Track of the Apocalypse Ch11 Ficbit – Necessity

Dogen strode through the hatchway, determined to get this over with-

Stopped. He’d seen Ayame’s people working like frantic ants, stripping the railyard of tools, even armor plate. Some of it was distributed along the Koutetsujou, but most of the smaller items were concentrated here. The unsorted tangle of crates and salvage packed to the ceiling was no surprise.

The rifle brandished at him by a startled townswoman, firmly between him and the madman, was.

Dogen let out a slow breath. He’d expected a guard. Of course there would be a guard. His dear, clever niece would not leave even a madman’s confinement without at least one rifle inside to warn the hayajiro of any Kabane that managed to find purchase on steel. Though he hoped Ayame had ordered the woman to flee rather than waste her life, if that should happen.

But that a townswoman dared to aim at a bushi? At an Elder? Dogen let his face grow cold, gaze boring into terrified blue. That she dared stand so, even for a moment!

She flinched. As well she should. “Elder Dogen? This is an emergency stop. Why are you-?”

Which was all the time Naokata needed to slip in and pin her, rifle dropping to one side in a clatter.

“Keep her quiet,” Dogen directed, stepping as far as he could to the right without running into piled boxes. Or the shell of a man quivering on the floor. “This is not Aragane’s affair. Be still.”

“I am guarding this man-!”

Her cut-off breath told him as plainly as the flicker in the corner of his eye; one of his other bushi had leveled a rifle.

She’s quiet, but not limp. Too much spirit, for a townswoman. This could become… difficult.

Dogen gestured to Naokata to get her out, and keep her quiet. The man might not like Aragane’s folk, but he shouldn’t hurt her too badly.

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41 thoughts on “Track of the Apocalypse Ch11 Ficbit – Necessity

  1. And i guess this will be a proof of Dogen being a follower of The Shogun- as i suspect he came to ‘silence’ the madman…

    If the Late aragane lord was similar…

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Well, he is Dogen’s responsibility, and the man is a risk to the maintenance of morale and good order on the Hayajiro. With quarters as confined as they area, and resources tight, the Hayajiro cannot afford the risk of someone running amok and causing an outbreak of panic or rioting.

      Still, Dogen would have been smarter to coordinate with the men following his niece, just to prevent any misunderstandings…

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Always a tricky thing, the dance between a “captain’s” (“vessel” commander) perogatives and orders, and the commands of a higher ranked officer/official of a “different command”, especially with tensions taught between factions…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Whelp. This was hinted.

    Hadn’t wanted to comment before it was verified. “Dogen, you idiot” comes to mind, but isn’t fair. To Dogen or idiots? I haven’t the spoons for fair atm.

    Thank you.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. As mentioned above by Thiemo Gunther, it’s not so much Dogen being an idiot. There are several good reasons for what appears to be about to happen. It is even arguably the right thing to do, at least from a “greater good” perspective (much tho I dislike that perspective, I can still at least run the logic for it). Sure, there’s some flaws in it too, but even they have some good reasons (coordination may make things both sides agree on smoother, but if you expect the other side not to agree, forgiveness is easier than permission). And at least some of the reasons we have for thinking Dogen is wrong, are reasons we have because of metaknowledge.

      Liked by 3 people

  4. Honestly, I kind of agree with Dogen here? Hidemi is not getting better. It’s days and days to the next station, and he’s stripping resources just by existing so that he can… be locked in a cell for the rest of his life in Shitori? Not to mention, if he did escape during a crisis he’s *biting* people. Which could get sane, healthy people killed. Not only do I not see a future for this guy, he’s a serious safety hazard for everyone else. What happens when they have to put more people in quarantine? Getting rid of him before then is cold, but honestly I think it is the better option.
    Now, going behind Ayame’s back? That *is* stupid. Shame on you, Dogen.

    Liked by 5 people

      1. …Let me guess, they’re *not* bright enough to realize fresh blood scent with a STOPPED hayajiro is a HORRIBLE idea, however they argue the necessity of offing the madman with the biting issues. So they *won’t* be careful to, oh, snap his neck or smother him, instead of stabbing or beheading him. Noooooooooooo, that would be too sensible.

