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Forging Freedom (A Short Story Based on the Planet Terra Series, Coming 2025)

By Eirian Naomi Omid

Roger Josephs and Stormy Shadows were involved in a long and tumultuous affair the day of the presentation. Thor didn't have any idea that Stormy was caught up in the Rainbow Clan, and they didn't see any reason to change that. Sure, things were getting a bit odd again, what with the return landing of the Spheres, but they ad no real reason to believe that their lives needed to change. Plus, up to this point, they'd had a strange, loathsome relationship where they flirted with each other by aggressively putting each other down, which resulted in headier, more dramatic blow-outs when they fought. It had all stemmed from Roger's initial dislike of the Clan of Night, which Stormy somehow caught wind of and ingested as a challenge despite being mostly devoted to Thor. Something about Roger had pulled on her. She was magnetized by him. So she had begun to hang around the Rainbow Clan for various reasons and eventually the sexual tension snapped.


But, they still fought constantly, so they had never really wanted anything other than the torrid, lusty relationship that they had now.


Yet, that day that they gathered in the center of the complex to listen to an important speech completely changed everything, in more ways than one. They were going to learn how they could protect their beautiful planet and scarce species from the Sulphae who had returned to replenish their food stores, which consisted of... them.


Roger spotted Stormy and Thor melding into the crowd and headed the other direction. It was always better if they didn't see each other outside of their relationship.

Once the crowd had settled, the township's co-founder and all of Westoria's mentor in one way or another, Pax, stood behind the podium in front of them.


“Today, we are at a crossroads,” he began, “we have overcome so much over the past few years, but the rollercoaster ride isn't over yet. Just over a week ago, five SphereSoilders attempted to attack one of the bungalows past Westoria proper. And thankfully, for the residents inside of that bungalow, one of the people inside has unlocked unbelievable power. With proper training and motivation, anyone can tap into it. She single-handedly evaporated all five SphereSoilders without them even knowing that she had them in her sites. So, without further ado, we'd like to show you what she's discovered, with the intention to inspire, and recruit you. We are capable of anything. This is our planet, and we have the powers to get that message across. But you've got to see it, to believe it.”


Pax stepped away, and a lovely girl with fair skin, indigo eyes, and bluey-silver hair that cascaded around her face in precise ringlets came forward, taking Pax's place.


The crowd quietly waited for her to speak. But she just... closed her eyes.

Roger watched as the fair maiden paused for the longest moment, and he pondered why exactly they were there.


Suddenly, the entire crowd gasped in awe-stricken unison as the girl began to rise from the ground. Levitating in front of them. But the crowd still didn't see how this was going to help them defeat their alien oppressors. There was another pause, as if to build anticipation. Then, unexpectedly, she lifted her arms and brought her hands in front of her chest, forming a triangle with her thumbs and forefingers. A hush settled over the crowd. Suddenly, a beam of light shot from her palms, lighting a torch in the back of the crowd that no one realized was there. As she hovered, the blue-haired girl continued to light the hidden torches by separating the triangle into two halves, causing the ray to split into two beams, and then delicately sweeping her arms out to the sides in a fluid motion, eliciting a whooping roar from the crowd.


Once the final torches were lit, the girl cut off the rays and began floating back to the ground.


Another man rushed up to the podium and cheered, “You can ignite the light that is inside of YOU! All you need is PROPER TRAINING! WHO'S WITH US?!”


At first, the response merely sounded like a jumbled cacophony of victory cries. But as one cry in particular rippled out and took over the crowd, they began chanting the most bizarre and profound thing, and soon, the whole collective was booming what one person had sparked.

One single person had ignited a wildfire of hope, encouragement, power, and determination that was now ablaze with such ferocity that the girl above them could feel the heat from the power of these words being chanted in unison by thousands of people; Terrans from Valley Front, refugees, purged Unpluggeds, all chanted in unison:


“The people, ignited, will never be divided! The people, ignited, will never be divided!”


