Even Heroes Wet the Bed Sometimes

Isak realizes he's awake, but doesn't quite open his eyes, not yet. Instead he had to come to grips with the pain that had settled over him like a heavy blanket. He couldn't remember being this sore, ever. Slowly he let his eyes open and he stared up at the ceiling of the cabin, groaning quietly when forced to realize that it wasn't some ugly nightmare he might be waking up from, and that everything today would be as it was yesterday.

Niko stands by the window, staring out at the snow. His rifle is slung behind his shoulder. He rubs his index finger up and down on the rough canvas sling, humming tunelessly under his breath as he spaces out.

Erkki is reading an old newspaper he's found somewhere. It's several years old but he's bored. He glances at Isak and watches him intently for a moment. "Now you know how the Bears feel when I shoot them," he helpfully says. He turns a page.

Korhonen is working, as there's a fresh load of wounded to keep him occupied. He's currently changing the bandages on one soldier's torn-up leg. Even with the things he's seen since the war began, the injury causes the doctor to wince. He makes a "Hmph" sound under his breath at Erkki's talk of bears but the comment gets no other response.

Niko turns away from the window to fix his vacant stare on Isak. "You look like you caught some hell," he comments softly. "Is there much pain?" He walks over to the stove and lights it to warm some water. "I see there's coffee now. Would you like some of this elixir you bled so hard for?"

"At least I have hope for a doctor." Isak still had some fight left in him, and Erkki usually seemed the one to bring it to the fore. When Niko made his fairly sarcastic remarks, Isak grumbled and rolled his shoulders. "Frostbite will kill us just as surely as a bullet, and we were running short."

"Everyone dies of something one day or another, my friend," Korhonen says as he putters over to Isak, having reached the man in the course of his rounds. "Frostbite and bullets, at least, we can do something about." He doesn't wince at the man's injuries but they do make his brow furrow. "Was this done by a machien gun?"

When the water is boiled, Niko puts it in the percolator. Soon enough, there's coffee to be had. He pours two cups and brings one over to Isak. "Drink this," he says, holding it out. "It'll make you piss. Not sure if that'll really make you feel better." The small man sips from his own cup.

Isak actually shakes his head. "No… I was cleaning my rifle and it went off… a few times." He paused, for effect before grinning a bit. "Sorry doctor… yes, a machine gun."

Korhonen gets a dark chuckle out of Isak's little joke. "It would be a neat trick, to shoot yourself like this. It would take most impressive skill. A pity it was only a machine gun." He doesn't seem to think the coffee, or pissing, will kill Isak, as he doesn't object to Niko's offer.

Isak reaches out for the cup and takes a hold of it, letting the warmth of the cup warm his hand a bit, still pinned down a bit by the doctor working over him. However, when given a moment's peace, he'll push himself up to sit enough to get a bit of the bitter liquid down his throat and hand an appreciative nod Niko's way. "Many thanks."

Niko sips his coffee and stares at Korhonen. "I told Vesa and Topi there would be a machine gun," he says quietly. "They didn't notice us the other night… of course, we weren't raiding the village." He smirks. "At least you're alive. Better than being dead or captured."

Korhonen straightens up, givig Isak some room to enjoy his coffee. While his hands are free, he putters over to the pot and pours some for himself. "Truer words cannot be spoken," he says after Niko, as to being alive being preferable to dead/captured.

Isak chuckles quietly and takes a sip of his coffee. After a few long minutes of trying to regain his thoughts he shrugged. "I couldn't hold a rifle, my hand was banged up. So I did the next best thing. Snuck in."

Luukas stirs in the bed he's now kept in by Sonja and Emma, a soft nasal groan before slowly opening his eyes. There's the apparent haze of one whose senses have been dulled by morphine to stop the pain, and awkwardly his right hand reaches out for a cup of water set on that side of the bed, bringing it to his lips though missing the first few times before he actually manages taking a drink.

Niko nods. "That's what I would have done." He attempts a grin. "If I had my way, I wouldn't fire another shot in this god-awful war. Of course, for that to happen, the Russians would have to stop shooting at me first."

