Even over the din of Scramble Alley, Mako could hear the music. Somebody from the Striker Eureka team had left their music player on. Some might grumble about protocols but even at the end of everything, there had to be some hope.
She strained her hearing to identify the singer; so many had sung the song but was it the version she loved the most. Her waiting was rewarded as the warm, honeyed voice of Nina Simone began to sing and Mako was transported back…
… To San Francisco, back before the attacks could be counted in months rather than days or hours. Sensei had just signed the paperwork that would allow her to live with him; to train and learn and to one day avenge her family.
To celebrate, he had brought sweets and good things to eat with him as he had brought her into his new quarters, complete with a bedroom that would be hers and hers alone. As she had settled in, he put some music on, from one of his favourite singers; something to help them turn the unknown into the more familiar. This song had been the first to play, enticing her to stop her curious exploration and simply listen. Even though her English was minimal, she could tell that the song and the singer were both full of hope. That a corner had turned and that one day, it would be okay.
Hearing it again, now, with the whole world celebrating, and the few who had served left mourning those they had lost, she knew that he would not want her to be sad. That the sun was on its way and that it would be alright.