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Gungan to the left

A Moment of Understanding (G)

By : BeElleGee

Archived on: Tuesday, April 24, 2001

Admiral Piett goes to face Lord Vader after the Falcon escapes, and discovers that the officers aren't the only ones who must live with a fearful authority.

Vader walked slowly into his quarters, ignoring everything around him, in deep thought. He wasn't quite sure what to do next and really didn't feel like doing anything. With an irritated sigh, he stepped into his meditation chamber and sank slowly into his chair.

On the bridge of the Executor, Admiral Piett paced nervously back and forth in front of the ship's huge viewscreen.

"I don't like this," he hissed, addressing no one in particular. "After he thinks it over, he's going to be convinced this is all my fault because of my inabilities and then strangle me like he does with the rest of his officers."

The bridge personnel followed Piett with their eyes in silence.

"Sir," his captain began, "I'm sure Lord Vader understands...I mean, dammit, he was standing right there when the ship--"

"Went into hyperspace," Piett finished for him. "I had just told him the Falcon's hyperdrive had been disabled." He shook his head slowly. "He's going to kill me. I know he is."

The captain was losing patience. He was tired of trying to placate everyone: the jittery new admiral and the vicious dark lord who commanded them. He had previously been witness to the systematic executions of two of the fleet's finest officers at the Sith's hand.

"Sir, if you are so certain of your impending demise, why don't you go to him and tell him just what you think of him and his commission?" Piett shot him an angry glance. "Well, " the captain continued, "At least you'll be getting it over with faster."

Piett nodded slowly. "Go on. Make jokes about it. You realize, once I am gone, you will be in command." He stopped pacing and looked out the viewscreen at the vast emptiness of space. He didn't see the captain pale behind him.

"Admiral, the boarding party is wondering why the delay," a pit officer relayed.

Piett faced the man and sighed. "Cancel it. That should be more than obvious."

"Sir?" the navigator called. "Shall I prepare new coordinates?"

"No," Piett snapped. "Continue on our present course. I'll not do anything further without first consulting Lord Vader and I dare not disturb him now. Maintain sublight engines. Advise the rest of the fleet to maintain status quo." He turned from the screen and started walking towards the exit. "I'll be in my quarters if anyone needs to reach me." With that said, he quickly left.

The captain looked after him, then shook his head. "If our luck doesn't improve soon, the alliance won't have to worry about the imperial armada. This dark lord we are saddled with will dispose of her officers with greater efficiency than any rebel assassin could."

Having reached his quarters, Piett resumed his nervous pacing. He would just have to wait now. Wait for the inevitable. He thought he understood Lord Vader's frustration, having been so close, after all this time, finally to have Skywalker within his grasp--only to lose him to circumstance. But it wasn't his fault! Piett thought suddenly. It wasn't anyone's fault but the dark lord himself. Of course Vader would never admit that. It was easier to take it out on the men.

Piett stopped pacing and slammed his fist into his hand. Maybe someone needed to tell the Sith enough already. Maybe he was just the one to do it. He was dead anyway. What else could the dark lord do to him?

With a new defiance and fierce determination, Piett left his quarters and strode purposefully down the halls.

Turning down the hall where the dark lord's chamber was located brought a surge of uncertainty and dread. He stepped hesitantly up to the door knowing he could very well be stricken here in the hall for even disturbing Vader at this time. Fear welled up inside him and he swiftly turned to leave.

"What is it?" the dark lord's rich voice demanded over the hall intercom system.

Piett cringed. He realized Vader must have 'sensed' his presence. Piett soundly cursed himself for even being on this level, let alone standing at the Sith's very door.

"It's me My Admiral Piett. I don't wish to disturb you. I'll come back another time," he replied trying to sound as respectful and apologetic as possible. There was an excruciating moment of silence before the dark lord answered.

"Enter." The door slid soundlessly open.

Piett took a deep breath and stepped inside the room. He immediately saw Vader seated and facing him a few meters away. The sound of his raspy breathing seemed to be absorbed into the walls of the chamber. Piett unintentionally stepped back. He tried to placate the motionless black figure before him with a deep bow.

