The Dos And Don'ts of Boobytrapping, and Other Stories

Niko snaps awake from his doze. He glances around the cabin, blinking slowly. He seems more disoriented than usual today. The small man stands up and stretches. His blue eyes fall upon Marko, and he squints. "You new here?" he asks.

Marko nods his head, "Yes." he says with a smile. He places his mosin-nagant to a chair and gets some coffee, "Want Some?" he asks, "I am Marko Monto. I am from Jurmu."

"Jurmu? What's in Jurmu?" Niko shakes his head, "No coffee. Too much coffee keeps me awake and wanting to piss." He stares out the window and says, "Fields will be yellow by the time I'm through with 'em, eh?"

Topi makes his way in from outside of the cabin, looking around rather carefully.

Marko nods his head, "As you wish." he says and starts drinking his cup, "Well you know. I am originally from there. Its been some time though. Havent returned there for quite some time." he shrugs, "It is just a town."

Viinikainen has been sitting outside but makes his way into the cabin again, "Better get busy then, looks like it will be warming up. You will have to start all over again when it's starts to snow then." he informs Niko.

"I guess I better get some coffee then," Niko tells Jari. He walks over to the stove and pours himself a cup before returning to the window to stare out again. "It was a lot colder yesterday. If we lose our snow, The Neighbor will be able to move about as he pleases." Niko frowns at the thought.

Vesa comes in from outside, carrying an armload of their firewood store to replace the indoor pile that's gotten low. He pushes the door shut with his boot and heads over to put the wood down with a few thumps.

Marko shrugs, "We should cut some of the woods and use them to make traps perhelps?" he asks. "Heavy Boulders do lots of damage if used correctly."

Viinikainen grunts, "It won't be gone until may just because we have a few warm days. It's not even Christmas yet." He looks out the window too, "The Neighbour won't even know what a real winter is before January or Februari, have you seen their clothes?" He snorts, "And let the giants throwing boulders at church bells do their thing, we'll continue to throw bullets at them."

Topi chuckles a bit as he listens to the others, shaking his head a little. "They will find themselves freezing in the good winter," he offers, moving to find himself some place to sit.

Vesa finishes stacking the wood into some semblance of a neat pile, then stands and tugs his scarf off. Hat as well, hair sticking up in tufts here and there. He sits down on a crate nearby as he pulls his gloves off, watching the conversation.

Niko stares at Marko. "Are you serious? Traps? Unless you can build a landmine out of boulders and a snare large enough to trap a tank, making a trap is as useful as throwing snowballs." He resumes staring out the window.

Marko Grins, "Of course I am." he says to Niko. "Making traps can be equal efficent to mines if we use them correctly." he says, "Lets see…" he hmms, "What will happen if a big tree falls on top of an Armored car?" he asks, "Its out of action for good." he smiles. "We can try this at least…"

Viinikainen eyes Marko for some time in silence before speaking up, "Are you retarded boy? Are you going to stand there with an axe and time the last chop with the car or what? Use your brain for something useful if you're going to use it at all."

Niko snorts. "Thinking is dangerous in wartime," he mutters. "Particularly stupid thinking. It's apt to get men shot up, or killed." He stares at Marko, his eyes wide and buggish. "While you're busy pulling strings on rocks, while your countrymen are fighting like they're supposed to, a Russian rifleman is going to put one in your head." Niko taps his forehead and laughs.

Vesa watches Marko and Viini with brows drawn together, his back resting against the wall. As Marko talks, his expression just gets more and more confused. He glances at Niko, then reaches over for his rifle, starting to check it over with care.

Viinikainen leans his arms against his knees, getting a more comfortable position where he sits. "You need to talk with Saimi I hear." he addresses Marko without looking at him. "But I don't want to hear any more ideas out of you around me unless you know how to build a mortar out of rocks and logs."