Korhonen pours his coffee slowly, filling only half his cup. As if trying to conserve the stuff the soldiers bled to get. Seeing Luukas stirring, the doctor strides over to his bed to attend the wounded man. "Slowly, now," he says, reaching out to take the cup of water and help Luukas drink it.

Luukas tries to arch his head forward, lifting it off the pillow to raise his shoulders a tiny bit. His one arm appears to be uninjured, no wounds visibly bandaged on it, and that hand follows the cup to guide it to his mouth again for another drink. "Hello doc." From the voice, he's feeling no pain nor much of anything else. "Am I gonna keep my leg?" in his Ostrobothnian twang.

"Be careful what you wish for." Isak warns, shooting a quick look at Niko. "One really easy way to never fire a shot and still have our homes trampled upon."

"Maybe if we collect enough Russian landmines," Niko mutters, "There'll be less shooting. We could just watch Ivan march and explode." He chuckles at the thought of Russians mindlessly marching off to death.

The doctor and his nurse staff of daughters have seen to the leg, but the damage is still severe. Korhonen does not offer Luukas any false optimism. "The injury is grave. I believe the limb can be saved but it still take much care. And much rest for you. It shall be a good while before you ambush the Russians again, I think."

Luukas just manages a quiet grunt of a groan, drawing his face back from the cup after having a good long drink of water. "Figured out what I did wrong." before pausing for a breath. "When I drew back after the one Russian saw me, I moved west while he was watching, towards the road, instead of deeper away directly from Pyyvaara. They knew what direction I was movin', so they trained their machine gun towards the road and kept watch, waiting." Luukas sighs.

"If there is anything Russia will not run out of," Isak counters, "it is soldiers." He grunts once, mentally shaking himself, and takes another sip of his coffee. "We will make our way out of this… eventually. And that is all that matters."

"Do not dwell too much on what went wrong," Korhonen says to Luukas. "Know your mistake, but do not think too much on it. It will only make you more miserable, and serven no good. Are you in any pain?" He's been given morphine, of course, but his leg is hanging on by a thread and some bandages. That tends to sting.
Olli has disconnected.

Luukas lifts his chest, drawing in a breath rather quickly. He lifts his head again, craning the neck but not putting any weight as best he can help it below the arch of his back. "Doctor." nearly a whisper. "Gotta tell you something." The head remains lifted, as if waiting before saying more.

Korhonen leans down so he can better hear Luukas' rasping. "What is it, man?" he asks, his own voice lowering.

Luukas 's eyes move to look from the bed to see what others might be there, as if to judge who might be awake or listening. His head draws up a little more, murmuring, "Doc. Any time I try to move my leg at all, it hurts like the devil. Like pins are stickin' in my bone, hundreds of 'em, over and over." He pauses to take a breath, apparently having more to say.

"So, do not move your leg," Korhonen says. It's something of a joke. More seriously he adds, "You should keep it as immobile as possibly. The muscles and tendons were very nearly destroyed. You are fortunate that it is still attached. Keep it still and we shall alleviate your pain as much as possible." He tilts his head, if the man has more to say.

Luukas swallows, grimacing as he gives a little nod. A few moments of breathing before he tries to lean close to the doctor's ear to speak again. "You don't understand. I can't even move my leg to roll over, to do nuthin'." in his regional accent. "Not even to reach my hand down to lift…the pot." The blue eyes do a quick glance over Niko and Olli's way, as if making sure they can't hear or at least aren't looking, then the Ostrobothnian nods his head down to where the chamber pot is for the wounded men. His voice lowers yet even more, whispering, "I wet myself." and grits his teeth in disgust.

Korhonen has dealt with such things enough not to be phased by them. He just nods. "We can move you to another bed until this one is cleaned," he says. "Do not concern yourself. It is to be expected, with injuries such as this. If you need assistance in the future, call on me or one of my girls. We know how to deal with such matters."

