Track of the Apocalypse Ch3 Ficbit – Lightbulb

“So… I’m guessing we need to strip down?” Jack glanced at his team. “Er. Could be a little awkward.”

Kibito seemed to relax a little, and cast a smile Sam’s way. “Well, we’re not a station. Don’t worry, we’ll call for a woman. And a screen.”

I was thinking about Teal’c, but yeah, that’s good too. “Thanks,” Jack nodded.

Kurusu took out a rag, and calmly started wiping down his blade. “Take a moment to calm yourselves. If no signs have shown by now, we should have some time.”

Knows it’s infectious and he’s wiping that down bare-handed… eh? Jack kept his face straight, nudging Daniel when it looked like the archaeologist might eye Kurusu’s eerie sword a little too obviously. The sharp edge still looked like steel, but the blade itself seemed coated with something black laced with… shimmering orange veins. An all too familiar shimmer.

Daniel glanced at him, brows up behind his glasses, head tilted that direction.

Jack nodded. Yeah. Whatever those Kabane have, these people figured out some way to work with it.

Which meant their ammo might be interesting, yeah. In an old Chinese curse kind of way. He’d have to remind Sam to poke it carefully. From the way the major was frowning at their hosts’ guns, she was trying to figure out how to take them apart already.

Kibito stepped back to the wall, singling out another brass tube. “Everyone who fought the Kabane, come to the sortie car for inspection!”

“Speaking tubes?” Daniel muttered under his breath. “That’s so….” A slight thump, as if they’d hit an irregularity in the track, and Daniel glanced up to the ceiling. And kept looking. “Jack.”

And that was a Jack, that looks interesting, not a Jack, need gun now. Curious, Jack looked up too.

A cylinder of glass; half shielded by steel, half protected behind a wire grate, glowing a familiar yellow-white. Very, very familiar, down to the shape of the hot filament inside.

Electric lights. Ooookay.

21 thoughts on “Track of the Apocalypse Ch3 Ficbit – Lightbulb

    1. Light bulbs existed during the (latter half of the) steam age simultaneous with early combustion engines, do they have “general electric” written on them or something?

      Liked by 3 people

  1. Maybe because electricity transmission and steam power are different “threads” of tech development? Having both, not to mention being advanced enough for an engine that powerful, plus large scale manufacturing, and light tech that can withstand train vibrations is different from any other groups they’ve run across.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Hm… for Edison-era incandescent light bulbs, getting the filaments right was the last, most difficult “invention.” Then, getting them to *last* required removing most of the air from the bulb, leaving the interior in a near-vacuum. Generating the vacuum isn’t hard for anyone who can make steam engines, but making a glass bulb that can survive the overpressure (along with day-to-day bumping and rattling) was hard (and doing it at mass-production rates). Not to mention, you somehow have to insert the filament and base into the bulb, and seal the assembly, *without* letting any air back in. *That* part was a real pain to solve IRL.

    Bulbs for use aboard Hayajiro are probably thick glass, relatively weak illumination (side affects of ruggedization against the vibration and shock environment). And probably in a robust protective glass-and-metal cage, to protect against impacts. Something like the battle lanterns you can see in WWII submarine movies.

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  3. I think what SG1 is freaking out about is that so much of Tenka’s tech is similar enough to Earth’s that they are getting a sort of uncanny vallay effect.

    As was pointed out, previously they’ve run into super-advanced or primitive worlds. They’ve never run into a world where the technology is so close to their own.

    Mass produced incandescent bulbs of all kinds have been around since the 1880s and as for speaking tubes, they’re still being used today in various applications. I imagine the main ‘what the heck’ reaction comes from them being used on a train.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. *Thumbs up* Exactly. “This is kind of like things we know out of books but what is that and why do they have this and not things we're more familiar with…."

      And on top of all that, these are people with what looks like baseline late 1800s tech surviving a full-blown zombie apocalypse. When our modern “myths” (movies, books, etc.) all show that as overrunning a completely modern 21st-century world. Error, does not compute….


  4. Hmm, if the radios are capable of transmitting speech, then they must have earphones and speakers, not toi mention microphones. Tannoy system should be possible.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s possible, but so far as we know all such technology was under shogunate control and not available to any “border” stations like Aragane or to hayajiros. The Koutetsujou lifted their radio equipment from Kongokaku as it was falling apart, and they… kind of jury-rigged it.


      1. /The Koutetsujou lifted their radio equipment from Kongokaku as it was falling apart, and they… kind of jury-rigged it./
        Which makes SG1 more valuable in a different way. As you’ve shown their hand-held radios can talk to the equipment Koutetsujou has. If they’re willing to loan out one or two radios, that could make any scavenging expeditions/scouting trips a lot safer/more efficient.

        Anything from informing the Hayajiro “Hey we found loot and no Kabane. Bring the wheelbarrow.” to “Horde incoming, get the engines going.” without having to send up large visual signals (flares, smoke etc) or race back to the Koutetsujou.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh, like the thought of SG1 offering use of their radios! Although… anyone know what the battery life is on those things? Because given that they have no idea how long it will take them to get back, that’s going to be a concern. Even if they have backups.

        (I suppose they could try jury-rigging a charging station? Although that would have some very Eep aspects…)

        Liked by 1 person

      3. The lightbulb indicates they have electricity. Sam should be able to jury rig an adapter to charge their radios off of the same power source that keeps the lightbulbs lit.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Nice of them to get a woman for the inspection of Sam, but if they manage to call for a Jaffa for Teal’c I’d be REALLY impressed. On a more serious note, I imagine that SG-1 while somewhat confused by this similiar level of tech are also a bit relieved. I mean its technology they are familiar with, its not too advanced or too primitve to be of use to them. They know how to use it, maintain it, replicate it etc. That is certainly helpful in the long run. I’d rather have something reliable, reproduceable with me in a super zpoc than something incredibly advanced that I don’t understand. What would I do if it broke for example? The batteries run out so to speak. Besides if they have lightbulbs they have plumbing as well, I’m sure.

    Liked by 1 person

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