Sith! Installment 1: Suicide Negotiation (among other things)
By Wild Lokichild
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[Read Wild Lokichild's author bio]
Disclaimer: These characters do not belong to me, nor will they ever belong to me, etc., etc. -- so please don't sue me. I'm very poor.
"No! No! Stop it! Aargh..."
Maul winced and began to hunch over a little as he did his best to try and avoid the impossible barrage of oncoming tennis balls. Behind the automatic feeder, Sidious sat with an amused little grin.
"Come on, use your racquet! You were doing so well before," he chided.
Maul simply made another series of irritated noises and lifted the tennis racquet so it shielded his head. His face twisted up into a displeased expression as he took a moment to catch his breath.
He'd been able to deflect the balls earlier, but this was different. Not only had his master upped the power, but Maul had taken to envisioning each ball as being a tiny, flailing Sidious awaiting certain death. This had worked for a little while, but soon the concept of dozens of cackling Sith masters rolling around at his feet had unsettled him something fierce.
Besides, nearly four hours had passed so far, and his arms were growing tired.
"Turn it back down, Master! I can't possibly...gah!" He jerked his head back a little as one of many wee Sidious's bounced off of the racquet. He shook his head briskly to try and rid himself of the distracting hallucinations, then squinted through the racquet's mesh and scowled at his master. Just then, he heard the telltale click of an increase in power. His eyes widened as a torrent of miniature masters came hurtling in his direction. Fuck me...
"Bah! It's only on..." Sidious paused and leaned over to look at the feeder's dial. "...'Friendly Fire'. There are still three higher settings. I can turn it up, if you want." He cackled quietly, then looked up and gave his apprentice an annoyed look. "Oh, for heaven's sake..."
Maul was huddled against the fence of the court, having assumed the standard Tornado Defense posture.
Sidious sighed, then rolled his eyes and shut the feeder off. "How can you possibly expect to rise up and strike me down if you spend all of your time hiding behind a trash can?"
Maul opened an eye, then stood up and brushed himself off. He growled angrily as he approached his master. "As long as you don't arm yourself with one of these stupid things, I'll be fine." The tennis racquet found itself being hurled toward a nearby pile of rentals.
Sidious grinned, then slipped off of his wooden stool and headed for the exit. "Walk with me, my Apprentice."
As they left the tennis club, Sidious and Maul engaged in the usual one-sided conversation. That is, Sidious yammered endlessly while Maul looked around, bored, and spouted the occasional "yes, my Master".
Maul stifled a bit of a grumble as he hoisted the black duffel bag a little. Stupid nylon strap. He glared absently at a passer-by, then bared his teeth and tried to ignore the continuous chafing of his shoulder. Stupid tank-top. Stupid tennis. ...Stupid Master. I should throw this stupid bag at his stupid head. Stupid. At that he grinned suddenly, which attracted the attention of his master.
"Are you even listening to me, Maul?" Sidious furrowed his brow.
"Uhhh..." Maul's head snapped up, and he gave his Master a blank look. "Yes."
Sidious paused for a moment, then sighed annoyedly and repeated himself. "I was saying that I feel you're ready--"
Maul halted immediately and dropped his duffel bag. He looked rather excited. "...To strike you down? To assume the role of Master?" He threw his head back and released an elated cheer, then began to dance triumphantly.
Sidious took a moment to admire his apprentice's cavorting figure, then shook his head and grinned. "No, my Apprentice. I feel you're ready for your next task."
Maul stopped dancing gradually, then turned to his master and forced a pained grin. He spoke through his teeth in an unstable voice. "You've got to be kidding me."
As Maul stepped out of the dressing room, he growled. His narrowed eyes immediately found a mirror, then settled there and glared furiously. His magnificent form was encased in an unflattering police uniform.
"I hate you," he snarled. He then turned toward the target of his endearment, and scowled.
The female officer scowled back as she handed him a police-type-hat, then turned to exit that particular area. "Put that on and follow me."
Maul looked into the mirror, gave the hat a dubious look, then tossed it aside and began to follow.
