Hindsight

Vesa wasn't in the mood for more blood, letting Marja handle the self-proclaimed hero. He skiis after Antti and Matti to check for bloodhound Ivans, rifle on his back.

Antti mutters lowly under his breath, "Hey. Vesa. Still have that grenade? Matti, what about you?"

Vesa nods, pulling up near Antti. "I've got two on me. You took care of the kitchen before I could raise my arm." He grins a little.

Antti sniffs once. "Yeah. Got sloppy though, and nearly played bullet catcher. You should have seen it," he mutters flatly. "There was borsch all over Korhonen's walls."

Matti nods to Antti, "I still have that grenade. This sounds… Ominous." He looks at his brother suspiciously.

Vesa smirks slightly at the mention of the borscht. "Better if it had been blood." He rolls his shoulders under his large coat, exhaling a steam breath.

Antti shakes his head. "No, nothing ominous. Just wanted to know how much we spent. Hey. Matti, youre the hunter. Where should we look first." A slow shake of his head, and a lowly muttered, "Crazy idiot."

Matti glances at Antti, nodding. "I only shot the one bullet, anyway. I guess you boys got spotted before I managed to get into position." He looks around at Sindri's trail - it's not hard to follow, him having no proper skis left - and grunts, "I guess we better follow his trail, but carefully. The Russians are blind. So unless they let him and came right behind him, I doubt we'll find anything."

Vesa casts around a glance as Matti talks, then looks at the set of boot trails and blood in the snow. He gives Matti a quick nod. "Can't believe he stayed there after that tank pulled in," he mutters, jamming his ski poles into the snow and moving the follow Sindri's trail.

"Stayed there for ten minutes, after Ivan was dead, and the tank stopped shooting," Antti grumbles. "I kept yelling at him to get out, but he wouldnt listen."

Matti shakes his head at Vesa, muttering, "You don't know the half of it. He attacked a Russian in the sauna, and by some miracle managed to kill him. He managed to stay out of sight… But just stayed there, and didn't even try to get out. Damn fool would have deserved to die." He nods to Antti grimly, sking onwards. His eyes are bloodshot, and he seems very irritated that he has to do this unpleasant task now.

Vesa's brows drawn together as he listens. "At least he didn't cost us either of you, I guess." He bends his knees to direct his path alongside Sindri's trail. "Hand doing okay, Antti?"

Antti sniffs once, picking up on some element of Matti's manner in the way that brothers have, "Oh quit your scowling. would you rather be back in the cabin, listening to the dumb bastard bragging?" A nod and sidelong look to Vesa, "Yeah. Hand will be fine. Just a nick really." A snort. "Perkele. Still cant believe I was so dumb that I let two Ivans spot me. Damned sloppy."

"He wouldn't be bragging for long." Matti shoots a look back at Antti, tapping the long lappish Leuku hanging from his his belt meaningfully. Despite the dark scowl, he probably doesn't mean /that/. Still, not happy with Sindri. He skis forwards, calling back, "Anyway, he could have cot us a lot more. No one belongs in war, but some people belong in it a lot less than others."

"They were sloppier," Vesa points out to Antti with a slight grin as he continues on skiing. "You're still alive." He looks at the back of Matti's head then. "He was talking about not being able to read something. I wonder where he even came from."

Antti chuckles once at Vesa's quip. "Yeah. Very sloppy. Spilled thier soup all over the place." Matti's threat is disregarded with a sniff. "How much reading does it take? Pin comes out, you throw the bomb, and boom. It's that simple."

"If the man doesn't know how to read, then I wouldn't be surprised if he doesn't know how to throw a rock." Matti pauses, bending down to examine the trail once more, as he shoots a dark scowl at the two of you, "Even the dumbest village idiots I've seen could at least spell the alphabet."

"Sure even the dumbest village idiot runs when he sees a tank, too," Vesa mutters. He watches what Matti does as he examines the trail, ever learning from this crowd of more experienced men. "Maybe he'll be too hurt to walk for a while."

"Smaller village. Bigger idiot," Antti mutters back with a dry smirk. A slow shake of his head as he answers Vesa, "Nah. Cant get rid of the worst ones. But if he mouths off again, he'll wish he had'nt."