"I can see you don't wish to be disturbed," Piett tried again and backed farther towards the door. "I'll just be leaving now." He turned but just as he reached the door, it slid ominously shut. Piett closed his eyes. He would never forgive himself for this. Slowly, reluctantly, he turned around and faced the dark lord.

"What is it?" Vader repeated, clearly irritated.

Think, Piett. Think fast. His mind scrambling to find something to say, he blurted out the first thing he thought of.

"My Lord, we are maintaining our present course. And I have cancelled the boarding party..." He frowned, knowing how weak that must have sounded. That's right, Lord Vader. I disturbed you to tell you something as insignificant as this...feel free to strangle me now.

Vader didn't respond and the door remained closed. Piett sighed heavily. He might as well...get it over with.

"My Lord, I realize that you are aware of the fact that I have more to say. I know you are quite upset and you have every right to be, but I feel I must be allowed to plea my case to you before you pass judgment."

"By all means, Admiral," Vader said in an icy tone.

Piett put his hands behind his back to hide their shaking from Vader. "What happened, just now, with the Millenium Falcon--My Lord, it was not my fault. I gave the orders to have the hyperdrive deactivated. I know my men obeyed. This was confirmed shortly after they arrived on Bespin. A simple explanation would be that the sabotage was discovered and the hyperdrive reactivated. Surely you can see, it was no one's fault. No one deserves punishment." Piett found as he was allowed to speak freely, his confidence and anger were slowly returning. "If you insist on releasing your frustrations by cruelly murdering your officers then let's just be done with it. You won't gain anything from it but some kind of infernal, twisted pleasure."

Vader raised his large black gloved hand and Piett promptly blenched. "I should dispose of you for such impudence but I need you," Vader stated dispassionately. "And you are right. But only partially."

"Forgive me, My Lord, I don't know what possessed me to speak to you in such a manner," Piett hurried apologized, trembling from fear and relief.

Vader nodded, seemingly satisfied. He lowered his hand. "I saw what happened. I have no intentions of executing anyone--for the time being." He sighed somewhat wearily. "I just need time to construct a new plan."

A light blinking on the ship's intercom panel caught the dark lord's eye. Leaning over, he pressed a button and answered the summon. "The emperor, My Lord. He wants an update."

Vader sat frozen for a moment before responding. "I'll take it here. See that the transmission is not interrupted." He rose quickly and stepped out of the meditation chamber, his long black robes billowing behind him as he strode over to the room's large holoprojector. There he kneeled, and waited.

Piett, not sure what to do at this point, moved slowly towards the door. Much to his surprise and dismay, it refused to open. He stood before it in complete trepidation. Finally he tucked himself into a corner, trying to be as inconspicuous as possible, and waited.

The disturbing silence in the room was suddenly shattered by a huge hologram of the emperor. "Lord Vader," the emperor's voice boomed in greeting. Vader bowed deeply, submissively.

Piett's eyes widened. He would have never imagined the ominous dark lord submitting to anyone.

"Do you have young Skywalker in custody, my servant?" the emperor continued. Vader sighed at the rather anticipated question. "I've had some difficulty in apprehending him, My Master. He refused to join and attempted suicide."

"Attempted?" the emperor shot back in disgust.

"He was rescued. By his friends. I could not get to him in time," Vader went on to explain.

"You failed to persuade him to become our ally and you also failed to destroy him when he would not. I had confidence in you, what happened?"

Vader straightened somewhat. "He is weakened--both mentally and physically. He will join us, I know."

The emperor nodded slowly. "Do you?"

"I have not failed you yet," Vader persisted. "You will have the boy in time..."

"I want him now, Vader!" the emperor cut in. "Dead or alive. As long as he is a member of the rebel alliance, I am threatened! I want him soon."

Vader took several deep breaths before answering. "Yes Master."

The emperor frowned deeply. "If you fail me again, you will have to face the consequences, do you understand?"

Vader looked up sharply. "What do you mean?"

"Simply, if you cannot fulfill this task, I will replace you with someone who can. Do you understand that?"

Vader lowered his head. "I understand...Master," he added with vexation.

