All The Best Finns Have Sanity Issues

Jaakko is on sentry duty in the trench outside the cabin.

Vesa has been sitting in the cabin on one of the crates near the fire. The crate next to him has wood shavings, the large branch that he'd started messing with two days ago is taking on shape. Gradually shaving it down into God knows what. He glances out the window every so often, probably noting Jaakko sitting out there.

Niko has been curled up in a corner, napping. He coughs, opens his eyes, and sits up. "Has the war ended yet?" he groans. The small man rubs at his eyes and looks at the missing digit of his right hand, and the thick bandages covering his left, and sighs. He stands and stretches.

Jaakko is keeping an eye towards the southern approach from within the trench. Occasionally he paces the length of the trench to try a warm-up a little.

Vesa glances over his shoulder as he hears Niko waking up. "No…" he replies, making a slight face. He glances at the kitchen. "…but there's coffee." Some compromise. "You want a cup?"

Niko waves his bandaged hand, "I'll get it. I'm not old enough to be waited on." He wiggles his fingers. The scabbed stump of where his pinky used to be twitches slightly. "And, as you can see, Vesa, nor am I wounded enough." He walks over to the stove and pours himself a cup. "Need to get used to making do with only four fingers, eh?"

"Yeah, I guess so." Vesa watches Niko go about the task, unashamed of observing. He brushes a little dust off the carved-up branch. "Do they hurt a lot?"

Niko shakes his head, "My right hand itches, and my left hand is throbbing. A constant ache." He sips his coffee and makes a face. "You know what the funny thing about this is? It feels like my fingers are still there. If I close my eyes and wiggle them, they move."

Vesa raises both brows. "Really?" He takes a second to try and imagine that, but gives up rather quickly. Looking back down at his branch, he continues running the knife against the surface he's making. "Mr. Fisk, do you know what I could use to make a drum skin?"

"A drum skin?" Niko asks, "Are you going to drum for us as we march off to war?" The small man chuckles and takes a sip of his coffee. "Now that I think about it, the buttocks of a Russian might make a good skin. Soft from all the time they spend sitting in warmer climes."

Vesa grins at Niko, shaking his head. "It's for Henrik. Since he seemed to like hitting Erkki so much, I figure he'd like it. And I think Miss Sonja would foam at the mouth if we made the skin outta those." He snickers.

"The skin could be our little secret," Niko says, grinning. He pats his puukko. Then, the realization of just how morbid his humor is hits him, and the grin fades from his face just as sudden as it had appeared. "I'm sorry," the small man says softly, "That was inappropriate. I used to have a cleaner sense of humor."

Vesa shrugs one shoulder. "I don't care." He braces the wood again, scraping tirelessly. It's getting nice and thin in a strip. "You think they're not making jokes about what to do with a Finn's fingers?"

Niko shrugs, finishing the rest of his coffee. "I suppose it doesn't matter." He says, "But I wonder, if I survive this war, what kind of a man I'll be." He tries to laugh, but it comes out as a grunt. "My dream was to study maths somewhere. I've always wanted to learn math."

Vesa jams the knife carefully into the branch, pulling on it to get leverage and crack one side. "For what?" He puts the broken part aside. "You gonna move to Helsinki and be a scientist or something?"

Niko laughs, "Either that, or maybe I can wish for the Almighty to grant me bigger muscles and maybe an extra meter of height. I'm 24. I'm certain this is as big as I'm ever gonna get. I'll never be a lumberjack.

Vesa grins at the laughter. "Well there must be a reason He made you like that." He shifts his foot, bracing his boot against the crate. "But really…maths for what?""

"Why must everything be practical?" Niko asks. He pours himself another cup of coffee. "Learning maths has no practical purpose, but it's what I want to learn. If there's anything I've learned from this god-awful war, it's that life's too short." He takes a sip. "Maybe once this war is over…"

Jaakko climbs out of the trench and heads back into the cabin after having stood watch for a couple of hours.

Jaakko stomps his boots before fully entering the cabin and quickly shutting the door. He sets his rifle aside and begins the task of peeling off his outer layer of clothing trying to be quiet so as not wake anyone. Finally free of his bulkier clothing he immediately pours himself a cup of coffee and sits down at a table.

