After The Ambush

Inside the Cabin

Erkki is almost happy. He's found a cache of ammunition for the machine gun and has even generously donated some to others. But with that ammunition it means he can actually use the lethal weapon, which is his weapon of choice. Now he's cleaning the well-used Russian weapon, whistling out of tune to himself, occupying the cabin's kitchen table for the job.

Niko awakes from a long nap or a short sleep. The small man sits up and goes to rub his eyes, when he notices the huge bandages on his hands. He bites his lip, remembering something. "I'm alive," he says. He groans as he struggles to stand without using his hands.

Vesa pulls another load of firewood in from outside, snow clinging to his coat and the large scarf over his face as he heads for the woodpile, face red from the cold outdoors. The wood goes thunk on the pile and he straightens up, pulling his scarf down from around his nose and mouth.

Arto has been keeping quiet and sleeping a lot. It's probably the arm. He still looks wan and listless, but hey, he doesn't seem to be getting worse. He sits at the table with Erkki, sullenly watching his brother fuss over the gun. "Don't look like you're enjoying it too much," he tells him, deadpan. "Sonja will get jealous."

Korhonen is not looking happy as he putters about on his 'rounds' among the wounded. More like tired and worn. He's done all he can for most of the injured at this point, and it's not enough. All he can do is wait and see if they improve. Seeing Niko stirring, he putters over in his direction. "Yes, Mister Fisk. Alive. But you need to rest if you intend to stay that way." Arto's words make him turn his head, his expression hardening a touch. "What was that?"

Luukas rubs his arm, but not the one with the newer obvious wound, from the wooden chair he's seated in. "Anyone not make it back?" he asks quietly, looking at those presently here.

Matti wades through the snow, making his way towards the cabin. There's dirt, soot and blood on his face, and his snowsuit is more a dirty greyish, stained with blood, rather than white anymore. He has a scratch on his forehead, but otherwise seems more or less fine, aside from being dead tired and frostbitten. His skis are nowhere to be seen, potentially explaining why he's here only now. As he arrives at the clearing of the cabin, he shouts out hoarsely, "Don't shoot! Finn."

Erkki lifts his gaze to stare at Arto. "I'm not sticking my dick in it," he grunts in response, using an oily rag to clean a part of the weapon. "How's your arm?" he asks and looks back down at his work. Luukas' question is responsed to with a nod. "Matti Mannikainen," he says, then is cut off by the shout from Matti. He stands up and walks to the window, looking outside carefully. "Or wait. I think that might be him."

Vesa tugs his scarf down around his neck, looking over at Luukas. "There was a new man here last night. He said his name was Mr. Isola, but he wouldn't tell me his first name. He was talking to Dr. Korhonen's daughter when I came in. Said he was from the north." He gently kicks the pile of sticks into their proper spot.

Arto catches Korhonen's question, and sits up a bit, trying to look innocent - in a pained, sickly sort of way, at least. "I was joking," he says, holding up his good hand in a gesture of defense. He goes to answer Erkki's question, too, but is cut short by Matti's arrival.

Mika was hanging around out of the cabin, he hears Matti's voice and rushes towards him, "Are you okey?" he asks and lowers his rifle as he notices who he is, he offers a sholder ot move back to cabin to the other finn…

Matti shrugs off Mika's hand, muttering, "I walked here from the road. I think I can manage another fifty yards." As friendly as ever. Be that as it may, he does looks tired. Exhausted, even. He makes his way to the cabin, kicking off his wet shoes, and moving to half-sit, half collapse before the fire. Glancing around the cabin to take in the faces of those present - and thus provedly still alive - he shakes his head, muttering to himself, "Perkele."

Luukas sits up quickly, "Matti's missing?" and tries to peer out the window nearby, supporting himself with his rifle, to see if that is indeed the trapper outside. "Looks like him. His brother around?"

Korhonen just lets out a low "Hmph" at Arto's joke. Erkki's comment gets him a colder look. But then, it's not as the looks the doctor levels at Erkki are ever warm. At the moment, however, Matti's apperance and Vesa's story. "Mr. Isola? He sounds an odd sort. What did Emma make of him? Or was it Sonja who he spoke with?" While he waits for an answer, he goes over to see to Matti.

"I'll be fine," Niko mutters, waving a bandaged stump at Korhonen in dismissal. He walks over to the stove and pours himself a cup of coffee, using both stumps to manipulate the cup and pot. The small man sniffs it and takes a sip with both hands. Makes a face. "Tepid. Still warmer than outside, though."

