The Russian Moose

Valtteri sits up in his bunk inside the cabin, looking down at his
rather badly wounded leg, picking at the dressing idly. His hands shake, as he
moves them up to remove his glasses, examining the lenses carefully, which is
difficult with the turbulance they're not being subject too.

Sinikka quietly opens the door, knocking on the frame as she pokes
her head inside. 'Good evening?' she says to nobody in particular, slipping
inside and hastily shutting the door against the draft.

The male Finn cocks his head, "Oh, hello…" He looks around the
cabin, "I think the wounded are already taken care of, miss…" He squints,
before replacing the glasses back over his eyes, pulling the frame behind both
ears, "Ah, yes, you /are/ a woman."

Sinikka narrows her eyes slightly. 'Ah,' she says, her voice as icy
as the breeze outside. 'A charmer, I see.' She slips a rifle from her shoulder
and sets it carefully against the wall by the door. 'It's good to hear that the
wounded are being looked after, as I couldn't do a thing to help in that
respect. I was told that this is where I should come to meet with the
irregulars.'

Valtteri blinks a little, his eyes drawn to Sinikka's rifle. He
removes his glasses, cleaning them off while answering, "Well, I…" He glances
around the cabin, "Oh… well…" He motions to the bunk above him, "I think
that one will be sleeping for a while. I don't know where the others went.
Maybe to scout around the Russian lines. I just arrived here today as well…"
He frowns a little bit, looking down to his legs, "This is how the Russians
thanked my idealism, apparently."

Sinikka glances up at the sleeping figure, and takes visible care
to not make any noise as she steps around to look at Valtteri's leg. 'Tch,' she
says quietly. 'I had heard that the Neighbour was rather rude. Nothing you
can't recover from, I hope?'

"The nurse… Sonja, I think is her name, she said it was bad, but
I was lucky it didn't shatter the bone." Valtteri replies, reaching into his
shirt pocket and pulling out a small, metal object, "I even got the bullet,
see? Already, a souvinier." He chuckles nervously. He's obviously quite
unsettled.

Sinikka mmms softly as she examines the bullet, and nods.
'Certainly something to show to your children, eh? I hear some people bore
holes through those and wear them as jewelry.' She glances quickly to the
window, and finds someplace nearby to sit down. 'How is it out there, anyhow? I
haven't heard much but the sounds of guns.'

Valtteri shakes his head, "I-I don't know. Cold and Miserable. I
honestly thought that these rural peasents couldn't be /this simple/."

Sinikka tilts her head slightly to the side. 'Mmm?' she asks
curiously. 'This simple, eh? How do you mean?'

Valtteri sighs a little, "I'm educated! I went to an engineering
college, I came here to fight off the Reds, but not butcher them!" He shakes
his head, pointing outside, "I hit one with the thirty-seven, he dropped his
rifle, but one of these dirty peasents kept /shooting him/. And no one seemed
to care except… well…" He points to the wounded man above him (presuming
he's still asleep there and all.). "I asked everyone later, they said things
like, "They're are no surrendering Russians. What sort of monster do they take
me for?"

Sinikka pauses a moment to take a long look around the cabin.
'Mmm,' she says thoughtfully, 'I don't see any sort of prison here. It doesn't
look like major supply trains come through terribly often.' She glances down at
Valtteri. 'In situations like this, maybe it's best if they didn't surrender,
eh?' She leans back, and takes a deep breath. 'You're not from around here,
then?'

Valtteri looks up at Sinikka through glass lenses, "Do I /look/
like I'm from around here?" He holds out his arm, "Do I look like I'm built
like a farmer? I'm from Helsinki. My family comes from here… it looks
different now."

Sinikka nods briefly. 'I had thought Helsinki,' she says slowly,
'but I was also considering that you were off in Sweden, perhaps. And of course
it looks different, a lot of it got blown up.' She pauses to carefully crack
each of her knuckles.

"Come now, if I was a Swede, I would still be waffeling and using
some political platitude to avoid the responsibility of helping my Scandanavian
brothers, wouldn't I?" Valtteri says with some bitterness, "I'll not have
history judge me a coward…. though I don't think it would have been so
cowardly to stay and rebuild down there, now that I'm here…" He looks up to
Sinikka, "And you… you /must/ be from around here. What's with the rifle,
planning on fighting?"

Sinikka jerks her thumb towards the northwest. 'I live about a
day's skiing that way,' she says with a nod. 'And of course I'm planning on
fighting. I have no interest in letting Ivan barge into my house and, I don't
know, misuse the good silver.' She shrugs. 'Someone has to.'

Valtteri gives a tired furrown of his brow as he looks up towards
Sinikka, "Well… its just that most women don't have a stomach or physical
accumen for this sort of thing… Not saying you don't! I don't mean any
offense to you my… tough and mean looking new friend."

