The Armadillo Files, Episode 16 — Featuring Alford Kindred

Saturday, December 4, 2021

You’ve reached The Armadillo Files.  Stand by for weirdness with some reality.  

The Armadillo Files image by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

The Armadillo Files image by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

Random Reader Things

The three things that drive this episode are from a friend and former colleague, Alford Kindred. He doesn’t have a blog, but if you’re interested in connecting with someone who has terrific mentoring and coaching skills (particularly where motivating kids is concerned), you can find Alford’s profile on LinkedIn.  His random reader things are Resilience, Transparent, and Willie Foo Foo

As sometimes happens with my “3 Things” method of storytelling, the conversation about the random reader things brought a fourth thing that I couldn’t resist adding.  This time it came from discussing transparent and the difficulties of getting complete information — “The truth is there.”

 Previously in The Armadillo Files

Fang tunneled under the church of that group of anti-alcohol fanatics, narrowly avoiding a cave-in in the process.  Harry Morgan also mentioned a collapse in the tunnel that Marie used for their late-night rendezvous. There’s still no news of Marie or the Calutron Girls.  But maybe Fang’s talents, or TROLLEY’s scans will lead to something.  You can find all the past chapters by going to the categories on the right side of the screen.  Click on Armadillo Files.

All aboard!

17 — Who’s that?

Williams Drug Store, Oak Ridge, TN 1940s Wikipedia
Williams Drug Store, Oak Ridge, TN 1940s Wikipedia

TROLLEY

The human woman exited Operative Pinkerton’s quarters with an armload of his clothes.  It was mostly blue jeans, a flannel shirt, and the bomber jacket.

“Thank you, Delilah Faraday.  The beginning of recycling is reuse,” TROLLEY told her.  “All of the operative’s trousers are too short for typical earth-wear of this decade.”

“My pleasure, TROLLEY.  While it’s not proper for a woman to go out in jeans, I’ll get plenty of use from these, just working around here,” she replied.  “But please remember to call me Dilly.  I think Fang must have told you to go back to calling me Delilah just to aggravate me.”

“Speaking of going out,” TROLLEY began.  “May I call upon you to go to the local drug store?  My replication capabilities have been taxed by setting up the bar and grille environment.  If you could get samples of some personal care items from this day, it would be helpful.”

“I take it that Fang brought you some, shall we say unexpected things, when he went?” the woman inquired.  “I expect you want things that would be in public restrooms, and maybe ‘complimentary’ items that clubs sometimes give away?”

“Confirmed, Dilly Faraday.  That would be most helpful.  My data suggests Williams Drug Store is likely to have most items,” TROLLEY replied.  “The operative brought a bag filled with dinner napkins, galoshes, and anti-itch powder.  Those items were not what the system required.”

“By the way… Is Fang going to keep getting taller?” the woman asked curiously.

“No.  The additional growth spurt was singular.  It would have been quite painful to return him to full human size all at once,” the artificial intelligence explained and the woman muttered something TROLLEY didn’t hear clearly.

“I know you have a lot of knowledge and information,” Dilly began somewhat hesitantly.  “But be cautious about making… exotic or revealing clothing for him.  Sometimes he misinterprets what clothes are appropriate.  Especially for this era.”

“Thank you, Dilly Faraday.  That suggestion is noted.  I was suspicious when he said government transparency included transparent uniforms.  I did not find any revealing military uniforms in my original research.  However, he pressed his case by finding images of some.  I do not think they were standard issue,” TROLLEY said.

Dilly Faraday grumbled something about boxing ears that TROLLEY didn’t understand.  Then she stalked out of the room, calling Tatu Pinkerton’s nickname, Fang.

“Initiating research for packaged human body parts.  Specifically search boxed ears,” TROLLEY self-directed the information gathering task.

  ♦ ♦ ♦

2 Women Working Naval yard Life Magazine 1940s
Life Magazine 1940s

Dilly

With a little friendly conversation, the driver of one of the city buses dropped me off as close as he could get to the TROLLEY.  I returned from Williams Drug Store with several bags.  I felt sure I had collected one of everything that might be offered by the typical restroom attendant at a nice establishment.

