Solar Basement

Elara’s fingers traced the worn edges of the wallpaper as she wandered through her newly acquired Victorian home. The house, despite its eerie history, was magnificent, with arched doorways and stained glass windows. The aroma of ancient wood filled her senses.

In one of the rooms, she stumbled upon a drawer. Inside was an old photograph of townspeople, their expressions stoic. Something about the image made her heart race, but she couldn’t put her finger on it. She pocketed the photograph.

Her wanderings led her to a small door beneath the staircase. It creaked open to reveal a hidden basement. The air was dense, and the room dimly lit. Her eyes widened at what lay before her.

A vast array of ancient machinery hummed with energy. Panels and devices that looked to be a blend of technology and magic were intricately woven together. She saw something that looked a lot like a commercial LED lighting installation, except it had been intricately crafted to harness sunlight. 

Although Elara was now a bestselling author, she still recalled a thing or two from her internship at that solar energy company in her uni days, when she’d wanted to save the planet. She could tell the sunlight was being directed into what appeared to be devices that would ordinarily be used for commercial battery storage solutions. Solar symbols adorned the machines.

As she reached out to touch one of the panels, the machinery pulsed, as if alive. The entire house shook, and the basement flooded with blinding light. She could hear the townspeople outside, their voices morphing into an indistinguishable chorus.

Elara stumbled back. The machines seemed to be reaching out, tendrils of light stretching towards her. The whispers of the townspeople grew louder, echoing in her ears as if pleading for something.

With all the strength she could muster, Elara raced out of the basement, slamming the door shut behind her. Her heart was pounding in her chest. She knew she had awakened something — something that had slept for a very long time.

The house, the machinery, the townspeople; they were all pieces of a puzzle she had to solve. Clutching the photograph, she made a vow to uncover the secrets and free the town from its twisted fate.

Solar Log 005

“Max Remington, reporting one last time from Solaris. But this isn’t the usual log. No, today is different. Because today, I’m not alone. Rescue arrived yesterday, just as the sun was setting – or rather, moving out of sight, because it never really sets here on Solaris.”

“It’s been a journey, hasn’t it? One filled with despair, determination, innovation, and survival. A journey powered by the relentless rays of a foreign sun, and a journey that taught me more than any space expedition could.”

“I’ve learned about the limitless power of the sun, something we often take for granted back home. I’ve harnessed it, bent it to my will, survived off it. The experience has left me in awe of solar energy, and its potential back home in Australia. You’d be surprised how far small-scale technology certificates in Australia could go.”

“But for me, I’ll never take energy for granted again. The power that flowed from my makeshift solar panel was a lifeline, a ray of hope in the literal darkness. I think about the commercial installations back home, the silent rooftops gleaming in the sun. There’s a power there, a silent, untapped potential. Maybe we just need to get stranded on a sun-soaked planet to see it.”

“And let’s not forget the community that was with me, albeit remotely. So many people cheering for my return. As I built my solar power system, I think I could feel it. As I pondered how what I had learned might apply to getting a solar lease agreement, I felt them with me.

“Leaving Solaris behind is bittersweet. This relentless, unending desert of a planet has been my home, my challenge, and my teacher. I’ll carry these lessons with me, back to Earth, back to life. But there’s one thing I’ll certainly look forward to: a world where the sun sets, and the world gets to rest.”

“Signing off for the last time from Solaris, this is Max Remington, returning home.”