“Jessica!” Caleb cried out as he raced in to the room. “Are you okay?”
There was no answer from the young girl. Fortunately for Caleb, the concentration of the gas had been reduced to a level that would no longer induce a blackout. He did however begin to feel lightheaded and start sweating profusely. He quickly unzipped and removed his protective suit and headgear to get a closer look at his daughter. He lowered his ear to her chest and listened for a heartbeat. In his unscientific way, he wasn’t sure he would have been able to feel a pulse through his jittery fingers.
Caleb heard what he thought was a faint heartbeat and was instantly relieved. He let out a sigh of relief that only cleared his mind long enough for him to start wondering what exactly happened. He thought better of moving Jessica from her spot on the floor and instead folded up the jacket from his suit and placed it gently under her head. He quickly collected together his mass of bones and flesh and rose to his feet, intent on getting to the bottom of this calamity.
“You wait here,” he spoke to his unresponsive daughter, more for his own peace of mind than hers. “I’ll be back as soon as I search the area.”
To be continued…