        Instead they waited for the moment when the hayajiro is at a dead stop and the most vulnerable, and the chief steamsmith and the steamsmith that invented jet bullets are both out in the open. I mean, they could have also tied Ayame to the tracks if they REALLY wanted to make it worse, but they picked a pretty freaking vulnerable moment. I mean, certainly all the actual guards guarding stuff isn’t a sign now is not the time to cause trouble since it would hurt everyone…nah! And I’ll just bet these geniuses are gonna ring that dinner bell niiiiice and loud and splatter blood EVERYWHERE. Maybe even open the car and chuck the bloody bits outside for maximum kabane attraction in minimal time!

        Oh, and protest that this was for the good of everyone on the Kotetsujo. Uuuuuuugh. Save us from people who have never faced a particular danger scenario making decisions about what’s a good idea in said scenario. And that last line….oh, that’s a potential RIOT.

        Liked by 3 people

  5. Oh, great. He gestured to _Naokata_ to get her out and shut her up, when his own ‘relatively restrained’ judgement is that she’s too uppity for her caste.

    And he thinks the fanatic isn’t going to hurt her ‘too badly’.

    One thing I dislike about the whole Japanese ‘what matters is what you don’t say’ thing is that _people are not mind readers!_ For everything that’s said there’s an entire cluster of things that are left unsaid, so even the best cold reader can’t count on more than ‘close enough’. Being able to look upon the heart and truly discern the thoughts of another is an attribute of divinity, not mere mortals!

    (Of course, the Emperor is supposed to be a descendant of Amaterasu, so I suppose that particular objection would be rejected.)

    How many tragedies happen because bushi and nobles agree that there are things not spoken of, but each take on what must be left unsaid is slightly different? How much divergence of bushi doctrine has crept in between the bushi of different stations because of what they aren’t allowed to discuss with each other?

    -Albert

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Not just her authority, but her hospitality. He is acting as if he is still ruler, in another noble’s domain. That’s not going to go over well with whatever station he wants to settle his people in.

        Liked by 5 people

    1. Oh dear. Going behind Ayame’s back to kill Hidemi is is bad enough. He’s aboard the Iron Fortress but he’s a Kongokaku and thus counted as under Elder Dogen’s authority.Ayame won’t be happy about it, but mostly in a “You shed blood while we were stopped. That’s like ringing a dinner bell for the Kabane!”

      But if Naokata hurts Chie, or worse, Ayame’s probably gonna give Kurusu permission to stab a bitch.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. /But if Naokata hurts Chie, or worse, Ayame’s probably gonna give Kurusu permission to stab a bitch./
        Assuming he even gets the chance to.

        Remember that Hozumi is on top of the train sniffing/listening/watching for Kabane. And if the further-away Kabane can smell/sense blood, a much closer Kabaneri will just as easily.

        So she’s going to know the micosecond that Hidemi is killed and 10 to 1 will inform people and investigate. And if Chie is hurt, Hozumi is most likely going to react with varying (but most likely high) levels of violence when she comes across the scene.

        Liked by 4 people

  6. Well… Maybe he has poison? Suffocation? Break the neck? You don’t have to stab a person to kill them.
    There just happens to be so many convenient sharp and/or piercing options on this train.

    I really hope that Dogen goes the bloodless route, because he can’t be that stupid. Please, don’t be that stupid. Maybe he tries bloodless, but Hidemi forces the issue? Cuz let’s face it, things have been going so nicely lately, there is gonna be blood.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. Even if the koutetsujou will see it as Dogen encroaching on Aayme’s authority- SG1 WONT!

    He felt insulted and dismayed that a townswoman dared aim at a Bushi, and even at an Elder- a class and caste are highly important for him- things the Hunters long abandoned (mocking in their hearts the Stations that cling to it even to their detriment) and that the Koutetsujou has slowly been letting go of (remember the scandal of Steamsmith, touching Bushi sword? practicing swodsmanship? daring to attack a bushi?)

