Track of the Apocalypse Ch2 Ficbit – Salvage and….

Ah hell, what do we do, we’re a half-hour from the ‘Gate as the crow flies and none of us have wings

“-This is the Koutetsujou on salvage and rescue!” A young woman’s voice on his radio; fast, but controlled, not panic. “We hear your gunfire! Hold out; we’re coming for you!”

The Iron Fortress? Great, Doomtrain had a name-

Jack’s gut flip-flopped. Armored train. Armored, gore-smeared train, with people in it that apparently considered gunfire something to run towards…. “Hold out? Hold out where?

That got a deliberate pause on the radio. The kind he was more used to hearing from Hammond when the general was trying to figure out what SG-1 had stepped in this time. “Find a high point. Use the knockback!”

Knockback? What the heck did she- waaaaait a minute.

Still running, Jack twisted, and let a three-round burst fly at oncoming death.

Spang! Spang! Spong

One gray body tumbled, twisting around and tangling three others as it tried to get back to its feet. Most of the rest of the oncoming horde parted, flooding after them; but a significant fraction just kept running straight, adding to the fanged tangle.

“Knockback,” Jack gasped over the radio, grateful for the yards they’d gained between them and iron-skinned death. “Thank you.”

Okay, life-saving tip equaled Doomtrain or not, radio guys might not be the bad guys. And high ground against a zombie zerg rush was just common sense anyway. So. Keep the compound wall on one side, one less direction for fangy death, and run like hell until they found some.

A glance back to make sure nobody’d tripped – gunfire was not a sure sign someone was on their feet – gave Jack a glimpse of the temple, trees and all. Only, there was gray and bits of yellow glow through the trees, and to be able to see that this far away-

Um. And there was more lava-lined-gray on the streets. And through windows, as they rounded another corner. And the rooftops.

Oh hell. Not just the temple. They’re everywhere.


71 thoughts on “Track of the Apocalypse Ch2 Ficbit – Salvage and….

      1. So just them being here eventually wakes them up. Makes sense. Even if it sucks. And explains why Koutetsujou crew always expecting Kabane to show up. No matter how stealthy they get. Makes the fact that Ikoma and Kurusu survived outside even more amazing.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Nope. But it probably took a while for the smell to wake up the hive mind.

        Now, if only they hadn’t eaten hamburgers for lunch…. (Apparently it is true that people smell a bit like the things they eat, if you have a super-sensitive nose.)

        Liked by 3 people

      3. I would contend that most “deodorants” are anything but. What they actually rely on is the majority of humans having a “background filter”, that automatically and subconsciously causes them to not notice sensory detail “below the background threshold”. Most deodorants work by putting out the smell equivalent of white noise, trying to raise the background threshold enough that the smells they are “erasing” cannot be reliably separated from “static” and other background sensory data. Obviously, this doesn’t work right for those with more sensitive noses, or without a background filter (one of the reasons Autists have problems with other people… lack of background filter means stuff that normal people don’t even notice because it’s erased from their senses before the conscious level, is simply overwhelming to the Autist).

        And even “unscented” things are usually “not scented with something noticeable to the majority of normal humans”, yet quite noticeable to those who are more sensitive. In similar fashion to “white” clothing tending to have a slight bit of blue, which isn’t noticeable _as_ blue, but makes the white more visible to normal human senses.

        Really, most of the things in that basic category, are calibrated based on “normal human senses and brains”, rather than animal or non-standard human sensory capabilities. Because it’s those “normal humans” who are going to be buying most of it, and caring about the results.

        Liked by 3 people

      4. Lack of background filter sucks. (One reason why, though I loved “the Sentinel” as a TV show, I find the idea of being able to turn senses down less than plausible.) I can attest that I can smell deodorants very, very starkly, and they give me an awful headache.


      5. My sister had gotten an “unscented” body wash. Funnily enough, their definition of the word doesn’t seem to match ours, because both of us agree- that’s some potent smelling soap. Don’t know how you can miss it.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Oh boy. Jack, I think you need to re-examine your personal bias in regards to the Doomtrain. Just might save your life. Meanwhile, everyone on the Koutetsujou is probably wondering what kind of sheltered, station-raised morons they just stumbled across.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Oof, new thought. Consider the following. This fic features A) A alien disease that occasionally can make super-human warriors with uncomfortable urges, B) Daniel Jackson within a mile of said disease, and most importantly, C) is written by our CrossoverQueen. Who has something of a record in these situations. So…

      Kabenari of SG command, anyone?

