Requiem For A Tune

About four people once shared this bedroom, one of several in a row down this corridor. Two sets of bunk beds were against the wall, their metal frames now toppled over. Closets hang open, a dresser broken in half from a piece of the ceiling falling down onto it. The walls are pockmarked from gunfire, debris strewn all over the floor. There was one small bookshelf, that someone dragged in front of the window for a tiny amount of cover. Dried blood spatters the shelves.

Several of the occupants had children; one crumbling wall still has a childish drawing tacked to it. A homework book is lying half-shredded on a chair.

It is currently night time.

Chilling on her cot, it's Novikova. She's made a Novipillar of herself and her blanket, with her pilotka over her face. It's almost comical, especially once she starts to wake. "Oh! Did I forget to get water!" She jerks up and winces. Oof. Arms Novi, arms.

Maschenko is sitting by Elise in the darkness, a small candle glowing weak light on her face while she sleeps and he checks on the bandaging over her forehead. It lights the underside of his chin as he looks up, eyes in bizarre patches of shadow. "Zoyenka, shhhh." Finger to lips, even. "Be still."

Sokolof is on a cot as well, dozing fitfully. The sound of Novikova's waking nudges him out of even that. He sits up with a low groan, running his fingers through his lank dark hair.

… ah nuts. Immediately she freezes and goes quiet. "Sorry," A whisper is allowed. Novikova alas, blinks as Sokolof sits up. "Ah… I'm sorry." Bother. She looks like the dog who got caught peeing in the corner. Sadface. She at least, is quiet for a moment. But noticing Maschenko working on Elise, Novikova peers over that way.

"Indoor voice, Zoya." Maschenko smirks, sitting up straighter and picking up his candle. The shadow brings out the shape of his cheeks, much more gaunt than they were several weeks ago. Same case with almost all of them with the constant stress and not really enough food for wartime exertion. The groaning gets his attention and he peers around the candle flame. "Efim, is that you?"

Sokolof raises a fist to his mouth to stifle a yawn. Or perhaps a cough. It's sort of a combination of both. He reaches over to retrieve his glasses and sets him on his nose. A shrug to Novikova. It's of no moment to him. He looks over toward Maschenko and nods. "I am here, Luka. What happened last night?" He's clearly heard grim rumors he's not quite pieced together.

Immediately indoor voice! Got it. Novikova smiles weakly at Maschenko. She's glad for the Ukranian man's prsence. And a look towards Sokolof. She tilts her head. "When we went for ammunition at the school?" She asks quietly. She's managing to keep the volume down at leats.

Maschenko stands up, careful not to bump Elise as he gets awkwardly back to his feet. "Zoya would know better than I. I just saw the aftermath." He steps over Elise's legs, feeling with his foot to make sure he's not coming down on another set of feet in the shadowy pool. "Let me look after that chest wound of yours, Efim." This is what you get for coughing in front of a doctor.

"It does not seem to be getting any worse," Sokolof says, as to his his chest wound. It's not really getting any better, either, of course. He sits up passively enough to be prodded. "Comrade Nurse Morozova is looking after it. I doubt it will kill me." Optimism. Well. Sort of. Not really.

Novikova is watchiing quietly, "Da. I went with the others." She's offering to tell the story, although she is ceasing her prattling as Sokolof is getting poked at by Maschenko. Novi is sitting on her cot, now upright. Sokolof is near Maschenko, who is looking over him after a cough.

Elise has been sleeping somewhat fitfully on her bedroll, wrapped in her rather threadbare blanket. It was hard to get in a comfortable position, and she ended up in a rather awkward looking one with her injured shoulder propped up a little on her pack.

"Shush and let me see it." Maschenko finds a spot to settle back down near Sokolof. His tiny candle is the only light in the room right now, a little moving beacon kept shielded until he can set it down where Germans out the window can't see it. He fiddles in his pack for his stethescope, sniffling as he does. Same cold that most of the militia have, at varying stages of congestion and fevers. "Did you find what you were looking for then, Zoya?"

Sokolof submits to Maschenko's listening without complaint. He clears his throat in that cough-like way again. He's not the picture of health himself, and the bug going around doesn't help matters. "Did you find the ammunition you were in search of, Zoyenka?" he asks her.

"Da," Novikova nods and points to the newly refilled stash. She smiles. "We even got Sergeant some for her little gun," Though the smile soon fades. "There were a few Nazis around it, and some mines - but we took care of those," She affirms. "At least I think on the mines," She sighs. She smiles at Sokolof, "I think all the wires- it's very odd," Novikova seems shocked she can manage it and shrugs. Sshe looks around. Though, she's not caught cold *yet* she will soon probably.

