Track of the Apocalypse Ch10 Ficbit – Alternate Scenarios

Crossing her arms, the major put her head down, taking deliberate slow breaths of the kind Jack had used himself, a few times. The ones meant to keep a rebelling stomach from making an awful mess over a situation that couldn’t be helped, damn it, everything was way too late for that.

Yeah. This really sucked.

Daniel settled for just one deep breath, turning a pale face his way. “Um. Jack. I know you like these people, but… do we really trust them?”

Fair question. More than fair. “Honest answer?” Jack grimaced, feeling a chill summer heat couldn’t soothe away. “I was sure up until Kurusu just breezed right past it. What is going on in his head-?”

Teal’c straightened, First Prime formal. “I believe, O’Neill, that Kurusu has made much the same calculation you would in his place. The Hunters are young, and appear to regret their actions. And they are eight more trained warriors. Warriors who saved our lives.” He looked over the rest of the team, calm and unyielding as steel. “If infection requires the blood of living Kabane, the Koutetsujou will simply deny them the opportunity to obtain it.”

Ah. Well then. Teal’c had thought this through. Good thing one of them had.

“That’s… practical,” Daniel allowed. “Terrifying, but practical.”

Sam looked up, still a little green. “But even so, sir. Biowarfare. With a disease that- my God.”

“Yeah,” Jack allowed. “That.”

“The Kabane infection is indeed horrible, and should be expunged from the universe before the Goa’uld ever learn of its existence,” Teal’c nodded, emphatic. “I was fortunate that Apophis did not favor such tactics while I commanded his armies.” He paused. “The Jaffa of Nirrti are not so fortunate.”

And oh but there was an ugly, ugly thought. If Nirrti had tossed that first probe through the Stargate, instead of Apophis….

Apophis had only caused normal casualties that first time, because he’d been after slaves. Nirrti killed off whole planets that didn’t kowtow fast enough. When the first probe had come through the SGC hadn’t had a doc that specialized in exotic diseases. Earth would have been dying of a pandemic before anyone had a clue what was wrong.


33 thoughts on “Track of the Apocalypse Ch10 Ficbit – Alternate Scenarios

  1. Teal’c has the right of it, regarding the Hunters.

    It might help Jack to think of them as child soldiers in need of deprogramming, as opposed to terrorists who went around cheerfully using bioweapons without a care in the world. That’s probably something Jack’s encountered in his varied career, sadly.

    The fact that Uryuu can flat-out *say* that something was *wrong* with Biba should be an encouraging sign (keeping in mind what Jack knows vs what *we* know). That’s not a sign of a cultist looking to follow their martyred leader into Paradise, dragging as many dead “enemies” along as possible.

    Not that SG-1 is *wrong* to be worried about the Hunters, after that reveal. But (from Jack’s perspective so far) Uryuu shows the signs of a leader in “save what’s left of my unit” mode, rather than “blaze of glory.” And the people who had a front-row seat for what Biba’s people did just a couple weeks ago, are acting in “trust but verify” mode. So Jack will probably cue off that, once he has time to process.

    That said, any of the Hunters getting a tourist visa to Earth is probably *not* in the cards anytime soon….

    Liked by 5 people

  2. There is also a thought that I’m not sure SG-1 has the personel to catch.

    In a scarcity, direct command society like Tenka has been reduced to, for a cheifly off-the rails unit like the hunters? Biba would have been the hunters /only/ source of information on his plans. If he told them he was doing good work then until they -directly caught him in a lie- …they have no alternate source to check. There is literally no one they can go to if they feel uneasy with the explanations they’ve given. Their only choices for trying to question their orders would have been to confront Biba himself (courting insubordination) or try to form a literally treasonous plot within their own ranks.

    There are no databases to access, no communications networks to query, no phone calls to make and no whistleblower laws here; If Biba is honest, getting tossed out of the unit or just executed for questioning a nobleman and commanding officer is still quite possible.

    If he’s not, trying anything is suicide.
    I have to wonder if anyone /did/, because Biba could completely get away with offing a soldier who questioned him with only a little effort.
    Especially if Kabanerei blood is still infectious and hunters get fast infections…all you need is a few bits of lack of witnesses.
    Their only way out would be for Biba’s plots to fail in such a way as to reveal what he was doing, leaving the hunters honor stained, yes, but not destroyed. Which is what happened.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. And Biba doesn’t even have to be that obvious. The Hunters were not in a safe occupation. Someone getting in over their heads is depressingly likely.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I wonder…. Could it be that the Kabaneri who were cut down because they were supposedly about to turn actually stumbled onto what Biba was planning, or at least part of it, and he had them eliminated before they could think to pass on the clues to anyone else?

