Riding the Wheel of...What the Hell??? 2
The following short story in inspired by the Wheel of If series by MrsHamill, at The Hidden Realm
Unfazed by the transfer, Lord Sidious glanced around at his surroundings, a street corner. There was something different about this reality, he sensed. Something very strange. He looked up at the street sign next to him, puzzled. Midichlorian Terrace?
He cautiously reached out with the Force, searching for the Palpatine here. Lifting the hood over his head, Sidious crossed the street to the house numbered 223 and went inside. Empty, he realized, once he was finished staring at the garish furniture. He sat down at the desk and went through the drawers, finding a large number of receipts for hotel rooms, various bar tabs, even some from a place called Divine Oscillations. There was one item of interest, however. It had Maul's name on it and the address of an apartment building, with two numbers next to it, oddly enough.
Sidious put it down and looked in the last drawer. It was there that he made the first shocking discovery of the day. Hidden in back were pictures of himself, or, rather, his other self, with at least half a dozen young men in a variety of positions.
This must have been an attempt at blackmail, he thought, looking through them. He turned the last picture around. They couldn't possibly have been doing that upside-down, could they? He shoved them back where he'd found them and left the house. His main priority was to locate Maul and Palpatine here and find out just what was going on. And, if necessary, kill Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn and his equally troublesome Padawan.
I'll try this one, Sidious decided, knocking on the first door, behind which loud music was playing. It took several more knocks, which irritated him greatly, before someone answered.
"What the fuck do you want now, Da?" Obi-Wan Kenobi demanded, clutching his head. This had to be one of the worst hangovers in the history of the galaxy.
"You!" He started to raise his hands instinctively when it registered on him. "What did you just call me?"
"Da, Dad, Pops. Whatever. If you're looking for Maul, the wanker buggered out on me this morning."
Sidious frowned in confusion. No Jedi he knew of used such coarse language, or looked as if they had tried to drink themselves to death the previous night. Lord Maul had been here, and actually let the Jedi live? "Where is Lo... Maul now?"
"If he's not home, try to Gray Side." Obi-Wan jerked a thumb towards the next room, then closed the door in his face.
Obi-Wan Kenobi is my son here? Maul lives next to him? This is absurd! Sidious stormed out of the building and into the nearest taxi. "Take me to the Gray Side," he ordered the driver. Maul had better have a good explanation for this.
A bar? Sidious looked around in disgust. What was Maul thinking, to frequent such a public place? Why would his master even allow it?
"Senator Palpatine. Let me guess: You're looking for your ward again," the bartender said when he reached the counter.
"My ward? Yes. I'm looking for Maul. Has he been in here?"
"Yeah, earlier, but he's long gone."
"Unreliable, the young are," said a voice from below.
"Why... Master Yoda," Sidious said, caught off guard yet again. Master Yoda in a bar? This was getting stranger and stranger. "What brings you here?"
"He comes in here every now and then," the bartender answered. "I swear he could outdrink a Hutt."
"Did that once, I did," Yoda boasted, then belched. He sagged against a chair leg, reminiscing about the old days.
"Looks like a few of your friends are here," he observed, directing Sidious's attention to a group of five young men, none of whom were in the pictures he'd seen earlier.
"Hmph! Satisfy you they will not," Yoda predicted, hiccuping. "Try me you should."
"Yeah, right. And then he could go find a twig and play with that, too," the bartender scoffed.
"Puny they are, compared to me!!" screeched Yoda, fed up with being disparaged. "Prove it I will!!!"
Sidious took a step back, astounded, when the small Jedi reached down to pull his robes up. Fortunately for everyone there, he over-balanced and fell on his face.
"He's out for the rest of the day," the bartender remarked, picking up the cloth bag he had ready. He walked over to a motionless Yoda, used his foot to push him into the bag and tied it shut. "Make sure this gets back to the Temple," he said, handing the bag to a delivery boy. "Bring back the bag. I'll be needing it again tomorrow."
"Yes, sir," the boy said, holding it away from him as he bounded towards the exit.
"Did Maul mention where he was going?"
"Don't know." The man shrugged. "I don't ask, and they don't say. Most times."
"Where is he?" Sidious repeated, using the Force to get an answer.
"He said he was going on a secret mission. Wouldn't say where. That was a couple hours ago. He might be home by now."
So his Master sent him on a mission, he thought, turning on a heel and striding out of the bar. That at least sounded normal. He caught another taxi back to the apartments and pounded on Maul's door for five minutes. Still no answer, though he thought he heard an odd scrambling noise inside, as if many tiny feet were running back and forth across the floor. He gave up and tried Obi-Wan's again.
"You again?" Obi-Wan bitched, his eyes still bloodshot. He grudgingly let him in. "Still looking for Maul?"
"Yes," he ground out.
Sensing a challenge, My Apprentice left her place by the habitrail and walked over to the second Palpatine, bumping her head against his leg. Bring me tuna.
Annoyed, Sidious scowled menacingly down at the animal.
I wasn't hungry anyway. She walked away from him, head and tail held high.
"You will tell me where he is."
"I said I didn't know!" Obi-Wan glared back at him. "Shite, da! Why don't you..."
"I am not your father!!" Sidious shouted, then continued in a quieter voice. "I happen to be his twin brother."
Angered when the Jedi turned his back and headed for the refrigerator, Sidious lifted his hands, determined to rid himself of this Obi-Wan when he felt something clawing his ankles. It was the cat.
