The howling wind tore through the small squadron of men wearing iron helmets and large coats, almost engulfing the small fire they were desperately trying to ignite. Huddled in a bunched a group, rifles far from arms reach and no man standing watch, it was hard to believe that these men were part of the veteran 6th Army of Germany, soldiers who bore a unit name that had been active since the first Great War. Like a group of weary and tired children they moved about, shoving each other for the last scraps of food and for shelter in the form of a single wool blanket.
Almost half a mile away, laying perfectly still under a makeshift barrier between two large snow covered trees were two figures dressed in heavy coats, hats over their heads and warm boots on their feet. These two Russians were twice as comfortable as the Germans they had spotted which in turn made them twice as efficient and deadly. One Russian with a dark brown beard on his face and bushy brows brought a homemade cigar from his pocket to his mouth, lighting it with his silver lighter before turning to his companion beside him. "Hey sister, you think you can tag those facists butchers there?"
His companion moved her face away from the scope of her rifle, a grin on her round, peasant born face. Yelena Zaitsev was a tough woman, strong in mind and body with a knack for discipline and a crack shot. However she was light hearted when it came to spending 'quality' time with her younger brother Fyodor hunting German squads who had gotten lost in the massive Russian country. Back before the War and the Depression, their father would take them out on hunting trips in the wilderness, stalking an assortment of animals from deer to hares to even a bear. Fyodor proved to be a quick shot. Yelena proved to be the more accurate sniper.
The siblings continued to hung long after their parents murder at the hands of the German invaders. However instead of animals, the Zaitsev siblings hunted men. "I bet I can hit three of them brother." Fyodor whistled a bit before reaching into his pocket and pulling out a small Hershey chocolate bar they had scavenged off a dead American.
"I'll wager my chocolate that you'll only hit one." Yelena chuckled before adjusting her sights back onto her scope, leveling her rifle until the sights lined up with the head of a tall German with broad shoulders. She held her breath in and closed one eye, concentrating so hard that only her heartbeat was audible to her.
The German raised his hands in the air in frustration as another soldier shoved him out of his way.
The man kicked a soldier beside him and drew his pistol, aiming it at another soldier's head.
The time to fire was now! In between her heartbeat Yelena fired, a loud crack sound echoed near the siblings location, prompting several birds to take flight. The sniper smiled a bit as the Officer dropped into the fire his comrades crouched around, relishing even more the chaos that ensured as the soldiers grabbed rifles and headed for cover. The Zaitsev siblings had a very light approach to war compared to other snipers in the Soviet Union. They viewed them as excellent marksmen who's only liability was their optimistic, almost maniacal, attitude to killing. One sniper went as far as to call them "blood thirsty wolves who live to kill." Fyodor has shut that man up with a good punch to the face.
However what he said struck home and sometimes Yelena would wonder if the game her brother and her played was duty for their country or some kind of sadistic game. As she moved her head from the rifle, blinking to relieve the stress her eyes went through straining to stay open that long, she turned to her brother and asked him the same question she had asked three times before. "Are we butchers brother? We fire upon the Germans and we laugh at their misery and pain. We shoot the legs of them as they try to run so that the wolves or bears can devour them with ease. Is what we're doing just for our own pleasure?"
Her brother puffed out a stream of smoke before turning to her and answering, "Remember sister of mother and father's murder. Remember how they were promised freedom and then shot in the back. Remember all your playmates, your female companions who were stripped and raped by those facists dogs. Remember the young men who were forced to work as slaves to fuel their horrible factories. Remember dear sister the children who are cut down mercilessly as they try to run." Her brother looked away for a moment before tossing his cigarette away. "What we're doing is unlike many snipers sister. But unlike many snipers we've been exposed to the German dogs long before any man or woman should and we saw our very village burned to the ground by their damned Stuka planes and Panzer Tanks."
In a visible motion he brought his rifle up, aimed through the scope and fired. Yelena looked back down her scope and chuckled as a German grabbed his leg and struggled to limp away. "You missed brother."
Fyodor chuckled before pointing several miles from their location, to a small pack of wolves who were heading towards the German camp. "Maybe so sister...but I'm sure our wolf brothers and sisters will take care of them"