Tennen – Hyasyoda Corporation announced yesterday that its scientists had successfully engineered an antiviral agent to counteract the Tennen Blight and predicted a swift end to the quarantine that has locked down Tennen VI for nearly a month. Unfortunately, despite the swift action of Hyasyoda crop scientists, it appears that the planet's harvest for this growing period is nearly a complete loss, a shortfall that is having wide repercussions throughout the Caldari Border Zone.
Speaking at a news conference held at the Hyasyoda refinery station in Tennen, Dr. Eitar Hayona, leader of the School of Applied Knowledge team on Tennen VI, told reporters that the blight has been “completely contained” and that further outbreaks of the disease were extremely unlikely. “Using the agent we've developed, both strains of the virus can be eliminated from within a plant in a matter of days after application. Mass manufacture of the antiviral agent has already begun and we believe it will be ready to be spread aerially to all the fields of Tennen VI in less than a week. Hyasyoda scientists have already used our findings to begin engineering new hybrids for use during the next growing season which will be resistant to the blight.”
“Unfortunately,” continued Dr. Hayona, “the current crops have been badly damaged by the disease already, and we believe that little, if any, of the infected crops will be able to produce their expected yields this season. While Captain Tarpas has asked me not to give you any exact figures at this time, I can say that overall yields from Tennen VI this season are expected to be in the 20-30% of predicted numbers. The final numbers will really only be available once we see how effective the antiviral treatment is.”
Despite the development of the antiviral agent, a statement from the Caldari Business Tribunal has announced that the quarantine will remain in place for at least two more weeks to ensure that the disease has been eradicated from the surface of the planet. With the end in sight, however, fears of food shortages and rising prices have subsided somewhat. Lines outside the largest groceries in Muurskiota were far shorter today, and prices had already declined 5% overnight and were continuing to decline throughout the day.
Meanwhile, Hyasyoda corporate headquarters released a statement thanking Dr. Hayona and her team for their “tireless efforts to save the livelihoods of the hard-working citizens of Tennen VI,” and congratulated both the SAK team and the Hyasyoda scientists involved in the relief effort on their success. In a surprising move, however, the statement also said that the Corporate Police Force had determined that there was “insufficient evidence to prove foul play in this matter” and that as a result, “the Hyasyoda Corporation has no plans to file suit with the Tribunal at this time.” However, there has been no sign that the CPF detachment in Tennen is leaving, and the investigation into the incident appears to be ongoing.
Insiders within the Suroken headquarters of Hyasyoda say that while the CPF hasn't been able to find concrete proof, many of the corporation's leaders are positive that Sukuuvestaa subsidiary Sunny Side Farms was involved in the introduction of the blight. “Just look at what's happened to them in the last two weeks on the market,” said one CPF investigator who refused to give his name. “They've shot up almost 12%, all because they're filling the contracts Tennen VI can't make. If there's anyone with a good motive, it's them.”
When confronted with these accusations, Sunny Side Farms spokeswoman Kirsten Morita said that the claims were “simply preposterous.” “Tennen VI has been a horrible tragedy, and our company feels deeply for those workers who were affected. However, nothing justifies these completely spurious accusations and we encourage the media to take them with a grain of salt. If there was any real proof of foul play in this incident, I'm sure that Hyasyoda would be asking for a Tribunal investigation to get to the bottom of it. As no investigation seems to be forthcoming, repeating such statements is completely irresponsible.”