Link to the Past

Nothing Makes Sense

Luke came out of mediation when Piett returned with a tray piled high with food.

"Hungry?" his uncle asked.

Luke's stomach answered for him, growling loudly. He blushed as Piett laughed, settled down across from him on the floor as easily at he'd sat on the ground of Dagobah.

"I'll take that as a 'yes'."

The two ate in silence, and for a moment it felt like they were back on Dagobah, eating after training. Luke almost half-expected the little Spiny Bograt that was never far from Yoda to climb up onto Piett's head and beg them both for a piece of their food. His mind drifted to his friends as he hoped they were okay and that that Artoo and reunited with them.

"Uncle Firmus."

Piett looked up, a little startled, as if he hadn't expected Luke to call him that after what had happened, and Luke felt a twinge of guilt for how he had yelled at the man.

"Yes?"

"Can you find out what happened to my friends?"

Piett took a drink before answering.

"I'll ask Vader when he and I spar later."

Luke paused with his fork halfway to his mouth.

"Spar?"

The Admiral nodded, smiling at the silly image his nephew currently made with his fork in the air, food still hanging off it, staring at him with wide eyes.

"Don't leave your food hanging there, Luke."

Blushing, the young man went back to eating.

"Yes, your father and I spar when we have the chance."

Luke scowled but didn't protest him calling Vader his father, for which Piett was grateful for.

"I might be able to convince him to let you watch rather than sit in here all day and night. Sometimes we'll fight as a team against his training droids, but sparing with him is better."

"Why?"

"Because he can think for himself and anticipate things, where the droids can't."

"Isn't it dangerous to fight with him?"

Piett ate a little more, thinking on how to word his answer. He decided it would be best just to be honest.

"Yes, but not for the reasons you might think. He's never hurt me on purpose, but it has happened where one of us, usually me, has gotten hurt. However, the worst I've ever gotten was a broken wrist when he hit too hard, miscalculated, and the hilt of his lightsaber hit my left wrist, rather than his blade hitting mine."

Luke winced. He didn't know that Piett was downplaying the injury. Vader's blow had actually shattered the bones in his wrist and hand. It had been a while before he could properly use his left hand again.

They finished the rest of their food, and Piett sent a nudge along his bond with Vader.

/Yes?/

/Have time to spar?/

He could sense his brother's pondering as he decided whether or not he either had time or even wanted to spar.

/Yes. I will meet you there./

/Mind if I bring Luke to watch? He doesn't need to just sit in my quarters all the time./

Again came Vader's consideration, and Piett waited patiently. He wasn't going to press the issue if Vader said 'no'.

/Very well./

/See you soon./

Piett stood.

"Come on, Luke. You'll be watching us spar."

Luke brightened a little at the idea of watching the fight and getting out of Piett's quarters for a while.

Vader sensed them even before they opened the door. Piett was shielded, but since Vader and Luke was used to signature, they could sense him. The pair walked in, and Piett motioned Luke over to a bench off to the side. Vader watch his son sit down and wait for them to begin.

"His friends. What became of them?"

He looked at his younger brother, who did not repeat the question but simply waited for an answer with an expecting look of him face that had no doubt come from Shmi. He was well aware that Vader had heard the question and would not repeat it simply to try to save some of the Sith's dignity at being caught not paying enough attention. That was from both Shmi and Qui-Gon, Vader was sure of it.

"Captain Solo is on his way to Jabba the Hutt with Boba Fett. The others escaped with Calrissian."

Luke's relief washed over both his father and uncle. There was still hope then. Han could be rescued by Leia and the others.

"What were you doing in the carbon freezing chamber?" Piett asked, having been confused by the location choice.

"We froze Solo."

Horror and shock slammed into Vader from both Luke and Piett.

"You what?! You carbon froze a person?!"

"Yes," Vader answered.

A piece of metal from an earlier spar with a droid, smacked into his helmet, thrown by Piett's use of the Force.

"What was that for?!"

"You carbon froze a person?!"

"Yes! I already said that!"

Luke could only watch, mystified at the rather odd behavior both men were displaying, particularly Vader.

"Has the mask finally affected your brain?! What were you thinking?! Why would you even attempt such a thing?!"

"He survived."

"That's not the point! You carbon froze a person! Are you insane?!"

Vader's hand shot out, and Luke felt a flash of fear for his uncle's safety.

Whack!

"Ow!" Piett yelped, clutching his head where Vader had just hit him.

"Are you done yelling at me for something that cannot be changed?"

The younger of the brothers sighed.

"Fine. Lets spar. It's why we're here, not to argue."

Luke just stared, trying to wrap his brain around what had just happened. Vader was notorious for killing his own men when angered, his favored method being the Force Choke. Piett had been outright yelling at him, but all Vader had done was cuff him on the head.

Life was making no sense today.


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