Lawton ascended rapidly, resentment smouldering within him. What right had the skipper to interfere? He had passed the buck, hadn't he?
* * * * *
Lawton got another bad jolt the instant he emerged through the 'chute opening. Captain Forrester was leaning against a parachute rack gasping for breath, his face a livid hue.
Slashaway looked equally bad. His jaw muscles were twitching and he was tugging at the collar of his gym suit.
Forrester gasped: "Dave, I tried to move the ship. I didn't know you were outside."
"Good God, you didn't know--"
"The rotaries backfired and used up all the oxygen in the engine room. Worse, there's been a carbonic oxide seepage. The air is contaminated throughout the ship. We'll have to open the ventilation valves immediately. I've been waiting to see if--if you could breathe down there. You're all right, aren't you? The air is breathable?"
Lawton's face was dark with fury. "I was an experimental rat in the sky,
An all right short story about a stratospheric weather ship (if I understood the mission correctly) flying with an improbably large crew suddenly caught suspended in a force bubble in mid-air.
Every character is a stereotype, the plot melodramatic and creaky, and the escape a bit of magic. To the author's credit, he did explain the source of the bubble.