Luukas lets out his breath, turning to look away. "It's just that I've never done that before. Even little Henrik, he probably doesn't do that anymore." A swallow, trying to avoid looking down to his legs at all. "Feels so helpless. I know the others are gonna see what happened too."

"I think the others have larger concerns than your sheets, my friend," Korhonen says. "And none of the medics will tell them, certainly. Bedding is changed all the time. None will think it odd."

Niko doesn't appear to be listening. He's in one of his trademark spaced-out trances. They seem to be occurring more frequently these days. The small man is wont to stare out the window, and his feet often move of their own accord to position himself in front of that window. His eyes, of course, stare at the snow.

Luukas is silent for a while, gazing off in frustration towards the door and smaller window there. "But they're not just nurses, doctor, they're your daughters. And not old wrinkled grandmas either." At that point Luukas grimaces, "You don't know what it's like to have them see you after something like that's happened. If it was total strangers, guess I wouldn't mind so much. But…" He lets the words fade.

Niko looks down into the coffee cup in his hand. He takes a sip, and grimaces. The coffee has gone lukewarm. Niko heads over to the stove and pours himself a fresh cup, then glances at Luukas. "If you die, I'm stealing your boots." He tries to smile to indicate he has made a joke, but the smile looks forced and artificial on his face. Niko appears to be oblivious to Luukas' earlier conversation with the Doctor.

Korhonen shakes his head firmly. "My daughters have grown up with this kind of work. They understand it. Besides, we are all family now. We must be, to stand against the Russians. And you will stand against them in time, my friend." With that, he gets to work. He will help Luukas move beds and clean, as needed, before puttering off about his duties.

Luukas gets moved to another bed, the old one getting sheets and covers changed. Under the fresh blanket where he's moved to, he manages to draw off all of his clothes but the socks, his trousers already having been cut off when the Korhonen daughters first cleaned the horrible wound of the leg mauled by a machine gun's stream of bullets. The doc assisted getting the Ostrobothnian's undershorts off, offering what was possible to respect the man's humility by drawing a blanket up again afterwards. Though he's quiet for a while, no doubt ashamed to some degree, he finally responds to Niko's levity. "You can have 'em if you need 'em then. They're warm, but the one on the left's got soaked with blood." He tries to present a moment's smile. "Just hope the mysterious gypsy that someone said Marja saw didn't put a curse on me."

Niko snorts. "Gypsy? I heard he was an African," Niko mutters. The small man sips his coffee and sighs. "Personally, I don't think he exists. I think Marja just dreamt it up. Someone with dark skin would stick out like… like a dark-skinned man in snow." Niko nods to Luukas' leg and says, continuing his attempt at lame humor, "Funny, I was about to ask you if you wanted to check out Puras when you got hit." He smirks.

Luukas nods a little bit, laying in the bed with an injection of morphine doing the best it can to keep him from feeling the pain of a leg nearly seperated from his body. That limb itself doesn't move at all, just drawn out under the cover and wrapped in bandages. "Someone with dark skin is what I heard too. We both thought it might've been an African, but people jumped on that like it was crazy. Antti said it could've been a gypsy, so I guess maybe he could be right." The young fellow then shakes his head a bit. "The whole idea is crazy. No one would let someone like that just wander around up here during war. Russians…I saw darker-skinned Russians in Toravaara at the sauna. They had slanty eyes. Must've been from pretty far away in Russia."

"Slant-eyes from Russia, huh? I've never seen one." Niko says. "How large is Russia, anyway? I've seen maps of the world, and the Neighbor's country looks big, but it's hard to truly grasp distance unless you ski or walk it." He chews on his lower lip and comments softly, "A mile seems a lot longer when you're wounded and have to crawl the distance under gunfire, eh?"

Luukas shrugs both shoulders. "I remember in school the teacher had a map. Russia looked pretty huge then, but that was years ago." He frowns a little at himself. "The two at the sauna weren't even speaking Russian. It was some other crazy language."

"Other language?" That got Isak's attention, waking him from his short attempt to doze off, and he turns his gaze in the direction of Niko and Luukas. "The Neighbor has brought in outlanders to help take our lands?"

