The Armadillo Files, Episode 19 — Featuring Pat at eQuips

Saturday, January 8, 2022

2 Cats drive TROLLEY Armadillo Files
Promo image by Teagan

You’ve reached The Armadillo Files.  Stand by for zaniness. I think a new character is on the horizon.

Random Reader Things

Today’s random reader things are from Pat at eQuips blog.  They are Pigtails, Saddle Shoes, and Corset.

Previously in The Armadillo Files

Marie Browning’s name disappeared from the employee list for the Secret City.  Then Fang started to fade in and out of existence. This strange trip started in 1959, but then they were sent back to the early 1940s. Now they’ve gone even farther back… but when and where?  The feline pilots returned, and now we don’t know where, or when they took Fang and Dilly.  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!

19 — When is here?


Armadillo Files image by Teagan Geneviene, Fang Dilly cats jukebox car
Image by Teagan R. Geneviene

The tumbling, whirling sensation dissipated.  I wasn’t sure about the ropes of light, because all I could see were brightly colored spots.  Emphasis on bright.  I rubbed my eyes, but large multi-hued spots covered my vision.

My nose detected a rather pungent odor.  It triggered an image of a girl with pigtails flashed through my thoughts — my cousin.  Then the childhood memory of visiting her grandparent’s farm came to mind.  Yes, a farm.  Hay? 

The ginger kitten on the seat beside me started to pace.  Frances mewed in a questioning tone.  The feline pilot, Peggy Sue meowed shortly.  The multi-colored lights winked out and the kitten jumped from the alien machine that looked like a roadster.

A moment later I heard faint sounds of scratching in the hay.  Then the kitten zoomed back to the car, tail arched as she ran.  It reminded me of the way cats sometimes run pell-mell out of their litterboxes.

Frances hopped onto the front seat, right into Fang’s lap.  She mewed at him as if demanding the seat.  Peggy Sue’s tail lashed, and she gave me a stink-eye glare that I took for an order to vacate my seat.

Fang looked thin.  I don’t mean that he had lost weight.  On and off, he sometimes seemed… transparent, to varying degrees.  I gulped back my worry.

“Is he going to be okay?” I asked the Peggy Sue.

“Dilly Faraday, this is the only chance we have to keep him on our plane of existence,” came the voice of TROLLEY from the radio.  Or at least it looked like a car’s radio.

“This mission is not in compliance with the edicts of Prime.  I could be deleted for instigating it.  Such is the price of independent thought,” the artificial intelligence said softly.  “Peggy Sue and Frances could also face grave consequences.  Therefore, my ability to communicate with you while you are in this time will be virtually nil,” TROLLEY continued.  “If this unofficial mission is successful, then operative Pinkerton will be fine.  Prime will not punish anyone for a success, regardless of human perceptions of hypocrisy.”

“Inside the trunk of the roadster you will find clothing appropriate to this era.  Dilly Faraday, your saddle shoes and frock will not be suitable.  There is also a transponder attached to a garter.  Keep it with you at all times,” TROLLEY went on.  “Activate it when the mission is complete — or if operative Pinkerton ceases to exist, and the physical support auxiliary pilots will return for you.”

“Wait a minute!” I cried.  “You can’t mean to leave us alone here.  And when is here anyway?”

I glanced worriedly at Fang.  It was unlike him to be silent, particularly considering what TROLLEY had just said.  Ordinarily, he would have made some kind of sassy comment.  However, he had quietly gotten out of the roadster, and sat disconsolately on the floor.  Or was it ground?  A straw covered floor, I realized after the spots left my eyes.  We were in a large barn.

“I realize you need help,” TROLLEY replied.  “It is unfortunate that I only had one resort, given the impropriety of our situation.  Your only hope is Henry Apesly.”

Pink Fairy Armadillo Wikipedia
Pink Fairy Armadillo, Wikipedia

“What?  TROLLEY, you can’t be serious.  Henry never liked me.  When we were in training together, he stuffed me into a locker or dunked me in a toilet at least once a week!” Fang protested in a burst of energy that was more like his usual manner.  “I thought he was dismissed from Prime.  Why would he agree to help me?”

“Operative Apesly’s dismissal was an erroneous rumor, one that was probably started by Prime.  There was a glitch, and he was stuck in mid-transformation.  Prime decided it was best to leave him in the time period of that aborted mission.  I have agreed to do all I can to help him become fully human again.  In return, he must help you and Dilly Faraday,” TROLLEY explained.

Meanwhile the feline pilots had dug the clothing and other items out of the roadster’s trunk.  Everything lay in a big heap amid the straw.

Fang glared accusingly toward the car.  He grabbed the pile of clothes, so large that it trailed on every side of his arms.  With his elbow, he urged me away from the car.  An instant later the multi-colored ropes of light erupted from nowhere, enveloping the roadster, beginning this time at its frontend.  In a moment of blinding brilliance, the car disappeared.

