A man was offroading in the desert.
He was driving over the dunes and past the shrubs and bushes that dotted the landscape, when a sandstorm started blowing over. He figured he’d be fine, but the sand made his engine lock up.
After it had passed, he went out in search for help. The storm disoriented him and blew away his car tracks. He figured he couldn’t be that far from any town, so he started walking.
He walked for hours. The sun started setting, and he was no closer to civilization. He couldn’t see his car anymore, and figured he’d be better off waiting till morning to continue. He found a shady spot and layed down. When he woke up he was even more disoriented. He kept going, hoping he’d find something soon.
Eventually he found himself in a large flat empty plain. He saw something in the middle of it, but he couldn’t tell what it was. He kept walking towards it until it was clear; in the middle of the desert was a large tilted pole, on top of which was a snake.
“Who are you?” he asked, examining it.
“I am Nate the snake. I am the guardian of this lever.” he replied.
So it’s a lever, he thought. He couldn’t tell if this was a hallucination. It felt real. He wasn’t dead. But more pressing, he was talking to a snake, and even worse, the snake spoke!
“You can talk!?”
“Of course I can. I was placed here eons ago to guard this lever.”
He had many questions. Who placed him there? Why? What does the lever do? How does he talk? Where am I? But all he could think of was,
“So your name is Nate?”
It has to be heatstroke, he thought. No way is a snake here talking to me! But it was, and he was healthy as a horse. A little dehydrated, but nothing fatal.
“Are you real?”
“Of course I am.” the snake replied.
“So why are you on top of this lever?”
“Well, it’s the lever that kills all of humanity. Must guard it from the wrong hands!”
“How does that work?” He asked.
“I’m not sure. All I know is that if it’s pushed, all humans will perish.” Nate the snake replied.
At this point he figured it was time to head on, he didn’t exactly have a need to kill all humans.
“Do you know where the nearest town is?”
“Of course. It’s about 10 miles that way” he said, pointing with his tail.
“Alright, well, thank you.” he said, before heading off.
Sure enough, there was a town not 10 miles from where the snake was, where he found a local tow truck rental that would allow him to rescue his car. The next morning, after sleeping at a local inn, he set off in a small tow truck to find if the snake had been real. Personally, he’d like to thank him for saving his life, as he wouldn’t have found the town otherwise.
As he summitted the last dune, he could see the snake in the distance, 10 feet away from the pillar, devouring a small animal. Just then, the sand started to give way and his tires lost all grip. He was sliding down at an alarming rate, and knew he only had time to make a split second decision, as he was aiming directly for the lever! So he ripped the wheel to the side, and with all his might, hit the gas, moving his trajectory away from the lever, but now he was aiming towards the snake! All he could think to say in this tense moment was,
“Better nate than lever!”