His silent tour of the station ended in the garage, where several others were waiting for him. The female officer introduced him in a vague and unenthusiastic manner, then left. Maul just stood there, arms folded across his chest, and gave the others a withering look. Two of them paused, then excused themselves, and the remaining officer addressed the Sith genially.
"Good afternoon. I'm Lt. Forge, and I'll be accompanying you today."
Maul stared silently. His aura practically screamed with raw hostility.
"Uh... and your name is...?"
Maul stared for a moment, then offered his name in a voice that caused the officer's toes to curl. "Maul."
Lt. Forge waited for a moment, then swallowed and raised his eyebrows. "Well, then... uh... Maul..." He turned and made his way toward one of the police vehicles. "I s'pose we should get on with it, then."
Moments later, the squad hover-car pulled out of the garage. It immediately cranked to the right, barely missed a signpost, and sideswiped a minivan. Maul leaned halfway out the window and yelled "Asshoooole!", then sat back down behind the wheel and cackled amusedly.
Forge put a nervous hand over his heart and sank down a little, not daring to chastise the frightening, horned creature next to him, as Maul started up the sirens and began to use them as an excuse to run through every red light.
As the police vehicle came to a sudden halt out front of a rather large building, Maul carelessly threw his door open and stepped away. He then folded his arms across his chest and began to look around. There were many police officers, and several lengths of yellow tape blocking most of the walk in front of the building. A disdainful look swept across his tattooed face.
"What the hell is going on?"
Forge caught up to him, and paused for a moment. "Suicide situation, I believe. Someone's apparently threatening to jump."
Maul snorted quietly and nodded his approval. "Good."
"You wait right here for a sec, okay? I'm gonna go check something out." The officer looked around for a moment, then left Maul standing there.
Maul scowled annoyedly. Great. This sucks! He waited for a bit, then crossed the "Police Line: Do Not Cross" tapes and began to wander around in a bored manner. He eventually came across a couple of officers who were engaged in idle chat. One of them was holding a megaphone.
Maul stared at the megaphone for a moment, then acquired a crafty look and glanced up toward the building. A nasty little grin surfaced as he turned his attention back to the guard.
"Give me that megaphone," he commanded.
The man blinked, giving the wildly-striped face a surprised look, and prepared to protest. Before he could say anything, though, Maul yanked the megaphone out of his hand and turned away. He then stopped, tilted his torso back a little, and spoke into the device.
High above, clinging to the side of the building, a very nervous Obi-Wan Kenobi stood on one of the ledges. His attention was fixated upon the small, beige rodent that was meandering along the edge of the stone.
"Don't worry, Cuddles! I'll save you!"
Maul screwed his face up into that famed "what the hell" expression, then lifted the megaphone to his mouth again.
"UHH... HEY, ARE YOU GOING TO JUMP, OR WHAT?"
Obi-Wan leaned over a little, squinting toward the ground below, then grinned brightly and waved.
"Well, gee... hello down there, neighbor!"
Maul paused, briefly disgusted. He then snarled into the megaphone; "WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING UP THERE?"
Obi-Wan cupped a hand to his mouth and yelled back. "I'm saving Cuddles! He's very disoriented, see... he wandered out here while I was talking to his psychiatrist. It'll only take a minute!"
Maul lowered the megaphone and just stared upward for a moment. Psychiatrist? His face screwed up into a puzzled expression, then flattened as he snarled silently. That twit Padawan is just going to get himself killed, he thought. He then acquired that nasty little grin again.
"DON'T WORRY ABOUT CUDDLES. RIGHT NOW, ALL WE CARE ABOUT IS GETTING YOU DOWN FROM THERE SAFELY."
Obi-Wan nearly burst as he was filled with one of many sappy, bleeding-heart emotions. "Really?"
"YES." Maul stifled a snicker. "NOW, LISTEN VERY CAREFULLY, AND FOLLOW MY INSTRUCTIONS."
Obi-Wan nodded and settled back against the wall. "Okay... whatever you say!"
"FIRST OFF, I WANT YOU TO TOSS CUDDLES OVER THE SIDE."
