Image from A Mixed Bag 2009
Details of the challenge are here:
The Calling had them flocking to the site in their hundreds, but the capsule only had room for twelve.
No-one was sure what the selection process entailed and those chosen were smug as they boarded, their excitement palpable.
Each took a place before a viewing station, the pilot having the seat in front of The Purple Eye.
Those left behind became ant-like as the capsule rose up into the sky.
As it was swallowed into the clouds, a jet burst of flame annihilated them all, but no-one noticed, too intent were they in looking through their monitors, captivated by the wondrous images thereon of things they believed they were seeing.
Once clear of the Earth’s atmosphere, the screens became blank, the honorary passengers shaken from their trance. Curiosity rather than panic ensued.
The Purple Eye began to glow and pulsate, sending a message to the Mother Craft in orbit above the planet.
Countless similar capsules could be seen, their pulsing beams casting golden pathways to docking stations as they were drawn in.
Was this the promised rescue mission for Mankind?
Or a gathering of an experimental sample of a different race?
Either way, there was no turning back.