Sweeten Ch3 bit – More Dakka

“We could have been killed!”

At least he waited until we cleared all the cars, Kurusu thought wryly, standing strict and proper at Ayame’s shoulder. For this, Dogen had brought two of his own bushi, Naokata and Doshun, into the locomotive conference room. Meaning Ayame needed to be as fiercely and politely supported.

Would that they were not here. Explaining all that ensured our safety will now be… awkward.

Ayame took a deep, deliberate breath. “Kibito.”

“Yes, my lady.”

“Do we have any of the test plates left?”

Kibito grinned. “Yes, my lady.”

Yes, indeed, and they all knew it. Kurusu kept his face straight as Kibito hauled out the very heavy box they’d kept after the demonstration at Shitori Station. Specifically so they could show other stations, and hook a lord’s curiosity enough to permit a demonstration. Not all lords and ministers might be as curious about rifle shots as Yamazaki.

He stepped away from Ayame’s shoulder just long enough to help Kibito pull the stack of steel plates out, blast hole face up, and lay them on the conference table. Stepped back, face neutral once more.

Dogen’s bushi were too well-trained to speak, but he saw their eyes widen.

Dogen’s hand twitched, as if he wished to poke the stack, before he brought it back to his side. “What is this?”

“This, Uncle, was a hanging target.” Ayame paused, deliberate. “For one jet bullet.”

“But… that’s….”

“Armor plate, thick as a Hayajiro’s walls,” Ayame nodded politely. “My bushi do have to be careful when they shoot. It wouldn’t do to injure the Koutetsujou.”

Naokata broke first. “Lady Ayame. Do you mean, the iron cage-?”

“Is no longer an unbreakable defense,” Ayame finished. “Shoot a Kabane in the heart, and it is dead.”

19 thoughts on “Sweeten Ch3 bit – More Dakka

  1. Kibito: “Ranged combat is possible.” 🙂

    Well, the Kotetsujou Krew just got promoted from “insanely overconfident” to “reckless badass” in the eyes of Dogen’s bushi.

    Ayame’s about to see hardened bushi turn into Dickensian orphans: “Please, Ayame-sama, may we have some (more)?” 😀

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I’m pretty sure you can kill the Kabane with regular bullets, you just need multiple hits.

    I mean Mumei was dropping them with her pistols back in ep 2 and from everything I could tell she was using ‘regular’ ammo.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. >
        Problem is it has to be multiple hits in the same exact spot to break through with regular ammo.
        Or at the very least hit the heart cage multiple times. The regular human hunters were dropping Kabane with gunfire.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. And lets not forget that Hunters were specially trained to deal with Kabane. While every stationtolks (even bushi) made point to keep meetings with Kabane at absolutely minimum.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. just wait, when that bushi learns of Heart Cage coated swords!
    and even if we were to put that aside, their lack of supplies might’ve necessitated a salvage mission for survival even without the jet bullets…

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Watch ep 7 if you want a hard answer. It looked like at least 5 plates to me. And the bullet then went through to punch a hole in the stone wall behind them.

      Put it this way: it’s a serious armor-piercing round. In effect, it’s a mini-tank round.


      That description of melting metal to form a high-velocity jet? That’s exactly what Ikoma describes his bullets as doing.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Well, we don’t have any numbers on Kabane heart-cage strength, or the Kotetsujou’s armor thickness, so the handwavey answer is “enough.” 🙂 Or, less facetiously, enough that any bushi with even slight experience shooting at Kabane can be assured that these bullets aren’t going to bounce off a Kabane heart-cage unless RNG is feeling especially trollish.
    MV^2 appears to be the limiting factor for the steam rifles — they just can’t generate the muzzle velocity to reliably penetrate, and gunpowder of sufficient quality seems to be hard to come by for the average bushi (Biba’s Hunters, OTOH, appear to have had access to the good stuff). Ikoma appears to have gotten around this by basically inventing the HEAT round a century or two early.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. It’s interesting, thinking about what Japanese people have access too. If the Kabane showed up only in Japan, I wouldn’t be surprised if other countries around (China, Britain, etc.) created heavy quarantine to keep people on the islands. Not wanting it to spread. It would also create problem in a necessities. Like gunpowder. I don’t think the stations have functioning mining systems and leaving walls is pretty much committing suicide. It would also explain why they use steam-powered… well, everything.

      OTOH, Koutetsujou could very well profit on providing salvaged goods. Some which could be nearly nonexistant in current living.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Isn’t gunpowder relatively easy to make so long as you have the ingredients (some of which I’m pretty sure have to be mined or something) and a ballpark guess on relative amounts? It wouldn’t be much of a stretch to claim the hunters had access to something sane people who stayed behind their walls didn’t. And all those scientists could find the optimal mixture in between experimenting on the Kabane.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Gunpowder is complicated. A basic recipe, yes, is fairly simple; I have one committed to memory, thanks to Leslie Fish’s “Black Powder and Alcohol”. But that basic recipe isn’t the most effective formulation. Plus the basic recipe calls for charcoal. You try getting charcoal in a world where going outside the walls risks attack.

        On top of that, there’s a massive difference in explosive power between regular black powder and corned powder. Same formula, different way of treating it. Check out David Weber’s Safehold series if you want the fine details.

        Aaaand on top of all that, black powder – as opposed to more advanced formulations – creates a lot of smoke. The “fog of war”. Fighting Kabane is nasty enough already without that.

        Liked by 1 person

    3. Looked the HEAT round up, and the description on how it works – melting metal for the high-velocity jet? That’s exactly what Ikoma says jet bullets do. Yikes.

      If you want an idea on the Koutetsujou’s armor thickness, though, take a look at the end of ep 4, where a massive hole has been blasted in the side.

      Liked by 1 person

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