Sarah Mathewson was at the entrance of the indoor equestrian arena on her horse, Franklin. She and her boyfriend, Brian Stewart, were at De Centre De Equestria De Eugenie in the town of Eugenie, Ecuador. She was waiting for her turn on the jumps. They were having a competition.
“First up, Philipa Panadeni” said the announcer on the megaphone.
Panadeni entered the arena and galloped towards the first jump which was on the left side of the arena. She jumped over three jumps in a row, knocked over one of the poles on the second jump. She galloped around to the fourth jump on the other side of the arena, jumped over it and rode diagonally to the first jump. She jumped over it, turned around and jumped the fifth jump in the middle of the arena and the sixth jump. Then turned and jumped the last too jumps.
“Perfect score, Philipa” said the judge “As always. A perfect score”.
“Next up, Michelle Fernado”.
“She's a really good jumper” said Sarah. Sarah had brown hair that was tied in a pony tail and was dressed in her riding gear. She had a slim body with a slim face, pale skin, and an English accent.
Michelle accelerated to the first jump, knocked over the top bar and jumped the second jump. She cleared the third jump though. The assistants ran onto the arena and placed the pole back on the first jump. Michelle circled to the fourth jump, cleared it and rode back to the first jump. She knocked the post off again. She circled and knocked off the fifth jump and cleared the sixth. She rode round in a tight circle. Cleared the seventh jump and knocked off the last jump. She slowed down as she appraoched the entrance and hopped off.
“That was appalling,” said the judge “you should lift his legs higher. Put some more ommff in it. You'll never clear the jumps if you don't try”.
“Next up, Sarah Mathewson”.
“Wish me luck” said Sarah.
Brian waved her good luck as he leaned on the fence next to the gate. He was a tall guy from Equatorial Guinea in Africa. He had on a sky blue buttoned short sleeve shirt, green shorts and sneakers.
Sarah sped towards the first jump and jumped the first three jumps in a row. She rode around to the fourth jump. Cleared it and rode back to the first. She jumped the first, turned around and jumped the next two jumps, knocking over the fifth. She turned around and cleared the last two jumps. The crowd cheered and Brian cheered too. Sarah slowed down as she approached the entrance. She jumped off and took off her helmet.
“That was a good round” said Derick Broderick, the chief judge “Splendid indeed”.
Derick was Ethiopian. Brian and Sarah hugged for a while.
“That was a good effort,” said Brian “A marvellous round. You are so good at it”.
“Yes, I know” replied Sarah. Sarah briefly kissed Brian on the lips and smiled at him. “I love you. You're hot. Come on. Let's head back to the stables”.
Sarah and Brian left the arena, Sarah leading her horse. There was concrete between the indoor arena and the dark brown wooden stables with the light green corrugated roof. To the right was an outdoor arena where some young riders in their teens were practicing their dressage. To the left was the Eugenie Estuary.
“Look at the estuary, would you” said Sarah as they stepped towards the sea.
“It is kind of romantic,” said Brian “Look, an eagle”.
The eagle soured above the water, squawking at the surrounding land scape. On the other side of the estuary were some hills covered in tropical rainforest. The water was blue and as they got closer to the water Brian could see the bottom, the water was so clear. There was rock and sand on the bottom.
“Look, some little fishes” said Sarah.
“And a crab”.
They both smiled and Brian placed his left arm around her waist. He was so happy to be with her. She lightened up his world.
“Come on. Let's take the horse back. Then we can go for a swim” said Sarah.
“What's going on there?” asked Brian, looking at the American Embassy across the street.
“Hmmm, don't know” replied Sarah “Carrying some empty bags. Look, that woman works for the embassy”. Indeed she did. They were carrying empty bags and card board boxes into a black SUV. “They're up to something”. They placed the cardboard boxes in the recycling bin next to the entrance.
“Maybe they're renovating?”
“I don't know. Looks highly suspicious don't you think. Come. We'll report them to the police once we've taken Franklin into the stables”.
They led the horse into the stables and put him into one of the pens. Sarah took off the saddle and handed it over to Brian who placed it outside the stable. Then she took off the bridle.
Franklin and the other horses in the stables reared up and whinnied in fright. Brian's heart was racing. Franklin whinnied and reared up on his hind legs. The other riders went and attended to their frightened horses.
“Woooh boy,” said Sarah in a calming tone “Easy boy. Nothing to be scared about. That's a boy”. Franklin calmed down a bit, stamped his front left foot. “Easy boy. Good boy”. Sarah patted Franklin on the neck. Brian saw the other riders calming down their horses. “Brian. Go see where that explosion is would you”.
“OK” said Brian as he ran out of the stables and towards the alleyway between the outdoor arena and administration block.
“Nothing to be afriad off” said Sarah soothingly to Franklin “Everything will be alright. It's all right” she said in a quite voice.