"Ain't no Russia anymore. Just the Union of Soviet States." Matti calls out, from his own bunk. His hand is still bandaged, but seems to be healing along nicely. He Sits up, muttering, "And yes, it's pretty big. Unconquerable. The French tried, during the 19th century."

"A crazy language, eh?" Niko angles his head so he can at least enable himself to stare out the window. "What's a crazy language? Did it sound like French? Italian? Hebrew?" He chuckles, "I wouldn't know Hebrew if I heard it, anyway."

Luukas grunts, "I know. But it SHOULD be Russia. Stupid bolsheviks think they can just change the name." He looks over to Isak and nods then to his question. "Definitely not speaking Russian. Was kinda like the way those Siberians speak, but more chop-choppy like Chinese or something." He sighs, going back to Matti's comment, "It was bigger under the Czar. I think that's what makes that Stalin guy so mad."

"It's not about names, boy. Russia is gone." Matti's voice is harsh, but not bitter for once - he doesn't care one way or the other, and certainly has no love for the old imperial Russia. He glances at Isak, muttering, "They're not outlanders. There's all sorts, in the Soviet Union. Shining and glorious home for all races." The slight hunter sneers, the irony heavy in his voice.

"Chinese just drink tea and smoke opium, don't they?" Niko says. He shakes his head. "I can't imagine them being good soldiers, let alone surviving in a land that has neither tea to drink nor opium to smoke." The small man laughs and shakes his head again. "All these rumors of Africans, gypsies, and Chinamen. I've yet to see one. Perhaps I'm asleep at all the wrong times."

Luukas grimaces, "Well, I wish I had a body to show you, Niko, but that sauna gave them pretty good cover. My first shot nipped the chest of one guy, and from the way he was pointing at it and complaining, think it shot his nipple off." He can't help but snicker at the mention of that, in a primary schoolyard sort of way. "Matti saw him. It was me and Matti both that were trying to take them down."

Isak catches Matti's tone and looks his way with a frown. "Russia isn't gone, it's on our doorstep, no matter who is in charge over there." He takes a sip of his now cold coffee and continues, "It is not as if we could slap our foreheads, say 'oh no, we are dealing with soviets now, we are sorry" and they would leave our homes be.

Matti shakes his head at Isak, apparently unwilling to elaborate on his mystical point about the vaporization of Imperial Russia. As they speak of the slanty-eyed man, he shrugs his slight shoulders, "I saw a chinaman once, in Helsinki. It was during the Great War… The Czar had shipped in chinese to help build fortifications there." What on earth was he doing in Helsinki. He nods to Luukas, "That man we saw, didn't look quite the same. Slightly more reddish skin, different features. Probably siberian."

Luukas murmurs, "I don't see why Germany isn't helping us. It's got a big army now, despite how the British and French tried to humiliate it after that other war. If anyone can fight Russia, it's them and us allied."

Isak nods, Matti's silence enough lack of dissent for the simple man, and turns to Luukas. "Too busy with their own problems, they are!" This actually got the netboss to speak in something a bit louder than his normally deep, somber tones. "They offer 'aid'… but no men. The only ones to save Finland are Finns."

"Maybe if the Germans provided tanks," Niko says. "Otherwise, if they can't ski, they're no good to us. With this warm weather, maybe the Germans wouldn't fare too poorly." He shrugs and mutters, "Useless to speculate. Isak is right; only Finns will fight for Finland."

"I hear the germans are kind of busy in Poland." Matti mutters drily, shooting a dirty look at Luukas. The Germans are not no. 1 on his list of favourite people. He shrugs his shoulders, "I don't know about saving Finland, but we have to make do with what we have. Just a question of time, anyway." Matti grunts. Optimistic, anyway. Time until… what?

Luukas nods a bit in agreement to Matti, but from where he's confined to bed from a leg nearly seperated from his body and the morphine given to dull the pain, he shoots a look over to Niko, "Our Swedish brothers are helping us. They did in the civil war, and they're doing the best they can now. I know that for a fact. My father served with their pilots then!"

