It was the glint. The Stranger had been gone a full day now, having left you in the cave after armored men shuffled past the entrance. You began to wonder if this was what he had been looking for all along. Approaching the glint, you hesitated, wondering if it may be dangerous. This is, after all, the Jundland Wastes, the land of the Sand People, and the glint were not one of their traps, it could have been a trap left for them. But you knew the Stranger was looking for something valuable. You knew that he wouldn’t have called for a local to take him this far from civilization, if he wasn’t looking for something that shined like the glint.
The Stranger had offered to pay you enough to buy what you needed for your little project, the one you had building all your life. He did not talk much afterwards. He said you were allowed to ask three questions. You didn’t mind. All you wanted a rocket. Not one that would take you off-world. You weren’t skilled enough. But you needed to go as far up as the rocket would take you, and see what you could see from that height. You knew the planet only as far as the edge of the Dune Sea. But you wondered what else was beyond that.
So much for a little glint.
The glint was caused by the light reflecting a piece of dark glass, and as you dusted the dirt away, it revealed more glass, following the outline of a thin letter T. Where the glass ended was steel of faded red, and you reached under the glass and began to pull. It did not take long for the whole thing to come out of the ground, but you had tugged so hard that you tumbled backwards, letting the object go in the fall. The relic flew through the air and, hitting the ground, rolled towards the mouth of the cave. Quickly getting up, you ran to the source of the glint and found that it was nothing more than an old helmet.
The design, you realized, was familiar. A dome that covered the head completely. Apart from the red around the visor, pale shades of blue and green. In the next moment, the helmet’s colors were darkened by a shade.
“Stranger,” you said.
“So you found my treasure,” came the reply. “Do you know who this belonged to?”
It seemed the Stranger assumed that you did not care to know the answer. You waited, and he did not say anything, bending down instead to pick up the helmet and gaze upon its face. The Stranger turned and walked out into the light. You trailed behind him.
“We should go,” the Stranger said instead. “Before they track us down again.”
“Did you lead them away? The soldiers? Did you kill them?”
“My ship is not too far. If you come with me, I can bring you home.”
The ship was a mere stroll from the cave. Looking at it, you could not immediately discern which part was its top, as the glass canopy faced the sky. Like the helmet, the ship was green and red. You entered through what you surmised was its lower end. From outside, you could make out at least two seats under the canopy, turned as if they had been thrown backward.
“This is a stolen ship, isn’t it,” you said.
The Stranger hung the helmet on the ship’s wall. He climbed into the pilot’s seat, and without instructing you, waited until you had strapped yourself into the horizontal seat underneath him. The ship left the ground and ascended.
Finally the Stranger answered you. “There have been stories across the galaxy. Of things being stolen. Not just ships. Things like the helmet. It is said that the enforcer of the First Order keeps the head of Darth Vader. As a trophy. A talisman. He believes that he can become like Vader. But he does not wear it. He attempted to pursue the Resistance, to find the lightsaber of Luke Skywalker. But he failed and it was used against him. I do not care much for old things. But I have heard what they can do, and I believe in them.” The ship ascended, higher and higher into the atmosphere, until the horizon vanished below the edge of the glass. “I need a skilled scavenger. Someone who can help me find relics of the old wars.” For the first time, the Stranger turned to look over his shoulder at you. The sky turned into stars. “Do these things mean anything to you?”
You said no. You told him what your name was. You said you were no one. So you asked him again.