Chapter 17: Alive
Though her body was committed to this fragile comatose state, Franziska von Karma’s mind was very well conscious and aware of everything happening around her. The last memory she had was of her supposed end; her father placing a gun in her mouth and pulling the trigger. When her mind awoke from the trauma of being shot, all Franziska could feel was pain, coursing throughout her entire body like a burning hot poker. She wanted to scream, she wanted to die, for the pain to leave her, for her to be reunited with the man she loved and believed to be dead. She wanted to just give in, fade away peacefully into oblivion to spend eternity with Miles Edgeworth. However, as she lay on the brink of death, something tugged on her heart, like a lifeline tied to the living world.
Despite her longing to leave this world, to enter a world of pure bliss, Franziska knew she must fight, and fight with all of her heart. It wasn’t long after this moment she became aware of the voices surrounding her.
“I-I never thought this would ever happen to you…not you…you were always so strong…”
The familiarity of the voice struck a chord in Franziska’s mind.
“Franziska, despite everything, I always considered you to be a wonderful person. You prosecuted with such conviction and dedication; it was incredible. I’m honoured to have met you, and even more honoured to have called you my friend. You’ll be greatly missed by everyone, Detective Gumshoe, Maya, Pearls…and especially me…I’ll always have a spot in my heart for you Franziska von Karma. Farewell.”
Fool! Can’t you hear me?!.....Phoenix Wright, answer me at once!!!
As the sound of a commotion breaking out caused Phoenix Wright to leave her side, Franziska felt herself starting to panic.
He couldn’t hear me?!!! B-but I’m alive!!! Why was he saying farewell?! Fool!!!
As the commotion got worse, so did the panic that was growing inside of her. She had to tell someone. She had to let them know she was still alive.
It seemed like forever before she heard her name again.
At the sound of his voice, Franziska felt her heart flip. Could it really be true?
Miles? Miles, is that you? Miles!!!!
Again and again Franziska cried out to him, but he couldn’t hear her. It seemed liked hours before she got a reply.
Miles! You can hear me!!! I’m alive!!!
She felt his warm arms wrap around her, and for a moment, hope flooded through her. Miles was alive, after everything he was alive. Not only that, he could hear her. But as soon as it had come, the flood of hope washed away, as Miles Edgeworth started crying into her shoulder. Each heartbroken sob tearing deeper into her heart.
Miles!! I’m here!! I’M HERE!!!!!!
Franziska could feel his hot tears roll down her body, she could smell his intoxicating aroma, she could hear each and every one of his sobs, but he couldn’t hear her. After believing he was dead, Franziska was going to lose him again because he believed her to be dead.
“Please…no…please…wake up…please wake up…”
He was begging to her now.
Miles, I’m here! I Love You!! I’m here!! I’m alive!! I want to wake up!!!
She felt his hand brush across her face as he started to sob harder. Franziska didn’t know how much more she could take of this. It was torture. She could hear how heartbroken he was and there was nothing she could do about it.
Over and over she repeated his name in vain. She felt an invisible tear roll down her face as panic and sheer heartbreak started to fill her body.
She felt his hand move over the exit wound on her neck, barely touching it as if not to hurt her.
Franziska couldn’t stand it any longer. She screamed his name at the top of her voice, hoping, praying he would hear her, that all of her spirit had not been broken, that she had something to fight for.
He was calling to her now, she knew it. Franziska had heard herself speak to him, and now he had heard it too. She felt his hands frantically start searching her before feeling his head against her chest.
Like an obedient puppy, Franziska’s heart, though faint, beat as hard as it could for Miles to hear. Seconds later she heard Miles barking out orders to everyone, telling them she was alive and needed medical attention.
I knew I could count on you Miles….you foolishly foolish fool.
Although her lips didn’t move, Franziska could feel herself smile.
“Franziska. Stay with me. Stay with me ok? I’ll get you through this. I promise I will NEVER lose you again.
Franziska felt something warm and soft being wrapped around her as she was lifted into someone’s arms.
“Stay with me Franziska…I-I know you can fight this…”
Despite the momentary elation Franziska had felt, she soon realised that they were both far from clear yet. Franziska’s body still appeared to be unconscious. It had taken Franziska every ounce of strength she had in her to call out to Miles, and there was no physical way she could keep up that level of fight for long.
As her adrenaline began to ebb, the pain came rushing back. Though her body was calm and peaceful, Franziska’s mind was now screaming in agony, writhing in the pain of the imaginary fire that had engulfed her body. Subconsciously she heard the sirens approaching, and felt as she was laid onto a stretcher.
