Track of the Apocalypse Ch10 Ficbit – Brushfire Wars

They look sane. Mostly. They act sane – at least as sane as anybody else who goes out and fights super-zombies head on.

So what the hell had happened in Kongokaku?

Patience, Grasshopper. Ayame thinks having these guys on her side ups the odds of everybody staying alive. We’re going to go with that. For now.

Uryuu kept a good poker face for his age, but the way his Hunters shuffled a little closer together, they hadn’t expected this. “You’d kill a shogun.”

“If our country’s commander did what Shogun Amatori did?” Jack arched an eyebrow. “We’d take him for a trial, first. But if it was proved? Oh yeah. Someone would die.”

Three hundred-odd million angry Americans, enough guns in-country to arm every last one of ‘em and then some. If someone’d betrayed an American army the way Amatori had, not a prison in the world could keep the bastard alive.

Give a round of applause to our Founding Fathers. We can vote the bastards out.

…From that glint of glasses Daniel aimed at him, the archaeologist had a fair idea where his cheerfully politician-cidal thoughts had gone. And – yep, there was the annoyed arch of brow.

Translation: Jack, do not break the local power structure currently under stress by bringing up democratic republics, these people have enough problems.

Okay, fair. Jack blinked; who, me?

Daniel rolled his eyes. Sam eyed them both, mouth firmly shut. And Teal’c was so silent, it was an epic in itself.

Jack cleared his throat. “Right. So. Ten years ago, the shogun tried to pull a fast one, and Biba lived through it.” Along with some significant if small portion of an infuriated army, he was guessing. Which led to all kinds of other questions; first and foremost being, given how hard the rest of the car was listening, had any of Biba’s guys told their families they weren’t dead after all? “And then what happened?”

Uryuu glanced aside – weighing how tense his men were, Jack would just bet – then looked back with a reluctant shrug. “We weren’t the old guys. All I know’s what we heard, and what we saw. Biba took everybody still alive, everything they’d learned fighting the Kabane, and started Hunting. If he couldn’t beat all the Kabane in Hi-no-Moto, then we were going to wipe out hordes near the stations. Give people a breather. Show them it could be done, so maybe they’d go out and fight themselves.” He snorted. “Yeah, like that was going to happen.”

Interesting. And hell, Jack could see the SGC doing the same thing if everything went to Murphy in a handbasket-

Oh, who was he kidding? That was exactly what they were doing now. Hoping that if they kept fighting the Goa’uld, kept nibbling at them, people would wise up that they weren’t gods after all.

Let’s hope we don’t go Ma’chello’s “burn planets down to save them” route. That way lies crazy.


20 thoughts on “Track of the Apocalypse Ch10 Ficbit – Brushfire Wars

  1. Big difference being that Goa’uld have leaders and structure, as well as communication. If some podunk planet’s military is consistently nibbling away at your leaders, taking down one or two or three every year or so, as well as causing lots of havoc and realignment among the underlings — well, it wasn’t just the Goa’uld who were noticing.

    Now, that said, it’s hard to get a really old and established group like the Goa’uld to get moving out of your way. It takes a lot more nibbling than an American military force is really happy about doing. We want things done fast, and it works better for us to do them fast. (Much like it was for the Athenians and other democracies.)

    But it’s a lot more movement than just “podunk planet feuding on a minor scale with opponent it could never ever beat.” It’s consistent amounts of lasting damage, and without even really having a war, just scouting and wreaking havoc.

    If you could consistently wreak serious havoc on the Kabane, and not stick around to be wreaked upon, you could probably do something good. But you would probably need something faster and more all-terrain than motorcycles, although motorcycle blitzkrieg is very suitable against Kabane.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. For all that they can understand and share a lot with each other, the idea of democracy VS the lorsd it stands upon- will never be one of them.

    I think the stationfolk are very much pertrubed at the idea of people having procedure to rise against their lord to remove him

    Liked by 3 people

    1. On the other hand, it _can_ be put in terms of loyalty. “Our highest loyalty is to our law, not our lord. Our lord is just the highest servant of the law, who’s duty is to see that the law is followed. If our lord breaks the law, utterly abrogating his duty, our loyalty to the law makes it our duty to stop him.” The problem is when you try to put it in terms of freedom and equality, rather than in terms of loyalty and duty. In this case, it can actually be taken as a mirror of the “highest loyalty is to serve an evil master”, because here it’s “doing something that’d normally be dishonorable (fighting your lord) because of your loyalty and duty (to the law)”, which is something that they could understand and respect, even if it seems strange at first.

