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Published at 9th of January 2019 03:46:40 PM

Chapter 4

Jakku was once the scenario of one of the most imporrtant battles that put an end to war between the Old Empire and the Rebel Alliance 30 years ago . The battle of Jakku was the final battle where both sides bet everything and in the end the New Republic was born and the Empire was forced to sign the Galactic Concordance . The celebrations and and parties lasted for many years in all the galaxy . However, Jakku did not change at all and when the war ended and the survivors went to celebrate, the people from Jakku was forgotten and left with all the trash and junk from the conflict . Speeders used by the land forces to make ambushes and fast attacks, starfighters and TIE fighters which were shot down after cruel and hard battles . Bombers who missed their targets and ATATs whoch were taken down after who knows how many sacrifices . Star destroyers who fell down from the atmosphere and now covered many places of this desert planet as a testament of how destructive and collosal this battle was .

The people that lived in the planet did not complain, quite the opposite in fact since they learned to make of this junk a way of living . Nobody remembers what the original natives of this planet used to do before to survive but after the battle of Jakku the majority of population, for not saying all of it had a main occupation: Scavenging .

The work was simple and very straightforward . Go to a wreckage from the battle of Jakku, enter the ships and find anything that can still be used, clean it and bring it to the nearest post . Get your payment, which in the majority of case was in food rations, and then return next day with more usable parts . One could believe that this job would simply stop sooner or later when all usable parts are ran out, and that would be a logical assumption, except for the fact that today, even after 30 years, there were still unnumerable wreckage sites and many others which had not been discovered or touched due to the danger and difficulty of the zone where they were and even in the ships that had been already searched, some lucky scavenger managed to still find parts that others had overlooked . In simple words, the battle of Jakku had been so massive that the quantity of vehicles, ships and weaponry was simply infinite and did not seem to end any time soon .

In one of the many sites where scavengers used to look for pieces and equipment which was a crashed star destroyer, a young and agile girl was hanging from a rope many meters above the floor while looking inside one of the several internal systems of the abandoned steel giant .

- "I knew it!"- she said with a victorious voice when she found a power conductor which was in an excellent conditions- "It seems I will eat today . "

She placed the part carefully on her bag and after making sure there was not anything else, she used the rope to descend to the floor with care . She may have continued looking for more pieces, but she knew that it was already late and she had to return and exchange what she already had .

- "I just hope that Fishblob is in a good mood today"- she said to herself while taking off her hood and grabbing her water bottle and noticing there was not much left .

She drank the rest of the liquid avidly and licked her lips wishing for more . She sighed and put the canteen away while placing the parts she had salvaged in a piece of metal she used as slider and skid down the dune of sand where the star destroyer was . She guided the simple slider in direction of a speeder that was waiting for her some distance away . Once she was near, she stood up and dragged the piece of metal to her vehicle and started to place the new findings to the ones that were already placed in the bag of the speeder . After some moments, everything was secured and she started the speeder and dashed away at maximum speed crossing the desert in direction of the nearest post .

- "This is definitely faster than before"- she said while being alert and checking her surroundings .

Many people would look at her speeder with ridicule and would laugh at her for riding such a crude vehicle, but Rey would not change her hovercraft for anything . ot only was this speeder of great help to her and allowed her to scavenge faster and in more quantity than before, but one has to consider that it was built from scratch by her . Some years ago, she had found the schematics in a memory system and she had managed to slowly gather the materials after many years . She still felt a pain in her heart remembering all the parts that she had ruined and wasted in her early attempts to build it .

- "I could have exchange them for so many rations . . . "- she said grumpily as she tried to forget those bad memories- "but I can't complain now . . . "

After many failures she finally built the speeder and now it was definitely a boost in her job . In that moment she finally saw the silhouette of her objective: The Niima Post where she could exchange the parts she got for food and other necessities .

- "Hello, Rey"- said one of the guards that patroled the surroundings of the post- "already decided to come and live with me? I will treat you well . . . "

Rey ignored the guard and rode in direction of the mechanic trading area . Those guards were just lowlives who had been hired by the Boss of the post in order to keep the are safe and free of disturbances and possible threats to him . Rey knew that thug had already three "partners" and he used to beat them after getting drunk practically every day . She arrived to the place where the Boss of the post made the deals and unloaded all the parts she had . However, she had to clean the parts first and the Boss was very strict about using the facilities he provided for cleaning the parts found in order to avoid reselling and stolen goods from other posts . Otherwise, he would simply not buy the parts and then you would have to go to another post to trade which would cost you many weeks of travel . For this reason, the scavengers had to put up with the rules the Boss implemented as they had no better option .