To my surprise several soldiers sat at the outdoor tables.  Fang passed around trays of snacks and drinks.  I ignored some of the murmurs, most of them related to my appearance.

“I don’t know, Ray.  She might be a real cookie if she got all decked out,” one said, and I didn’t want to know what criticism caused him to say it.

“Ron, you’ve been out here in the sticks too long,” the first man responded.

Seeing me with my arms full, two other soldiers politely jumped up and took the bags, carrying them to the top of the stairs.

“Oh, you’re so kind!  But please, just leave them by the door.  I don’t want anyone to see the mess inside,” I dissembled, not sure if it was safe for them to see whatever might be sitting in the open inside the spaceship.

I was relieved that Fang didn’t manage to get any transparent clothing from the replicators.  He had on the white tank-style undershirt that he had previously worn with leather short-shorts.  Thankfully he wore a full-length pair of jeans instead of the shorts.  However, he had to add his own unique flair…

“Fang, why are you wearing a feather boa?” I whispered.

“I was cold without any sleeves,” he replied, but seeing me draw an irritated breath he was quick to explain.  “I was getting dressed when I saw that we had visitors coming up the walk.  So, I threw on the first thing I could find.”

Sputtering, I started several different responses, and didn’t bother finishing any of them.  No matter what I said, I already knew he would bounce back with something even nuttier.  Fang was more resilient than a spring.

“Compliments of the house, gentlemen,” Fang exclaimed as he passed around a large tray of French fries.  “The Pink Armadillo isn’t open for business yet, but we will be soon.”

“That guy is downright Willie Foo Foo, but he’s alright,” Ray remarked, raising a mug and taking a golden fry.

“Huh?  Who’s that? …Hey Mac, what else is on the menu at the Pink Armadillo?” the one called Ron asked in a suggestive tone that puzzled me.

“Forget it, Ron,” the guy who made the Willie Foo Foo comment told him.  “She’s above your pay grade.  Anybody’s above your pay grade.  Don’t you know a respectable woman when you see one?  Besides, anybody could tell it ain’t that kind of place, despite the name.”

Finally understanding what they implied, I blushed and stomped up the stairs.  I ducked inside TROLLEY.

Dilly & Fang on TROLLEY, by Teagan
Dilly & Fang on TROLLEY, by Teagan

I don’t know what other words were exchanged.  I was too embarrassed at not having immediately understood the comments that implied I was a prostitute.  Whatever else may have been said, in a firm voice, Fang thanked the group of soldiers for trying the beer and fries.  His tone and manner must have made it clear that the “party” was over.

“Damnit, Ron.  See what you’ve gone and done?” I heard one of the men remark.

As he stepped inside, Fang put his cap on a coat-tree beside the door, revealing a headful of pink hair.  He threw the feather boa back around his neck and tossed his head as if he was the one offended.

“Dilly, I’m sorry about all that,” he said, stooping beside my chair.  “Here, you can scratch behind my ears.  You know that makes you feel better,” he added, resting his head on my knee.

I rolled my eyes heavenward.

“It’s okay, Fang.  I’ve had to deal with that kind of thing, and a lot worse most of my life, but especially ever since I started working,” I told him.

“Yes, and I know you hate it every time,” he replied.  “If I could just turn back into a pink fairy armadillo to comfort you, I would.  But it’s not that simple.”

I patted his head, repeating that it was okay.  Then I stood up and paced, irritably.

“I don’t see how any of this,” I began, spreading my arms wide to indicate all of TROLLEY.  “How can all this help us figure out what we’re supposed to do here?  It seems pretty clear that your mission must have something to do with the missing Calutron Girls.  But how is this going to help?”

“I think the missing girls are more of a symptom, or a byproduct of what we’re supposed to figure out and fix,” he muttered thoughtfully.