Sinikka continues looking thoroughly unimpressed. 'Let me ask you a
question,' she says flatly. 'Before today, you ever kill anything, ah…' She
trails off, just realising that introductions have not been made.

The man looks down, a little shamefully, giving a quiet, "No. I
havn't. I mean- I received training during my conscription, of course! I
thought I could help by… digging ditches, setting mines, operating
artillery… I'm an engineer, thats my job. Oh, and my name is Valtteri
Poliviander…" He extends his hand, "A… uh… pleasure to meet you."

Sinikka takes the proffered hand, gripping it quite firmly.
'Sinikka Poukkanen. I'm a peasant, a hunter's daughter. I kill for a living,
you see.' She turns to glance out the window at the darkened forest. 'Ivan
couldn't possibly be messier to deal with than moose.'

Valtteri frowns, "Ivan is /not/ a moose…. maybe I havn't been
here for long enough, maybe I'm not as accostomed to death as you peasents…
but they are men. Foul invaders, monsters, but still, they are men. A moose has
no gun to throw down, only to be shot, and left to die in the snow. Surely we
Finns are more civilized then that."
Sinikka glances back, raising an eyebrow. 'I didn't say that he
was,' she says flatly. 'Only that there's probably less blood in him.' She
looks back out to the window. 'And maybe you're right. I don't generally let
moose die on their own. A final shot to the head is only polite.'

"Unless you plan on eating the Russians, I'd suggest letting them
go if they surrender. After all, we would like the same treatment, no? Its only
moral." He rubs his chin, manuvering himself to lie back down, "We don't have
medics for them, maybe it is better to end it then let them bleed to death in
the cold. But this man could walk. He could move…. he could've walked back to
his 'comrades'. But no, they kept shooting at him." He shakes his head, "And
then two of them argued about who should be planning, since the gun was in the
wrong place to begin with. I have to say, I was expecting a more from my fellow
Finns…" He turns his head towards Sinikka, "I hope that you, Ms. Poukkanen,
and me havn't made a mistake in joining this band of partisans."

Sinikka shrugs again, and shakes her head. 'People panic,' she
says. 'I'm told that the looming spectre of death may drive otherwise
level-headed souls to do foolish things. Who am I to say?' She glances back to
Valtteri. 'And I don't know if I'm making a mistake here or not, but I am
fairly certain that it's something I have to do. It needs no further
consideration than that.'

Valtteri turns his head back so that hes looking at the bunk above
him, putting his hands behind it, "Well, I'm glad to see that your so sure of
your duty. It seems that I have no choice but to stay here. Not only does this
motley band of famers need an educated man, but I seem to be one of the few
that can operate that gun outside."

Sinikka mmms again as she leans forward to glance at the Bofors
outside. 'It does look a little bigger than what I am used to,' she muses. 'I
suppose it would not be prudent to teach new people how to use it with Ivan
within earshot.'

Valtteri sits up, glancing out the same window, "Its a gun. I've
never fired the damn thing before until today, but I was trained to fire guns
like it when I was serving out my conscription. They're all preatty much
similar. You hit that lever to open the hatch, load one of those shells, close
the hatch, raise the lever to secure the hatch, and pull on the cord there, the
whole thing goes boom, and hopefully so does whatever you were aiming it at."

Sinikka squints to make out some semblance of detail on the gun.
'It seems complex,' she states. 'Needlessly so. It takes two to work properly,
eh?'

Glad for a change of topic to something a little more technically,
Valtteri sits up again, looking out the window, "It depends on what you mean
when you say 'properly'. I could operate the thing on my own, but it would be
quite slow, and rather pointless. If I have a loader, I can focus on sighting
and fireing the gun. So, yes, two people, or more, idealy."

'I hope that gun is worth it!' Sinikka says, folding her arms on
the windowsill. 'It's supposed to be able to go through tank armour?'
Valtteri moves his eyes up, as if doing some calculations, "Well…
its a 37 milimeter gun. Depending on what type of munition you use, it can
peirce armor… though much. Like I said, I havn't been able to use that
particular gun, but from what I've heard of the Red's and their thick tanks, I
don't know if it will do much good. Certainly, its better then nothing."

Sinikka holds up her thumb and forefinger, measuring out what she
estimates to be about four centimetres. 'That is fairly big,' she concedes.
'Could probably go through an auto's engine block, I imagine. Or a bear. Don't
try to shoot a bear with a little rifle, if you're considering it.' She waggles
a finger at Valtteri.

Valtteri blinks, "Why would I plan on shooting a bear? I'm an
engineeer…" He shakes his head, "A bear would be difficult to hit anyway.
They'd be smart and run when they here the 37 millimeter go off. The soviets,
not so much.

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