The emperor nodded. "Good." The hologram disappeared.

The dark lord remained kneeling. He slowly raised his head and then cursed angrily. He rose.

Piett stood frozen by the door. He felt grateful he didn't have to contend with the emperor personally. He was ten times more frightening than Vader. At least you could halfway reason with Vader. For a brief moment, Piett understood why the dark lord drove his men the way he did. He himself was just as driven, just as threatened by failure.

Vader returned to his meditation chamber and sat down. He neither moved nor spoke and Piett began to wonder if maybe the Sith had forgotten he was even there. He glanced hopefully at the door then nervously at the dark lord.

Vader suddenly motioned the admiral to him. Piett sprang to life and bowed respectfully.

"Despite what has happened, we are not starting from scratch," Vader began evenly. "Han Solo is being taken to Jabba the Hutt. No doubt, Skywalker will try to retrieve him. We can monitor his movements from there."

Piett nodded. "Yes My Lord." He turned to leave. The door slid open before him. A welcoming invitation for flight, but he paused. "We'll find him. We'll double our efforts," he assured his commander. With that, he hurried out.

Original cover design by DarkATX. HTML formatting copyright 2001 TheForce.Net LLC.

Fan Fiction Rating

Current Rating is 8.77 in 241 total ratings.

Reader Comments

Add a comment about this Fan Fiction

Author: sith lady
Date posted: 4/18/2001 5:50:39 PM
sith lady's Comments:

I loved this story! It's well-written and the result is amazing!

Author: Jeff 42  (signed)
Date posted: 4/25/2001 4:33:38 PM
Jeff 42's Comments:

Wow! The story starts off well--it is interesting to think of what would happen on the Executor after the Falcon's escape, and you do a good job of getting into Piett's head. It only gets better as it progresses. The ending was simply wonderful. I love the analogy between Palpatine/Vader and Vader/Piett. Great job!

Author: DarkATX
Date posted: 4/26/2001 9:31:23 PM
DarkATX's Comments:

When I was about 10 years old and I saw the Empire Strikes Back with my folks, we all concluded the same thing...Piett was a dead man! After seeing Vader choke out 2 other officers for less, it was such a surprise to see him back in Return of the Jedi.
This story bridges the gap wonderfully. The subtle relationship between Piett, Vader and the Emperor was truly an eye-opener. A nice short-story that is worth telling.

Author: Inetguy
Date posted: 4/29/2001 1:55:58 PM
Inetguy's Comments:

There is a lot of truth to what you have written. In any order that uses fear instead of performance in obtaining results (the military, some corportations), these relationships DO EXIST.

The characters line of reasoning is pretty solid and flows well, but I think the dialog could be written more to character. In the films, Vader never mentions himself first person (I want, I have...) and Piett is less verbal. If you tightened up the dialog, I would give this fiction a 10. Very well done!

Author: Sither
Date posted: 5/2/2001 5:17:08 PM
Sither's Comments:

An incredible story, I loved it. This story somehow reminds me of Zahn's writing. A great idea for a plot!

Date posted: 5/11/2001 8:59:59 PM
JKTRAINING's Comments:

Wow! This is the second time I've read this, and I liked it just as much this time around.

Very well writen, and it really puts things in perspective. That picture of poor Piet hideing in a corner while Vader talked to the emperror. It actually made me feel sorry for Piet.

Author: Belle Bayard  (signed)
Date posted: 5/18/2001 11:41:10 AM
Belle Bayard's Comments:

Ah,I do love a good Vader story and Piett as an added treat! Very well done. Too bad Piett went down with the Executor. He would have been an excellent witness for the defense (too much Penitent on the brain here).

Author: Drfc
Date posted: 6/1/2001 5:48:09 PM
Drfc's Comments:

you did a great job getting into pietts head
and in making vader mentaly weaker in time for
shadows of the empire and return of the jedi

Author: Zim
Date posted: 6/7/2001 5:40:51 AM
Zim's Comments:

Very good! I like those behind-the-scenes fanfixes.