“Come on Dilly, you know we have to have a cover.  If that cover includes serving alcohol, we’re more likely to loosen tongues and learn things we probably wouldn’t otherwise find out,” Fang spoke patiently.  “We’ve already gotten one big clue, just from being in this spot.”

“What clue?” I asked.

“The tunnels.  From the beginning, TROLLEY detected a warren of tunnels under the Secret City and all around this area too.  The truth is there… somewhere.  And those tunnels lead to it.  Things aren’t always transparent.  Sometimes you have to look deeper to find the truth.  Maybe dig more tunnels too,” he added with a self-satisfied grin.

  ♦ ♦ ♦

Speaking of those random reader things… what could be more transparent than The Invisible Man?  The 1933 film version of the H. G. Wells pioneering syfy classic is out there but I couldn’t find a free link.  However, here’s a later version.

This trip through time is difficult in more ways than one.  Maybe those tunnels will lead to better clues than the cave-ins.  Tune in next time to see what the random reader things bring.

Please remember that this is my sanctuary — a place for all of us to be safe and away from political and religious commentary.  Kindly keep that in mind with your comments.

Hugs on the wing!

♦♦♦

Dead of Winter — All the Journeys

Dead of Winter: Journey 11, The Sumelazon, cover by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene
Dead of Winter: Journey 11, The Sumelazon, cover by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

Universal Purchase Links

Journey 11, the Sumelazon Escarpment

Kindle:  relinks.me/B09M7Q19XT

Paperback:  relinks.me/B09M4QWDYK

Journey 10, Pergesca

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Paperback:  relinks.me/B09J7GFWYV

Journey 9, Doors of Attunement

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Journey 8, The Lost Library

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Journey 7, Revenant Pass

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Journey 6, The Fluting Fell

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Journey 5, Llyn Pistyll Falls

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Journey 4, The Old Road

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Journey 3, the Fever Field

Kindle: elinks.me/B08XTNZ9M8 

Paperback:  relinks.me/B08XXY3JXF

Kobo:  Dead of Winter: Journey 3, the Fever Field eBook by Teagan Riordain Geneviene – 1230004609599 | Rakuten Kobo United States

Journey 2, Penllyn

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Kobo:  https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/dead-of-winter-journey-2-penllyn

Journey 1, Forlorn Peak

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Paperback:  relinks.me/B08R7RH4F5

Kobo:  Dead of Winter: Journey 1, Forlorn Peak eBook by Teagan Geneviene – 1230004446033 | Rakuten Kobo United States

.

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

All rights reserved. 

No part of this work may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission.  Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights.

All images are either the property of the author or provided by free sources, unless stated otherwise.

 


66 thoughts on “The Armadillo Files, Episode 16 — Featuring Alford Kindred

  1. Another great episode. That Fang is a favorite. Fashionista that he is. Glad this time he wore jeans even with the boa … He seems to me to be happy go lucky and would probably end up okay no matter what. Maybe he’ll surprise us all. If the “things” have him playing an important role when they get to those tunnels. I love the Invisible Man. Thanks for the link.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, I think it’s at least as much his story as Dilly’s. Initially I imagined it as Dilly telling about her adventures with Fang, and him pretty much being the main character. However, now I find it more balanced between the two. Heartfelt thanks for catching up. Hugs on the wing.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Love the humour you are tapping into!
    Fang makes a great escape…. laugh from time to time.
    Not sure why, but on my computer the post repeats itself. I have 2 of everything, from 17 — Who’s that? through the Recap of the Dead of Winter books.
    Sending hugs!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hello Teagan, your introduction had been laughing out loud. “The operative brought a bag filled with dinner napkins, galoshes, and anti-itch powder. Those items were not what the system required.” – hilarious. Thanks for cheering me up, I needed it. We are out of quarantine for Omicron tomorrow and we seem to be okay.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh, Robbie, I’m relieved to hear that everyone is okay. I had been concerned when I heard about how bad it was there.
      Thank you for calling out that part of the story. 😀 I was beginning to wonder if anyone got it. Actually. I used some too subtle innuendo in that… unsure if I should “go there” in this online story. In my imagination, TROLLEY would have wanted to offer things like sanitary napkins and condoms… so Fang came back with dinner napkins and galoshes (slang being rubbers for both the boots and condoms). But I held back. LOL. So now we have an inside joke. 😉
      Thanks for spending part of your busy day here. Hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m a little late, but I enjoyed the episode. I loved that photo of Williams drug store with the barracks behind. Oak Ridge was a fantastic place. I think Fang is right about getting info from loose lips. I would be willing to offer up my margarita recipe to help the cause. Have a beautiful Sunday, Teagan.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. John, that would be fabulous! I’d love to include your recipe. Now that I’ve finally found a place that will ship to me, I’ll have to order tequila and try it myself. Do you still have my yahoo email? Or just paste it in a comment. Hmmm… Fang and margaritas… a recipe for fun.
      Oh, and you aren’t late at all. Hugs on the wing.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. The behavior of the men Dilly had to deal with still exists today. We can improve technology constantly, but we don’t seem to ever improve our behavior. WTH?

