It had been some months now since he had travelled to night. He remembered when night travelled to him but that had been a different era and a different planet. Now, it was time for him to renew so he took the journey to the dark side of the planet.
Before the dreaming set in, in that vague moment between wakefulness and sleep, he remembered when fate changed. He recalled himself then, neither too old nor too young. Then he could never have contemplated how two unrelated stories would bring him to this place. He thought he read one story in the newspaper and perhaps the other he heard on the radio. Neither seemed meaningful at the time. Now, oh now, they were the only reason he, and the others, were here.
They had discovered the answer even as the old planet had begun to die. Not a great answer, of course, but just enough, at least for him. He wondered if the two groups of scientists had ever met each other or knew what the other was doing. He doubted it. He half smiled to himself for he remembered the first story was something about finding the aging gene in earthworms. And the other had got a little attention, about a planet an impossible 26 light years away.
They left earth even as the polar ice caps were melting and with a few earthworms. The ancient physicist was right, the speed of light was an absolute – but even great distances can be travelled with limitless time. Tomorrow he would celebrate his 469th birthday in this alien world.
And here is Cliff’s fabulous contribution to my story