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.
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?”
A recent commodity appeal has spurred civil unrest in several systems, with civilians fearing that their respective governments are unable to cope with the widespread crop failures.
Vox Galactica published a report on developments by journalist Adalyn Cross:
“Following crop failures on a massive scale, the projected availability of staple foodstuffs has drastically fallen in a number of systems. This, in turn, has triggered increased prices, panic buying and stockpiling - all of which have exacerbated the problem.”
“On the most severely impacted worlds, such as Birmingham and Simpson's Eden, citizens are taking to the streets and demanding answers from the authorities. But with food supplies being strangled at the source, it appears little can be done to appease their frustration.”
Nathaniel Lopez of the Galactic Welfare Trust, a charitable aid foundation, made this statement:
“Low-income families and those dependent on welfare have been hit hardest by these shortages. Our organisation is distributing food cartridges, but frankly the magnitude of this situation dwarfs our efforts. Billions of people are at risk of going hungry if a solution cannot be found.”
“We call upon food manufacturers to help alleviate the problem by reducing prices. To those companies aiming to make a short-term profit, be warned – you could be contributing to significant loss of life from starvation.”
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 impact of low crop yields in key agricultural systems has reached civilian populations, prompting public concerns over food availability.
Freelance journalist Adalyn Cross published this report on Vox Galactica:
“The scarcity of fresh fruit and vegetables has become a major concern. Despite the efforts of agricultural bodies and corporations to prevent shortages from affecting the general public, the availability of produce is believed to have fallen further in recent weeks.”
“With fear of a widespread food shortage rising, stockpiling of staple foods by markets and citizens has increased. Prices have fluctuated as opportunistic suppliers take advantage of the situation.”
“It’s clear that the situation is more complicated than a mere bad harvest, but as yet there has been little effective response from local governments.”
In related news, the Rockforth Corporation has publically responded to the Interstellar Association for Agriculture, following requests for compliance documentation related to its new fertiliser. Rockforth marketing director Rex Whitlock made this statement:
“We see it as our duty to lead the recovery of affected farming communities, and our revolutionary fertiliser will play a big role. I have full confidence that our new product meets the IAA’s standards, and we will fulfil their request at the earliest opportunity.”
Share prices in the Rockforth Corporation have risen following the success of its latest fertiliser.
With key agricultural systems reporting crop failures over the past few weeks, the mega-corporation has capitalised on farmers’ demands for new treatments. Sales of Rockforth’s fertiliser have beaten expectations, with multiple systems importing large quantities of stock.
Rockforth marketing director Rex Whitlock provided this statement:
“I believe that our long-standing dedication to quality has played no small part in the success of this product. Since its inception, the Rockforth Corporation has represented the cutting edge of agricultural technology.”
“Hard-working farmers facing this challenge require our support, and we have pledged to meet their needs. I am confident that the EX7 fertiliser will help to mitigate any further losses.”
Meanwhile, Dr Genevieve Kane of the Interstellar Association for Agriculture has repeated calls for distribution restrictions.
“Our compliance department has been in regular communication with Rockforth representatives, but we have yet to receive the requested documentation.”
“Sometimes these matters take longer than expected, of course. Until the request has been fulfilled, however, we again urge caution in the trade of Rockforth’s latest commodity.”
A new agricultural fertiliser has been released by the Rockforth Corporation in response to growing concerns over low harvests in several systems.
Rex Whitlock, the company’s marketing director, gave this statement to shareholders:
“We at Rockforth are deeply concerned by the recent reports of poor staple crop yields. We are determined to ensure that the food-supply chains are not impacted.”
“Our new EX7 fertiliser has been synthetically enhanced to enrich soil, increase macronutrients and promote growth across all types of cropland. We have prioritised its development and are confident that it will help minimise the risk of future food shortages.”
“Distribution of the fertiliser has started at Marshall Dock in the Riedquat system. We encourage traders to take advantage of our introductory prices.”
Many farmers have already begun putting the new fertiliser to use, but Dr Genevieve Kane of the Interstellar Association for Agriculture commented:
“There are concerns that, in order to bring this new product to market quickly, Rockforth may not have satisfied all regulatory checks. The IAA has therefore requested tight regulation of the fertiliser’s distribution until full compliance can be verified.”
The Interstellar Association for Agriculture has announced that below-average crop yields are expected in several key locations.
Dr Genevieve Kane, writing on behalf of the organisation, published this statement:
“Recent audits conducted on two primary agricultural worlds, located in Diso and Orerve, indicate that staple food harvests have been markedly lower in recent months.”
“Broader data analysis suggests that crop returns in several other systems may also fail to meet projected quotas. An investigation is underway to identify the reasons for this drop in produce.”
“To prevent a shortage of produce from impacting consumers, the IAA is reviewing options to enhance the fertility of cropland used for domestic consumption. These include newly proposed synthetic treatments that we hope will increase the sustainability of essential harvests.”
