Obernewtyn sounds like a desolate place, far away from anything and surrounding by the Blacklands. It was created by Lucas Seraphim, in the early days of the Council, and the land had only recently been ‘freed’ by the Blacklands. Because over time, more and more land becomes habitable again as the radiation recedes and life takes over. I guess it is a message of hope, that no matter how much crap we throw at the Earth, in some capacity life will continue and gradually take over once more. Misfits are sent to Obernewtyn if they are deemed ‘too bad’ for Councilfarms. There are rumours that Obernewtyn is a place where experiments take place on Misfits trying to find a ‘cure’ for them, some say that Lucas Seraphim was mad, as with any far away place it is plagued with mystery.
Obernewtyn sends out it’s own keepers to find Misfits that go under the radar, and that they are extraordinary talented in spotting them in a crowd, and once caught out as a Misfit by a keeper, there is no going back. Again time seems to be ‘irrelevant’ and it appears that a couple more days have passed, as news of a keeper’s arrival to the orphanage confirms Elspeth’s fears. Even Jes is concerned and tries to warn Elspeth to be careful. I wonder what would give away some as being a Misfit? Can the keeper see it? Can they sense it? Or are they are they really picking random children, under the guise of picking Misfits? I don’t think the Council would really care if orphans were wrongly accused as being Misfits, and it doesn’t sound like anyone in the land is campaigning for their rights, so it would be very easy for the Council not to care and turn a blind eye to Obernewtyn. Jes makes a good point that they announce her arrival is forthcoming to make sure everyone is scared and more likely to trip up and make a mistake and reveal themselves.
The Obernewtyn keeper arrived three days later, and to Elspeth she was beautiful. Her name was Madam Vega. I quite like how odd the names are, because obviously it is a very different time to ours so one would expect different names, but the names so far, are quite beautiful and interesting. I’d love to know if they were just randomly created, or if they were found somewhere or if they have any extra meaning. The keeper’s time passed without any major event, and it looks like Elspeth’s secret is safe, as Madam Vega departs shortly. Elspeth has been instructed to make a tea tray for Madam Vega and to take it to her.
Quite foolishly Elspeth decides to use her power to locate Madam Vega, who she thinks is in the room somewhere around the corner. Why would she do this, when this is probably the exact thing that Madam Vega is looking for? Elspeth shakes as she tries to pour the tea, which is again a giveaway to some sort of guilt, though it would be hard to maintain composure in that situation. Madam Vega seems kind and forgiving, even gentle, but I don’t think this is the real her, more a façade. She confirms that Lord Seraphim is trying to cure Misfits, I wonder how on earth someone would be able to do that. I doubt they would have advanced medicines that could work on the brain, if they appear to be without our type of technology, maybe he thinks there are some good herbs or something. But the brain is complex, and it would not be easy to ‘fix’ and it probably should never be attempted.
Elspeth makes further mistakes by letting her mental shield down while looking in Madam Vega’s eyes to see what she is thinking. Obviously Elspeth is not thinking, otherwise she would not be so careless! But it is too late to change anything, because Madam Vega knows, how exactly I’m not sure. Maybe it is as Jes suggested that, Madam Vega was a Misfit too and could sense this sort of thing. It looks like (quite unsurprisingly really, I mean it is the name of the book) we will be headed to Obernewtyn!