        Liked by 3 people

    2. SG-1 is just beginning to feel their way around how hard it is to get outside information in this setting. It’s daunting.

      As for soldiers questioning Biba… we saw what he did to Enoku outside Shitori. Killed him right there, and claimed the guy was going to attack him. Everybody but Ikoma (who could see his expression across an entire battlefield,, that is definitely a Kabaneri oddity) bought it.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. Given Jack’s self-loathing over his son’s death-by-playing-with-unsecured-firearm, it wouldn’t surprise me if he tries to semi-adopt the Hunters, much the same way he did with Skaara.

    Actually, is this before or after Pretense, the 3rd season episode that resolves Skaara’s possession by the Goa’uld Klorel?


    Liked by 2 people

      1. *G* I suspect? Badly.

        (The Tok’ra might not be too happy either.)

        Hammond, OTH, would be ecstatic – most of the SGC budget goes to powering the ‘Gate. If they can cut that cost, justifying the SGC’s mission gets much easier.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Jack can probably guess that Hammond would rather never send anything to Tenka again, but practical fusion ought to buy a lot of good will and aid.


        They need to find the Goa’uld spacecraft that were left behind by the System Lords who claimed Tenka and vanished five hundred years ago.

        And re-christen the one they salvage to fly back to Earth as the Enterprise, of course.


        Liked by 2 people

      3. I did mention the various types of transparent armor, awhile back – SG-1 trading the technical know-how to manufacture ALON glass (a.k.a. “transparent aluminum”) to Tenka, in exchange for a McRucky engine (or even just the plans to one), would be pretty damn profitable for both sides.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. If they’re trading armor materials to the Tenkans, also trade the 17th century designs for full plate armor that the Europeans had. (18th century armor was a status thing for field marshals and rulers, apparently.) Joint protection is – as far as I can tell – the trickiest part of full-armor coverage, but it’s as vital as the immobile parts like chestplates if you’re fighting fast-infectious zeds that bite.

        Is Sam Carter enough of a Trekkie to know about real-world transparent aluminum? (i.e. ALON) Can she show a late-19th-century tech base how to form the stuff? Because yeah, it’s able to stand up to 50 caliber machine-gun fire. Impressive stuff.


        Liked by 1 person

      5. Part of the reason I picked ALON glass was specifically because of Tenka’s tech base – technically, single-crystal “sapphire glass” has a better performance, however its manufacture is a lot higher-tech as well as more resource-intensive; whereas ALON can be made via standard ceramics-making techniques.

        Moreover, that bulletproof rating against .50 BMG cal? The plate in question was only 1.6 in (41mm) thick – how much more effective do you think it’ll be, at thicknesses rivaling the armor plates used to test/show off jet bullets?

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Actually, I think it will – I just now looked it up, and it says that ALON glass is three times harder than steel of the same thickness.

        Granted, that’s not the same thing as resistance to impact or penetration – nor does it account for any metallurgical differences between Tenka steel and Earth steel – but I’m cautiously optimistic, nevertheless.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Hm. I think somewhere earlier it was mentioned that SG1 might not have fully cottoned on to how young the Kabaneri cast is, though I’m not sure where. And actually, while I’m on the subject, how old are you saying the hunters are? I’m not seeing an official age for them, but they seem to be roughly somewhere between Mumei and Ikoma, age-wise. Personally, I feel like Uryuu looks a touch younger than Ikoma, but anime ages and appearances are basically nonsense.

    Is SG1 operating under the assumption that the crew is “Eh, late teens to mid 20s, probably? Hard to be sure with off-worlders, and they act like young adults, so we’ll go with that”? To be fair, ages can be hard to guesstimate, I STILL keep getting asked when I’m graduating high school, and I have a Master’s degree. Mumei especially is much younger than SG1 is thinking she is, as she seems to be an early bloomer if we’re going by the official age she was given.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Uryuu’s actually the youngest Hunter in my head – I think, canon, he’s supposed to be 15. The rest range from late teens to mid-twenties.

      SG-1 is indeed assuming late teens to mid-20s for the Koutetsujou crew. They act like adults, the team treats them that way. I’m mostly going with canon ages except for two: Kibito and Mumei. Kibito’s personality just strikes me as someone who ought to be a little bit older, early 20s instead of 19. (This way he vaguely remembers what life was like pre-Kabane, which SG-1 will find helpful.)

      As for Mumei… I flat-out refuse to go by the official age of 12. If she’s that old and being encouraged to go after Ikoma (who’s at least 17) in the Battle of Unato by Kajika – no. Even when people got married very young in Japan, they were well aware that you ought to wait until at least mid-teens to get serious.

