Sith Academy: Darth Maul Flies the Unfriendly Skies
By Bartricia Williams
Darth Maul's robes swished behind him as he hurried to check in his luggage for his flight. The bags he planned to check slid behind him with ease, knocking anyone and anything down who dared cross into its path. He smiled wickedly as he used the Force to push several unsuspecting passengers out of the way as he pressed on to the baggage check counter. He'd be dammed if he was gonna miss getting a first-class upgrade because these weak-minded fools wanted it first. Besides, flying first-class was the only way to go when you're a Sith Lord. Maul made a mental note to torture the lackey who was stupid enough to stick him with Coach reservations.
"Hey," Obi-Wan whined as he hit the floor. "He pushed me down!"
"Now, now my young Padawan. That is no way to confront inconsiderate behavior," Qui-Gon said as he got up and dusted himself off. Maul gave him a daring look from under his hood and wisely, Qui-Gon said nothing. Damn Jedi Master and his twit apprentice were going to be on his flight. Was there no way of avoiding them?
"Uh sir," the reservations agent said to Maul, obviously annoyed at his behavior, "you can't just.."
Maul removed his hood and showed exactly why he could. The agent didn't blink. After all, she had a black hooded robe on too.
"Sir," she said with an obvious attitude, "how may I help you?" Maul read her name tag after levitating his bags onto the scale.
"Alice," he muttered menacingly, "I want to upgrade my electronic ticket from Coach to First Class."
"And people in hell want ice water. What's your excuse?"
"Sith Lords require leg room and non-toxic food."
"Well, regardless of whether you travel like a Sith Lord or a twit Jedi apprentice, I need to see some ID." Maul tossed her his driver's license. Her face wrinkled up as she read it.
"Darth Maul? What kind of name is that?"
"I am a Lord of the Sith."
"Funny, my ex husband was the Lord of Unemployment. Are you guys related?"
Maul just narrowed his eyes at her.
"Hmmph," she said. "I have to see if we have any available." After punching in a few codes, she sighed. "The flight is completely booked."
"I'm sure glad we've got our first class tickets!" Obi-Wan chirped to Qui-Gon as he jumped up and down with glee.
"I don't think so," Maul growled at Alice. "Check again." Alice wasn't amused.
"I said, check again!"
"Look," she spat, "don't press me Mister tattooed man. I'm overworked, underpaid, and I'm suffering from PMS something awful. So, unless you want those horns removed forcibly from your head, I suggest you cooperate." Maul smiled mischievously, knowing yet again he had turned another unsuspecting human over to the Dark Side. The hate he felt flowing from her was so thick he could have swum in it. Lord Sidious would pee through his robes if he were here.
"Do you have anything for me?" he rumbled sweetly as he waved a hand in front of her face. Immediately, her expression changed and she started punching in some more codes into the computer.
"Well," she exclaimed, "what do you know, we do have one. That'll be 200 dollars please."
Maul waited as the reservations agent ran his SITH Corporate AMEX card. "I hope you appreciate this 'cause I had to bump someone," she complained. A beep indicated his card had been approved and Maul didn't hesitate to use the Force to pick up a pen and sign his name on the receipt.
"Oh, that's too bad," he told her with sinister sympathy. "They should have been here first."
"Sorry to try your patience Mr. Sith Lord, but I have to ask you these questions. "
"Proceed," he sighed.
"Has anyone unknown to you asked you to carry something onto the aircraft?"
"Yes, but I'll notify the security guards at the x-ray machine about that."
"Okay.....Have your bags been out of your control at any time?"
"Everything is within my control."
"I'll take that as a yes."
"As well you should."
"You're seated in the first row with an aisle seat," Alice said, handing Maul his ticket. "Your gate is B6. Thanks for flying with us."
"No, thank you," Maul said with a smile. With a wave of his cape, he strutted off towards his gate.
Suddenly, Alice snapped out of her trance. She tagged both of Maul's bags and tossed them onto the conveyor belt.