Mika shakes his head and escorts Matti back, "Doc, you may want to check him." he says, "He looks exhusted." he scratches his head

Erkki steps out of the way of the door as Matti enters, giving his cousin a small grin as if he's in fact glad to see the man back and alive. He returns to the table and his machine gun, to finish up the cleaning of the weapon. "Get him some coffee and a smoke and he will be fine. He's got the right blood in him."

Vesa watches Matti come in, raising both brows. "I'll get some more hot water…" He turns to do just that, passing by Korhonen on the way. "No, sir, it was Marja. He was talking to us about herbs and cotton grass that you might be able to use for medicine." He shrugs, not knowing much about that stuff. "She seemed to like him." He sets the large pot up on the fire.

Arto leans back in his chair, and keeps quiet to simply listen in on things. He tilts his head back, and closes his eyes for a few seconds before squinting at the ceiling. "One of those weeks?" he asks Matti, wryly.

Luukas grunts as he hears Marja mentioned, frowning a bit with a look cast Dr. Korhonen's way. He doesn't speak out to the doctor, though, just grimacing a bit as he turns to step beside the stove with Vesa and digs out the jar of coffee grounds for him.

Matti turns around to shake his head at Erkki. "I got enough of the good honest peasant blood in me to rule out the piss from the other half of the family." Despite his words, the words are more or less friendly. Abuse among acquintances, rather than among enemies. He glances at Korhonen, "I'm fine, doc. Took a glancing blow from a ricochet to the head, knocked me out. Maybe a bit of frostbite. And I have no idea where Antti is. I think he made it out ok."

Viinikainen returns from behind the corner and a nature call, going back into the cabin to make sure there is no room for a dance floor. "Worked fine yesterday." He leans against table as he comments to Erkki. "Don't clean it so much, save us some ammo."

Niko stares at Matti for a moment, then smiles and shakes his head. "Lucky it was a ricochet. Those Russians do make nasty barbers, eh? Cut it a little too close to the scalp, eh?" The small man tries to force a chuckle, fails, and falls silent.

Korhonen frowns at Vesa's account. "Marja is but a girl. I must speak with her about trusting strangers so easily, especially in these times. Still, I would like to meet this man. Any medical knowledge he has would be welcome." God knows the doctor needs all the help he can get. He continues checking over Matti, reaching up to finger where his head was struck, but he does not seem terribly concerned. "Heat and rest should be all you need. And I am sure Antti will be in much the same condition when he returns." When. It is said with a certain firmness, as if him believing it could make it so.

Vesa shrugs at Korhonen. "He has dark skin. I've never seen it before. I tried to ask him more, but he wouldn't answer me." More due to Vesa's Russian accent than anything else. He turns to take the coffee from Luukas, opening the container and pulling down a few cups. More men than Matti could probably use coffee at this point.

Erkki always listens to Jari so he wipes the weapon off once more then reassembles it again. "I had nothing better to do." He immediately bites his tongue, wishing he hadn't said that; your leaders tend to give you better things to do if you claim not having it.

Luukas blinks, "Dark skin? Like an African?" His jaw drops. The young lumberjack so filled with surprise it's as if he'd never seen one. An exotic being from some faraway place.

Matti nods to Korhonen. "He'll be back. He has a goddamn family. He has to come back… And sure. I'm attached to my toes." The sullen man's response is equally firmly stated. He shakes his head at Niko and Arto, muttering, "I could have done without, really." The dark skin comment arouses his curiosity. He leans back, looking at Vesa, "I seen more moroccans, but not real niggers. He have thick rubbery lips, too?"

"Can this dark-skinned man ski?" Niko says. "I was under the impression that the further south you went, the less people skied." He downs the rest of his lukewarm coffee and moves over to where the fresh pot is being heated, waiting. "Not that I would know. I've never even been out of Finland."

"I don't like it when people are purposefully cryptic," Arto mutters at what Vesa says, then looks up again to eye Luukas. "Why would an African be wandering around Finland? We have a distinct lack of jungles here."

Erkki is baffled. "A negro?" he asks, intrigued. "They're like apes," he says with a snort. He knows his history here, Erkki. "But if he's here he can carry our packs or something."

Vesa shakes his head quickly at Luukas. "Not so dark like that. Like…" He looks around quickly, pointing to a darker section of the wooden wall. "Like that." Definitely not dark like an African. "He said he was from the -north-, like I said. Africa isn't to the north." He picks up the coffee and heads for Matti with it. "He had kinda big lips, yeah. I dunno."

