I just didn't like Carlyle's ending, so I wrote this. Why not share it with other people who felt like crying after seeing him die? ;) enjoy, peeps!
She had no idea if it had been their intention to kill him. But from what she could see during the attack, they didn't try very hard to keep him alive. It took long, very long, before everyone was gone and she could finally run over to see if he was still breathing. John Carlyle, CEO of Armadyne, was fading rapidly. Once his wounds were treated by a befriended doctor, who promised to keep the CEO's presence on earth confidential, he was given a place to rest at her home. All she could do now.. was wait.
There was a soothing voice speaking to him through the pain and his struggle to breathe. He did not recognize the voice though, and that frightened him. He must have whimpered, cause the soothing words turned even softer.
"It's okay, it's okay"
It certainly wasn't okay in his mind right now. His head pounded painfully from the data heist, and his memories of the event resembled soup more than clear lines. He inhaled sharply when he felt a sting in his arm. Were they still not done with him? He struggled to break free from the pain, but he was held firmly into place.
"Keep him still"
"Calm down, John. It's just a painkiller"
Warmth flooded through him as he felt the intravenous liquid numb his aching body and he slightly relaxed. Without the pain he could focus on other things, like getting his head cleared out and figuring out where he was. He couldn't be on Elysium, for they didn't do intravenous treatments there. He would have been laying in one of the medical beds.
Before he could protest, he felt a glass against his lips and he had no other choice but to gulp down whatever they offered him. It was only tea and he sighed in relief.
"Don't be scared. I'm not going to hurt you"
The voice said and he was about to relax and rest a little when he heard the clattering of surgical instruments. He panicked and started struggling again. The hot air that hit his bare skin smelled thickly of blood and sweat. Were they going to operate on him?! What did they expect to find inside his body?! He knew earth citizens had wild stories going around about what was inside an Elysium citizen.
"I'm going to have to sedate him if he keeps thrashing around like this. He's amazingly strong for someone in his condition. Damn mutants.."
"Lay still, John! I'm trying to help you!"
"But y..you are hurting me!"
His raspy voice had made an impression, because the hands stopped touching him and for a moment all he could hear was his heavy laboured breathing. "And you said you wouldn't" he continued, feeling exhausted from the loss of blood.
To his surprise, he felt a hand smooth the hair back that was plastered against his forehead. All done with a gentleness he wasn't at all familiar with, but it certainly couldn't come from the people that had stolen his brain data.
"Some of it will hurt, I admit. But you need help, John. You're not out of the woods yet. I cannot help you when you're so nervous, so forgive me for this" the voice spoke and he felt another sting in his arm. Immediately his brain started to shut down and his eyelids started feeling as heavy as bricks. He felt himself slip away into darkness.
"you're too good for the world, Mira. Now what are you going to do with him? You think he'll be thankful or something? Give us tickets up there?"
"he might not even live. He lost so much blood. And look at his brain activity, if he doesn't calm down he won't survive for sure"
Voices, the same two, hurting his sensitive head. He had welcomed the silence and wished it would have stayed with him a little longer. But he was waking up and he knew it. Breathing was a little easier, and the wound was numbed into oblivion. He felt warm and sleepy, like he just spend an hour soaking in a hot bath. He shifted and tried to change his position, but he agitated his wound and moaned in pain.
The hand that had soothed him earlier came back to his hair and he calmed, intrigued and curious. He knew that hand wouldn't hurt him by now, it only played with his hair, whatever for he didn't know. And it belonged to someone with a very gentle voice that had spoken to him earlier before he fell asleep.
"How are you feeling, John?" The voice asked.
The hand was moved away for a moment and he wondered if the owner thought his head was hurting because of it. But it soon returned with something blissfully cool against his forehead.
"the pain won't be permanent, but it'll stay for a while longer. Your brain got a little fried" the voice laughed a little. Was it funny? Apparently so, people from Earth always seemed to have a strange sense of humor.
"will you stay with me? If I fall asleep again?" he asked, not wanting to be alone. He was scared. His attackers might come back if they found out he was still alive. He didn't know if it had been their intention to kill him. From what he remembered, they had seemed rather panicked at the sight of his wound. Fingers curled around his hand and gave him a small squeeze.
"I'll be here"
With that promise, he allowed himself to lose consciousness once more.
