“Do you, Pamela, take David to be your lawfully wedded husband? To have and to – ”
Pamela looked over at Dave, grinning foolishly, her nose a bright red. She didn’t hear what the officiant was saying. It wasn’t important anyway, she thought. He was just some guy with the New Church of the Martian Jesus Christ, it’s not like he was a normal kind of person. But marriage, who would have thought?
She turned to smile at Mena, then remembered her best friend – the woman she had trusted so much, had been so close to – couldn’t even bother to be there for the wedding. It was last minute, sure, but you can always push things out of the way for friends. She turned back to Dave, reminding herself of the reason to smile.
She turned to the priest. “Sorry, what?”
He laughed a little uncomfortably. “Did you hear anything that I just said?”
“Umm, no,” she blushed. “I was lost in my soon-to-be-husband’s eyes.”
“Yes, well, I’ll repeat then. Do you, Pamela, take David to be – ”
“Oh, yes, yes, I do.”
The priest cleared his throat and glanced around at the empty room. “I know it’s kind of the thing to come to Arcadia Planitia, gamble, drink, get married, and annul it the next day, but here at the New Church of the Martian Jesus Christ we don’t perform marriages like that. When you’re wed, you’re wed for life, like Jesus commanded during his brief visit to this holy planet. So if you’re not prepared for that responsibility, I’m afraid I can’t – ”
“I am, father, I am. As I say, I just got distracted by Dave’s eyes. Doesn’t he have pretty eyes, father?”
The priest cleared his throat again. “Not father, please. I’m just a minister. Your holiness will do. And yes, his eyes are very pretty. Shall we continue?”
“Please,” Pamela said.
“Well then, do you, Dave, take – ”
The speakers lining the building crackled, then started blaring a warning horn. After three long bleats, a voice began, “Attention please. All citizens are asked to proceed to the nearest emergency evacuation station. Repeat, proceed to the nearest emergency evacuation station. Prepare for a long walk to Olympus Mons. Those who were waiting for friends and family on the Low Prices II: if you – and they – survive the crash, congratulations. But be ready for the worst.”
Pamela looked at Dave. He opened his mouth to say I do, but the priest was already out the door, leaving the two of them to hurry after him.