Darth Maul Goes to a Straw Poll
Disclaimer for Mr. Lucas: Sidious and the boyz belong to you. This is a harmless parody, not a copyright infringement...You aren't angry about it...You don't need to sue me...Move along. (Darth Mary Sue belongs to Katherine the Art Chick, Ben-Wa to Endora Platt, and the Sith Academy to Siubhan; thanks to all.)
Darth Maul was amusing himself by throwing wads of paper at his apprentice when his Master burst in. He jumped up and endeavored to look respectful, wondering what hell he'd be put through next. "How may I serve you today, Master?"
"As you no doubt know," Sidious said pompously, "I'm entered in Naboo's Senatorial Straw Poll. It's very important that I make a good showing, Maul - you know how I like to show myself to best advantage..." He struck a pose that was doubtless intended to be dashingly handsome. Maul gagged. "Of course you were going to go and vote for me..."
"Of course," Maul agreed hastily, noting the crackle of purple lightning at his master's fingertips.
"Governor Sio Bushle is pushing me hard this election. You will Mind Whammy his supporters into voting for ME. Is that clear?"
"Perfectly," Maul agreed dismally.
"Oh, and I'll want you to wear a Palpatine T-shirt and flirt with the ladies a little. There's nothing like sex appeal to sway votes," Sidious leered, appreciating the way his apprentice's muscles flexed as he cringed. "Just the ladies, now, mind. I'm running on a family values platform."
He MIGHT know a family value if it bit him on the ass, Maul reflected, but more likely he'd mistake it for one of his Ewok houseboys.
Maul arrived at the Theed Straw Poll after a typically miserable flight. Mindful of his master's orders, he'd abandoned his beloved Sith Lords Kick Ass T-shirt in favor of a clean, appallingly purple shirt that read "A Vote for Palpatine is a Vote for Order." He was horrified by the traffic. Miles from the site itself--he'd walked from the spaceport--lawns, roadsides, and open fields were packed with speeders and hoverbuses. As the road topped a rise, he looked down on a sea of humanoid life that would be amazing even on Coruscant. Thousands, perhaps millions, of humans and Gungans swarmed around a huge auditorium and a series of tents.
Well, he was trained to deal with any amount of misery. Steeling himself, he plunged into the noisy, sweaty crowd. Immediately a horde of obese Gungans plowed into him, knocking him down and leaving him staring from half-an-inch distance at the concrete as their children's soft little feet pattered over his back. He counted them absently: One, two, three, four...thirteen, fourteen...thirty-seven, thirty-eight...wait, that would make nineteen kids, you MUST have miscounted somehow... He raised himself off the pavement and was immediately slugged in the face by the mother's huge purse. "AAARRGGH!" Maul yanked his lightsaber from his belt, leaping athletically to his feet, and spun around to lop the Gungan's head off. Nineteen little Gungans surrounded the smoking corpse, gobbling and wiggling their eyestalks back and forth. Well, I'll be damned. Maul sheathed his weapon and strolled casually away.
He heard a scream and turned in time to see a small child being buried alive in an avalanche of paper plates and cups from a giant mound of garbage beside one of the tents. As his family began to dig for him, shrieking tearfully for someone to fetch a rescue dog, Maul smiled. All that garbage meant they were serving food--and, if he were fortunate, drink. He headed for the tent with a new spring in his step.
This was not the area set aside for Palpatine's supporters, and the staff, who were all wearing shirts that read "Vote Bew-Kan Nunn for Family Values--Savonarola's Family," looked at his shirt with a certain amount of hostility. Nevertheless, he smiled affably as he inquired, "Got any Pete's--"
"Sorry, brother," a hefty man in a bad suit announced, "but we don't serve ALCOHOL here. You're welcome to stay and have an ice cream, of course, even if you are a misbegotten spawn of pure evil."
Maul preened. "What makes you think that?"
"Well, I can see just by looking at you that you must have stolen the job of some native-born Naboo." The fat man then glared at Maul's shirt. "And I see you're voting for Palpatine. Does that mean you really like the idea of killing innocent helpless little babies BEFORE THEY'RE EVEN BORN?????"
"Of course not!" Maul replied firmly, then as the fat man's jaw began to unclench, added "Where's the fun in that?"
"Well, I mean, they won't even scream in pain, right? After all, when you kill someone, there's this indescribably wonderful LOOK in their eyes, this moment of surging horror as they realize how completely the universe has betrayed them..." Maul was warming to his subject; this was one of his favorite topics. "And hell, if they haven't even got their eyes OPEN, what's the point?"
The human fell to the floor, twitching, foam spilling from his open lips. Maul wondered if he was having some sort of seizure and whether, if so, someone should summon a medic, then rejected that thought as unacceptably Jedi-like--probably the result of contamination by that blasted neighbor of his--and sauntered away to see about the food in the next tent over.
As soon as he entered that tent, someone rushed up and shook his hand vigorously. "Glad to see you're still considering all your options, friend. How would you like to meet Mrs. Chiquita right now?"
"Umm...sure," Maul mumbled, wondering who the hell that was.
