Planet Earth Protectors, The River's End

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“So, here’s the plan,” Teplan said without lifting his head, mixing the three ingredients in the bowl. “We’re going to bang on the door, yell for a guard and tell him that we need help right away. We’ll say you’re sick or something like that. He’ll have to unlock the door and come in and see. Then he’ll slip on this concoction that we’ll spread all over the floor. When he falls down, we’ll make a run for it and lock him in here! What do you think?”

Terah, who had never hurt a fly in her life, stared at him blankly.

“Okay, I can see you don’t like the idea,” Teplan said as he stopped mixing and looking up at her. “Terah, I know it’s not the best idea and you know I’d never want to hurt anyone either, but if we don’t get out of here, who knows what they’ll do to us? “They’ve already kidnapped us right from my own backyard,” he reminded her. “What else can we do?”

Terah went to the door and listened for any signs of movement and said, “Okay. Let’s do this and get out of here. I don’t want to find out what they might do to us.”

They spent the next few minutes hatching exacting how they were going to pull off their new plan. Terah found a brush in a closet and quickly pasted the concoction on the ground right in front of the door. Teplan positioned the rope.

“Okay, I’ll stand on this side of the door. You stand on that side and we’ll hold the rope tightly across the doorway down here,” Teplan explained, with his hands near the ground. “When he trips, we run out the door.”

Each got into position, holding the rope. About to yell for the guard, Terah waved her hand really fast at Teplan. With one finger on her pursed lips, she made a soft ‘shh’ sound and pointed to the crack at the bottom of the door where a shadow moved.

Both froze.

The doorknob turned slowly, until it clicked. The door opened about three inches. Teplan and Terah braced themselves. This was their moment to save themselves. Teplan took a slow deep breath while he stared at the light of freedom peaking through the crack of the door.

A small voice from the other side of the door chimed, “Hello?”

Neither of them moved, nor responded. Did that voice just say hello? Terah wondered. The door remained ajar for another few moments. Once again, the same voice spoke a little louder, “Hello?”

Teplan looked at Terah and they responded with their own uncertain, “Hello?”

The door opened and a young guy in a white lab coat quickly pushed his way into the room.

“Hi,” he panted. “You need help and I’m here to help. You need to trust me right now.” And with that, he slipped and crashed hard to the floor.

“Oh my gosh!” Terah exclaimed as her hands seemed to automatically grab Teplan’s arm.

Teplan lunged behind the guy on the floor and managed to grab the door just before it closed and kept it ajar.

The skinny guy in the white lab coat lying on the floor moaned as he curled himself into the fetal position.

“Are you okay?” Teplan asked.

The skinny lab coat-guy moaned a response. The white lab coat, which looked too big for him seemed to cling to the mayo, margarine, and vegetable oil mixture.

“Who are you?” Teplan asked.

The skinny lab coat-guy managed to roll over with a wince, “Not now, later . . . We need to get out here, fast.”

Terah felt the guy’s intensity. He was not supposed to be here. She met Teplan’s eyes as they silently acknowledged their need to trust this guy and not waste anymore time.

“Okay. Let’s go!” Teplan said as he and Terah carefully edged their way around the lubricated trap.

The guy in the white lab coat made it to his knees and shuffled his way to the door. He peered out and checked both ways many times. Then he motioned with his hand for Teplan and Terah to follow him. All senses were on high alert. Terah took a deep breath and entered the hall. We are definitely not supposed to be here.

The hospital-like hallways were dimly lit and both sides were lined with closed doors.

The young worker cautiously crept down the hall whispering, “I know you don’t know me… and I don’t know you either… But, what I do know is this: These people here are not happy with you… and I don’t know what they’re going to do to you… I know you guys have some video that they want back . . . I’m sure whatever is on that video would get them in a lot of trouble . . . I started working here two weeks ago and I can’t stand the way they treat their animals and land – it’s like they don’t care at all! So, I’m here to help you two.”

Teplan looked at Terah and hesitantly responded, “Can’t you get in trouble for this?”

“Big time. I’m scared to think of what they’d do with me… but what’s going on here isn’t right…” he said as he hurried them through a series of hallways. “I financially can’t afford to quit yet, but morally I sure can’t afford to stand by and watch what goes on here! Pigs are locked in tiny crates all day… for their whole lives and never even go outside! I needed to do something, so I figured you two are here for a reason… I should try to help you…” He led them through more hallways that ended at a large metal door. “Okay you two, this is as far as I can take you. I need to get back to my duties or they’ll wonder where I am.”

“Okay, yes. Wow, you have done so much. Thank you!” Teplan said.

“Hey, be careful!” the younger worker said. “That’s what almost got you guys caught in the mud field earlier, remember? When you guys made that call or text message? Whichever one it was, it tripped the electronic alarms and the floods came on; I don’t know how you guys didn’t get caught! Were you already off the property? All outgoing calls need to be confirmed with the main office.”

“How did you know that? But that’s right! They ran out of the building right after I sent the video!” Teplan exclaimed.

“So, I told my boss it was me who made a call,” the young worker said, “and forgot to clear it with the guards. That’s when they stopped searching for you guys.”

“Wow… Thank you, again. That’s twice that you saved us today!” Terah replied.

“You’re welcome… Now let’s get you guys out of here. What you have to do is this: beyond these doors is the main room where the pigs live. No one ever really goes in there, so it should be safe. You’re going to have go around the far side of the room. There’s a small passage right beside the pigpens. So, as soon as you get in the main room here, turn left and follow the metal gating all the way across the room to the end, then turn right and follow the wall all the way to the end of the building. There will be a door there that’ll lead you through a hallway to the front of the building. From there, you’re going to have to find a way to get off the property by yourselves. Oh yeah, I almost forgot — I stole your phone back for you. Here it is.”

“Oh Wow! Thank you! We won’t forget this!” Teplan said.

“Good luck!” he waved.

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