Posted by Darth Krzysztof
Maz Kanata’s voice, clearly meant for Zeva, caused her to stop in her tracks, leaving Kes to make her way across the main hall and out of earshot. Zeva turned back to the bar and looked into the little alien’s magnified eyes. Something akin to vertigo tugged at her brain stem as she saw a thousand years of life there – a deep well of feeling, of wisdom, of…
Wow, Zeva thought, reaching for the bar to steady herself. I’ve never met anyone like this before. And she’s just seen everything about me… EVERYTHING.
“Your secret’s safe with me,” Maz said quietly. “As I trust mine is safe with you.”
She needed a moment to answer: “Of course! Though, to be honest, I don’t understand what that secret is.”
“I know. Just think of me as a child of the light, the same as you.”
“Maz, I -”
“I know you have a thousand questions,” Maz said, “but our time is short.” She pointed past Zeva’s shoulder, where Kes, Caster, Bella, and J16 were half-shouting at each other.
“Are there any others?” The words tumbled from Zeva’s mouth before she could stop herself. “Any other Je- any like me? Or like you?”
Maz made a short, annoyed grunt that made Zeva think she’d asked the wrong question – but the moment passed, and the little alien spoke again in hushed tones. “There are. At least, there were. I helped a few find places to hide – and they need to stay hidden. A gathering of Jedi is a target for the Sith Lord and his servants.”
The shadow of Darth Vader passed over Zeva’s mind before she pushed him back down into her subconscious. “But… how can they stay hidden when the Empire is strangling the galaxy?”
“Because it’s not yet time.” Maz adjusted the lenses over her eyes to bring Zeva into sharper focus. “A Jedi once told me that she was tasked with making a trade agreement with a tribal chieftain. But, when she arrived, she found that he’d taken a vow of silence, which would only end when the drought that plagued his lands ended.” Seeing a hint of recognition, Maz added: “You know this story.”
“I knew this Jedi.” Master Tulu had told her this story whenever she felt taxed by her Padawan’s impatience. “She couldn’t make it rain, so she waited for it to rain. For three months.”
“A rain will fall, sooner or later.” Max glanced over at Kes and Caster before returning her attention to Zeva. “It always does.”
“So, what should I do? Find a cave and wait for it to rain?”
“You’d like me to tell you what to do.” Maz chuckled, a bit ruefully, as Zeva took offense. “I don’t blame you. Your Order always told you what to do. Even once you became a Knight – which was not so long ago, for you – the missions always came from them.”
“I have felt lost, ever since I… came back.”
She felt Maz’s tiny hand on her arm. “I know. You must become your own Jedi Council.”
Zeva remembered something she’d said to Kes back in the Sidori Star Cluster: that Silent Destiny was her new Jedi Order, and that the Captain was her one-woman High Council. But I’m the last Jedi, Zeva thought, or I might as well be. That makes me the High Council, our ship is the Republic, and Kes is the Supreme Chancellor…
“I still don’t know your name,” Maz said, recapturing Zeva’s attention.
“Mmm. I don’t envy the burden you carry, Zeva. But you’ve found yourself a good ship. A good crew. And you need each other – in the long term and the short.” Maz nodded at a trio of humans, surrounding the massive bulk of a Mantellian Savrip with some sort of little reptile riding his shoulders. They all wore matching jumpsuits, with the unmistakable patch of the Hounds of Winter on their arms.
“I see what you mean,” Zeva said.