I hug my legs to my chest, and lay my forehead on my knees.
“I form part of the third group, the Fatalists. They believe that we should accept what comes with being part of the Clepsydra, but unlike helping people like the Equilibrants do we are determined to keep the Alterates from influencing or altering the past..”
I shoot my head back up again, making eye contact with him as he sits across from me.
“What about the reason why you were choking the life out of me?”
I’m getting impatient now, but he just chuckles quietly and says, “I’m getting to that part, but it’s taking a while since you keep interrupting me. Since Clepsydra have a slightly more developed part of their brains sensitive to dealing with other humans and human emotions in order to carry out the purpose they have been given, they are able to pick up on what people are feeling as well as other Clepsydra. This makes my job easier as I can mentally sense the Alterates since they have this particular aura around them. I can only describe it as a mix of colours and emotions I can pick up on. All Clepsydra can do it.”
So that explains the blue mambo-jambo I was getting off everyone during the science test.
“Equilibrants have a white, pure energy whilst Alterates are the opposite and have more of a charcoal, thunderstorm black and grey feeling they give off. I’ve been trained to pick up on this aura and destroy any Alterates I come across just as my father and his father before him did, although this can be difficult at times since younger Clepsydra only start being able to go into the Crossover between the ages of fifteen and seventeen and then only choose which division they will be part of once they come of age at eighteen...until then they give off the aura of their father, the main member of the family. When I first walked in today, I sensed your aura a passage away, it was so strong. I had no weapons with me at the time and I was a little confused, so I did the only thing I knew I could which was to attack you mentally.”
Ok, that explains a lot. It’s nice to know that I’m not being targeted because of absurd reasons at least, but the problem is if I ever tell anyone I’m being hunted by someone who sees black mist swirling around me I would probably be thrown into a nutters house sooner than I can blink.
“Wait a second...back it up a bit. You said you were confused a little...why?” He shook his head a bit before continuing.
“With most Alterates, their auras are definite ‘colours’ but yours were diluted, hard to define. Instead of being black, yours were more of a dove gray, with streaks of silver and iridescent colours like the ones you find on the underside of shells but definitely not white like the Equilibrants. I’ve never seen anything like it, which made me hesitate a bit. That’s why I had to repeat the mental assault a few times, to see if you responded in the same way as any Clepsydra.”
I relax a bit, starting to see the full weirdness that is my life.
“That explains why I felt that pain again during Science and at waterpolo trials. So it really was you then the whole time?” I feel angry again, but I won’t launch a full out physical attack on him until I’m certain he’s checked off all my questions.
“Yes, it was me...the way you fought it made me wonder if you were even Clepsydra at all. That's why I Drifted tonight to find you and...um...finish you off, because I was certain that you must be a pretty powerful Alterate to be fighting my assault.”
I was puzzled again, and the fact that this whole thing has just been one big question mark for me is starting to get on my nerves.
“Drifted? As in made yourself apart of another person’s Crossover?” he nodded, and so I asked another question. “I’m STILL wondering the reason why I’m alive then if you were so intent on annihilating me...”
He struggles with this, he looks as if his very insides are twisting into knots when he answers me.
“When a Clepsydra die or are near death, their very true essence can be seen by looking into their eyes. When people say that ‘the eyes are the windows to the soul’ they don’t know that it’s a saying which originated with us. When I felt the last of your life slipping away beneath my fingertips, and you looked up at me I saw the real you. What I saw cannot be described but I can say that it wholly convinced me that there was no way you could do anything that would intently harm another person and therefore that you could not be an Alterate. I stopped strangling you immediately and hoped with all I am that it wasn’t too late and I had killed you. When you opened your eyes again, it felt like I had a chance at redemption. Clepsydra are charged with looking after people, so murdering someone who is innocent can literally tear our souls, our very beings apart.”
I did a bit of a recap of all of this information in my head, trying to review every detail so I know exactly what was going on. A very obvious thought occurs to me, and I’m pretty shocked I hadn’t asked about it until now.
“You said something about having our fathers aura’s until we’re eighteen and you picked up on a dark aura in me and seeing as I’m only seventeen I would have to inherit my father’s Division he has chosen... problem is there’s no way my father could be an...what were they called? Alterates?...yeah, he couldn’t be that. He wouldn’t be able to hide it from me or my family.”
He met my curious gaze again, and said in a rather restrained tone, “Elena, since you also didn’t know about the Clepsydra until now I’m assuming that your parents don’t either since every family of Clepsydra pass on their skills to their children and also according to you, you’re father isn’t an Alternate which leaves only one option...you must be adopted.”