"See anything out there," Niko asks. His eyes gleam. "Did you maybe see any fable dark-skinned people?" He sips his own coffee. "They exist, or so I've heard."

Vesa smirks slightly at Niko, continuing on with his branch-wrangling as Jaakko gets himself settled. Though he does look over with interest to hear if anything was spotted.

Jaakko smile at Niko, "Nope sorry, nothing but the wind."

Niko nods, "Yeah, that damned Finnish winter. Maybe the only thing worse than Russians." He smirks, "Russians will leave us alone. The cold's always here." Niko downs the rest of his coffee and sets the cup down. "Colder today. It was warmer last week."

"Maybe if it gets too cold they'll just all freeze to death out there," Vesa says hopefully. Though not all -that- hopefully. "We won't hear anything more, then when the summer comes we can go out and pick their bones."

Jaakko smirks

Jaakko takes a sip of his coffee, "I'm afraid many of the Russians suffer the same winters."

Niko grunts. "If that were completely true, they would know how to ski," Niko says. "Unfortunately for them, they can't. But it's good for us, isn't it?" He frowns, "I killed my first man the other day, you know. Can't say I enjoyed it. I'd like to hope it's the last man I ever kill… but I doubt it."

Vesa nods a bit to Niko and pulls his feet up onto the crate, listening to them. "They don't seem to know the cold very well. At least, not being out in it." He scratches the back of his head, then looks at Niko. "Did you kill the one that shot your hands?"

Jaakko quietly takes another sip of his coffee.

Niko shakes his head. "I got shot after I killed that Russian," he says softly. "I shot that man here," he points to his chest. "and he just fell. I don't think he screamed, but with all the gunfire, I couldn't really hear, anyway." Niko looks down at his hands. "That was when I got shot. Twice. I had to crawl back here on my knees and elbows."

Korhonen rises from where he's been seated by the bed of one of the wounded, to get himself a cup of coffee. As he pours is he overhears snatches of the conversation between the men and walks quietly over to join them. He inclines his head, in recognition, but he does not interrupt verbally for the moment. Not in the middle of Niko's story, certainly.

Jaakko gives Korhonen a nod of hello as he joins them.

Vesa listens to Niko's story, somewhat fascinated by it. His brows go up a bit, then he glances over at Korhonen. "Hello, sir…" Then back to Niko, him being much more interesting. "Really? Did any of them try to come after you?"

Niko shakes his head. "Not that I'm aware of," he says. "But I didn't stick around long enough to find out." The small man bites his lip, troubled. "Remember that… vision I told you about?" Niko asks Vesa. "The one where I saw myself killed by the Russians, gutted, and hung upside down like a reindeer? I dreamt that last night." He taps his head. "I know it's only a dream now, but dreams like that…" He sighs, rubbing his eyes with his palms. "The dreams prey on me. This damned war. This god-damned war." The small man sighs.

Jaakko looks into his coffee mug as Niko speaks of his dreams making no comment.

Korhonen has to pause in sipping his coffee as Niko goes on about his dream. The doctor just listens, keeping his face carefully expressionless. "It is only fear, and the tricks of your mind, that cause such dreams. They are not real. They have no greater meaning."

Vesa listens to Korhonen first, then looks back at Niko. "Well they haven't gotten you yet." He picks up the drum rim he's carving, getting back to work on it while they talk. "You're alive now, that's all that counts."

Jaakko looks at the Dr. over the top of his cup as the Dr. speaks of the dream as only fear.

Niko raises a brow and looks at Korhonen. "A skeptic, eh?" He snorts, "I don't know if I believe in God. But I do hope there's some reason men are killing and dying… something more than merely for our Fatherland." Niko shakes his head. "That's what worries me, Vesa. 'Yet.' They haven't gotten me… yet." He turns his gaze outside, at the perpetual dusk, and comments, "I could run, you know. Just keep skiing until I reach a place the war hasn't touched yet."