Taktarov doesn't make quite as much noise tromping through the halls of the shattered house as once he did. As has become habit, he greets, "comrades- don't shoot," brightly, before stepping into the room from the direction of the front door. A look around the room is given along with a small smile.

Mines? "At a /school/?" Maschenko sounds lightly horrified at the though of that. He shakes his head, fitting the stethescope earpieces in just as Taktarov arrives. The man gets an amiable nod and then his attention's on the sound of Sokolof's breathing. "Three normal breaths, Efim."

Elise stirs, perhaps at Taktarov's greeting though most likely just at random. She starts to sit up, winces at her shoulder, and stays where she is for the moment, a grimace on her face.

Sokolof pales and shudders when Novikova mentions mines at the school, looking horrified as well. "This is what our city's come to…" he mutters. He breathes in and out thrice, as directed. Sounds a little ragged. His head rolls to look at Taktarov. "You are in a good mood today, Comrade," he observes rather dryly.

"Da, in the courtyard," Novikova replies. She looks to elise. "Cousin," A soft greeting. She smiles. A look back to Maschenko and the smile fades at the memory. "It was … I don't know," She just trails off. It's a Taktarov, "Nyet, I'll just throw a shoe. It's good to see you," She smiles at the tall man. "It's sad, but I am glad we found it and - I don't know." She just goes quiet.

"Well." Maschenko pulls the stethescope pieces out of his ears and around his neck. "More ammunition to drive the bastards out, that's what matters. That's what matters." He gives the side of Sokolof's face a concerned look, and fishes some clean dressings from his bag. "You need to be drinking more water, Efim. I'll find you some, just let me change these first."

"Cousin," Elise replies softly. "Comrades." She lounges for a little longer, looking troubled when she catches up with the conversation. "You're talking about the school," she deduces aloud.

"I am not as miserable as I could be," Tak notes jovially in return to Sokolof. "So yes, I suppose I am in a good mood." At the threat of a thrown shoe, he smirks and quips back to Novikova, "Throwing a shoe? When we have all of these fine new bullets to throw? You are too kind, Comrade Zoya.." Stepping toward the chache of munitions, he looks through the boxes searchingly.

"Thank you, Luka," Sokolof says simply. He's not about to claim to be in the best of shape. Head rolls toward Elise. He nods. "I have heard a little of how things went last night. Not much. A shrug to Taktarov. Sokolof will manage to look dour enough for all of them.

«Medic Code» Maschenko heals 2 wound damage on Sokolof's left chest.

"It wasn't just me," Novikova points out, "My cousin and the others worked really hard," She grins at Taktarov. "I'm still envious of Dimitri and his sniping. Picking off Nazis. But we cleared them out for now," She offers. Alas, Soccks gets a faint smile. "I'm glad to see you." She shrugs. "Everyone made it back." She notes. "How are you cousin?" She asks quietly, concerned now.

Maschenko squints in the candlelight, the smell of vodka mixed with some other foul-smelling substance wafting into the cold air as he wets a cloth with it, using that to clean the crumbles of blood and dried lymph crust from Sokolof's chest injury. Sniffling all the while, nose about completely stopped up on the left side. He glances up as Elise stirs.

"Everyone did a good job," Elise agrees with Novi's assessment, though her mood is still somber. She says no more about it, but slowly sits up, grimacing all the way. Her jaw is bandaged the best as can be managed under the circumstances, making her look like some poor mumps patient out of a cartoon. "Comrade Mikhail is astonishing with that chisel of his."

Taktarov reaches into the ammo boxes to pick up a few of the smaller bullets, commenting aloud on the subject of the regimental chisel-er, "He is! I think he wishes to become a sculptor- carving victory statues out of fascists, or something. Very good to hear everyone is back.. Need anything comrade?" he asks toward the wincing Elise.

«Equipment» Taktarov has picked up 7.62-25R x 8.

«Ground Combat» Taktarov reloads his Tokarev TT-33!

Sokolof shudders a little as the chisel is mentioned. He asks for no more details. He has little taste for tales of stabbings, even after his time among the conscripts. He winces as Maschenko does what he can to clean the shrapnel wound on his chest, fingers gripping the edges of his cot. But he manages not to snivel too much. It does look marginally less horrible when the lymph crust is cleaned away. "We've some more bullets now, at least," he says softly.

