Darth Maul Goes Mini-Golfing
Characters owned by Lucasfilms, but use of them here copyright 1999 by Lianath.
When Darth Sidious entered his apprentice's apartment he discovered the usual grime, clutter, and smells. The PlayStation was on and the volume cranked up, as usual. However, instead of Maul being the one playing Sith Kombat (with Exar Kun kicking major Jedi butt on-screen) the cat was staring fixedly at the screen as she manipulated the controls via the Force.
Darth Maul was sitting off to one side, slouched grumpily in his favorite chair while fingering his lightsaber. The cat seemed oblivious to his attention as she racked up another high score, though, which only irritated him all the more.
"Come my apprentice," Sidious ordered, remaining in the doorway and fastidiously drawing the hem of his robes away from something that had once been leftover pizza, but was now preparing to sell time-share condos on Alderaan.
"Where are we going today, my master?" Maul asked, without enthusiasm. Without even looking up, for that matter.
Sidious eyed the cat for a long moment, then smiled with satisfaction as the Sith lord on-screen eviscerated his oppenent with a great show of animated gore. "We shall find you an alternate form of amusement."
Maul looked up at that, more wary than eager. "What kind of amusement?"
"I saw a new family fun center opened near the Jedi Temple. We shall go mini-golfing," Sidious replied, savoring the words with pleasure.
"You are a sadistic prick, aren't you."
"No need to flatter me, my apprentice. We're still going to go."
Maul growled and grumbled, but finally got up, making sure to clip his lightsaber to one of the belt loops on his cutoffs. He was sure he was going to need it this time.
The cat didn't even bother to look up as the two Sith left.
"Feel it, my young apprentice. Focus your anger, your hate, and strike the ball. Carefully, though." Sidious steepled his fingers, looking quite pleased with himself.
"Why aren't you playing, my master?" Maul demanded, dubiously eyeing the course laid out before him.
"Because I would kick your sorry tattooed butt, my apprentice. Now hit the ball."
With a muttered reference to the resemblance of Sidious's mother to certain denizens of the swamps of Dagobah, Maul dropped his putter and gave the little pink ball a good shove with the Force. Impelled by his anger, however, it shot straight into the air for some distance before finally descending. It hit a lampost, rebounded off a windmill, clipped the edge of a waving robotic clown, then smacked into the backside of one of the other minigolfers ahead of the two Sith.
"OW! What was...oh, hi, neighbor!" Obi-Wan chirped, giving Darth Maul a cheery wave with one hand while the other rubbed the new bruise on his backside. "You don't need to hit the ball so hard. Mini-golf is a tricky game. I'm just getting the hang of it, with Master Qui-Gon's help." The padawan simpered up at his master before turning back to his own game.
In annoyance, Darth Maul bared his teeth at the Jedi and started to reach out with the Force to bring his golf ball back to him. A mild shot of purple lightning from Sidious made him stop, though.
"Tsk, tsk, mustn't cheat now," his master cackled, handing the putter back to Maul. "You must play it where it lies."
Maul looked from Sidious to the pink golf ball, sitting innocently right beside the two annoyingly sugary-sweet Jedi, then back. And again. This was going to be a long day. A very long day.
"No, my apprentice. You must hit the ball while the arm of the windmill isn't covering the doorway. Only then can it go through the proper pathway for you to make par on this hole." Sidious tallied up Maul's score with a delighted smile on his face. Much more of this and he was going to need a droid to do computations, what with all the penalty shots.
Maul growled quietly as he lined up for the shot. "If you let me hit it hard enough, I could just send it through the windmill's arm and end this foolish business once and for all."
Sidious glanced up, then scowled as he realized he'd lost count. Was that a two he was supposed to carry? Or a six? "That would be cheating, however."
"A Sith cares not for rules, my master."
"But without rules, what fun would the game be?"
Maul wheeled about at the sudden voice speaking up behind him, striking angrily with his putter in automatic reaction. It was that idiot padawan again. The fact that he'd hit a target who deserved a beating only slightly mollified Maul. "Go away and let me lose my game in peace," he snapped.
Qui-Gon helped Obi-Wan up and offered a handkerchief for his apprentice's bleeding nose, as he glared at Maul. "Come, young padawan. We must be on to the next hole."
"You still haven't finished this one," Sidious observed, as Maul started to follow the two Jedi with putter still upraised. "Come, we're almost to the end."
The Sith reluctantly tore his gaze away from the Jedi and turned it upon the innocuous-looking windmill. He looked at the pink golf ball. Then at the windmill. Then the ball. Then the hole beyond the windmill, where the ball was supposed to go. With an incoherent scream of rage, he dropped the putter, ignited his lightsaber, and turned the windmill into little colored toothpicks.
"Good, good, my apprentice. Strike out in your anger and hatred! Feel the Dark Side flow through you!" Sidious cackled happily, giving up on the addition and finally just writing his birthdate on Maul's scorecard.
The last hole was a particularly vile-looking contraption, consisting of several gates, a windmill, and a fiberglass Yoda with a mouth that opened and closed. If one managed to hit the ball through the entire thing and into Yoda's mouth in one shot, they would win a free game.
"Did we have to take the Jedi course, Master?" Maul asked, glaring at the wrinkled green alien target.
Sidious shrugged, absently ogling one of the members of another mini-golf party. "Just hit the ball. And you'd better win the a free game, if you don't want me to confiscate your PlayStation."
"You wouldn't dare." Maul growled, infuriated by the very thought.
"Ah, yes, my apprentice, feel the hate flow through you. Focus that hate and win me a free game!" Sidious gave his tatooed apprentice a bright smile. "The Senator's Charitable Society and Drinking Club is having a party here next week. I'd prefer not to have to pay."
With an annoyed growl in his master's direction, Maul lifted his putter for a mighty swing - but missed the ball by a long shot as a cheery voice called, "Oh, hel-lo there! Are you going to win the free game?" And there Obi-Wan stood, an icepack against his black eye, giving Maul a grin that showed a missing tooth.
The Sith turned his baleful gaze upon the simpering padawan with the rat-tail braid and did not deign to respond. Obi-Wan didn't seem to notice, though, and simply continued, as he snuggled up to the older Jedi at his side. "Master Qui-Gon and I both won a free game. Maybe you can come with us!"
Maul ignited his lightsaber without even thinking about it, throwing the putter away from him as he advanced on the two Jedi. "If you even suggest that I go anywhere in your company," he growled, "I will rip out your intestines and feed them to that idiot hamster of yours."
"Mister Fluffy isn't an idiot!" Obi-Wan wailed, even as he backed away warily. "I don't make fun of your cat, do I?"
Any answer Maul might have made was cut off by the sudden eruption of flashing lights and a cheerful siren from the direction of the fiberglass Yoda. Master and padawan made good their escape as Maul wheeled about, almost dropping his lightsaber.
"Congratulations, my apprentice," Sidious observed, as he approached the startled Darth Maul. "You seem to have won a free game."
Maul's jaw dropped in shock. "I...I won...?"
"Indeed. When you dropped the putter, it hit the ball and sent it directly into the mouth of that Jedi contraption there." Sidious patted Maul's shoulder with a smirk. "I will watch your golf career with great interest."
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