      Liked by 4 people

  2. Jack, I know you have a legitimate reason to be somewhat paranoid. After all offworld travel is… hazardous, and you met more than one civilization that wouldn’t mind killing you. However perhaps it wouldn’t be that bad to lessen on the distrust of the Doomtrain. I mean sure it looks like a Doomtrain, but perhaps it merely ran over some unfortunate deer… or some of the guys currently trying to turn you into a Happy Meal. In addition to that they might be rushing towards gun fire, However… is SG-1 really the group of people that should criticise people for apparent craziness? In addition to that I doubt that they would be so eager to rush towards gunfire thats aimed at them… unless perhaps the guys shooting at them had kidnapped Ayame… in which case they’d probably wouldn’t hesitate to go full on “Blood for the blood god!” On those poor guys to get her back.

    That said… our friends from the Doomtrain must be very much confused. Wondering how these clueless idiots got there in the first place, without getting turned into Kabane no less. Also… this might be an extreme suggestion but… perhaps they should just burn the whole city to the ground and call it a day once they are ready to leave. The Stargate wouldn’t get damaged, neither would metal get destroyed and the Kabane get torched… if everything goes right so yes, I suggest the good old ‘kill it with fire’ strategy.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. From some research on historical Tokyo Vathara did, there was actually quite a bit of effort put into fire resistant building practices/codes (though that didn’t keep much of the city burning during the Great Tokyo Earthquake…), and according to WOG, Keishi is pretty conflagration resistant. Unless some real effort is put into it (like masses of incendiaries).

      Liked by 4 people

      1. That complicates things I’d say. I mean sure, it was mostly wishful thinking but seems that even that is out of the window. In that case I wonder how the eventually plan to return to the Stargate without rousing the Kabane, get bitten in the process etc. I’m sure it will be quite the adventure.

        Liked by 5 people

    2. While the fires wouldn’t burn metal, it can heat it up enough to cause it warp or weaken if the fire lasts long enough. This would be worrisome particularly for areas that aren’t flat on the ground and if they don’t collapse during the fire, they could become structurally unstable. This wouldn’t happen to the entire rail system in the city, but it only needs to happen at only certain spots to completely make the city’s entire rail system unusable for trains trying to pass through.

      Plus, not to mention any leftover fuel stores that would be located at the train stations that would feed the fire.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Yeah, figures that that would have been too easy. Especially since, as Thiemo Guenther, pointed out Keishi isnt easily flammable. That alone kinda kills that plan without factoring anything else in, because if they’d manage to set the city on fire while thousands of Kabane roam the streets under these conditions? Then the Kabane probably wouldn’t be as much of a problem to them as they are. Still, your points make this plan even less attractive. Thanks for pointing out these flaws in my… overeager, or rather foolish, plan.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Heh. To the discussion on fire, I’d also point out that, at least as of the original series (I’ve deliberately been avoiding any exposure to the games or movies, I do not need to get sucked back into the fandom right now!)… so far as I can remember, fire is no deterrent to Kabane.

        We fragile humans get killed by fire generally through suffocation from smoke and oxygen deprivation, getting our lungs seared (different form of suffocation), or shock from the pain of full-body burns. We don’t know that Kabane feel pain, or that shock would kill them even if they felt the pain. And it’s entirely possible that they don’t actually need to breathe, especially given that in Sweeten the Bitter Dregs, it was established that even decapitation is not necessarily a permanent kill.

        Long story short, using fire against the Kabane would very likely kill a lot more of the humans who set it than Kabane…

        Liked by 4 people

  3. I’m wondering how are they going to get back to the Stargate afterwards.

    I can’t wait until Mumei comes to their rescue and this slip of a girl kills a dozen of them in about a minute. In a Skirt.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Whenever I read Doomtrain in this fic, the Final Fantasy 8 summon Doomtrain springs to mind.

