Sweeten Ch2 bit – Backstory

Kurusu frowned. Ayame started. But it was Kibito who looked away from the bundle of armor, searching her face. “Kajika. What’s wrong?”

Besides everything? The tears threatened to rise up and choke her. She wouldn’t let them. Ikoma deserved better than that. Takumi deserved better. “I- Hozumi mentioned the iron cage. I didn’t think about it before, not Ikoma, he’s….”

“So that hit,” Kibito muttered. “I guess it had to, sooner or later.”

“Kibito?” Ayame moved around the table, reaching out to grasp Kajika’s hand.

“Kurusu aims true.” Kibito gave his fellow bushi a wry smile. “And you don’t miss. You shot Ikoma off the train in Aragane, and he survived it. There’s only one way that could happen.”

“You knew.” Kaijka felt lightheaded, as if something were squeezing her own heart. “You knew all along, and you still….”

“I had reasons not to trust him,” Kurusu said bluntly. “He proved them wrong.”

“Wait.” Ayame was still holding Kajika’s hand, eyes wide. “Then that means, when I threatened him-?”

“You would have only broken your knife.” Amusement flickered in indigo eyes, chased out the next moment by duty. “But you proved your point, Lady Ayame. He took your blade rather than harm a human. That was the true test.”

“But he killed Sahari.” Kajika pulled loose from Ayame’s grasp, fighting words past the lump in her throat. “He killed a human being. Steamsmiths don’t kill! He’ll think it’s because his heart changed, because of the Kabane….”

And what if he’s right?

“We killed several humans to stop the Nue,” Kurusu said levelly. “Most Hunters were loyal to Biba to the death, even as Kongokaku turned to hell around them.” He glanced at Ayame, then back to her. “Ikoma swore he lives to destroy the Kabane. To prevent another Kongokaku – we had to kill Biba.”

“But killing people.” Kajika shivered again. “Takumi… he held us together, ever since Ikoma got to Aragane. Without him – I don’t know how we can stay strong enough to live in another station. I don’t know how Ikoma did it the first time! If we’d just lost Aragane, he’d be okay; but Takumi, and being Kabaneri….”

Kibito leaned forward. “The first time?”

A/N: Yep. Canon, Aragane was the second station Ikoma lived in that fell to the Kabane. The first, he was about 12 or so. I can see why the guy’s a bit crazy.


10 thoughts on “Sweeten Ch2 bit – Backstory

  1. It’s also easy to see why he was so focused on finding weapons that would work against the Kabane. That would not be a fun time, and leave very lasting scars. I know someone who was in a school during a shooting and she is very, very firm that gun control is using two hands and hitting what you aim at.

    Some things just leave scars. The measure of character is how we handle them.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. That is a point. Aside from Ayame’s wish I can’t recall any indication that new stations are ever establishes or fallen ones are retaken.

        Yes there was Biba’s campaign against the Kabane but that was presumably more a ‘kill as many as you can before you die’ kind of thing.

        If the people could reclaim stations from the Kabane or (slowly) create new ones then yes, the country has a chance in the long term. But if it’s only survive and retreat? Not going to last.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Biba’s campaign was apparently working until the shogun cut off his supplies. Which is probably a big clue that the shogun cracked when the Kabane first appeared and never got better.

        And yes. Ikoma’s speech in ep 7 about daring to dream and taking their world back is Awesome.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. >
        And yes. Ikoma’s speech in ep 7 about daring to dream and taking their world back is Awesome.
        Well it is possible, just takes a very long time. After all there are only so many Kabane on the island chain and unless they learn to pilot ships, you aren’t getting immigrants.

        So keep killing them and eventually the Kabane will be wiped out.

        Though considering some of your comment revolving there being medicine for Ikoma and Mumei’s ‘conidtion’, I have to wonder what the White Blood would do for an infected human or Kabaneri given it’s canon effects.;)

        Liked by 2 people

      4. I don’t think the White Blood would really help. Here’s my bunnies’ train of thought:

        Assume that Biba had the colony heart for a reason. So it was likely the source of both White and Black Blood.

        This further implies that both substances are (possibly modified) biochemicals the Kabane already use.

        We’ve seen that Fused Colonies form, can travel very fast, and can disperse.

        Further extrapolation: Fused Colonies would be advantageous to move far and fast when the Kabane run out of prey in an area. Therefore, if the Kabane is a biological organism that at least attempts to fit into some kind of ecological niche, the most likely sequence of events is: Infect, form swarm, track down all prey in an area, and then either hibernate to wait for more prey or form Fused Colony to move… then split up the colony to feed again.

        If this holds, then the Black Blood would simply be the Kabane biological signal for “fuse colony”, while the White would be the signal for “split colony.” It saved Mumei and Ikoma by counteracting the “fuse colony” signal so that Mumei wasn’t swallowed up as a colony heart, and so Ikoma stopped burning himself out.

        Liked by 2 people

      5. Well we have to remember that it was stated Ikoma’s reaction to the Black Blood was because he wasn’t a girl.

        Though I’d presume that the man/woman difference is an artifact of the researchers creation of the Bloods. After all there’s no real reason the Kabane ‘virus’ to differentiate between male and female hosts that I can think of.

        So what happened to Ikoma could be an emergency defensive mechanism for a colony. In that the colony heart is threatened and the colony is trying to get away from the danger. Flee the attacker while dropping a few BB-Ikoma behind and hopefully they’ll kill the attacker. At worst they’ll hopefully slow it down long enough for the colony to get away.

        Sure the super-Kabane die within minutes/hours but the colony is still alive and can always find more bodies.

        The colony at Yashiro simply didn’t have the time to do this since there were only a handful of seconds between the heart getting exposed very violently and Mumei stabbing it.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. curious point- Ikoma being a former refugee from another station.

    We don’t even know about his family there…besides the death of his sister…
    this is interesting point to elaborate on family his previous station and integration into aragane…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. One of the real Nightmare Fuel inducing bits? We see nothing about their parents – not even in the happy flashback scene. And when it comes to Hatsume’s death, Ikoma states that there weren’t any adults who would help.

      …Those seem like very strong hints that their parents were already out of the picture. Makes you wonder why, and who they were.

      Given the incident where Sukari talks to one kid whose father was lost on the Fusojou, I wonder if at least one of Ikoma’s parents was a Hayajiro steamsmith.

      Liked by 2 people

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