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#23 - My Friend

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Mere seconds before the worst moment of his life, Baze Malbus felt a comforting weight that had been missing from his life for many years. The Force had never been the same for him as it had been for Chirrut, but now he knew what his - well, his soulmate - had experienced. When he had believed back then, he believed the Force was some sort of entity that watched over the universe, interfering in the favor of those it deemed worthy. After the purge of Jedi, Baze no longer felt confident in the Force's plan. Prophecies were worthless, praying was worthless, when the all-powerful assisted in the slaughter of children.

Chirrut had infuriated Baze with his solid beliefs from that moment on. How could he seek the favor of something so cruel? But here, in this moment, he realized how mistaken he had been. There was no plan, no conscious watcher moderating their lives. They were the Force. Chirrut, more than any other. When he said he was one with the Force, he was saying that he was one with the universe. And no matter what happened to him, what happened to either of them, his energy would be retained in that universe. His ideas? His person-hood? The only way to preserve those would be in his memory. In the finishing of his actions.

When Chirrut slipped from his body, he did not leave Baze's side. Chirrut was ingrained in the fabric of the universe, just as Baze himself was. Nothing - no stormtrooper, no sith lord, no 'death star' - could undo them. Nothing could separate them. Baze belonged at Chirrut's side, assisting him in anything he asked for. If Chirrut wanted him to fight the Empire, he would. If Chirrut wanted him to believe, he could.

He was going to die, he knew. But what was death when one was a part of something as vast and ancient as the universe? Especially when one had a friend to share it with.

Baze Malbus rose from the body that had once contained the uncontainable spirit of his soulmate.

"I am one with the Force and the Force is with me."

He didn't believe in the Great Plan of the Jedis.

He didn't believe in prophecies.

No.

Baze Malbus believed in one thing and one thing only.

Baze Malbus believed in Chirrut Imwe.