Planet Earth Protectors, The River's End

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The barn’s driveway was secured by a blanket of flashing lights. Cars, fire trucks, ambulances, and news trucks occupied the large gravel area at the front of the massive building. At least six different people standing in front of cameras and speaking into microphones filled the open spaces between vehicles. People with press passes around their necks busied themselves by taking photographs and video of the building, the fields and each other.

Teplan and Terah sat closely together on a small bench and explained to two plain-clothed officers what had happened that day, while paramedics wrapped blankets around them and checked them out.

“There they are!” shouted a familiar voice. “Teplan! Terah! There you are! We’ve been worried sick about you! Are you two okay? Oh My Gosh, thank goodness you’re here! Are you hurt? Did they hurt you?” Teplan’s mom shouted as everyone hugged.

Terah wrapped her arms around her mom and dad. “Hi Mom! Hi Dad! I’m sorry to worry you guys. I’m not hurt — I’m fine, really.”

“We are so happy to see you! We were worried sick!” Terah’s mom said as she and Mr. Freedden hugged their daughter for what felt like the first in forever.

A police officer spoke gently, “I hate to interrupt, but we need to talk with Teplan and Terah.”

“Well, we’re staying right beside them,” Teplan’s mom said. “I’m not losing them again!”

“That’s no problem, ma’am.”

“As I was just saying, Officer,” Terah continued, “they’re buying illegal Clean Soil Certificates. We saw with our own eyes and got it on tape.”

“Hmmm,” the officer mumbled while taking notes.

“Let me talk with my supervisor. I’ll be right back.”

Teplan and Terah’s parents took the opportunity to get in some more hugs.

After a few short moments, the policeman returned. “Well, I’m sorry you two,” he said to Teplan and Terah. “There’s little we can do about that soil certificate thing. Sounds like you were trespassing on private property… so the law is on their side. They’ll be charged with kidnapping, but you two were trespassing on this property, so they won’t be charged with any environmental misconduct. Stay put, though — there’s another police officer who’ll need more information from you.” The police officer’s words stung. This pig farm is killing the river and land and they’re getting away with it.

Just then, a lady with a microphone followed by a cameraman asked, “Would you mind if we talked to you? We’re from the local T.V. station.”

“Sure,” Terah replied.

“What happened to you two today?” she asked, holding a microphone in front of the both of them.

Terah told the reporter everything that happened during their misadventures, but left out the part about The Planet Earth Protectors and the secret tunnel under Marney’s house.

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