Luukas turns to Vesa. "I don't know. Why would one be here?" and blinks. "Did Russia declare war on somewhere south, where dark people live, like India?"

"What? Everyone knows they don't have niggers in the North. What's that about? You sure he wasn't lying? Russia is big, after all. They might have negroes there somewhere." Matti nods to Vesa, grateful for the coffee. He really looks like he needs it.

"Don't think we have any apes here." Viinikainen mutters, "What is with people? I need to get some air."

Mika scratches his head and goes over to coffee, he pours some to himself and starts drinking, he watches the conversation

Erkki isn't looking happy about all this. "Don't want no negros here," he says with a mutter. As there is a debate if this is a negro or not, he looks thoughtful, watching the color that Vesa pointed out. "That's not negro-dark. I've seen pictures. Must be something else," he decides, standing up.

"An African?" Korhonen laughs at the thought, though he's pretty wide-eyed at the idea of his daughter chatting with one. He's no less taken aback than Luukas and Matti but manages to keep his reaction milder. "Here? It cannot be." He nods a little as Vesa continues. "That does not sound like a negro. Not a local, certainly, but hardly an African. Still, I would like to know more of where this man comes from."

"The man must have some grit, whoever he is," Niko says softly. Using both bandaged stumps, he pours himself some hot coffee. "Can't be easy traveling all the way north to Finland. Even if he traveled by rail, it still must be a long and difficult journey."

Arto rubs at his temples, then reaches over to pick up one of the smaller components of the machine gun off the table, holding it between thumb and forefinger so that he can examine it. "No one said there were niggers in Finland!" he nearly shouts, haplessly.

"He wasn't a negro!" Vesa says, sounding frustrated. "I keep telling you." He heads back towards the coffee, grabbing more cups. "Does anyone else want some coffee?" He asks, trying to defuse this now.

"Might be a gypsy. Or a child of one… I've heard that their men are a little too friendly, with the ladies. I'd watch my daughter if I was you, Johannes!" Matti chuckles, sipping his coffee.

Erkki puts the MG on his back after having dressed to go outdoors. "Well, we don't want any gypsies here either," he growls. "They'll steal our ammunition and anything that shines."

"He is not an African," Korhonen says, with some exasperation, to Erkki. "Let us not talk foolishness. Still, it seems I must have a word with my daughters. They should not speak with strangers so freely." Especially strange dark ones, it seems.

"Shit, I think I'd rather take a negro over a gypsy any day," Arto grumbles as he resumes rubbing at his temples again. This conversation is making his head hurt. "Fucking gypsies. Don't even joke about that," he tells Matti.

"Yeah, yeah, you go chase him out of the country when you see him, eh?" Niko says with a laugh. "But don't do it until I get a good look at him. I'll probably never see another African. This could be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me."

Vesa eyes the MG as Erkki pulls it up on his shoulder, never really having seen one so close. Only thing he's ever handled is rifles. He leaves the coffee alone, stepping closer to Erkki just to get a better look at the gun.

Luukas lowers his voice, "Gypsies. Some are heathens, not Christian. Evil eye of the devil kind of worshippers. Tell lies, steal, and kidnap babies to sell." The Ostrobothnian then clears his throat, and quickly pours himself a cup of coffee.

"I was joking?" Matti stares at Arto with a raised eyebrow, sipping his coffee. He adds, "And the way things are going, I'd welcome the whole goddamn colonial army here, nevermind who's. African, Asian, South-American… All the world uniting, in the defence of poor, valiant Finland." Heavy, heavy irony.

Erkki notices Vesa's interest and he stares at the younger man. "Never seen a machine gun before? Ever held one?" he asks, raising his eyebrows. "I'm going out to do some training. If you're interested, come with me."

Vesa shakes his head to the question of whether he'd seen an MG before. He raises his brows at the training offer, grabbing up his scarf immediately and heading for the door. "Yes, sir, I'm coming."

"Sir?" Matti's cynical, mocking laughter can be heard from inside the cabin. "The kid is painfully new."

Marja has been passed out in a corner, sleeping sitting up on some crates, a cloak overtop of her mostly curled up frame. She leaves the beds for the actual sick men. However, there is a fair amount of conversation going on and she's slept about 5 hours, which is the most she has in a while, so now she begins to stir, giving a little cold cough as she shifts stiffly on her makeshift lazy-boy of crates and cabin-corner wood.

