Track of the Apocalypse Ch13 Ficbit – To Market

Stopping on the high point of the wooden bridge, breeze a bit drafty down the collar of his borrowed green kimono, Daniel gripped the thick guardrail and stared out over the canal at the bustle of more people than he’d seen in a week.

Ceramic-tiled roofs, on two-story buildings so close together you couldn’t slip a knife between them. Brightly-patterned cloths spread to dry on supports spanning the canal, rustling along with willow branches; he could smell indigo still settling into blue cloth. Fire towers and bell towers and pipes running here, there, and everywhere, delivering steam for power. And all over the place, people.

Civilians, mostly. I think.

At least he didn’t see many obvious weapons, besides the swords Kurusu, Elder Dogen, and Naokata were carrying. Although given what Kibito had filled them in on what bushi were and weren’t allowed to carry when visiting another lord, Daniel was willing to bet he, Jack, and Ayame had at least seven knives between them, and he’d just bet Kibito’s box had steam rifles in it. For demonstration purposes. Right.

He wasn’t going to ask what the three steamsmiths still waiting with them might be carrying, besides quick wits and the knowledge of how to break just about anything. Ikoma had apparently taken down Shitori bushi before, and Yukina and Suzuki moved like engineers who could handle heavy iron with one hand tied behind their backs. And even if Kajika was unarmed and carrying a bitty kid, Mumei had just headed off with her, Sukari, and the rest of the townsfolk in their supply crew, which ought to give any sane troublemaker pause for thought.

Except most people don’t know Mumei’s different.

Then again, Daniel had seen the women of the Koutetsujou’s supply crew grin at the prospect of tackling the Shitori markets. It made him want to go find someplace safer, like being shot at by Jaffa staff weapons.


9 thoughts on “Track of the Apocalypse Ch13 Ficbit – To Market

    1. I’ll point out that the Imperial Stormtroopers had lousy accuracy because they were ordered to drive the protagonists off instead of kill them. So that Leia would have Han fly her to the Rebel base without stopping to check for trackers. Hm . . . as much as I want to say that she got her lack of brains from both sides of the family, I can see Vader and Tarkin putting in an ‘if you escape, head back to your base without checking for and removing trackers’ compulsion as a contingency measure.

      When they aren’t shooting at protagonists with plot armor or providing cover fire, they’re pretty accurate.


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      1. I had a little thought about accuracy, but didn’t care enough to dwell on it; I’m short sleep, and really like the next thought in the train, even if I can’t figure out a solid way to justify it. The best approximation is probably filing off the distinguishing features, and doing it as an original. Which I don’t have the brains for today, even if the idea was cool enough to sustain effort.

        I’m super flighty and distractable today, even by my standards. (My actual thinking today. is about half ideas for RL project, 3/10 trying not to worry about a personal thing, 1/10 creative writing, and 1/10. Political feeling is veering wildly between ‘Azula would have good ideas for crowd control’ and ‘maybe Razorfist has a point in that vid I just saw’. RL project? I may have forgotten some of my good ideas over the past couple days, and the current plan seemed plausible when I woke up in the middle of the night, and couldn’t get back to sleep. Creative writing has been a mix of possibly useful thoughts on main project, and likely useless thoughts everywhere else.)


  1. I imagine that the shopkeepers are, as soon as they get word that the Koutetsujou is back, going to bring out their best negotiators. They got steamrolled by Kajika once, seems like ‘burned once, twice shy’ ought to apply here.

    And the local bushi might want to make sure that their grassbags aren’t out and about, or at least have orders to play nice with the hayajiro that brought them jet bullets.


    Liked by 2 people

  2. Apropos of not much… It turns out that maaaaaybe the Orthodox and Copts didn’t like Harry Potter not just because of the magic thing, but because she grabbed one of their methods of choosing by lots for sacred offices (or to choose the Coptic Patriarch).

    The Copts pick three candidates, write their names on slips of paper, put the papers in sealed envelopes and the envelopes in glass balls, put the balls into a glass urn, and have a blindfolded altar boy pick a ball out (after Mass and a lot of prayers). Then a senior clergyman opens the ball and cuts the envelope open with blessed scissors. (Thus avoiding Alexandrian election mobs and cheating, or everybody hating the bishop’s successor picks.)

    Other groups just use slips of paper and a Communion chalice. And prayers, obviously.

    And yep, that sounds just like picking the Triwizard Tournament candidate.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. 1. Daniel gets spotted by a lonesome kami who kidnaps him.

    2. Daniel gets kinda bored, because the kami’s library is scanty at best.

    3. Teal’c counsels the kami about why it’s bad to be a false god, or even a false minor god, and then starts a relentless program of Socratic questioning.

    Liked by 2 people

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