"Damn!" she exclaimed, "I think he's got dead bodies in there or something."
"I should hope not," Qui-Gon said.
"Welcome to Sinister Incorporated Transworld Hospitality Airlines. How may I help you?" Alice droned at Qui-Gon.
"Ah yes, I have a reservation for me and my Padawan here for First Class." The reservations agent checked her screen for their reservations.
"Mister Jinn, you have a first class reservation, but your little friend here doesn't."
Obi-Wan didn't hesitate to whine yet again. "You promised I'd get to sit in First Class with you, Master!" he wailed. "Tell her I have to sit with you!" Qui-Gon ruffled his hair to get him to calm down.
"We made these reservations 3 months ago," Qui-Gon protested. "I even have a confirmation..."
"You should have checked in earlier," Alice spat.
Qui-Gon sighed. "Look," he said, waving his hand in front of her. "I have a confirmed reservation for my Padawan. And you are going to get him into first class."
"No, I won't."
Qui-Gon waved his hand in front of her again. "Yes, you will."
"Are you threatening me?" she said, pointing a finger at him. "Because if you are, I won't hesitate to get one of these SITH Airline rent-a-cops on your ass."
"Master! Why won't she let me sit with you?!?" Qui-Gon pulled a Blow-Pop out of his pocket and gave it to Obi-Wan. In addition to making him quiet, it would give him suitable practice for later when they were alone in their hotel-if they ever got there.
"I wouldn't dream of threatening you," Qui-Gon reassured her. "Jedis don't threaten. But I demand to see your manager."
"Okay," Alice sighed. After a quick phone call, she said, "He'll be right out. Next customer!"
Obi-Wan took a pause from sucking the Blow-Pop and said, "You'll fix this and I can sit with you?"
"Of course we will," Qui-Gon said with a warm smile.
"Yes, gentlemen," said an older man who was wearing an opulent outfit completed by a wide grin. "Welcome to Sinister Incorporated Transworld Hospitality Airlines. My name is Mr. Palpatine. How may I help you?"
Although Maul's first instinct was to push all these fools out of the way, it was quickly pushed aside when he heard his Master's voice softly admonish him to be patient yet again. Besides, he had even better plans, he thought as he saw Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan come up behind him in line for the metal detector.
"I can't believe we're not in first class!" Obi-Wan whined. "What are you going to do about it?" Qui-Gon held up a quieting hand.
"Nothing," he soothed. "At least you're only one row behind me. Albeit in coach but you won't be far away."
"But we're both stuck in Coach! I hate that place. All kinds of stinky and smelly people are there."
"Obi-Wan," Qui-Gon sighed, "sometimes you are just so ungrateful. If we weren't in public, I'd..." Obi-Wan stopped short when he heard Maul set off the metal detector. He could tell he wasn't too happy to see one of the security guards approach him.
"Sir, please remove any items you have from your pockets and come back through," the guard deadpanned. Maul sighed heavily before pulling out his lightsaber and plunking it in the small bowl the security guard held out.
"I ain't never seen one of these before."
"And you will never live to see another nanosecond if you touch it," he sneered. Maul walked through the detector again without any problems. He picked up his lightsaber and then leaned close to the security guard. "You do see that Jedi apprentice next to his long-haired Master, don't you?"
The guard shook his head in agreement.
"Well, you will search him and you will find something. And if you cannot find it, you will find another way to torture him. This is my command, and you will follow it."
"I will follow it," the guard repeated.
Maul leaned in a little closer. "He tried to get me to take some crack for him but when I refused, he swallowed it instead." Maul dropped his voice a few octaves and said, "You are a smart and all-knowing security guard. You know what to do."
"Hey thanks, man! It's guys like you that keep our airport safe."
"Happy to be of service," Maul smiled evilly, turning on his heel and going full-tilt for his gate. Ahhh wannabe-cops, Maul thought. Such easy prey to turn over to the dark side.
