Kazellis Corporation developed the Kazellis Light Freighter and built the unit known as Longrunner with improved hyperdrive capabilities, intent on using her for runs to remote locations in the Kathol sector. Duan Zorn was assigned to be the captain of the Longrunner, working for the corporation.
Kazellis Corporation then suffered from a bankruptcy, a nationalization and then an absolute dissolution. Zorn decided to steal the Longrunner and work as an independent trader, not on Kathol but on the Kira sector.
Fearing that someone could take over his ship, Zorn used a great percentage of his money to buy and install a hidden slave circuit in the environmental control subsystems. This would allow Zorn to control the ship even if he was 100 kilometers away from her.
Zorn was not as good a freetrader as an employee: On Nigel III, Zorn was unable to pay the docking fee or to stop local port authorities from impounding the Longrunner. When the ship was discovered to be a stolen property, Zorn was sent to jail. Nigel III attempted to return the Longrunner to her rightful owner and, when this proved impossible, auctioned the ship.
Zorn left jail some time later. At that point, he yearned to recover the Longrunner, and the slave circuit could be the key to it.