Track of the Apocalypse Ch4 Ficbit – Not Zombies

“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.

52 thoughts on “Track of the Apocalypse Ch4 Ficbit – Not Zombies

  1. I’ve always loved the disorderly camp setup they had going on inside the cars, it probably is giving away just how long they’ve been on the tracks to SG-1, wonder when that’ll hit them

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Everyone just pushes the laundry aside when they walk and probably don’t even notice it anymore. Like wearing glasses for years and forgetting you’re wearing them.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. That’s sure to get an interesting reaction.

        Twenty years with the ability to at least pare down the numbers of attackers? Yeah, sure.

        Surviving twenty years without a reliable way to be lethal, except by accident or by massive team of sharp shooters aiming in the same spot? Knowing that every one of yours you lose is likely to wake up again shortly and try to rip your throat out?

        Ah hahaha, no. That takes a lot of guts, and it’s not sustainable in the long run. They may have skill on their sides, but they were also damn lucky

        Liked by 3 people

      2. A year? More like a month, IIRC, Vathara has stated that at this point it’s only been about 22 days since Aragane fell. Yeah, just a month ago, Ikoma was still an ordinary, misunderstood steamsmith.

        Liked by 4 people

      3. Do Kabane need to breathe? Every station we’ve seen has some form of moat, and if they can in fact drown that helps explain why stations have managed to stay mostly intact, barring sabotage by crazy Kabaneri.

        Liked by 3 people

      4. On a personal level? No, I don’t consider them lucky.

        Along the same lines of the Koutetsujou being lucky, but not necessarily the people on it, it’s lucky that humanity in general managed to survive to that point. The kabane to human ratio would have been horribly skewed in the first month, and certainly not in humanity’s favor! And it was only going to get worse.

        Call me pessimistic, but sometimes all it takes is one stroke of bad luck. One idiot. One person that panics, no matter how reasonable the reaction. Or one malicious bastard that didn’t get noticed in time to be put out of everyone else’s misery.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. It’s not a Refugee camp Jack. It’s their Home. I can’t wait to see his face when he realizes that they’re not going to a safe place, This Is the safe place.

    Could they grow their own food? With those plant things that hang in the air? It would take off some of the pressure of needing stations.

    Liked by 5 people

      1. I was going to mention the lights, but altimatewriting got to it before me.

        Maybe SG-1 can help them get it started?

        And if they got chickens and other animals, couldn’t the poop and stuff help fertilize the plants?

        Liked by 3 people

      2. I should note that NASA did some research on this, and concluded that most of the traditional “farm animals” are actually not that efficient or good for enclosed systems like this. If you really want efficiency, rabbits and fish are better and faster at converting biowaste into edible meat (tho be careful, rabbits are too lean, so you can actually have medical problems of “not enough fat in the diet”). Admittedly, you do lose out on the eggs and milk, but they really don’t have the space for that anyway, so…

        I do wonder if Sam might try to get them started on algae-culture, tho.

        Liked by 5 people

      3. One of things SG-1 could get them are those plant-lights. LED grow lights. And probably some mutated rice that grow fast and doesn’t need pond to grow in. Or something.
        Hell, it could be a good idea to plant fruit trees and other things on every water station they pass.

        Liked by 2 people

      4. Rice is not only inefficient to grow onboard (although hydroponics would work); it also has a day-night cycle and needs it really dark to get its beauty rest. I saw an NHK news report about this, because streetlights seriously stunt its growth, and even city light in the distance makes rice grow worse.

        Liked by 5 people

      5. It was unlikely anyway. Rice grows in water. And open water on movies Hayajiro… Bad idea.
        But potatoes would be good idea. Maybe tomatoes too. But it would also depent on if Hinomoto citizen could stomach them. Diferent diet and all.

        Liked by 2 people

      6. Potatoes provide 2% of your calcium RDA, or something ridiculous like that. Spinach and other greens are big for calcium and other minerals. Kudzu is a great root crop and the leaves give Vitamin A and C; and it will be all over the place as a popular crop.

        Liked by 3 people

      7. Potatoes are of course awesome. Keep the kiddies supplied in Vitamin C and potassium. Get some Asian purple yams for Vitamin A.

        Don’t potatoes need a lot of room for their root systems to grow? Even with hydroponics, I would think the space requirement would be a deal-breaker.

        Liked by 4 people

      8. Potatoes are also one of those annoying ones that need lots of water but simultaneously need lots of drainage, otherwise they are ruined. There’s probably a way to safely grow them in some sort of hydroponics, but if you get it wrong then they split and rot instead of grow. And even in the right type of soil, they’re notoriously finicky.

