Matti Missing in Action, Faleva Persona Non Grata

Jaakko enters the cabin leaning his his rifle against the wall he remove his gloves and goggles. His eyes scan the room as he removes his scarf and coat, these he piles neatly out of the way before standing by the fire to warm himself.

Matti sits on a stool, carving a piece of wood into something vaguely humanoid. The pile of wood chips around him testify that he's been doing it for a while. The bandage around his torso has been removed, and it seems the wound to his side has healed quite nicely… On the other hand, his leg is still bandaged, and from the way it's stretched out all rigid, that hasn't gotten any better.

Jaakko holds his hands out before the fire quietly staring into the flames.

Niko opens his eyes and coughs. A scarred hand clutches at his bandaged chest, and he winces. He rolls onto his side, then uses an arm to push himself up into a sitting position. Seems that gut shot of his is still giving him trouble. The small man considers Matti for a moment. "You're a fast healer," he mutters after awhile.

"I have to be. I get shot all the time." Matti murmurs this to Niko with dry humour, stopping his whittling for a moment. He chews on his bottom lip thoughtfully, before muttering, "What was it you did before the war, Niko?" He looks at the other man with casual interest on his angular, sullen face.

Jaakko moves across the room and fetches a cup of coffee before sitting in a chair a few feet from Matti. He looks at Niko over the top of his cup with interest as he takes a sip.

"I wasn't a lumberjack, that's for sure," Niko says with a snort. One look at his scrawny arms affirms this fact. The small man stands and stretches, scratching his beard. "Promise you won't laugh, you, the Manliest of Heroes?" Niko says with a smirk, "I helped my mother out. I'm not bad at knitting or sewing myself… sewing clothes, that is, not people."

Matti shakes his head, supressing a laugh. "Right. Well, that's something. I'm not one to judge." Matti seems amused by that, nevertheless. And continues carving, using a smaller puukko instead of his Leuku - too cumbersome to really do fine carving. "War is so simple. Much easier than living, really." Matti says this absent-mindedly. Apparently he's waxing philosophic today.

Niko shrugs. "One lives longer in life than in war," he says softly. "I prefer a tedious life of sewing and gardening to waiting to ambush Russians." He sighs. "You know how many men I've killed? Four. Four and it isn't even Christmas yet. Four too many." Niko shakes his head.

"I don't blame you." Matti continues working on the carving, starting to bring out a face from the wood. "I figure four men don't mean that much, though. Maybe life was different, some time. But all I've seen has been misery, war and death. Maybe there'll be a kingdom of peace and solidarity, the brotherhood of men when we're all dead." Matti smiles ironically at that.

Jaakko calmly interjects,"The world needs tailors too. Maybe someday you can apprentice to be a tailor."

Jaakko gives a quiet smirk at Matti's comments before taking another sip of his coffee.

Niko looks at Jaakko, staring that empty stare of his. Then he looks back at Matti. "Or maybe our guts will end up mixing together in some trench when a couple arty shells land in our laps," he says quietly. "Imagine an end like that. Feeding the wolves rather than the eternal peace the pastors preach about." The small man shudders a little at the thought, but his lips have the touch of a smile. Morbid, this one has become.

Jaakko rises to refil his coffee cup, he looks back over shoulder at Niko with a wry smile, "Wolves need to eat too." he adds. Then refils his cup and retakes his seat.

"We're just wormfood, boy. And even if we aren't, I figure that stuff doesn't matter in the here and now." Matti looks from Jaakko to Niko, a cynical smile on his angular face. The scratch of the knife on wood continues, as he adds, "Anyway. We're doing fine here in the North, right now. I wonder what's happening on the Isthmus."

"Maybe the Good Sergeant knows," Niko mutters. "He's our only link to Mannerheim, eh?" He lays back down on his cot and scratches at his bandages. "I still wouldn't mind paying him a visit to see if he'll part with some of those 20mm rounds."

"Yes, we should. If you want to do that - and are able to ski right now - I wouldn't mind visiting the man from Oulu, even if my leg is giving me hell." Matti grimaces, setting aside the puukko and the carving.

Niko scratches at the bandage on his chest. "I should be fine skiing," he says. "Just don't make me laugh. Or talk. Or breathe." He sits up and scratches his head. "I'm more afraid of the cold air than I am of encountering a Russian patrol," he says with a smirk. "Do you know where the Good Sergeant is? Is he around Suomussalmi?"

