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by Snowleopardcheetah 

The rustling woke Rey, the sound of the vendor moving around inside the stall. She pushed herself up, shrugging off her blanket as she did. Irka was one of the calmer vendors, but Rey didn't want to test her tolerance. She bundled her sack of supplies in her blanket and crawled out of her makeshift tent.

It had been a good night, at least, she thought as she pulled her staff out behind her. No wandering scavenger had come near, no vendor had caught her asleep and chased her through the streets of Niima. It had happened several times before that Rey had spent the night against a certain stall, only to be awakened suddenly by an owner who believed she'd planned to steal from him.

A few short lengths of stripped wire pinned her piece of fabric to Irka's stall, forming a small space beneath for her to sleep. But now that morning had come, Rey tugged the wires free and let her tent fall. She bunched up the fabric and tucked it under her arm, heading for the spaceport.


Rey got the same sense of relief every morning she found her speeder right where she'd left it. It was too conspicuous to keep with her through the night, and staying with it at the small spaceport was asking for trouble. The best Rey could do was move it somewhere out of the way, disconnect the repulsors, and hope it would be overlooked. It hadn't been stolen yet, and Rey didn't want to think about what she would do if it was.

Rey repaired her little speeder and packed her supplies into the netting. But she didn't climb on just yet. As she always did, she found herself staring across the spaceport, looking for any unfamiliar ships... Or for one she might have remembered.

There was nothing she hadn't seen dozens of times before. She knew none of them held the people she was waiting for.

Rey couldn't stay. She made herself climb onto her speeder, turn away from the ships, and head out into the desert.


Rey's supplies took up a good amount of space in her speeder's netting. But short of burying them each day, there was nothing else she could do with them. She had tried in the past to fold up the tent and hang it off the side of the speeder as a bag, but half the time it would drop whatever she tried to put in it or fall off entirely. Still, the piece she was wrestling with would be able to fit in what space remained.

Rey was reaching around a twisted piece of metal to fully disconnect the repulsor. The X-wing it belonged to had crashed almost inside the engine vents of a fallen cruiser, allowing her to crawl over the top of the ship without too much discomfort from hot metal. But just as she worked the repulsor loose, she heard voices from outside the engine vent.

She tucked the repulsor under her arm and hurried to the mouth of the vent, looking around for the other scavengers. She saw a pair further down the cruiser's hull, working on a set of cannons. She left the cover of the vents, moving quietly towards her speeder. It was completely open desert, but if she could avoid their attention...

Rey heard a shout and looked up to see a third scavenger, standing guard by a larger speeder and looking directly at her.

Rey started running. She could usually hold her own, but three full-grown scavengers was too much for her. She could hear the two she'd seen calling out to their companion, shouting at him to start the speeder. She reached her own vehicle and stuffed the repulsor and her staff into the netting. She leaped on and started the engine, hearing the other craft start up a few seconds later.

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