The Curious Voyage of the Maria Theresa

Perhaps the greatest galactic mystery is that of the Maria Theresa.

One of the legendary Imperial Starcruisers, the Maria Theresa was a passenger-and-cargo liner of unprecendented luxury. At an overall length of 8,000 meters and a width of nearly 500, the Starcruiser was a spaceborne city that could carry well over a million passengers. Each of the 25 Starcruisers endlessly plied the circumference of the Galaxy, making stops at each of the Provincial Capitals and completing a circuit in 11 days.

In TE 233, during a maintenance layover at the Tep Kecor shipyards, the presumed-empty Maria Theresa fired up her engines and, eluding pursuit, entered tachyon phase and was never seen or heard from again.

Lost along with the Starcruiser were her full complement of ancillary craft, including five fifty-meter liners, five twenty-meter cargo carriers, and one hundred ten-person escape boats. The liners and cargo carriers, respectable starships themselves, had FTL capability and limited weapons.

In TE 243, the Maria Theresa was replaced by a newly-constructed sister ship, the Maj Thovold.

Theories of the Maria Theresa’s fate include human or nonhuman pirates, other aliens, time-travelers, and unexplained behavior by the cruiser’s onboard AI software.

Find out more at the Scattered Worlds site Digg!