That proved to be a heavily made-up woman in a silk dress, who clasped his hand as if she were utterly delighted to see him, though he perceived no more actual warmth in her than in any average can of sardines. "You're a Jedi Knight, aren't you?" she said perkily.
"WHAT?" Damn, he must be contaminated.
"I saw your laser sword. Only Jedis carry that kind of weapon--"
"Now look here--"
"And as a responsible lightsaber owner, I'm sure you support reasonable lightsaber control--"
"I have perfect control of mine," Maul pointed out. "You have to--otherwise you could cut your own damn foot off with one of these things."
The candidate retrieved her hand, her smile slipping slightly. "Then I'm sure you're the kind of good citizen who supports my Republic-wide program to censor library computers so people can't read anything potentially salacious on the Internet."
Maul frowned by quirking his forehead tattoos down slightly, wondering why he'd never heard of this before. "Well, I'm not so sure about that one..."
"But what real disadvantage could there be to keeping public computers CLEAN?" the woman chirped.
"Well, what if my monitor goes on the fritz again? Am I supposed to just wait until I can afford to get it fixed? I mean, I have needs..." The candidate's smile slipped so far down her face that it disappeared altogether, and she retrieved a little silk hankie from her purse and began delicately wiping off the fingers of her right hand. "I'm glad to have met you," Maul said brightly, waving and pushing his way through the crowd for the exit.
The next tent in line was indeed Palpatine's. Something about the pimply youth behind the table was extremely familiar. "Oh, hello, Ben-Wa," Maul said, fingering his lightsaber significantly.
Too dumb to realize the danger he was in, Ben-Wa sneered. "You aren't here for a shirt, and I hope you aren't here for food, 'cause we ain't got any."
Maul had already seen enough to realize what a disaster that could be. "Why not? All the other candidates are feeding their people."
"Well, Pop put me in charge of the food, and I figured nobody could stand the old goat anyway, so I just got a bag of sliders." Ben-Wa surveyed the horde mournfully. "It went pretty quick."
"At least he's going to kill you this time, instead of me," Maul pointed out cheerfully. He was really hungry now--the expenditure of energy required to fight his way through the mob was draining--so he headed for Governor Sio Bushle's tent, where barbecue was advertised, and got in line.
Two hours later, he observed, the line had taken only four steps forward. "ENOUGH! Out of my way! I want barbecue!" he cried. Frustrated beyond endurance, he unsheathed his lightsaber again and began to slash his way through the crowd. Dedicated voters fell to the right and left. Soon a stampede of panicking Gungan volunteers had cleared the way to the table. He waved his saber menacingly. "Give me a sandwich! NOW!" The terrified campaign worker (a Gungan wearing a "We-sa likin' Bushle for da Senate" T-shirt) handed him one with a high-pitched "Okey-day!"
Maul stuffed half the sandwich into his mouth. Hey, this is pretty good. He strolled out of the Governor's tent and towards the main auditorium, where the voting was to take place. Oh yeah, I'm here to work, I better go and vote. Once again there was a massive mob, forming numerous lines that seemed to diverge and anastomose at random. He noted unhappily that the voting lines didn't seem to move any faster than the food lines. Unfortunately, everyone in line was six inches taller than he was (and most of them were a foot wider), so he had no hope of seeing what was going on up there.
A loudspeaker crackled to life and a perky female volunteer announced, "There's no waiting to vote on the upper level...Would some people like to go vote upstairs?" Maul had a moment of warning as the crowd of senior citizens ahead of him turned as one, but he wasted it on thinking Wow, looks like a stampede at a nursing home. Then he was trampled underfoot for the second time that day, half-sandwich knocked from his hand. "Nooooooo..." he cried. He tried desperately to protect it, but to no avail; a rural Gungan's clodhopper boot came down and squashed it into the carpet. As the human wave swept over him and past, Maul dragged himself erect, a tear forming in his eye for the sake of the lost barbecue, and limped toward the voting table.
Maul handed over his voting ticket to a human who said "Shut your eyes, dear," and immediately lifted a spray can and hosed him in the face with something cold and smelly.
"What the hell?" He rubbed his forehead, finding his fingers streaked with pink. Pink paint! He'd seen people wandering around with pink splotches, but assumed it was a political statement; the color matched Mrs. Chiquita's dress so perfectly.
"We have to make sure you don't try to vote more than once," the human explained cheerfully.
Maul snarled with rage. "Just give me my ballot, dammit!"
"Remember, you have to wear it all day, dear. We have guards in the restrooms to make sure you don't try to wash it off!" she added. Maul snatched his ballot, yanked a pen out of a Chiquita supporter's hands, and considered the candidates. That had been some awfully good barbecue. He smirked and blackened the oval by the Governor's name.
"Hey!" A familiar, instinctively frustrating voice suddenly spoke in his ear. "Hi Maul!" Obi-Wan Kenobi leaned over his shoulder, peering at his ballot. "Hey, shouldn't you be voting for your advisor?"
"I didn't even get a slider from him," Maul explained, leaving the padawan looking confused. "Anyway, one vote won't make any difference in a horde like this."
