Track of the Apocalypse Ch5 Ficbit – Too Interesting

“Mumei said something about Hunter bullets.” Kajika looked over all of the surviving Hunters. “That you could use them in gunpowder guns to kill Kabane, when steam rifles need jet bullets. O’Neill’s people have gunpowder guns.”

Uryuu blinked. The other Hunters started. Eishun looked like someone had cold-cocked him one.

Ikoma eyed Hunter steamsmith and Hunter leader alike. “So how do your bullets work?”

“Or do you want to bargain for that with Lady Ayame?” Kajika said, hard on his heels. “Because information isn’t free. But we’ll all get a better bargain if Lady Ayame makes one deal with O’Neill, instead of letting him make us undercut each other.”

“O…kay?” Uryuu straightened, and shrugged. “Not sure what I know is anything to bargain with-”

Letting go, Kajika clapped her hands together and headed for the front hatch. “Good, let’s go!”

“Don’t worry,” Ikoma advised the suddenly wary Hunter. “Kajika won’t let you get skinned. Lady Ayame gave her word. You’re on the Koutetsujou, you’re one of us.”

That yanked the scowl back onto Uryuu’s face. “Eh. Rather let the princess handle those strangers anyway.” He threw his shoulders back, and swaggered forward. “Sure. Let’s go talk.”

The railing at the top of the stairs down to the conductor’s area was solid. Familiar. Ayame’s hands gripped it, and wouldn’t let go.

Breathe. In. And out. I can’t cry yet. Not here.

Her people would understand. She knew that. But that was why she couldn’t cry.

I may be young, and lacking. But I will give them all I have.

Tears were for later, in her bunk. Where Yukina and her attendant Miyako might notice, but would never betray her.

“Lady Ayame?”

The redheaded conductor stood at the foot of the stairs, jacket loosened against the summer heat. Yukina eyed her a moment more, then looked past to Kurusu and Kibito. “Trouble?”

Ayame took one more long breath, and made her fingers unclench. She didn’t look at how ridged steel had dented her palms. So long as the skin was unbroken, it didn’t matter. “No trouble on the tracks. We’ve just encountered some possibly interesting information that may be critical later.”

Yukina looked her up and down as Ayame descended. Nodded, heading back toward the controls. “The kind of interesting that needs a cannon.”

15 thoughts on “Track of the Apocalypse Ch5 Ficbit – Too Interesting

  1. Is it weird to feel sorry for Uryuu? Caught between Ikoma and Kajika. Mostly Kajika… Sure they mean well, but it seem Hunters aren’t sure how to handle that.

    Poor Ayame. She’s good leader. It’s just way to much, way to fast…
    And possibility of safe haven while knowing it’s actually impossible…

    Liked by 3 people

  2. *Jonesing for full chapter intensifies*

    Or rather, I’m now wondering what happened that made Lady Ayame wish that she could break down and cry. I mean, it’s obviously a heavy burden to bear all the time but I figure there’s got to be a particular straw trying to break the camel’s back at the moment.


    Liked by 3 people

  3. Well, I figure it’s the fact that there are untold worlds without Kabane out there, accessible through the SG Network, but until the Kabane are truly understood and can be defeated, no one can be allowed to go through the Gate, lest the Kabane get spread beyond Tenka, and kill off any colonizing efforts, and/or spread the scourge to other populations.

    Just imagine how freaky it would be, for one of the smart Kabane to figure out how to activate the SG? If an effort were made to return to Keishi, and make a sustained effort to keep the Gate running, and get refugees through, that is bound keep attracting Kabane, plus any new “spawns” during combat… It’s too great a risk.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. Well, I figure flight, let alone within a solar system, but going interstellar, a whole bunch of magnitudes more complicated than managing to engage the throttle on a Hayajiro, and make the proper whistle signal. Canonically, we don’t know how the… Wazatori (iirc?) come to be, and if the intelligence/inherent skills are gained from the host, or if certain Kabane can learn by observation or simple iterative processes, being able to select actions that bring more success…

        Of course, you may have decided how it works for your story… the most recent movie had a Kabaneri acting on a strategy, and able direct Kabane to some extent…

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Well, the Ancients or Ma’Chello could have intended that level of intelligence, with it being simply rare in practice. IC, SG1 and Crew do not yet know it is impossible.

        Liked by 1 person

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