Obernewtyn – Chapter 16

Chapter Sixteen

As the days went by it was looking less and less likely that Elspeth would ever have to see Madam Vega again, she had thought that she would see her at once. I must say that in essence that sounds quite stuck up and self-centred because she thinks she is so important that Madam Vega will want to see her straight away, but Elspeth is more talking about that she had a premonition, not that she is high on Madam Vega’s list of important things to deal with. But all thoughts of meeting Madam Vega stopped when she learned the news from Dameon, that since her return, Madam Vega had begun ‘treatments’ for Cameo, which does not sound good. Both Matthew and Dameon do not really know what the ‘treatments’ entail and if they do any good (or do bad), but they are designed to ‘cure’ a Misfit from their ‘Misfit-ness’. There is rumour that some sort of ‘shock’ (which to me sounds electrical, but then I realised that they don’t have electricity…)  is used to ‘stimulate’ the mind but whatever they are they are quite harsh, though little is known about them.

When asked about any visits to a ‘Doctor’, Cameo acted surprised and did not know what she was on about, which means she either doesn’t remember doing anything different or Dameon was wrong. It is more interesting that no-one knows what Doctor Seraphim looks like. Dameon believes that anyone who has seen the Doctor, has been prevented from talking about the treatments and what he looks like, which makes me wonder how they would do that in the first place. There is a lot more than meets the eye, here at Obernewtyn.

Dameon also believes that Cameo does not remember any visit to the Doctor because they used the Oldtime technique of hypnosis, which might be true, but how would they know how to do that, Elspeth thinks that it sounds very much like her ‘coercion’ ability. Interestingly she has told Matthew and Dameon nothing about her skill because it is likely they will not really like having someone who can change their minds. Dameon is beginning to think that Doctor Seraphim doesn’t even exist because all commands come from Madam Vega and Ariel. Dameon has heard rumours that there is a different person calling the shots, some man. There seem to be so many rumours that it is hard to know what is true anymore. One day when Elspeth decided to have a look at Cameo’s mind, she could tell that someone had tampered with her mind and created blocks, though she thinks she could have done a much better job as it was quite ‘clumsy’. How on earth could you tell that, what in the world does it feel like? She also knows that she could remove the blocks but that would be painful and would cause irreversible damage to Cameo.

A week later and Cameo looked terrible, whatever was going on was beginning to have an impact on her appearance. Matthew was distraught at the sight of Cameo and wanted Elspeth to ‘deep probe’ her to find out what was going on, but it would be too risky and cause Cameo too much pain. We also learn that if Elspeth tried to break the blocks, because her mind was connected to Cameo’s she too would feel the pain and might not be able to ‘get out’ again. The three of them are all beginning to experience reoccurring nightmares, and are losing sleep because of them. Dameon has even tried using his abilities to find out what is wrong, but has had no real success, as there is a block there too.

Cameo was moved into Elspeth’s room, and one night when she was sleeping, Elspeth was awoken by a scream. It was a physic scream, because only Elspeth heard it. When she went to check on Cameo, she found her convulsing and murmuring  in an odd deep voice, it was like Cameo was not even there. She was in this state for a long while, but eventually was back to ‘normal’. But Cameo opened her eyes and was staring at Elspeth, but her eye colour was different. She told Elspeth that ‘she will never find it’ and was in some sort of trance, and was acting like a whole different person. Whatever is going on, it is not good and is damaging her severely.

The next night, it was the same thing, Elspeth considered waking her but remembered hearing that it was bad to wake someone if they were dreaming. Which is strange that in this time they still believe that, I wonder if there is actual science that has explored this issue, or is it too unethical because we all believe it is bad. There are more rumours, that someone tried to escape Obernewtyn and the “Norseland twins” (whatever that means) were involved and locked up, as well as someone else. I think that has probably put a dampener on Elspeth’s ‘plans’ for escape.

But there is a bit of a breakthrough with Cameo, as one night Elspeth was able to be alone with her and asked her about her nightmares and Cameo broke down in tears. She is really scared, and didn’t expect Obernewtyn to be anything like how it is. She keeps dreaming of an old woman laughing and things chasing her, and it just sounds like torture. This makes Elspeth think of deep probing Ariel’s mind to find out what is going on, and she wonders why she hasn’t done it earlier. Though she says because he sounded rotten, reading his mind might be like stepping on something dead, and who knows whether Ariel’s mind can be read, or if he would sense the invasion like Rushton.

