Track of the Apocalypse Ch3 Ficbit – Chill Out

Suzuki was looking him over careful as a stuck gear. “Hozumi?”

Ikoma jerked his head down the line of cars. “She’s back on the last car, listening. In case there’s a Nue.”

Suzuki nodded, thoughtful. “You know what a Fused Colony feels like, too.”

“Not from the inside,” Ikoma admitted. “It might give her an edge.” He made himself shrug. “Besides. She knew I’d want to get cages if I could. And she doesn’t like… operations.”

“Don’t think you like them either,” Suzuki mused. Looked down the hayajiro’s length. “Lot of fighting. Did she take lunch?”

Oh, Suzuki was going to give him one of those looks, the kind just a few people on this hayajiro knew him well enough to give: you’re not taking care of yourself and you know better. “…I gave her mine.” Of course he was carrying a spare for emergencies, but… that didn’t really make it better. Hozumi had lived as a Kabaneri for two years. She ought to be responsible.

But she’s still a kid, sometimes. Biba taught her how to fight. Not how to grow up.

Well, if she reminded him that much of his little sister, he’d have to be the responsible big brother and get her to think. She was the Koutetsujou’s bodyguard; she had to act like it.

Maybe Lady Ayame could help?

He definitely needed somebody’s help. Because there was the Look, clear even behind lenses and leather.

“Thought so.” Fishing in his sleeve, Suzuki handed over a red-banded tube.

Gingerly, Ikoma took it. “It’s… cold?”

“Lasts longer this way,” Suzuki said practically. “But we don’t know if having it cold’s good for you two. Want to try it?”

Cold water had been fine. A tritu, as Suzuki put it. A cold meal… probably couldn’t be too bad. And Suzuki knew what to do if it wasn’t. Which was mostly, get help. Armed help. Fast.

Cool and thick. Different. But it soothed the dry thirst the way it should, gray exhaustion lifting.

Ikoma finished the tube off, and waited. Soup had seemed okay too. At first.

35 thoughts on “Track of the Apocalypse Ch3 Ficbit – Chill Out

  1. Dang it, Ikoma! You do a little sip, then wait some. Then a little more sip, then wait some more. You go slow and steady just in case, because dumping the whole thing down your throat may be more trouble than it’s worth.

    On the other hand, dang it, Ikoma! You give Hozumi your lunch, then don’t go for your backup so you get your also? Hozumi’s not the only one needs to grow up, and you deserve every Look you get for that.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Hope a cold treat will work out well for Ikoma. Both him and Hozumi could use some diversity in food… They are still human after all, and eating same thing for weeks can’t be good for a mind. No matter what a body says.
    And I’m still waiting for Suzuji to meet SG-1. How surprised both sides be when they realise Suzuki can understand stranger-speak. It would actually be funny, if he was around for Jack’s rant. Because “such dirty mouth…” XD

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Except that, if the world of Kabaneri is another planet accessed through the Stargate, that means that in this crossover, Suzuki’s native language wouldn’t be English. Modern American English would be no more comprehensible to him than the Old English of Beowulf is to us!

      Liked by 4 people

  3. I’m hoping Ikoma doesn’t get sick!

    Plus, why are there so little comments on your chapter 3 bits? I’d go into the future and read the whole fic if I could!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I wasn’t trying to rush you! I was commenting the fact that the non-chapter 3 bits had at least 25 and up comments?

        Maybe I’m making a big deal out of nothing. I’m just saying for how good your writing is there should be like a hundred or so comments. Please keep writing, but take care of yourself!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I love every snippet. It’s such a treat to get to read them before the chapters post.

    I wonder why Hozumi is so resistant to staying well fed? If I was worried about attacking/maybe infecting my friends when stressed I’d carry as much backup blood as is available.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Could be she’s used to being TOLD when to eat? She had a minder with her when she got to Aragane, but he got bitten during the fall and suicided, so Mumei was left to her own devices for probably the first time since Biba got his hooks into her. Biba and his Doctors knew how long she should go between feedings, and when they have her blood and told her to eat, that was when she needed to eat. They’re all gone now, but she’s still used to ignoring her hunger until told to eat.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m now remembering a series of Star Trek reimagined shorts where the fact that James Kirk was canonically present on the planet where Kodos the Executioner got his name murdering hundreds because of a famine.
        Kirk had a watch alarm to remind him when it was time to eat.
        The bridge crew would hear that alarm but since Kirk never made a fuss about it didn’t ever realize what it was for…
        Until a humanitarian mission where his watch got busted and no-one caught on their captain wasn’t eating until he literally done keeled over comatose.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Or it might be denial.
        The powers of a kabenari are fun, but carrying blood would be a constant reminder of something she might not want to think about so it constantly “slips her mind” and she forgets.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Went looking for the ficlets I mentioned and found it.

        The Kirk alarm thing was one bit. The title is *How Well Do We Know You?* by Kaat Shadowlover on Fanfiction dot net. Summary: Five Times Jim Kirk Surprised His Crew With Something About Himself and One Time They Surprised Him.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. It could also be something to do with the kabane.

