The Horizon's Key plotship was intended to be a multi-cultural, independent vessel. Its aim was to give creators of races that haven't yet found a place to demo their races while taking part in an easygoing, but exciting storyline. It was also a potential training area for players who weren't sure if they wish to be part of a military plot. The Horizon's Key took a number of jobs and mission types, from standard cargo and trade runs to hiring itself out for passenger trips and black market dealings (such as smuggling); variety is a key word for this ship and she follows the whims of her commander.
By no means is a character bound to this ship once they join. If a player wished to be a part of the crew, they could do so, but they also could get off at any of Horizon's Key's stops. This was good for new players, too, because they could be dropped off at any interesting plotship or planet once they have a feel for the RP and have decided on a home for their character. And any character was free to join the ship or hire the Key and crew for a job (but Gem reserves the right to refuse service to anyone).
Purchased on half-down, half-credit from NovaCorp by Keira "Gem" Tabier in YE 30, the Traveler-class transport was named “Horizon's Key” because the vessel would be her means to unlocking what lay beyond where earth met sky, an escape to open space.
The Horizon's Key was a standard-configuration Traveler-class with armor additions included with the purchase. The following alterations have also been made either at the factory at Commander Tabier's request, or by the commander herself after the purchase.
Armor plating is Durandium (DR 5) on all module sections.
Being a cargo vessel, and since Gem would prefer to avoid being shot at, the weapon complement has been reduced from four GPCs and twelve HEX turrets to two GPCs and five HEX turrets. The others were sold back to NovaCorp to aid in paying for the Durandium armor plates. One general omni-directional launcher assembly was purchased and mounted onto Hardpoint 16 (HP-16), intended for launching beacons and sensors.
The captain's suite was stripped down, as was the wardroom. Most of the furnishings from these rooms and others were sold and a few essential items replaced with low-cost ones.
The Horizon's Key was purchased with a single Jilanth-class shuttle.
Most positions were able to be done by at least two crew members, depending on skill sets. If a character was specialized, basic cross-training may have been given.
Gem left Nepleslia before the Yamataian blockade and has been staying on the ship she was raised on while visiting her mother, who has also been staying there since Kennewes is still in a state of upheaval. After a few weeks, Gem sent a message to Nepleslia asking a friend to meet her at NovaCorp, and was dropped off at the company facility about a day later. She subsequently purchased the Horizon's Key and moved onto the ship, but stayed in orbit of Kohana for a little while waiting for a friend to get back to her. After trading messages, she took the Key to Pisces Station at Albini to meet with another old friend who had offered to help her sell off some of the extra stuff that had come with the ship, as well as search for a crew and load up on supplies.
Once underway, Gem's first mission will be exploration and picking up options for a potential trade route. The first stop is one of curiosity: an almost unknown planet labled “Damasica (Neo Kohana)” on the starmaps with a note of “primitive people”. Maybe they would be interested in items from offworld.
The Key arrived at Imhotep Station in orbit of New Kohana and were greeted warmly. Amid a few false starts and a bit of personality conflict, Gem was offered a mission by the station administrator: Find the supplies for the Station that had gone missing. The station normally received shipments from the surface, but lately the shipments had not even made it to the launch site. After a bit of 'haggling', Gem accepted the assignment. Meanwhile, her crew had found new friends among those who had formed the welcome committee. Both Eliot and Nicholai were presented gifts; a set of Kohanian-made armor and a map among them.
The Horizon's Key made landfall as soon as dark arrived. After spending the night with an odd old feline Kohanian, the crew was woken the next morning by a party that introduced themselves as guides. One of them, Total Eclipse, seemed to know more than the other two about what was going on.
Leaving New Kohana, Gem will be heading north back toward Nepleslia, angling toward Nepleslia Prime if the blockade is still in place. Picking up supplies and exploring job options, the Horizon's Key will then brush through the edge of Freespacer territory, another curiosity stop. Finally, Gem will head north-west on a tip that an inhabited planet lies that direction. After that, she will probably have decided on a route by then and have a good feel for her ship and crew.