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They knew it was there. Everyone did. They knew it would kill them, so no one went there. Until it looked like death was the better option.
In an alternate universe, in the center of the Yxzergxyl galaxy, on the planet of Hamsaur, there was an island populated entirely by hamsters. On that island there was a young hamster named Yanxl. Yanxl was very smart, second only to old Xzyxzy(Don't even try to pronounce the name). Like Xzyxzy, Yanxl was always curious about the cave. The only thing known about the cave were that criminals were thrown in, and they didn't come back out again.
Yanxl was going up the hill, scurrying his legs off, panting lungs out, and scraping his toenails off on the rocks.
“Xzyxzy! Xzyxzy!” he cried. “I have news! Come quickly!” Xzyxzy slowly walked out of his hut on the top of the hill.
“Slow down, Yanxl!” he called. “You look like a dead fish on a hot day!” Yanxl gave Xzyxzy his quit-comparing-me-with-a-dead-fish-you-do-that-all-the-time look and began his story.
“One of the fishermen, Gozy, said he saw boats on the horizon and was going to check it out. All we got back was a bone and a note that said we were now the slaves of the great Tyrant Rex.”
“Yes, this is very disturbing news, Yanxl.” Xzyxzy said. “We must think of a way to escape this mess.”
“I can't believe that they ate Gozy and then said that we were slaves!” Yanxl stormed. “I'm so mad I could throw your hut at their boats, so mad I could throw them back where they came from, so mad I could run Tyrant Rex through with a spear and throw him in the ocean!”
“Now Yanxl, we shouldn't get too angry, but we do need to call a town meeting.” Xzyxzy calmly walked down the hill toward the town with Yanxl following him.
By the time the town was assembled in the town square, the ships were clearly visible and drawing closer.
“Hear ye! Hear ye!” Xzyxzy announced. “Today we are gathered together to face a very grave danger. We must stop Tyrant Rex from enslaving us! What do you think we should do?”
Several suggestions were rapidly shouted out.
“Hide!” one stated.
“Attack them!” another called.
“Follow our lemming ancestors and jump off a cliff!” proposed a third.
“Go in the cave!” blurted Yanxl, almost without thinking.
There was a gasp from the crowd.
“Why do you think we will agree to this?” one asked.
“Because we have no other choice!” shouted Yanxl. “Are we going to kill ourselves by jumping off of a cliff? No! There is nowhere to hide, and if these creatures could eat Gozy, it wont do us much good to attack them!”
Slowly, the crowd began to understand Yanxl's reasoning. “Let's get the dynamite to blow the entrance closed so they can't get in!” yelled one, with much agreement. By now the ships were almost through the bay and into the main port. The citizens rushed up to the cave and began stacking the explosives. As the last explosive was stacked, an enormous roar came up from the beach and strange, lizard like creatures came rushing up at the cave. All the hamsters except Yanxl disappeared into the cave. Yanxl lit the match and stepped into the cave. Immediately he felt a tug drag him toward the back of the cave. The creatures came closer. Yanxl threw the match. It hit the fuse and slowly burned down. Just as the creatures stepped into the cave, the dynamite exploded, killing all the creatures and blocking the cave entrance.
Inside the cave nothing moved.
Yanxl was surrounded by pure white light. Suddenly it went dark and he was thrown onto a wide, empty desert with his fellow hamsters. He could feel the sand's warmth on his whiskers, see the swirling sand dunes, hear the sounds of amazement from his fellow citizens, and taste that rain was on the way. The first hamsters had landed in modern day Syria.
The meteor was coming to Hamsaur. Death was coming, but no one knew what to do. It was decided that the tomb of the great leader Rex would be opened. They only hoped it would work the same magic as it did with the hamsters so many years ago.