As the ambulance rushed towards the hospital the burning like pain increased. Franziska’s already faint heartbeat grew rapid as agony beyond which she had never known overwhelmed her.
“She’s going into cardiac arrest!”
“What?! Franziska, fight it!! Stay with me!!”
Death is the strangest feeling. At first there’s the pain, the sheer agony as the body goes into shock. Then a strange numbness takes over, allowing the mind a momentary respite in which it can take one final look at the memories it had collected. Finally, there is peace. As the body fails and the soul prepares to leave, a sense of peace and relief washes over, allowing the dying person to smoothly make the transition from life to death.
As the pain in her body peaked, an eerie numbness came over her. Her body was failing her, all she could do was relive the memories of Miles and her that she secretly cherished so deeply as she vaguely heard the sounds of panic echoing round the ambulance.
Miles was alive. Her father had lied to her. As Franziska grew accustomed to the numbness, she felt relief wash over her. No matter what happened to her, Miles was alive and able to live out the rest of his life and right now, that’s all she cared about. She had studied the stages of death previously, in order for her to gain a better understanding of a crime scene, now she knew that the only thing left to come was peace, her final breath. Though she felt great disappointment at the lack of time she had gotten to spend with Miles Edgeworth, at least she had told him, well shown him, how she felt.
As Franziska von Karma drew in her final breath, the pain returned full force, her body jolting as if it had just been struck by lightning.
Again she felt the blinding pain, and the force of her body rising off the stretcher before dropping back down.
This pain was almost worse than what she had felt before. It pierced deep into her heart, but it wasn’t responding.
“Franziska! Stay with me, you can do it!”
She heard Miles voice cracking as he spoke.
The paramedics, desperate to save Franziska’s life, raised the settings on the defibrillator one last time.
The pain ripped through her heart, pulling her body off the stretcher in a violent jerk.
Franziska’s eyes flew open, her scream resonating round the ambulance ass her body hit the stretcher again. As the paramedics attempted to stabilise her, Franziska drew short rapids breaths. Her vision was so blurry that all she could see was bright lights. She felt the world underneath her shake as the ambulance pulled up outside of the hospital and she was rushed straight into theatre.
It had been 4 hours since Franziska had entered the operating theatre. All Miles Edgeworth could do was sit and wait. He had been joined by the likes of Phoenix Wright, Detective Gumshoe and Lana Skye not long after he had arrived at the hospital. Lana had been the last to arrive as she had been briefed by the coroner on scene about how he failed to pick up Franziska’s signs of life.
“She’ll be ok Mr Edgeworth sir! She has us here!!”
Detective Gumshoe clapped a hand on Miles Edgeworth’s back in an attempt to reassure him.
“He’s right you know Edgeworth, Franziska is a strong woman, she’ll pull through.”
“You should listen to Mr Wright sir! He knows what he’s talking about!”
Miles just nodded. He was preoccupied with what Lana Skye had told him. The bullet had narrowly missed all major blood vessels, not to mention the spinal cord. The damage from the bullet itself was rather superficial; it had been the malnourishment and poor treatment Franziska had received that had left her on deaths door, coupled with the physical shock of being shot. On top of everything else, she had been thrown into to the river naked with a still healing bullet wound which had gotten infected. The sheer fact she was alive, whilst plausible, was nothing short of a miracle.
After returning from a phone call Lana sat next to Miles.
“I’ve spoken with the chief of police, he’s going to send a team out to follow the river and try and find where Manfred is hiding. We won’t let him get to her again.”
The detective stumbled over pulling some vague form of a salute.
“I warn you now. You are to personally guard Ms. Von Karma during her time in hospital. If ANYTHING happens to her, I will personally see to it that your next salary is so low you won’t even be able to afford instant noodles. Do I make myself clear?”
The detective gave a big gulp.
“Y-yes Sir! Y-you can count on me sir!”
Phoenix took a seat the other side of his friend and put a hand on his shoulder.
“Edgeworth, you’ve been given a second chance.”
“W-what are you talking about Wright?”
Miles Edgeworth was shaking. He was desperately worried about his lover who he was unable to help fight for her life. This also meant his patience was very thin.
“You got Franziska back. I know you love her Edgeworth. Don’t miss your opportunity to tell her so.”
“Like you didn’t with Maya?”
Phoenix faltered for a second.
