Program Brief

The knock comes at midnight. You slide out of bed and pull on a shirt. The knock has been a long time coming, but the sound still reverberates through your head like an echoing dream.
The locks on your door snap beneath your fingertips, one after the other. Two men in suits wait patiently on your doorstep. The man on the left has thick, dark eyebrows like furry caterpillars. The man on the right stands small and plain.
"We need you," says Caterpillar. "For the Saturn Program."

You motion them inside and they each take a seat at your kitchen table. Their eyes show discomfort, like you shouldn't have a kitchen table. You shouldn't be quite so human. "There's life on Saturn," the smaller man says. "We need somebody to go there, alone, to make contact."

"Why?" A splinter from the wooden chair is pressing into the back of your knee. Saturn. Uninhabitable. What could be there?

Caterpillar clears his throat. "We can't tell you that," he says.

"It's just bacteria," interjects the smaller man.

"What will I do when I get there?"
The two men exchange a quick look. "We can't tell you that," says Caterpillar. "When you get there, you open the envelope. You do whatever it says."
They both stand up to leave. The smaller man straightens his tie. "You are the only one who can do this," he says.

Take a deep breath.
He hands you a white envelope.

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