- "It's full today"- Rey said while looking for a free space in the cleaning area after she got the tools that she needed from the drawers around her .

After some minutes, she finally found a spot and she started the tedious process of scrubbing and polishing the old parts as much as she could since she knew that the level of cleanliness would affect the payment she would received . An hour passed and she was about to finish when she felt her arms and back stiffed . She breathed and tried to stretch when she saw an old lady doing the same job she was doing . Rey saw this fragile and weak woman using her bony and trembling hands which barely showed any meat under the wrinkled skin trying her best to polish and scrub an electrical fuse that seemed to be from a starfighter . The scene should not have been rare for Rey who lived in a planet in which practically everyone worked in scavenging and the trade of mechanical parts, but for some reason today, Rey felt that she could not looked away from this woman as if she was entranced by her .

- "It's been 19 years already . . . "- she said watching her own hands and the piece she was cleaning- "how much time more will I have to wait?"

As far as she could remember, Rey had always been in this planet fighting every day to survive . In order to feed herself she had immediately started working by cleaning mechanical parts under the orders of different "colleagues" who many times just exploited her in exchange of a ridiculous amount of food and a little space to sleep . Of course, not all of them were bad and some of them even taught her patiently the different tricks of the bussiness like how to recognize a good piece of equipment from a bad one or how to decide where to look in the wreckages . One important skill she was taught was to name the different parts and equipment that she found and know what fuctions they had in the entire system .

- "If you don;t know what you're selling"- had said one of them while explaining her the function of certain shiny circuit- "people will scam you and give you much less of what they should, so you'd better learn about your goods . "

And she did and after some years she was able to hundreds of different parts and what they were used for even if she had never seen them working for real . After that experience, Rey understood a very important lesson, that no matter if someone is good or bad, all of them had something that she could learn and she always kept her eyes open and ready to make those tricks hers . She had to, she would starve otherwise .

- "She has good intuition and instinct"- many of her colleagues would say about her- "she's a quick learner . "

Many of those good people that had seen her potential had even proposed her to leave the planet with them, but Rey had always declined their offers and in many occasions, she needed all her will strenght to do so . The reason was simple and easy to understand .

- "I'm waiting for my parents"- she had said every time someone tried to convince her to leave- "they will return for me and I have to be here or they will be worried . "

From time to time, she went to check the new space ships that arrived to Jakku with the illusion that maybe in one of those her parents would come for her to pick her up . Many years had passed and inside her the doubt and harsh reality was starting to sink . . . However, she still refused to let that small hope go .

- "Baykunn shomekta"- a pitch voice talked to her in an agressive tone and made Rey stop her reverie- "gogomichta arekla!"

Even if one couldn't understand the language of the alien, one still would be able to tell that it was not being nice . Rey hurried up remembering that other people were waiting for a spot for the cleaning process .

- "Look who is back"- said the Boss called Unkar Plutt or as the scavengers called him "Blobfish"- Did you think in my offer? do you want to return and work for me?

- "I'm fine for now"- she said forcing a bitter smile- "but if something happens I'll consider it"

- "I see"- said Unkar with a dissapointed look and started to count and analize the pieces she had brought . After some minutes he gave Rey a serious look- "What you brought me today is worth . . . mmm . . . one quarter portion . "

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Rey bit her lips trying to control her anger . It was very obvious that he was getting revenge for her rejection . Every time that she brought materials, he asked her to work with him and every time she declined, he offered less food for more parts . She looked at him with more attention as she had done so many times before .

Unkar Plutt (nicknamed by others as Blobfish) was a Crolute who instead of living in a planet full of water as the majority of his species, had chosen to be in a desert one . He normally didn't go out from his bunker and none doubted that he was the absolute tyrant of Niima Post with every scavenger under his rule even if one was considered a "freelance" since this post was the only one in the area . According to the stories she had heard, many years ago there were many gangs and thugs competing for the area, but using deceit and underhanded methods, Unkar had managed to make athe competence mysteriously dissapear and had made the Niima Post his personal little kingdom protected by the thugs he paid to take care of unwanted bussiness or people, so none would even try to be on his bad side . Even if the deal he was offering was a blatant scam Rey knew better than trying to complain .