    Because there is definitely something weird about how kabane starve….or rather, don’t.

    A big, active animal like a human eats a lot. Frequently.

    But there is no way the kabane on average are getting /regular/ meals of human blood. Gorge during the fall of a city: starve otherwise.

    Realistically, you’d expect the vast majority of kabane to have starved to death. Even with hibernation: hibernation isn’t free. Just ask a bear.

    They observabally don’t. Something is *definitely* going on there.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. True, but they also only need to eat about twice a year due to being homeothermic.

        (Sometimes called cold-blooded, but in fact crocodilians can give themselves “behavioral fevers” when sick – i.e. make sure they get much hotter than normal – which is really, really neat.)

        Like

  6. Well, I’ve been working enough my brain is too tired to go more then “nice!” Which I should post anyway, to be fair.

    I have to admit, I like how Ikoma is like every engineer/mechanic I’ve known, which is “I’m busy, wait, what do you mean, food?” It’s a focus thing.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. /Sam may have a theory.

    ….It’s a wild one./
    My bet is that it’s something related to the ‘alternate power source to naquadah ‘ along with maybe the goa’uld healing devices/Sarcophagus.

    Because there is no possible way that the blood rations we see Ikoma and Hozumi having are nearly enough if Kabaneri are running solely off that. To give a comparison the vampire bat which weighs 40 grams typically ingests over half that in blood per meal. Sure it excretes a lot of the water but it still apparently adding 20–30% of its body weight in blood.

    Considering how metabolically expensive all the various stunts we see Kabaneri do (not to mention Ikoma regrowing his arm in under a month) they should be draining multiple people dry every day, not happily subsisting off a couple of bamboo tubes of blood.

    But they still need to blood (and honey-water) so something in both liquids is needed to help keep the impossibility that is a Kabaneri heart thumping along.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. /*EG*/
      Wild ass guess time.

      The Kabane heart is actually a sort of sufficiently advanced biological reactor that uses the hydrogen from the liquids they drink/humidity in the air they breath as it’s main power source. Other needed materials are created via fission/fusion using other breathed or ingested elements.

      Ergo the Kabane can ‘live’ off of nothing but air with at least some humidity, but their energy reserves are very slow to build due to most of the energy being used for maintenance and fabrication. In comparison the blood and honey-water provide numerous complex molecules meaning the system has a lot more spare power available (resulting in the Kabaneri’s brain actually working properly).

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Long hibernation is one of the less plausible things about the “Black Tide Rising” ZPoc series, which still manages to be *the* most scarily plausible ZPoc scenario I’ve ever come across.

    As far as the Kabane not making sense, what about the “network”? If we assume that Kabane are some kind of anti-Goa’uld weapon of Ma’challo’s, that puts the whole “fused colony” thing into a different light. Not to mention the way that Kabaneri and Kabane can sense (and sometimes influence?) each other by by means beyond the normal physical senses. Plus a similarly unjammable Goa’uld detection sense.

    So, if I try to think like Ma’chello (who was pretty ruthless about collateral damage, but didn’t want to wipe out the worlds he was trying to liberate), this is what I come up with:

    An infectious weapon that gives any infected human boosted strength and durability sufficient to be a threat to armed Jaffa. Able to detect any Goa’uld within a certain radius, that trips an irresistable homicidal attack reflex upon detection. And a “network” summons that will trigger that reflex in any infected human within some distance, plus a “homing beacon” to draw them to the target. Similar to the response of certain ant species upon detecting the pheromonal signature of one of their nest being killed.

    But having the Kabane prey on *other humans* is counterproductive. Ditto the shambling, glowing effects — my gut feeling is that what Ma’chello was *aiming* for was an infection that would leave most people acting normally right up until their Goa’uld sense got triggered, followed by mass homicidal kamikaze swarm attack, followed by a real nasty hangover and “WTF was that?” from the survivors. So, something covert, hard to detect, but guaranteed to make any System Lord run like hell (possibly glassing the planet behind them, but, c’est le guerre). The final, perfected version would probably have been dormant for some generations, to spread as far as possible among the Goa’uld’s slave populations, until SUDDEN ZPOC INTERRUPT and the System Lords are being attacked from so many directions at once they can’t cope.

    But *something* obviously went wrong. My off-the-cuff guess would be that the predation response got cross-wired with the “spread infection” property, and had an unanticipated interaction. Plus, with the “kill network” never going dormant, Nue and other effects evolved as emergent properties. Sort of cellular automata, run amok.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I think Mumei isn’t the only one who should take better care of herself to be honest. Though to be fair I think that they all are varying degrees of insane so its to be expected. Of course there is always the question as to how SG-1 will find out that they drink blood… and how they will react to that little fact. Probably less panicked than some other people but… I think we can expect at least one Vampire/Dracula reference.

    Liked by 1 person

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