    SG1 are Americans- and america Teal’c- i think they will have a strong reaction to this.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Why wouldn’t they see this as infringing on her authority? They waited until everyone else was gone, overpowered the lawful guard, and murdered a man. Even to a thoroughly American audience that screams disrespect at the very least. And Teal’c at least has a background that says what Dogen did is a power play, pure and simple. (The smarter thing for Dogen to do would have been to not go himself, for the plausible deniability.) Once you start keeping moves like this a secret, you know there’s a problem.

      And SG-1 should understand the idea of face at least, even if the honor and caste system isn’t familiar. Besides, they are some of the poor unfortunate souls about to have to stand there and fire so other people get on the kotetsujou first. I think they’ll have their own axe to grind with Dogen, even if they let Ayame do it for them.

      Liked by 3 people

    2. Jack is choosing to respect Ayame’s chain of command, since there’s no real room for wastage caused by disputes and she’s clearly doing about as good a job as can be done.

      So if she decides to mop the walls with her uncle’s blood, in response to him murdering one of his own and ordering the abuse of one of hers, SG-1 shouldn’t have much difficulty supporting her.

      -Albert

      Liked by 3 people

  8. I meant taht SG1 will see it much worse- and less as one commander stepping into command of another, adn more like learning their allied commander (Dogen) is part of the local version of nazis- they will have issues for a totally different reason.

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  9. That particular guard meant that others have more important things to do. And noone is THAT stupid to go off the madman while Koutetsujou isn’t moving! Much less when important people are OFF the hajajiro.

    Dogen just killed any trust Ayame had in him… Not that there was much in the first place. But “we want to live, they want to live” was sort of given.
    Now, I can see Koutetsujou practically kicking Kongokaku’s folk off train in nearest station. (reason = suicidal idiots) Regardless of whenever said station wants them or not. (Because there’s that too… Dogen seems to think any station will be grateful to accept his fanatical people…)

    Also, RIP Naokata if Chie was hurt. He might watch out for bushi, but not for steamsmiths. Not to mention certain little mosquito.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Naokata better HOPE a bushi is the one that gets him if he hurts Chie. They’d make it relatively quick and low pain. He might even get lucky with Ikoma or Mumei if they decided to take him out like a kabane that just popped up on the train. But the hayajiro folk? (They’re not townspeople anymore, not really.) Oooh boy. Fetch the mops.

      Though, now I’m thinking….did the Kongokaku idiot(s) just assume that “oh, she’s realized we’re her betters, that will be the last of the fight out of her.”? If so, and she still has her gun….we might not have to worry about Naokata hurting her if her reaction is “shoot the threat”. Of course, that’s a whole new kettle of fish, telling the Kongokaku people and Dogen that yes, she was assigned as a guard. They came into her turf, and removed her from her position, and threatened her. She had every right to tell them no, and every right to eliminate any threat to herself or her task, and Naokata trying to hurt her meant bushi vs townswoman means nothing more than he should have known better and got what he deserved. Oh, and all the Kongokaku people are now confined to their car, and if Dogen wants to talk, Ayame may deign to indulge her uncle if her schedule allows…but he can borrow her guards to travel the hayajiro, his own may not leave the car and will be put down like rabid dogs if they try.

      I don’t think they quite understand how freaking lucky they are that Ayame is kind enough to allow them space and resources on the train. It’s her kindness alone that is keeping them alive. No one else knows they survived and were taken in. No one would expect it. So if, tragically, they just…hadn’t made it? No harm to the Koutetsujou’s rep. Maybe those townfolk ought to walk a little softer, eh?

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Ayame and her people are too nice to do that… But if we talking about Koutetsujou’s rep… It would be better if Kongokaku didn’t make it. They might spread all sort of rumors.

        But yeah, I wouldn’t be surprised it Dogen and his folk got “house arrest” under threat of death.

        Liked by 2 people

  10. Oh hell. I just reread the series. Chie is friendly with the Hunters. Not very friendly, but given Tomio seems to find something about her worth saying hello to when he’s been in a fog for who knows how long, they are at least slightly invested in her wellbeing. And she was there for the conversation about Biba, the shogun, and she’s not stupid, she can probably work out at least some of what it means that Dogen was in the shogun’s circle. And she wasn’t the only one there. Which means that no matter what Dogen is thinking, Naokata’s actions are going to make this look like an attack. This is going to get even messier then I thought.

    Liked by 3 people

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