Planet Earth Protectors, The River's End

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28 NOT JUST ANOTHER DAY AT THE OFFICE

Paulton’s office was not only uncluttered, it looked borderline unused. A large desktop-calendar lay in the middle of the desk with a lamp on one side and a phone on the other. Two chairs, perfectly angled to mirror each other, sat facing the front of the desk and a medium-sized filing cabinet occupied the back corner beside what looked like a closet door. Old wood paneled walls highlighted the dated décor and the 50-year old furniture.

“Although there’s not too much to touch in here, let’s be careful,” Ian said, scoping the room. “You check the desk and I’ll check the filing cabinet.”

“Look for anything — anything that might have to do with Clean Soil Certificates or pig farming or soil management… could be papers, receipts, notepads, calendars: anything. I remember we found one email that helped bring down one of the biggest water-polluters in South America last year,” Ian explained as he methodically opened the filing cabinet and began thumbing his way through the files. Marney scoured the desk.

“Hey, this is a bit weird …” Ian said and then paused. He pulled out a file and laid it on top of the cabinet. “Listen to this,” Ian said, scanning the papers. “Paulton wrote a letter here…” Ian summarized aloud: “explaining a use for the polluted soil. He says here, ’Due to high nitrogen content of concentrated pig excrement…” Both stopped in their tracks as a car’s engine quickly echoed through the building. “Shut down. Now! Everything back to where it was. Quietly!” They swiftly returned the room to its original state. Then Ian’s phone rang.

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