“Sarah, you better come and look”.
“OK”. She turned to Franklin and said “Just don't be scared, ok”.
She left Franklin in the stable. Then ran out of the stables and into the alleyway where Brian was pointing towards the American Embassy. The Embassy had been blown up as the American Embassy was on fire and debris had been scattered everywhere. Some of the debris had been blown into the equestrian centre. The smoke rising from the orange flames.
“Brian, call the emergency number” yelled Sarah.
Brian complied. He dialled the emergency number on his cell phone.
“Hello, we have an emergency. The American Embassy has been blown up. I'm at De Centre De Equistria De Eugenie”.
“OK,” replied the operater “We're sending in emergency services right away. Just hang tight. OK?”
The operator hung up and Brian ran over to Sarah who was attending to an injured woman laying on the ground. The dressage instructor had captured the rider's horse and was leading it out of the arena. Spectators had come to have a look. Sarah is one of the emergency service workers that had been recruited from England by the Ecuadorian government.
“I've called emergency, Sarah. Should I start looking for survivors?”
“No! Let the fire brigade do that. It's too dangerious to go in there, honey. I'll attend to this lady first”.
“She was practicing her dressage,” explained the young woman's mother “When the bomb went off and scared the horse. The horse reared up on its hind legs and she fell off”.
“How are you feeling?” asked Sarah.
“It hurts,” replied the young woman “In the back”.
Some ambulances finally arrived on the scene with their sirens blaring. Sarah prodded the young woman and asked her about the symptoms as the paramedics got out their stretchers and rushed over to them. One of the paramedics asked Sarah what happened and she explained the incident. They know her from emergency services.
“Her spine has been damaged and her pelvis has cracked. She can't walk”.
“That's OK. We'll move her real carefully. Don't want to cause anymore injuries”.
The treasurer of the Equestrian Centre walked briskly towards the paramedics.
“Sarah, we have a situation here”.
Sarah and Brian followed the treasuser into the admin building and into the lounge room where it appeared that a plank had smashed through the window and impaled the secretary of the equestrian centre. Outside, the fire brigade had arrived and started to put out the fire at the embassy. What appeared to be a CIA agent looked at the patient with a baffled look on his face. Two Ecuadorian detectives were with him. The CIA agent introduced himself and the two detectives to Sarah and Brian.
The CIA agent was George Henderson and he came over by helicopter as soon as he heard about the explosion. The two detectives were Constable Donald Amongo who headed the investigation and sergeant Tommy Delmegro. Two paramedics arrived.
“Holy shit” cried one of the paramedics.
“Yes. Shit indeed” said George “How are we going to get the plank out of him?”
“Don't pull it out” said the paramedic.
“He's right” said Sarah “You know Brian Stuart”.
“Yeah. I met him” said the paramedic “You're an engineer, aren't you”
“Really?” said George. Brian nodded.
“Do you think you could cut off a piece of the plank so that … we could move him, Brian?” asked Donald.
“Yeah, I could. Derick, pass me the hand saw, would you?”
Derick dissappeared into the work shop and came back with the hand saw. It took a few minutes for Brian to saw through the plank but he cut the piece off. The paramedics wrapped a piece of cloth around the wound to stop the bleeding and took the patient away on the stretcher.
When they got outside they saw the paramedics that were attending to a small child, about 6. The child was crying his eyes out. George asked what had happened. A piece of concrete had struck the child in the chest and cracked a few ribs. This got Brian's blood boiling, Sarah was furious, and George felt sick to the stomach. WHO WOULD BOMB THE EMBASSY? Why would anyone do this?
Brian looked across the street at the burning wreckage. Where the fire had been put out, paramedics and fire fighters searched through the rubble for survivors. It disgusted him. His heart went into his throat.
“Did you see anything suspicious?” asked George.
“Yes. Come to think of it” replied Sarah “Me and Brian saw a woman and two men enter the black van with bags and card board boxes”.
“Yes” said the treasurer. Brian walked over to them to hear the conversation. “I saw them drive off down the street shortly after the explosion. It was a big SUV too. Two boys. And the girl that worked in the embassy”.
“George, you better come quick” yelled a paramedic.
They ran over to where the paramedics were attending to a middleaged man.
“Ambassador Bob” said George “What happened?”
The Ambassador looked pale and appeared to be dying.
“They blew up the embassy” replied Bob “One of my security guards saw my secretary plant a pipe bomb behind the curtian”.
“Shortly before the explosion went off. By the time the guard told me, it was too late. The bomb just exploded”.
“Who was your secretary, Bob?”
Bob took a deep breath. He was weezing.
Bob's eyes glazed over and his breathing ceased. George felt sick to the stomach.
“What is it, George?” asked Brian.
“I know her. She's part of an environmental terrorist organisation called Guardians of Earth”.
