Amalgamated Humanoids was an engineering and manufacturing company in Denver, Colorado. It manufactured everything from crash-test dummies to fancy audio-animatronic robots. When Vanessa Ferguson moved to Denver, she got a job as a technical writer at Amalgamated Humanoids.
Vanessa was listening to a Bach concerto on the radio at Amalgamated when it was interrupted by the announcer to report a major eruption in Yellowstone National Park that may adversely affect Denver. She dismissed it as exaggeration when she Binged the distance to there as 430 miles but some forty minutes later the building was hit by a strong, rolling motion earthquake. She and others ducked under their desks but only minor damage occurred. The power did go off and speakers in the ceiling ordered the building evacuated.
The employees gathered in the parking lot and stared a little west of north where they saw towering over the Rockies an enormous column of smoke that continued to grow as they watched. In short order Malcolm Talbott sent everyone home for the day as it was obvious no more work could be done.