Qui-Gon went through the x-ray machine with no problems. With an encouraging smile, he beckoned Obi-Wan through as well. "See," he told his young Padawan after he had also passed through, "everything will be fine. Obi-Wan almost agreed until a hand clapped onto his shoulder and pulled him behind a black screen.
"Sir, I'm sorry, but we're going to have to search you," the guard barked.
"Search me for what?" Obi-Wan asked innocently. "All I got is this half-sucked Blow-Pop."
"Drugs. Most notably, 'blow', AKA 'cocaine'."
"And how do you intend to search him?" Qui-Gon asked. He looked on as his Padawan's expression turned to sheer glee upon hearing the guard snap on a laytex glove.
"Hold 'em down, boys," the guard said as he wiggled his fingers. "This ought to be fun."
"Oh, great! We're gonna play that game again that I like so much!" Obi-Wan said with a smile. The guard wasn't amused.
"Don't be so quick to be happy. The body cavity search is only a formality. We have other ways of torturing you and making you talk." The guard pulled out a CD player and a set of headphones.
"Yeah. Ever hear of 'Vanilla Ice'?"
Obi-Wan let out a blood-curdling scream of horror.
"I want my damn in-flight Happy Meal!" the demon spawn from hell yelled at the flight attendant.
"Watch your damn mouth," his mother said. "You're annoying the nice man next to you."
"They serve Happy Meals on this flight?" Obi-Wan said, bouncing up and down in his seat. He was still trying to get the words to, "Ice, Ice, Baby" out of his head and doing this helped.
"I don't care about that geeky-looking guy with the stupid braid, I want my Happy Meal NOW!!!!" the kid screamed.
"Master Qui-Gon", Obi-Wan yelled across the row, "They've got Happy Meals on this flight!!! Cool!" Qui-Gon acted like he didn't know him.
The flight attendant smoothed the black hood of her robe and gave the entire row a sinister smile. "Sorry, we don't have any McDonalds Happy meals. But we do have a SITH Airlines Happy Meal." the flight attendant said to the kid's Mother. Then she lowered her voice and whispered, "It's a kid's burger laced with Ritalin. Will that do?"
"I'll take it!" the mom snapped.
"And you sir," she said to Obi-Wan after tossing the kid his meal, "and I use that term loosely. What meal would you like? Hot chicken or bean burrito?"
"Bean burrito, please." He smiled and thanked her as she plunked down the meal on his snack tray.
"And to drink?"
"Got any Ginger Ale?"
"Sorry, we're fresh out." Obi-Wan started to pout.
"How can you be fresh out!!!" he wailed. "First, no McDonalds Happy Meals and now no Ginger Ale! You're a bad lady!"
"Sorry hon," she said, the sinister smile still intact, "but you'll have to choose something else."
"Okay, I'll take a Mountain Dew. You know, the one with my picture on it?"
In First Class, Darth Maul snickered as he pulled a can of Ginger Ale from the large stash under his seat.
"How long is he gonna be in there?" Obi-Wan asked with urgency, shifting his weight from one leg to the other. He'd been holding off going to the bathroom until the in-flight movie was over. After all, he had to know that Willy would actually be Free by the end of the movie.
"I don't know," the SITH flight attendant said with mock sweetness. "This is First Class. It's only because you're one row behind us that you're even allowed to use our bathroom. So why don't you use the ones in coach?" Her slim, pasty-white hand pointed from underneath the black robe towards the back of the plane.
"Awwww lady, have you seen the lines? They're awful long and I gotta go baaaddd!!!"
"Look hon, you should have gone before the movie ended."
"But I had to find out if Willy was free!!"
They turned around as Maul emerged from the small lavatory with the latest copy of the Wall Street Journal. "See," she assured, "he didn't take long at all."
"Hey, do you know you guys have matching robes?"
"Oh, you just noticed that honey?" she said condescendingly.
"Oh, sorry to keep you waiting," Maul said with obviously fake smile. He stepped aside as a frustrated Obi-Wan made a dash into the small and shut the door. Maul leaned against it.