- "Get the food and go"-he said grinning with satisfaction- "there is a line behind you . "

When she was younger, Rey had worked for him and she must say thatshe had enjoyed of his resources and protection . Of course, Unkar had treated well not out of generosity but because of Rey's skill since she was considered one of the best scavengers in Jakku despite her age . Sometimes she had even believed there was some heart under those scales but in moments like these she really wanted to punch his face but she knew that if she annoyed him, the next time he would offer even less so she swallowed her anger and just picked up the food ration before going out .

- "Give me some of those and these ones too"- Rey went to the other side of the post to buy other ingredients and materials . She knew that the rations of today would not be enough so she had to complement her diet with some cheap vegetables and maybe fruit if she was lucky to find some .

- "Did you hear about Tuanul?"- Rey heard some of the scavengers that were in the zone making small talk- "They said that Tuanul Village was destroyed and all its inhabitants killed"

- "Yes, terrible bussiness"- said the other person with a scared expression- "I heard the First Order attacked them for not paying the quota they asked from them . "

- "Humph! Those animals are getting more and more daring!"- said the first scavenger- "The republic just ignores them and pretend they don't exist . "

- "The Republic is weak"- said his companion- "only the Resistance can stop the First Order . "

- "Shh! Don;t say that"- said the scavenger looking around very nervous- "we don't know if they are here . Let's talk later . "

Rey had listened with attention and she felt very sad for the victims of the Village of Tuanul . She had passed over there some years ago and the people seemed very nice, especially the leder who seemed to have a very kind and noble aura . This was the fifth time he had heard tha rumour so she knew this news was true . She felt anger for the First Order and wished that the Resistance would make them pay .

- "If I could fight too . . . "- she thought but then she shook her head and dismissed the idea- "I have to wait for my parents . . . after that, maybe I can help the Resistance . "

She smiled knowing that the odds were practically non-existent and decided to return home in her speeder . After some hours she arrived to her home which was the remains of a destroyed ATAT Hellhound-Two left after the battle of Jakku . At beginining she thought it was not a good place since the Goazon Badlands where it was was known as a dangerous barren land where nothing could grow . However, when she inspected the place, she had discovered a green spinbarrel flower just some milimiters of height, but for Rey it was a shocking discovery and one that gave her strenght . After all, if such a weak and small flower could survive in such a harsh environment, then she could also .

- "Big or small . . . life always finds a way no matter how difficult it is"- She said like a mantra while watering the plants that she kept as a reminder of this notion- "Even in this barren place, I'll thrive if I'm strong . . . "

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She was not always so positive . As you can imagine the life of a small girl surrounded by thugs was harsh and many times cruel and to survive she developed a very cold and unemotional attitude towards life and other people . She was a pessimist and thought that everything permitted in order to survive . She literally could see someone dying in front of her and she would not feel anything whatsoever . And then he arrived .

- "You'll be in charge of the girl while not in service"- said one day Unkar Plutt when she was just 7 years old- "follow his orders, girl . "

Rey just looked at the new arrival with uninterested eyes . She could not see his face since it was covered by a hood, but he was big and Rey could tell that he was very strong .

- "What's your name?"- he asked and his voice more like a growl but it was not threatening .

- "Rey"- she had said then with curious eyes- "and you?"

The man got closer to her and he took off his hood . Rey opened her eyes in surprise when he saw his face . She had never heard of this species before but later she would learn that they were called Shistavanen and they were a warrior class . He was very hairy and his eyes were of silver color with very sharp teeth . He had claws in his hands and legs and the muscles were still visible under the thick hair that covered the most of his body .

- "My name is Biron Hovrak"- he said looking at Rey with those hypnotic eyes- "I'be been hired to be a bodyguard and also as your protector . "

And like that Rey met the most important person in her life . Biron or "Broom" as she used to call him was a veteran and the strongest fighter Rey had seen . He was able to handle three enemies at the same time and Rey had seen people running in terror after he just glared at them . He was powerful and honorable but at the same time, he was very kind with her . Broom was more than a protector for Rey . He was a master, friend, confident and had a good balance between care and discipline . He was very strcit but he was never cruel and he always made her feel safe and protected . Rey would even say, he was the father that she was always waiting for .

