Sith Academy: Darth Maul Gets Internet Access
His eyes squinted at the screen. The ever so peaceful and despicable image with the clouds had been there for quite a while now. He could feel his anger rising. This machine was going to make him lose his temper.
"Kill it, said Sidious. "It's not booting properly. The drivers for the new modem are probably obsolete already. We'll have to go to Safe Mode."
"But, Master, Safe Mode is for sissies, isn't it? We don't need to feel safe. We thrive on danger!"
"Yes, danger, the unknown, that's why I had you install a beta version of the operating system. Because of that beta, we can't get any outside support, we must fend for ourselves. But you are well trained, my apprentice. Well trained... You will succeed."
Somehow, Maul felt his master didn't mean what he just said. His master doubted his abilities!
"Master, I am strong with the Force. I will make this modem work!"
"Strong with the Force, yes, my apprentice. But computers! The living force has no influence on them. Nor does the Unifying Force. They are of the Dark Side, but a different one! Microforce, it is! Very very strong! No living being can harness the MicroForce. No, it has never been done. Now press the reset button, go in Safe Mode, and install other drivers."
Maul did as he was told, a bit shaken by his Master's speech. Here was a Force he had never heard of, and he had to master it quickly if his goal of tapping into the Internet was to be met.
The machine started in Safe Mode. Maul went through all the necessary clicks and drags to install generic drivers. He would not be able to use the extra speed the modem was capable of. At least, the vendor had mentioned extra speed, but how could one trust a vendor called Qui-Gon? Compatible with your system, he had said.. Suuuuuurrre....... Better luck next time!
Okay! This time, the computer booted properly.
"We'll have to deal with the compatibility problem later on, Maul. I'll go back to the store and talk to that vendor. In the meantime, here's the necessary information for you to get connected. While I am gone, check out a few newsgroups and get the latest rumours out of the Jedi Temple."
Sidious turned around, heading for the door. A little striped furball curled up on the sofa raised its head, looked directly into the Sith Lord's eyes and waved a paw.
"Oh! Maul. Feed that cat, will you? That poor poor creature looks hungry to me."
The cat stretched out, and very very slowly, jumped on the floor and headed towards the kitchen where Maul was already opening a tuna can.
While the cat ate, Maul went back to his computer and started the procedure that would get him surfing in no time. Or so the vendor had said....
Dial-up Networking... Good, modem got detected as promised. Enter username... A bunch of numbers and letters. That's not a username! That's almost a secret code! The vendor had said it was for security reasons. Rumours had it that someone from the Dark Side wanted Internet access, so all usernames on Coruscant were not thus coded in hope to stop the Sith hackers.
Password...another series of letters and numbers. Check the little box that says "Remember Password". Too bad that little check box wasn't spinning. That would have been a good trick! Enter 40 digit phone number. Too many people on Coruscant with pagers and cells... Phone numbers were no longer possible to remember. Press OK. Dialing. Maul could hear the 40 beeps go through. Then a wait... then...
Rats! Busy signal! Qui-Gon the salesman had promised there would never be a busy signal with this service! Maul let the anger swell. He sent his mind racing along the phone wires, looking for the weak. Of the MicroForce he may not be a master, but the living force, in all its dark secrets, he knew... It took him a split second to find his victim. A young adolescent who had been online fifty-six hours straight, looking at nude women instead of doing his Jedi exercises. Darth Maul blinked, and the connection was terminated.
In his Temple room, young pimpled Obi-Wan was waiting for the latest image to finish downloading. It was a nude picture of the newly elected Queen of Naboo. The description of the picture was very promising, "The Queen handling two blasters." Hmmm. Just as the image started appearing on his screen, his computer beeped and a warning dialog appeared. "Connection terminated. Unknown reason".
Darth Maul's connection made it through this time. The password had been wrong even though he had double and tripled checked it. It had taken a call to customer support, where they had refused to answer at first because the operating system was a beta. Maul had had to use a little Force persuasion.
"The Operating System has nothing to do with password problems."
"Yes Sir. It has nothing to do. I will check if we may be at fault. ... Please hold"
Before Maul could intervene, he had been put on hold, but not for long.
"You were right sir, someone here has made a typo when entering your password. From now on, your last digits are SDI8r&3)s3 instead of UiUWY4(&F . A very small typo, really. Please accept our sincere..."
Maul had hung up already..
