Something the size of a continent drifted relentlessly through the cold vacuum of space, just as it had done for centuries. The armoured hull plates were battered by hundreds of years of tiny meteor collisions, and the once proud paintwork was now a mere memory crusted in rust.
The lights from a thousand portholes pinpricked the behemoth. No-one looked out through them any more. There was no point. The view never changed from the dark blanket of the void.
Generations ago, those faces had stared out in awe, creased with hope, wide-eyed with adventure as the massive craft began its voyage towards …
… no-one quite knew where it was going.
They were just glad it was finally going there.
It had taken decades to build. Its carcass visible from the planet surface, growing slowly, inevitably towards its final shape. And from the ground, people looked up, wondering, fantasising, dreaming of where this craft would take them.
And when it was complete, they got on board.
Without a pilot.
They spent another decade arguing about where to go.
No consensus was reached.
Finally, fuelled by impatience, a mad idiot with straw for hair clambered into the cockpit and started smashing buttons with the flat of his hand, whilst saying gosh and golly, until the burners fired, and the craft lurched into motion.
Everyone cheered, drowning out the noise of the creaking hull, already rotting from underuse.
It didn’t matter.
They were finally on their way.
The mad idiot was applauded, even as he licked the walls.
Generatations passed. Families grew and died. Each new wave being taught the history of the ship – each young, fresh-face that asked ‘but where are we going?’ was smiled at with faint pity. The poor young fools, it didn’t matter where they were headed, it just mattered that they were heading there. It had to be better than what they had left behind on the planet. How could it not?
Up ahead, unbeknownst to the passengers, a black hole formed.
In a millennia it would swallow them whole and turn them into spaghetti.
And as they tipped over the edge of the event horizon, not a single soul remembered what they had left behind.