August 2006, Lacie's Coffee and Diner:
"Good morning, Mr. . ." the young waitress paused, seeing his signature on a paper in front of him. "M? Coffee again?"
"Yeah, please. Irish, one cream. You remember how I like it by now." he said. It was a statement, not a question. Manfred's instincts told him that this girl had a good enough memory.
"Yes, sir." said the girl, who seemed to be unnerved by his manner. Could she be used to his brusque manner already? Or was it because she was a kid? "Anything else I can get you?"
The girl made a face. "That's no good, sir. Do you ever eat? All you have when you come here is coffee. That's boring."
"Elle!" a voice called from the back. "Don't be rude to customers."
The girl turned around, probably to make a face at the person who owned to voice, before getting Manfred's coffee.
Manfred thanked her, then asked if he could read a newspaper. Maybe that would pacify this girl for now. When she brought it to him wordlessly, he sighed. What was it with kids, anyway, that they had to butt into your business like that?
He didn't think the same way three years later when Elle was asking whether Jerry Croft was okay at his dinner table, though.
Evanescent City Hospital, present day:
When Manfred awoke, he was told that he had a major concussion. It wasn't good. All of the information he had! It was on his own computer, but he still felt more comfortable having it in his head. How was he going to get in contact with the last. . .
The last what? What was the name again? Manfred was already infuriated with himself. He had to remember! He had to.
He looked up, and saw three people come into the doorway. Derek and Jerry. Thank God he remembered their names. . . .But the third person? He looked really familiar, and reminded Manfred of that picture he had been shown of Elle's birth father.
Elle? He hadn't thought of her in years. He must really be out of it.
"Hello, Agent MacCell." the familiar stranger said.
"I know you from somewhere." Manfred accused.
The stranger grinned, much to the annoyance of Manfred and Derek. "Shall I refresh your memory?"
"I kidnapped you during the St. James case, and beat the hell out of your friend here. My sister leads the Sabres. My father leads the Wreckers, but he pretends not to know me because I begged him to when I joined. Remember my name?"
Manfred thought hard for a few minutes, staring at the stranger. He knew him, saw flashes of memory. Derek being chased, Elle screaming, Jane panicking. The stranger screaming, too.
"I remember you, but not your name. The concussion." Manfred pointed to his head.
The stranger laughed. "I'm Matthieu LaMensan. The famous Wrecker who took the fall for your kidnapping by himself. I was hoping you could help me."
"Oh, right." Manfred murmured as he sat up. "What do you want?"
"My father went off the grid. He said that if he ever did, you'd know where to look. I guess it doesn't matter now since you don't remember, but were you ever in contact with him?"
"Probably." Manfred said. "As far as I know, he was the last person I needed to find. I can't remember why. But if you want to know whether I've been in contact with him, I have a computer of my own that we can look at to see whether it was important."
"What do you keep record of, assuming you do?"
Manfred was silent then. Despite not remembering, he knew that he couldn't mention it anyway even if he did.
Matthieu looked at Jerry, who shook his head. "Neither of us know. The man doesn't want us to have info in case Derek or I are caught by your sister."
"That sounds pretty stupid." Matthieu said bluntly. "How long have you two been blind? He probably doesn't trust you."
"Actually, I was planning on telling them everything before we went back."
"To where?" Matthieu smirked.
Once again, Manfred fought to remember.
"Metro." Derek supplied when Manfred's face went blank. "We were planning on going back to Metropolia.
"To meet your father!" Manfred blurted in a flash of recognition.
Matthieu stared at him in surprise. Derek's face remained emotionless, but he was also confused.
"Isn't the guy we're supposed to meet named Chris?" Jerry asked.
"It's all on my computer. I can give you all the information you need if we can get it."
"How am I supposed to get it?"
"I can help you with that as soon as we get a little manner sorted out." Jerry, Derek and Matthieu all whirled around. It was a police officer.
"I'm looking for Jerry Croft and Derek Portman."