Kabaneri fic ch1 Sweeten up on AO3

The first chapter of Sweeten the Bitter Dregs is up on Archive of Our Own.

…In case anyone’s wondering, I’m currently working on chapter 4, which may be the final chapter of this fic. *Knocks on wood!*


32 thoughts on “Kabaneri fic ch1 Sweeten up on AO3

  1. I like how the Kabane were used at the end of the chapter.

    “Alright, they’ve had a good dose of fluffiness and character development so the readers will want something different. Unleash the random parkour-capable zombie attack.”

    Liked by 1 person

      1. True.

        Though speaking of the bog-standard Kabane, there is a bit of interesting varability among them even before you get to the special types like the Wazatori or that that sort of mini-fused colony that the Hunters+Mumei fought in episode eight (I think).

        Because you have Kabane that just shamble/clumsily trot towards a target and then there are times they’re running like speed freaks and leaping like mountain goats.

        Prime example of the second was in episode 2 when they’re tearing down the hill and leap into the glass (clinging like bloody spiders) surrounding the train depot. And then there was the one that managed to throw itself against the Hayajiro hard enough to punch a hole in the water tank.

        I mean, that’s solid metal and aside from the heart cage, the Kabane dont seem to bet that much tougher then humans. So that guy hit a weak point and/or as going at one heck of a clip.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. The main downside to you writing so much good stuff is that I always want to see more of the stuff, and then you give me yet more new good stuff to want more of…

    Well, I think my point was that this was good stuff and I’m gonna be happy to see the rest of it when you get done with it. ^_^

    Liked by 1 person

  3. *raises hand*

    So in a previous comment you mentioned how the whole master key thing made your brain go grrr and that got mine percolating about it and it came up with something that might make the whole thing work.

    However, since it did make you go grr I don’t want to post the idea without your permission?

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Ayame’s Key is called a Master Key, which implies that it can open or activate many things. So my idea is that all the Hayajiro have the same lock, and all the Master Keys are identical copies of each other.

    Basically any Master Key can start up any Hayajiro, the only reason we haven’t seen this in the show is that there had been no opportunity- the only Hayajiro Ayame has needed to start up has been the Koutetsujou, and that was just because she got to it first, if any of the other Key holders had gotten to the train before her they would have started it up.

    And since we know what happened to Ayame’s father, my personal bet is that the Koutetsujou’s Key holders died form a sudden attack of flying Kabane.

    It’s a redundancy system for just the situation the Aragane survivor’s found themselves in.

    And as cold as it sounds, with the leadership of a Hayajiro gone the local Lord really is your best bet, they are trained to lead, to fight and have body guards-meaning Ayame had the best survival chance to get to the station.

    SOP would be a minimum of two keys per Hayajiro- the Captain and the second in command or maybe the head steamsmith, Station- the Lord/Lady in charge and their Heir if they have proven themselves ready and if not another member of the family, and Military Outpost- the Base Commander and their second in command.

    There also might be a law or custom specifically stating that there must be one Key holder at readiness at all times- we never see any other relatives of Ayame’s until Kongogakku so it might be that Ayame’s dad wasn’t allowed to leave the station until she was ready to hold a Key.

    Also, how did everyone get the idea that Ayame’s key was just for the Koutetsujou? I’m not trying to put anyone down here, but if I remember correctly there was nothing in the anime saying that her Key only started the Koutetsujou.

    Hope I didn’t get rambly there or confuse you, let me know if I have and I’ll try again. Hope this makes the Grr go away!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. “Basically any Master Key can start up any Hayajiro” – actually, canon gives us no reason to believe this is the case. If it were, Biba wouldn’t have needed to get Ayame’s master key. Which is one reason the whole master key mess makes my bunnies so cranky.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Master Key is a term from locksmithing. Some types of locks can be configured so that more than one key, keys that are cut differently, can open them. You have n locks, with n keys that open one lock each, and a master that opens all n locks. Grand master keys and great grand master keys also exist, at least in theory. (I’ve never actually practiced locksmithing, especially not with any organization large enough to actually use such systems.)

        Keying systems exist to 1) help secure things from unauthorized use 2) permit authorized use. I don’t say that they outright secure things from unauthorized use, because they can be bypassed with the right tools, time, and effort.

        If they put locks on the things, they are worried about them being stolen. Who would try to steal the things? Mutinying crews, a panicking mob, or other stations. My guess? The things are expensive and valuable, and locks are added at the factory to help keep them in the hands of whomever paid for it. My headcanon would include fleets owned by consortiums of stations, who entrust station leadership with master keys for part or the whole of their fleet. They can be rekeyed, but the facilities for that are rare enough to be closely watched. In other words, some protection against casual engine theft by station masters, enough to help keep things mostly honest.