Marko sighs, "I do not know." he hmms and blushes, "As you wish…"

Niko sips his coffee and looks at Jari. "When do you think we'll be moving out?" he says. "I'm getting cabin fever here. Yesterday, I went looking for snakes." Niko sighs, "I couldn't find any."

Vesa continues checking over the Pystykorva in silence, being methodical about it. Once satisfied with that he leans foward a bit to see one of the Mosin-Nagants leaned up against the wall. He reaches for one, taking it by the barrel and pulling it over to rest the butt by the crate he's sitting on. His eyes flick between the Finnish and Russian rifles, not that he really knows how to tell the non-obvious differences. "Are our rifles better than theirs?" He asks, looking up and over at Niko and Viini.

Viinikainen leans the chair back against the wall, "Clearing the mines around Pyyvaara is next on the list, if we find someone who knows how to do that, then take out the armour there. Then we will probably have to dig down on the Raate road." He however ignores Niko's statement about looking for snakes in the winter, instead looking up at Vesa. "I like the sights on ours better. I won't use a rifle from our Soviet brothers unless I really have to."

"Ours are better," Niko says. "I trust them more. Better sights, easier to point." He shrugs. "Not that it does me any good. Maybe someday, I'll get lucky."

Vesa picks up both rifles, the Finnish one in his left and the Russian in his right. After a minute he puts the Pystykorva back across his lap and sets the Nagant against the wall again, looking at the Russian rifle distastefully. Clearly his opinion on the matter is more like Viinikainen's. "I guess some people would like to kill the Russians with their own guns," he says quietly.

Marko hmms and nods his head to Vesa, "Use their own weapons against them is more like justice for their crimes to our people." he says, "That is why I carry a Mosin-Nagant." he grins.

Topi listens to what's being said now, just shaking his head a little bit. "Got anything written about those kinds of mines?" he asks, after a few moments.

Niko glances at Topi and then back at Viinikainen. "If we clear a minefield, could the disabled mines be reused again against The Neighbor's tanks?"

"Only one I've seen with any books here is Saimi" Jari replies to Topi, "And that looked more like communist propaganda than anything about mines." He shrugs, "Would probably have to visit our own lines to find anything about them. And I don't think those mines are meant for tanks, probably more like what I have stored up north from here. Take off a leg or two." He looks over at Topi, "If you want to see what they look like, there is a few stored north of here. Just don't step on them."

Topi nods a little bit, "I've always been told that I've got no problems learning things like that," he offers quietly.

Vesa shrugs at Marko. "Just don't miss." He then turns his attention to the mines discussion. Resting his arms over the Pystykorva and his back against the wall, he just listens.

Niko nods at what he hears falls silent for the time being. He continues to stare out the window.

"Go have a look then" Jari grunts at Topi, "We will both have to clear them and put some of our own out. The more who can do that, the better. I only know of one who has any experience with them, and that's not enough."

Topi nods, "Just north of here, you said?" he asks, before making his way towards the door.

Viinikainen nods at Topi, "Right next to the trench, I've marked them out so nobody would do anything stupid around them."

Vesa watches Jari and Topi, with the same kind of interest that he'd had before heading out with Erkki to look at the MG. "I can learn too, if it would help," he offers to Viinikainen.

"Don't blow yourself to kingdome come, boy" is all Viinikainen replies to Vesa before falling silent again.

Topi grins at Vesa, "Then come along," he offers, stepping outside.

Vesa slides off the crate, pulling the rifle strap around his shoulder and heading after Topi. "I'm not gonna kick them, you know," he says to Viini, shaking his head before he heads out the door to catch up with Topi. "I'm coming…"

Niko slings his rifle over his shoulder and says, "I'll come with. Protect you from wolves, eh?" He follows them out.

Topi grins, as he moves to get his skis, and looks around for a few moments. "Such a lovely day," he comments.

Vesa stops for a minute to get his boots into the skiis, then heads on after Topi quickly. He glances back at Niko and grins. "Wolves? I thought it was snakes you were scared of."