“It’s different with Maya and me. I mean, I’ve only recent developed feelings for her…”
Phoenix Wright hadn’t planned on telling anyone his newly developed feelings for Maya, but he figured if there was one person on this planet who would find out no matter what; it would be Miles Edgeworth.
“When I thought I’d lost Maya….I didn’t know how I was going to live without her….I’m still coming to terms with those feelings. Miles, you know how you feel about Franziska; you’ve got to seize the opportunity whilst you have the chance. If I were in your shoes, I wouldn’t have waited this long.”
“If you were in my shoes? Wright are you saying what I think you’re saying?”
Before Phoenix Wright had a chance to answer another familiar face burst through the door.
Larry Buttz ran up to Phoenix Wright, grabbing his shirt.
“Where’s my Franny?! Is she ok?! I can’t live without her!!”
“Larry, stop talking.”
Larry’s eyes started to glaze over and become all shiny.
“How can you be so cruel Nick?! Franny is my one true love!! I couldn’t live if she was hurt?!”
“Larry…You have NO idea what’s going on.”
Phoenix took a nervous glance over to Miles who was already on his feet, anger radiating off of him.
“I think you should go Larry.”
“Nick! You can’t say that! How can I leave my poor Franny! You’ll back me up, won’t you Edgy!”
As Larry looked over to Miles his face was greeted by Miles’ fist. Stumbling backwards Larry covered his face with his hands as Detective Gumshoe rushed over to restrain Miles.
“How dare you speak of Franziska in that manner!”
“What’s your problem Edgy?!”
“Franziska is fighting for her life, and you come in here making a farce out of it all!”
Larry mopped the blood from his nose before speaking again.
“Jeez….She’s only your sister, no need to get do protective. Besides, you know if she was my girl I’d take good care of her.”
“SHE IS NOT MY SISTER!”
“Wow…that’s harsh…I bet she’d be real upset if she heard you say that Edgy!”
Tearing himself out of the detectives grip, Miles threw another punch at Larry. It wasn’t long before Lana cut in.
“Mr Wright, Detective Gumshoe, restrain Prosecutor Edgeworth please.” She grabbed larry by the arm. “You Mr Butz will accompany me.”
She dragged Larry out of the hospital giving him a brief explanation of what happened and warning him not to come back to the hospital until he had Miles’ permission before returning to the rest of the group.
“Let go of me!”
“Not until you calm down first Mr Edgeworth sir”
Miles Edgeworth took a deep breath in, attempting to regain his composure. Although Larry was his friend, there was just something’s he didn’t need to hear right now. And some idiot fawning over Franziska was not one of them. That reminded him.
“What was it you were implying before Larry showed up Wright?”
Miles tried very hard to keep his voice even. He knew perfectly well what Phoenix Wright had been insinuating, he just wanted to hear it from his own mouth.
The look on Phoenix Wright’s face fell as he realised Miles hadn’t forgotten what he’d said.
He knew there was no point in lying to Miles.
“I…erm…think Franziska is a…erm…wonderful woman…”
“Wright. Don’t you dare even think about it.”
“No no no!! You don’t understand!! I think she’s very attractive and stuff sure…and I would have liked to have dated her but…now I’ve realised I have Maya, and besides, I’d never interfere between you two.”
Detective Gumshoe, who hadn’t been paying much attention up until this point, suddenly realised what had just been said.
“You have a crush on Ms. Von Karma pal?” He asked Phoenix Wright.
“N-ye-n-yes. Well no. Not anymore.”
Phoenix eyed Miles Edgeworth very carefully, keeping a close watch on his fists. Detective Gumshoe scratched his head.
“Hang on…Is there something going on with you and Ms. Von Karma?”
The last thing Phoenix needed was for the detective to get the wrong end of the stick and to make his situation worse.
Lana Skye, who had once again been silent up until now, walked over to the three men.
“So, Mr Wright has a crush on Prosecutor von Karma, but has stronger feelings for Ms. Fey and Prosecutor Edgeworth has strong feelings for Prosecutor von Karma.”
“Ooooh…..I get it now pal!”
Miles clenched his jaw tightly. He did not like the way the conversation had turned. And of all times for Phoenix Wright to confess his feeling, why now?
“That’s why I was saying. When she recovers…don’t waste this opportunity Edgeworth, you’ll regret it for the rest of your life.”
Feeling the anger rising and his limited patience running out again, Miles went to give Phoenix a stiff warning about his relationship with Franziska. Before he had the opportunity to, he was interrupted by a nurse.
“Mr Edgeworth, you may see her now.”