"Can you fetch Elise and Zoyenka some water, Comrade Taktarov," Maschenko motions awkwardly with his chin to some pots shoved by the wall, holding what drippings the militia's been able to find in wells and broken pipes. "If you'd be so kind." He about finished on poor Sokolof, checking on the stitches and then putting a new dressing onto the wound. 'New' perhaps being a bad word, seeing as it's gauze that was previously on someone else and simply washed in not-hot-enough water. "There we go, Efim."

Novikova takes a deep breath, "Da. That too." A nod. Then a grin at Taktarov, "Tank shells and statues, it sounds like a garden." Headshake. At Elise's wince, Novikova looks concerned. Still, best not to be too overbearing right? She glances to Sokolof. "We do. But something made me wonder. What kinds of diagrams and machines did you work with? Comrade Sergeant mentioned that schools should be practical," She looks thoughtful. "I wonder how they all work differently." Too bad she can't go to more than one at once. "And ah? Water in cot? The service here is fantastic, even with the funny looking maid." Heeheee.

It really is amazing they haven't all died from blood infections by now. Elise tries not to think too hard about that. She smirks at Tak's remark about the Mad Chisler, and asks, "How's he doing anyway?" Only belatedly does she realize she didn't answer Novi's question. She's still not a hundred percent awake. "I'll be all right, Cousin. Some water would be quite nice, thanks."

"I can!" Taktarov answers with a nod and small smile, as he finishes reloading his pistol. "Ha, a garden?" he chuckles to Novi's words, on his way out toward the kitchen. "An garden, perhaps.. Growing the best rust this side of Leningrad! I will be right back with the water!" he adds, already calling from the next room by the time the words are spoken.

Sokolof mutters a quick thanks to Maschenko. Hopefully he won't die of infection. Must say positive. He eases back on his cot, listening to the others. At Novikova's questions he grunts, "Not machines so much as electronics in specific. I did wiring work for the city for a time after I finished my training as a young man. Apartment houses and public buildings and the like. Some work with the systems on factory machines."

Novi's blood would probably re-enact a Rocky movie. WE WILL BREAK YOU. Or something. She shrugs and smiles, "That sounds pretty intense though. All the work those things do. I always got kind of mad when I was reading and the light would go out." Grin. "Comrade Malakhov is well enough, he said he had the mother of all headaches. I am grateful never to meet the Mother in Law of all headaches personally." A wink at that. She giggles at Taktarov, "You know it. Magnificent iron red."

Maschenko settles back against the wall, cleaning his hands off with another rag. "Dyakuyu," he calls after Taktarov, in as loud a voice he dares. People are sleeping, and all. Granted, right after he's so careful with his voice volume, his expression crumples and he sneezes into the bloody rag with a loud Ah-choo. So much for that. Sniff. Ick. "And war takes us back to candlelight and sundials. Heh."

Elise gives the two jokers a bit of a blank look at the whole 'garden' exchange. She missed the first part of that tangent so it just sounds odd to her. At least they're having fun. That makes her pleased to an extent. Elise stays quiet, just listening for the most part. To the remark about Mikhail she nods slightly. "I wouldn't either."

«Game» It is now dawn.

Sokolof shrugs to Novikova. "I was good with my hands. It was not a bad way to make a living." A weak chuckle at Maschenko's words. "Candles are easier to maintain, if nothing else, and less prone to shocking one if their fingers slip." A wince of sympathy for Mikhail. Nothing but health problems 'round here.

Taktarov is out of the room for a few mercifully non-Tak-babble-filled moments, before the skinny young man walks back in, freshly filled canteen in hand. Behind him, one of the supply keepers peers after him, to make certain the odd soldier was honest about the water being 'for the wounded'. Elise is brought the canteen first, with the words, "Drink up, Comrade," before he glances back at Novi. "I am thinking the streets of Stalingrad would look better with more of these rust gardens, Comrade. I think we may need to turn more tanks into strangely shaped sculptures, yes?"

Maschenko glances at Mikhail at the mention of him, the dawn light being better for him to be sure the man's chest is still moving. Good. He picks up the little candle he was using in the night's pitch, blowing it out to allow the first hazy glow of another cold October morning to greet this hellish place without competition.

Novikova smiles, seeing Taktarov return. She beams at him. "Da. I think so too," She nods. "And service in bed. TOo kind, but I am glad you aren't wearing a dress," She admits. No maid outfits here. "But you are really artistic with that giant gun," She boggles. A look to Elise and smiles. She glances to Maschenko. "Oh dear. Too bad I don't have any chicken soup." Sadface. She looks to Sokolof. "Neat. And no, but they do set you on fire if you're not careful, which-" Yeah. Being on fire.