        Liked by 4 people

      9. Part of the potato blight can be traced back to people deciding potato culture was too “inefficient”, leaving unplanted low areas and mounding that soil where the plants were. Not realizing that created a microclimate where the potatoes were watered but drained and so less prone to molds.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Given the timelines and what was said, I am willing to bet the columbian exchange never happened here, which also cuts their food items a lot.

      The best long term bet would probably be something like orchards/wild type meadows that they basically treat as gatherers, with anything that requires more intense cultivation in the station, but that’s difficult to get the society for. And using a lot of fire, which I imagine is a cultural no.

      Then again, I have been looking at North America being basically post apocalyptic and the actual reactions to that.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. And they haven’t even met Ayame yet!

    In comes to mind that being very skilled at killing human beings, SG1 would tip the balance firmly against Dogen’s bushi. If only the Czar (ie crazy panic dudes) knew.

    Am enjoying this despite not having said anything sensible to that effect.

    Thanks.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Um, guys… You do realize that being in the military often entails familiarity with long-term refugee camps? Especially if you are the kind of person who gets sent to exciting places to do mysterious things and talk to iffy people, or help out as a In observer. And that’s even before Stargate missions. “Teach your grandmother to suck eggs.”

    Jack may or may not like certain situations and problems, but he knows a lot about them. Looking for the differences is probably his concern.

    Liked by 5 people

      1. I know I was pretty surprised to work on some camps after one of the bad California fires and see a bunch of army guys caring for like 700 pets until they could be reunited with their owners.

        The volunteers and OES would not have been holding the camp together nearly as well if not for the military sending a bunch of warm bodies to help out with strict ‘be an asshole and your pay gets docked’ orders.

        Liked by 4 people

  5. I thing Jack wishes it was zombies. Nice easily killable zombies. That will rot given enough time…

    And he didn’t see Nue, yet.
    Wonder what their reaction be when they realise there is no safe location. That those kids and everyone else actually live on Hayajiro. With constant Kabane threat and all. Not to mention how Stations doesn’t help. How there’s no working system to help fallen stations. Or even orphans. (I doubt SG-1 will feel sorry for shogun. At all. That was his job!)

    Also, now that I think about it. Kongokaku folks seem to think that any station will take them in. And feel greatful for the honor of taking in such pure citizens… How big eyeopener will that be?

    Liked by 5 people

    1. /And he didn’t see Nue, yet./
      Yeah, the existence of the Nue/Fused Colonies puts a very harsh deadline on the survival of any and all of the stations. Because those suckers can just climb right over or smash through the walls. Only way to drive them off would be to have cannons like the Koutetsujou has all along the perimeter. And we haven’t seen any stations with that sort of firepower installed.

      Though I imagine that said cannons are featuring prominently in the blueprints for ‘how we wish to rebuild Aragane station’ that the steamsmiths etc doodle on from time to time.

      Liked by 4 people

  6. You can grow potatoes in a black. Trash bag with a hole in the bottom. Have the bag rolled down, fill it with dirt, plant potato, cover with dirt and an upper layer of hay/mulch. As the leaves grow out, unroll the bag and cover all but the tips of the uppermost leaves with dirt and hay again. Repeat until the bag is completely unrolled and it’s harvest time. In the early stages you could also grow beans or other shallow, early fruiting plants in the same bag. It would help keep the soil healthy and gives you more things to do in that same space. I imagine a hayajiro could use burlap or other kinds of cloth sacks in place of plastic. And then use the soil to grow leafy greens like bok Choi or legumes. Get a few rabbits/goats, their poop is the best bang for the buck when fertilizing. An angora type breed would also have useful furs, and you can spin the fur into yarn and thread. Rabbits would probably be easier to keep on the hayajiro, and the kids could help with daily brushing to gather the wool. A few meat rabbits, they shouldn’t move much to have the more tender meat. On the other hand, if bunnies get scared or nervous while the kittens are still young, they have a very nasty habit of cannibalism. I somehow don’t doubt that a Kabane attack might be construed as stressful. But if you acclimate them to hayajiro life style…

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Also there would be the problem of how much car space woul be required to even partially feed the population of the Hayajiro.

      Based on a conversation in Sweeten and the new car they just picked up (that will presumably be used for cargo, manufacturing etc etc) they can add one more before they start running into problems.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. *Nod* Their long-term best bets are 1) try and arrange for food plots they can harvest in passing and 2) develop things they can trade with settled stations. Including means like jet bullets to make sure said stations stay standing.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Lamia, it’s probably only deepwater and floating rice that require ponds. According to Dr. Norman Uphoff, yields are better with the System of Rice Intensification, which requires a lack of continuous flooding.

    It boosts yields to ludicrous levels.

    Also, what about aeroponics? That would get around potato rot if they have giant dehumidifiers.

    Liked by 1 person

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