The situation was first highlighted during the Alliance Festival of Culture’s culinary week, when events in the Diso system were impacted by difficulties in sourcing fresh ingredients. Subsequent reports have indicated that these shortages are not unique to Allied space.
Here are this week’s main stories.
The Alliance Festival of Culture has drawn to a close with a celebration of food and drink in the Diso system. Attendees sampled dishes prepared by celebrated chefs, and enjoyed a wide variety of complementary beverages. Suppliers managed to overcome initial concerns that low harvests in nearby systems would impact the festival. Prime Minister Mahon hailed the event as a huge success.
The Sap Core Legion faction has announced the successful conclusion of its initiative to outfit a new orbital medical facility in the Heike system. The installation, Swords Rest Medical Facility, is now operational around Heike 1.
And those are the main stories this week.
The Alliance Festival of Culture has entered its final week with a celebration of food and drink on the planet Birmingham in the Diso system.
Corinne Macintyre, culture correspondent for the Alliance Tribune, reported:
“City streets are lined with stalls offering a wide range of food. Dishes range from humble, home-cooked recipes using local speciality Diso Ma Corn, to delicacies such as baked greebles. Drink connoisseurs have sampled everything from Ethgreze Tea Buds to Leestian Evil Juice, while a multi-storey cocktail bar sponsored by distillers of Lavian Brandy has attracted revellers.”
“Despite some companies experiencing difficulty sourcing ingredients, following lower than expected harvests in some systems, this event has been enjoyed by millions of hungry visitors.”
To mark the conclusion of the seven-week festival, Prime Minister Edmund Mahon made this announcement:
“I’d like to offer my sincerest thanks to everyone who helped make the Alliance Festival of Culture a grand success. We’ve enjoyed amazing artwork, heard beautiful music and experienced great theatre in recent weeks, much to our delight. I have been reminded just how diverse and colourful the Alliance’s shared cultures can be. Artists and creatives across the galaxy are invited to make the Alliance their home and further enrich this vibrant society.”
A commodity drive hosted by the Sap Core Legion faction has ended successfully, resulting in the construction of a medical facility in the Heike system.
With independent pilots having provided commodities in large numbers, Swords Rest Medical Facility has now entered operation around Heike 1.
Professor Macklin Fox offered these words of thanks to contributors:
“I am pleased by the response to this initiative and appreciate the efforts of all involved. Access to off-world medical facilities is not just an Allied issue - it is an issue for the galaxy.”
Commanders who contributed to the campaign can now collect their rewards from Braun Enterprise in the Heike system.
Here are this week’s main stories.
An exhibition of the visual arts has been upstaged by notorious art thief the Winking Cat during the Alliance Festival of Culture’s sixth week. The stolen artwork ‘Penance Street’ by Megan Madigan was discovered in an empty room of the Garden City Gallery in Alioth. Gallery staff soon found the infamous winking cat motif hidden behind the picture.
The Starship Enterprises faction has confirmed the success of its initiative to establish an asteroid base in the LP 339-7 system. The corporation has expressed hope that an increase in trade and industry will benefit the whole system.
Finally, the Sap Core Legion faction has called for independent pilots to deliver resources for the construction of a medical facility in the Heike system. The organisers hope that the new orbital facility will benefit the region.
And those are the main stories this week.
The notorious art thief known as the Winking Cat has resurfaced in the Alioth system during the Alliance Festival of Culture.
For the festival’s sixth week, Garden City Gallery on Turner’s World hosts an exhibition of the visual arts. Advanced security measures have been employed to prevent a repetition of the high-profile incident that occurred in June 3304, where the unique work ‘Youscape’ was stolen from a gallery vault.
Local correspondent Daron Warmack reported for The Alliance Tribune:
“When gallery staff noticed a painting hanging in a previously empty room, they were shocked to recognise it as ‘Penance Street’, the long-lost masterpiece of famous artist Megan Madigan.”
“Experts have verified that this is the original artwork, which vanished in transit 60 years ago. A graphic of a winking cat was also discovered on the wall behind the picture.”
“The Winking Cat has returned one of the Alliance’s greatest art treasures – a personal contribution to the festival, perhaps, or maybe an act of penance.”
The Alliance Festival of Culture will conclude next week in the Diso system.
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.
A mining initiative by the Starship Enterprises faction has ended successfully, with the establishment of a new asteroid base in the LP 339-7 system.
Independent miners delivered large quantities of construction materials, which were used to complete construction of the new installation. The starport Miner Prospects has now opened for business in the planetary ring of LP 339-7 4.
Company CEO Dr Lewis Chapman held a press conference to thank those involved:
“The new base will offer much-needed resources to the system’s outer reaches, and act as the headquarters for our SE Mining division. I never doubted the galactic community’s response, and it is a humbling thing to see in action.”
Commanders who contributed to the campaign can now collect their rewards from Gell-Mann Ring in the LP 339-7 system.