A generation ship with a living population has been discovered in the Upaniklis system.
The ship’s distress signal was initially picked up by a listening post. Investigating pilots were surprised to find that the ancient vessel - identified as the Golconda - had drifted into the uninhabited region around Upaniklis B.
Generation ships are huge, self-sufficient craft from the pre-hyperdrive era, designed to deliver their original crews’ descendants to uninhabited systems. Launched in the 22nd century, the Golconda has survived for more than a millennium as the home of a self-reliant society.
But it is believed the vessel’s outdated facilities are struggling to meet the needs of its crew. The inhabitants have reported a lack of maintenance materials and medical supplies, the latter made more pertinent by a virus sweeping through the ship.
Itsuko Harada of Upaniklis Vision Incorporated gave the following statement:
“These visitors have crossed incredible distances, entirely disconnected from the rest of humanity until now. Sheer desperation has forced these proud people to call for help – a disease referred to as ‘the wasting kiss’ is running rampant, and in a closed environment its effects may prove catastrophic.”
“Understandably, the Golconda’s people are reluctant to leave their home or interact with the rest of the galaxy, at least at present. They have gratefully accepted our offer of medical supplies and other materials, however.”
Traders are asked to deliver basic medicines, advanced medicines, aluminium, ceramic composites and semiconductors to Fozard Port in the Upaniklis system. Upaniklis Vision Incorporated is also offering bounty vouchers on wanted ships to deter pirate activity in the area.
The initiative is scheduled to run from the 8th to the 14th of November 3305. If the final targets are met earlier than planned, the campaign will end immediately.
The CEO of Rockforth Corporation has expressed regret at her company’s role in the distribution of blight pathogen, which ravaged crops in hundreds of systems.
In a statement to the media, Sylvia Rockforth insisted that the lack of proper oversight in the manufacture of EX7 fertiliser was an ‘anomaly’, inconsistent with the company’s ‘traditional commitment to quality’.
“I offer my sincere apologies to everyone affected by the blight,” said Rockforth. “The premature release of an ultimately damaging product is unacceptable. My company now has a great deal of work ahead to regain the trust of our customers and partners. The foundation of a restitution fund, using profits made from EX7, is the first step towards doing so.”
“A review of decisions preceding the release of EX7 has resulted in the termination of several Rockforth employee contracts. This includes former marketing director Rex Whitlock. Rex’s desire for career progression overcame his common sense, and his dismissal of regulatory practices placed billions of good people in danger.”
In other news, Dr Genevieve Kane of the Interstellar Association for Agriculture has confirmed that thousands of markets across the galaxy will now stock its specialised agronomic treatment.
“We have established the widespread manufacture and distribution of the treatment, ensuring availability in the event of a blight outbreak,” said Dr Kane.
“Additionally, data provided by IAA vessels indicates that we can accurately determine which areas of the galaxy are in need of agronomic treatment. One anomaly involved an unexpected call for supplies from the Upaniklis system, which will need to be investigated. But otherwise we are satisfied with our detection methods.”
The blight that laid waste to vast areas of cropland over the past month has now officially been contained.
Reports from the Interstellar Association for Agriculture confirm that the blight has been eliminated from all affected systems. The new agronomic treatment has rejuvenated emaciated fields, with the remaining harvests once again viable.
Journalist Adalyn Cross published a review of recent events on Vox Galactica:
“As the availability of staple foodstuffs begins to return to something like a normal level, many pundits are asking what lessons can be learned from this catastrophe. The IAA has pledged to intensify screening regulations for agricultural commodities. The speed with which the blight spread caught many by surprise, and it is vital that this does not happen again.”
“Intelligence agencies have pledged to review their strategies for tackling interstellar terrorism. The Scythe of Panem extremists who engineered the blight have been dealt with, but who else might be planning a biochemical attack?”
Meanwhile, the Rockforth Corporation’s PR department is working hard to reassure customers and shareholders. Critics have underscored the role of the EX7 fertiliser as a primary delivery system for the pathogen, but a Rockforth source argued that the product’s sabotage by Scythe of Panem agents could not have been anticipated.
Nevertheless, the company’s haste to increase profits has been highlighted as a contributing factor in the blight’s impact. Rockforth is expected to release a statement in the next few days, pending an internal review.
The agronomic treatment recently developed by the Interstellar Association for Agriculture has proven effective against the devastating crop blight.
