Bitan, the most valuable substance in the human universe, makes communication across vast distances possible.
Bitan only comes from one planet.
And that planet has a problem.
The TransGalactic Corporation sends Luis Ahmad on a desperate mission to help the human colony on Bitanthra.
Can Luis save the colony and stop the collapse of communications throughout the galaxy?
An excerpt from The Becalmed:
“We don’t know what’s going on,” Luis said, “but I don’t think it’s trauma. I see no signs of disease. With the way it only affects some people in a family, I don’t believe this is contagious at all. Mind if I ask you a question?”
Both Bitanthrans shook their heads.
“What do you think is going on? What do people who live here, who’ve been watching this happen for years, think?”
Willis drew in a slow breath, and Luis saw tears standing in his eyes.
“Some of us are afraid it’s poison, something to do with Bitan. It seems to be getting worse over time. Like we’ve been exposed too much, and we’re passing it along to our children.”
“Well, I can’t rule anything out yet since we just got started. But your medical center here has tested for everything we know of, and off-world facilities have too. Nothing seems out of line with your bodies. Nothing seems to accumulate or get depleted over time.”
“Except our kids’ feelings,” Myrtle said. She didn’t look sad like Willis. She looked furious. “That’s depleting, more and more every year.”