"No," Niko mutters. "I wanted to find a snake to see if they were good to eat." He puts his skis on and points at the trench. "This should take us all the way north. All that digging I did, and no one bothered to thank old Niko Fisk, eh?" He chuckles.

Topi shrugs a little at Niko, "Lots of things are better to eat than snakes," he offers, before he moves to ski next to the trench. Not inside it, only close enough to the edge of it so he can throw himself into said trench in case there's incoming fire.

Vesa follows closely after Topi, the young Russian being a swift skier. "Didn't know they gave medals for trench digging, Mr. Fisk," he says to Niko with a goodnatured grin.

"Who said I wanted medals?" Niko grunts. The small man isn't as fast as his companions. His scrawny frame struggles to propel itself forward. "I'd trade a basket of medals for a bag of salmiakki any day." The manner of his speech has a dreamlike, dazed quality to it. He follows nonetheless.

Topi comes to a stop near the mines, looking back at the others for a few moments, then back towards the mines again.

Vesa moves his skiis sideways to slow and stop, not quite as close to the mines as Topi. Steam rises from his scarf in short puffs as he looks at the mines curiously. "So do you know how they work, Mr. Lindstrom?" He asks, looking at Topi.

Niko removes his skis and crawls out of the foxhole. He unslings his rifle and hunkers, breathing heavily. "I hope you know what you're doing before you decide to play with them," he mutters. He stares at the mines, scratching his beard thoughtfully.

"Well, you step on them, and it triggers explosives inside them, which blows up stuff," Topi replies, before he removes his skis, and kneels down so he can watch the mines a bit more carefully.

Vesa is not about to touch the damn things. He crouches down in the snow so he can see better, it crunching softly under his boots. "How does it know when it's being stepped on?"

"You talk as though they're alive, Vesa," Niko mutters. "They must be safe to handle. Otherwise, how could they have gotten here?" The small man doesn't move any closer to the mines, however.

Topi shrugs a little, "The weight," he replies, as he still looks a bit closer at the mines, nodding a little absently.

Vesa shrugs at Niko. "They can't be that safe. Look at Arto's leg." He grimaces slightly, squinting at the mines before he looks back at Topi. "Can you disarm it? So it doesn't blow up ever? Or are they always like that?"

"Why would you want to completely disarm it?" Niko asks. "We need everything we can get to use against the Russians." The small man shrugs. "I'm sorry that Arto's leg got mangled by one of these, but that doesn't mean that these mines aren't valuable." Niko doesn't really sound sorry at all. In fact, he hasn't really shown much emotion at all the past few days.

Topi nods a little bit as he listens, "One can," he replies, before looking a bit more closer at one of them, and then stepping back. "Not easy work to clear them, but I think I know how now…" He looks back to the others, "Shall we head back?"

"I was just asking," Vesa replies to Niko. "If we're trying to clear someplace in a hurry, might not be able to save them all." He stands up as Topi does, snapping his skiis back on. "Do you?" He asks Topi. "If you could teach me, maybe I could help in a jam."

Niko nods to Vesa. He awkwardly puts his skis on. "I don't think these are the sort of things you can clear in a hurry, especially if it's been buried under snow," he says. "I could be wrong, however. I'm interested in maths, not war or engineering, remember?"

Topi nods a little as he listens. "Well, it could be done quickly, but not safely. Takes time handling those kinds of things," he replies, putting on his skis again, before he offers a grin at Vesa, "I'll let you know later. Need to try the work in practice first." And then he starts on the trip back.

Vesa gets his skiis ready and starts to head back as well, though not moving as quickly this time. "I remember. Sorry, I guess I'm just talking to myself. I don't know anything about all this stuff." Yet.

"Yeah, let's head back," says Niko. He clumsily manipulates his ski poles. "Keep an eye out for snares, trees attached to ropes, and boulders. Maybe the new arrival set up some traps to foil the Russians," he says with a smirk.

