Chapter 22

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Rey leaned heavily on a nearby pole. She wheezed and looked down as more blood was steadily pumping out of her injured leg. A few passersby hurried past this unknown person who had suddenly staggered into their small town looking for help.

Rey looked around. In the many vendors around her, none of them seemed to have something that could help. She stumbled forward as merchants loudly announced their wares. She ignored those who dared call out to her. Upon reaching a clearing in the vast number of tents, Rey looked up to see some sort of trade system set up. A large being sat in a container with all his goods while a line of others slowly trudged up to trade in their findings for what seemed like packets, of white stuff.

'This could be my best bet. Even if it's dangerous. ' Rey thought.

The guy in the container didn't seem to amicable.

Shrugging away bad feelings, Rey joined the line. She nursed her bad leg while waiting what seemed like forever. Finally, she was at the front, and face-to-face with the person who could possibly determine her fate.

'That seriously sounds really foreboding...', Rey thought nervously.

She clamped a hand on the counter in front of her. The sour face of the merchant stared down at her and grunted.

"Please, sir. My leg is injured. Do you have something to help my wounds?" Rey asked, trying to sound as pitiful as possible. "I'll-I'll give you s-something in return."

The merchant didn't reply. He examined her leg.

"I'd expect a little bit more for these bandages. Maybe you'd fetch a good profit with work." he responded before dumping a small pile of bandages on the table, grudgingly.

Rey dipped her head and took them quickly before he changed his mind. She limped away until she was a good distance from that glare of his.

Having taken a good part of the day to get to the village, Rey was starting to feel the tiredness from days without any real sleep. She plopped down onto the sand with cover from hanging clothes. The scent of something good cooking relaxed her. Shifting uncomfortably on top of the sand, Rey took the little she had gained to started firmly wrapping them around her injured leg. A cooling sensation enveloped the pain. Rey stopped gritting her teeth. She fell back into the sand, breathing heavily in relief.

She turned her head and heard a commotion. Lifting herself up slowly, Rey saw what looked like some sort of police force apprehending what must have been an illegal goods dealer. She watched in interest before realizing that she could be in trouble, too. Several villagers had already gave her anxious glances and were approaching the police. Stumbling, Rey supported herself with a table before trying to calmly walk away from the scene. Some were already pointing at her and whispering to their colleagues. She quickened her pace. Then there were shouts that were probably directed at her to stop. Turning, Rey saw the markings of a constable moving after her with another enforcer.

The cold relief that the bandages provided had numbed the pain, Rey realized. Her walking had turned to jogging and now running. She weaved between a number of people and vendors, trying to lose her pursuers, but their calls for her to stop could still be heard clearly. Up ahead though, the large expanse of sand could be seen stretching out before her. There was no way she could lose them out in the open. Fortunately, Rey turned and spotted a large water trough, for the desert yaks, probably. Seeing no other escape, Rey stumbled over to the trough and dashed behind it. A yak came up to drink and looked at her warily. Rey scrunched her eyes closed and hoped that it didn't suddenly decide to make a commotion.

The constable and his partner appeared from behind one of the merchant stores. They glanced around. The constable peered around the edge of the village and the other squinted out into the desert. Rey looked past the furry yak cautiously.

"She's gone, Zuvio", Rey thought the constable's partner mutter.

The constable, Zuvio, she guessed, made a reply, but she couldn't hear it. The two disappeared back into the village maze.

Rey slumped down behind the water trough in relief. She stared out over the empty desert before her. In the distance, a wavy image of an Imperial ship could be seen collapsed in the sand. Rey did a double take. She squinted. Even past the intense heat in the distance, the ship could still be seen, but Rey was too tired to investigate further. She closed her eyes.

And a wave of water splashed onto her from behind.

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