Life Lessons at the Sith Academy, Part XII
[Read Siubhan's author bio]
Fair warning. I haven't seen The Blair Witch Project, nor do I intend to. I've written this based on what I've heard about it. According to a friend of mine who's seen it and read this story, I've actually managed to put some pretty heavy spoilers in here, so if you haven't seen the film and you actually want to, you may not want to read this quite yet. Thanks to the Intrepid Housemate Melissa TM for supplying a few funny lines.
Maul chuckled as he finished editing his latest masterpiece. Sidious would never know what hit him, the sadistic bastard. He uploaded the whole kit and kaboodle to the Sunspot Film Festival submissions FTP site, then had a celebratory Pete's.
My Apprentice looked up at him with trepidation.
"Yeah, he'll roast my ass when he finds out," Maul shrugged, "but it wouldn't be very Sithly of me not to take potshots at him on a regular basis."
"Maul!" Sidious bellowed as he blew open the door.
"I see you're on the Sunspot Film Festival mailing list," Maul commented dryly as he continued munching on his Count Chocula.
Turning an alarming shade of red, Sidious shrieked, "The Naboo Bitch Project?!?"
"It's a documentary," Maul shrugged, hoping against all hope that he'd managed to clog his master's arteries enough that a coronary wouldn't be far behind. The fact that Sidious hadn't seemed to notice that Maul was wearing nothing but boxers was a good sign.
"I told you to destroy the film!!!!"
The air around Sidious started to crackle, and My Apprentice made a beeline for the bedroom, cowering under the bed with some of Maul's more ambulatory socks.
"No one's going to believe it anyway," Maul said. "For some crazy reason, everyone seems to think you're a nice guy."
Sidious looked at the flyer and read, "'Two years ago, three documentary filmmakers went to Naboo to make a film on Senator Palpatine. They never returned. A year later, their film was found.' You killed those filmmakers like I asked you to, yes?"
"Yeah, they're dead. Thoroughly, utterly, totally dead. It was fun," Maul grinned.
"So they won't be able to show up at the film to prove that they're just actors!!!!"
"Don't worry about it," Maul said dismissively. "We'll build some droids to impersonate them if we need to."
Maul tossed Obi-Wan's American Express card at Sidious. "You'd be amazed at how high his credit limit is."
"And their families won't be suspicious?"
"I killed them too."
"You're being awfully uppity, my apprentice."
"Think of all the free publicity I'm giving you during an election year."
"Hmmm...yes, well. There is that. No one had better believe this film, Maul."
"Trust me, they won't."
"Gee, hi neighbor!" Obi-Wan twittered as he took his seat at the premiere. "I didn't know you did film festivals. Of course, this film is about your guardian."
"I'm surprised you're here. It's a horror film. I didn't think you did horror films."
"Well, if I have any problems sleeping, I'll just come over to your place," Obi-Wan cooed as he leaned over and rested his head on Maul's shoulder.
"Er, yeah," he said, shoving the twit away. "Bring tequila."
"Gee, I hope this movie doesn't paint an unflattering picture of my da."
Maul suppressed a smirk and started chomping on his popcorn.
The lights went down.
"We're here in Naboo to interview that kindly senator, Palpatine!" a chirpy female student said. Underneath her, the word "Heather" appeared. "We're a day early, but we're going to head over to his place in Theed to see if we can't get some candid shots."
The three filmmakers tromped through the brightly decorated streets of Theed and ran into Yoda and Mace Windu at a fruit stand. "Look, Jedi!" the hairy male student ("Joshua") said. "Let's talk to them."
Heather went up to them and asked, "Excuse me, can we talk to you for a moment?"
Windu turned around with a huge photogenic grin on his face and said, "Certainly, darling. Is this for NNN?"
"No, we're just making a student film."
Windu's smile ratcheted down a few notches. "Oh, well okay."
"We're here doing a documentary on a local politician..."
"Sith!" Yoda cried. "Sith he is!"
"He's a Sith?" she gasped.
"Palpatine's a Sith?"
"Oh, Palpatine. No, Valorum I thought you were talking about. Nice guy he is, that Senator Palpatine."
"You'll have to excuse my friend," Windu said. "He sees Sith everywhere."
"Sith!" Yoda cried, pointing at a small group of children.
"Of course they are," Windu said. "If you'll excuse us."
"Wow, that was weird," the clean-cut male student mused ("Michael").
"Yeah," Heather replied.
"Freaky," Joshua noted. "Hey, let's go to Palpatine's place and start filming."
The camera bounced along the street, taking painfully shaky images of the brightly colored streets of Theed.
"Oooh, I feel sick," Obi-Wan wailed, grabbing Maul's arm.
Maul extricated himself from Obi-Wan's grip and moved over a few seats to the aisle, just in case the twit hurled.
The camera bounced its way to Palpatine's humble, yet stylish home and filmed the tastefully colorful exterior, complete with Gungan lawn jockey on the front walk. Suddenly, a bloodcurling shriek came from the home. "Oh my god!" Heather wailed. "What's happening?"
"Let's go find out," Joshua replied.
The three of them ran up to the front door, camera flailing wildly.
"Oooh, I think I'm going to throw up," Obi-Wan cried, covering his eyes. Elsewhere in the theater, someone lost her lunch, and Maul smiled, soaking up her misery.
They burst through the front door and ran into the house, where keening wails filled the air. They whirled their camera in the direction of the wails, and in a spectacularly bad piece of cinematography, the camera shook wildly, showing images of flickering purple, a hooded figure, cherry red patent leather platform pumps, and quite possibly a weasel.
Everyone in the theater screamed, and as the students on screen took off at a shaky run, about five people puked. Obi-Wan peeked from between his fingers, moaned, and covered his face again. Maul just grinned and wolfed down more popcorn. This looked even better on the big screen than it did on his PC.