"By the Force, it STINKS in here!"
Both Maul and the flight attendant cackled.
"Well," he began, "it's like I told the SITH flight attendants, that filet minion meal smells a whole lot worse on the way out. But you wouldn't know about that since you had that dreaded Coach meal."
"Let me out!!" Obi-Wan pleaded.
"Oh, just light a few matches. You'll be okay."
"But Master Qui-Gon said not to play with matches!"
"Don't worry little Jedi apprentice, your nose will get used to the smell. Consider yourself fortunate I didn't have the bean burrito."
"By the Force," Qui-Gon said as he lined up for the lavatory. "I hope whoever's in there doesn't take all day."
"I hope you've got a can of air freshener," the attendant snickered as she headed for the Coach section. "The guy in there now had the bean burrito."
"Uh, I think I'll use the one in the back of the plane...."
Maul relaxed as he drank his fourth glass of red wine. "Ahhh, nothing like First Class," he muttered to himself. As he settled back into his seat he failed to notice the swift-moving ball of human flesh headed in his direction. The Force had failed to alert him the kid was about to make him spill his wine.
"Ha ha," the kid taunted. "You spilled your drink."
Maul looked at the red wine on his cloak, growled and then pinned the little twerp to the ceiling with the Force.
"Holy shit!" the kid yelled.
"So," Maul said, narrowing his blazing yellow eyes at him, "you like spilling expensive wine on people, is that it?"
"You like being such an annoying little pest?"
"Search your feelings young human," Maul commanded. "You know you like annoying people, wreaking havoc and causing panic and mayhem, don't you? Don't you!"
"If I say yes," the kid began, "will you put me down?" Maul thought for a few moments.
"Good," Maul said and immediately let the kid fall face-first to the floor. "To prove I'm not a complete jerk, here's a little something to remember me by." He dug into his carry on and tossed the kid a "Sith Lords Kick Ass" t-shirt.
"Woah! Now this is way cool! Thanks Mister."
"Call me Lord Maul."
Maul was about to dismiss the kid until he thought of yet another way to annoy Obi-Wan.
"Want to see something cool?" Maul said.
Maul picked up the intercom and clicked it on.
"Uh folks, this is your captain speaking. It looks like we're hitting a lot of turbulence so please do return to your seats." Maul jerked his hand sideways and the entire plane lurched to the left. A loud thud was heard in the lavatory.
"Ow!!!" Obi-Wan screeched as he exited the lavatory. "What's happening!!" Maul and the kid laughed maniacally as Obi-Wan sulked back to first class with 5 feet of toilet paper stuck to his foot.
"You were right!" the kid screeched. "That was way cool!!! You made the geeky guy hit his head." He looked up at Maul and said, "I'm gonna grow up to be just like you!"
"Only once I rise up and slay my Master," Maul proclaimed loudly. "Then, and only then, my young dark side convert, may I take you as my apprentice."
"I hear rat poison works great! That's what my mom used on my Dad. Uh, just don't tell the DA I told you that."
"Of course," Maul said as he settled back into his comfy seat.
"Hey mom!" the kid yelled as he scampered back to Coach. " Look what the tattooed weirdo in First Class gave me!"
Maul smiled when he heard the kid trip on the floor.
"Thank the Force that we're off that plane," Qui-Gon said wearily.
"I completely agree with you, Master. This has to be the worst flight I've ever taken! No McDonalds Happy Meals, no Ginger Ale, then I find out Willy wasn't really free 'cause they captured him for 2 more movies!!! Promise me we won't fly SITH Airlines ever again."
"How did we ever wind up on that awful airline anyway?"
"The tickets were sent to us for free. How else did you think we'd be able to afford this weekend get-away to a luxury resort?"
"Oh..." Obi-Wan said with an enthused grin, "that explains it."
"All we have to do is listen to some timeshare pitch."
"And then we get the free Disney World tickets, right?"
