Chapter 4: The Oblicion
Kylin followed Madam Amber to the Oblicion, heart pounding and her head racing. So much had happened already, and she still had no inkling of what could happen next. Through a mere 45 minutes her mentor was declared as dead and now she was being dragged along to the Oblicion by a possibly not mentally stable lady who was, on the plus side, also the head of the Oblicion.
Kylin quickly stole a glance at the old lady’s face. She could clearly see the horrifying white gash that slashed through the side of her lip. What had even happened to her to get such a scar? Kylin couldn’t help but follow her eyes at Madam Amber’s wrinkled hand, especially the missing gap where a thumb should have been, and gulped. Whoever Madam Amber was, she wasn’t to be messed with or trifled with.
“Kylin!” the head of the Oblicion brusquely shouted, putting Kylin out of her thoughts.
“Are you just going to go ahead and stare at me more or are you going to get on moving? I haven’t got all day to be an escort for a child- I have other more important matters to get along with? Tired already? Well, we’re almost there so hurry up a bit, would you?”
Blinking, Kylin looked and saw Madam Amber staring at her, arms crossed.
“Oh- yeah, my bad miss, I was just -” Kylin muttered, trying to cover up what she had been thinking about and averted her gaze. Unfortunately Madam Amber had spotted her, but she only smiled.
“I see you’re looking at my thumb, right? Or I guess I should say, missing thumb, heh.” Madam Amber said this, cackling, while approaching Kylin and sticking her hand into Kylin’s face.
Kylin tried not to flinch as the old lady waggled the stump of a thumb in front of her eyes. But she couldn’t help but look at it more closely, see the half torn fingernail hanging off of it, and how the end of the stump ended unevenly.
Stop it, she told herself. If she kept getting distracted by Madam Amber’s weird mood swings and tics, it would be night by the time she got to the actual Oblicion. Hopefully the other members of the Oblicion were a little bit less eccentric then their chairman, or Kylin might go insane herself. Inwardly, she composed herself before replying to Madam Amber, trying to ignore the hand still waving in her face.
“Madam Amber, didn’t we have go the Oblicion? My sister has school and I probably have to pick her up soon...” Kylin asked, stopping in her tracks as Madam Amber glared at her.
“Not saying that I...um enjoy your company, because I do, but didn’t you say you wanted to hurry up? I just wanted to, uh, adhere to your words, because as the head of the Oblicion I should respect you, right? ” Kylin managed to stutter out, a bead of sweat dripping down her neck. When Madam Amber didn’t respond, she inched away, stretching a strained half smile on her face.
The old lady stared at her, slowly removing her hand away from Kylin’s face. Kylin’s face remained as calm and expressionless as one could be with a slightly maniac but dangerous person, but in her mind she was screaming. Oh god, what if she gets offended? I really don’t want to die today. Yeah I wanted excitement but this is a little much. Please, please, let me get out of here with my body intact.
“Ah, yes! Stop distracting me! We’ll never be able to get to the Oblicion in time with you acting like this! Tsk tsk girl, I expected better of you.” Madam Amber reprimanded, clicking her teeth at an exasperated Kylin. Kylin wheezed a silent sigh she didn’t know she was holding, mainly of relief and internal despair.
Kylin could tell when she and Madam Amber had approached the Oblicion residence. It certainly stood out from all of the civilian bubble homes. In fact, Kylin could almost feel an aura of dominance and superiority pulsing from the gigantuous bubble that floated before her. Although it’s exterior was shaded, letting none see what was inside, all the citizens of Oblicity knew this was where the Oblicion did their business. The smaller Oblicity homes surrounded the Oblicion bubble vaguely almost resembling a wall of protection.
Most of the bubbles closest to the Oblicion bubbles were where people who worked for the Oblicion, like Kylin’s dad would meet up. No one except the Oblicion were actually let into the Oblicion bubble unless they worked specifically inside the area or under special circumstances. Unfortunately for Kylin, she was in one of the special circumstances. While she had dreamed of meeting the Oblicion someday, it was usually in a more enjoyable and ideal situation.
A few people in light blue garments were in the Outside and passed by Kylin and Madam Amber, only quickly glancing at them on the way. Some, however, stopped and turned, taking a second look back at them, recognizing the yellow stripe on Madam Amber’s garb representing her status as a member of the Oblicio. Slowly more and more people in light blue gathered together in small groups, whispering in each other’s ears, often pointing at Kylin specifically. Kylin’s face burned in shame, and she bent her head slightly downwards to stop from seeing the workers talk about her. Madam Amber, strangely, didn’t tell them to stop whispering and go back to working.
“People will always create rumors, Kylin”, the old lady said, suddenly taking on a serious tone, “so it’s your job to change that to your advantage.” Madam Amber looked at Kylin with almost a sad expression on her face, before grinning.
’And a few rumors about you couldn’t hurt, could they? I mean, I bet you have even gossiped about me at one point in your life, eh?”, Madam Amber asked, winking at Kylin.
