It had been years since they had last seen any kind of ship.
Many centuries ago, they came to this island. As far as the eye could see, in any direction, there was water. They went deep into the island’s mountains, and there, in the darkness, they build their “machine”. In the years to follow, no one came to the island.
Sentries posted all about the island witnessed many wonders. Sailing ships and, much later, steam ships would appear on the horizon. But within hours, sometimes minutes, the ships would be caught in high waves, thrown off course, and then sink to the ocean floor.
Years later, ships appeared again; this time, in the air. However, they did meet the same fate. Engines would stall, causing the airplanes to plummet to the sea below. Sometimes, the air ships would sway or spin before their final decent, as if their navigation systems had failed.
In all this time, only one thing remained in their minds: maintain the “machine”. Keep it fed; keep it alive. As the old died and the young grew wiser, the “machine” remained the focus. It was tradition, a part of their daily life.
But today, everything changed.