"The only thing the Swedes did during the Civil War was invade aland. That's the kind of friends you have, when you make nice with the Germans and the herrefolk." Matti spits this out, staring at Luukas from the corners of his eyes. Obviously bristling at the 'us' there.

Isak looks from Matti back over to Luukas and back again before shaking his head. "That's enough. It's not going to help us to go tossing blame hereabouts. We just have to keep doing what we are doing, and hold faith."

Niko shrugs. "I'll gladly accept help from any nation that offers it if it means I get to go back to my quiet, uneventful life in Juntusranta," Niko mutters. "I haven't fought for too long, but I've seen enough of this war. I miss my fingers."

Luukas swallows deeply hearing Niko say that, only now daring a look down towards what's left of his own left leg. "You can have my boots if I die", spoken quietly as if to Niko. "I was the one that led you to Puras where you lost your fingers. Can't do much with boots if my leg's gone."

Matti glances at Niko, no sympathy on his angular, narrow face; he's not overstocked in the empathy department. He shrugs at Isak, muttering, "I'm gonna fight, don't you worry about that. I'm just gonna do it knowing what's out there, without any 'faith' in fantasies and fairytales."

Niko nods to Matti. "It's quite simple. There are Russians who wish to kill us. We are to kill them when the opportunity is right." He smirks and shakes his head. "War seems quite foolish when you think about it."

Isak narrows his eyes at Matti's flippant response, and his voice lowers somewhat, "Is it wrong to have faith in those beside me? To believe that my brothers in arms will carry the day?"

Luukas mutters, "Faith isn't foolish. Our Neighbor's Lenin would like to say we're fools for believing in anything more than a manifesto." His gaze goes over to Isak, "But friend, it's not our place to convince them with words. Live by your faith and it'll be noticed, either now or at the end."

Matti laughs at Isak, not a genial sound by any stretch. "You believe whatever you want to keep you fighting, Isak. It's a question of time. The Soviet Union is endless - we can delay them, but if they want, they can run us under. It's merely a question of whether they're willing to suffer all the casualties and time wasted that that would need." He glances at Niko, shaking his head sullenly. "War is always goddamn foolish. No question about that."

"Some living in this very cabin seem to enjoy the war," Niko mutters. He doesn't go into further detail about it, though. To Isak, he says, "I don't see anything wrong with believing in your brothers-in-arms, but do you know one thing I've learned the past few days? I've learned not to be surprised at anything anymore. A Finn getting killed no longer fazes me as it once did. Nor does the prospect of killing another human being." He grimaces and averts his eyes to stare out the window. "The only thing that would truly surprise me is an African or Chinaman skiing out of the woods."

Isak hears Niko's words and gives the man a quick nod. "That is why men are sent to war, and women left at home." Luukas' words caused him to actually laugh, bitter nearly as much as the Russian coffee. "I'll have to doubt you, some don't even learn then." To Matti, however, he deigned not to comment. The 'why do you even fight' argument was one he had seen taken place… and what happened after that. He wasn't about to end up in that place again.

Luukas speaks quietly, his expression solemn and yet resolute despite Isak's words. "In the end, there is only One who counts. I have my faith in Him." then looks away. "I'll fight the Soviet so long as he is invading our land. When the politicians make peace, I'll still remember, but I won't be sneaking across the border to remind him of the Finn. Hopefully, we'll all be able to get back to work and our families, then."

"Men may be sent to war, but lately it seems to be fashionable for women to fight, and fight eagerly," Niko mutters. "It is her choice, but Russians are indiscriminate on who they kill."

Matti snorts, shaking his head, and lies down on the pallet once more. All of this optimism must be tiring him down.

Luukas slowly shakes his head. "I think the women who fight do it 'cause they know what'll happen if the Neighbor wins. They don't want to live under a world like that." Softly he releases his breath, trying to lay his head back on the pillow while his leg remains limp and unmoving. "I gotta get some sleep."

Niko moves away to the window and over to his cot. He unslings his rifle, sets it down on the cot, and lies down next to it. Sleep seems like a good idea.

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