Not him, dummy! The hamsters!
Enraged, he struck at My Apprentice with Force lightning, narrowly missing the fleeing animal.
"What the fuck are you doing??"
"That miserable creature attacked me!"
Obi-Wan shrugged at the sight of his bloodied ankles and took a swig of beer. "She was just playing. You'll get used to it."
"I have no intention of staying that long!"
Then go! You don't belong here! My Apprentice hissed at him from behind Obi-Wan's legs. Do you even know what tuna is?
"I don't care what it is!" Sidious stopped, astonished at himself. Did I just talk to a cat? If he didn't leave soon, he was going to end up as insane as they were. "Do you know where he might be?"
Obi-Wan drained the rest of the beer before replying. "Who? Maul?"
"Palpatine!!" he snarled, barely controlling his temper with the idiot. "I've already been to his house. There was no one there."
"Jaysus! All right! He might be at Qui-Gon's. 225 Midichlorian."
"225, you say?"
"Yes." Obi-Wan looked down at My Apprentice after he left. "What a wanker."
I couldn't agree more.
Pastel! Sidious sneered, standing in front of Qui-Gon's house. Apparently Jedi were not forced to live in the Temple here. He braced himself for this meeting with his enemy before ringing the doorbell. It produced a discordant melody, loud enough to be heard across the street, but he still had to wait several minutes. Doesn't anyone answer doors here? Finally, it opened.
"Senator Palpatine," Qui-Gon said, a vacant smile on his face. "How nice to see you again."
"Is it?" So he had been here. Sidious turned his face to the side. The man positively reeked! "When did we last speak?"
"Uhhh." Qui-Gon paused, working it out in his mind. "Twenty minutes ago?"
This is the mighty Qui-Gon Jinn? "You will forget I was here," he said, waving a hand in front of the Jedi, which apparently made him dizzy. Sidious turned away, catching a glimpse of his double getting into a hovercar at 223. He hurried back to the taxi, ordering the driver to follow that car. This was turning into a damned wild mynok chase!
Still grinning over his success, Maul set the box on the floor, stroking the top of the machine before carefully taking it out.
What are you so happy about? My Apprentice asked, returning from yet another fruitless hamster watch.
This is my greatest triumph, Maul crowed.
"Is that so, my apprentice?" Palpatine asked, entering the room.
"Yes, my Master," Maul said. "Nothing will ever top this. Not even killing a Jedi Master."
"It's another PlayStation."
"It's not just any PlayStation. This is the new PlayStation 3. Mary Sue tipped me off about it being developed."
"You broke into the company and stole it?"
Maul nodded. "I also destroyed all the research they had on it."
"So now no one will ever have it but you. Very good, Maul," Palpatine complimented. He found a clean spot on the couch and sat down to watch as Maul plugged the PlayStation in. "Depriving billions of people of their entertainment is quite an achievement."
"Thank you, Master." Maul loaded in the latest game, picked up the remote and began playing. This was far superior to the old model. He could actually smell the stench of burnt flesh every time a blaster shot hit an opponent. Perhaps one day they would have real blood spray out of the monitor.
It was in the third level, when he decided to try the disintegrator gun, that disaster hit. Instead of annihilating the Jedi, Darth Lara Croft aimed the new weapon at her own foot. Maul howled in fury as she slowly began melting before his eyes. Madly pressing buttons in an attempt to prevent what was happening, he was thrown backwards when the PlayStation exploded.
"Oh, dear! It looks like they weren't finished with it." Palpatine chuckled. "You always were impatient, weren't you, my apprentice?"
"What is this??" roared a voice from the doorway.
Maul and Palpatine turned and looked while My Apprentice hopped back through the hole in the wall.
Darth Sidious glared at them in complete disgust. The room resembled a garbage chute. Maul was dressed in rags, and Palpatine was wearing a hideous combination of bright purple and fuchsia.
"I'm quite certain that my brother is... I mean, I don't have a brother. Just who are you?" asked Palpatine.
"I am you, from another dimension, and I believe I asked a question. What the hell do you think you're doing?"
Palpatine stood, taking up Deeply Offended pose #28.
Maul jumped up, looking from one to the other. Were they going to fight? He hoped so. He needed something to cheer him up. "He does look exactly like you, Master."
"Nonsense!" Palpatine objected. "I am much more handsome than that."
"Shut up, you fool!" Sidious snarled. "Is this how you plan on becoming the Supreme Chancellor? By playing games?"
"Of course not! Why, the donations to my campaign..."
"You'll need more than a campaign if you ever want to control the Republic!"
"Why don't we work together, then?" Palpatine suggested, an idea forming in his mind. "An alliance would be in both of our interests."
"I am not staying here!! Fortunately, from what I've seen of the Jedi here, they shouldn't be any problem. As pathetic as you two are, they're even more so." That said, Sidious pulled out a device, pressed a button and disappeared with a loud bang.
Pathetic? Palpatine snorted. At least I have style. "Well, that was certainly interesting," he commented to his apprentice.
"Yes, Master," Maul responded, his attention once more on the ruined PlayStation. Damn, damn, damn!
"I think you've had too much free time lately."
"What'll it be?"
Palpatine hunched over the bar, thinking about what his double had said earlier. Maybe he was right. Maybe I should concentrate more on taking control of the galaxy and destroying the Jedi. Nursing the shot glass, he still instantly noticed when the male gymnastics team from Ryloth walked in through the door.
Well, maybe later.
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