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      1. While I think you are right about loyalty to the law there might be a little difficulty in understanding that notion here. I don’t know how similar to feodal Japan the culture of this planet is, but lords and families were known adopt people, giving them their name and a place in their family, all to create a familial sort of loyalty. And when it comes to familial loyalty it often comes above loyalty to the lord and the law (which is why there is epic tales of revenge for one’s family, followed by suicide). Now, these hunters haven’t been “adopted” by Biba (not sure Biba would have had the right since he is not the head of the family, his father is) so they could probably understand the logic of loyalty to the law if laws existed to take down a cruel or crazy lord. I don’t think it invalidates what you said though, just that maybe loyalty has differente interpretation depending on the culture.

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      2. That’s why I said it may still seem strange to them at first, but if put in the right terms it is something they could understand. A sort of “if you tilt your head and squint, it actually does make sense” situation. But if you use the wrong way to describe it, it comes off as “that’s horribly wrong!!!” Hopefully, this is something Daniel could handle, since it’s a matter of recognizing that a different worldview means a different way of describing the exact same thing may be necessary.

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      3. I feel like you’re on to something here, and yeah, it might take Daniel (or Vathara!) to word it just right, but the concept I’m seeing is a good one.

        For the Kabaneri world folks, the idea of it being your duty as a good and loyal bushi to disobey your sworn lord’s orders, and even actively seek to overthrow him if need be, is sort of…difficult to wrap your mind around.

        For the Earth people, they’re post WWII, so it’s a big part of their worldview that “just following orders” isn’t an excuse or valid reason, and that there is an obligation to act against wrongdoing, even if that means going against your superiors directly.

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      4. Plenty of samurai disobeyed their lords for their lords’ own good (or that of the next lord, or the clan and domain). But you just had to be willing to “apologize” later with your gut, before you were made to apologize with your head.

        Peasants too; but you and your family were definitely going to die in that case. No suicidal apologies for peasants!

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      5. Of course, plenty of lords disobeyed their lords and broke off to go somewhere else or make a new domain. Hence all the civil wars and inter-domain raiding.

        And there was that peasant/merchant/Christian republic for a while.

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  3. Actually, anybody Daniel’s age in the social sciences would have read Ruth Benedict’s The Chrysanthemum and the Sword, aka “how we defanged Japan.” But she wasn’t as optimistic about the anthropological hacking as many of her readers have been. Japan still is Not Very Nice in all sorts of ways.

    OTOH, on the village level, the idea of running things by council was familiar. Every lord had a panel of councilors. Temples and shrines were often run that way. There were family meetings. Everybody was supposed to seek consensus of decision, if you are talking about adult men of reasonably high status.

    The problem historically was that, if you didn’t reach consensus, hotblooded people might assassinate somebody or many somebodies. The Kenshin anime actually downplays the amount of carnage of politicians, bankers, etc. Even into the 1920’s, even during WWII, and again from the 1950’s to the 1970’s.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Also having high esteem for the law is built into Confucian thought, and sort of into Legalism. (Brrr.) But the Japanese just sort of respect Confucius without living by him.

      But yeah, our history of rule of law is more about Greek city-states.

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  4. Of course, in the history of ‘Western’ society, the Fuedal contract was two-way: if your lord failed to keep their oaths, you had not just the right but the duty to revolt…

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    1. Now I’m trying to remember that old SF story (maybe from Analog? I read it in one of dad’s old SF magazines), where the young adult son of the emperor of a space empire goes for a pilgrimage back to Earth (much to his displeasure), because his father ordered it as part of a Right of Passage. The emperor didn’t mention, tho, that it’s actually a test for the young man. One of the “guides” was actually part of a family sworn to secretly aid the emperor’s family in ensuring that they didn’t go the way of the rulers of the previous empire (that they’d revolted against and overthrown). So the whole pilgrimage is a test of the young man’s moral fiber and willingness to abuse his authority, with the guide’s secretly sworn duty being to judge him and if necessary execute him to prevent an evil and corrupt ruler from having a chance at the throne.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Ok, I found a copy, and I’m pretty sure that was the story I’m remembering, tho this copy does not include the author’s explanation for the story, which was where a significant part of it was.


  5. Ah, thanks. Looking at wiki, that’s probably right. It’s been a while since I read the story, so I didn’t remember the name.


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