Kabaneri Fluffbit – Taking Aim

“Terrible form!” Three of the kids chorused.

Oh, kami. Could he just sink through the hull now? Ikoma knew Takumi had been telling the tale of their encounter with the idiot bushi in Shitori Station, how could he not, but he’d somehow hoped that Kurusu hadn’t heard it….

The samurai actually looked amused. “So you were paying attention. Good. In a few days, you start training again.”

From the look on Mumei’s face, Kurusu had just handed her the best guns ever.

“What?” Ikoma blurted out. “I mean, kenjutsu is bushi-”

“From what I’ve seen, one day you’ll end up in a swarm with an empty pressure canister.” Kurusu looked completely unruffled, as if he hadn’t just suggested upending all bushi custom without Mumei pushing him into it kicking and screaming. “Also, Mumei says it took you several shots to hit the charge in Yashiro Station. Your aim needs work.”

Kajika’s hand flew to her mouth. “Kurusu!”

“No, he’s right,” Ikoma admitted. “I maintain rifles. I ought to know how to shoot them better.” Though Mumei being here reminded him of something important. Something he almost remembered about the fight with Biba, like trying to grasp shreds of a dream. Or maybe it was just the prayer fire, reminding him of the Shitori temple where Mumei had remembered her real name; the one her mother had given her before the Kabane had come and Biba had lied to sway a child into believing only the strong survived. “Did – did you still want us to call you Mumei? Or Hozumi?”

Brown eyes went very wide. She blinked, and looked away.

“It’s okay,” Ikoma started, “I shouldn’t have-”

“You could try Hozumi.” She looked a challenge at everyone else on deck. “Only with us. To everyone else, I’m the Koutetsujou’s bodyguard!”

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19 thoughts on “Kabaneri Fluffbit – Taking Aim

    1. Thoughts on Saiyuki Reload Blast:

      Eps 1-3: *incoherent squeeing about the Sanzo Ikku and the fact that there is BLOOD* someone discovered the “bloodsplatter on camera” effect and had much fun with it. Eeeeeee!

      Episode 4: W-wait. I know this. I BOUGHT THIS. Stop. STAAAP! This is Gaiden! Gaiden is sad! Stop with the Gaiden!

      Bonus: Every time I see the boys in the suits in the opening, I think of Justice For All by GreyLily (Link : https://www.fanfiction.net/s/4426293/1/Justice-for-All) and then I laugh.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. One interesting aspect may emerge if the Koutetsujou crew keeps doing runs between stations to make ends meet

    (After all, most probably feel safer in the train then a station by this point, fewer attacks 😛 )

    Namely there is the sheer expense of maintaining this absolute beast of a train and since they don’t have a home station that can do them for ‘free’ they will have to pay for every replacement part and iron plate. That adds up in a hurry.

    However, it’s been very bluntly shown just how tough Kabane-coated metal can be (see Kurusu’s katana) and there is never a lack of Kabane remains. So coat the high-wear parts of the train’s engine etc in a similar fashion and they should last a lot longer..

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s an idea, but the trick is being able to grab Kabane remains without getting grabbed by the rest of a horde. When it comes to Kurusu’s sword and Mumei’s blades, those were probably from Kabane left on the train after the Wazatori incident. I’m sure they’ll try, though!

      We don’t exactly know how the Hayajiro system works, canon; who pays for what. Given what we see in Aragane and Shitori, at least, basic maintenance and parts are things the stations provide so the Hayajiro keep traveling between them, bringing freight and passengers. The Koutetsujou’s current problems are 1) finding a “live” station that hasn’t been munched yet, and 2) paying for supplies for the people on the train given that they don’t have freight or regular passengers… at least, not currently. With the unmentioned 3) keeping the Kabaneri under wraps so people don’t panic.

      Ayame and co. are going to be working on all of those problems in this story. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. >
        Ayame and co. are going to be working on all of those problems in this story. 🙂
        >
        Well as was seen, Ikoma’s “Jet Bullets” are highly desired by any station that sees their capabilities so Ayame can get a lot in exchange for them/their blueprints.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. The problem with those is that they’re a one-time trade. Honestly, mercenary as it is, they’d probably be ahead reproducing the jet gun and the reinforced blades and selling those, instead of the blueprints. People would probably reverse-engineer them eventually, but until then they’d have unique services that they could barter supplies for. It’s probably the only thing they have that stations would be interested in at the moment

        Liked by 2 people

      3. >
        The problem with those is that they’re a one-time trade. Honestly, mercenary as it is, they’d probably be ahead reproducing the jet gun and the reinforced blades and selling those, instead of the blueprints.
        >
        I mentioned the blueprints because it was part of a deal they made at Shiro Station to get what they needed. Food, water, medical supplies, replacement parts and iron plates etc etc. It was quite a list.

        From what I can tell Ayame made the deal extra sweet by offering the bullets+blueprints (along with playing up the sweet innocent maiden) to bamboozle the minister into give them a lot more then he should have.

        Of course the situation is now different as they are basically a ronin clan traveling the railways for an indeterminate period without a home station (instead of simply trying to get to safety). As a result they are going to be somewhat more interested in making a profit from their deals.

        After all, presumably Ayame wants to retake her family’s station which is a massive endeavor that will require vast sums and favors/support from multiple groups.

        Liked by 2 people

      4. >
        That’s a big leap.
        >
        Particularly from the society they were raised in. The vast majority of people identify very strongly with one station or another and don’t leave unless they have to. The only faction that seemed to primarily exist outside said walls were the Hunters, I doubt the people of the Koutetsujou would like parallels being drawn.

        >
        Part of the problem is realizing they’re not just refugees anymore.
        >
        I imagine said realization is going to start forming pretty fast when they ask “Where do we go from here?” Because their initial ideas of contacting Ayame’s uncle/getting help from Kongoukaku etc, kind of went up in smoke due to well, everything.

        Liked by 2 people

      5. They might not like the Hunters, no. But right now there are only eight Hunters left, and both sides are going to need each other very quickly….

        “Very fast” is a relative term. Sweeten starts the day after Kongokaku falls; people are still in shock.

        That said – yes, they’re working fast.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. >
        “Very fast” is a relative term. Sweeten starts the day after Kongokaku falls; people are still in shock.
        >
        Well the Kongokaku refugees are definitely in shock.

        For the longer term residents of Koutetsujou,it’s starting to become depressingly familiar.
        You know the sequence of events: station falling to Kabane, fire, screams, panic, death, quickly loading what materials they can grab while the leadership/defenders pull a bunch of insane stunts to keep as many people alive as possible before the train can get the heck out of dodge.

        Liked by 2 people

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