"Outta my way, Jedi scum," Maul sneered as he pulled his bags off the conveyor belt using the Force.
"That guy has a big anger problem," Qui-Gon said.
"Yeah," Obi-Wan added. "He's an asshole."
I heard that, Maul thought. But don't worry, you'll soon find out just how big of an asshole I really am.
"Master, have you seen our luggage?"
"Not yet?" Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon waited until all the passengers on SITH airlines had claimed their luggage.
"Maybe one of those guys in the black robes at the customer service counter can help." Obi-Wan figured the way that agent was looking at him, he may have known him from somewhere.
"A very good idea, Obi-Wan," Qui-Gon said as his Padawan led him to the customer service counter. "Excuse me," he said to the agent, "but we were on SITH Airlines flight 666 and we can't seem to find our luggage."
The agent gasped and said, "No kiddin'?!? That's the third flight today with missing luggage. Let's just look into that, shall we?"
"Yes, please do."
After a few moments and keystrokes, he said, "Ah, here Mr. Qui-Gon. I've found your luggage."
"Well, could you give it to me."
"That would be tough considering where it is."
"And where is it?"
"What!??" Qui-Gon exclaimed, momentarily losing his Jedi Master composure.
"But don't worry," the agent assured him. "As soon as the SITH flight from Cleveland gets in, we'll have your luggage sent directly to your hotel. Just fill out these forms," he dropped the forms onto the counter with a loud thud," and you'll be all set! Well, almost."
Obi-Wan paused with pen in hand. "What do you mean by almost?" he said.
"The flight from Cleveland doesn't get in until tomorrow."
"Well, to be more accurate, tomorrow night."
"And where's my luggage?" Obi-Wan whined at the agent. "I saved a long time for that Teletubbies luggage!!!"
"Hmm, it looks like yours had to be searched. Hey, Guido!" he yelled at the cops standing next to the counter. "What happened with this Obi guy's luggage?"
"Well buddy," Guido said as he approached, "we had to search it and we didn't like what we found."
"What...what did you find?"
"We found out your name isn't really Obi-Wan. It's Vanilla Ice."
"No it isn't. It's Obi-Wan Kenobi!!!"
"Yeah," the other cop said, "you look just like him. Same haircut and everything! The Miami PD's been looking for you. Something about holding up a liquor store and possession of crack cocaine with the intent to sell."
"There has got to be some kind of explanation for this," Qui-Gon said.
"Oh, there most certainly is," Guido agreed. "The explanation is your buddy Darth Maul positively identified him. "Up against the wall and assume the position, buddy," the other cop said, shoving Obi-Wan against the wall. He wasted no time in patting him down.
"Are you going to give me a body cavity search?" Obi-Wan asked hopefully.
"Nah," Guido said. "We'll just have you listen to this in the squad car."
Obi-Wan screamed when he saw "Vanilla Ice's Greatest Hits" CD in Guido's hand.
By Mysterio Gal. Click to see larger image.
"And so, my Lord," Darth Maul said after taking a sip of champagne, "I had a pleasant flight, managed to vex Qui-Gon's apprentice yet again and turned another kid to the Dark Side." He stretched out his tattooed arms and legs, completely happy here in the Penthouse hot tub at the Four Seasons hotel. Lord Sidious was also getting a kick out of the whole experience, even if he did choose to wear his robes in the tub.
"And what have we learned from the experience, my apprentice?"
"That service workers make the best converts for the Dark Side. Since we have no choice but to deal with them, why not turn them to follow the Dark path."
"Don't ever order the bean burrito for dinner."
Suddenly, Maul's expression turned from sinister glee to being completely pissed off. "Damn!" he exclaimed.
"What is it, my apprentice? Bad champagne?"
"Worse! I forgot to get my frequent flyer miles for that trip!"
Lord Sidious gave him a toothless grin and said, "Then make them pay."
"Oh, I plan to," Maul said, sliding further down in to the hot tub. "Even if we do own the blasted airline."
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