Track of the Apocalypse Ch8 Ficbit – Oops

Hozumi snorted, and fluffed her blankets again. “So what if they shoot? Their guns won’t work.”

“If they were bushi, no,” Kibito said wryly. “But on O’Neill’s world, you shoot Kabane-things in the head.”

Ayame shuddered. Kajika curled tighter against Ikoma’s side, as if her touch could make him safe. With good reason, Kurusu knew. The human mind was all that kept a Kabaneri not a Kabane. Damage that-

Kurusu winced, mentally turning away from memories of Kongokaku, and where he’d seen the Hunter snipers aim before he’d cut them down. They’d meant to shoot Ikoma in the head.

So far as those of the Koutetsujou knew, Kabane bodies healed. But whatever unnatural forces mended transformed flesh, it would have no reason to heal a living, human brain.

Hozumi frowned, evidently thinking back on what she’d seen of O’Neill’s aim. “He could do it, too.”

Ikoma shook his head, as if he’d been chewing on the thought and had to spit it out. “What kind of person does that? It’s no good at killing Kabane, just-!”

“Other humans,” Kurusu said flatly.

He expected a protest. A bristling, at least; Ikoma fought so fiercely for every life, even those who would slay him if they knew what he was.

He did not expect a wince, and a slump of blanketed shoulders. “…Right.”

Not good. Not good at all. When Ikoma wanted to turn away from other people- “What happened?”

Ayame straightened, giving him a look of steely command. “You were busy organizing the defense of the Koutetsujou. But now that we are moving again… it seems my uncle will be forced to decide what to do with one of Kongokaku who was in quarantine, who has now gone mad.”


Oh kami, that was the last thing they needed. Kurusu almost wished the man had fallen to the infection instead. Convincing a station to take in refugees was hard enough. One whose mind had broken? Elder Dogen was probably cursing their names that Hidemi was still alive.


13 thoughts on “Track of the Apocalypse Ch8 Ficbit – Oops

  1. Yeah. People who are used to focusing all their efforts on fighting monsters can find it… difficult to remember that sometimes other humans can be the real threat. Hopefully the Koutetsujou crew are level-headed enough to understand this doesn’t mean O’Neill’s people are bad guys, just that they’re accustomed to a different kind of war.

    …And that they’d better get to thinking about it themselves, especially after the mess with Biba. Scheming humans can be _worse_ than the monsters, especially when the monsters are not yet themselves a solved problem.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. On top of not having been near the front lines, I’d expect just “being an engineer” would leave Ikoma floundering a bit. Engineering makes sense. Machines can be frustrating, but in the end they follow logical rules. People don’t. …Though I suppose most people problems can be solved with the same wrench as many engineering issues, if applied properly.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. *Amused* Yes, and add the frustration of being an engineer trying to figure out a virus that doesn’t work like a virus, and does things to infected bodies that ought to be physically impossible, and argh.

        …Ikoma would very much like to go back to a time when things made sense and he’d never hurled a whole hayajiro by sheer willpower, thanks.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. I’m a little surprised that Ikoma has to wonder why Jack would be trained to shoot people. From one point of view, he saw thugs gun down a man in the first episode, merely for panicking: A functional nation needs men willing and able to fight and kill those who murder the innocent.


    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yeah, but those were also techniques for killing Kabane, which Ikoma is set on personally, and excuses.

      Ikoma is very young, for all that he has accomplished, and that means specialized. He may well have never thought much about non-kabane related applications warriors.

      It definitely isn’t the mental place where he is most comfortable, and it has been a bad day.

      Liked by 3 people

    2. Jack being trained to shoot people is not the stunner; Jack being trained to use something that is only a killshot on people is.

      On top of that, a headshot is a relatively small, rapidly moving target compared to center of mass. Canon, Ikoma is a good shot; not in Kurusu or Mumei’s league, no, but a pretty good shot. (Which makes sense for a guy who doubles as a steamgun-smith – he has to know what the weapon does to fix it right.) He has a fair idea of how long it takes to train someone to shoot that accurately.

      That someone invested the time and effort to train a leader of soldiers to take out other humans as the main danger is, to Ikoma, very depressing.

      Not to mention it’s been a long night fighting the storm, and Ikoma’s been targeted by snipers before. Meaning this is bringing up all kinds of bad memories from Kongokaku on top of everything else.

      Liked by 2 people

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