Jaakko offers, "I can ski, if you want company."

Niko grunts. "You said you could hide, when we went to hit that fuel depot," he replies to Jaakko. "You promise to be extra careful this time?"

"He's in Linna. At least that's what Luukas said, and damn that man likes to talk about the officers." Matti mutters this wrily, as he walks out of the cabin to his skis. On his way past, he calls out, "And sure, anyone come along if you want. We might run into the russkis, after all."

Jaakko looks at Niko over the rim of his cup as he drains it, then with a shrug, "Even a deer gets seen once in awhile."

Jaakko quickly gets dressed and grabs up his gear as he heads out.

Jaakko loads and slings his rifle, then snaps on his skis.

Niko grabs his rifle and slings it over a shoulder, wincing as the strap presses his bandage. "Right behind you," he says to Matti. The small man wraps a scarf around his neck and exits the cabin.

Raimo steps outside of the cabin. Rifle over his shoulder, pistol tucked into his holster, and some grenades and other tools, the Finn moves to put his skiis on, putting on a wool cap to keep his head warm as he moves to join the others.

Matti sets out, kicking on his skis and moving Westwards.

Niko begins following the group, then winces and grabs at his chest. "I think my bandage needs changing," he mutters. "Or maybe my stitches just tore." He heads back into the cabin to see the doc.

Sometime later…

Luukas speaks up as others are seen gathering near the cabin, himself skiing in from the direction of Pyyvaara. "What's up? I heard shots from near the lake."

Sonja shakes her head. "Don't know. Matti was going up to Linna?" she replies. "Nobody tells me anything, remember?" she points out, with a trace of bitterness.

Niko stands at the doorway. "Matti, Jaakko, and Raimi went to find the Good Sergeant to see if he could spare some antitank rounds," he says. He indicates the bandage on his chest. "I think my wound is still giving me some trouble… started hurting as soon as I started moving."

Luukas grunts slightly, nodding as he moves in to take off the skiis, entering the cabin after setting them aside. "Couldn't find the doctor at Pyyvaara. Spent the night there, though. No Russians seen, the village is still in our hands." as he moves to warm his hands over the stove.

Jaakko skis in from the Nw.

The floor creeks as Bo takes a step, he had been standing quietly the whole time as he watched the others talk. He idly looks at each person as they speak up, not sure if he should speak up himself.

Sonja blinks. "I think my father is around, he was tending Niko." she replies. "If you mean my father anyway, when you talk about the doctor.". She pats his bag. "He's old, I think the strain is a bit much for him, I'm doing a lot of what he would normally do." she admits.

"That's good to hear," Niko says. "Pyyvaara was hell trying to recapture." He walks over and sits down on his cot. The small man tries to smile. "If there's one advantage we have over the Russians, it's good Finnish doctors and nurses."

Jaakko enters the cabin out of breath, he looks around as he removes his goggles and scarf, "Listen..up (deep breaths) M-M..Matti..is..(another breath)dead."

Luukas smiles briefly over to Sonja, "He's a good old man. Bet he was coming back here while I was going the other way over." Spotting Pentti briefly, he turns back to Sonja as if about to speak, "Did Erkki's little…" the words stop as he hears Jaakko. "Dead?" spining around.

Niko stares at Jaakko, his eyes going vacant. "What do you mean?" he says after awhile. "Dead cold? Dead from the anticipation of Christmas? What do you mean?" Disbelieving.

Jaakko nods as he finally catches his breath and looks at Niko, "Raimo skiied right into the bastards, one of them jumped him, I got of a shot hitting the Russian in the stomach, but Matti..Matti just charged right in. They had a MG deployed and he took it full in the chest."

Luukas frowns with a slight grit of his teeth, hearing Jaakko describe the details. "Any chance of bringing his body back?" asked quietly. "I'll go. Maybe the Russians left him there."

Sonja winces a bit at that. "So everybody is dead except you?" she asks, a bit disbelieving. After so many weeks of combat, and few deaths, suddenly a whole squad wiped out seems a bit unusual.

Jaakko turns towards Luukas, "There were at least 5 of them and they were all still there standing over his body." turns to Sonja, "Raimo got away, but we got seperated. I managed to shoot a second one as before getting out."

Niko says, "Better not go alone, Luukas. Remember what happened to Jari…" He sighs and mutters, "Seems Matti's ideas of luck finally caught up with him. But maybe he was only knocked unconscious. The Mannikainens always have some good luck surrounding them when it comes to battles." The small man stands and heads over to the window, staring out. "Well, maybe someone should go look for him. Or his body."

