After a weekend spent at the Respawn terminal, the Engineer is ready to drop. The Soldier presses water and bananas into his hands, but after the last soupy mistrial, Darren hadn’t touched them.
He wakes at sunset, head cushioned on a field jacket, the smell of sawdust and scrap metal sharp in his nose.
“Sol’?” Darren raises his head blearily. A lamp is on, a bottle of water pinning a note to the table.
Take a breather. I’m cleaning up. I’ll be back to check on you in a couple hours.
He tries the door. Locked. The key isn’t in his pocket, and, troublingly, he can’t remember the last time he’d used it.
Darren sits back down at the drafting table, pulling out a pile of scrap paper and a pencil. He touches the pencil to the first page, it punches through the paper.
Frowning, he raises the paper. A cross has been burned into the tabletop, with a peculiar, rounded head. He scribbles lightly over the paper, making a quick relief. The paper feels like a sign from God.
He folds the paper into his breast pocket when the Soldier returns, opening the door with the concerned caution of tending to a wild animal.
“I’d like to see the Medic.”
The Soldier’s relief is obvious and immediate.