It's not quite six-thirty in the morning, still dark and with a faint drizzle starting, and Marian Daly is coasting gently downhill, the city of Reno sprawled out ahead and below -
- when there's a violent flash of light, followed by a crack-roar of sound.
Her grip jerks on the handlebars of her bicycle and she nearly goes into a skid, but recovers, brakes, and stares at the source of the explosion. It seems to have been nearish the river? There's a plume of something in the air now, and a distant flickery glow that might be trees on fire.
"What the fuck," Marian repeats to herself, several times. "What was that?"
She blinks, trying to clear the afterimages, and then checks the time. "Oh crap." She's running late. Her hands are still shaking a little bit, but she swings her leg back over the bicycle and keeps riding.
She reaches the hospital at 6:40 am exactly; she doesn't have time for makeup, she barely has time to skin out of her cycling gear into dry scrubs and retrieve her work shoes from under the couch in the break room (as a visiting travel nurse, she doesn't get the luxury of a locker.)
At 6:44 am she's lined up for her floor assignment.