- "How many time do I have to repeat this?"- Rey had asked one day when Broom had taught her how to fight with the quarterstaff- "I'm tired . "

- "Just 200 times more"- had said Broom grinning at her- "you were the one who asked me to teach you how to fight . . . remember?"

- "Yes . . . "- replied Rey who felt her small muscles cry in pain- "but I thought you would teach me those moves you did yesterday . . . "

- "You're still green for that"- said Broom laughing at her- "if you want me to teach you, I'll teach you correctly . . . you must have strong fundaments to be a powerful warrior . There are no shortcuts . . . so continue with the forms or just give up . You choose!"

And Rey continued with those ridiculous movements again and again while calling Broom many names in low voice . The warrior just grinned and corrected her when she made a mistake . Something that people didn't know was that Shistavanen were warriors that followed a very strict code of honor and Broom passed those values on Rey since the moment they met . He taught her how to fight hand-to-hand and how to use a quarterstaff but more importantly, he gave her values and taught her how to be a responsible person . After 8 years under his guidance, Rey had reached what Broom had called a "Not bad" level .

- "Not bad?"- she asked indignantly- "I can defeat people who are older and stronger than me . "

- "Thats why I said you're not bad"- he said with his usual grin while he hit her forehead with his finger- "You're unmatched . . . against thugs and mad scavengers . But you wouldn't last even three moves against someone who has been trained . . . Never try to fight against a trained soldier . That's only asking for an early death . "

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Broom had died after he was ambushed while transporting some goods for Unkar Plutt . 6 attackers were necessary to take him down but he took all of them with him and in the end he protected the goods . He died doing his duty and it could be considered an honorable death in his opinion .

- "I'm a warrior so i know I'll die in battle"- he had said one day while drinking and laughing totally drunk- "I don't expect to die in peace . I just hope it's a satisfactory battle . "

Rey cried until she felt she had no more tears and she felt as if her heart had been ripped apart but Broom had taught her to be strong and he went on . Rey never stopped practicing with her quarterstaff and now after 4 more years, she had gotten a level where not many could defeat her one on one in Jakku . She would never forget Broom or his teachings and she would always live honoring this Shistavanen warrior who changed her life .

She sighed and tried to cheer up while marking the wall of her house with a new scratch to remind her of the days she had been here . She prepared the food she had gotten from the parts she had exchanged by dissolving the portion of food in water until this inflate in a kind of bread that she could eat . It was bland and not very delicious but it was nutritious and it was all she had apart from some sour vegetables that she managed to interchange with merchants from out of the planet .

She went out to eat while watching the horizon and saw a ship flying out of the planet . She smiled to this and put on a helmet she had found in a wreckage from a starfighter .

- "Systems ready, Captain!"- she said in a playing tone .

According to the name on it, this Helmet used to be from Captain Dosmit Raeh . she always played with the helmet inventing stories where she and the captain flew across the galaxy saving innocents and fighting the evil and wicked . She found it inside a starfighter wreckage along with what she considered her most treasured finding . It was a computer display from an old BTL-A4 Y-wing assault starfighter/bomber . This old system not only had helped her in learning alien languages, but it had also provided her with schematics of Republic and Imperial starships, and a basic level training program for beginner pilots .

- "What's the next destination, Captain?"

She always dreamed to escape from this planet and fly but she had to wait for her parents . In moments like this when she didn't have anything to do, she started to feel lonely and depressed . She missed Broom so much and she wished she could talk to him again .

Why did their parents have to go?

Why have they not returned?

Will she stay alone until she is like that old woman she saw in the cleaning facilities?

Will she die alone pretending to be a pilot and a hero knowing that she is just a powerless scavenger?

Is this really all that there is for me?

She felt a huge sadness and depression while watching at the horizon where more ships were abandoning Jakku and dissapearing into the stars . In that moment, she heard some beeping sounds and she understood them . There was a droid asking for help . She stood up and heard to find the source of the sounds . She took her quarterstaff and ran on that direction feeling that at least now she had something to distract her from her bad thoughts . Little she knew, this moment would change her destiny forever . . .Please download our sponsor's game to support us!