The Eureka Maru, or simply known as the Maru, is a cargo ship that is currently owned by Beka Valentine. The ship was built and handed down to her by her father, who was a Flash addict and salvage pilot. It played an instrumental part in resurrecting the Systems Commonwealth, as it pulled out the Andromeda Ascendant from a black hole and freed its captain. The crew of the Maru later became part of the Andromeda's crew.
The Maru was built in a joint effort by Ignatius Valentine and his friend Sid Barry. They both complemented each other in the designing and building of the Maru, as Ignatius Valentine built the crew amenities and other similar systems, while Sid Barry built the more technical systems, such as the engines and control systems. Sid left its crew when Beka was a child, after a fight with Ignatius. Beka has spent most of her life on the Maru, and it has been implied that she was born and lost her virginity on board. Thus she is very protective of the Maru and would never allow it to be destroyed; she also hates it when people insult the ship, including Dylan Hunt's frequent use of the term "bucket of bolts".
Beka Valentine and her crew often used the ship to make risky and illegal cargo runs, before rescuing Dylan Hunt from a Black Hole and joining his crew. Dylan states that Beka was captain of the Maru for 10 years, meaning she received official command of the ship from her father in CY 10077; and Seamus Harper states that possession of the Maru fell to Beka in CY 10081, the year her father died. ("Lost in a Space that Isn't There", "D Minus Zero")
Beka's original crew was composed solely of herself and her boyfriend Bobby Jensen; they later broke up and he was replaced by Seamus Harper as the ship's engineer, after Seamus was hired by Bobby for a one-time deal on Earth. ("Be All My Sins Remembered")
Rev Bem joined shortly after this and then another crew member named Fred Vexpag was hired; however, Vexpag died when his environmental suit ripped. He was replaced by Trance Gemini shortly before they found the Andromeda Ascendant and pulled it out of the black hole (they were hired by a Nightsider named Gerentex to salvage the Andromeda Ascendant). Since its crew joined Andromeda, the Maru has traditionally been kept in Andromeda's shuttle bays, being used when the crew need to carry out scouting missions or sneak-attacks due to its smaller size. However, it is also used for missions that need to be under the radar because of its unobtrusive profile. Normally it is taken out by Beka during these missions, although Dylan and other crew members have been known to pilot the ship on occasion.
The Maru has also been invaluable to the Andromeda Ascendant, because the Maru is a separate ship with systems that are independent from Andromeda Ascendant Artificial Intelligence. This has been very useful in situations where a quarantine is needed, as crew members such as Seamus Harper need to be quarantined because of compromised immune systems, or when an independent operating system is needed to make repairs or control the Andromeda when she is incapacitated in one way or another.
The Maru is about 42 metres in length, judged by the scale of people against it as seen in episode 8 of series 5. It weighs approximately 12,000 tonnes. She is slipstream-capable cargo ship and is armed with lasers, missiles, and occasionally mines that Andromeda installed, and has a three engine thrust system. The ship runs on hydrogen and Antiprotons. The hydrogen combines with the Antiproton in controlled reactions to create antimatter/matter reactions, and then makes several hundred megawatts. Most of the power is used to power the GFG (gravity field generator), which reduces the effective mass of the Maru to a kilogram. The remaining power is used to accelerate more hydrogen in a dozen MagnetoplasmaDynamic Drives, which creates the thrust of a half million newtons.
As of "Waking The Tyrant's Device", Seamus Harper retrofits the Maru so it is capable of detaching its forward cockpit section into a small craft.
The internal layout of the Eureka Maru is spartan and is often dotted with open access panels and exposed wires, because the Maru is often damaged and repairs cannot be initiated fast enough to fix them all. There is a network or corridors running along the length of the Maru, and there are 3 levels of corridors in the ship, with the topmost and bottommost corridors being small and narrow, and primarily used to repair and access the outer parts of the ship. They also allow for some airlocks, cargo bays, and essential parts of the ship to be reached.
The engine room of the Maru is situated directly between the 2 lower engines, and above the third engine. It has several access panels and control panels that are used to repair and manipulate the engines when the need arises, which is often. A single catwalk runs down the length of the engine room, and runs off the floor through the room.
The Maru is not a luxury liner, and as such does not have dedicated crew facilities. Because the Maru is usually used for trips that last on average for only a few days or less, and because the crew size is usually small, its crew facilities are not extensive.
The Maru has a bunk bed and several hammocks, which are used by the crew, primarily Beka Valentine and Seamus Harper. The ship has a kitchen and living area, of which the latter is not used often. The kitchen has a basic food unit, with stores that can last up to 5 months, and also has a water purification and recycler unit that can create drinkable water for 6 months. It is usually stocked with Sparky Cola, a favorite drink of the crew, and when the ship is in port and can get it, fresh food. The living area has a table, several lockers, and several niches set into the wall that the crew uses to set up hammocks and other bedding supplies. The living area also has a table and several benches and chairs that are used during meetings that the crew and passengers have while on a trip or mission.
The Eureka Maru has a large rectangular cargo pod that sits on the top of the ship. It is connected by metal struts and is held by magnetic locks, and can be made to be airtight. The cargo pod is very large, and is almost as long as the Maru, but is only about a third the height of the Maru itself. The pod has large doors that open on the top, they are used to deploy mines, dump cargo, or receive slipfighters. The pod can be detached, has 2 airlocks, and can comfortably hold 2 Slipfighters.
- Beka Valentine
- Bobby Jensen
- Ignatius Valentine
- Rev Bem
- Seamus Harper
- Sid Barry
- Trance Gemini
- Fred Vexpag
- Henry Theocrattus Wezlow
- Eureka refers to a sudden and unexpected discovery.
- Maru is a common suffix for the names of Japanese ships.
- At least one of the authorization codes for overriding ship safety protocols is "Shut up and do what I tell you", keyed to Beka's voice. ("Una Salus Victus")