Track of the Apocalypse Ch3 Ficbit – Caged

I hate this. This used to be someone. And they died, alone and afraid….

But one more iron-cage meant another sword the Koutetsujou could coat, or a pair of bayonets. Weapons that would save lives.

Ikoma rinsed the net first, then wedged it against his toolkit on the roof to dry while he cleaned hands, arms, shears, and knife. Shook off a few faintly-pink drops, and eyed the body again.

I should examine it. How often do I get a chance to handle one that’s mostly intact?

…But I’m tired.

He didn’t know who they’d lost yet. It couldn’t be Kurusu or Kibito, or he’d have heard more than a suicide charge and then the faint normal messages of the hayajiro. Outside of that it didn’t matter. He knew all the bushi by now. And the Hunters. Losing any of them hurt.

A real examination would take an hour or more. And that sky…. Ikoma glanced up again. Cloudy. I don’t think it’ll rain, not yet, but it’d make things tricky if it did.

And I’d be taking apart a Kabane. I can’t risk getting seen at that. One of the Kongokaku might be that stupid.

He pitched the body over the side, and clenched his fists. I’m so tired of losing people to stupidity!

A knuckle at a time, Ikoma made his hands open. Bruising his fists would be a stupid thing to do, in the wake of a Kabane attack. And the roof didn’t need any more dents.

I’m so tired.

Storing the cage in the bag he’d set aside for it, Ikoma blinked, and swore under his breath. Glanced down, and tugged at the gi Kurusu had insisted he wear into this battle. Good, no tears.

Light gray. Too close to a bushi’s white shirt for comfort. But a black steamsmith’s undershirt wouldn’t block the light.

25 thoughts on “Track of the Apocalypse Ch3 Ficbit – Caged

  1. At least SG-1 is not bound by the ingrained/calcified rituals of survival in the Age of Kabane, and while they present their own OoC conundrum (Teal’c being a possible flashpoint for an incident), and general suspicion for being strangers swept up in a Kabane incident (even primary trigger), they’ll be able to apply their support to looking for solutions, not just trying to find walls to hide behind…

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Mad thought. Jaffa have special qualities. Kabaneri have special qualities. Bushi can have special qualities. Could Jaffa children adopted by Bushi grow up to combine those? Could a controlled way of making Kabaneri be developed? Could Tretonin let a Jaffa survive the process of becoming Kabaneri?

    Hmm.

    Thank you. I am enjoying this

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I had a madder set of bunnies about a two to three decade post SG1 alternate extra series, based on the idea that SG1 encountered all the possible fanfic crossovers, that late series SG1 was a little different based on this, and that the new series would have a bunch of original kids from all the other properties going to a Air Force sponsored highschool somewhere out in the universe.

        Since my WIP has Campione SG1 in 2024, and Kirito et al going to Otokojuku* for SAO survivor school, I had to roll against believing that the above notion happens after WIP. Thankfully I succeeded. WIP ties a bunch of crossovers to Earth, instead of to the other side of the Star Gate. I have enough complications from my RL work, without losing SAN and making WIP unnecessarily complex. (If I ever get the mess finished, you will laugh at me for the excessive complexity I have been considering necessary.)

        *There are people who think Heihachi Edajima running the faculty for SAO’s Survivor School would not be good for Kirito. Those people are wrong. 🙂 Well, more seriously, writing seriously different fic than I am. Of course, I’m trying to write a fic where Toshizo Hijikata serving on the faculty of SAO Survivor School is good for Asuna. So you can guess, correctly, that I must be out of my blanking mind.

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  3. Poor Ikoma. So sad losing another member.

    But he really doesn’t want to be adopted by the Bushi. He’d like to stay a Steamsmith thank you!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Block the light… I’m assuming he’s referring to his own heartcage there. But wouldn’t the orange light of a kabaneri’s heart show up better through light colored fabrics?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Depends on how brightly the thing is glowing. It’s been shown in canon that Kabaneri’s hearts don’t always glow to the same intensity.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Probably by design. If your shirt gets caught in some turning gears, better for the shirt to rip and need to be repaired/replaced than for you to get dragged all the way into the gears because your shirt was too high quality to give way before your body got pulled into the machinery

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      2. Exactly. And on the other hand, bushi’s clothes are made to by sturdy. They are fighters and even small chance that sturdy fabric saves someone from getting scratch is worth it…

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      3. Yeah… You don’t want me repeating the stories some of my machining teachers told me about stuff like that. Long hair, rings, watches, loose shirts or pants, etc. I’ve got stories about all of them. Including that yes, it actually was a reason for certain related fields to have the “common outfits” (unofficial uniforms) that they did.

        Liked by 3 people

  5. /And if they’re not stressed out/hungry, they don’t glow at all./
    It’ll be interesting if/when/how SG1 get clued into the Kabaneri. Though I can see them initially mistaking Kurusu for one.

    Because given the sheer danger/infectiousness of these things, anyone even remotely sane would want to keep their distance in a fight. And yet Kurusu charges into melee combat constantly.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. I suppose the whole ‘zpoc’ thing will be rattling them for a while because Ikoma and Mumei gave some pretty obvious ‘we are not normal’ signs.

        You know, the whole ‘I can easily pick up people who are taller and heavier then I am and then proceed to jump like a grasshopper’ thing.

        Liked by 3 people

  6. Damn… that must be difficult to deal with. To use the body of what was once a person and harvest it for the materials necessary to survive. Sure, I could argue a necessity as often as I’d like but that wouldn’t make this any better or easier. So seeing Ikoma just being this tired of… well all that had happened and all, its realistic I’d say. In fact I think most others would be worse of, especially after this whole not being human any longer thing going on.

    Liked by 1 person

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