The creature slithered from the slime under a rock and emerged, blinking in the sun.
After nearly a century of moving from rock to rock, slipping in and out of darkness, hiding from the barbs and arrows of most of mankind, the creature was finally able to stand erect, in clear view. Hunted in modern times by the government and moralists alike, the creature had learned to survive without sunlight, sticking instead to cultural shadowlands populated by other creatures far more sinister. Now, with his rock spun away by a sea change, the creature turned this way and that, surveying the landscape he was about to openly explore for the first time. Cautiously, he moved forth across his mountainous western land.
The creature was freed by society at large in the latest phase of a decades-long Sisyphean exercise, the rock rolling back and forth, up and down the hill, alternately obscuring and revealing the creature. Catching glimpses when the light was upon the supposed beast, society ebbed and flowed in its opinions, but mostly kept the wary creature in the shadows despite his relative harmlessness.
The sludge that lingered from years under the rock began to dry upon the creature, becoming a hard, lingering crust. In this land, the creature thought, I am free. But far to the east, the potential for battle was great. More than a thousand miles away, an army was amassed, poised to crash down upon the creature and push him yet again under the rock. As the creature blinked in the sun, a crowd gathered, congratulating him on his new-found freedom. A supportive majority of the populous engulfed the creature, boosting his confidence. The rejoicing crowd lifted the creature onto its shoulders and moved out across the landscape. Now exposed to sunlight, the mantle of hardened mud began to chip and crack, revealing a gleaming smooth skin beneath.
Reaching the border of his homeland, the crowd stopped and gingerly lowered the creature to his feet. Though his bonds were cast aside in his homeland, danger lingered beyond the border. Looking far to the east, he saw dark clouds roiling, obscuring the realities of his existence in a worrisome swirl of misinformation and iron-fisted irrationality.
Meanwhile, in another land far to the north and the west, another creature, a brother to the first, had also emerged. Likewise freed from the bondage of fear and loathing, the creature was gaining strength. The populous had freed this creature as well. Similarly surrounded by supportive crowds, this creature approached his land's eastern border. He saw the threatening clouds in the distance and was saddened.
Then this second creature turned his gaze to the south, eventually locking eyes with his sibling. Saddened by the gulf between them, but encouraged by their mutual freedom, both creatures cautiously smiled. As they smiled with their eyes locked in steely resolve, something happened in the clouds to the east: A tiny break appeared, sending a thin shaft of golden sunlight to the Earth, a hint that the storm might fade.
As the brethren creatures smiled, a synergy began to develop. Their resolve combined, their energies melding despite the gulf of miles separating them. As they gathered strength, individually and in unison, the clouds to the east began to thin. Another gap opened, sending a second golden shaft to Earth. Then a third break appeared, then a fourth. The gaps got bigger, combining to form large swaths of warming sun across the land.
Though it would take time, the creatures hoped their emergence could slowly abate the roiling storm in the east. Other creatures would soon emerge, combining as the first two had done, and building upon their synergy. Hope grew that together they could eventually disperse the clouds and end the threat.
Together they would halt the storm.