The atmosphere between the two men turned silent abruptly as both kept quiet afterward. Colby looked down at the experiment, his mind racing with various thoughts. I cannot allow Jack and Roxanne to interact further in this manner. I must think of a way!
All of a sudden, Jack’s phone rang The man looked at the incoming caller ID and smiled apologetically at the other two in the room. “Excuse me. My grandpa is calling me. He probably wants to check on the progress of our experiment.”
Roxanne nodded in understanding. Soon, Jack left the research facility with his phone. Roxanne wanted to step forward to help out, but Colby waved his hand in dismissal. “You can stay there and get some rest. The reaction has already started. I can keep watch by myself.”
Once the reaction began, there would not be much for them to do. Their only task would be to monitor the entire process to ensure no accident happened.
Hearing that, Roxanne did not insist further and returned to her seat. She could not help but be reminded of Jack’s gesture earlier.
Even though she could not fathom his intention, based on that earlier incident alone, she felt that she had to keep a distance from him. Meanwhile, Colby stole glances at Roxanne before carefully picking up a bottle of material on the laboratory bench.
Seizing the moment of her inattention, he cautiously added another part of the liquid from that bottle into the flask and swiftly replaced the bottle on the bench.
He was quick with his actions, not to mention the material he poured was colorless and odorless. As a result, when Roxanne came closer to inspect the progress of the reaction, she did not notice anything unusual.
Not long after, Jack returned from outside. Roxanne asked concernedly, “What did Old Mr. Damaris say?”
“Grandpa told me to assist you all to the best of my abilities after learning that the experiment is progressing smoothly.” He beamed at her. In response, she nodded and fell silent afterward.
Suddenly, Colby turned around to look at them. “Should this phenomenon be present during the experiment?”
His voice was filled with puzzlement. Hearing his query, Roxanne and Jack were momentarily stunned before hastening over to the bench.
An icy glint flashed across Colby’s eyes, and he stepped aside to let them check out the situation. White smoke was billowing from the flask. Even the stopper was shaking vigorously as if the whole thing was going to explode.
“What’s going on?” Roxanne was utterly bemused. She had never observed something like that during the previous pre-tests. Did we add too many materials at once, and the conditions for the reaction failed to keep up?
Possessing an inquisitive spirit, Roxannel stopped the reaction and opened the stopper to figure out what was happening inside the flask.
As she knew that reaction would not produce any poisonous or harmful substance, she did not take any safety measures.
Colby’s pupils constricted when he saw she had unstoppered the flask. He stretched out his hand, wanting to drag her backward.
However, he thought of something the next second and retracted his hand ultimately. Conversely, Jack reacted promptly and pulled Roxanne to his side.
“Be careful!” He caught a whiff of a familiar smell. This is a poisonous gas, and it’s one with relatively high toxicity!
Roxanne had also perceived the scent. Unfortunately, as she was too close to the flask, she inhaled a large amount of the gas at once. Instantaneously, she experienced the symptoms of poisoning-dizziness.
Roxanne mustered her strength to warn them. “Something’s wrong… Quick, tell everyone to exit the building…”
Jack glanced at Colby, who got moving at once and started evacuating the personnel inside the research facility. At the same time, Jack immediately helped Roxanne to retreat.