Late on Wednesday the 16th, a science vessel owned by Caldari military research corporation Innovaatio Varustukset was attacked in the Litiura system. The lone surviving scientist was then kidnapped and taken to Guristas space, where he was later rescued by an Internal Security fleet and returned to Caldari space.
The science vessel, a modified Manticore-class Stealth Bomber, was returning from field testing the top secret Innovaatio cloaking device, rumored to revolutionize cloaking technology throughout the cluster. Before it could reach its destination, however, the ship was intercepted in the Litiura system and destroyed, along with the two Ishukone Watch escort ships assigned to it. The Ishukone Watch refused to identify the attackers, claiming them to be "little more than attention-seeking pirates with a grudge", though eye-witness accounts have pointed the finger at the Omerta Syndicate, a well-known capsuleer organization who has had dealings with Ishukone in the past.
"We believe they were after the prototype cloak," said Markku Samuli, founder and CEO of Innovaatio. "However, the cloak ... was destroyed along with the ship." However, one of the scientists on board the ship survived and was quickly gathered up by the attackers and whisked away before an organized rescue operation could be mounted.
The scientist, whose name was not released by Innovaatio, was apparently then transported to a station in Venal, where he was turned over to the Guristas. It is currently not known if the kidnappers were working for the Guristas or if they were merely a convenient buyer. The scientist, who was reportedly suffering from fourth-degree burns as a result of the ship explosion, was able to use a terminal at the station medical bay to send out a brief distress signal.
The signal was intercepted by Internal Security, the police wing of Nugoeihuvi Corporation. Internal Security then scrambled a rescue fleet and was able to extract the scientist following what Internal Security described as a "brief firefight and show of bravado."
The scientist was rushed back to Caldari space, where his numerous injuries could be properly treated. He is currently listed in serious, but stable, condition, and is being held in a NOH medical facility until it is determined that he can be safely transported.
"It's a good thing we were able to rescue [the scientist] so quickly," said Dr. Biale, the head of the medical facility. "He was suffering from fourth-degree burns over twenty percent of his body, a compound fracture of both legs, a collapsed lung, a severe concussion, and Candidiasis. Having heard rumors about the conditions in many of those pirate hospitals, I doubt they had the proper medical care available to keep him alive longer than a few days."
Innovaatio Varustukset stocks are still frozen as the status of their purchase by Ishukone continues to be challenged in Caldari courts, so the immediate reaction of their stockholders to this news is impossible to determine. Mr. Samuli wished to reassure shareholders, however, stating that, "The setback is minor. The vast majority of the data from the testing was transmitted before they even began moving, and the prototype destroyed was one of many."