The students ran, cameras filming, for about five minutes, screaming all the while, before stopping in confusion and looking around (camera swinging in wild circles, causing yet more moviegoers to hurl). "Wait," Heather said. "Where's the front door?"
"I've got the blueprint," Joshua said, pulling it out of his back pocket. "Okay, it's that way."
The three took off at yet another shaky run in the direction of the door, but somehow ended up in the living room. "Wait, we've been here before," Michael noted.
"No we haven't."
"Yes we have!"
"Let's go this way," Heather said, running into the library and letting out yet another shriek. The two men charged in after her, cameras swinging wildly, as they filmed strange things hanging from the ceiling. In a rare moment of clean focus, the camera zoomed in on one of them, showing a bearded Glinda the Good Witch doll bristling with voodoo pins. Heather shrieked and wailed like a thing possessed. Wimp, Maul thought. If only you knew the true horror of The Wizard of Oz. This bitchy grudge against Qui-Gon is peanuts compared to hiding the package.
After another half hour of running and screaming and audience hurling, the three students set up camp for the night in the dining room. Before they entered their tent, a few strange scuttling figures zipped by almost out of sight, wearing what appeared to be butler's clothes. Heather screamed (again), and the three of them dove into the tent. After some inane arguments and mercifully level camera work, a glowing red bar appeared outside the tent. Heather screamed (again) and the three of them took off at a mad dash through the dark house, camera shaking wildly, occasional flashes of red behind them.
Obi-Wan finally hurled, as did about half the theater. Maul grinned ear to ear and picked his feet up off the ground as the puke from the rows behind him started oozing down to the front of the theater. That chase had been fun, but damn, Heather screamed a lot. It was gratifying the first twelve times, but it got pretty dull after that. He could have killed all three of them on the spot that night, but Sidious was pretty particular about tormenting trespassers before offing them.
The students finally tired out and fell into an exhausted sleep in the kitchen, and when morning dawned, Josh was missing. Heather screamed (again).
After wandering through a few guest bedrooms, they still were no closer to finding the front door. "It's like a Möbius strip!" Heather wailed.
Maul nodded sagely. Palpy's place could be damned confusing when he put his mind to it. He'd have to wait for the old fuck to teach him that trick before he offed him. Ah well, at least he'd gotten to kill one of them that night, and Josh had made a tasty breakfast hash once those brats had finally left the kitchen. He probably should have killed the screamer, though. It took eight Advil to make that damned headache go away.
After more boring wandering and screaming and scuttling, they ended up back in the dining room, surrounded by even more bearded Glinda dolls. Heather tripped over a small plaid bundle and opened it, choking back a scream as she saw little gobbets of flesh.
Obi-Wan hurled again and curled up in a fetal ball. "Oooh, I should have never have come to this movie," he moaned.
"Then go home," Maul groused.
"I can't. I have to see how it ends."
Maul grinned to himself, then pulled some smuggled-in Junior Mints out of his jeans pocket and started noshing them down.
More screaming, more shaking, more arguing, more audience hurling. It was getting monotonous, but the audience seemed to be enthralled. Even Heather's weepy soliloquy managed to make people hurl, and the camera was pretty steady for that. Maul tuned out the film and instead soaked up the audience's fear and agony. Yeah, even if Sidious fried his ass when this was all over, the fear buzz he was soaking up right now made it worthwhile. He reached forward and plucked some Twizzlers from the clenched fist of a terrified patron in the next row. The patron shrieked, "The Naboo Bitch stole my Twizzlers!!!" and tried to run out of the theater, but slipped and fell in a puddle of barf, whereupon he promptly passed out in terror.
Maul reached over and nabbed his wallet.
Finally, a thin voice called out to the two students from the basement. "It's Josh!" Heather screamed. The two of them tore down the basement stairs, looking about in horror at the shackles and blood streaks and taffeta on the wall, then with a glow of red, the two cameras hit the ground with a thud.
The lights came on, and the theater staff turned hoses on the floor.
Maul looked over at Obi-Wan, who appeared to be frozen in a fetal ball. With a snarl, he poked him. Obi-Wan shrieked and clung to Maul like a lamprey.
After trying for five minutes to pry the padawan off of him, Maul sighed in resignation and headed out of the theater, Obi-Wan still clinging to him. "I'll never go in a house again," he whimpered.
"Fine. I'll feed your hamsters to my cat."
Maul headed over to the press area, where Palpatine, who had watched the film from the clean confines of the projection booth, was answering questions. "No, of course I'm not bothered by this film. In fact, I'm flattered! I'm quite the supporter of independent films, and wouldn't want to do anything to censor the creativity of our youth."
Mentally, he projected, Good job, Maul. I haven't seen so many people vomit at the same time since that shaved Wookiee flashed the Academy Awards.
Thank you, my Master.
You know, I think this film will do quite well, and I can't wait to add the profits to my campaign fund. Now would you take my twit son home? He's looking a little off his feed.
Maul sighed and headed for his speeder. Shifting Obi-Wan so he was clinging to his back, he climbed on and headed home.
By the time they got back to the apartment, Obi-Wan's grip had loosened enough that Maul was able to push him to the ground and step away from him. "Can I st-st-stay with you?" he chittered, curling into a fetal ball once more.
"No. Go feed your damn hamsters before I set my cat on them."
"But-but-but the Naboo Bitch might be in there!"
"Yeah. Sure. Whatever." Maul headed into his apartment, left the door open, flicked on the television, and surfed to the Lo-Fi Channel.
"Wh-wh-what are you watching?" Obi-Wan stuttered from the hallway.
"Lo-Fi's doing a documentary called Curse of the Naboo Bitch."
"Hey, sure you don't want to come in after all?"
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