Ceylon walked into the apartment allotted him and immediately felt her absence. Ceylon called out for her, knowing she wouldn't answer, but praying with every fiber of his being that she would. He had felt as if something were wrong all day and made himself stay and listen to Dr. Langston drone on and on about how the implementation of the medical scanner would be both beneficial and harmful to the healthcare system. Each moment was like agony to his senses, but he told himself his worries were ill-placed, and that Ember was fine. He had heard and read of the symptoms that a mother felt when she noticed her child was missing, had even sedated an unlucky woman in his first year as a healer who had lost her child, but he had never felt it before now. The panic was overwhelming and only his need to find Ember kept him grounded enough to remain calm enough to rationalize through what was happening.
Her artwork was scattered over the kitchen table, small colorful pictures that seemed geared toward children. He knew she had secretly used her art to save money for the time when she would finally get away from Landon, but she had never shown him any of her artwork. The disarray of the art and the overturned furniture in the kitchen made his heart race faster. He pulled out his communicator and contacted his ship, hoping beyond hope that Ember was fine and she had just left to go shopping or something.
“Secundus?” Ceylon growled impatiently. Of all the crew to answer, he was least thrilled it was Secundus.
“Yes, this is Secundus. Ceylon, is there a problem?”
“I need you to tap into the security feeds we had placed through this residence. I can’t find Ember.” Ceylon knew the panic was starting to seep through into his speech, and just hoped that Secundus would do as he asked.
“Okay. I assume you want today’s feed, correct?”
“Yes. I just need to know that she is okay.” The wait was agonizing. Only the knowledge that it would take Secundus a small amount of time to go through the various feeds kept him from screaming for him to hurry.
Secundus broke the agonizing silence with a growl of fury. Secundus’s next words made Ceylon feel as if the world had disappeared beneath him.
“What is it?” Ceylon asked when Secundus didn’t tell him what was happening.