Headquarters Shelled

The headquarters, including the aid station, is struck by an artillery barrage.

Bn HQ

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Coordinates : 1 13

There is a Finnish battalion headquarters based here in an old farmhouse, long since commandeered. A battery of mortars can be seen out the back awaiting orders, AA guns are set up in the fields, and the place is filled with adminly types.
It is currently dusk.

This is an arctic environment, with a temperature of -20 degrees Celsius.

Sonja is terrified, under a table, and clinging to the chairleg. She's still there even though the shelling's stopped.

Villi steps into the Farmhouse where the survivors are hiding. "Ello there1"

Emma had the misfortune of being on her way from somewhere back to the farmhouse when the shelling started. Caught just outside, she was caught in one of the blasts and took some shrapnel to her side and head. One of the other Lottas dragged her inside, unconscious.

Villi walks into the room and kneels down in front of Sonja. "The shelling has stopped. It's okay to come out now," he says gently to her. Then he spots Emma on the floor, bleeding from the head. He recognizes her as his nurse and he gasps, a hand going over his mouth as he does so.

Sonja glances up, sees the unconscious/dead Emma, and promptly curls up into a ball. She's staying under the damn table. It's as shell proof as it gets around here after all.

Villi heads over to Emma and kneels down beside her. He can see her steady breathing from her chest moving up and down, so he goes to clean her wound before she wakes up. Ironic how the nurse is being nursed by the patient. Hmmm.

It's not as bad as it looks, which is fortunate for Emma's sake since it looks pretty bad. But head wounds bleed an awful lot, and right now there's a lot of it on her face and matting her hair. The other Lotta presses a bandage to the side of Emma's head to staunch the bleeding and calls over urgently, "Sonja!"

Sonja shouts, "EMMA'S DEAD!!!".

Sonja contributes as productively as ever.

"She's not dead," the Lotta replies with a vaguely exasperated look. She gives a nod to Villi when he comes to help. At least there's someone useful.

Villi turns back as Sonja shouts and gives her a soothing "SHHHH" like shut the hell up I'm asking you nicely kind of way. He inspects Emma's head wounds with whatever knowledge he has about first aid and all. "Well, she doesn't have a huge piece of shrapnel stuck in her skull, at least. Small fragments… anyone have a tweezer?"

"She isn't?" Sonja replies, disbelieving. But she reluctantly emerges from under the table to crawl over to Emma, and see for herself. "She isn't!" she repeats, more happily. She joins in in cleaning the wounds, finding out that beneath all the matted bloody hair, there isnt all that much to be horrified beneath after all. She picks out any bits of grit and other nastiness as best she can, she's done this a lot after all.

"We have it," the other Lotta tells Villi with a gentle smile, when Sonja comes over to help. "Thank you. Could you fetch some water please?" While the nurses do the nursing thing. The pain of having wounds cleaned seems to break through Emma's haze a little bit and she moans, turning her head a little but not opening her eyes.

Villi nods and gets out of the way as the nurses do their thing. He smiles at Sonja, though she doesn't see him, surprised that she has changed quite dramatically since he saw her in that hiding spot. Then he turns away and looks out the window for the sign of any of his comrades. Hopefully they haven't been overrun by the Soviets during the retreat…

… Some time later …

Emma is on a stretcher in a corner of the farmhouse with some of the other wounded from the shelling attack, fresh bandages on her head and chest. She follows the activity in the farmhouse with a dull stare, watching other Lottas bustle about tending to the wounded.

Korhonen finishes giving a some instructions to one of the working Lottas as he makes his rounds among the wounded. His face is even more drawn and careworn than usual. It only gets moreso as the war goes on. He tries not to alter his expression as he nears Emma's cot, but he can't help but wince. "How are you feeling?" he asks his middle daughter.

"I'm fine, Papa," Emma assures him, trying to be brave so as to not worry him. But she can't hide the midly unfocused gaze her concussion lent her, or the lines of pain on her face. "Is everyone else all right?" She saw the HQ get hit but didn't see who all might have been injured.

Korhonen gives Emma a long look. His eyes crinkle with a trace of worry he can't hide but he withholds comment. "They will be in time," he answers her question simply. "They are in capable hands. Can I get you something?" For the pain, is the unspoken other half of that question.

Emma moves her head in a tiny nod to his reassurance about her friends, but even that movement causes her to wince. There's a brief pause before she chews on her lower lip and admits, in a small, almost childish voice, "Maybe a little…" Morphine, or whatever, she leaves unsaid.

Korhonen nods to Emma. He half-raises a hand to summon a Lotta but finally, after a heavy sigh, straightens to get a clean syringe himself. He fills it with a small dose of dope, just enough to take the edge off, and kneels beside his daughter again to inject her. "Conditions are not so bad here, at least," he says, trying to keep her distracted by talking. "Better than hiding in a cabin, at least. Thank God for small favors."

Emma looks away from the injection site, closing her eyes. A nurse afraid of needles - go figure. It's easier when they're being stuck into other people. When he finishes, she finally turns her head gingerly back towards him. "It's not so bad here," she agrees softly. "I think we're doing more. Helping more." A pause, and then she blurts out. "I'm sorry, Papa. I tried to get back into the house… when I heard…" the shells falling. She blinks back tears. It was a close call.

Korhonen shakes his head, finishing his work with the needle as quickly as he can, then handing the used syringe off to a passing Lotta. He shakes his head as he looks down at Emma, reaching out to place one palm gently on her cheek. "Do not think on it. It is over now and you will be all right." He smiles slightly. "Sonja will look after you when I cannot. I was worried for her when all this began. Even more than Marja and Kati in many ways. But she has dealt with it all well. You both have."

Emma manages a weak smile when Korhonen touches her face, just a few tears spilling out over her cheeks. "She's done well," Emma agrees readily, not having been conscious to see Sonja's brief hysterics earlier. "I never thought I'd see her in a Lotta uniform. I'm glad you're both here." She has no doubts that she's in good hands.

"Neither did I," Korhonen admits, at the comment about seeing Sonja in a Lotta uniform. He can't hide the relief in his tone, though it's mixed with some apprehension. "I only hope her husband…" He still can't say Erkki's name without frowning. "…will be good to her. She and Henrik have been put through so much by him."

"I hope so, too," Emma says quietly. Some of the tension leaves her face as the drugs take effect, but it's replaced by a slight frown. "I still don't like him," she blurts out, either the concussion or the dope making her a little blunter than she would normally be.

Korhonen drops his voice to a conspiratorial whisper. "Neither do I," he says with a wink. "But I will put up with him if he is ready to do his duty by Sonja. This war has changed Finland so much. Perhaps it has changed /him/ for the better. We can always hope, at least."

Another weak smile answers Korhonen's whisper. "Well, I suppose we're stuck with him, anyway." Emma can at least manage to be civil to him, which is an improvement. "I hope he has changed, for Sonja's sake. And Henrik's."

"For their sake, I wish the Tapper-Rautakorpi all the happiness in the world," Korhonen agrees. He lingers by Emma's bedside but he can't ignore the beckoning of a working Lotta from a nearby cot, for him to see to a patient. He sighs, straightening. "Try to rest," he says simply to his daughter.

Emma doesn't nod, but reaches out for her father's hand as he starts to go, giving it a light squeeze. "You too, Papa." She lets him go, then, and tries to settle into as comfortable position as she can manage.

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