Aurora was a very young child when she started saying strange things. All toddlers babbled, for sure, but her nonsensical sounds were organised. There was a pattern, like there would be in any language. It left her parents, Albert and Diane, confused, because they lived in a neighbourhood that spoke only English, and the shows that Aurora watched on the telly were also in English. They decided to take their daughter to the doctor, but he simply remarked that there was nothing wrong with her, and perhaps she simply was more advanced than most children and created a pseudo-language for herself. They were relieved, even a bit proud, but the strange feeling in their guts didn’t disappear.
One day, when Aurora was two years old, a giant machine attacked London without warning. In the panic of the moment, Albert and Diane lost their daughter, who had been holding their hands, in the middle of the crowd. Terrified, they tried to call out for her, to run to where she had been moments ago, but the noise and the people running in the opposite direction made it impossible, and Diane had to drag Albert with her lest they be killed by the swarm.
When they went to the Yard looking for Aurora, they discovered that a gentleman and a young boy had found her and taken care of her. Albert and Diane were deeply grateful.
Aurora was around the age of two in her earliest memories. It wasn’t usual to remember something from that age, but she supposed that a giant machine bent on destroying her hometown had a way of imprinting itself in her mind. It wasn’t the Dove Attack that interested her, though, but rather a much stranger recollection.
During the frenzy of the population to get away from danger as quickly as possible, she had been separated from her parents. At first, Aurora panicked, as she couldn’t find them, and all she could do was press herself against a wall, hoping no one would notice her. But when the tumult died down, she decided to look for them. She walked down the familiar streets of her neighbourhood, now deserted, until she came to strange streets that she did not recognize. Turning a corner, she saw a boy.
He was around the age of thirteen and dressed in a blue sweater and green shorts. His back was facing her, but he turned once he heard her footsteps.
Aurora had seen that face before, somewhere.
The boy’s eyes widened, shocked, before he knelt in front of her and asked:
"Where are your parents?"
She shrugged. He frowned, seeming to think about something, his hand covering his mouth. The boy reached to his satchel, retrieving a notebook and a pen from it. Opening it to a clean page, he exclaimed:
"Don’t worry! I’ll help you find them. After all, that’s what a gentleman does!"
He got up and told her to come with him. He asked her how old she was, her parents’ names, where she lived. He asked her what her name was.
"Aurora Azra." she answered, giving him a bright grin.
He smiled at her.
"Well, Aurora, my name is Luke Triton."
Hershel Layton had seen dead people coming back to life before. Melina Whistler, who died and returned in her friend Janice’s body, Claire, his former girlfriend who admittedly hadn’t been dead yet but travelled to a time in which she was, himself and his ‘crew’, so to say, who died and were revived.
Therefore, it wasn’t much of a shock when he saw his self-proclaimed apprentice with a toddler that greatly resembled the late Azran Emissary, Aurora. Luke and the girl came up to him, and the boy introduced her. Her name was Aurora Azra, and she had lost her parents during the commotion. Luke, the dear boy, had taken upon himself to help her.
After talking to Inspector Chelmey at the Yard (“We’ll tell her parents that you’re taking care of her, Layton, don’t worry about it.”), they went to a small park that had been untouched by the attack. Aurora promptly sat down on a bench, utterly exhausted, and Luke soon imitated her, although he plopped down instead of sitting properly. The girl rested for a bit, and then decided to examine her surroundings.
"Do you like flowers, Luke? There are so many of them here!" Aurora shot up from her seat, pointing at the flowers that adorned the grass. She grabbed Luke’s arm and took him to the patch of wild daisies. The children made flower crowns and placed them in their heads (Aurora’s was significantly sloppier) and decorated their blue and orange sweaters with some of the leftovers.
Luke was only thirteen years old, but he had lived through things he probably shouldn’t have to. That being said, he had a lot of good friends, like Arianna, Tony and Flora, as well as all of his animal friends. He went on amazing adventures with the Professor, unravelling great mysteries.
He, however, had not been able to get over Aurora’s death.
He understood that there was nothing they could have done for her, as her fate had been decided by the Azran millennia ago. But she had been his friend, a great one at that. Aurora had been a genuinely kind and curious person, charming with her strange mannerisms and eagerness to learn more about the modern world. Even when it turned out she wasn’t Azran at all, but a construct, a golem, Luke thought she was one of the greatest people he’d ever met.
The Professor and him talked about her after the end of the adventure. The Professor tried to comfort Luke, reminding him that Aurora had lived happily and died to help them. That they should honour her memory by carrying on.
Luke privately hoped that Aurora had reincarnated as a human, just like how the Professor theorized that the Queen of Ambrosia had been reborn as Miss Melina.
And she probably did, he thought, as the little girl known as Aurora Azra made him a flower crown. In the light of the dawn, her naked arms seemed to glow golden, her fingers pink with the crayon she had stored in her pockets. Two images of her overlapping as she looked up to him, a pink pendant diadem in her forehead, an orange sweater decorated with flowers, the sleeves rolled up, the same-new smile that graced her lips.
She sang the same Azran lullaby that she did before. And then an English one.
Aurora wasn’t the exact same, but she was still Luke’s friend, and he was happy about it.