Sweeten Ch2 bit – Memories

“I don’t need to go back to bed!”

Kajika shoved her stubborn friend back into the bunk anyway. She’d seen Ikoma bend steel with his bare hands. If he really wanted to fight her, he could have batted her off like a feather. “Fight’s over! Hozumi knows she should snuggle up for a nap.” She looked down at her hands, fisted in Ikoma’s coverlet. “And… what we were going to do… you don’t need to be standing.”

Ikoma sagged back against his bunk, eyes sad. “Kajika….”

“He wouldn’t want us to waste anything!” Kajika said fiercely. “And not his tools.”

She didn’t want to do this either. But if Takumi couldn’t be with them, he’d want to help any way he could.

And Takumi hadn’t left much.

“Someone should take the kimono,” Ikoma said softly, touching black and flame-red fabric. “It’s good cloth.”

I know. I bargained for it. “You could,” Kajika started.

“I’d look like a ghost.” It wasn’t quite a smile. “I mean. More than usual.”

Well, yes. Ikoma had never had much color, but since he’d become Kabaneri….

Rest helps. Blood helps. Mumei- Hozumi says he’ll get better. Believe her. “Then you keep the tools. I mean it!” Kajika squinted at him before he could protest. “You borrowed each other’s all the time. Just… keep them. They’ll work better with someone who knows them.”

“Okay.” Ikoma touched well-used leather, as if searching for a crinkle of blueprints. “We wouldn’t have any of the piercing gun notes if he hadn’t grabbed them, that night. I was… kind of out of it.”

“You’d been bitten.” Kajika jumped then, and looked around to make sure no strangers had snuck into the locomotive when she wasn’t looking. She lowered her voice, just to be sure. “Of course you were dazed. At least you took the gun!”

“Like I was going to let go of that, with Kabane everywhere.” Ikoma tapped the heavier bundle, sad and fond. “He never did get a real box for the armor.”

Kajika giggled, and swiped at a tear. “Running through Aragane with armor and a broom….”

“The broom was a good idea.” Ikoma raised a brow in thought. “If you can just shove the Kabane away – it buys you time.”


16 thoughts on “Sweeten Ch2 bit – Memories

  1. Lovely snippet.

    “The broom was a good idea.” Ikoma raised a brow in thought. “If you can just shove the Kabane away – it buys you time.”

    i suspect this is a beginning of a new idea…
    And start of another difference between Biba’s hunters and the Koutetsujou-while the former had researchers study the Kabane-doctors and biologists, the later has more engineers thinking useful counters…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. >
      the later has more engineers thinking useful counters…
      They will be taking cues from the TF2 Engineer’s mentality.

      “Hey look, buddy, I’m an Engineer. That means I solve problems. Not problems like ‘what is beauty?’, because that would fall within the purview of your conundrums of philosophy. I solve practical problems. For instance, how am I gonna stop some big mean mother hubbard from tearing me a structurally superfluous new behind? The answer: use a gun. And if that don’t work? Use more gun. Like this heavy-caliber tripod-mounted little old number designed by me… built by me, and you best hope… not pointed at you.”

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Why do I see something like boar spears (maybe with Kabane-iron tips?) in the K-crew’s near future?
    Heck, even without special metal, just being able to impale a Kabane and hold it at a distance for someone better-equipped to deliver the coup de grace would be good. In that sense, at least, Kabane and wild boars aren’t that different.
    Especially if you’re holding a wall or other prepared position. You can provide a lot more spears than guns, and using them requires far less training. Lining the parapets with (literal) spear-carriers with just enough training and guts to stand, stab, and not run, while your better-armed fighters run around as flying squads, could be a worthwhile force multiplier. And probably something the Stations would have done, if not for the rigid caste system that apparently ruled Kabane-era Japan.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. *squints quizzically* what about harpoons? especially if they had detachable heads – shoot the kabane, flip the switch to disengage, and pull the shaft back to the gun to fit another head on it, leaving the previous head either in the kabane’s heart/eyesocket (they’ll have a harder time biting without seeing where your available bits are waving around. Depth perception is important.)… if you’re off-target, then to shift around in the body and do increasing amounts of gradual damage – or if some clever steamsmith figures out a time-delayed explosion?? To misquote Mythbusters, “Ikoma wants big boom!”

        Liked by 2 people

      2. You’d want to keep things as simple and robust as possible (less expense and time maintaining/building the weapon). What you’re describing sounds rather finicky.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. i get the oddest feeling that they are going to reinvent the Sasumata (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sasumata) which were (Policing) polearms – of which one is used to push people away, and another is used to pin people. in CQC of the train, they are effective at keeping from getting bit, and would probably scare Kongokaku citizens less – they were used in Edo period(1603–1868) with the possibility of being invented in Muromachi (1336–1573), since we believe this is during the Meiji/Meiji Restoration (1868–1912) they might have fallen out of use, but will have definitely be invented

    Liked by 2 people

  4. again. while its just what i thought, and a very good extra for those not bushi or steamsmiths and not armed with swords/guns, this, too, was limited to Samurai.

    Liked by 2 people

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