Track of the Apocalypse Ch10 Ficbit – Politics

Carter was shaking her head, even as she glanced away from the bikes. “But Kajika has all those orphans. They’re not hers. Well, she said they were Aragane’s, but that’s still not related.”

“Aragane,” Asao put in, low and gruff, “is weird.”

And that from the guy who read made-up tales about flying ships and walking machines, Uryuu smirked. Yeah. The Koutetsujou was weird.

“Are they now.” O’Neill’s stance was relaxed, the way a skilled bushi’s was when he didn’t plan on unleashing mayhem. Yet. “But we were talking about a crazy shogun scared to death of Kabane and taking it out on anybody in reach.” His look askance was too, too mild. “Doesn’t sound like the same guy who sent an army north to fight the Kabane.”

Oh, kami. Uryuu had to laugh, dark and bitter. “You think so? You tell me. How’s an army supposed to fight when the shogun cuts the supply line?”

“What.”

Flat. Calm, which made it all the more dangerous. But O’Neill didn’t sound like he thought they were lying.

What the hell. Give ‘em the truth.

“Don’t know how the civil war went. Don’t care.” Uryuu met him gaze for gaze. “About ten years back, the station lords split up two ways.” He held up one finger. “The ones that wanted to cower behind the walls and hope the Kabane didn’t eat them.” Another. “Those that wanted to fight.”

Carter frowned, shifting her weight as the car bumped a little. “But if the shogun didn’t want to risk fighting….”

“Wouldn’t matter,” O’Neill said dryly. “If there were enough lords willing to go out and kill Kabane, who wanted it bad enough that everybody knew about it – why, they might just decide to go fight on their own. And then the shogun’d have two options, both of them bad. Either the lords lose, and he’s lost face because he couldn’t keep them in line… or they win.”

“And he has opposing lords with a power base and popular support.” Carter winced. “I hate politics, sir.”

“You and everybody sane, Major.”

“But he didn’t pick either of those.” Daniel glanced at the other Hunters, then back to Uryuu. “The shogun sent the army.”

“Stripped the stations of bushi to make it. And some who weren’t,” Uryuu said bitterly. He’d listened when Biba told them all why the shogun had to die. “Only the stations he didn’t trust? They got stripped more. They wanted to fight? They could fight. All of them.”

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16 thoughts on “Track of the Apocalypse Ch10 Ficbit – Politics

  1. using a crysis to make decisions hat would benefit politically aftre its over, at teh expanse of ones that will help with the crysis itself…

    I REALLY hope the world leaders during the IRL covid-19 global crysis will prove smarter.

    …anyone still got a bridge they be willing to sell me for rolls of toilet paper?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. World Leaders is not a meaningful category. The earth is not populated with one society, it is populated with several.

      Whether a leader is good or bad domestically depends partly on the society’s standards. Other societies only have an opinion that matters when it comes to wars between those societies.

      Okay, my view of foreign policy is rather tooth and claw, all against all. And we are not openly amidst a serious world war.

      What counts as a good or bad action in response to a crisis is partly dependent on how it seems in the values of those who are backing the political figure. Which isn’t relativism of morality, but instead aliens not having consensus on what constitutes a non-crisis state, and the extent to which peace depends on shared values.

      From a US perspective, there are enemies foreign acting like enemies foreign, and enemies domestic acting like enemies domestic, and a very small number of political figures whose actions are worth evaluating in terms of ‘resolving the crisis’ or ‘serving a selfish political agenda’.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. One of the things that can kill a nation is when politicians think they can afford to play their games with other peoples’ lives and fortunes, but then it turns out that there wasn’t nearly enough margin for wastage as they assumed.

    The shogun ought to have been arrested and executed 10 years ago, but obviously that’s not easy to do, and Biba killing the capitol station along with his father was just as bad as his father trying to kill the army in order to kill him.

    -Albert

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m not sure if you are extensively familiar with this or not, but Richard ‘Wretchard’ Fernandez has been writing about the ‘Design Margins’ of societies for a decade or two now.

      Like

      1. I’m not familiar with him, but IIRC as far back as the Roman Empire people have been noting that politicians narrow the margins for handling disaster by playing chicken with each other.

        -Albert

        Liked by 2 people

      1. That’s why it’s not easy to do, yes. I’m sure he was watching carefully for anyone with the charisma to lead, the competence to lead well, and the conviction that an emperor-killer is not a worthy heir to the throne of Hi-No-Moto.

        But that’s the thing about rebellion, it resets all the legitimacy that generations of tradition bestow. Dunno how much Ayame’s father told her about the time before the Hunters, but politically those must have been extremely tense years.

        -Albert

        Liked by 2 people

  3. From what I recall, the Capitol looked pretty secure, with its fortifications. There probably was enough industry to be able to keep up their tech level, though they would have needed to have large strategic stockpiles… What I’m getting at, is that absent Biba deliberately experimenting with riling up Kabaneri, if he’d “conveniently” died and hadn’t goaded a Nue into breaching the city, and infecting the Shogun and his Council… The Shogun might well have gotten away with letting everyone beyond the Capital walls fall. While it seems that there might be some roaming Kabaneri, it seems that most tend to go dormant, after the frenzy of a mass infection event. The Hunters prove that if one is careful, it’s possible to survive in the no man’s land of the countryside. So, the Hayajiro became the infection vector, carrying or leading them from station to station in one fashion or another. But one couldn’t just go to the Capitol, there were Gateway Stations, and even those probably could only be approached with permission. So, if there was no Biba, and Stations falling one by one- as long as the FIREWALL holds, a collapse if the Hayajiro network could well have left the Capitol as the last one standing. Pure, Inviolable.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Biba wasn’t in a position to take over, because Kabaneri.

      But, in absence of a Sarcophagus, the Shogun was mortal, and would eventually have lost political power.

      Sometimes I have to walk away from political goals I deeply cherish, simply because of other goals I deeply cherish.

      In reality, everything has costs. We all have conflicting goals, and if we pay careful attention, have to make trade off decisions.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. If you are deeply selfish, and deeply afraid of death, killing off other people can be soothing, I guess.

    Look at Stalin. Although even he didn’t kill his own son. (Tried to get the Nazis to kill him in prison, though.)

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Oh, I love Uryuu’s view of Jack here. He’s very certainly noticing that Jack is DANGEROUS. Not actively hostile, but DANGEROUS even if he’s not acting on it this second. Also, that flat what from Jack? Good thing the Shogun is already dead. Doesn’t make Biba right, mind you, there’s a pretty strong dose of “cool motive, still murder” with regard to the way they attacked other stations and infected people not the Shogun or his cabinet. If he’d stuck to just killing his dad and maybe some of the other higher-ups, Biba would be looking pretty darn reasonable, but since he didn’t, it was more a clash of the both wrong, with bonus unrelated people deaths in huge numbers!

    Liked by 2 people

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