    She seems to be getting better at taking care of herself, and I was glad that Fang stepped up to help her. He must’ve been one feisty armadillo, even if he was pink! 🤗

    I think Dilly will be exploring tunnels/caves before long, probably dragging Fang with her. Hopefully there are no owls in them!

    Even Trolley is coming around. I think she will be a solid friend to Dilly.

    Interesting episode Teagan. The plot thickens!
    Ginger

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ginger, you’re absolutely right. I had to deal with that sort of behavior throughout my career, even in the last year of it (which was only 2 years ago). In fact, it was part of the compound-reasons I couldn’t deal with continuing to work. I deleted a commentary I wrote at the closing about that.
      Thanks for your feedback about Fang and Dilly. That’s helpful to me. I’m happy you enjoyed this. Hugs on the wing!

      Like

    1. Thanks, Tim. I enjoy reading Victorian novels, and that one was unexpectedly frightening. I’m sure I’ve seen at least one version of the old movies, but I don’t remember much. I hope to make time to watch this one soon. Happy Caturday. Hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. A marvelous episode, Teagan. I love the growing depth of the characters. Here we come a tunneling, among the clay so red. Here we come a tunneling, our imaginations fed. Hugs tunneling their way to you.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. This is a wonderful episode, Teagan. I love th interaction between Dilly and the soldiers. I think you nailed it with those descriptions. I felt the emotion with Dilly, and I was glad to see Fang, move to support her. I also like the interaction between Dilly and TROLLEY. I agree with Olga, I’d hate to see the results if Fang were on his own. But I like how you’re able to keep them both strong and weak in their own ways.

    I hope you have a great weekend.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Dan, you gem! That was a great combination of feedback (and to me) reminder, “keep them both strong and weak in their own ways.” I’m happy you see the characters that way. Thank you. A great weekend to you, the Editor, and all the furry kids. Hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks, GP. It *seems like* I remember actual tunnels, or at least underground passages/connecting hallways in the real life facility. Although now I’m not certain. Anyhow, there might be some fictional ones in this story. LOL. Creative license. I wish I could tunnel-link it to that underground cave your other set of things caused me to remember (the Lost Sea in Sweetwater TN), but that’s probably too far away from Oak Ridge, even for a fantasy story. Maybe I’ll think of a crazy way to do it. Hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Reblogged this on Just Olga and commented:
    Episode 16 of Teagan Geneviene​´s The Armadillo Files is here! There are secrets underground still to be uncovered, and some not very gentleman-like behaviour afoot. Be sure to visit!

    Liked by 3 people

  9. I think Priscilla is right! One has to wonder what would happen if Fang was left to his own devices. How horrible for Dilly, these men’s behaviour, although she is right. It is not uncommon. I think I did watch the original movie version of the Invisible Man, but many years back…
    Thanks, Teagan. I hope your weekend is good. Here we have two holidays next week (Monday and Wednesday), so it will be a long one, although not doing anything special, only hoping to catch up.

    Liked by 3 people

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