Niko smirks. "You aren't exactly old enough to be his father, to be calling him a kid," he says. He walks over to the window and squints. "One would think it would be easy to spot a dark-skinned man in the wintertime. I wonder where he went…"

Korhonen watches Vesa go off with Erkki, nodding in agreement with Matti. "He seems a good boy. I only hope he does not take to your cousin too much, Matti. He could do with a better model than that." He looks over at Marja as she stirs, then straightens and goes over to pour some coffee for his daughter.

Luukas turns to look around. "I don't see any spare ammo at all." With a frown forming, he turns to Matti and Niko, "Training someone how to use a machine gun eats up lots of bullets, doesn't it? I mean, even showing off. That's a whole rifle clip in one pull of the trigger."

"He calls everyone sir or mister," Arto tells Matti, with a shrug. "I guess he's just polite. Some people were raised that way." That said, he then purses his lips and eyes Korhonen out the corner of his eye for a few seconds. "He should be fine with Erkki."

Mika sighs, "We need to find more ammunation. Damn Truck didnt move anywhere yesterday. I managed to get in their Trucks, it had a big gun attached to its back."

Marja reaches small hands out from under her cloak-blanket, rubbing tiredly at her eyes. On occasion, she lets some little girl actions slip through the cracks when she would usually act sterner and older, but she's still half asleep and it's so cold outside of the cloak she's still wrapped up in… She finally allows drowsy gray eyes to open and stare out over the room from her shadowed corner.

"You never know, boy. With a guy calling a white bastard a sir, I wouldn't tell anyone if I /had/ been friendly with his mommy." Wink wink nudge nudge in Niko's direction. Matti shrugs his shoulders at Korhonen. "I guess. He's not exactly a family man, is he?" He rises from his seat near the fireplace, heading towards Korhonen, "How are you, Johannes? This must be hard, for you." He takes a seat on a makeshift stool next to the other man, looking at him curiously with the coffee cup in his hands.

Niko pulls four stripper clips out of a pocket. He looks like a lobster, all thumbs and forefingers. The small man sets them on the windowsill, continuing to look out. "I've got five rounds in the magazine of my rifle. Doesn't look like I'll be fighting much anyway," he tells Luukas.

Luukas grunts a slow nod to Niko then. "Right. While someone's wasting ammo showing a curious pup how a 'big gun' works." and growls a little under his breath, casting an ill glance to the north side of the cabin.

Mika pulls out his ammunation and hands it over to Niko, "You are more skilled at rifles then me friend." he says and gives his ammunation to Niko, "Take it."

Korhonen makes a "Hmph" sound in response to Arto, as if he does not agree the boy will be 'fine' with Erkki. But he doesn't argue the point. He approaches Marja, handing her a cup of coffee he's poured. He got one for himself, while he was up. "Drink this. It will give you some energy for the day." From his corner he starts to sip his own coffee, leaning heavily against a wall. He starts to shake his head to Matti, but he can hardly deny it. "The most I have had to deal with for decades at my surgery was the bite of an animal, or broken limbs. At times some fools would get into a hunting accident with a gun but…it was not every day. And not a half dozen at a time."

Niko grunts when he hears Mika's words. He turns away from the window and holds up his bandaged hands, glaring at the man. "I suppose I'll be shooting rifles in no time, eh, hero?" He shakes his head. "If you have any spares, give it to the community. Don't give it to the cripple," he mutters.

"He never said he was going to fire bullets, did he?" Arto asks Luukas, and just shrugs. "I've got twenty five bullets on me, which isn't too bad. And it doesn't look like I'll be using them with this stupid arm."

Marja's tired gaze focuses on her father first because, well, he is the most familiar face, voice and entire personage around. And he's offering her coffee. Her nose wrinkles a bit, the stuff smells horrible, "…I hate this stuff.." She admits, voice still heavy with sleep, but she still takes it. Like any medicine, if it smells and tastes so bad it must be good for you. She then takes a small sip of the stuff and at least it's warmth helps some. Both her small arms come out from under the covers now so she can wrap her bare fingertips around the hot mug. She then looks over to Matti and gives a slight smile, tilting her head in greeting…"Good… morning… afternoon…Sometime."

"You're a good man, Johannes. Good people don't belong in war." Matti stares seriously at Korhonen; there's nothing condescending about his tone, if anything he sounds rather sad. "You and your daughters. But hell. Who am I, to want to deny you the right to do your part for the Fatherland?" Only recently, he would have said 'fatherland' with irony. Now, not so much. He nods to Marja, trying a smile. Not very successfully. "We better appreciate the coffee, Marja. I don't think we'll be getting more, for some time."