Author: Lancer635
Date posted: 6/25/2001 6:37:44 AM
Lancer635's Comments:

this story didnt jump out and grab me it just wasnt my type

Author: Frank Natera
Date posted: 7/5/2001 8:20:42 AM
Frank Natera's Comments:

Being a graphic artist, I couldn't help but picture the dramatic look that tis tale could have if made on film. All that can only be achieved by an inpecable writing. It made me want to illustrate the story in comic book form....hmmm, maybe we should!

Author: Inari_Icewalker
Date posted: 7/6/2001 11:11:01 AM
Inari_Icewalker's Comments:

I enjoyed this piece very much, and thanks for giving a real and genuine face to the Imperials some of us would call hero.

Author: Quiller  (signed)
Date posted: 7/27/2001 3:48:56 PM
Quiller's Comments:

Piett has always been one of my favorite Imperials, so I really appreciated seeing things through his eyes. You wove a very convincing tale.

Author: GruMpy2348
Date posted: 8/14/2001 9:57:21 AM
GruMpy2348's Comments:

This is a great story! I have read it more than once now and I just wanted to tell you.

Author: Ladybug  (signed)
Date posted: 8/15/2001 9:06:32 PM
Ladybug's Comments:

I loved this! Vader was written beautifully! Bravo!!

Author: x-imperial
Date posted: 8/22/2001 1:55:02 AM
x-imperial's Comments:

Well, considering it's my first story I've read here, I'd say; "Well done!"
It made me realize an aspect of the relationship between the emperor and Vader.
Nicely done.

Author: Teresa Martin
Date posted: 9/2/2001 10:54:31 AM
Teresa Martin's Comments:

This is terrific. The concept that evil is always motivated by fear was prevalent throughout the story. I also enjoyed the comment about the Lord Vader doing a better job of eliminating Imperials than a hired Rebel assassin ever could. Excellent!

Author: Mcily Nochi  (signed)
Date posted: 9/3/2001 4:01:36 PM
Mcily Nochi's Comments:

Very cool. A glimpse of the good inside Vader that Luke will later sense. There's hope for the Dark Lord!

Author: Gray_Leader
Date posted: 10/10/2001 7:04:05 PM
Gray_Leader's Comments:

Wow! A final explanation as to why Piett is the only Imperial Officer to fail Vader and survive. It was well written and could easily have been a seen straight out of ESB. Fans of Admiral Piett should check out

Author: C4GO
Date posted: 10/12/2001 12:22:36 PM
C4GO's Comments:

This is a very great story! You should write more like it!

Author: Jay
Date posted: 11/14/2001 9:55:11 AM
Jay's Comments:

Too many things that were always left unsaid but known between Empy and Vader should have stayed that way. Vader would never sqirm and Empy would never be so direct. Good attempt though!

Author: Jaina Kenobi
Date posted: 12/16/2001 11:08:27 AM
Jaina Kenobi's Comments:

Nicely written! I've always wondered why Piett didn't die and your story explained it wonderfully. I loved having the look into the other side of STAR WARS.

Author: Kenneth MacFarlane  (signed)
Date posted: 3/9/2002 8:12:00 AM
Kenneth MacFarlane's Comments:

That story was fab, I really enjoyed reading that and seeing Vader get knocked doan a peg or two from the Emperor, that opens up Vader and the Emperor's relationship in a new light.
Brillantly done!

Author: VadersGrrl
Date posted: 4/21/2002 7:46:24 PM
VadersGrrl's Comments:

I have to agree with Jay. The dialogue between Vader and the Emp was a little too explicit rather than implicit. I really don't think, after all this time in the Emp's service, Vader would HAVE to ask "What do you mean?" and Piett wouldn't need the explanation either. But, other than that, it was an interesting story :-)

Author: UrbanJedi  (signed)
Date posted: 7/12/2002 2:13:59 AM
UrbanJedi's Comments:

I am a big fan of what I like to call a "then what" fic. I'm never content with the movies and the books having an end because there is always something that happens next and those are the stories I like to read. I think that's why I love the EU so much because it never really ends. It just keeps going and going. Anyways, I loved this story. It was well told and a good story as to the reason Piett was never killed like the others. Good job!