Luukas gives a little shake of his head. "I never heard what happened to Mr. Viinikainen. So many things happen here, it's hard to know." His head bows slightly in Sonja's direction. "Maybe it's easier for people to forget in war. But these are our neighbors." Then his eyes lift again, nodding to Niko. "I'll go see if they left his body, or if he survived. But Jaakko…how bad are you hurt?"

"Jari killed himself after Ivan had wounded and cornered him," Niko explains. "He stumbled on a patrol. Or a patrol stumbled on him."

Jaakko shakes his head, "I got hit in the stomach, (pulls out a canteen with a hole it) but it grazed off this."

Jaakko looks back at Niko, "This was a full patrol, we were headed west up the lake and skied right into them.

Jaakko says "I..I can lead you back there. Maybe we will find Raimo.""

Reinforcements it seems. A small contingent of the Civic Guard make their way through the snow. At their head is Faleva, a somewhat elderly looking Finn by the looks of it, with a few scars displayed from previous battles. A bandage wraps around his head, crusted with dried blood. The Finn pauses, regarding the reservists curtly, "Who's in charge here?"

Vesa has just drifted awake, hearing the sounds of voices in the cabin. He sits up on his pallet, setting his feet on the floor and looking around the cabin. Then at the appearance of someone new.

Luukas quiets, turning to look the way of the approaching Finns through a window. "Some guards-types are coming." spoken low.

Sonja looks up at the new guy, and blinks, wondering who the hell this guy is. "In charge? I don't know. We have someone in charge?" she asks. And points to Luukas. "Luukas maybe?" she offers.

Niko stares out the window, muttering low to Luukas. "I wonder if he's met the Good Sergeant yet." He snorts and moves to sit next to Vesa. "Just what we need, more orders," he murmurs to the kid. "Matti might be dead, Vesa. Raimo, too. See what you miss when you sleep?"

Jaakko moves to a chair and sits heavily holding his face in his hands, elbows on his knees.

Bo walks in after Faleva without a single utterance, he simply let him do the all the talking as he examined each person in the cabin with a look of detachment and apathy.

Vesa stares for a moment at Niko, sliding over a bit to give the man more room. His eyes are still sleepy, trying to process what Niko just said. "Matti? What happened to them?" He looks over at Jaakko, then at the door as more people pile in, then back at Niko. "What's going on, who are they?"

Luukas turns from the window to straighten and face Faleva. He's wearing a blue roundel on his fur cap to reveal his standing as a Finnish combatant, but his uniform's just the white snow suit common to many sissit and irregulars fighting the Neighbor. "I'm Luukas Svenonius. We're a mix, sir" adding a touch of formality to the older veteran regular Guards type. "No formal NCOs among us, but since I was an assistant foreman at the timber camp, and had some training for squad leader in the Sissi, you can speak to me if you need to think of someone as a leader."

Jaakko is sitting in a chair, head in hands, obviously distraught, he seems to be muttering incoherently.

Faleva waits for a moment, idly chewing on something in his mouth, hardly impressed at the Irregulars. He coughs a bit, hacking up a wad of phlegm, spitting it into the dirty snow, "Lieutenant Likos told me to come out here an help beef up the defenses…. you do have defenses.. right?" he inquires, looking over the scant few earthworks already dug.

Pentti kicks off the coat he's been using as a blanket, taking this break in action for him as a chance to catch up on his sleep. He digs around for a cigarette while eyeing the usually well-stocked kitchen.

Sonja aint got nothing to do with defences or anything else. She holds up her hands in surrender at the various vaguely accusatory words coming in, and goes quiet, looking to the others, the male-types, to answer that sort of thing.

Luukas frowns slightly, but keeps his voice steady and forcibly minimizing the normal Ostrobothnian twang in his Finnish language. "We have a trench set for defending and evacuating this cabin. A foxhole to the north in the woods at the end of two parallel links." He turns to gesture south, towards the roads far in the distance. "There are defenses set along the Raate road also, to blockade it from the Russians. Some regular army types have been filling in there, now that the battle's been stretched to Raatevaara itself." His body turns back to face Faleva. "Our Civil Guard leader, chief of the Raatevaara nimismies, Jari Viinikainen, is dead." A drawing up of his chin as he adds, "This cabin has not been discovered by the Russians. It's set as a medic station, barracks, and supply depot for our use. A hideout."