      Instead I choose to use 12 as the age where Biba picked her up, plus 2 years as a Kabaneri, makes her in the 14/15 range by the time of the Unato movie. Much less squicky.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Aren’t Ikoma and Hozumi settling into a brother/sister relationship? Although I suppose fluid exchange with a non-Kabaneri is in the category of ‘extremely bad idea’, so no shipping Ikoma with Kajika. Unless she gets bit and is then saved by a recently-built hanging rig, perhaps.


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      2. Well, the movie ending certainly has a kiss in it, and Ikoma and Mumei do seem to be trying to understand where their feelings are leading them. Both seem to connect to each other when in a heightened Kabaneri state, a homing instinct as it were.

        There also is Ikoma’s vow to Hozumi, when he was puzzling out what her real name had probably been (something like “eats lots of rice” iirc), that he would work to find a way so that she could one day eat all the rice she wanted- implying that he would be providing her that rice. Something of a quite informal proposal, that.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. One of the traditional ways to get married in Japan was to give somebody rice cakes for three nights in a row. (Back in early medieval times. But it still shows up in certain kinds of Shinto marriage, and similar customs happen around the world.)

        Liked by 1 person

  5. In a society much like that on Tenka (darn it, what’s the actual name for this version of Not!Japan?), “childhood” ends much earlier anyway. That said, positions of actual authority, be it in industry/trades/ruling class, would tend to be filled by visibly older people.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Children mature faster emotionally/mentally in this kind of environment, but getting a 12-year-old pregnant is often going to kill her no matter how emotionally mature she is. Even before ‘age of consent’ laws started to be a thing, most women who married did so in their late teens or early twenties, and the early exceptions were usually arranged marriages for alliance purposes or ‘shotgun wedding’ situations.

      (Yes, prior to laws governing age of consent, people tended to lose their virginity a good decade later than the modern average. Go figure.)


      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, actually being a virgin when you married wasn’t perhaps as comon as it would seem. It certainly comes up in the 1632-verse, in the Germanies at least, that once a couple was engaged, being at that time treated legally as a firm binding contract stating intent to marry, that It wasn’t unusual for the bride’s family to more or less “wink and nudge” over the prospective groom’s occasional climbing into his beloved’s bed before the wedding. Because of the years it often took before a couple had the resources to support a household. I don’t doubt that this sort of practice was dependent on good relations between the families, but again, an engagement was darn serious.

        If pregnancy did occur, then the marriage would be moved up, since bearing children out of wedlock was certainly a smear on a woman’s reputation…

        I haven’t done any research myself on the subject, but a number of religious festivals/rites in Japan before the Shogunate, and certainly before the Meiji Restoration were reported to involve sexual activities. Also, the way for the common folk there was little space (or perhaps even concept) for privacy.

        In parts of Germany/Poland, where the churches hadn’t really gotten a firm presence In the more remote regions, you still had some of the more pagan traditions being carried out more discreetly, like processions or dancing of the unmarried youths at or approaching marriageable age, where there would be plenty of chances to slip off for some “compatibility testing”.

        I think though, we also tend to not get the feel for how serious they tended to take it for the prospective father to “take responsibility”, or how the social framework of a village whose inhabitants had lived with each other for dozens, hundreds of generations really dealt with the inevitable unplanned pregnancy cropping up. Especially in a time of fairly high infant mortality, where manpower was the primary source of labor, when disease or war might decimate a community. The older generations depended on the younger generations to care for them.

        An out of wed lock son might’ve been more acceptable, than a girl child, for instance…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. 1. Jewish betrothals could be converted quickly into marriages, but the contract between families was such that nobody could really pay off at a moment’s notice.

        Long chaste betrayals were the norm, because the woman (and her family) had to work on getting her property and money together, and her supplies for married life ready for transfer to her husband’s house, subject to the inspection of all involved (and especially her parents-in-law). The groom had to get their married home together, whether in the family house or in his own house. If anything went wrong, serious religious and financial penalties could occur, as well as looking bad in front of the neighbors.

        In the poorer parts of Ireland, it was normal not to get married until middle age, and the fully married couples had to get together in the barn because they both were still living with their parents. If you had a kid, you might finally get together.

        And so on. The areas where people were tacitly allowed to sleep.together before marriage were usually places where fertility problems were common.

        But where poverty was the problem, or fertility not a problem, there was every reason to have relationships and finances totally solid before marriage and kids. Sleeping around, or delusions of having multiple viable suitors in the string for long periods, were good ways to get murdered, or start long feuds in the village.

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