        Liked by 2 people

  5. VERY glad to see more then mere snippets of this story. it actually made me binge watch the anime-and i was not disappointed.
    great story, for a fandom that could really use the boost. if i wasn’t as swarmed with projects, i would have tried to write some fic for Kabaneri as well. i still might, as soon as i get the breathing room between projects.

    I am very eager to read more of this, but i also want more of the other stories you are in middle of- its horrible. like endlessly standing trying to choose which cake to eat, knowing you can only get one, when both are so delicious in different ways.

    i do wonder, if the shogun and his station were lost to the kabane, who is left in charge of the kingdom/country? is there an emperor in another station? Maybe the highest ranking survivor of the Shogun’s court? the strongest lord/station remaining? Is a new Capital about to be declared?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Gentlemen. I love civil wars. I love them as setting. I love them as plot.

      Keeping it short, wouldn’t a warring states period with zombies be awesome?

      Okay, that wouldn’t be ideal as far as an SG1 cross goes, but I’ve got my own bunnies to feed.

      As far as this story goes, does anyone in the other cities actually know that the Shogun’s apparent heir is dead?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. >
        We have no idea. Radio does exist, though… so possibly! In which case, the Koutetsujou may have some ‘splainin’ to do. Eep.
        Course that depends on if any of the stations they are going to even have a radio. Also it would require that Kongokaku managed to get a message out about the TARFU situation that went down.

        Because we saw Biba’s men running around taking out key guards etc while raising the gate. So nothing’s saying they didn’t kill the radio operators as well

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Some of the evidence in Sweeten suggest it was a suicide run on Biba’s part. Is there any support for that in canon? Because, thinking like Biba’s sort, if I weren’t suicidal, and did plan to continue, I might’ve prepared a frame job for our heroes, pinning it on them so that I could have a freer hand. That could have been the only thing that got out by radio.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Canon, yes. He acts like he didn’t expect to survive slaughtering Kongokaku, and he’s trying to figure out where to destroy next when our heroes catch up with him.

        There’s also stuff in the final fight where Biba mentions trying to find someone able to kill him. Which, gah, if you wanted to die why take so many other people out with you….

        Liked by 1 person

      4. >
        Which, gah, if you wanted to die why take so many other people out with you….
        I believe it was already established that Biba was a few bricks short of a wall and had something of a freaky grudge against his old man. Also that he really liked this whole ‘mass bloodshed’ thing.

        Liked by 2 people

      5. >
        Brr. Yeah.
        Staring into the abyss and all that. Or in Biba’s case, staring into that fused colony heart (seriously, what did he see in the thing?).

        Five will get you ten that heart was at least partially involved in whatever methods and materials his people used to create the Black Plasma.

        Liked by 2 people

  6. i suspect that it was the betrayal of his father, the corruption and paranoia of the people hiding in the stations, behid walls, pretending everything is fine and theyare in control, and doing nothing against the kabane outside that drove him to madness.

    that he actually still held love and not only hate, for the paranoid cowardly father who tried to have him killed, to maintain power as shogun, only made things worse.

    as a interpretation said, and i agree- Biba saw the walled stations as weak cowards, trying to cling to the ilusion of stability and power, desperate keep the lie that life goes on, as normal, only now it does so in the stations….

    so like the way he and his army were left without supplies, when they started winning too much against the kabane.

    similarly to Ikoma, he wanted to force the people to go outside the protection of the walls, and fight back. to have the world of cowards-just like the bushi that killed the fearful guy in first episode, who was suspected of being infected, instead of enforcing quarantine.

    Only Biba was uncaring of the casualties, and sought destruction of the lies and illusions of the people living in the stations, in those cages, more then the defeat of the kabane.

    and none represented the hated stagnant self deception and enforced cowardice inside the Stations more then his father, and the KongoKaku station-remember that the shogun killed the radioman who got the transmittion about the black smoke/fused colony-and chose to prevent even the smallest possibility of panic and threat to his control, rather then warn even only the leaders of such new potential danger.

    the man who tried to keep stability and illusion of normalcy, and the current status quo and power, the shogun, vs Biba, his son, who wants to forcefully break that rotten illusion.

    I suspect that after the death of his father, when he was wondering what he will destroy next. it was because deep inside, his main objective was the confrontation with the man responsible for his abandonment -when he was only 12 years old and already commanding an army-his father.

    Liked by 1 person

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