Church of the Mech (fourth down)

Martin found the encompassing feeling of the abandoned mech hanger remarkable. The lofty girders above and the open bay doors along the perimeter reminded him of a church he attended as a boy before he stopped praying.

“Thanks.” The occasional single-syllable acknowledgement was all that remained of Martin’s belief.

:Roger that, Commander.: Lieutenant Abilene Guerrera’s voice spoke in Martin’s earpiece. She drove the mech guarding above him. He smiled and pretended it was Goddess responding instead. He then tried to think of what he’d say to the Lieutenant’s inevitable query. :…uh, ‘Thanks’ for what, sir?:

:[something profound and direct]:

:Of course, sir,: Guerrera replied after a delay. Her brief protocol made Martin smile and almost laugh. He imagined her turning wide-eyed and questioning to her ensign co-pilot and him, cringing, unable to offer an explanation for their boss’s sudden melancholy. They’d chew on that shit for days, he thought.

xxx words on day 788