Planet Earth Protectors, The River's End

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59 DARK PLACES

The PEP Task Force Unit, strategically situated around the metal building, had the place surrounded. Some crouched in the tall grass, some blended in with the muddy field, and some had already flanked the building.

Ian’s voice broadcast to each TFU member, “I’m going 10 miles an hour, and I’m halfway up the driveway. The floodlights are all over me — so, they’re watching me. Make contact once Teplan and Terah are located. Good luck. Over.”

“Check. Will make contact when targets are located.”

Inside the big metal building, security guards in black jumpsuits rushed to the doors and windows to prepare for the unknown truck rolling up the driveway out front.

Teplan and Terah were rushed down the hallway. Although they were blindfolded, Teplan’s had slipped a little, allowing him to see out the corner of one eye. Equally spaced ceiling lights passed above them like chevrons on the road. A radio crackled on, “Double time with those two kids — we have company. Over.” The bouncing soon stopped and keys jiggled.

Where are they putting us? Wondered Teplan.

The security guards opened a door and threw Teplan and Terah in, “Stay there and shut up!” The door slammed shut. After the guard locked the door from the outside, the footfalls quickly faded down the hall.

“We have to get out of here,” Teplan said wriggling his face and body, trying to get the blindfold off.

Terah struggled against the ropes, trying to free her hands. “I think I can get out of this,” she mumbled and pulled her hands loose from the ropes.

“Wow, good job, Terah!” Teplan said, as she undid the ropes around his wrists.

Ian drove slowly on his approach to the large metal barn. He pressed a number of buttons on his steering wheel. He rolled to a stop near the front of the building and before him laid a long, gravel driveway bearing large tire tracks. Well, at least they know I’m here.

Suddenly, two doors swung open and eight big men in black jumpsuits stormed out. Ian looked in his rearview mirror and saw three more black jumpsuits approach his truck. He locked the doors and took a slow, deep breath. Teplan and Terah popped into his head. He flipped open the cover of a switch on the dashboard and hovered over it. The last time this button came in handy was years ago while he was in the woods, investigating damage done to a forest that had been clear-cut. Out of nowhere, a huge grizzly bear appeared about 30 feet away from where he was and stood on his hind legs. Ian quickly got into his truck and pressed the button, which releases a disgusting smell. The smell was so awful that the bear fled immediately. Ian waited for the jumpsuits to get closer, hoping for the same effect.

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