Encounter

Derek and Jerry had sat silently in the ambulance as it rode into the small-town hospital.

When they got there, Manfred was rushed in to be examined. He had, apparently, hit his head quite hard. A few pieces of glass from the driver's side window had somehow cut the skin just above his eyebrow, which accounted for any blood Jerry had seen.

Manfred would have escaped virutally unscathed but for a few stitches and a major concussion. Jerry's ankle, as Derek had assesed, was not broken. Merely bruised and twisted. He was given crutches and told to take it easy for a couple of months.

Derek himself had come out literally unscathed. His Sabre training had given him an advantage: he had reacted with the car's movements and braced himself just right for the impact. The doctor had thought this impossible, except for the fact that Derek had little or no injuries.

What happened, as related to them later by a policeman, was as follows: A speeding car had exited from a small city onto the highway and hit the tail of their car hard as Manfred had driven over a slippery part of the road, which had caused the spinning. Manfred had, while arguing with Derek over control of the car, somehow managed to get the car into a ditch at the odd angle which it was found.

Jerry's laptop, to his releif, had escaped without a scratch on it. As soon as Derek was talking to the policeman, he opened it and checked to see if the SD card was still intact.

It was. Jerry clicked away at the laptop, trying to see if he could get through the encryption and whatever else was keeping those files intact.

Nothing. He still couldn't get through.

"What are you doing?"

Jerry closed the program in two clicks. "Makin' sure that it survived."

Derek rolled his eyes. "And how is your baby working?" he inquired sarcastically.

"Perfectly fine, thank you very much." Jerry replied curtly. "How's the Man doing?"

"The Man has a major concussion and a few stitches from the broken glass, on his left cheek and hand. . . ." Derek's voice trailed off. He was staring at at a figure who was coming across the room towards them.

"What? What's wrong?" Jerry followed the line of his friend's vision. "Uh. . . .are you seein' the same guy that I'm seeing, brother? Or are we both just dreaming?"

"You're not dreaming, you idiot." Derek snapped in reply. "But what are you doing here?" he demanded.

The newcomer smirked. "Long time no see." he remarked. "And you're still dragging that Extra around, too. Huh. I suppose you're on the trail of the ex-agent like I am? I heard he get in a car crash and was sent here."

"He's nowh-hey!" 

Derek knocked Jerry's laptop onto the floor and stood up to face the (he assumed) intruder.

"And if we are? Are you going to have your friends come back from the grave and beat me to near death again? Or am I facing the local ringer this time?" he smirked back at him. "Are you going to waste time here, Matthieu, or do you really believer that he's here?"

"I saw him get taken in, buddy. You don't need to play that game with me."

"Then, what do you want?" Jerry demanded.

"I came to have a little chat with Derek. No big deal."

Matthieu LaMensan shrugged, his eyes filled with half-suppressed rage.

The End

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