INT. JUNKED VESSEL/CORRIDOR — DAY
A metal sheet is pulled open to reveal the concealed face of a SCAVENGER.
In an upside-down, canted corridor, the scavenger is busy. Clad in a patched-together protective suit and opague filtration mask, a large pack and metal staff strapped to their back, a dim headlamp providing them the only illumination in this dark space, the scavenger is consumed with the task of removing mechanical components from inside a wall.
Finding a potentially valuable piece, the scavenger drops it in a satchel at hand. Slinging the bag over their shoulder, they shimmy down a cable, between treacherous walls of corroded machinery.
INT. JUNKED VESSEL/LARGER SPACE — DAY
Alone and tiny in this massive, sideways wreck, the scavenger descends, climbing down a long cable. They land hard onto rusty metal.
INT. JUNKED VESSEL/ENGINES - DAY
Booty in tow, the scavenger climbs over enormous pipes in the vast space, heading through the dust toward a distant slit of lesser darkness.
EXT. JUNKED VESSEL - DAY
The scavenger emerges. Sucking water from a feeding tube, they find their reservoir drained. Coaxing the final drops of moisture from the tube into their mouth, the scavenger looks to the horizon. Several kilometres into the distance but moving fast is a tremendous wall of wind-churned grit. It would not do to be caught in the open when that storm hits.
Leaving the wreck, the scavenger descends a slope of debris, taking care to maintain balance as loose bits shift under their weight. Reaching the bottom, the scavenger jogs over to their rusted ATV. Jumping atop, they fire the sputtery engine and head off.
EXT. STARSHIP GRAVEYARD - DAY
The scavenger speeds along the trash floor, through a graveyard of discarded starships.
EXT. NIIMA OUTPOST — DAY
The scavenger’s ATV passes us, heading for a grimy shanty town. Originally a series of connected prefab shelters, expanded with the addition of jury-rigged spacecraft sections, the hermetically sealed outpost serves as a place for refuelling and small trade.
EXT. NIIMA OUTPOST — COURTYARD — DAY
ATV parked, the scavenger unfastens the large sack of heavy found objects from the back. With the vigor of a tough seaman, the scavenger hauls the sack from their ATV to the front gate.
INT. NIIMA OUTPOST/ENTRANCE HALL — DAY
The inner airlock door slides open, admitting the scavenger inside. Sheltered from the toxic and caustic chemicals in the air outside, the scavenger pulls off the filtration mask, revealing the grimy, gaunt face of an otherwise beautiful young brunette. This is nineteen-year-old REY.
INT. NIIMA OUTPOST/CLEANING AREA — DAY
At one of the many cleaning tables, Rey scrubs clean her day’s salvage. Glancing up, she looks at an old woman, also cleaning salvage. Rey watches her, and for a moment is lost in pensive thought. A passing dwarf underling barks something to her. She returns to work.
INT. NIIMA OUTPOST/TRADING STRUCTURE — DAY
Rey looks up to a service window. Two feet above her, behind a protective screen, is her boss, UNKAR PLUTT. Hideously bloated and disfigured by severe allergic reactions and infections, he’s barely recognizable as human. He examines her pieces.
UNKAR PLUTT: What you’ve brought me today is worth … hmmm … one quarter portion.
Though disappointed, Rey barely shows it. She nods thanks. Plutt pushes through his transfer drawer a sealed packet: dried green meat in one section, beige powder in another. Swallowing her resentment, she takes it and heads off.
INT. NIIMA OUTPOST/BARRACKS/REY’S DWELLING - NIGHT
Rey’s one-room domicile, “generously” provided her on-site by her boss. Everything she owns is reclaimed. She cooks for one. Does everything for one.
She opens the powder and moves to the makeshift wok where the green meat sizzles. She pours the powder into milky water in a tin and stirs it; it grows into a loaf as she puts the meat on an old plate. She grabs the loaf.
Rey eating voraciously.
Every last drop consumed, the metal plate licked clean, Rey wipes her mouth. Reclining atop her cot, she gazes upon the opposing wall. Applied directly to the surface is a painting of her own creation. It is rough, limited to a palette of browns and yellows, yet surprisingly craftsmanlike. It depicts a desert vista from a planet Rey has never seen, the butterscotch sky supporting a pair of suns brighter in colour than the dull disc she has only known.