Niko mutters low to Vesa, "How would I know? I stayed here." He nods over at Jaakko. "He knows. Says they ran into a patrol. He's the only survivor." The small man shakes his head. "Who's going to break the news to the Mannikainens? I barely know 'em." Niko lowers his voice to a whisper, "After Matti exchanged words with Emma the other night, plus his brother and sister… I imagine there might be a lot of guilt and sorrow floating around." A pause to stare at Sonja, then he continues whispering to Vesa, "No one knew me until this damned war started. Everyone likes you, eh? Better from you than him." A nod toward Jaakko.

"They didn't know me either," Vesa says back to Niko. He keeps his voice very low for now, barely mumbling. His eyes flicker back to Jaakko for a moment, then return to Niko. "Not like it's my choice. Wherever Antti hears it first is where he's gonna hear it, and doesn't matter who tells him anyway…Matti's still dead. If I see him first I'll do it."

Faleva coughs again, muttering to himself, "Heavy weapons?" he inquires, turning to motion for the remains of his small party to move up and get comfortable. "So there's no one in charge? No Officers? Not even a Sergeant? They get knocked off early on?" he continues, sighing a bit.

A light rustle is heard as Bo brushes past Faleva with a slight nod to him as he passes, "'scuse me" he says in a whisper to Faleva before proceeding to sit down on a cot nearby, as he settles down and places his gear next to him he grunts a bit with the pain of an aching back. Bo then takes a moment to stretch before looking upto Luukas, "so then, casualties have been taken and no one has gone to confirm the deaths and try to retrieve any bodies?" he asks in a somber tone.

Jaakko sits impassive staring at the floor in front of him. If he heard Niko he makes no outward sign of having done so. Then he suddenly rises to his feet and zips up his coat and grabs his goggles and gloves off the table. He heads towards the cabin pausing to stare at the new arrival but speaking over his shoulder to Luukas, "We've got a body to recover and man missing. Let him dig his trenches, but I'm bring Matti back here." Then with that he pushes his past the new man and out the door.

Sonja blinks at that. "It only happened a few minutes ago?" she points out to Bo. "They might be coming back soon. There have been enough people who got caught by the Soviets but came back.".

"Don't you have a nose to smell with, retard?" Pentti looks at Faleva, "Can't you feel the stench? The sirs and officers wouldn't come close to this cabin. And that's why we don't clean it."

Luukas folds his arms, meeting the eyes of Faleva's directly with his own. "No one of official rank is not the same as no one in charge." His eyes snap to examine the emblemns on the Civic Guardsman's uniform. "And I am addressing who, sir? We're not a civic guards unit here. We're the Finns who've blasted over a half-dozen pieces of Russian armour, taken back the village of Pyyvaara from them, killed a great deal more Russians than the Neighbor has taken Finn lives in our homeland forests and valley here." The frown grows deeper, "Not under the leadership of any one man or under orders from Helsinki, but as Finns defending our homes when the Russians made it impossible for us to muster with our designated units."

Niko speaks up, "Must be nice, being with the officers." He stares at Faleva. "Warm food, radios, maps, Mannerheim showering you with praises. I doubt your Lieutenant Likos has to look at wounded or see your brothers-in-arms get shot up or hear them cry for their fucking mothers." He grunts. "You should tell that Lieutenant Likos of yours to come down here in his fancy sleigh, bring some 20mm shells, and then leave."

Faleva glares at the lazy reservists, "Have you no idea what is happening?" he asks, hardly able to believe what he is hearing. He regards the younger men with disdain, "You swine, I was slitting communist throats before you were even born. You live through two… three battles.. and call yourselves old men… How old are you anyways? Eighteen? Twenty? My regiment has been fighting for weeks on the Isthmus… and you want to lecture me on blood letting? Come here you…" he shouts at Niko, "Come say that to my face…" he says as he unslings his PPD submachine gun.

Jaakko reenters the cabin just a Faleva rants, he quickly bring his rifle up and places the cold steel barrel again the exposed skin of the mans neck, "Look asshole, we just lost two men not an hour ago. I suffest you shut the hell up and put your gun down."

Sonja meeps as the knives come out. Finns. Knives and saunas. "Why are we fighting?" she asks, surprised. "And where did you even come from? Aren't we supposed to be on the same side?" she asks, hastily backing away from Faleva, Bo and whoever else is about.

