They ended up making rudimentary breathing masks by tearing up a couple of the baristas’ aprons and soaking them in water before tying them around their faces and heading out into the dusty gloom.
Outside it looked like a war zone from the news. Some of what had been a cheerful crowd moments before were wandering around in obvious dazed shock while others were sitting in the street weeping or clinging to each other or their children. Most were bleeding from at least a few cuts from the shattered glass while more than a few were lying on the ground unconscious and bleeding out from severe lacerations. Wendy headed to the nearest one and began applying pressure to the unconscious man’s wound with another barista’s apron. Sienna looked around anxiously. She wanted to help but she didn’t know first aid and was worried about doing more harm than good.
The dust was slowly settling, coating streets, objects and people with a powdery layer of white and yet visibility didn’t seem to be improving at all. If anything it was worsening and the air along the street seemed to be taking on a peculiar magenta tint. Sienna looked around for the source and so was one of the first to notice that the magenta was actually from a strange fog which was roiling up from drainage grids and cracks in the ground. She tugged on Wendy’s arm and pointed to it.
“What’s that?” she asked.
Wendy looked up and froze. Sienna guessed it was only her friend's first aid training that stopped her releasing the pressure on the man she was helping's wound. “I-I have no idea. A superbolide meteor shouldn’t cause anything like this. I-I don’t know anything that causes magenta fog.” For the first time her voice shook and Sienna realised that Wendy’s calm demeanor was mostly bluff and shock much like her own. “I-I really don’t like this. Something is very wrong.”