A collaborative body has been formed by the three superpowers to trace the source of the blight that is laying waste to crops on key agricultural worlds.
The development was covered by journalist Adalyn Cross for Vox Galactica:
“We know that the Rockforth fertiliser caused the advanced decay that has affected so many crops, but the specifics remain unclear. Was the corrupted fertiliser the result of an industrial manufacturing error, or perhaps sabotage by a rival company? Is there evidence of a deliberate effort to harm the people of the core systems?”
“With billions of citizens facing food shortages, departments from all three superpowers are collaborating to identify the origin of the blight and halt its progress. The speed with which the blight has spread is frankly stunning.”
Rex Whitlock, marketing director at Rockforth Corporation, released this statement:
“This development has come as a shock to everyone at Rockforth. Our EX7 fertiliser passed many rigorous tests and successfully increased crop productivity in controlled experiments, so we have no explanation for its calamitous effects.”
“We would like to reassure customers and shareholders alike that we are cooperating fully with the investigation.”
The Rockforth Corporation’s EX7 fertiliser has been linked to the blight affecting crops in a number of systems, prompting an initiative to remove the product from the market.
Dr Genevieve Kane of the Interstellar Association for Agriculture delivered an urgent message:
“Comparative analysis has confirmed that the blight is caused by the EX7 fertiliser. The original poor harvests have been attributed to natural factors, and it is now thought that the situation could have been contained had the fertiliser not exacerbated the problem.”
“Initial food shortages were offset by a recent trade appeal in the Diso and Orerve systems, but the blight’s symptoms have since been reported in hundreds of systems. While we investigate the reasons for this rapid spread, preventing further fertiliser distribution is vital.”
Rockforth fertiliser can now be collected at zero cost from the following markets:
Sharon Lee Free Market, Orrere
Lave Station, Lave
Davies High, Reorte
Watson Station, Orerve
Roentgen Hub, LFT 37
Macedo Station, Lei Zi
Phillips Gateway, Ensoreus
Baird Gateway, Arque
La Soeur du Dan Ham, Riedquat
The Teveri Progressive Party has arranged for the safe disposal of the fertiliser and has offered to compensate pilots for their efforts. The fertiliser should be delivered to Wiley Port in the Teveri system.
To expedite this initiative, Lakon Spaceways has agreed to lower the cost of the Type-6 Transporter, Type-7 Transporter and Type-9 Heavy. Cargo rack prices have also been reduced in all starports.
The initiative is scheduled to run from the 16th to the 22nd of October 3305. If the final target is met earlier than planned, the campaign will end immediately.
The cause of mass crop spoilage on key agricultural worlds has been attributed to a new disease affecting plants.
Dr Genevieve Kane of the Interstellar Association for Agriculture summarised the organisation’s findings:
“The rapid decay of plant life on multiple planets was caused by the same strain of advanced blight. Its origin and vectors remain unknown, and it has so far resisted all established methods of treatment.”
“Our analysis has not determined if the blight is a natural mutation or an artificial pathogen. Until we confirm this and develop a method of preventing further spread, viable cropland will become scarcer and the production of staple foods will continue to drop.”
“The Vandermeer Corporation has offered to assist the IAA with its research. The company’s experience of molecular diagnostics will hopefully contribute to a breakthrough.”
Journalist Adalyn Cross reported on this development for Vox Galactica:
“Speculation on the cause of the blight has spread like wildfire, with theories ranging from chronic mismanagement to industrial sabotage. Political enemies are also being blamed in every affected system, with competing factions quick to lay the blame at each other’s doorstep.”
“As tensions rise and billions find themselves short on food, such accusations are likely to escalate to dangerous levels. Trade initiatives and charitable imports are all proving helpful, but will that be enough to stave off disaster?”
Two coordinated trade initiatives have been launched, spearheading efforts to mitigate the impact of low crop yields in key systems.
The initiatives have been organised by Crimson State Limited in the Diso system and Orerve Universal Limited in the Orerve system. The significant loss of crops in these agricultural centres is a primary cause for the low availability of staple foodstuffs.
The initiatives received praise from Dr Genevieve Kane of the Interstellar Association for Agriculture:
“This campaign is a step in the right direction, and with the help of the galactic community should stop the situation from becoming a full-scale crisis.”
“The IAA is currently investigating the reasons for such poor harvests, and it seems that a new form of blight may be responsible for the rapid degeneration of crops. Scientific teams are analysing samples of diseased tissue, and we expect to know more soon.”
Traders are asked to deliver pesticides, synthetic reagents and grain to Shifnalport in the Diso system and Watson Station in the Orerve system.
The initiative is scheduled to run from the 10th to the 16th of October 3305. If the final targets are met earlier than planned, the campaign will end immediately.
The Interstellar Association for Agriculture has identified similarities in the crop failures reported in multiple systems over the past several weeks.
Dr Genevieve Kane, a spokesperson for the organisation, outlined a pattern of common biological markers contained in diseased harvests of staple food crops.
“We have collated multiple reports in which farmers recorded healthy crops withering in a matter of days. Agronomists have confirmed that the symptoms of decay are identical, and share genetic similarities to known pathogens, but have not yet identified the cause.”
“The IAA is coordinating with other agricultural and scientific bodies to investigate this situation further.”