Luukas looks over to Arto, "Well, they wouldn't have needed to move out into the woods if they weren't. If it was just show and tell, coulda done that in the front there." directing a thumb towards the front of the cabin. He then turns back to Niko, "Your hands will heal, bruthah. No rifleman here should do without at least having a few clips." The Ostrobothnian lumberjack clasps his own right upper arm to show the bandaging there. "They got me in the arm, but it's feeling better already."

"No one belongs in war, Matti," Korhonen replies. He offers the other man a faint smile, but his tone is heavy and tired. "Good or bad. When I was young, I thought differently…" He shakes his head. "But that was long ago, and I thought I had learned my lesson. But things are different this time. We are truly fighting for the Fatherland. For /our/ Finland." The weight he puts on the word 'our' gives it extra meaning. White and Red Finns are all in this together this time.

Arto grunts at Luukas. "I'm going to see what they're doing," he replies, flatly, then rises from his seat to head out.

Marja sits up a bit straighter, taking another sip of her coffee before she hands the mug over to Matti…"Please… have some. You too, father. If there isn't much left, we'll all share." And she gives a somewhat softer, earnest smile… She's happy to share, to do the little things she can to help, since she doesn't know surgery or anything of the like…

"I don't know, Johannes. I'm not much good at living… Maybe war is the right place for me." Matti offers a rare smile to Korhonen, an unreadable look in his brown eyes. "Maybe if all the bastards and murderers in the world kill each other, everyone else will be better off." He shakes his head at Marja, murmuring, "Thank, but I got my own cupful. What have you been up to anyway, Marja?" There's some familiarity about his words. After all, he almost married Anna, so at least from his end of things he looks on her in an uncle-ish way.

Niko shrugs. He struggles to pocket the stripper clips. "You know the worst part about being wounded, not being able to use my hands? I can't ski. And if I can't ski, I'm stick in this god-forsaken cabin with the other wounded." The small man shakes his head and sighs, "If I have to spend too much time in here with the walls closing in, I'm going to suffocate. Bad enough Ivan has my fingers for souvenirs. Probably scratching his ass with them right now."

Luukas sneaks a grin over to the only man here shorter than himself, Niko. "Bet your middle finger out there's giving a big message to whichever Russian sees it." and tries to encourage a chuckle with one of his own, cupping his own to make it like a funnel for Niko to slide the clip into his pocket.

Korhonen's tired smile crooks a notch at Matti. "You will survive this yet, then. You are a good man, Matti Mannikainen. As much as you fight against being one, you cannot help it." Korhonen also shakes his head a little at Marja. He's likewise nursing his own cup. "Let us drink together, my dear. As a family should." He still considers Matti something like a son.

Niko holds his hands up, "No-no, missing the smallest finger of my right hand and my left ring finger." He manages to drop the stripper clips into his pocket. "Thank you for helping, Luukas. The only blessing to not having a ring finger is maybe my mother and father won't pressure me to get married." The small man bites his lip, "That is, if they're still alive."

Luukas starts to laugh at the pressure to get married bit, but as he sees the change shortly after, cuts off the laugh and lets it fade to a more quiet nod. He turns then, to where Mika is, "Drifter, can you shoot a rifle any now? I can show you how to fire one, if you really hadn't ever used one before. Can do it without even firing a bullet."

Marja nods quietly and takes another sip of her coffee. No one is screaming out in pain, for the moment, and she's still half warm from sleep, tucked under that cloak, and speaking with warm, familiar faces, so the young girl is certainly in no rush to leave. She takes another sip of the bitter medicine that is coffee and looks over to Matti at his first question. Her smile is almost shy among him, he was always so handsome, if -far- older than her. Anna had been so lucky. "…I've been alright. I'm getting pretty good, as a nurse… doing small stitches and everything. It's better to learn like this… than out of books. Though… It's worse in someways too. This whole… thing is… horrible." She just doesn't have words. Not the kind that she'd use infront of her father, and she only learned those words a few days past. She looks up to her father… "Though -he- needs more sleep, I think."

Niko glances at Mika and says to Luukas, "Eh, careful. Some of these firing pins in these old Pystrykorvas might be brittle. Not an easy part to come by if you damage it by dry-firing."

Niko glances out the window one last time and then says to Luukas, "No sense waiting for the African to show up. But if he does, wake me up, eh?" He walks over to a corner of the cabin, curls up, and closes his eyes.

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