It's Beginning to Smell a Lot Like Christmas

Niko skis up to the cabin from the east. He moves a little better on his skis these days. Perhaps he's getting into shape, or perhaps he's just that much better at skiing. His right hand is freshly bandaged. From the range of motion Niko exhibits, along with the strength at which he grips his ski pole, one could probably deduce that his hand is on the mend and he's successfully vanquished whatever infection he was battling.

Sonja ambles about the cabin, checking up on the wounded. Luukas getting the bulk of her attention, because his leg was near dropping off. But in general the healing power of nature seems to be working well in here. She's also in a better mood too, having availed herself of a bath and a sauna in Pyyvaara the other day, and as a result is feeling almost civilised again.

Niko opens the door to the cabin and steps inside, shutting it behind him. He unslings his rifle and leans it against the door. "I'm glad it isn't snowing," he announces. "Would have gotten lost. I hate skiing alone. Pyyvarra seems a lot further away when you're in the woods by yourself."

Sonja nods. "A few miles." she agrees, looking up. "Without any tracks to follow. I took the sled with Antti and the others when I went.". She yawns, and picks at Luukas' bandage. "Well, he's not losing his leg after all." she says brightly.

"That's good news," Niko says to Sonja. "With the way that machine gun chewed him up…" He shrugs, "Guess there's a lot of good luck going around lately. We didn't even lose a man when we recaptured Pyyvarra." The small man smirks. "Either we're lucky, or all the bad luck is going to hit us all at once."

"Well, God isn't likely to be on the side of the atheist communists." Sonja points out to Niko. "I am sure we are the side that is right in this struggle, the more I learn about the Soviets anyway. So I think our luck will hold.".

Niko snorts. "Let's hope you're right," the small man mutters. "We don't know how many more months of war we have ahead of us, or how many soldiers The Neighbor plans on sending our way." He sighs and walks over to the stove, where he sets water to boil. "You want some coffee?" he asks.

Sonja shakes her head. "No, no thanks. Already done the coffee round this morning." she replies, and settles onto the floor crosslegged, as there isnt much sitting room here with all the wounded. She fishes around for a book she's borrowed off of Marja, the Communist Manifesto, which she is reading out of curiosity. Besides, maybe she'll need to know this stuff if Russia wins?

"Has it already been morning?" Niko asks. He walks back over to the door and grabs his rifle, then sits down in a chair. He lays his rifle across his lap and begins field stripping it. "I lost my timepiece a few weeks ago," Niko explains. "In the wintertime, all of the days seem to blur together without a timepiece. Especially with the war going on. Christmas and New Year's could pass and I wouldn't even know it."

Sonja smiles at that, and shakes her head. "Oh, no, you won't miss Christmas. I am keeping my eye on the date. I don't think we should let Christmas pass without some sort of celebration, anyway.".

Niko shrugs. "Christmas will be just another day for me this year," he says. "Unless I can make it back to Juntusranta before Christmas." He smirks. "I doubt that. You are lucky you have a family here. Circumstances notwithstanding, of course."

Sonja pffs. "Misery. You have a new family here, of sorts. Can't really be any other way, can it, with everybody cooped up in this tiny cabin. Henrik's already had three toys given to him by the men here.".

"No sense in getting too close to you people," Niko broods. "Every time I go out there, Ivan takes a pound of my flesh and a pint of my blood." Finished with field stripping his rifle, the small man begins cleaning the components on his lap and the table in front of him. "If this keeps up, might just be my skis making it back to this cabin without me."

Sonja glances up as Niko settles down. "You want some food? Tinned tomato? Makes a change from rabbit at least. Ivan takes your blood but you take Ivans food?".

Niko shakes his head. "No, not hungry. But that reminds me…" he sets his rifle down on the table and stands up. Going to the stove, he grabs the hot water and puts it in the percolator for coffee.

Sonja shakes her head. "I thought I was bad drinking so much tea. When we still had tea. But you all drink so much caffeine I'm surprised anybody ever sleeps in this cabin.".

"Sleep? What's that?" Niko says, pouring himself a cup of coffee. "Hard to sleep when you have to do it with one eye open, eh? Or at least one ear open for incoming artillery or Ivan's clumsy marching boots."

"I think we are pretty safe here…" Sonja tells Niko, though with faint worry, as she was assured it was safe, dammit. "In the middle of nowhere practically, no roads. There was even some snow, so no tracks.".