    This does mess up the Koutetsujou plans of scavenging for supplies and not to mention what it’ll do to the people that are already not happy with visiting the city. The kabaneri will probably be used as justification that the young noble (forgot her name) is too youthful to properly lead and that an elder should take over. It’s going to make for some tense discussions once they leave the city. Not counting what picking up the clearly foreign looking people that SG-1 is will do to the already tense situation on the train.

    In this universe would the Kabaneri hearts be considered organic naquadah reactors? Would kind of explain the Kabane’s need for their semi-regular blood intakes if they’re unable to acquire it through normal food intake.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. And now I’m remembering the Stage Trees from the Known Space setting much of Niven’s stories are from. If the Kabane vector can survive the heat and radiation of a nuclear explosion, that could make for an interesting propagation method. Kabane bodies store radioactive materials, until a Kabane horde reaches critical mass and goes “boom”, flinging Kabane fragments all over (including small bits tossed high into the atmosphere, where they might go quite a ways before landing)… where they proceed to infect more stuff.


    1. He’d better not. *G* Linguistic drift has ensued, thanks to 20 years of living with Kabane attacks, and “train” now has a specific meaning separate from Hayajiro.

      I.e., singing songs about trains will have at least a half-dozen outraged steamsmiths after your hide.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. One thing that has not really come up is what weapons SG-1 is carrying. There was one mention of an MP5 SMG and that Teal’c is probably carrying a staff weapon. The problem is that the 9mm ammo for the MP5 is considered inadequate nowadays since most modern armies (and Jaffa) wear body armor that can stop it. That is the reason that the FN P90 SMG and FiveSeveN pistol was developed IRL and issued to SG-1. The 5.7mm round that they use can pierce Level IIIA armour at 200m.

    However it looks like SG-1 is probably being chased by more Kabane than the would have ammo for, even if it would pierce their hearts or heads.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s been established that period gunpowder weapons will stop a Kabane with a heart-shot, so I think the actual reason SG-1 is having so much trouble is the heart isn’t that big a target, and they don’t know they need to hit it.

      (Seriously, a zombie apocalypse where headshots don’t work? That would mess up anyone going off earth pop culture!)

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Well, here’s a bit of it. 🙂

        The MP5 is the submachine gun SG teams carry as heavy arms prior to season 4. It uses 9×19 mm Parabellum rounds, which are specified to be able to penetrate an 8 mm steel plate at ten meters.

        …Unfortunately for SG-1, it’s Kabaneri canon that to shoot through the iron cage, you need to be able to penetrate more like two inches of steel even at point-blank range. (Seriously. Check episode one of Kabaneri for what Ikoma’s trying to pierce. Yikes.)

        Yes, the gunpowder guns Hunters use can kill Kabane. Sahari shot a Kabaneri’s arm off. As in, blew the limb completely off. Nothing SG-1 carries can do anything like that. Not even a staff weapon – we’ve seen the wounds they leave in Stargate canon, and while it’s a lethal blast to a human when taken in the torso, it’s still not nearly that powerful. Sure, it puts holes in soft fleshy things, and hard but immobile and relatively brittle things like stone. But can a staff blast put a hole in an inch of iron? More importantly, can it do it with enough punch to actually go through the iron when said iron has the option of going flying? Seriously; the fact that knockback happens is itself an obstacle for something that’s not a very focused weapon. And Kabaneri canon, knockback does happen… and it shouldn’t. Not with bullets. No matter what caliber.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I want to see Mumei save them but I also want to see the team’s reaction to Ikuma saving them. Especially with the jet bullets. I also have an uneasy feeling about Jack’s reaction to catching a glimpse of Ikuma’s heart cage…. that will be very interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Of course Jack wants to set the place on fire. He comes to sg1 from black ops. ‘everything is on fire when I leave’ is a bog-standard black ops exfil plan. I mean, it’s probably plan number 3 on the ‘everything went to shit’ contingency book. (plan 1 is ‘quietly vanish into the night like ninja’ and 2 is ‘shoot everyone who saw anything’).

    Liked by 4 people

      1. Not a bit. They’re standards for a /reason/. Just, not feasible here with his current load out*

        *with enough ordinance in ones load-out, ‘everything on fire’ is /always/ feasible, but you can rarely get anyone to fund that. For you know. Some odd reason.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. You know, if you use GURPS style mana levels to justify Campione!SG1, funding can stop being a limiting factor remarkably quickly.

