Saturday, August 21, 2021
Hello. You’ve reached The Armadillo Files. Are you ready to let your imagination loose?
Even though story is not intended to be realistic at all, I like adding historic tidbits. I haven’t had time to explain them previously. So I’m doing that right now, with the ones I’ve used so far. While I’d like to think that I inspire people to Google away with learning adventures, I realize they don’t usually take the time. So I’ll give you a few links.
Let’s start with the random reader thing that started this story, pink fairy armadillo. They are real, and they’re from Argentina.
The narrator, Delila (Dilly) Faraday said “Even with a name like Faraday…” in episode 1. In the 1800s Michael Faraday was an English scientist who contributed to the study of electromagnetism and electrochemistry.
There really was a rocket launched on May 28, 1959. Yes, the Jupiter AM-18 rocket as well as Miss Baker and Miss Able (mentioned in Episode 2), into space from Cape Canaveral in the United States along with living microorganisms and plant seeds. Successful recovery makes them the first living beings to return safely to Earth after space flight.
About This Episode
Once again, I’m writing this chapter at the last minute. It sure would be nice to get caught up with all my projects and maybe even get ahead. Anyhow, as you know this story is written according to my very own, Three Things style of story writing. The random reader things include a bit of foreshadowing today, so there will actually be four things for this episode. I’m using one from Chris Graham, the Story Reading Ape, but not the other two of that set of things. Farther into the story, I’ll use the full set of three. Oh, that thing is bagpipes.
This year I’ve been honored to have a wonderful new follower, Ms. Frances. She’s an absolute delight. The three things for this chapter are from her: cat, car, and cantaloupe. The cat inspired a couple of new characters. They may or may not be back in future episodes. Only the “things” can say for sure.
In case you missed it last week, here’s Episode 2, Why’d You Do That?. Now, are you ready?
3 — Who Are You Talking To?
Collision claxons blared. TROLLEY processed information at incredible speed. Yottabytes were nothing compared to the amount of data TROLLEY could analyze in a second. However, would it be fast enough?
“Objective to monitor new constant is interrupted. Collision imminent. Summoning physical support auxiliary pilots.”
“TROLLEY, your request is processed. Confirm transport of physical support auxiliary pilots,” came the voice from Prime.
“Time Rate Oscillation Lithium Link Enabler Yttrion, TROLLEY confirming transport of auxiliary pilot Peggy Sue and intern Frances into docking car.”
♦ ♦ ♦
Rocket shaking clangs filled my brain. Bells blared. Strangely, beneath all the warning noises, it seemed like I heard the screech of bagpipes. I rubbed my eyes, trying to see through the purple lights.
“Oh, sweet manatees, we’re going to crash! Hang on Dilly!” screamed the bizarre man next to me.
“What’s going on?” I demanded.
“You wouldn’t understand,” he replied, pacing in a circle.
The more nervous he got, the more his accent reminded me of my Uncle Artie from Argentina. I couldn’t let go of the befuddling question of how an Argentine, dressed in an undershirt, black leather short-shorts, and pink fishnet tights could manage to get onto the base at Cape Canaveral, let alone onto the Jupiter AM-18 rocket.
“Watch it, you almost turned over the cantaloupe seeds!” I cautioned as he flailed his arms dramatically. “I’m not a dumb bunny — try me. Go ahead, razz my berries. Impress me.”
“Prime sent a vessel to monitor the birth of the new constant. You know, the day the music died. The Prime ship should have passed by the Jupiter AM-18 unnoticed, but your unplanned presence changed things. Now we’re about to collide! How am I going to dig my way out of this?” he babbled, and his hat fell off, exposing more of that pink hair.
“A vessel? Like a space ship? A space ship from another planet?” I asked, my voice raising an octave with each question.
The clang-clang-clang got even louder. The rocket vibrated so hard that I feared it would come apart at the seams.
Abruptly the noise stopped. The shaking stilled. Brilliant purple light glowed around the outline of the hatch door. It didn’t exactly open, an interstice appeared and quickly widened. I could see into another ship that had connected to the rocket.
“Peggy Sue, thank goodness you didn’t hit us! I mean, thank goodness you’re here,” the pink-haired man sputtered, amending his words. “Yes, that was some amazing maneuvering to unexpectedly dock with the rocket.”
“Who are you talking to?” I asked nervously.
Beyond the place where the ships were connected, I saw all sorts of dials and levers and shiny metal. It didn’t look like anything I would have expected to see inside a space ship. At any rate, I didn’t see a pilot. I didn’t see anyone at all. Except…
Reared up, and apparently standing comfortably at the controls was a tabby cat. A kitten with similar markings perched on the control panel. Turning to face me, each cat gave a slow blink.
The larger at shifted her gaze to the man. Her tail swished menacingly. I heard a low growl. A sardonic twist came to the man’s mouth and he shifted his feet.
“Um, pardon my manners. Peggy Sue and Frances, this is Delila Faraday, but she’d rather be called Dilly,” he began with a guarded glance at me. “Dilly, meet the pilot, Peggy Sue, and that is her intern, Frances.”
“The cats?” I asked, my eyebrows drawing together and then climbing toward my hairline.
The kitten jumped down from her perch and scampered toward where I stood on the other side of the opening. A growl from the adult cat stopped her.
“Dilly, give me a moment to speak to them privately,” he told me as he walked through to the other ship.
Soft sounds ensued from the two cats and the pink-haired man. They glanced at me from time to time. The man acted progressively more anxious.
“But they can’t! Why, that’s positively barbaric. There isn’t even any rock and roll there!” he exclaimed, causing the cat to hiss. “Well, what are you going to do with Dilly? Oh, no, no, no. That’s not my responsibility. Alright! Put your claws back in and stop hissing. But how do you propose I do that?” he ended on a gasp after a very matter-of-fact sounding meow from the cat.
Nervously he stepped away from the cats. The kitten circled his feet as he tried to walk back to the Jupiter AM-18.
“Careful, Frances. What? Catnip seeds in the botany parcels? I’ll check. Yes, what now?” he hazarded another look at me. “I’ll certainly try, but it isn’t something humans take to well at all.”
The kitten turned and strolled to her perch on the control panel. The guy in pink fishnets came back to the place where the ships connected. He took that strange looking gun out of his belt and pointed it at me.
“Honey, I’m really sorry. You aren’t going to like this.”
I took a step backward, raising my hands and yelling. Then the zap hit me, much harder than before.
♦ ♦ ♦
So, that was Episode 3. I hope you liked it. Things just keep getting crazier. I love to hear from you, so be sure to leave a friendly comment. Whether your comment is to me or another commenter, keep it friendly. Hugs on the wing!
Dead of Winter — All the Journeys
I’ve updated the blog page for Dead of Winter. It has all the images I’ve made for that monthly series of novelettes as well as purchase links. Click here. The current issue is Journey 8, The Lost Library. Coming in September is Journey 9, Doors of Attunement.
Universal Purchase Links
Journey 8, The Lost Library
This is a work of fiction. Characters, names, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, locales, or events is entirely coincidental.
Copyright © 2021 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene
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