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When the space freighter Robert Q appears at the station with a giant of a "silicony" 1 foot (30 cm) in diameter, Verdansky deduces that the crew has found an incredibly rich source of uranium. Verdansky contacts the authorities, but before a patrol ship can reach her, the Robert Q is hit by a meteor, killing the three human crew members. The silicony itself is fatally injured from the explosive decompression.
When questioned, the dying silicony states that the coordinates of its home are written on "the asteroid". Dr. Wendell Urth deduces that the silicony meant that the numbers were actually engraved on the hull of the Robert Q, disguised as serial and registration numbers, since the ship fit the definition of an asteroid (a small body orbiting the Sun) the ship's crew had read to it from an ancient astronomy book.[clarification needed]