|Author||Steven Mohan Jr.|
|Type|| Short story|
|Product||Era Report: 2750|
|Era||Star League era|
|Timeline||17 February 2751|
In 2751, First Lord Simon Cameron continues his round-the-Sphere goodwill tour designed to knit the Star League back together as the Third Hidden War continues to escalate. Simon tells his aide Sally McKenna-Croft that the trip seems to be working on the public, at least, despite opposition from the House lords. To celebrate, he pours a squeeze-bulb of champagne and proposes to Sally, who has been his lover as well as his aide since the death of his wife (Richard’s mother) a year earlier. She says yes.
Simon’s security chief, Major Carolina Devalis, updates him on the security sweep of the New Silesian asteroid mine he’s scheduled to tour. On the way to the shuttle, however, Devalis is struck by a powerful vision of the Cameron Star exploding, and begs First Lord Simon not to go to the asteroid. She says that the women in the Devalis family have a history of receiving visions. Simon reassures her that the Cameron Star will burn bright and steady for a thousand years, and has her rest while he continues on to the asteroid mine.
In the mine, Simon is invited to try out the controls for a 30-ton Digger 500 mining robot, which is harvesting ilmenite. After a ten minute briefing, he takes a seat at the control station and halts the machine’s labors. Without warning, it turns and races down the tunnel towards the command station, ignoring all further input from the command station. Even the emergency power shutoff fails, and the robot crashes through the viewport, blasting Simon and his entourage (including Sally) into the void.