“Here’s the deal: one day, you’ll receive a phone call. It will be a phone call, not an email or a text message. It will come from a number you’ve never seen before and will never see again, but it won’t come up as private or unknown. We don’t expect you to pick up; rather, we hope you don’t. Let it go to voicemail.
“The message will tell you what the first step is. Just the first step. When you’ve completed it, you will be provided with the second step, and it won’t come in the same form, but it will be made obvious to you that it is the next step.
“The call may not come for years. The call may not come in your lifetime. If you have sons, it must be passed to your second son. If you have one son, you must pass these instructions to a second male child of a member of your family. If no such child exists, you must join a Big Brother program and raise a surrogate heir.
“Understand me when I say that you must do this. If you find yourself unable to commit for any reason, you must select someone under these guidelines to succeed for you. If you fail to find an heir—and I say this with regret—you and your successors will suffer, but you will never know the source of their suffering, as the people who will be watching you will be receiving very much the same instructions as these. Even I received instructions such as these, years ago, but my call came in.
“I cannot stress enough that your line has been selected with good reason, and I hope you never learn that reason, or learn the suffering that will follow if you fail to perform. If I were a religious man, I would pray for your soul; if you are a religious man, I would ask you to pray for mine.
“This is not a joke. This is not a scam. This is more than just the minor suspicion of conspiracy you find yourself wondering about at this very moment. And yes, I know you disdain conspiracies and hidden networks and suspicions of such; I know because I was once in your very shoes.
“Please, take my word for it, let it reside in your heart that this is not intended as punishment, but a chance at eternal salvation. Do what is asked of you, and I know you will be rewarded much as I have.
“I hope you never receive the call, and I bid you a good day.”
He was only one of the calls I made that day, and they were all very much the same.
My mother told me a story, a long time ago, that I must be groomed for a duty. She couldn’t tell me what that duty was, only that she feared for my soul and the strain that keeping such a secret would put on me and those I might come to love.