare!!!" Mary Sue shrieked, pitching her pillow at the TV again. Just then, her phone rang.
The sound of the phone ringing jerked Mary Sue awake, and she sat up, momentarily disoriented. Blearily, she scrabbled the phone off the hook.
Click. "Hello, this is Betty Lou from Coruscant Bell, calling to tell you about an exciting new long-distance plan...."
Mary Sue slammed the receiver down. As she did, she noticed that she had somehow shoved her pillow off onto the floor while sleeping.
She glanced over at the TV. To her extreme relief, it was only showing the soothing bloody mayhem of her favorite movie, Dagobah Chainsaw Massacre. That must be what had lulled her to sleep.
"Gotta stop eating those extra-mushroom pizzas right before bed," she muttered to herself, clicking the TV off and retrieving her pillow from the floor. She lay back down and closed her eyes.
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