But again her plans are ruined when she hears talk of whether Selmar has been caught yet. The rumour is that she was with the Norseland twins when they tried to escape, and she hasn’t been caught yet. Elspeth tried to talk to Larkin about it but he just got really angry and sent her away. And now Ariel is gone, apparently looking for Selmar, but we have really no idea what is going on, and there seems to be a lot happening.

So Elspeth decides to try and read Rushton’s mind to find out what is going on. But first she decides to ‘practise’ and ‘let her thoughts fly free’. I can almost not comprehend how it would feel like or how someone would be able to do that, but I think it would be so cool! She could feel hundreds of thoughts and ‘impressions’ which are like the residue of events and thoughts in a place. She was able to send out her thoughts (or is it her mind, it is a really odd concept to actually describe) far from where she was standing (was she just standing around whilst doing this, or is she sitting, and what happens if someone tries to talk to her, would she respond, or is she in a trance?) and decided to go beyond Obernewtyn itself, and began to try to reach beyond the mountains, maybe finding Maruman. But it all went wrong. Something ‘squirmed’ as she went over and curious as she is, she decided to investigate (though what is this squirming that happened?). She was foolish enough to actually connect with this thing, and then tried to disconnect, but it was immensely strong and pulled her ‘in’. Somehow the thing began to ‘slide down her probe’ (it is a strange idea, but hopefully understandable) and Elspeth could tell (dimly) that she was now on her knees. The thing was ‘getting closer’ to her own mind, and she could tell that it was no beast or man. Now it seems like the thing is trying to make her go to it, as it is calling her and she stood up.

But now another person entered the mix and began to talk to Elspeth asking who she is. The person’s mind was stronger than Matthew’s, and ‘almost’ as strong as hers (is it really conceited of her to assume that she is massively strong, or is it just because she can tell the strength of someone’s mind, so she is just telling it how it is?) but it wasn’t like one person, but like many people as one. The other mind tried to connect with her, but Elspeth recoiled because that person would know who she was, which could be dangerous if it was the wrong person. But Elspeth can feel herself now start walking towards the door, she is running of out time to overcome this strong mind that was inhuman. The other mind is trying to reason with her, because it knows that if they work together they will beat the machine, and tries to reassure her that they will not read her mind. Reluctantly, she finally agrees.

The two of them struggle in a ‘tug of war of the minds’ and the machine was unable to hold them both, and Elspeth was free once more. The other mind had kept it’s promise though and did not try to read her mind. Back in the real world, Elspeth was drenched with sweat and was obviously exhausted by the effort. So, there is a machine that can deal with thoughts, which has to be Oldtime technology, which is forbidden, so someone is breaking the law. But who could it be, and how did the Oldtimer’s create such a machine, or has it been altered by someone? Also who was the other mind (or minds)? The experience has made Elspeth rein in her powers and only use them in a very basic manner, she couldn’t risk being caught again, as the other mind might not be around to save her. But now her ideas of escape are back on her mind.

Talking to Matthew he tells her that she must try to find out who the other mind is, and if they are to escape, he should come too. Dameon on the other hand believes that regardless of this other mind, he, himself should not go as he would ‘slow them down’. But Matthew doesn’t let that stop him, so Dameon offers his thoughts of how it would be done. It would have to be planned with a high level of detail, and they must consider what they would do once they were free without Certificates, which would make them targets. Elspeth admits that she never thought about beyond escaping, but Dameon thinks that they might be able to pass as Gypsies (which may be true for regular people, but in the Gypsy community themselves, I think people would find out pretty quickly).

Rushton however comes over and stops and further conversation. He wants to know if Elspeth saw Selmar sleeping the night she disappeared, but Elspeth and Rushton seem destined to lock horns, and bicker about who has the right to ask questions. But he quickly sent her away, where Elspeth talked to Larkin again about Selmar, who he thinks is still alive but hasn’t escaped. She is with Ariel (also known as devil-spawned brat) and the Doctor being ‘treated’ again. Larkin then goes off and starts saying that the first Master of Obernewtyn did not mean for any treatments to actually harm his patients (which is what happened to Selmar) and thought that the fresh mountain air would be helpful for them. But when he married a second wife, and then died, his son was ‘too weak’ to ‘fight the yellow eyed bitch’. Then ‘the other two came’ and everything changed.Elspeth has only a limited grasp on what was just said (as do we) but it appears that there is so much more to the story than could have been imagined.

But one thing is for sure, now that Cameo is getting treatments, she is in danger. That isn’t all though, apparently, The Doctor wants to see Elspeth too. Which leaves us on a cliffhanger, and I just spewed over 2000 words at everyone. So much happened, why couldn’t the actual stuff be more spread out, so there was not chapters with like nothing! Hopefully you found it interesting, insightful and entertaining!

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