She floated in the cockpit, unconscious and unaware of her impending fate. Just beyond the thick window of her spacecraft, hot matter, super heated gas and liquid rock, rushed passed in an eternal race against the strongest force in the universe. They, spacecraft and its unlucky astronaut, were caught in the innermost edge of an accretion disk.

A black hole cannot be seen. That is one of its defining characteristics. Only the white hot glow of matter, the twisting drag of space and time, give them away. A black hole has no feeling, cannot sense the anguish of living creatures caught in its pull. A black hole can only feed and feed and feed.

The astronaut woke. She floated among debris and the corpse of her fellow star sailor. His blood orbited him, a glittering halo of frozen life. Her breath caught, suffocated her. She struggled to right herself, only just noticing the many alarms vying for her attention. A quick prayer was said through gritted teeth as she hopelessly grappled with the controls. Thoughts of the state of her dead companion’s soul, whether such a metaphysical substance could escape the grip of a ravenous black hole, consumed her and made her clumsy, even as she relaxed her grip and allowed herself to float once more.

She would not escape the disk, and, resigned fully to her fate, met the unblinking gaze of her destruction without fear.

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