Pink-haired head bent over the bundle, Fang began looking through the clothing, muttering as he picked up each article.  He held an old-fashioned whalebone corset against himself, looking down as if he imagined whether it would be flattering.

“I think that’s probably meant for me, but you are more than welcome to it,” I muttered wryly.

Rather than making a sarcastic retort or playful remark, he sank down to the floor.  He gave me a sad puppy-dog look.

“This is terrible.  It would be better to just fade away,” he complained.  “Henry…  How could TROLLEY do such a thing to me?  If he’s stuck in mid-transformation, there’ll be no end to his monkeying around.”

Discretely I tiptoed to peer out a window.  I wondered where, and more importantly when we were.  The assortment of clothing TROLLEY gave us had me worried.  How far back had we gone?

The view beyond the window didn’t enlighten me.  All I could see was empty countryside.  We were in a barn, so there must be a house nearby.  Maybe it was on the other side of the barn.

“I get that he bullied you, Fang, and I’m sorry.  That’s inexcusable.  But other than that, why are you so distraught?  Although meeting up with anybody who has bullied you is plenty to be upset about.  I promise you that he’ll have to get through me first if he tries to mess with you again,” I remarked firmly.  “At least we’ll have some help.  Stuck in mid-transformation?”

I pondered how that would look.  After Fang changed from the pink fairy armadillo, for a while he was a little shorter, and he had the armadillo tail.  Although I had the feeling that the tail could come and go as he wished.

“So, this operative… what form was he stuck in?  Or part-way stuck?” I asked, suddenly feeling uneasy about the myriad possibilities that ran through my mind.

A distant bang interrupted whatever Fang would have answered.  It was followed by more bangs, each of which sounded closer.  Then thundering hooves could be heard, closer and closer.  I glanced apprehensively at Fang.

Abruptly, the barn door crashed open.  A horse galloped inside.  It reared as it skidded to a stop, hay flying into the sun light that came with the opening of the door.

Silhouetted by the light, a stocky figure crouched over the horse’s arched neck.

Gradually, my vision adjusted to the light.  Eyes bulging, I sucked in a noisily sharp breath!

♦ ♦ ♦ 

Our heroes seem to be in a real pickle.  TROLLEY has put herself in danger of “deletion” and their only possible help used to be hateful to Fang.  Plus, that person is stuck part way between human and… what? Does that make him less useful?  Maybe even a liability? Tune in for more next weekend.  Hugs on the wing!

 The history, particularly military aspects of this story probably make it difficult… However, this story isn’t really about religion or politics. So, 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.


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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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66 thoughts on “The Armadillo Files, Episode 19 — Featuring Pat at eQuips

  1. I like the chance being taken to help, even if the person wasn’t so nice. I can’t wait to see when they are and who or what is on the horse! Another great episode, Teagan! xoxo

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Hung off a cliff with a horse. I don’t like horses – they’re dangerous at both ends and uncomfortable in the middle- so this barn interruption is a worry. As is a half transformation. Goodness what a mess they get into. Happy days!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. On with your incredible story! I am very happy that Fang and Trolley are still around, they are fascinating characters! And, now a horse, a barn and who knows what else will come on the scene. Looking forward as you continue to develop your story. New ventures for 2022! !

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Oh my goodness! Dilly and Fang are certainly in a pickle. I love her dedication and loyalty to him. “They’ll have to go through me…” Great stuff! My favorite line from this piece is, “Such is the price of independent thought…” That certainly fits today’s societal climate. Have a great weekend, Teagan!

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Thanks, Teagan. This was one heck of a chapter. I love how the characters of Dilly and Fang are morphing and their bond has become ever stronger. Can’t wait for both the next chapter and the next Journey. Hope your brain is up to the strain. Now for the refrain. Write on!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Corsets go as far back as the 16th Century! I can’t imagine Trolley taking Fang and Dilly that far back. So “where and when” remains a mystery to me. Poor Fang, he really gets the short end of the stick sometimes. I’m wondering if Henry is now part horse and part human. Hell, this is your story Teagan so anything is possible!

      Liked by 3 people

  6. You’ve brought us back to a precipice, Teagan – you’re favorite resting point, I think – but where and when? I guess Dilly is asking that same question, but she’s there and worried, perhaps worse. I’m trying to imagine. I don’t know exactly when women wore corsets. I had to laugh at the image of Fang holding the corset against himself – he’s quite the character. As to what ran in / rode in, I have no idea, but it sounds impressive and worrisome. I guess I’ll wait in the barn with Dilly and Fang. Until next episode- I hope you have a good week.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. A corset, someone in Fang’s past whom he isn’t fond of (to say the least) and who managed to get stuck in mid-transformation, and our protagonists are left to their own devices at some point in time when corsets were involved. And a mysterious rider makes an appearance… What next? I have no idea where the story will take us, but I can’t wait to find out. Thanks, Teagan!

    Liked by 2 people

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