The lack of staple foods has triggered a cascade effect across the core systems, leading to the panic buying and stockpiling of consumables. While non-perishable foodstuffs are keeping local populations fed, many authorities are struggling to address their citizens’ concerns.
The following statement from Governor Nadeem Clayton of the Orerve system is typical of the announcements made by political leaders in affected systems:
“I can assure you that the current disruption is merely temporary. We guarantee that critical food supplies will remain available, and urge the public not to overreact. A committee has been established to explore the possibility of financial support for landowners affected by this unfortunate situation.”
The Sap Core Legion faction has launched an initiative to build a state-of-the-art medical facility in the Heike system.
Heike has some significance in the field of medicine – a species of tea plant native to the system played a vital role in the development of a cure for the Cerberus Plague. Sap Core Legion believes that this detail makes Heike an ideal location for the new installation.
Professor Macklin Fox, speaking on behalf of Sap Core Legion, said:
"Sap Core Legion wishes to build this facility in response to a number of recent outbreaks and epidemics. When one also considers the current Thargoid conflict, we feel humanity would benefit from additional off-world medical resources.”
Independent pilots have been invited to deliver advanced medicines, thallium and medical diagnostic equipment to Braun Enterprise in the Heike system.
The initiative is scheduled to run from August 29th to September 4th 3305. If the final target is met earlier than planned, the campaign will end immediately.
The Red Family cartel has suffered enormous losses following a series of strikes carried out by the Federal Intelligence Agency. Crime correspondent Ethan Takahashi summarised his report in The Federal Times: “In a coordinated operation spanning multiple systems, FIA troops raided hidden Red Family bases and manufacturing plants. Dozens of cartel members were killed in combat and thousands more arrested, while vast amounts of illegal substances were seized.” The narcotics kingpin Oberon Church spent decades establishing his empire, but with such catastrophic losses it has been virtually dismantled. Members of Federal Congress have congratulated the FIA for ‘removing this blight on Federal society’. Executive Agent Viola Trask suggested that “this success was only possible due to the detailed information volunteered by Jan Sandoval, one of the Red Family’s founders.” It is widely assumed that Church’s arrest will follow soon, effectively eliminating the cartel.
The Interstellar Health Organisation (IHO) has delivered a preliminary report on the nanomedicines recently developed by Vitadyne Labs. The summary stated:
“Nanomedicine is a carefully regulated branch of medical science, with little scope for public application, but Vitadyne’s nanomeds are more sophisticated and reliable than any existing product. Furthermore, Vitadyne’s data regarding healing, disease treatment and extension of longevity has been verified.”
“Having confirmed the product’s effectiveness, IHO teams are now conducting independent tests with patients.”
Media outlet Vox Galactica published this viewpoint from healthcare analyst Dr Himari Grey:
“The pharmaceutical industry is astonished that a small company like Vitadyne could produce something so advanced. Professor Katrien Rook’s credentials are impeccable, of course, but this is a work of genius. These nanomeds could be the most exciting thing in medicine for decades.”
Here are this week’s major stories.
A new networked system named the Codex has been released to the galactic community.
The Codex is a joint initiative from the Pilots Federation and Universal Cartographics, which announced that the system had been automatically uploaded to all vessels registered with the Pilots Federation.
Two new ships marketed towards independent pilots have been released. The Mamba, from Zorgon Petersen, is reputedly one of the fastest ships in production, while the Krait Phantom, manufactured by Faulcon DeLacy, has been envisaged as a multi-role vessel.
Hadrian Augustus Duval, the long-lost grandson of Emperor Hengist Duval, has broadcast a message to the Empire in which he emphasised his humble background and stressed that he had lived an ordinary life. He concluded with the words: “I’ve seen how diminished the Empire has become, and I know that new leadership is sorely needed.”
Meanwhile, the Interstellar Health Organisation has delivered a preliminary report on the nanomedicines recently developed by Vitadyne Labs. The report states that Vitadyne’s nanomeds are more sophisticated and reliable than any existing product, and that Vitadyne’s data regarding healing, disease treatment and extension of longevity has been verified.
In other news, conflict has erupted between two factions in the Wally Bei system. Hostilities were triggered after the Wally Bei Technical claimed to have discovered stolen food shipments aboard their rival’s transport vessels. This was denied in an official response by Traditional Wally Bei Constitution Party. Military leaders from both factions have issued calls to independent combat pilots, offering rewards for their support.
Finally, an initiative to deliver rare commodities to an esoteric cult in the Zlota system has concluded. Barnabas Cole, leader of the Children of Tothos, submitted a handwritten message to the media that read: “By helping us, you free yourselves. You will feel the light of our testament fill you, just as it fills the heavens.”
And those are the main stories this week.
Independent company Vitadyne Labs has developed an innovative new form of nanomedicine.
Professor Katrien Rook published the following press release:
“Nanomeds are sophisticated pharmaceuticals that use nanoscale materials to repair cell damage on a molecular level. They can heal any injury in a fraction of the normal time, and can potentially cure almost any disease and infection.”
“Furthermore, regular use of nanomeds affects cellular senescence, drastically slowing the ageing process. In theory, nanomed users will live between 30 and 50 years longer, and will enjoy near-perfect health during those extra decades.”
“After months of trials we are inviting medical authorities, including the Interstellar Health Organisation, to review our data. Pending approval, we hope to have Vitadyne nanomeds on the market soon.”