Author: Nova
Date posted: 11/7/2002 8:49:28 AM
Nova's Comments:

Fascinating how someone as unimportant as Admiral Piett can expose the Anakin Skywalker underneath Vader's mask. This may have well been the incident that really did change Vader just in time for ROTJ. I was actually pretty surprised that Vader didn't just choke Piett or slice him in half.

Author: Death_Star_Trooper
Date posted: 2/8/2003 5:57:17 PM
Death_Star_Trooper's Comments:

cool story- i really liked it. Now i just wish that more people wrote stories that included Imperial officers.

BTW, I noticed a goof in ROTJ.

Captain Piett was promoted to Admiral in ESB, but when he is shown in the early Executor scenes, he has a Captain's badge.

Author: Bez-Han Aylaw
Date posted: 8/25/2003 11:16:49 AM
Bez-Han Aylaw's Comments:

I loved every part!
I really wanted to know what happened after the Falcon Escaped!

Author: Bez-Han Aylaw
Date posted: 8/25/2003 11:17:07 AM
Bez-Han Aylaw's Comments:

I loved every part!
I really wanted to know what happened after the Falcon Escaped!

Author: Lord_Malice  (signed)
Date posted: 3/1/2004 11:59:14 AM
Lord_Malice's Comments:

Not bad. A little out of character for Vader though since he was ever the loyal servant to Palpatine. Still, good concept here.

Author: Sernpidal  (signed)
Date posted: 4/22/2004 7:46:54 PM
Sernpidal's Comments:

Great!!! Its great! One of the best stories I have ever read!!!

Author: _princess_leia_
Date posted: 5/9/2004 6:28:23 PM
_princess_leia_'s Comments:

Yay, I got the 200th rating:)

Anyway, that was awesome, and I'm not really into this sort of Fan Fiction.

Author: Ani-maniac  (signed)
Date posted: 12/19/2004 2:55:16 PM
Ani-maniac's Comments:

I wanted to say that I enjoyed reading this a lot. It is a good lesson and explains why Piett was still alive. I personally think that in this story, Darth Vader was impressed that Piett would be brave enough to speak to him like that. One suggestion I have though, is that the speech between the officers at the beginning, does't seem very well... imperial. They always speek with perfect military correctness. And I don't picture Piett having an outburst infront of his men. (But I did like him telling the officer to be careful, because he would be in charge next:) These conversations sounded more like ones between Rebel officerss, who have less discipline. But aside from that it was an awsome story!

Author: GraphicX
Date posted: 1/2/2005 3:19:41 PM
GraphicX's Comments:

Wow, this story is so simple, yet the characters are so dynamic. Well only Piett is, but still. I liked this one a lot. Great job, except I think you could have been a bit more subtle about everything.

Author: Sith Man  (signed)
Date posted: 8/22/2005 7:14:07 AM
Sith Man's Comments:

Very good. I loved this fic. Definatly worth a rating of 10.

Author: Darth Slaya (Vader's Princess)
Date posted: 9/1/2005 4:02:29 PM
Darth Slaya (Vader's Princess)'s Comments:

Oooh man that was a good story i just wish that Peitt would have found out Luke was Vader's son that woyld have been halarious! but any way great story!

Author: Aglor  (signed)
Date posted: 12/4/2005 8:03:23 AM
Aglor's Comments:

Great story. And to think I thought Vader killed all of his officers.

Author: Cydon  (signed)
Date posted: 7/24/2006 1:35:24 PM
Cydon's Comments:

Well done, the only errors I saw were had to do with capitals. For example, Alliance instead of alliance because you are referring to a organization. Other than that, fabulous job I loved it and I hope to see more of your work.

Author: wover30  (signed)
Date posted: 3/5/2008 9:24:46 AM
wover30's Comments:

Wonderful missing scene, fits right in. Great job!


Author: Terrab Noen  (signed)
Date posted: 5/20/2008 3:43:21 PM
Terrab Noen's Comments:

I love Admiral Piett I'm happy someone took the time to recognize his awesomeness

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Archived: Tuesday, April 24, 2001

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