"God, I believe in," Korhonen replies to Niko. "But dreams? Visions…?" He shakes his head. Then adds, his voice quieter, "I have had dreams. But they are not real. They are not real." He clears his throat, focusing back on the men. "Where would we run to? The Russian cover our land, like a foul plague. Is there truly anywhere safe left?"

Jaakko gives a soft grunt, "The Sergent was saying that war is in Poland now too. Maybe soon all of Europe. There will be no place to run too."

"You don't believe in God?" Vesa asks Niko, surprised and under his breath as though that might keep God from hearing. He blinks slowly, but then Jaakko's words get his attention. "The Russians went into Poland too?"

The door to the cabin opens, after the sound of Antti stomping loose snow from his boots precedes the farmer's entrace. Letting out a short breath, he looks about the cabin nodding once in greeting to the collective bunch. A sniff as he mutters, "God, and foreign countries. I'll not understand why men waste breath on such things."

Jaakko looks over at Vesa, "No, the Germans is what the Sergent was saying."

Niko says softly, "If I knew without a doubt I could run, I would." He walks over to the wall and sits down. Niko picks up his rifle and pulls the bolt back and out of the receiver, wiping the built-up residue on the bolt face onto his pants. "Maybe there is a God. Maybe there isn't. But too many people have been finding out for sure lately, and I came close to finding out myself." He sighs. "Am I the only one sick of this? I look at fools like Lametti, who enjoy killing… and it makes it wonder."

Jaakko watches Niko, "I don't think anyone here wants this, no more then we want to loos our Fatherland to the Russians. You are right to be sick of it, you are right to have fears. I am not an educated man and am unable to speak well on such things, but if anyone among us has grown to like killing, then they are who you should fear…not your dreams."

Erkki stomps his feet noisily before entering, just in time to hear some of what Niko says. He pulls off his fur-hat and his gloves and looks stonily at the crowd in the cabin. "Like killing, not liking killing… what difference does it make?" he says scornfully. "The more Russians we kill, the better." He pulls off his coat and walks to the stove to see if there's any coffee.

"The Germans?" Vesa looks quite confused at Jaakko's answer. World politics is not this kid's forte'. "Why…" He rubs his face and falls silent as Erkki comes in, pulling one foot up on the crate.

Antti sniffs again, adding bluntly to the exchanged words, "Any man who would run has no home worth protecting," as he eyes Niko sidelong. "That's all that matters in the end. The Fatherland is just a lot ofland full of idiots like that-" a look toward Erkki and a dry smirk as the other chimes in. "Countries and politics are worthless. Home and family are all that matter."

Jaakko nods at Vesa, "I do not understand our own politics. All I know is he said the Germans had invaded Poland. We have our own problems, let the Poles worry about."

Korhonen shudders faintly at Niko's words, nodding in quiet agreement. "No sane man enjoys killing," he says. "I fear for us, if such men are growing from this." His eyes follow Erkki, pointedly, as he says that. Then turns back to Niko, shaking his head. "We all tire of this, my friend. But we have little choice."

Jaakko nods in agreement with Antti.

Arto has been dozing in a chair - his arm seems considerably better by now, so he no longer looks so pale and sickly. He stirs, fidgets a bit, then scratches himself and licks his lips to try and get rid of his cottonmouth. Then, with a slight sigh, he open his eyes and squints at the contents of the cabin.

Niko continues wiping the grime off of his rifle bolt and says to Erkki, "If souls exist, then I know I'm losing a bit of mine for every Russian I kill. Maybe that's what the dreams mean." He laughs, but it's a nervous, humorless sound. "I don't even know if my mother and father are still alive."

Vesa seems quite content to leave Poland to Poland. He barely even knows where Poland is. Having fallen silent he glances at Arto, then he stands up and heads for the kitchen. The coffee's low, and he starts putting on a bit more now that more people have shown up.

"If souls exist, I think mine will rest easier knowing I did my utmost to protect this country from the Red army," Erkki retorts to Niko, but at least he's dropped the scornful tone. "You all think too much on pointless things. Antti is right, as much as it pains me to admit it. Home and family are all that matter." Having said that, he suddenly looks away as if realizing he's basically put himself into a corner with those words. He takes a sip of coffee.

