Nothing grows on Jakku. Nothing is produced here, there’s no industry, hardly any native species. Everything here is something that was thrown away.
Rey bites her lip, scrunches up her face, and refuses to think about that anymore. She can’t afford to cry - it wastes water, she’s known that for as long as she can remember - and she can’t afford to waste time either. She has to find something worth trading in soon, or else she won’t have anything to eat tonight. She’s gone too long without already - soon her arms will be too weak to climb, and she won’t be able to come back from that.
No time to think. Focus on the wreck. There’s something useful in it, she’s sure.
It’s an old Imperial ship, probably - most of them are, in this sector - and it’s already been passed over by some of the other scavengers. Everyone here is a scavenger or a trader in scavenged parts, and Rey isn’t the fastest or strongest or even the cleverest. But she’s here anyway, because she has a feeling that there’s something useful left over.
She trusts these feelings, when she gets them - go to that wreck and not the other, hold out for a better trade or just go home, a sandstorm is coming so find cover. Rarely clear or explainable, just: and this is what you do next. Sometimes she’s half way through an action before she understands it’s the right one. But it keeps her alive, so she doesn’t question it. There were a lot of things she doesn’t question.
The sand shifts under her feet as she inches closer. If she gets caught in the sand there’s no one who would try to rescue her, so she doesn’t get caught. The sand eats everything eventually, but she can’t let it get her yet. She has to survive long enough. She doesn’t waste time asking how long “long enough” is going to be, either, and instead shoves her staff into a gap in the frame so that she can lever the ship open and get inside.
The passageways in the ship are smaller than she expected - maybe that’s why the other teams haven’t stripped it bare yet. It’s a personal craft, she thinks, not for deploying troopers. She’s learned a lot about ships, from chatter at the trading post and still-active ship computers. There’s a lot that she doesn’t know, but it’s better to focus on what she does know.
This is Jakku. Her name is Rey. She can trade items for food. She can take apart a speeder in a couple of hours. Her family will be back soon. There’s something she can use in this ship.
Rey is still small, and she doesn’t think she’ll ever get much bigger, and she’s made a pretty good trade in being able to get at things the other scavengers are too big to get at - she can fit in maintenance shafts, strip wiring out of control panels in seconds. The volume isn’t as good, but she makes up for it in quality. It’s enough to get by.
She carefully works her way through the ship. It’s tilted, the back half of the ship already eaten by the sand, but Rey’s balance is pretty good. She passes what must have been a personal room - no smell of corpses, thankfully, even though they don’t last long here - and glances inside. There’s a bed built into the wall, shattered electronics all over the floor - nothing usable, though. There’s something brown and fragile looking sticking out of the shards of a pot - Rey thinks it’s supposed to be green, but she isn’t sure why she thinks so.
Following her feeling deeper into the ship, Rey has to stop at a closed door. The power systems of the ship have long since run out, so none of the doors work on their own - some of them broke open in the crash, some of them left open by fleeing crew, but this one is mostly shut. Not enough room for her to get through, as small as she is, but enough to shove her staff in and lever it open. Her staff is an old gear shaft, scavenged from one of the star destroyers that litter the desert, but it works to get the door open.
There’s something humming at the edge of her hearing, not quite a noise, and not quite a Feeling, but she follows it deeper into the room anyway. It used to hold a speeder, and now holds pieces of a speeder - engine block in pieces against the wall, chassis twisted and half imbedded. Rey pauses, half to it - speeders explode when they crash. She’s seen the aftermath before, heard people talk about it around the trading post, complaining that there’s nothing left to salvage afterwards. It’s because of -
Rey moves on instinct, rooting through the chunks of the engine block pilled against the wall to find -
-the power cell, the most fragile part of a speeder, the most valuable part of it, hole and unbroken and humming in her hands. She swallows, and thinks about how much food it could buy her. Enough to last until her family returns, maybe. Or she could even - her fingers clench on the casing for the energy cell, feeling vaguely guilty for the thought but thinking it anyway -
She can take apart a speeder in a couple of hours. She knows how they work. The hardest thing to find is the power cell, sitting in her hands. Anything else she can find or trade for - she thinks she knows where she could find a repulsor engine that could use this model, and a frame sitting abandoned out past the trading post…
No one makes anything on Jakku. Everything is shipped in, traded for scraps. There’s nothing new here, just the forgotten pieces of the old. But maybe…/she/ can make something. Or try to, at least.
It’d be something to do until her family comes back, at least.