Link to the Past

Arguing

This was ridiculous. They had been arguing circles around each other for three days. It was getting them nowhere, and neither of their tempers weren't going to take much more before snapping.

"You cannot let this fear control you."

"It's not as easy as snapping my fingers and making it go away!"

"This must not hinder your training."

"Who said I wanted to be trained further after what happened?!"

"I am growing tired of your childish refusal."

"Childish?! How is it childish to not want to train further and risk not being able to recognize the people I care about most and possibly attack or even kill them in a fight, even a friendly spar?!"

"The Force is strong in you. You cannot ignore that."

"Maybe I can't, but that doesn't meant I want to train more and risk the Darkside."

"This defiance and stubbornness is your father's fault."

"It could have just as easily come from Mother."

Both sighed and sat down, back-to-back. For several moments all that was heard was their breathing as their sole witness just waited awkwardly for one of them to do or say something else, having no idea what to say or do himself.

"Because of the Darkside I almost killed you. Even if I grew accustomed to it, is that really the kind of person you want me to be? You always say I'm so much like Father and Mother. Why change that? What if one day I can't regain control of myself in time?"

For a moment, Vader said nothing, and Piett waited, feeling every breath his brother took against his back.

"Being immersed so deeply in the Darkside is rare. I have been, but only against the most powerful of enemies. You would not have to worry about it nearly as much I did as I did it most often against Jedi."

Both brothers spared a quick glance at Luke.

"The Emperor will kill you if he does not believe you to be loyal to the Sith."

"I am loyal to the Empire, but he might kill me anyway just for being Force-strong," Piett countered.

Vader had no response, knowing his brother was right. It would be a huge risk to present Firmus to the Emperor no matter when he did it.

"Treachery is the way of the Sith. You told me that. The Emperor has betrayed both master and apprentice. Even if he accepts me, how long will it be before he tries to replace you with me, or with Luke?"

Luke made a pained, disgusted noise.

"He will not."

"Dooku probably thought the same. He was killed to be replaced with a younger, stronger apprentice. You are just as expendable. Even if the Emperor doesn't turn me against you if I turn to the Darkside, how long until I turn against you on my own? You wish to kill the Emperor, so what's to stop me from wanting to kill you down the road?"

"We are family," Vader said, confident in the bond between him and Firmus.

Piett leaned a little more heavily on Vader, letting the cyborg's strength hold him up.

"I hope that will be enough," he said softly.

The Skywalkers sat in silence. The argument had taken a dark, disturbing turn down a path none really wanted to think about but all had to eventually.

"I'm sorry."

"I know, Firmus. As am I. I know how disturbing it can be the first time, but it has been so long I did not care to think on it. I will not push you towards the Darkside, but I will not give up on your training either."

Firmus sighed softly.

"I know, and you're right. I can't let it stop me from training. I'm not a Jedi, and I'm not a Sith, but maybe one day I'll be faced with one in a real battle. I can't let the Darkside keep me from fighting."

The brothers stood, and Vader motioned for Luke to join them. The Jedi approached and watched as Piett unlocked the binders, handing him his lightsaber.

"All right, Luke. Today, you and I will spar."

Luke nodded. He had since accepted the fact that he wasn't going to escape. Even if he got away from his father and uncle, he had no idea where the hangar bays were on this ship. He still wouldn't be able to find his way back to Piett's quarters from here.

Vader sat down on the bench to watch, curious to see his son's abilities.

Two blades ignited, one green, one blue. Luke and Piett circled each other until Luke make the first strike, coming from the bottom right. Piett jumped over it, striking from above. He immediately pressed his advantage of being stronger and a little heavier than his nephew. He was further in his training, as well, which gave him more experience.

Blow for blow, they clashed again and again as Vader watched with a critical eye. Piett was a bit more refined that Luke, but he had been doing this longer.

Firmus half-spun and kicked out. Luke's teeth clacked together as his uncle's blow connected with his jaw, sending him back. These were moves that were useless against Vader but very effective against his nephew. He wasted no time in exploiting the opening left by his kick and ended the match with the tip of his lightsaber a scant few centimeters from Luke's throat.

"Match."

They switched off their blades.

"Well fought, Luke."

"That kick caught me off-guard," Luke said, rubbing his jaw.

"That was the point. Be prepared for physical attacks, too.

The young Jedi nodded and reluctantly let Piett clap the binders back on his wrists.

"Impressive, both of you. With more training, your ability and skill will only grow."

"Do I really need these binders? Where am I gonna go?" Luke asked, not sure what to say in response to Vader.

Piett sighed.

"It's just for traveling between places. The crew can't think you're ever not cuffed for their own safety. If they see you wandering the ship they'll question us, and we need them loyal."

"Okay, I get it. Binders mean crew sanity."

Firmus chuckled.

"I guess that's one way to put it."

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