“Ah! Not zombies, Carter. Kabane,” Jack waved a finger. “We don’t know what they can do yet. But in my experience, anything offworld that glows is capable of all kinds of freaky.”
“Probably just the force-dispersion kind of freaky.” Daniel shook his head, and looked up at them all again. “I mean, well… these people are still alive.”
“That they are, and if it comes down to a throw-down between Dogen’s people and Kurusu, we want Kurusu and Kibito alive,” Jack said bluntly. “We don’t know how things went down around here yet, but I’m guessing those two are the main reason the Koutetsujou is up and running instead of torn to pieces by people panicking when their freaking world fell apart.”
Because the one thing that was not happening in this car was panic. Old people, younger people, a scattering of kids; sure, there was case of nerves or two, and he’d seen a few people quietly praying, but most of ‘em seemed sure the danger was tracks away.
Wide range of types, too; from guys in torn hard-labor type gear to what looked like they could have been neat-dressed shopkeepers. Nobody’s cloth was as nice as Dogen’s silk, but even the most raggedy kimonos and robes were clean, nobody looked starving, and more than a few guys and women were doing small handcrafts and repairs on clothes and gear. And when people got bored, or someone needed to put down a sewing needle before their fingers cramped, there were books and pamphlets in hands or tucked into odd corners. Heck, a pair of oldsters a few bunks away were playing some kind of chess, for crying out loud.
Between that and the laundry casually strung between bunks but mostly out of the way of the doors – and of the firing loopholes in the walls – yeah. Refugee camp slash embattled defensive post on wheels. Like a gypsy caravan made out of tanks. It was… weird.