Roger snaked through the massive crowd as he chanted, taking the risk to look for Stormy. Even if they couldn't talk now, he at least wanted to be near her.


The girl landed on the platform behind the podium and held onto it with both hands. The audience assumed it was for dramatic effect, but in reality, it was because she was in poor health and the display had her fading fast. She needed to make a statement and get out of there before she passed out in front of them. A hush fell over the crowd as she began to speak.


“This simple complexity that we have discovered is very easy to learn, but does take time and dedication. We recommend signing up for our extensive training if this is something that interests you. Pax will be coordinating classes, so see him to get your spot.


“Until next time, keep calm and remember, you carry your light inside!


The blue-haired vixen and the other man casually disappeared from the scene as Pax returned to the podium to attempt to regain control over the crowd.


Stormy gasped when she saw the firey-orange head of hair nearing their perimeter. Thor had always been nice to her, but she just didn't feel right about him anymore. She had made him feel safe in all the wrong ways. Without any further thought on the matter, she turned to Thor and barked, “I don't feel right about this anymore! We can't keep wasting each other's time! It's over.”


“What?” Thor replied, dumbfounded, and completely blindsided.


Stormy swept a nostalgic tear from her eye. “You've always had my back, and kept me safe, but you're like my brother and I can't keep pretending that I love you in any way other than that. I'm sorry.”




Stormy vanished into the crowd, leaving Thor with a lot of questions and no real way to answer them. But the truth was, it had been a different time when they had gotten together. They had thought that they would be lucky to have more than five years together on the planet after graduating from the graduation house. Things changed when they left the sphere, got on that bus, learned the truths about their reality, experienced a profound reprogramming. She didn't owe him any explanations. The one that she'd given him was enough.



Roger was getting to the point where he felt like he would never find his sliver haired goddess, when someone grabbed his hand. He looked down and was greeted by her lovely steely-blue irises and brilliant smile.


He made her giddy. She knew that now.


“Hi,” he ventured.




“What are you doing?”


“Changing my life!”


Roger beamed at her, realizing that their fights had likely been rooted in the lack of commitment they'd had until right then. “ I want to start mining!” He replied, “learn how to blast holes in the ground instead of using traditional methods.”


Stormy beamed. She'd had no idea what to expect when she had found him in the crowd, but she was thrilled that he had a purpose, so she unquestioningly responded with, “Okay. Let's sign up for classes.”



The waiting was forever, but not intolerable by any means. Stormy loved listening to Roger go on and on and on about mining and what he could use to forge with, as well as the mineral composites that contain pigment and all of the things he could do with this powerful tool to enhance their society.


Stormy was in awe. Thor'd never had that kind of conviction about anything. It had been Raven and Loki who'd freed them from their sphere. Thor had always just been along for the ride. And though she admitted to herself that she no longer needed to compare the two, she relished in the glow of certainty that she had made the right choice the entire time they were waiting in line.



They had somehow been able to sign up for two, two-hour blocks of training a week. It seemed that, despite the genuine chant at the rally, not everyone was ready to make a large commitment. Pax was delighted that Stormy and Roger were already so dedicated and not footing around by asking for thirty or even fifteen minute sessions. He was more than happy to spend the time with them because it also cut down the amount of weeks they would be training, allowing new students to sign up sooner.

They would begin training the following day.



Breathe in.


Close your eyes and find the calm emptiness within you.


Then, find your light.


Focus on your light. Focus on building your light. Focus on letting your light accumulate until it is large enough to shape and persuade. Breathe in.


Let the light know what you need it to do.

Breathe out.