        “Colonel O’Neill, how on earth did you manage to set that black hole on fire?” “You will respect my authoriteh.”

        In all seriousness, Campione!SG1 is funnier when they aren’t aware of being Campione, or of Campione’s secret magical society. Furthermore, such blindspots fit the theme of Campione having something wrong with their heads, which may make it mandatory worldbuilding.

        You have a fourth item for that list? Asking for a friend. (Actually, I might be putting in some more work on plotting this messy WIP soon, and the bunnies think the list is inspirational. But maybe more so with a fourth option.)

        Liked by 2 people

  8. /ATM plotbunnies say it’s going to take at least 2 stories to get SG-1 back – Track, and a second as-yet unnamed, that will have Janet. /
    And Hammond will be so torn. On one hand it’s good to get SG1 back home. But on the other it was just so calm and peaceful with them all away. The SGC didn’t enoucnter a single earth-threatening crisis for over two months. His doctor is much happier about his blood pressure now.
    /Meaning, there are safety precautions needed. /
    Namely forcing Ikoma to wear a shirt. 😛

    As for the gun discussion, I’m not an expert but I think the biggest difference between Earth and modern Hinomoto guns is what they are designed to do. The targets of Earth military guns have pain reflexes, bad reactions to large amounts of blood loss and numerous squishy-but-vital internal organs.

    Kabane don’t have these limitations. Their vital organ is heavily armored, bloodloss isn’t that big a deal considering their regenerative capabilities and while they do react from strikes, it’s never really debilitating.

    Ergo Hinomoto guns/bullets (whether steam or gunpowder based) would be focusing on imparting as much kinetic energy onto the target as possible (knockback the Kabane) along with doing lots of tissue damage. Similar in design to OTL shotgun slugs.

    So while SG1’s weapons have the AP proprieties to deal with the heartcage protection, it’s possible that they need to hit the region a couple of times in order to do enough widespread damage to kill the Kabane.

    Also ran across a very nice amv of the movie set to Ninelie. While I haven’t seen the movie itself I do like the visual designs/themes the amv shows (plus that that they seem to keep Hozumi’s badass traits instead of turning her into a damsel in distress for the romantic subplot). In one scene you think it’s three Kabane (two visible and one with only the glowing heart showing in the shadows) until Hozumi opens up. And even then with the lighting, along with her glowing eyes and heart, you could easily mistake her for another Kabane.

    And that’s something every Kabaneri do doubt has to deal with: they are Kabane at the core, no getting around that.
    What they do have is a choice. To continue to retain their humanity and all that entails or throw it away to become monsters.

    Ikoma didn’t even stray from the former option, Hozumi in a way regained/relaerned hers over time, Biba……..(not touching that one) and the Kabaneri in the movie apparently did a swan-dive into the ‘kill all humans’ category.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Calm and peaceful. *Dies laughing.* Yes, it would be.

      *Amused* A shirt is a good idea, yes.

      Very good points on the differences between usual targets for Tau’ri ammo and Hi-no-Moto ammo.

      Nice AMV. 🙂

      The arc question of “What are you?” is critical. I do intend to poke some of what I headcanon are differences between Kabaneri and full-out Kabane. For one – I doubt Ikoma and Mumei have bones quite as heavy as full Kabane do, or Ikoma would have sunk. And not survived.


      1. Not surprising. It’s been pretty obvious that Kabane mutate for lack of a better word, the first Wazatori we see has some notable deformations for no apparent reason along with some others that show up.

        My guess is that both the bones and deformations etc are all preparatory for the next stage in the Kabane life cycle: the fused colony.

        Yes, Kabane seem to be clinging to each other but the FCs move like they have some equivalent to a musculoskeletal system instead of something like an army ant bivouac. Presumably after critical mass is achieved and they form around the Heart, the Kabane bodies act as the ‘flesh’ while each extrude the fibers etc that act as supportive structure.

        The Kabaneri don’t develop/bulk up in this manner because they are all proto-Nues that don’t activate unless they get the proper chemical signals.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. I’ve been reading a SG1 x Girl Genius thing so my brain kept putting n Spark reactions to the zombies on top of everything else in this ficbit. It’s very weird but Jack would be happier… I think. At least in the moment.

    Liked by 1 person

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