Kabaneri Fluffbit – Defining Stations

“They can’t trust us.” Tomio straightened his headgear, as if he were getting ready for a combat ride. “They’re station folk. They saw what happened to Iwato. And Kongokaku.”

Yeah, Uryuu knew. And wasn’t that the rock they were all trying to swallow? One thing to know people who lived in stations were cowards, hiding behind their walls and bushi lives. But having to shoot a kid who’d been bitten, because kami damn it, there was nothing else you could do….

He must have been quiet too long. They were all looking at him. “Boss?” Masahide asked.

“Aragane Station died before they ever ran into us.” Uryuu touched his harness, glad for the reassuring weight of steel against his back. Much better than that weird itchy feeling that the bushi princess meant it: on the Koutetsujou, they were safe. “Yashiro, too.  The stations we led Kabane into – they weren’t their stations. The Koutetsujou lost people because of us, but… not like the Kongokaku did.” He grimaced. “Now, those are station folk. Don’t turn your back on them.”

Nariaki ran his fingers over his steam rifle, apparently not quite sure he’d triple-checked it enough since the Koutetsujou had given them back. “Boss. They’re all station folk.”

“Oh yeah?” Uryuu jerked his head toward the rifles standing guard on the steel ring of the Hayajiro around them. “What’s that look like to you?”

Because he knew exactly what those guards looked like. Station bushi would all be facing outward, sure the walls would keep any Kabane from biting their backs. Station bushi wouldn’t be watching the ground, the gaps between cars, stray lumps and bumps of terrain that might dislodge a slumbering Kabane that’d suddenly scented prey. Station bushi wouldn’t always have one guy keeping a friendly eye on the Kabaneri, waiting for the twitch that was the first warning of incoming horde.

Most damning of all – station bushi would be up there with the rifles. Right now? About a third of the Koutetsujou’s armed guards were steamsmiths.

“The princess’ people may hate our guts, but they know they need to survive out here,” Uryuu declared. “That’s what we wanted. Make the station folk face what’s out there. Make them fight the Kabane. No walls. No excuses.” He sucked a breath through his teeth. “Well, they’re fighting.”

A/N: Yes, I had to make up everyone’s name here except Uryuu. Canon doesn’t name the other Hunters that made it onto the Koutetsujou.


15 thoughts on “Kabaneri Fluffbit – Defining Stations

  1. “That’s what we wanted. Make the station folk face what’s out there. Make them fight the Kabane. No walls. No excuses.”

    I can kinda of sympathize with that. Simply because sometimes if something is done well enough, people forget why it was necessary in the first place. In this, for example, if the Hunters and bushi and walls are really good at their jobs, then John and Jane Average in those stations can start to take their safety for granted. They don’t think about the cost. Because the deaths always out there, far away, it never happens to anyone they know.

    Basically, they start to think of Kabane as Someone Else’s Problem. And that’s a dangerous attitude to have. Getting that through some people’s thick skulls . . . some people respond to talk, others don’t. Some people really don’t learn any way but the hard way.

    On the other hand, that way is probably to up the causality count.

    Thought – maybe that’s another thing that is bothering the other Station folk about the princess’s people – they probably read more Hunters in some ways than they do Station folk. Nobody is completely following the script. The bushi aren’t acting quite like the bushi they are familiar with, for example. And people always find it off-putting when someone goes off-script on them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That would indeed be one of the things bothering the Kongokaku folk about the Koutetsujou. They’re not horrified at all the impure stuff around them; they’re using it!

      (Thank goodness they don’t know about the Kabaneri. There’d be a riot.)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Likely.

        And it’s a sign of how sheltered that the Kongokaku folk have become that they don’t realize purity is and should be a lower priority than survival. Surviving means you can change things, move forward, atone, etc – dead . . . . well, that’s all they wrote (unless you are writing about Bleach or similar but that’s getting into unnecessary complications . . .)

        Also dead but pure does not sound a winning combination, does it?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. dead but pure does not sound a winning combination

        Not to us maybe, but among a people who live the concept of “death before dishonor”…?

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Hmm . . . I wonder just what they consider to be impure. Do they just mean anything that has been touched by the Kabane? Do any of the Kongokaku folk consider themselves contaminated because their station was overrun by Kabane?

        If they do and consider losing purity as a dishonor, then suicide might another thing need to watch out for. In addition to people aggrevisely assert what they considered to be very necessary purificiation . . .

        Duty also tends to be important to honor cultures. For a bushi, one could argue that their duty to their lord (or whatever) superseeds their personal honor.

        Granted, most of the Kongokaku are probably just folk, not bushi, so . . . again, might want to keep an eye on some of them as they might consider it their duty to purify as much of that train as possible before the contamination gets any worse.

        Don’t know if I’m making sense.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. >
        That may indeed come up… in the next story. This is beginning to look like it’ll take at least 3 fics to cover everything!
        And that’s the fun thing, You can do that with this setting the way you’ve set things up. As was pointed out (and we saw in the show) the Koutetsujou people aren’t the focal-point of some world-wide event or the last force preventing the annihilation of humanity (see Magi or Avatar).

        They are ultimately just a group of people just trying to survive as best they can. You can have small ‘episodic’ stories about certain interesting events instead of one big ‘dense’ epic like Embers or What Comes Around etc that is a massive interconnected story with however many plotlines to tie together..

        Liked by 1 person

  2. It’d be interesting if the Koutetsujou Folk become precursors for a new form of Japanese society. Nomadic communities dwelling on trains, exchanging goods, news, and knowledge along the rails. All the while tearing down old social norms and strictures so as to better survive. Thus the People of the Engine are born.

    Liked by 1 person

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