Bo blinks as he sees Faleva getting upset, "Sir!" he shouts at him, "we can't afford to be fighting with them after we have just arrived here!" he grimaces at all the reservists takin gup arms, "you ALL need to calm down!" he takes a step toward Faleva, "please stop this foolishness!"

Vesa blinks, eyes getting wider as two knives come out. He stands up, calling to the three in that Russian-accented Finnish of his. "Stop! You're going to kill each other just after the Russians killed so many of us? You're disgusting!"

"Looks like you hit a sore spot", Pentti lookes a bit amused at Niko, and his fuckoff huge knife. Then the shouting begins and he shrugs at it all.

Luukas spots the guardsman readying the submachine gun, and quickly draws out his machete-like slashing knife. The Ostrobothnian blood is boiling, showing itself with no wait for polite discussion. "Do not raise a weapon in here against a Finn unless he's raised one at you. Got it, stranger!" His other hand keeps the rifle slung on his back. "You have our hospitality to rest up and spend the night. DO NOT GIVE ORDERS HERE UNLESS I SEE THEM IN WRITING, FROM THE FIELD MARSHALL OR HIS COMMANDERS THEMSELVES!" shouted.

Niko stands. He taps his forehead with his left index finger while his scarred right hand drops to the huge sheathed blade on his hip. "You going to shoot me to mend your wounded pride?" he says, gritting his teeth. "Shoot me in the fucking face, asshole. You're boring everyone by just standing there, eh?"

Jaakko after Luukas shouts he lowers is rifle, then indicating Vesa he adds "The boy is right, you are digusting" then looking about the room, "I need someone who can drive the sled, I found..found both bodies"

Isak steps into the cabin, an armful of chopped firewood beneath one arm and looks up with a bit of a grin. He stops dead in his tracks when he sees the stand off, however, and quietly looks around, his face a question. Namely: What the fuck is going on here?!

Sonja shakes her head, unimpressed by the guy who started waving a submachinegun around. Its even a Russian one, traitor. But Jaakko's words makes her feel a bit faint, so she leans against the wall, for support. "Poor Saimi and Antti…".

Vesa looks over at Isak, then Jaakko. "I'll go with you," he says to the man who's found the bodies. "Since the only respect for the dead this newcomer seems to have is making more of them." He moves to head around the confrontation.

Faleva watches as the foolish irregulars draw their flimsy knives in the face of Civic Guard's rifles and submachine guns. "If that is the way you want it…" he says, glancing at the rest of the Guardsmen, "Leave these pigs to their styes, they don't even know how to fight… useless militia…" he says, moving off towards the south, the rest of the Guardsmen following behind.

Pentti reads Falevas thoughts all of a sudden, but mostly ignores it. I mean, come on, with a name like Faleva he's probably gay. "So long", he waves his hand towards the departing veteran with a smile.

Luukas lowers the knife, but does not sheath it. "Sergeant Samppa of the Oulu brigade of the Civic Guards is our contact." This isn't spoken to Faleva himself, but to the weary ranks of ordinary soldiers behind him. "If your leader" making a motion to Faleva, "Has lost his mind and you want to rejoin a legitimate unit, we won't stop you from remaining here till the Sergeant returns for you to join him." Perhaps it's even directed to Bo, who was witnessed pleading for reasonableness. He frowns slightly, stepping towards the door. "In the meantime, we have bodies of brave Finns to recover."

Niko grunts, then looks around the room. "Any of you want to share a foxhole with that asshole? I don't." To Pentti, he mutters, "Wouldn't surprise me if you checked his ass and found a portrait of Stalin tattooed on it. Pointing a weapon at a Finn…"

Vesa pulls on his scarf, looking back at Niko and Bo both as he wraps the scarf around his neck and then picks up his hat and rifle. "Come with us." It's more an offer than a command. "This air in here stinks of arguing. Let's go get those men back."

Jaakko is outside standing near the sled, he has thrown a couple of blanets in the back.

Isak hooks a thumb over his shoulder. "Was that idiot serious?" Shaking his head he moved into the cabin and put the bundle of firewood down by the rest. Shaking his head in dismay, he moves over toward the door, muttering something about 'traitors' before heading back outside.

Niko nods to Vesa. "Yeah, hopefully Matti's still alive." The small man sounds doubtful, however.

Sonja boggles a bit. "Thats our army?" she asks, as Faleva storms off, confused. . o O (Better start learning Russian.)

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