The treatment was distributed as part of an initiative focusing on the Diso and Orerve systems. Planetside farming communities in both systems are beginning to recover from severe crop damage.
Dr Genevieve Kane of the Interstellar Association for Agriculture gave this statement to the media:
“Thanks to the heroic efforts of the galactic community, we can confirm that the agronomic treatment performs superbly on infected farmland. The counteragent eliminated the mutated blight pathogen within hours, facilitating the recovery of living crops.”
“Therefore, the IAA can confidently state that the immediate threat of food shortages has been alleviated, with food deliveries replenishing lost stocks. Mass production of the agronomic treatment has already begun, and it will soon be available across the galaxy to counteract the blight wherever it is found.”
Pilots who contributed to either of the initiatives can now collect their rewards from Shifnalport in the Diso system and Watson Station in the Orerve system, respectively.
Scythe of Panem, the activist group responsible for the crop-destroying blight, has been defeated in the Quator system.
Supported by Bruthanvan Co security teams, independent pilots were able to neutralise the group’s militant ringleaders. Scythe of Panem members have also been arrested following the raid of an unregistered facility discovered beneath the planetary port Weber Settlement.
FIA Agent Gino Borstein spoke on behalf of the tri-superpower taskforce investigating the blight:
“Initial questioning has confirmed that Scythe of Panem originally sought revenge for the Federation’s orbital bombing of Onion Head crops on Panem nearly five years ago. But a recent change in leadership led them towards more extreme methods, fuelled by anti-capitalist sentiment, with the objective of disrupting the galactic economy.”
“The term ‘Crops for Crops’ recurs in many of the data entries and communications recovered from the underground facility. We believe this phrase was used as a rallying cry by members.”
Traders are currently transporting the agronomic treatment for the blight pathogen, with a focus on the Diso and Orerve systems. As yet there is no official word regarding its effectiveness, but the Interstellar Association for Agriculture remains optimistic.
Vox Galactica published an opinion piece from journalist Adalyn Cross:
“A vital question remains: has the damage already been done? While the originators of the blight have been brought to justice, can a galaxy-wide eradication of food supplies be prevented?”
Pilots who assisted with the campaign in the Quator system can now pick up their rewards from the Bruthanvan Co at Quator Station.
People across the core systems are adapting to food shortages caused by the blight, as the threat of widespread starvation increases.
Vox Galactica journalist Adalyn Cross has been following the situation:
“With staple foodstuffs scarce in many systems, long-forgotten brands have been resurrected, as freeze-dried and preserved goods return to favour. Restaurant menus are being reduced, and new recipes have been devised by innovative chefs – many of whom refuse to reveal their ingredients.”
“On certain worlds, alternative crops are being imported, with the extra costs offset by increased taxes. Private companies such as Rackham Capital Investments and Silva Holdings Inc have also donated enormous sums to foodstuff shipments, which has been hugely appreciated by the general public.
“In a curious development, one direct beneficiary of the blight has been the fishing industry. Pescatarian diets are on the rise, with many celebrities declaring a newfound passion for seafood dishes in the absence of fresh fruit and vegetables.”
Despite this, billions now rely on food cartridges and ration packs that offer only basic nutrition. Welfare charities are shipping aid to wherever it is most needed, but admit that their resources have been stretched to breaking point.
“With the mutated blight proving so effective at destroying cropland,” said Cross, “Mason Chu’s warning that we may be facing a galaxy-wide scourge looks more likely to become a bitter reality.”
The galactic community has been asked to support an initiative that could counteract the blight that is devastating crops in hundreds of systems.
With the blight pathogen present across inhabited space, the Interstellar Association for Agriculture has decided to press ahead with controlled distribution of a promising new agronomic treatment.
The IAA’s Dr Genevieve Kane provided further information:
“Ever since the blight was identified, our scientists have been working alongside Rockforth Corporation research teams to develop an effective counteragent. We appreciate the full cooperation granted by Rockforth Corporation representatives in this endeavour.”
“Following essential contributions by both the Vandermeer Corporation and Neomedical Industries, we have developed an agronomic treatment that should reverse the disease’s effects.”
“The priority is to transport the treatment to the Diso and Orerve systems, which were among the first to be ravaged by the blight. If these primary agricultural centres can be made viable again, we can then proceed to revitalise crop production elsewhere.”
