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"The Rise of an Empire" is a short story by Jo Smiley that was originally published in "Poor Man's Iliad." This story was the debut of the character Shiori Nakatomi and details her rise to power and her importance to the setting of 10,000 Dawns.

Plot summary

In the middle of the 22nd century, the human race is working on expanding to Mars, and Shiori Nakatomi is working on uniting the Earth behind one leader. This starts with an inciting incident in which she overhears a violent argument between her father, Daisuke Nakatomi, and some of his corporate rivals. She decides in that moment that she wants to create a world where corporate leaders are free to do what they please, without having to worry about competition or conflict. This leads her to create Centro Systems and become its head, setting the Earth on a path to total corporate domination.

By the end of the story, Nakatomi has effectively eliminated her competition and has started a plan to expand Centro's influence to Mars, setting the stage for the corporate age of space exploration and events such as the Martian Revolution that take place later on in the timeline of the 10,000 Dawns.