"Thank you, Comrade," Elise says to Tak, taking the canteen. "We'll certainly have no shortage of wrecked stuff to sculpt," she says wryly, before giving a quiet 'oh' and asking, "How are the boots working out? Did Zoya ever give you the other one?" she peers down at his footwear to see for herself. The mention of fire from Novi gets a slight frown. "It's not like things can get much more burned than they already are."

Taktarov draws and lets out a big breath, a bit red faced for some reason at Zoya's quip. "Aheh." Elise

Taktarov draws and lets out a big breath, a bit red faced for some reason at Zoya's quip. "Aheh." Elise's question gives him something else to focus on, and he smiles broadly. "This is true! You see? The fascists are thoughtful: they drive the material for new rust gardens right up to us. Lucky for us, we have a Gardener of Death." The canteen is brought over to Novi with a light chuckle. "Breakfast in bed, Comrade? I could not requisition a dress, but…" He offers the canteen.

Maschenko lets the talk of sculpture and art go; the doctor's not exactly a cultured sort of man. There's a vague smirk at the verbal exchange. Young flirting, how cute. He lets his head rest back against the wall, tugging his pilotka off his hair and turning it inside out, letting bits of dust and weeks worth of grime spill onto the ground.

Novikova smiles again as the canteen and Taktarov come by again. "I'd give him the other one. I'm silly, not cruel," She notes. The fire comment causes pause. "I wouldn't say that. Someone would try to find a way," She considers. She grins at Taktarov and chuckles softly. "It's true, I clocked another Nazi over the head. Apparently that's my thing," She ponders. Then a smile and she accepts the canteen for a bitty sip but nothing more than enough to dampen her throat. "Thank you, it's kind of you - dress or no dress. Besides, I'd get jealous of your long legs or something." She teases. She looks to Maschenko and Taktarov, hmmm.

Elise raises her eyebrows at the little banter between Novi and Tak, looking faintly amused for a moment. "It was pretty funny. He yelled 'Heil Hitle….CLONK'." Elise actually says the clonk out loud, smirking. But then the smirk fades, remembering how she slit the guy's throat afterwards. She falls quiet again.

"Take a better drink, or I'll tell the doctor," Tak whispers to Novi after her little sip. "Jealous? The best thing about my legs is the boots," he laughs with a wink. He narrows his eyes in merry suspicion. "Have you been watching the southern front, Zoya? How dare you. We are posted to the north, you should keep your eyes that direction.." he;s nearly laughing through the feigned indignity. On her clocking of another nazi, "I heard. No, really.. I heard it echo all the way over here."

Maschenko stays politely silent, listening without watching now. His eyes shift to the east window (or the hole in the wall that serves as a window), watching the sky lighten.

Novikova grins at the memory, "Yeah. It was pretty funny." Though she goes quiet at what happened after. Ahem. She gasps at Tak's whisper. "Alright…" SHe'll take a second, slightly deeper sip. "Only because you'll tell." She sticks a tonguetip out at him. Then a soft laugh. "They are nice boots," She agrees with a wink. "Da. Only because I know your sharp, hawklike eyes are to the north. Maybe… an old, tired hawk?" She winks. "I imagine so. I should put little helmets on the shovel handle or something." A headshake. "Do you want to sit?" She scoots on the cot to let poor Tak sit a bit.

Tak's merry suspicion goes RIGHT over Elise's head. Then again, she's still a bit preoccupied. Though she still listens idly to the conversation, she reaches into the sack that was serving as her pillow, and takes out her battered fiddle. Laying it across her lap, she plucks at the strings idly, like one would a guitair. Tuning it perhaps or just strumming. With her forearm still splinted and now her shoulder recovering from a bayonet slicing through it, she still can't play. Sadface.

Taktarov looks behind him, as Novi asks if he'd like to sit. The canteen is offered toward Maschenko, where he sits across the room, with the quiet words, "Comrade doctor?" He should offer first, before getting off his feet. With a grin, he quips back, "Hey- I'm not old OR tired. I see some things perfectly well," he protests with a bemused sniff.

Maschenko is off in mental nowhere land, unfocused eyes watching the blasted hole in the wall. Someone calling his title snaps him back out of his own head, as it usually does. "Hmm? You alright?" His eyes flicker between Taktarov and novikova, expecting someone to be bleeding. Then Elise and her fiddle.

"…Yes, fine. Water?" Tak repeats, offering the canteen toward Schenko again.

