An interesting thing about this passage is that, while it’s the emotional high point of the chapter, nothing happens. It’s all thinking and reacting to that thinking. It’s all unproven - we don’t know if Astrid’s theory is correct. We don’t know if there’s any reason to panic at all.
But the combination of some small, strange occurrences, some theories about what caused them, the consequences if those theories are correct, and the emotion of the crowd in the background has built the feeling of tension and dread to a peak.
Sam, the leader, team builder, decision maker that he is, tries to bring the team together and suggest a course of action that kicks off the story.
Can you find the same pattern in these examples?