Something clattered to the floor and made the most loud shattering ruckus he had ever experienced in his life. He shot into an upright position and immediately regretted it as gravity pushed down on his broken ribs and the pain returned full force. He yelped and clutched at his bandaged torso. A cat sprinted out of the room, she had pushed some pans off a cupboard. Looking down he saw the white linen wrappings turn dark red.
"Oh no.. help! Please.. someone!"
There was someone at his side within a second and through his panic he could finally see the owner of the voice and the hand that had steadily brought him back to the world of the living. She was young and dressed in a simply shirt and a pair of dirty, ripped jeans. Usually, he wasn't very fond of people from Earth. They seemed vile and unusually aggressive. This woman hadn't displayed any aggression yet though.
With skilled hands she started unwrapping the stained linen and pressed a rolled up ball of cotton against the bleeding wound. It had been stitched, but he had agitated it with his abrupt movements. He couldn't keep his steel blue eyes off her face, so intrigued to find out what his caretaker from Earth looked like. She noticed his curious gaze and smiled at him while wrapping his wound in clean linen.
"well good afternoon to you too. I'm glad to see you finally up" she said.
"who are you?" he asked and flinched when she pulled the linen a little tighter around his chest.
"I'm sorry. My name is Mira. I know who you are, John Carlyle"
He didn't know if that was a good thing or not. Most Earth citizens didn't particularly like him since he could be a ruthless boss in their eyes. He didn't have droids for protection for nothing.
"what are you going to do with me, Mira?"
His cold, blue eyes stared into her brown ones. She could see he was scared, even though he tried to look as impassive as possible. It was no surprise to her, he had been full of fear every time he had been awake.
"Don't worry. I'll find a way to contact Elysium and you'll be on your way home in no time. Right now though, you're not fit for travel and I can't leave you alone for too long" she said.
At that news he slowly lay back down, feeling suddenly exhausted and dizzy. He stared up at the fan hanging from the ceiling, blowing welcome cool air his way. Earth was a truly disgusting place, but right now he would sell his company to keep this bed. He noticed Mira staring at him with sympathy but didn't touch him anymore. She had done so before, so what happened?
"My head hurts" he spoke quietly, closing his eyes against the stinging pain. "why does it hurt so much? What did they do? It shouldn't hurt like this" he sounded almost angry.
He had heard about brain data heists before. They weren't supposed to be excruciatingly painful, just a little uncomfortable. Unless they were performed in a clumsy matter, which probably had been the case in his situation.
"You want something for the pain? I could inject what the doctor prescribed" she offered, but he shook his head lightly.
"can you do.. what you did before? with your hand? It helped" he sounded absolutely miserable and almost on the verge of tears. He just wanted the pain to go. They had done a terrible job. He was afraid to find out what damage they had caused inside his head.
He felt her fingers run through his hair instantly and he calmed down. It felt so wonderful to be tenderly touched after the rough treatment he had received. He wasn't a man who got touched very often. He wasn't married and didn't hold any relationships that involved touching. Not because he wanted it to be like this, but he simply had no time to fool with it.
She watched as his chest started rising in a more slow, even tempo and smiled in sympathy. A touch seemed to give him a sense of safety, strangely enough.
"Thank you. That really does help" he said weakly, his eyes closed and an expression of relief on his pale face. She brought the covers up to his chin when he started to shiver and continued her gentle ministrations until he had fallen asleep.
There were no thunderstorms in Elysium. But the ones on Earth could be frightening, especially in areas with a particularly dry and hot climate. When the high clouds of drought collided with the lower atmosphere from cooler areas, thunder could be seen down on the planet. It had always been a fascinating sight for any Elysium citizen.
But to suddenly hear a clap of thunder in the middle of the night was a completely new experience and he wasn't sure he liked it. His eyes shot open at the first sound rolling through the sky. It was dark around him, the darkness of night. The girl Mira was gone and he was all alone. The cat that had been the cause of the ruckus earlier that day lay on the foot end of the bed, curled up in fluffy ball.
Deciding he was thirsty and needed to use the bathroom, he slowly started moving out of bed. He shivered when his bare feet touched the cold floor, he hadn't even realized he didn't have his pants on anymore. All that was left of his clothing were his shorts. He wrapped his arms around himself in an attempt to keep warm and very slowly made his way out of the small bedroom. Which, he later realized, was in fact a storage room.