Arto is just awake enough to catch Niko's comment about souls, and mumbles under his breath, "Bullshit." He leans forwards so that he can rub at his back - sleeping in chairs has never been terribly benefitial to one's spine - and sniffs at the scent of coffee.

Antti sniffs again, "If you boys want to worry about nothing, start fretting that the world is ending. Erkki just agreed with me," the farmer quips dryly, giving the other a long sidelong look as Erkki looks away at his own realization. Back to the others, he mutters, before moving toward the S-18, and starting to check and re-check it's mechanisms, "Men should have a home worth fighting for. Then they never run from it's defense, or lose sleep over dead men who tried to take it away."

Jaakko becomes characteristically quiet as the talk turns to family. his thoughts going to his home in Sumussalmi, wondering who if anyone is alive.

Vesa puts more hot water on the fire and turns back to watch the conversation, leaning against the wall. He adds nothing, at his young age being the last member standing of his own family.

Korhonen regards Erkki steadily. "All that matter? You truly believe that, do you, Erkki Tapper-Rautakorpi?" His tone to skeptical, to put it mildly. But he does have to nod in agreement with Antti. "All I want, at the end of this, is to return to my house, with my family. My children and grandchild. I shall pray God grants me that, and try to do my part to see it happen."

Niko nods to Korhonen and says, "This war's being fought for reasons I don't quite understand. But the reasons for us wanting it to end are simple and easy to grasp." He pushes the bolt back into the receiver and slides it into place. Mosin-Nagant bolts lack easily-flippable safeties, as Mausers do, and with his bandaged left hand, Niko is unable to pull the knob back and rearwards to engage it. "If… ah… one of you men can give me a hand." He coughs. "A new hand would be swell."

Erkki turns around and points his mug at the doctor. "No, not really. It just sounded like something typically patriotic to say," he says with a snort. He pours up a mug of coffee for his brrother and brings it over, having caught the sniffing for coffee. "I just like killing." He grins toothily at the doctor, eyes glittering expectantly. He /likes/ riling Korhonen up if he can.

Vesa pushes off the wall quite readily to head for Niko, not really wanting to be in a conversation about family. "I've got it." He comes closer to the four-fingered wonder, reaching for the weapon.

Arto stands up from his chair so that he can stretch properly, making his neck pop, and gratefully accepts the mug from Erkki. "Thanks," he states, then fixes Erkki with a bit of a long, thoughtful stare/frown.

Antti sniffs once again, shaking his head, "Well, about time you started talking bullshit again, Erkki. that was almost a full conversation you were sounding sensable." The farmer doesnt even look up from his maintinence of the big gun to speak.

Jaakko rises to pour himself some of the fresh coffee then quietly retakes his seat.

"I don't even know why I bother with the safeties on these rifles," Niko mutters, handing the rifle up to Vesa. "Hard to engage, hard to disengage. Horrible engineering. It's still quieter than pulling the bolt all the way back and chambering a cartridge, though."

Korhonen frowns deeply at Erkki, his gaze going cold. As it ever does, when he's looking at the man. "Then Sonja and Henrik are better off as they are," he says flatly, before turning away and going to get himself more coffee.

"Shooting a man, shooting a moose… no big difference. Except moose don't shoot back. In fact, I have more sympathy for the moose," Erkki says bluntly. It's hard to tell if he's just running his mouth like the jerk that he is or if he really means it. Probably the former. "It doesn't matter what I, or you, or anyone think. It's either us or them. So, what is the point of discussing it? Just do it."

Vesa takes the rifle, trying not to look like he's listening to Korhonen and Erkki. He pulls the knob back on it, engaging the safety with the soft sound. "With Henrik around in here? I'd bother," he replies quietly, before handing the rifle back to Niko.

Antti adds flatly, "And you don't need a permit to shoot Ivan out of season."

Arto ahems quietly. "Erkki," he states. "When we get a chance, I would like to speak to you in private." Well, that sounded awfully polite. Then he pauses to gulp down more precious precious coffee.

