I SAW YOUR "#cyberpunk baze x chirrut?" TAG AND NOW I'M THINKING -- chirrut as the badass techno-monk still loyal to his destroyed order, baze as a Bodyguard For Hire With A Big Gun, ughhhhh i can see it so clearly in my head and i love it
Star Wars is basically one step away from cyberpunk anyway, just add more neon and stick everyone on one planet instead of a billion, et voilà.
Chirrut works as a technomancer, able to communicate with and manipulate computers directly without needing code or terminals or cybernetic implants. He came by his abilities not through the self-taught survival-of-the-fittest lessons of the street, nor through sinister experimentation by one of the Megacorps, but through good old-fashioned techno-religion. His bond with the very web of cyberspace becomes the stuff of legends on both the mainstream and shadow ‘nets. This flickering presence known as The Monk, who slips through firewalls and cyber sentries like so much tissue paper, who runs his digital fingers through classified archives and top-security files pretty much whenever and however he pleases, whose reported exploits far exceed the number of places he’s actually been in.
Even glimpsing his avatar requires feats of hacking accessible only to the top tiers of hackers, the legends say, and a confirmed Monk sighting goes onto a person’s net profile like an elite badge of honor, good for both reputations and credit accounts. The legends have also embroidered the description of Chirrut’s avatar way beyond the actual mask of bits and bytes that he assumes when he goes into cyberspace - he particularly enjoys the fanfics that feature flames, or improbably giant swords, or improbably glowing armor, or all three at once - but most of them eventually boil down to a few common threads: a beautiful man with Chinese features, wearing traditional robes, disarming your defenses in a single glance of his eerie, blank white eyes.
But as invincible as The Monk may be in cyberspace, commanding the very hardware of its machinery to bend to his will, he has a weakness. Which is simply the weakness of any hacker, down to the most ordinary - when he’s plugged in, he can’t defend his own body.
Company enforcers know that. Rival hackers know that. Anyone Chirrut has ever crossed, from the Megacorp that bought out and razed his religious order, to the most recent two-bit mob boss he humiliated and laid bare to the sharks of the underworld, and continuing on down the list, knows that.
So that’s where Baze comes in.
Baze - to put it in the simplest terms - has a really big gun.
He started life as a fully organic, ordinary genetic human. That’s all ancient history by now, seriously - the reason why his Wuxing IST-Tech 45 plasma-cell cannon has so much concentrated firepower, and why it’s so deadly accurate in his hands, is because strictly speaking, there’s no boundary between the cannon and his hands. Cybernetic implants in his limbs, his body, his eyes - even his brain - turn him into a living weapon, one that maintains the firepower and accuracy even if by some miracle he’s separated from his primary weapon.
His reputation takes longer to grow and spread than Chirrut’s, in part because it’s a fair few years before anyone realizes the quiet-but-menacing mercenary with minor-but-solid street cred operating in a single medium-size city within the Sino-Pacific Trade Group is connected to the much-rumored but somehow even more elusive bodyguard of the internationally-famous Monk. Is, in fact, the same person. (Chirrut still likes to gleefully send him text strings from shadow ‘net forums regarding wild conspiracy theories pulling together highly improbable shreds of evidence to pinpoint the entirely wrong person as the identity of The Monk’s Protector.)
As Chirrut’s daring deeds spread across cyberspace, undermining corporate structures, propping up rebellions, sabotaging exploitative operations, declawing predators and giving teeth to prey, so too does the manhunt for The Monk. Over the years, Baze stops taking as many merc jobs that require him to leave Chirrut’s side, because he simply cannot trust that his partner won’t hook into the ‘net while he’s gone, dancing with wild abandon across the strands of the matrix that runs their world. And, incidentally, leaving himself a completely empty physical shell lying comatose amongst cushions on the floor of their shared apartment. A heavily fortified apartment, but still.
After one particularly long week, which features three highway chases, four days of hopping from safehouse to safehouse, thirty hired hitmen (spaced out over the week), too much expended ammunition to bear thinking about, and a fuckload of cleanup - flesh-eating nanobots do not come cheap, let me tell you, and neither do plasma cartridges - Baze decides to say something.
“You could at least take a few paying jobs, since I can’t anymore,” he grumbles while he takes one of his guns apart for maintenance. “Thanks to you,” he adds, because sometimes it takes many repetitions of an idea for Chirrut to come to grips with it.
“Yes, we will eventually starve. Soon I will be nothing but an insubstantial ghost, just a spirit swaying in the digital breeze, blown wherever the matrix wills it. I think I’d make quite an attractive ghost, don’t you think?” Chirrut says, leaning back from his meditation pose and stretching, tilting his chin up and exposing a delicious stretch of throat that has Baze clamping down on a highly annoyed spark of lust. “You, on the other hand, would make for quite a large lump of a corpse, come to think of it. Hmm.”
Baze snorts. “You didn’t act like you were kissing a corpse last night,” he says, and Chirrut waves a hand.
“No, no, you’re right. I prefer you in non-corpse-form. Very well then,” and he unfolds with the startling grace that he has - the same physical capability that’s stymied more than one assassin expecting an infirm, out-of-shape hacker - and bounds over to fold into Baze’s lap, who hastily retracts the gun into his arm compartment. Chirrut cups his cheek, running light fingers over exposed metal ridges and surgery scarring. “For you, my beloved, I will take a paying contract. How much should the Monk charge for his services, I wonder?”
Baze raises an eyebrow under Chirrut’s hand, not bothering to conceal his surprise at his partner’s easy capitulation. “For you? You could probably ask for anything you want. Couple million creds, to start with, and going up from there.”
Chirrut’s pupils contract in the way that indicates he’s pulling something up on his internal HUD. “I have here a humble request,” he says, stretching out the word ‘humble.’ “From someone designating herself Mon Mothma. Came in just a few hours ago.”
Baze raises his other eyebrow. Mon Mothma of Alliance Corp? Everyone in the shadow world knows by now it’s just a front for one of the many proletarian movements seeking to break the grip of the oligarchy. Ironic that she’s funding it with wealth gained through her own corporation. But she can pay handsomely.
Chirrut bends forward to kiss his eyebrows. “I take it you approve.”
“You’ve vetted it already,” Baze says.
Chirrut scoffs. “You could have left that thought unvoiced and saved yourself the energy,” he says, and Baze rolls his eyes.
“When’s the verification meeting?”
“Tomorrow, in the Prosperity District. At a very nice café for the finest tea in the region, the reviews tell me.”
Right in the heart of downtown, in the shadow of every major Megacorp skyscraper in the SPTG. Baze sighs. “I’ll get out your good suit. Try not to get yourself killed.”
“Mon Mothma asked for you, too. By name.” Chirrut smiles radiantly, inordinately pleased for no reason Baze can think of.
He grunts and wraps his hands around Chirrut’s waist. “We’ll have to pull the rich-asshole-and-his-bodyguard act again.” Baze’s visible modifications aren’t unusual in the bowels of the city, down at street level, but would stand out as unspeakably gauche if he tried to pass himself off as a plutocrat on the 200th floor of some shiny fuck-off corporate complex.
“If we must,” Chirrut dismisses. Then he pushes Baze flat on the floor and slides down, grin glittering wickedly, and proceeds to make Baze prove - repeatedly - that he is very much, definitely, decidedly not a corpse.
(Sidenote: Baze does in fact own a super rad cyberpunk motorcycle that leaves neon streaks in the darkness when he and Chirrut ride through the rain-soaked alleys of their city, because the Rule Of Cool turned the knob up to 11 on this pair, and everyone knows it.)