Kylin flinched a little in response to Madam Amber’s question, but felt more at peace. Maybe Madam Amber wasn’t so horrible after all. With that, Kylin turned to the people staring at her and flashed a wide grin, even going to wink at them. Many of them gasped, shook at the audacity of a young lady who didn’t even seem like she was supposed to be here in the first place.
“Now that’s more like it, girl.”, Madam Amber chuckled, smiling at Kylin. Kylin beamed back, unable to hold back a smile.
As the two of them came closer and closer to approaching the Oblicion, Madam Amber looked at Kylin and grinned.
“You know, you remind me a bit of my younger self, Kylin. A little bit nervous around people, but still had that adventurous spunk in me. However, sometimes too much spunk is dangerous, mind you.”, she said, her tone hardening at the end unnoticed by Kylin.
Finally, they were face to face with the place that ran the entire city. Kylin and Madam Amber stayed there waiting a few minutes before a worker in blue noticed them, more specifically the yellow gash on Madam Amber’s dress, and nodded at them, still looking confused at why Kylin was there, in her Finders clothing. With the nod, Madame Amber and Kylin took a shuddering breath in as they plunged into the bubble walls.
As they left the Outside and came into the Oblicion Headquarters, their orb suits immediately fell off into pieces and disintegrated, leaving their skin exposed to normal air again.
A young lady in a light blue tunic and trousers and a high tied up ponytail took sight of them and walked over to them.
“Madam Amber, do you require any assistance?”, the lady asked, putting on a bright smile and facing Madam Amber.
“Actually, yes. I was wondering if you could inform the other members to meet up in section A in about 15 minutes?”, Madam Amber replied, taking a look at the pendant on her neck to confirm.
“Alright Madam! I’ll consult with them shortly!”, the ponytail lady chirped back, before briskly turning away to carry on with the business.
Kylin looked at the place in amazement. Everywhere she looked at were workers scurrying around most likely on important tasks. There were rooms that were barred from most from their darkened barriers. As Kylin marveled at was around herself, she suddenly had a horrifying realization.
“Madam Amber!”, she whispered loudly into the old lady’s ear, “What if my father is here! Doesn’t he work here? What if I...run into him, or he sees me?”
Madam Amber just looked at Kylin with a lazy smile. “Child, if he sees you, then what does it matter? You’ll probably have to tell him about this at some point anyways.”, Madam Amber murmured, stretching her arms upwards and yawning.
“Alright, yeah...”, Kylin replied, but she looked around the Oblicion headquarters a little more nervous and paranoid than before. Her eyes flickered around the area, searching for a glimpse of her father. When she ended up not finding him, her shoulders relaxed, and she sighed.
“Now...in about, let’s say 10 minutes, the rest of the Oblicon members will be here, all 19 of them, and of course, don’t forget about me~”, Madam Amber said, putting her arm on Kylin’s back and dragging Kylin along with her. As she said this, the old lady trailed her fingers along the bubble’s walls, letting it ripple under her finger tips.
“We’ll be meeting in quarter A, which is- do you see that darkened wall on your right over there?”, Madam Amber explained, pointing with her finger. A random worker, who at the exact moment chose to walk past that area and glance at the two of them gasped, running away, tripping on themselves.
Kylin nodded, craning her head under Madam Amber’s surprisingly muscled, heavy arms. “Do you know how long the meeting will take? Will I be able to go home in time to pick up my sister from school? Madam.”, Kylin asked, quickly adding a ‘Madam’ at the end of her question.
“Ha, well I know Rinny probably would try to pull a filibuster and extend the meeting all day for her entertainment, but the others will probably want it done as soon as possible.”, said Madam Amber, squeezing her arm around Kylin’s neck. Kylin gasped slightly, but stayed still. This whole mess happened because I wanted some excitement, god dammit. I should’ve just stayed home today, she thought, releasing a frustrated sigh.
Madam Amber frowned at hearing Kylin’s sigh.
“You’d rather not find out why your precious mentor died and not know where to go for work tomorrow? What a shame, I thought so much better of you. Don’t you have a heart, Kylin? Shame on you. ” Madam Amber teased, smirking at the shocked expression on Kylin’s face.
“Anyways, it’s almost time for the meeting! You ready? Eh, probably not, by the look of pain on your face. Don’t worry! We’re not all bad! You met me, and I’m not that bad! Right?” Madam Amber purred, squishing her wrinkled face against Kylin’s. Kylin squirmed, trying to separate herself from the old lady. Madam Amber released Kyline and threw her arms into the air, squealing. Some personal space would be nice, Madam Amber, Kylin thought to herself.
“Er, ye-yeah.” Kylin replied, averting her gaze, grimacing at her feet. She still wasn’t sure if she liked Madam Amber or felt slightly irritated at her craziness. However, Kylin remembered that this lady, no matter if she liked it or not, was authority. But how was she supposed to respect authority when they acted...like this? Putting her hand on her forehead, she prepared herself for the meeting soon to come.