|Fenspace Infinities material. Fenspace Infnities material hasn't "happened" by the current timeline, though it's already been referenced in future-history or alt-history Fenspace stories and discussion. Here there be dragons of questionable canonicity, you have been warned. --The Mgt|
Melchizedek crew assignment patch.
|Base Hull||OV-200 series Space Shuttle|
|Drive Type||x3 ion drives|
|Armament||2 x Door mounted light machine guns |
|Primary Manufacturer||Hephaestus Mining and Metalworking, Unltd. (licensee)|
|Owner||PKGS Transport Service|
|Flag of Record||Grunthal, Noctis Labyrinthus, Mars|
|Launched||15 April 2016|
|Primary Crew||Captain: Jake Sullenberger|
|Other Crew||Mel (Shipmind AI)|
OV-213 was ordered in October 2014, and given the name Melchizedek at launch. This was quickly contracted to simply Mel. Her original purpose was as a general utility craft, with the payload bay capable of being quickly configured for anything from a simple supply run, to ferrying passengers, to transporting a full Gruppe of Kunstler and their equipment on a mission. Mel has found herself being used on combat missions, mostly in situations where the Destiny Nova was either unnecessary or inappropriate... something which a few have frowned upon.
Mel has also found herself being regularly chartered out to anyone in need of a transport craft, and specialises in providing a secure cargo transport service. Two kunstler accompany the cargo, ensuring that anyone attempting to attack the craft will get a nasty surprise. Naturally, they charge handsomely for the service.
Mel herself is the thirteenth OV-200 shuttle to be constructed, and can be something of a teenager in mindset. She occasionally feels that her elder sisters look down on her for not being as much of an explorer like they are, but has also loudly complained that exploration is 'boring' anyway. Her crew agree she's just trying to differentiate herself from her sisters and find her own identity.
Tellingly, on her first true exploration mission to the Rigil Kentaurus system, she had a great time, discovering a rogue Jupiter-scale planet which had been captured by the sun's gravity. The planet was given the provisional name Nostromo by the expedition.
Privately, Mel enjoys the variety in her life when compared to most other shuttles, and likes to brag to the others about her exploits. She has a youthful vigour to her, which is reflected in her taste for heavy metal music.
Mel has been lightly modified compared to the standard orbiter. After being torn off in an accident, her OMS engines were replaced with Roughrider-designed Hurricane fusion torches and a high-power radio antenna was fitted alongside the replacement horizontal stabiliser. This makes Mel slightly heavier than her sisters, slightly faster and with a slightly higher payload capacity. Mel also tends to be a little dirtier, having a more 'used' appearance than her sisters, Martian storms always leave her lightly coated with rusty dust. She sees herself as a Martian shuttle, and this is reflected in her Crew assignment patch.
After her Rigil Kentaurus mission, the secure transport service had gone from being something done to full the shuttle's downtime, to a full-time job. Because of this, the Panzer Kunst Gruppe Secure Transport Service (PKGS for short) was incorporated as a wholly owned subsidiary of the Panzer Kunst Gruppe. The new company was incorporated with its head office in a container just outside Shannon Airport in the Republic of Ireland, to take advantage of favourable laws regarding taxation and transfer pricing and to gain easier access to the erdeside market.
Her crew, along with Mel herself, are listed as the company's board of directors and enjoy a surprising amount of autonomy in running the company's affairs, though the requirements of the Gruppe occasionally take precedence over commercial needs.
- Good Morning Starshine II: The Class Quirk for this model ship. Similar to the class quirk displayed by the Three Graces, the OV-200 Orbiters need music played at the beginning of each workday in order to function at peak efficiency. Unlike the Graces, the same song can be reused (no more than three times in a row per any given month), but each Orbiter needs a distinct genre of music played for the best possible effect. Melchizedek likes classic metal.
- Pirate Radio: The ship's AI, Mel ... is something of a metalhead, and is most decidedly un-gracelike - she tends to come across as something of a rebellious teenager compared to her more sober and graceful sisters. In their downtime, Mel and her usual crew operate the radio station Radio Kaos from a Mars orbit. It's popular enough, with an eclectic mix of classic rock, metal and a few other genres depending on the taste of her current crew. They also air some current affairs, and they're the only place in Fenspace that carries motorball results.
- I work for a living Unlike her sisters who live their lives cosseted at a station or asteroid base, Mel is based on the Martian surface and regularly makes surface-orbit-surface runs from Earth. Not to mention the occasion bout of getting shot at and maintenence governed as much by practicality rather than being absolutely boilerplate about it. This takes its toll on her spaceframe and systems - Mel was the first orbiter to be required resleeve to a new spaceframe after less than 6 years of service. 
- Mel was paid for using money the Panzer Kunst received for their consultation on James Cameron's Battle Angel project. Cameron also chartered Mel for a trip to Rigil Kentaurus where he filmed a documentary The search for the real Pandora. Another such mission to Sirius is in the planning stage.
- The motto on Mel's dedication plaque reads "Righteousness alone is my King"... an English language translation of her name.
- Mel gets on unusually well with Mayonaka and the other Blackbirds. The result has been described as a V10 Dodge Ram truck playing with a flock of SRT-10's.
- Mel has been selected for the Vulkan heavy-lift system test flight, to be launched in May 2017, as part of the Sirius mission.
Mel appears in the following stories:
- Installed solely so the crew could produce a genuine Space Shuttle Door-Gunner shoulder patch
- A former Quantas pilot
- A former NASA astronaut
- An android based off the character of the same name from Outlaw Star
- Hiring two qualified Kunstler to serve as security is surprisingly expensive
- To the point where the 213 spaceframe has become a flying laboratory to predict the expected wear on her sisters, up to 30 years down the line