"DON'T WORRY, I'LL CATCH HIM!"
Obi-Wan gave the hamster a frightened look, then crawled towards it and scooped it up into both hands. "But... I... ... are you sure?"
Maul grinned wickedly. "ABSOLUTELY."
Obi-Wan paused, kissed Cuddles on the head, then dropped him over the side. Maul watched the critter plummet, then smiled as he awaited the delicious splattering noise. Much to his dismay, however, the creature bounced off of several awnings on its way down and ended up landing in a bush. He frowned as he heard a distinctly rodential scuffling. Damn!
The Padawan leaned over the edge a little, and squinted down. "Did you catch him?"
"UM... NO... CUDDLES LANDED ON A... POINTY... ...THING, DOWN HERE. I'M AFRAID HE'S DEAD."
A quiet "Noooo!" resounded from above.
Maul grinned, proud of his save, then lowered the megaphone from his mouth until he was sure he wouldn't burst out laughing. Several officers began to approach, obviously intent on taking the instrument away, but he simply waved his hand and sent them backward. A few cries arose as various bodies hit various inanimate objects. He then grinned again and resumed.
"NOW, I WANT YOU TO JUMP."
"W-what? But I--"
"YOU HEARD ME!"
Obi-Wan wiped his eyes, sniffled, then gave the Sith a doubtful look as he peered over the edge of the ledge. "Are you sure? I mean, it's awfully far..."
"YES! NOW HURRY UP!"
Maul cackled, lowering the megaphone as he saw yonder Jedi preparing himself. Yes... finally, I will be rid of him. No more singing in the shower at 6:00am, no more uncomfortable conversations... no more chance meetings at the laundromat... no more public displays of raw carnality at that stupid club... no more wild, Force-driven se-- ... ...GAAH!
The Sith's eyes practically bugged out of his head as Obi-Wan dropped from the ledge. He quickly dropped the megaphone, gaze fixed upward, and hurried to position himself beneath the oncoming twerp. He then squeezed his eyes shut and steeled himself...
As Sidious made his way into room 206, he grinned faintly and approached his apprentice's hospital bed. Maul glowered at the ceiling, refusing to make eye contact, and chewed irately on his own tongue.
It was bad enough that he was stuck here. The staff were incredibly rude and unresponsive to the almighty Mind Whammy, it was stuffy in there, the air smelled funny, and his feet kept sticking out from underneath the blanket. Besides that, the nurse with the bedpan was very unfriendly. What little food he'd seen (and quickly disposed of) smelled vile, too. Blech.
And to top it all off, no doubt, his master had come to gloat. Stupid hospital.
"Well done, my Apprentice."
Maul grunted unintelligibly.
Sidious's grin grew a little as he leaned forward a bit. "See? You do have a thing for the Jedi boy."
Maul's glare focussed itself upon his Master. "Is that what this task was for? To prove that?"
"GrrrRRR.." Maul attempted to throttle his master, but the older man chuckled and moved out of reach.
Sidious looked around a bit, then began to shuffle toward the door. "Anyway, I just came by to congratulate you on a job well done. You're advancing quickly, my Apprentice."
Maul growled and tried to cover his face with the hand that wasn't broken. "But I failed, Master! I gave in to my feelings for that... sffszt..." He sputtered angrily. "...Big-eyed, fuzzy-headed, wobbly-kneed, smiley, giggly twit Padawan!"
"True. Very true." Sidious watched him appraisingly. "But you've also managed a completely unrelated victory."
Maul's face screwed up confusedly. "Nnh?"
Sidious's hand gestured toward the empty tray, which rested upon Maul's bedside table. "You survived the hospital food. That alone is a feat in itself. As soon as you are released, you are to be rewarded."
Maul paused for a moment, then settled back and grinned to himself as his Master left him. Not even the pain of various broken bones was bothering him. Rewards were always good.
The best part, though, was that in the bedside trashcan sat a disgruntled pile of turkey, gravy, and Jell-o.
Maul cackled quietly.
Heh heh heh... sucker...
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