What really has heads turning, however, is the unanimous patent finalization of a new class of pod-fitted star vessel, the heavy assault ship. The finalization, approved only a few days ago by the SCCAC, is the third of its kind to take place over the course of the last two months. It has left market speculators confused, and thoroughly outraged the growing contingent of obsolescent non-capsule-fitted bridge captains who feel they're being left behind in the backwash of new technology.
"It is our strong belief that these new developments are not good for the world at large, neither socially nor economically," said Tomas Andeluth, Chairman of BCE (Bridge Captains for Egality), a newly-founded organization intended to protect the interests of non-capsuleer starship captains.
"Capsule-fitted pilots represent only a fraction of the starship captains out there, yet their niche has been catered to almost exclusively over the past year. The consolidation of wealth in these people's hands is growing out of proportion. Too much power -- both technological and economical -- is going to them, and too fast. If this continues, it could lead to massive recession and millions of jobs lost, both for bridge-piloted vessel captains and their crew. We find it frankly irresponsible of these ships' designers to exclude the vast majority of the galactic population from their designs," stated Andeluth.
Responding to these accusations, Maktina Obasa, director of public relations for Amarr ship designer and manufacturer Carthum Conglomerate, stated: "We are a corporation. Capital is a corporation's lifeblood. In order to thrive, we must go where the capital is."
"The state of today's galactic economy is simply that the capsuleers have the cash. You cater to the group with the money, and the money comes to you. "
Obasa's comments have provoked widespread ire, not least from Federation Marquee columnist Maxim Peltast, a long-outspoken opponent of the "capsule craze." Making his point in characteristically coarse style, Peltast this morning appeared at Carthum Conglomerate's offices in Padrine, Duripant III's largest city, dressed in a loose garment composed, it appeared, entirely of blueprints, save for open patches on the front and the back where the journalist's genitalia and backside were in full view.
"Who finalizes the patents?" Peltast was heard screaming as building security officers moved to subdue him. "Who makes the real money from this? The designers? The manufacturers? Think again!"
A formal letter of apology from the Federation Marquee was reportedly received by Carthum Conglomerate's head office in Pimebeka a few hours later. Peltast's whereabouts are currently unknown, and it is uncertain at the time whether his weekly column, "Mad World," will run in tomorrow's Marquee as scheduled.