Vesa grins slightly behind the thick scarf, though it's wry. "That man is crazy. It sounds like the whole thing would fall on his head before it hit any Ivans."

"Yeah," Niko says, "Crazy people are the ones that will get you killed. I told you about Puras, right?" His voice drops in volume as he saves his breath. "Crazy ideas almost got me killed that time." The small man chuckles. Or, maybe it's more of a giggle.

Vesa shakes his head, skiing along. "I don't think you did." Or if Niko did, Vesa's forgotten. He hears a lot of stories in that cabin. A glance to Niko's profile as they move along. "What crazy ideas did you have?"

Niko shakes his head. "Not my ideas. I wanted to leave," he mutters. "Ask Luukas, I wanted to go. That idiot Aamos wanted to attack the village, and unfortunately Luukas gave into his request." Niko turns his head aside and spits into the snow. "That was the first time I got shot up. Also the first time I had to shoot a man."

Vesa nods, thinking about that in silence for a minute. "Feels like every time we attack a village, something really bad happens. Do you think we'll really be able to get Pyyvaara back?"

Niko laughs in his odd, detached way. "A more appropriate question, Vesa, is whether or not we'll survive our next mission." He glances back at the mines they're leaving behind and says, "All we need, eh? More hazards to worry about." The small man shakes his head slowly as he skis.

Vesa shrugs. "If God wants us to survive, we'll survive," he asserts, not sounding bleak about it. "I wish they'd just step on their own mines and get it over with." He skiis slowly around a downed tree, covered with snow. "Shouldn't have killed all those Ivans that surrendered at the ambush. Could've kept one outside on a leash."

"A terrible thing," Niko mutters, "to rob a man of his dignity. Even a Russian. To gutshoot a man and wait for him to die…" He shudders, shaking his head. "Sometimes I wish there were no wounded or captured, only dead. The dead don't make any noises at all, but the wounded…" Niko falls silent, concentrating on keeping pace with the much more agile Vesa.

"Terrible thing to kill a man and just leave his body in the snow without a burial, but we do it," Vesa continues on towards the cabin, keeping his pace relatively slow so as not to outpace Niko.

"At least the dead are quiet," Niko says. "But some of the wounded, even our own…" The small man grits his teeth. "At times I've thought about sleeping outside in the snow to freeze to death, just so I wouldn't need to listen to them. Or smell them. We are lucky we have doctors and nurses, but even when a man's body is healed, some wounds remain, eh?"

"I guess so." Vesa gives Niko's profile a bit of a look. "Men are fragile anyway. Doesn't take a bullet to wound. Are you like this when there's no war, too?"

"Can you remember what it was like before the war started?" Niko asks. He stares straight ahead. "I can, but that feels like a lifetime ago," he mutters. "You know, back when I still had five fingers on each hand and had a father and mother to look after in our little cottage in Juntusranta." He laughs humorlessly and says, "Do you know what morale is? Morale is not caring whether you live or die, and finding joy and solace in that." Niko laughs again. "That said, I think I have high morale and the capacity to be an excellent soldier."

Vesa reserves comment on life before the war, just letting Niko talk. "Not caring? You talk an awful lot about it, for someone who doesn't care." The words are goodnatured, and he smiles a little. "What was Juntusranta like?"

"We were poor and simple. There was bread. Salmiakki," Niko says softly as he remembers. "I didn't have to live with dozens of strangers." He shakes his head to clear it and says, "None of that really matters now. If the weather continues warming up, maybe we'll encounter some Russians stupid enough to explore north of the road."

"Maybe," Vesa replies, as the cabin comes up more clearly to the south. "We could mine it, and you can piss a little trail leading right to them."

"You can mine it," Niko says. "I'd like to keep what fingers I have left to kill at least a few more Russians in this life." He follows close behind.

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