They caught on rather quickly, only training wit Pax for four weeks before “graduating” and doing a demonstration in front of the community to encourage other sign-ups. To Pax's relief, no one really took into consideration that, just like Petunia (the blue-haired girl from the first demo), Roger, and Stormy had a slight genetic “advantage” at unlocking this talent, indicated by their naturally unnaturally pigmented hair and metallic irises. They were seventy-five percent Terran, and twenty-five percent Sulphaen, if anybody wanted to get technical. The result of an experiment that clearly did not end up going in the Sulphaen's favor. But having anyone succeed at this exercise made everyone believe that they could too; and if they couldn't before, their bodies changed on a genetically molecular level so that they could – all from viewing multiple demonstrations. They were keeping the explanation for their demonstrators' mutations under raps for the greater good.


And besides, as soon as the demo was complete, Roger and Stormy packed up their lives and went into the hills and mountains that surrounded Westoria. Tales of abandoned mines and lost treasures had circulated through Valley Front for long enough that they had trickled into their community, and made a lasting impression.


Those who learned of Stormy and Roger's plans commended them for being brave souls. Not only were they putting themselves at risk to run into whatever was hiding in the mountains, they were also giving the SphereSoilders an extra opportunity to find them. But, they were determined. Now, more than ever, they felt that it was important to start forging weapons. Not everybody was going to be as quick at learning these newfound powers as they were, and when the time came and they went into battle everyone deserved a reliable weapon. Everyone.


So, they meandered off into the hills, carrying ample food stores, to find precious ore out of which they would craft swords, dirks, shields, and arrows. Everyone deserved a weapon, big, small, young, elderly, they all deserved something that was absolutely perfect for their size and strength.

Somehow, it wasn't long before they found the abandoned mine. Filled with a conflicting hopeful anxiety, the two began to descend. It was dark, cold, and damp, and they were in heaven. After lighting a few torches, they set to work, sending out small orbs of energy to break apart rocks.

Their packs filled up rather quickly, and it wasn't long before they realized that they would have to leave and come back. Initially, they assumed they'd be camping out for a few days, but it turned out that they had committed to miles of hiking over the next few days, or... weeks. But they loved it. Without ever having the thought about it before, they knew that this was exactly what they wanted to be doing with their lives.


At the end of each day, they were too exhausted to think and gratefully collapsed into each other's arms every night after a homecoming meal.

Growing up in the sphere they never imagined that their lives could be like this. Truly rewarding. Building a strong relationship with Mother Earth and planning to do something great. It seemed like such an overwhelming task, but they were bound and determined to complete it.

They carried on like this for an entire season. The entire summer flew by in an underground haze of flying rubble and shiny finds. The deeper they ventured, the more valuable the finds, and soon, they had an arsenal of gems to create enchanted weaponry and armor.

It was surreal coming home and spending an entire season indoors after that, but the had to keep moving forward. They built furnaces and began smelting ore and forging tools in the fall. Soon, they hired a carpenter to expand their bungalow to accommodate a shop, and they quickly became the town blacksmith, creating a job before the need was realized and quickly slipping into profitable business mode as the town realized that war was approaching.


On the weekends, Stormy and Roger would go back out, mining new spots, returning home laden with ores and precious gems. The mountains near Westoria were very giving, and Stormy and Roger were ready to receive.


They had never been greedy with what they wanted and always had the community in their hearts, so the mountains were more than happy to oblige them with more than what they could take home, every time.


Suddenly, Roger was proficient at forging weaponry while Stormy focused on armor. She loved bending and plying metal so that it perfectly aligned with the very individual contours of every body while Roger pounded a beat on cooling metals of all varieties to give new weapons and tools a sharp, even edge. Sending each finished product home was a prideful, bittersweet moment every time, for both of them.


It wasn't long before other Westorians became interested in what they were doing, an wanted to ledarn from them. Having more hands on deck made for a more streamlined process, so they each took on three apprentices. Once those six were completely trained and operating on the level of their teachers, they would each get three apprentices of their own. They had preemptively expanded their facility for this plan of action, and it paid off greatly. Soon, there was a total of seventeen blacksmiths in Westoria, two masters, six experts and nine journeymen.


Whether they had powers or not, all of their people would be outfitted with what they needed.



