Solar Panel

The dream job – all you have to do is ace the interview.

“So, what attracted you to this role?”

“Well…” Nervousness sweated from his every pore, leaving him soaked and psychologically spiralling. He swallowed a mote of dust, coughed gently, and began. “I’d seen the job advertised, but I hadn’t realised quite how much I wanted to settle down. Y’see, I’m a traveller. I’ve been passing through places for… a long time. I’ve had other roles, of course, but nothing which tied me to one place. I’d just like, for once, to land somewhere comfortable in a job I can get my teeth into. This just seemed right – right place, right job, right time.”

“It’s great to hear that you think we’re right for you. Please, if you’d like to come with us now; we’d like to give you a tour of the facility.”

They stepped out into the light beyond the room; the breeze fanned the air over his moist skin whilst they walked into the desert outside. Minute, in the distance, was an obsidian, ovoid marble. Contrasting the flowing sand and the rippling air, it stood resolute, like a bruise on the body of a banana.

“What is that?” He asked, pointing at it.

“It is the facility,” they replied, “where we complete the job you have committed to undertaking.”

He started sweating again. “I didn’t realise you’d offered me the job yet.”

“Oh, you had been successful the moment you were called to interview. We needed to know that what you were saying was accurate. Now that we’re sure, you can get to work.”

“That’s great. The salary was undisclosed – could I ask…?”

“Of course. The initial salary is average – you will earn 32,000 credits per annum. However, you’ll also be paid in time. For every day you work for us, you will gain five on your lifespan. The facility will take care of that. You will have weekends to live some of your life, but you must otherwise remain at the facility; we will provide you with sustenance and recuperation. This salary and the conditions therein are non-negotiable.”

“What will I have to do for this? The ad said ‘admin’.”

“Do not allow the star to go out.”


“You must carefully check the star these planets orbit. You must not allow it to go nova. Others care for other stars; this one is yours. The day it goes nova is the day your employment with us ceases. We will take care of the star on your weekends and during your holidays. Should the star go nova in your absence, we will assign you another star.”

“How do I stop a star from going nova? That sounds impossible.”

“It’s just a case of monitoring and making some adjustments on the equipment we’re going to link you to. You’re from Sol 3 originally, right?”


“Bob down in ‘verse C has kept your star going for three billion years so far. He has two billion years left to go before he can retire on full annual salary for the rest of his accrued life. He will, effectively, be immortal and incomprehensibly rich – and, in the meantime, has cultivated at least four sentient species in your solar system, purely by co-ordinating the star your system orbits. You do this job well, and you could be solely responsible for the birth of dozens of civilisations.”

“Wow – um…”

“You have a question?”

“Yeah. Where do I sign?”


This work by Dav Kelly is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

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