Much has been made in local media recently over the release of a new standardized class of capsule-fitted space vessel, the assault frigate. Hitting the space-lanes with little to no advance warning on Tuesday of last week, these vessels have been the subject of much speculation - why did every major designer of capsule-fitted ships put their prototypes up for patent finalization on the exact same day? And why is this class of ship intended exclusively for the relative elite that comprises the pod pilot community? Many have speculated that the reasons are primarily economical in nature, but infamous Federation Marquee columnist Maxim Peltast has his own theories.
In his column of last Thursday, Peltast states that "the real reason for the uniformity of the patent release - as well as the shady uniformity of the covert ops frigate patent release a scant month ago, which no one seems to have noticed - is that the powers that be, the ones who create the technology behind these ships, are drooling all over themselves to get in good with the eggers."
'Eggers' - those relatively few pilots cleared to fly capsule-fitted ships - have become increasingly common since the technologies of cloning and capsules were married a year and a half ago. The ease and speed with which they travel (a pilot in a capsule can physically withstand a great deal many more stargate jumps per hour than a cockpitted one) as well as the levels of technological expertise and physical conditioning necessary for operation of their equipment, has catapulted them to what could be called the top of the intergalactic food chain.
"They're trusted with top secrets. They're contracted by nations and megacorporations to do their dirty work. It's no wonder they're given the best toys," states Peltast in the column. "They're the cutting edge, and as such they receive the cutting edge to play with. "
"Some of you, naturally enough, may ask how much power we should reasonably expect to be able to put in the hands of a single, roughly fifty-thousand member segment of interstellar society before it ends up exploding in our faces. This is a natural enough question to ask, and I'm glad you asked it. But they know you're asking it. The manufacturers know. The producers know. And the eggers know."
"The question we should be asking is this: who holds the keys to the technologies which make all this possible? Who makes the eggers what they are? Who stands to benefit from the eggers' ascension as a group?"
Peltast then pointed his finger at the clone manufacturers, going on to list a web of financial connections linking clone giant Poteque Pharmaceuticals to spaceship developers like CreoDron and Kaalakiota. Making the kind of conspiratorial inferences which have granted him his infamy, the controversial columnist concluded with these words: "Whoever controls the clones controls the pods, kiddies. And whoever controls the pods controls the eggers. And the eggers... who knows where they're headed?"
Spaceship developers have made no comment as to the exclusivity of their latest designs, but Poteque Pharmaceuticals last Friday released this statement in response to Peltast's column: "It is only natural that our company be connected with the parties mentioned. In a pan-regional capitalistic economy, connections between corporations are many and varied, and we frankly fail to understand the motives for Mr. Peltast's apparent willingness to incite needless fear among people. Pod technology is the next step forward, and a thing to be embraced rather than dreaded."