Elite Dangerous Wiki
Advertisement

The Scourge banner.png

The Scourge is the third Interstellar Initiative. It began on October 10, 3305 and ran until October 30, 3305.[1] The initiative was launched in an effort to counter a rash of mass crop failures in key agricultural systems, such as Diso and Orerve, which had resulted in a critical shortage of staple foods in regional markets. In the weeks preceding the initiative, the Rockforth Corporation had also attempted to bolster declining crop yields by distributing a new product, Rockforth Fertiliser. The Interstellar Association for Agriculture later found that Rockforth Fertiliser had been contaminated with a crop-destroying pathogen by the radical anti-capitalist group Scythe of Panem, and the tainted fertiliser had spread a virulent blight to hundreds of systems. Although the Scythe of Panem was neutralised and a cure for the blight was produced, the blight itself could not be fully contained and remained a lurking threat to galactic food stocks.

Phases

  • Phase One[1]
    • October 10, 3305 - October 16, 3305
    • In response to ongoing, widespread crop failures, Crimson State Limited in Diso and Orerve Universal Limited in Orerve organize two parallel trade Community Goals requesting deliveries of Pesticides, Synthetic Reagents, and Grain to Shifnalport in Diso and Watson Station in Orerve.
    • The new Blight state begins affecting nearby agricultural systems. Market supplies of Commodities such as Grain decline rapidly. Adjacent systems are also affected by the Civil Unrest security state.
  • Phase Three[1]
    • October 22, 3305 - October 30, 3305
    • The origin of the contaminant that caused the blight is traced to the Scythe of Panem, an extremist group from Kappa Fornacis. A Community Goal is organized to neutralize Scythe of Panem cells in Quator by destroying their ships and turning in combat bonds at Quator Station.
    • The IAA then announced the development of Agronomic Treatment to counteract the blight, and organized two Community Goals to supply the Diso and Orerve systems with it as a test run before beginning wider distribution.
  • Conclusion[1]
    • October 30, 3305
    • The Scythe of Panem is neutralised, and a number of members are arrested following the discovery of an unregistered facility built beneath the surface port of Weber Settlement in Quator.
    • Despite the efforts of the galactic community to distribute Agronomic Treatment, the blight proves too resilient to completely contain and eradicate. Food stocks across the galaxy risk carrying the dormant pathogen, which could spark new blight outbreaks. The Blight state becomes a permanent part of the Background Simulation, and if not countered by sufficient shipments of Agronomic Treatment, it will cause affected minor factions to enter the Famine state.

GalNet Reports

05 NOV 3305

  • 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."[2]

02 NOV 3305

  • 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.[3]

31 OCT 3305

  • 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.[4]

28 OCT 3305

  • 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.[5]

26 OCT 33305

  • 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."[6]

24 OCT 3305

  • 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.[7]

23 OCT 3305

  • 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."[8]

22 OCT 3305

  • 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.[9]

20 OCT 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.[10]

18 OCT 3305

  • 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."[11]

16 OCT 3305

  • 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
    Warinus, Lave
    Shifnalport, Diso
    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.[12]

14 OCT 3305

  • 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?"[13]

11 OCT 3305

  • 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."[14]

10 OCT 3305

  • 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.[15]

06 OCT 3305

  • 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."[16]

03 OCT 3305

  • 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."[17]

27 SEP 3305

  • 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."[18]

18 SEP 3305

  • 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."[19]

13 SEP 3305

  • 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.[20]

Gallery

References

Advertisement