Of course, all of this progress took time. Mining and forging is not for the impatient. Years had passed. Five peaceful years of building anticipation. The Sulphaens had wanted to retain their peace treaty with the Terrans for as long as possible because they had been wandering space for eons and were besotted by the fact that they had needed to return to Terra. In their defense, they were tired of being the bad guys, hopping from planet to planet in search of food. The Terrans had been supportive before, allowing them to claim some of their cities to breed livestock in order to get back on their feet and settle down on Aries, but this unprecedented return visit had stirred up old resentments. The Sulphaens had oppressed the Terrans for decades without their knowing and then started breeding them in strange, self-contained communities that mimicked the society they had built before they unveiled the spheres to keep their livestock unaware of their reality, after-all.


Now, the Terrans were ready.



Pax prepared another speech. This was his baby. He never would have imagined all of the things that would have resulted from that video that Bernie helped him upload to the sphere servers all those years ago. He freed an entire generation of people from their alien captors, both intentionally and unintentionally, helped that generation build their own community and thrive, and now, he was going to pump them up to go into battle against their oppressors to protect what was rightfully theirs.



Gathered in the complex, wearing their armor and idly wielding their weapons, the entire population of the Meadow Valley Compound waited. Some, using berry-based dyes to paint their faces with intricate patterns, while others used pigmented paste to draw sturdy lines on their cheekbones and the rest hopped up and down, some even slapping or pounding on their armor to elevate their adrenaline levels. It wasn't going to be easy. The Sulphaens had always been far more technologically advanced than the Terrans. But in their hearts and souls, they knew that it would be worth it. Because fighting for the one thing that you hold to be true in your heart is one of the most rewarding things that a being can accomplish in life. As they waited to hear this man speak, the man who had inherited the heritage of the Meadow Valley Compound by marrying the daughter of the man who had bought the land with a few of his friends because he listened to his gut back in the day when things started getting shifty, they knew that they were ready.

A hush blanketed the complex like a soft, thick layer of snow as Pax took his place behind the podium. This moment was bigger than all of them. They were one.

He took a deep breath as he addressed his audience. He had done this countless times at this point, but it still put a bit of a lump in his throat when he looked up and saw the entire population of Valley Front and Westoria gathered in one place. His life was unbelievable at times.


“Meadow Valley,” he began, “It has been five years since we watched those intrusive blue spheres descend upon our planet and we received their message stating that we were giving them refuge. FIVE years. And we have been fortunate enough that they haven't attacked since losing those five SphereSoilders five years ago. However, it would be ignorant to believe that they haven't been training as we have. We don't know what their health is like. But it is better to go in expecting the worst than not having a plan. But boy do we have a plan.


“I am so, indescribably proud of all of you for coming this far and being brave in the face of adversity. An extraordinary amount of you have mastered the new skill set that we uncovered half a decade ago, and I never would have expected all of you to want to fight. It is clear that your victory cry of, 'The people, ignited, will never be divided,' is a divine truth. And out of that divine truth we have grown and advanced as a community. Two very special people took their new talents to work and created an entirely new industry here in the Compound and now we have a total of seventeen blacksmiths among us! Give them a cheer. We couldn't have done this without them.”


The crowd took the moment to indulge in the invitation and the entire compound broke out into a rowdy victory cheer, whooping, whistling, clapping, and stomping their feet for what Stormy and Roger had accomplished together. The two were standing towards the middle of the front of the crowd, holding hands with their fingers interlaced and delighting in the fact that they had managed to build a legacy, together.


Pax waited patiently for the well-deserved applause to die down before continuing, now fueled with an extreme energy that he didn't realize existed. “And now!” He hollered, “We are MORE than well equipped for the battle at hand. I highly doubt the Sulphaens have any idea what we've been up to. We haven't heard from them in years. So now, the free ride is up. The time has come! Let us ride to stake claim on what is RIGHTFULLY OURS! THIS PLANET!


I love hearing from you, Goddess.

Drop a comment below!

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