Niima Outpost was a scraggly place. A sandy place. An unfortunate place.
But sometimes, it could be magical, in a Jakku sort of way.
Well, it might’ve been because Rey just wanted to find something wonderful about the outpost that required her to scavenge to eat.
But she loved seeing community, and today, for some reason, every villager that had a speeder were competing in a race. The scavengers had even set up a course.
Rey smiled as she dismounted her own speeder. This would be fun to watch.
But nothing was that easy. One moment she was observing the competition, the next she saw Unkar Plutt walking towards her with that ugly, pink face.
“You’re going to participate,” he said.
“What if I don’t want to?” Rey asked, shrinking away from Unkar as if to mount her speeder and drive away.
He crossed his flabby arms. “Then you’ll be missing out on 15 portions!”
Rey stopped. Her mouth fell. No scavenger ever got 15 portions! She couldn’t deny such an offer.
So with a determined expression, she donned her cowl, shifted her goggles, and got on her speeder.
Minutes later she was at the line, gazing at the few scavengers competing in the race. They looked at her with scowls, knowing whoever won would obtain food which would last for days–weeks.
The next thing she knew, an onlooker blew a horn, and all of them were speeding through the sand.
Rey went into a trance, twisting around the obstacles ahead, executing stunning maneuvers she guessed no other competitor could do.
The next thing she knew, she saw the finish line, the finish line made of scrapped junk. A smirk came to her face. This was wonderful.
And then suddenly there was a great jerk and she was spun off-course. Her goggles flew off her eyes and she shrieked.
When her speeder finally stopped, she was meters from the finish line and every scavenger had finished. She watched in wide-eyed disbelief as Unkar Plutt awarded the winner with packets upon packets of food.
And at that moment she realized he had purposely made her lose, for a thug stood beside him brandishing an object capable of blowing a speeder off target.
One day she would get off this planet, and Unkar Plutt would never see her again.