Never mind: Olivia and Peter's cellphones start buzzing and ringing on their nightstands, which you knew was going to happen once Olivia started cooing about the world being full of promise.
Broyles is waiting for them at the farm, where a burned-out swath of land is all that's left marking where a ranch foreman, farmhand and five hundred head of sheep used to be, with no explanation of what happened and why they're not there anymore -- and no, it's not experimental weapons testing from the army base nearby, Broyles says in response to Peter's suggestion. "Whatever happened here, we didn't cause it," says Broyles. "I wouldn't bet the farm on that," says Walter, grimly. Then he puts on his sunglasses: "Yeeeeeeeaaaaaahhhhhh!" Or maybe he takes off his sunglasses: "Yeeeeeaaaaahhhhh!" Whatever, however David Caruso does it on CSI: Miami. I don't watch that show. You know what I mean. That's still a thing, right?
Broyles tells them it happened around 6:05 a.m., give or take a few minutes. Olivia goes to interview the owner of the neighboring farm, while Walter calls Peter over to have a look at the ground -- it's full of granite, which contains quartz crystals. Walter asks for his electrometer, and Peter hands it over but not without telling his science genius dad that quartz crystals only develop an electrical potential when they're put under physical pressure. Extreme physical pressure with a major gravitational event, corrects Walter, which makes Peter's point stronger, but sure enough, the crystals are electrically charged. Walter's theory is that a vortex appeared above the field, swallowing everything there. "My worst fears realized," says Walter, other than not finding the bacon splatter shield when he cooks breakfast on Tuesday mornings.
Peter wonders what would trigger a vortex. "That's a good question," says Walter.
Elsewhere, Earth-1 folks will start to learn the answer. Over in Doomsday Device Park, Nina is striding around barking orders under a low rumbling: security clearance is now Double-A (until it gets called up to Triple-A, God willing) and all non-essential personnel are to be sent home, she says. The scientist she's talking to says the device wasn't tampered with before it came on all by itself without Peter this morning, and Nina gets on her cellphone to relay the information to Broyles, in one of those particularly obtrusive product placement phone calls that distract from the actual show by coming off like the finished commercial done for a Celebrity Apprentice task. Nina tells Broyles to tell Walter the machine came on: "He needs to know," she says.