Agronomic Treatment can now be collected from the following markets:
Conway City, Ltt 4961
George Lucas, Leesti
Thomson Orbital, Lansbury
Cousin Ring, Tjindjin
Margulis Station, CD-44 10336
Nourse City, Esumindii
Independent traders have been asked to deliver the agronomic treatment to Shifnalport in the Diso system and Watson Station in the Orerve system.
The initiative is scheduled to run from the 24th to the 30th of October 3305. If the final targets are met earlier than planned, the campaign will end immediately.
The pathogen introduced to crops by the contaminated EX7 fertiliser has displayed signs of self-sufficiency, potentially threatening crops in thousands of systems.
Lead Researcher Mason Chu of the Vandermeer Corporation stated:
“A successful initiative to destroy contaminated Rockforth fertiliser means it no longer poses a threat to cropland. But our research suggests that the blight can survive independently of the fertiliser.”
“This new pathogen is aggressive, highly resilient to market pesticides and hard to quarantine. If not adequately contained, the blight could become a full-blown scourge that cripples food supplies wherever it spreads.”
“We are testing a number of potential treatments, including some radical methods suggested by teams from Neomedical Industries. If fortune smiles on us we may be able to combat the pathogen directly.”
In related news, there has been much speculation about the Scythe of Panem, the extremist group that engineered the blight. Some insight was offered by Zander Lachance, a representative of the Coalition for Onion Head Legalisation:
“Actually, we’ve known about the Scythe of Panem for several years. They were always obsessed with getting payback for the mass destruction of Onion Head crops in 3301. But over the past year they attracted some aggressive anti-capitalists, who started pushing to inflict serious economic damage as vengeance for Kappa Fornacis. Seems the new crowd were more persuasive than we realised.”
“It’s a shame that these actions will reinforce the negative stereotypes around Onion Head. We only hope that those of us who advocate its therapeutic many beneficial uses won’t be tarnished with the same brush.”
An extremist group from the Kappa Fornacis system is responsible for the contaminated fertiliser that has caused widespread crop failures.
Gino Borstein made this statement on behalf of the tri-superpower taskforce investigating the blight’s origin:
“Our investigation has confirmed that an activist group known as Scythe of Panem managed to infiltrate Rockforth Corporation manufacturing plants in the Riedquat system. Members of the group contaminated the EX7 fertiliser with a synthetic agent designed to putrefy plant matter.”
Recent efforts by the galactic community have almost eradicated the EX7 fertiliser. But Borstein warned that the activists have turned hostile upon discovery.
“The group’s manifesto discusses revenge for the Federation’s 3301 campaign to wipe out the recreational drug known as Onion Head. This involved an orbital bombardment of Onion Head crops on Panem using biocides with a similar genomic structure to the blight. It’s likely that the activists used these biocides as the foundation of their synthetic agent.”
“Shortly after we located Scythe of Panem cells in the Quator system, their more militant members responded with unprovoked violence. Local citizens are now at risk of being caught in the crossfire.”
An effort to neutralise the activists is being led by the Bruthanvan Co faction, which has requested tactical support from the galactic community.
Independent pilots who destroy Scythe of Panem ships in the Quator system will be generously rewarded by Bruthanvan Co. This campaign will run from the 22nd to the 28th of October 3305.
A tri-superpower group has identified the cause of the blight that has ruined crops on multiple worlds.
Gino Borstein of the Federal Intelligence Agency delivered a report on behalf of the cross-superpower taskforce:
“Working with the Rockforth Corporation, we have confirmed that the EX7 fertiliser was deliberately contaminated with a chemical compound shortly after mass production began.”
“The contaminant has a unique synthetic composition specifically designed to introduce a highly aggressive pathogen that quickly destroys plant matter. Our investigations have uncovered several potential leads, and we expect to identify the contaminant’s point of origin soon.”
Vox Galactica journalist Adalyn Cross commented:
“Taken at face value, this seems to absolve Rockforth of causing the blight. But there may yet be culpability issues, considering the company’s cavalier attitude towards regulatory checks. Commentators have pointed to the requests made by the Interstellar Association for Agriculture as evidence that the company placed profit above safety.”
“The question is: who is behind this attempt to eradicate the food supplies of billions of people? Are we dealing with a terrorist attack on an interstellar scale? Or was this an attempt to ruin Rockforth, perhaps committed by a dangerous corporate rival?”
In related news, additional cargo checks have been implemented at starports following the blight’s rapid spread. Researchers have theorised that contaminated goods ferried by unsuspecting traders are to blame for introducing the blight to non-agricultural systems.