Niko takes his rifle and leans it up on the wall behind him. "If my hand doesn't get better by the next time we have to fight," Niko says to Vesa, "I'll need you to disengage it again." Then, to Erkki, "Moose don't scream like men do. Russians, Finns, all men sound the same when they're gutshot. Perhaps my philosophy is the opposite of yours, Erkki."

Korhonen speaks no more to Erkki, though the dour expression on his face seems entirely directed at the man. He drinks heavily of his coffee then putters over to check on the wounded.

There is a flash of anger in Erkki's eyes as he looks at his brother. "You sound just like the old man," he says and that is /not/ a compliment coming from him.

Vesa thumps back down on the crate he'd been sitting on before, picking up the knife and the drum rim that's slowly taking shape. He starts working at it again, though he glances up when Erkki's tone turns angry.

Antti opines, "Philosophy is a word that fools throw around to avoid acting. They came to our homes. They tried to take what is ours: our land, our people. They will die for it. Quickly if they're lucky, and screaming if they're not. It's that simple. And if you cant work back a bolt, stay in the cabin next time," the farmer mutters to Niko, before glancing back at the Tapper brothers.

Arto gives Erkki a level look in return, his eyes narrowing slightly. "So what if I do? Are you going to throw a tantrum and storm off on me like you would with him, then? It was a simple question."

The interplay between the Tapper brothers makes Korhonen pause and turn his head back toward them.

Erkki responds by swinging a fist at Arto's face. Seems he won't be storming off for a temper tantrum!

Sonja wakes, to see a fist flying. She rolls over in her blanket pile, and groans quietly. Henrik has awoke also. "Don't copy your father in such behaviour." she whispers to him.

Niko snorts to Antti. "What's this 'our' stuff?" He shakes his head, "I was never a White or a Red, but I can't say I believe in doing anything for the good of others just for the sake of 'community.'" He smirks, "If my mother is still alive, I'll be sure to ask her who my real father is. Maybe he isn't a Finn. Maybe he's an African." The small man laughs bitterly.

Vesa is about to say something to Niko, but the flying fist gets his attention and makes him stare at the Tapper Wonderduo. He puts the knife down quickly, standing up just on instinct.

Antti states flatly back at Niko, "If you have nothing to defend? Leave. But whether you stay or go, stop your-" The words taper off with a tersely released breath as he looks aside to the developing scuffle.

Arto lifts a hand and catches Erkki's fist before it reaches his face. "For god's sake, man, grow up," he tells him, very quietly. "We're at war, and I can't believe that you're still acting like a 16-year old brat."

"Pay no mind to him, Sonja," Korhonen says quickly, going over to join his daughter and grandson. /Him/, not them, he says. He's more concerned about his own family than the scuffle between the brothers. Though he still watches the ensuing fight, of course.

Niko stops jaw-flapping and glances over at the brawling brothers. "Hey!" he shouts, "That isn't helping anyone!" The small man doesn't move to try to break it up. Not like he's big enough to do anything, anyway.

That isn't exactly the right thing to say to Erkki right now. He tears his hand lose and steps back slightly, beginning to circle Arto as best as he can in the rather crowded cabin. "Listen to daddy's favorite!" he scorns. He begins mimicking the Tapper-Rautakorpi patriarch's voice, Arto's and Erkki's father. "'See there, Erkki? Arto did good, why are you not able to do that? You'll never be a good farmer or forester. You're as hopeless as your mother's family.'" And then he swings at Arto again.

Antti mutters aside to Niko, "Lot like your talking, that. Let them have it out." Unless they start breaking thinhgs or pulling knives, it's easiest to let family fight.

Vesa isn't about to attempt to break it up either, just staring at the conflict. Since it looks like Erkki's not quite fast enough to hit Arto anyway.

Sonja grumps a bit where she lies. She's not having the best of times since war began, stuck in this cabin with all these peasants, especially /that/ peasant. And now they are /fighting/. She covers Henrik up, and just scowls.

Arto sidesteps the punch. He's just a bastard like that. "It was -never- like that," he replies, raising his voice a bit now. "If there's a reason why he didn't get along with you, it was because you acted like an asshole - like you're doing now. Go on, try and hit me again. I'm sure that everyone will be really impressed."