He rubbed his eyes to relieve the strain. After so many hours, he had forgotten to blink and his eyes were dry. The sensation was a new one to him. He rarely blinked. He didn't like this new feeling... He had discovered 4532 newsgroups all talking about the Jedi Temple. In each newsgroup, over 9000 messages. He had tried to use the Force to scan them all at once, but the MicroForce was in the way. He had had no choice but to read them one by one. Lots of hate and anger in here. He had felt right at home...
For every new thread, there were twenty replies blasting the original poster, forty replies defending the original poster, maybe ten replies complaining about lack of grammar skills, and one or two replies with pleas to visit an unrelated Web site. The original poster was never seen again. Yes, lots of hate... Maul had felt at home at first, but now, he was just bored. He decided to start looking at the unrelated Web sites.
Hmmm... This site was asking for a proof of legal age? A credit card? How could a credit card be any proof of legal age? But the site was vehement in requesting a credit card number before going any further... Okay, here's one.. American Express. Maul entered the number and expiration date as requested. Name of cardholder: Obi-Wan Kenobi. That little snitch. Credit card accepted. Let him deal with the bills.
What have we got here? Naked pictures of Queen Amidala? Maul had heard of her. Darth Sidious mentioned her often. Somehow she fit in one of his future plans. Maul decided to take a good look at her. Know thy enemy well, he had been taught. "Queen Amidala handling two blasters" made for an interesting picture. If only she had fired that one blaster in her right hand, now that would have made a very good image! Maul took a closer look at the area the blaster was aimed at. Doctored! The picture was a fake. Darth Maul smiled. Nice job, whoever did it! Worthy of the Dark Side! Maul left the site, with the content knowledge that Obi-Wan was now paying for fake pictures.
Hmmm... Fantasies from the Temple. Maul clicked on the link.
"My fantasy is to see the temple disappear, I doubt that site will grant it."
A huge disclaimer at the beginning of the site made sure the visitor knew this was not an approved site. Plenty of little windows appeared all over his screen, all attempting to sell him something. He closed every single one of them.
Interesting. This site contained stories. Urgh! The worst one! Everyone loves Yoda. Urgh! That little muppet of a Jedi? Maul couldn't resist. He clicked.
Master Yoda... Just the thought gave him shivers. If only, one day, he could get close enough to that little green monster... That would be a very pleasant moment indeed. Maul started reading...
"Yoda bottoms himself in biker bars?"Obi-Wan gasped.
"Every so often,"Qui-Gon gasped
Neat story! If only it were true.. Oh yes, that would be a fantasy come true. Hey, the story even had someone by his name! It was a relatively common name among his race, but it was an uncanny coincidence nevertheless. The story had an unexpected effect on him, something he hadn't felt in a long time... The story excited him. Keeping the mouse in his right hand, he brought his left hand down within his robes. He started stroking as he was reading the imaginary shag that his alter ego was giving Yoda.
He wasn't easy on himself. Quite the opposite. His strokes were hard and fast. Pain was mixed with pleasure, but the pain only amplified the pleasure. The story was reaching its climax and so was he when...
Blue. The whole screen turned blue. In white, a message: General Protection Failure. Maul yelled in frustration. The story has brought him so close! But the computer had a mind of its own. Yes, it was strong with the Force, that Micro-Force Darth Sidious had mentioned.
Maul jumped out of his seat. Things started flying across the room. His rage was uncontrollable. At the other end of the room, the cat woke up. That cat wasn't happy to have her nap disturbed. It waved a paw and stared at Maul. Maul calmed down.
"Yes, you are right. Rage here is misdirected. I will keep the rage till I meet Yoda, or Obi-Wan."
Maul controlled himself and faced the computer. No choice but to reboot. He paced back and forth, staring at the peaceful blue sky and white clouds, willing it to disappear faster, growling at it. Finally he was able to go back online. He didn't remember the address of the last site he had visited.
He went to Yippie.com, that cool new search site. The story with Yoda had used his own name, maybe there were more. He entered "Darth Maul" in the search field, and press the enter button. He was pleased to see there were sites. One of them got his attention: the Darth Maul Estrogen Brigade. He clicked on the link.
He was eager to see what that DMEB was all about. Surely another fantasy but he was curious at to who could be using his name.
Half of his own face was staring at him from within his screen. Maul was silent, taken aback. The screen changed. A picture of him and his master showed up. The text was saying "Some women are strange..." Maul had a bad feeling about this.
A menu was presented to him, overlapping yet another image of him. He spent some time looking at each section. Then he sat back and knew a new feeling. A feeling he didn't like...
Fear... Fear was no longer his ally.
[Visit the DMEB or read Everyone Loves Yoda.]
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