Niko shakes his head. "No, I was referring to Pyyvarra." He takes his coffee and sits down at the table, where he resumes cleaning his rifle. "I heard that we're pretty safe there for the time being, but who knows? I wouldn't even trust my leaders to lace up my boots for me." Niko sighs. "Maybe I"m just becoming cynical," he mutters.

Sonja blinks. "What leaders? Jari? Luukas?". She tilts her head. "I heard a few people aren't very happy with Luukas, I remember when we were in Toravaara I got a few hints of that. But none of the men tell me anything about that sort of thing, and he seems like a good soldier to me.".

Niko looks up at Sonja and shakes his head. "No, not them. I'm talking about the Good Sergeant. You know, he who skis in, tells us what to do, and skis off." He snorts and looks back at his rifle, saying through gritted teeth, "Something about a man who will tell me what to do, but doesn't want to stick around to bleed with me while I'm doing it makes him untrustworthy. Just because the Sergeant is a Finn fighting for Finland doesn't mean I have to like him."

Sonja ahs. "I only saw him once, I didn't think you had much to do with him really." she replies. "I am sure the war will be over soon anyway, you already took one village back, a few more and we'll be back in Raatevaara again." she observes, sublimely confident it seems.

Niko shrugs. "Let's hope so," he murmurs. He stops cleaning his rifle long enough to take a sip of his coffee. "I'm dying for some bread and salmiakki, you know. I was hoping I'd find some salmiakki in Pyyvarra." He attempts a smile. "Maybe the Russians ate the salmiakki, or, more likely, mistook it for poison and incinerated it." Cleaning accomplished, he begins reassembling his rifle.

Sonja makes a face, not liking that stuff anyway. "Probably burned it." she agrees. "I doubt Russians will appreciate that stuff. I doubt its very healthy, you're probably better off with the rabbit stew." she says, a bit amused.

"Ah," Niko says. "But stew would taste better with even a tiny piece of fresh-baked bread, don't you agree?" He loads his rifle, closes the bolt, and pulls and rotates the safety into place. "That would be a perfect Christmas present. Find some Russians in possession of salmiakki and bread, and kill them for it."

"Bread would be good. There probably is some in Pyyvaara, no? Unless its gone mouldy I suppose, does the Russian army even have bread?" Sonja wonders. "Salmiakki doesn't go off, you probably aren't looking hard enough is all.".

"Maybe not," Niko says. "If I manage to survive this war, I'll find some eventually. I'm sure of it." He sips his coffee. "And some hot gloggi to wash it down. Maybe drown myself in gloggi. Funny how I took a lot of things for granted, eh?"

Sonja laughs a bit. "Well, you can probably find these things if you look harder. I'll keep my eye out. Maybe you can get some from the regular army? They are near by I hear. I'm sure the regulars survive on salmiakki.". She coughs, finding that a bit unlikely, as well as amusing, but you never know.

Niko shrugs again, sipping his coffee. "The Regular Army? What did I just say about people I trust and don't trust?" He smiles. "Maybe I am a real soldier. Real soldiers just kill, die, bleed, and gripe about life, eh?"

Sonja sighs. "Well, you're doing enough griping." she mutters, her good mood somewhat ruined by Niko 'Misery' Fisk. She looks over at his hand. "I see you're healed at least. Life's many blessings, mm? You have your health.".

"At the moment," Niko grunts. He holds up his scarred hands. "I miss my fingers. But at this rate, I'll be lucky if I have arms by the New Year." He frowns. "Not just a new year. A new decade. What a way to start it off, eh? Wonder what the 1940s have in store for us."

"The war will be over by then, it can't last all that long. The politicians are talking already, no doubt." Sonja says. "And it might not go on here until the very end anyway, maybe the Russians will leave here, but the war will go on a bit longer in the south, maybe.".

"Let's hope so," Niko says. He finishes his coffee and stands. "I must get back to Pyyvarra," he says. The small man slings his rifle over a shoulder and says, "It's good to hear that Luukas will keep his leg. Your Korhonens do good work."

Sonja nods. "We do." she agrees proudly. "Though I think Luukas will be some time in healing, so you will have to do without his leadership for a while.".

Niko nods slowly. "Maybe we'll make do if there's still some of that good luck left," he says. "Goodbye for now, Sonja." The small man exits the cabin, steps into his skis, and promptly skis south.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 License.