After returning from a thirty-year trade mission, the crew of the Ea wake from cryonic suspension to find that their home world, Bh'Haret, is dead. "Screamer" satellites have been strung around their planet warning of a plague. A scan of the surface of Bh'Haret reveals no trace of human life—only crumbling cities.Their fuel and other supplies nearly exhausted, the crew has little choice but to make planet fall on Bh'Haret, infected with a virulent and deadly disease. In a desperate scramble to save themselves, the crew members of the Ea must each, in his or her own way, come to terms with the death of their world—and try to rekindle a belief in the possibility of life.
led to be assumed in three local years (a Speaker was en route); now, however, Ohan has requested an indefinite stay. Though they have not stated so, I am convinced they are reluctant to sever trading ties with Bh'Haret (and the seven other non-affiliated worlds clustered in a 1.3 light year radius) as required by assumption into the Polyarchy. It is my belief that the administrators of Bh'Haret have convinced their counterparts on Ohan that the acquisition of technology will occur more rapidly through trade with non-affiliated worlds than through the Nexus Ascension program. If so, this constitutes a major setback. Had Ohan been assumed, Bh'Haret would have been further isolated. Instead, we now find ourselves facing an extremely delicate situation on Ohan. Other local non-affiliated worlds are waiting to see the outcome of Ohan's vacillation.
Because of the distances involved, I urge you to act expeditiously. The current Instrument installed on Bh'Haret is not a Speaker; her communications, therefore