"Oh, you're right, of course," Obi-Wan chirped, then flung his arms around Maul, who stiffened. "Well, it's great to see you here!" The part of Maul's brain that was always alert to his surroundings muttered something about the emotional climate of the crowd around them, but he ignored it. The damn Jedi was the first thing he'd seen in several hours whose age was under sixty, whose weight was under two hundred, AND whose tongue was less than two feet long. In fact, he was like a fiery beacon of sex appeal in a very dark place. Maul couldn't resist squeezing Kenobi's ass in a friendly way before prying himself loose of his hug.
Abruptly the mob's mood went from suspicious to violent, so fast he couldn't help but sense it. "Aagh!" a woman screamed. "An attack on traditional values!" Another wailed, "An assault on our whole way of life!" Maul looked around for it, seeing nothing unusual. "Protect the Children!" a man bellowed and rammed a baby carriage into the back of his knees. As the crowd swarmed over him, he went down for the third time (so far).
This time it was obviously deliberate. He raised his head. "What the hell are you people doing?" he yelled, then realized that he was nose-to-nose with the infant in the carriage. It was carrying a heavy leather-bound book. Not a Sith Handbook? he wondered with a sudden surge of pride for the little fellow. "Welcome to the Dark Side..." he began.
"Look, Junior!" the father howled. "A SINNER!" The toddler leaned forward and bopped him smartly between two horns with the book.
"Oww..." He went down again, where a group of women wearing spike heels started stomping and kicking him with impressive fervor. The taste of their hatred was so strong, so seductively delicious, so exquisite...The combat-ready portion of his brain, which had been sulking quietly, pointed out These fat ladies are actually going to kill you if you don't move, you know.
"Enough of this!" Maul kicked two of them out of the way and leapt to his feet, searching for an exit. He was surrounded. Worse, he saw that a dozen superannuated voters still had Kenobi down. From their shirts, which read "Family Values Doesn't Mean YOUR Family," he guessed that they were more of Nunn's supporters. They appeared to be beating Kenobi to death with their walkers, while the padawan wailed miserably. It was those insane Jedi scruples--the twit could not bring himself to slaughter civilians, even if those same civilians were occupied in turning him into pate. I suppose I might as well rescue him. He picked up one of his beehive-haired assailants and hurled her into the mob attacking Kenobi, bowling over half a dozen of them.
"Move your ass!" The padawan staggered to his feet. He looked a right mess: eyes blackened, lip swollen and bleeding, chunks of hair ripped out. He sobbed monotonously, "What'd I DO?...What'd I DO?..." Maul vaulted over to him and started dragging him to the exit by his elbow.
"Wait, wait, where's my braid?" Obi-Wan sniffled frantically, feeling around for it.
"Still attached to your empty head--now let's get out of here before they regroup!" The two men forced their way through the mob (aided by a few Force-palms) and fled precipitously out the door, pursued by several dozen howling political activists. The ramps down to ground level were too packed to run through, but there was an aerial walkway that crossed the main sidewalk twenty feet below; and a clear spot on the sidewalk. As one, Jedi and Sith bolted onto the walkway and leapt over the railing to the ground. None of their pursuers could duplicate such a maneuver, so the mob pulled up short as Maul and Obi-Wan sprinted for the parking lot.
Long after dark, Maul hung around, thirsty, pink-faced, and thoroughly disgruntled, in Palpatine's almost empty tent, where they had taken refuge. Neither of them was exactly happy to be there, especially with Ben-Wa for surly company, but they didn't dare to leave until the activists had cleared out. Palpatine stomped in abruptly, steam rolling from under the collar of his gaudy outfit. Uh-oh... "They just announced the results," the Senator snapped. "I lost to Governor Bushle. By ONE VOTE! And do you know whose fault THAT is?"
Maul jerked a clawed thumb at Ben-Wa, who tried to slither under a table.
"Well, yes," Palpatine admitted. "My unfortunate son is going back for more rehabilitation, with some--ah--special instructions to his counselors." There was a low moan from the table. "But YOU," Palpatine lowered his voice, glancing in Obi-Wan's direction, "were supposed to be Mind Whammying people into voting for me."
"Ummm..." Maul, en route to placating his master as usual, snapped suddenly. "Master, these are VOTERS. They don't HAVE any minds! Have you SEEN these people out there? There's nothing there to Whammy! It's not that I didn't try," he added mendaciously.
"Hey, why all the long faces?" Everyone still conscious turned to glare at Darth Mary Sue, who looked obnoxiously cool and fresh. "My handsome little brother got his picture on the Galactic News Network."
"Oh, how delightful!" Ben-Wa crawled out from under the table, beaming.
"I said the handsome one, imbecile," Mary Sue snapped. "That would be Obi-Wan."
"Me?" Obi-Wan took the ice bag off his face and looked blearily at her. "What for?"
"They filmed you for several minutes, actually," Mary Sue grinned. "Probably because you were the best-looking kid they could find. They used it as background while they were talking about how young people are turning out in droves to support Bew-Kan Nunn."
Obi-Wan's right eye, the one that was not swollen completely shut, widened in horror. "NoooOOOoooo!"
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