Matti shakes his head, reaching forwards with one gloved hand to sort through the snow, before straightening. "Only one man passed through here. Lets go a little further, just to be sure." The slight hunter skis onwards, calling back, "And yes. Unfortunately, fate - or God, if you want - can be perverse. Some people who you'd expect to die just never ever kick the bucket, in war." From his expression, this is probably not a good thing.

Vesa draws a breath but doesn't answer Matti out loud. He continues on through the snow, watching the progression of the winding boot trail. Then his eyes come up and skim carefully around their area.

"True. Some people you'd expect to die end up living through more than one war, too.." He smirks, but looks nowhere near Matti.

"That was funny, Antti." Matti smirks, sking forwards quietly for a while, shaking his head; he seems amused by something. At long length he glances back at his brother, murmuring with gallows humour, "Funny that you honestly think we're going to survive this war."

Vesa watches the back of Matti's head for a long moment. "Might as well think you're going to survive, till you die. No point in doing anything else."

Antti laughs sharply once, turning to eye Vesa before directing a thumb toward the carpenter as he says to MAtti, "Maybe you should apprentice to that one, little brother. He's right."

Matti stops in his tracks, turning to look at the pair of you sardonically. His voice is quiet, and face blank asides from the slight squint forced by the headache still assailing him, "Might was well think you're going to die, till you survive. A man who has false hope might not do his duty, because he's afraid for his life. If this war ends and I'm alive, it'll be a miracle. Because I'll be Lazarus, brought back from the dead." The irony bleeds away towards the end, as his voice assumes an introspective tone - the almost artful phrase sounds like something that fits poorly in his mouth. Then he spits into the snow, turns, and continues skiing.

Vesa's expression doesn't change as he regards Matti. "We're surviving right now. That's good enough for me." He says nothing more to Matti's particular wisdom, staying still as Matti moves on. His head turns, eyes skimming the treeline for movement. Though he expects to see none.

"And a man with no hope is dead already," Antti mutters back, spitting in the snow as well. "Besides, when did you turn into a christian saint, little brother? Lazarus, he says.." Another short chuckle. "You need a woman, Matti."

"Who needs hope? I don't need hope." Matti spits this out, continuing to ski along Sindri's tracks. The slight hunter just shakes his head at Antti, muttering, "What, and spend all of my time living under her heel like you do? Dream on." He moves forwards quietly for a long time, before stopping near the shore of a frozen lake, staring down at the tracks, which have, at this point, already started to fill with snow coming in large flakes from above. "I figure we all outrun our luck at some point, Vesa. But you're right in that it's not something you should be worrying about.

Vesa's eyes flick between them at their banter about women, but he's not getting himself into that kind of talk. "I don't worry about it." He shrugs, giving a wry grin. "Have other stuff to worry about. Need to learn to use this rifle better." That last is more to himself than to them, a personal reminder.

Antti snorts. "A fellow is'nt a real man until he has a son to take his place," the farmer opines evenly. "I married a good woman, and have raised three good children. Maybe some day you'll see something fine in that, little brother." Lower, he mutters as his eyes study the terrain, "Besides. I keep enough hope for the both of us." A sidelong look back at Vesa, at the carpenter's quiet words. A nod is given. "Good."

"Oh, shut up." Matti is of the same peasant stock, so he does have the same opinion on that as Antti, however unstated as it remains for now. He did try to start up his own family before, with rather tragic consequences. He kneels besides the half-covered tracks, squinting at them for a long time. And finally shakes his head. "There's nothing here. I can't believe the fool managed to stagger all the way to the cabin, but he wasn't followed at any rate. The trail will become impossible for one those wood-eyes russkis to follow in just half an hour."

Vesa moves a bit to let Matti head back past him. He looks at Antti then, debating a moment before he goes ahead and asks. "You have three kids, Antti?"

Antti nods once, expression kept even, and eyes still scanning the snowy countryside, in the near dark. "The oldest is ten. My first son, Ville. A little girl as well, Aila, named for her mother. And Peytr, the youngest."

Vesa raises his eyebrows slightly. "I can't even imagine having a son that's ten years old." Naturally, that's only six years his junior. He glances back towards the cabin, then at the treeline again. "Should we go back, you think?"

Antti mutters back, "One day you'll forget how it ever could have been otherwise," the farmer responds to Vesa's suprise. "After all, what are we here fighting for, if not the future, eh?" A nod. "Yeah. Let's head back now. Ivan taking a bullet in the head can wait for the future, too."

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