Niko snorts to Anti. "As though you're the wisest person in here," he says drily. He drops the subject, watching the fight with wary amusement.

"Who wouldn't be an asshole with a father like that!" Erkki shouts, then goes at Arto again, this time with more determination, and no longer is interested in talking.

Antti ignores Niko's muttering in favor of keeping an eye on the Tapper brothers.

Korhonen watches Sonja carefully but she seems content to stay out of the fight. So he stands and turns toward it, to better observe. He doesn't seem in a terrible hurry to break up the fight. Until Erkki starts landing punches, rather than receiving. Oh, well. "Enough of this!" he says, a tiredness in his voice. He strides toward the fighting brothers.

Sonja isn't getting into any fights! She bruises easily.

Arto gets punched in the stomach. Erkki: he fights dirty. He doubles up and shuffles back slightly to try and absorb some of the blow, but… That seems to have just pissed him off, yup, and he swings at Erkki in return now. "Take some responsibility for your actions instead of blaming everything on your parents, you stupid bastard!"

Vesa blinks as Erkki manages to sock Arto right in the gut. "Doctor, don't get close!" He calls to Korhonen. Last thing they need is the -doctor- with a busted nose.

"I'm going to beat you up now, I should've done that a long time ago," Erkki growls and ducks a swing from his brother, only to respond with a fist to Arto's head. Fortunately, Erkki isn't much of a fighter - he just swings on instinct rather than with any skill. The doctor's closeness is noticed but not taken into account; he's not going to stop this yet.

Arto seems oblivious to Korhonen - or, well… If he -does- notice him, he's quickly distracted by Erkki punching him in the face. He doesn't say anything this time, but instead just swings at Erkki's face again, only for his brother to block it.

"Stop this at once!" Korhonen shouts again, trying to get in a position to grab Erkki by the arms. Which may not be the best idea. "Will you fight your own kin and weaken us against the Russians? You are a fool, Erkki Tapper. A damned fool."

Erkki is thrown out of balance from Korhonen's sudden grab of his arm. He tries to shake it off, to continue the fight, but there is some sense coming to him finally. Maybe it's the mention of the Russians that makes him take a step back and warily eyeying his brother.

Antti mutters, "Perkele," as Korhonen steps into the fray. The farmer steps after the doctor, adding, "No one swing at the doctor.." perhaps unnecessarily, but still..

Vesa now does take a step closer to the scuffle, Korhonen being close enough to get hit. He keeps his eyes on the fight, sharp and wary.

Arto's brain eventually re-engages, and he steps back from Erkki rather than try to attack again. Korhonen's words do seem to have got through to him, now. He scowls at his brother, and gingerly probes the skin around his eyesocket where he's likely going to have a black eye.

Korhonen is a wiry old man and manages to get a grip on Erkki. For all the good, or bad, it might do him. "Stop this," he repeats firmly to Erkki, as if reprimanding a child. "You have done enough damage." When Erkki steps back he lets go of him, though he, too, still eyes Erkki warily.

Niko sighs and stands up. "Well, now that everyone's normal again, I'm going to go outside and stand watch," he says to no one in particular. He picks his rifle up and slings it over a shoulder. "If you hear any screaming, it means the Russians are here and I've been shot." He laughs as he opens the door and heads out.

Erkki doesn't often get those kind of outbursts of anger. He's usually rather controlling of his own temper - too much, perhaps. He's not known to show his feelings. Now he calms down almost too quickly, shooting his brother a snort when seeing how he touches around his eye. He pulls on his arm, to get lose from Korhonen; he's calm now, there won't be any more fighting from him unless someone else steps in.

"Don't forget the safety," Vesa comments wryly to Niko as he heads out the door. He turns his gray eyes back towards the brothers and Korhonen, still watching.

Sonja snorts, mainly to voice her disapproval, and rolls back over again now the spectacle is over, a little unhappily, as Arto didn't smack him one.

Niko calls back, "I haven't forgotten about the safety. That's why I said to listen for screaming." He shuts the door.

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