The pounding in his head seemed to get worse when he was standing upright. But eventually he found the kitchen and was able to drink a glass of water. And another one. He was parched. Now all he needed to do was find the bathroom and then he could go back to his bed. He had started to shiver violently from cold as he moved through the house, supporting himself on the walls and pieces of furniture. He found the bathroom and after using it, took a look at himself in the cracked mirror above the sink.
He looked like he had been dragged out of his early grave. His normally so neat hair was a mess and his face looked grey with dark circles around his eyes. The pounding in his head was getting worse and he knew he had to lie down again. He got out of the bathroom and bumped into something soft.
"Oh! John! You scared me.. what are you doing out of bed?" the girl asked and looked up at him with a kind smile.
"I had to.. " he stopped, embarrassed. He leaned against the doorpost for support, but it wouldn't hold him up for very long anymore. He could feel his knees beginning to protest. Before he realized it, she had her arms wrapped around his waist, careful as to not touch his wound.
"Let's get you back into bed"
"I was thirsty" he explained as they began their walk back to his bed.
"I'm sorry, I should have left a glass of water on your nightstand. I thought you'd sleep right through the night"
"I think there's something very wrong inside my head"
She gently lowered him down to sit on the side of his bed and wrapped one of the blankets around his trembling shoulders. She turned on the lamp on his nightstand and looked at her frightened charge, who seemed ready to get a panic attack.
She took his face in her hands and looked at him. "Scans were done on your brains. No permanent damage was detected. But it was done in a very clumsy and cruel way, the doctor wasn't surprised to find some temporary damage. But it'll heal with time, I promise you" she told him.
He seemed unconvinced but more than willing to lean into her touch, his eyes closed. "I need to go to Elysium. They could fix it in a heartbeat. Please, just let me go" he begged.
She felt horrible and sat down next to him on the bed. "I'm not restraining you. But not everyone is like me out here. I don't want too many people knowing about your vulnerable position. You're exhausted, John. Come and lay down"
Slowly, he did as he was told, feeling more than happy to lay down again. She tucked him in and placed another quilt over his legs. "I'm trying to keep you safe" she whispered.
He didn't understand this woman's motives at all. At great lengths and risk she tried to protect him even though they didn't know each other. She seemed to know him, so maybe they had met in the past. And as usual, he hadn't cared to remember her name or face. "why?" he asked wearily.
"Because I witnessed everything they did and I couldn't bear watching it without doing anything. If I had left you there, you would have died and your body would have been discovered. Lord knows what they would have done to you" she explained, but he shook his head.
"That makes..no sense at all" he mumbled, getting agitated.
"I don't enjoy cruelty. My brother works for your company and according to him you're a cold arrogant asshole with hardly any human feelings. He thinks Elysium citizens are more like aliens from old movies than citizens of the future"
He stared at her with an empty expression. He was no alien. A cold arrogant asshole, maybe, but no alien. And what of it? Playing nice didn't do anyone much good in the business world he came from.
"No human feelings, hm?" he mumbled and looked away from her. Sweat was trickling down his face from exhaustion and stress. He didn't exactly enjoy being called a heartless bastard.
"But I know he's wrong. Cause I've seen another side of you" she said and they locked eyes again. She reached out and smoothed his hair back, carefully running her fingers through his soft brown strands. He instantly relaxed and closed his piercing blue eyes, as in surrender.
"You might miss this when you're healed and back home. Maybe you'll even try to be nice to someone every once in a while, in the hope that she might do it for you too" she whispered softly.
"I will miss it" he admitted. He usually wasn't one to allow others to touch him, especially not in such an intimate way. But her touch felt almost like healing. His head stopped hurting and his fear left his body whenever she ran her fingers through his hair. He would miss it for sure. He wasn't a stranger to nasty headaches. There was medication enough on Elysium, and they worked fine. But he rather saw it disappear through her method.
"Maybe I'll ask you to do it again in the future. Would you accept?" he asked, half asleep.
"Of course, John. Get some sleep now, alright?"
"Stay in this disgusting place just to have you play with my hair. What a foolish plan. Yes I'll sleep, I'll sleep"
His body went limp and his breathing evened out, but she only left his side when she felt herself grow weary and her fingers started cramping up. It would be a good few hours till the sun would come up.