“I've heard about them. They blow up labs, factories and dairy farms” said Sarah.
“Yes. That's them. Have you got the video footage of them?”
“Yes, officer” said Derick “I'll take you over to the CCTV Screen”.
They followed Derick into the administration building and into the security room where there were CCTV screens and the computer drives for the CCTV system. George rewinded the footage to the time just before the explosion, about an hour before.
“That's the van!” cried Derick “That's the van that drove away in a hurry after the explosion”.
“Yes,” said Sarah “I saw them placing empty bags into the van and placing cardboard boxes in the recycling bin”.
That was what they were doing in the video footage. They took the full bags and boxes into the American Embassy and came out with empty bags and boxes.
“Stop right there” said George “That is Tracy Heart coming out of the Embassy with the two men. That on her right is Mathew Garrison. He has a chemistry degree in Idaho and is a bomb expert. That on her right is Nick Watson. He has a degree in electrical engineering. They're both members of the Guardians of Earth”.
“They seem to carrying steel pipes, wires, clocks, and various chemicals into the Embassy,” said Donald “The materials for building a bomb so to speak”.
“I would have thought that the security guards would be alarmed by that” said Tommy “What idoits”.
“We'll have to report this to Washington,” said George “Donald, could you contact coms and ask them for the address of the three bandits”.
Donald complied and he talked to coms through his RT asking them for their address. It took a while for coms to get back to him as they had to look up the address on the computer. Eventually coms got back to him and Donald wrote down the address, repeating the address back to coms to make sure he got it right.
“Right,” said Donald “Here is the address. It's in a street on the other side of town next to the industrial section”.
“Right. Let's go,” said George “Tom, get a search warrant and arrest warrant ready. We're going to have a raid. Prepare the armed police squad”.
* * *
Later that afternoon the Ecuadorian Armed Defenders Squad and the CIA came to 143 De Oro Street, next to the industrial section. George went and knocked on the door, saying “CIA. Come out with your hands up”.
They heard talking inside, but it went quite and they didn't answer the doors. So George kicked down the door and they stormed into the flat with their arms drawn.
“Hand's behind your backs” shouted George in an authoritative tone as they pointed their guns at the terrorists. “On the ground. NOW!”
They complied and the cops handcuffed the three terrorists and took them away in a paddy wagon. The CIA searched their flat and found evidence of bomb making including materials for making a bomb such as wires, pipes, timers, cell phones and various chemicals. They were making lead azide which is a highly unstable compound and TNT. They found diagrams of bombs and improvised explosive devises or IEDs for short. They found a plan for blowing up the American Embassy including where to plant the bombs and which ones to plant. They grabbed all the evidence and placed it inside the police forensics van.
* * *
When they got them to the central police station George interrogated them as to why they blew up the embassy.
“The American's are polluting the environment, man,” replied Tracy “We came to a village not far from here. Deep in the tropical jungle. Mathew saw evidence of an American company illegally dumping toxic waste into the river. Two men from Maximus were dumping waste into the river. Making all the villagers sick. Plants were dying, animals were dying, people were getting sick. It was aweful. Their hair was falling out. They had lumps growing all over their skin”.
“Why didn't you go to the authorities?”
“Because Americans are always destroying the environment,” said Mathew, who had an English accent “You guy's don't care about the environment. Everyday American's are destroying rainforests, polluting rivers”.
“We are trying everything to protect the environment!” yelled George “We're going to investigate it. The incident. But don't think you're off the hook. No. You are going to be extradited to the United States and you are going to face the death sentence for murdering innocent people, because of the greed of one company!”
George left the room and told the police officers to take them to their cells.
* * *
Next day they investigated the Maximus factory in the middle of the jungle and found that, yes, they were illegally dumping toxic waste into the river, making everybody sick and killing off plants and animals. The river was heavily polluted making it unsafe to drink and they had to evacuate the entire village until they could get the river clean and safe to drink.
The president and vice president of Maximus were arrested for the illegal dumping of waste and for failing to clean up their toxic waste. They were deported to Florida and New York, respectively, being sentenced to jail for 20 years each. They won't be out until 2030.
The villagers were compensated for 200,000 pesos for their health and 200,000 for their emotional trauma. They were shifted to their new homes in Eugene City and offered new jobs with on the job training, paid for by the Ecuadorian Government.
The three terrorists were extradited back to the states and were sentenced to death by lethal injection. They are due to be executed on 17th November 2014, 28th December 2014 and 6th January 2015.
They started clearing the scene of the explosion a week later so that they could rebuild the American Embassy. Meanwhile a temporary embassy has been based at the Equestrian Centre with the permision of Derick.
Sarah, Brian, George, and Derick looked out at the Eugenie Estuary with the new American ambassador, smiling as the eagle flew above the sea, squawking.