Novikova smiles, as Taktarov looks back. Yup, still saving him a cot spot. She goes quiet then giggles. "Uh huh. Remember, point and aim at the continent your foe is on…" She holds up as if holding a tank gun. She looks to Elise and tilts her head. She seems sympathetic. Oh dear. She offers a sympathetic glance, but decides not to point out Elise's suffering for now.

Or can she? Elise decides to try it, figuring the worst that could happen is it hurts. They've all been suffering without painkillers for months now - how bad can it be? She tries to tuck the fiddle up into the right position, but it's just too awkward and painful. She gives it up after just a moment, not even strumming once, and disgustedly shoves the fiddle back into its sack.

Taktarov snickers under his breath as Novi invokes the 'aim at the correct continent' joke before clearing his throat with a forced modecum of dignity and voiced to Schenko, "Yes, Comrade doctor. We are fine. Would you like water?" he repeats, offering the canteen toward Schenko again.

No fiddle music. Maschenko smiles slightly at Taktarov but moves his hand in a polite 'no' way for the water. Already had some, or he's in no mood to make someone get up to pass it along. He scratches his head gently, watching the bag Elise shoved her fiddle back into. "Vdol…" Singing? Under his breath, kind of, the first couple notes a little off. The doctor's no vocalist (especially in Russian), but minor vocal theatrics make up for that. "…Vdol po ulitse metyelitsa metyot…skoro fsye ana darozhki zanisyot…"

Novikova grins at Taktarov. She keeps the spot open on the cot, although she tilts her head at the song and minor vocal theatrics. A smile. "I'm positively green… Cousin is pretty good on her violin if my memory's not gone south," She admits quietly once the song fades. She looks to Elise, still sympathetic. Soon. If only Novi could give Elise regenerative ox powers. But alas. Sadface.

Elise looks over at Maschenko singing. She doesn't join in, though, at least not right away. Maybe if everyone else does. She does listen, a sad look on her face.

Taktarov settles into a seat on the cot with a relaxed release of breath. "Well.. was your memory any good in the north, before that?" he grins aside a Novikova, before noting a moment later, "That would be nice to hear. Soon enough, though." A nod to accompany his optimism, before he just listens to what Schenko is sorta-singing. He'll join in, dangit! He may not have any sort of singing voice either, but he has enthusiasm.

"Ai zhgi zghi, zhgi, zgi, gavari…"

Two men, slightly tone deaf. What a duet. Thank goodness Tak does join in, because Maschenko flails for a couple words here and there. Fade out, fade back in after some awkward humming when he remembers again. "Ai zhgi zhgi, zhgi, zhgi, gavari…skoro fsye ana darozhki zanisyot. // Zapryazhomtye ka my f sani loshadyey…f lyes payedim za dravami paskarey…"

Hehe. Novikova looks to Elise and the others, she looks happy for the duet. A wink at the memory question. She seems to adore the enthusiasm at least. For her part, she's a quiet, adoring audience.

A few of the other comrades join in as well. Elise just sits quietly, watching, that sad look still lingering despite the singing. She zones out on her bedroll.

Taktarov gestures with one free hand, as if conducting the People's Bad Choir, grinning along with the chorus again, "Ai zhgi zhgi, zhgi, zhgi, gavari… f lyes payedim za dravami paskarey!" The end of the verse, recieves a quick addition, as the line ending 'fetch a lot of firewood', is extended to, "..fetch a lot of firewood- No really, its quite cooooold."

Novikova giggles a bit at Taktarov's addition, although Novikova is still tired too. Blood loss does eventually take a toll, even on oxes. She's happy though, sitting beside Taktarov and listening to the singing. Although- Elise's sad look causes pause. And perhaps a determination. Hmmm.

Maschenko snorts quietly at Taktarov. He's about to start the next chorus when someone calls for him, the familiar strained cry for 'Comrade doctor!' that's enough to break the flimsy illusion that things might be okay for five short minutes. He gets up, exhausted but without any hesitation, grabbing his satchel. "Apologies, comrades…excuse me." His hand claps Tak's shoulder as he goes past, headed for the other room.

«Medic Code» Maschenko heals 1 wound damage on Vladmir's right arm.

"Through two whole verses- almost a new record," Tak grins to Schenko as the doctor walks past and claps his shoulder. "Next time, eh Comrade?"

Novikova grins at Schenko too. "That was fun," And it got Novikova to shut up. That is pretty impressive. She looks to Taktarov, she'll settle in quietly at her spot, not too eager to boot her friend off the cot just yet.

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