“Well, how about someone the squad helped?” Dex suggested. “Maybe it’s not for you, specifically, but what you represent?”
Dex had refilled their glasses as they went over the obvious — a long, lost relative or someone Zhang had known under another name. Of course, she had already thought of those possibilities and her own investigation had come up with no connection to Nightingale.
Zhang nodded, but said, “I couldn’t find any record of Nightingale in any of our files. Besides, why name me personally in the will, if that’s the reason? And how would someone even get my name? I can’t even remember the last time I dealt directly with one of our cases.” A look crossed her face and Dex guessed that she had been inadvertently including him in that “our.” He had worked as a member of the detective squad overseen by Zahara Zhang until he had been transferred to his current unit, which dealt with cases that took place in the virtual world.
That thought tweaked something in his brain and he detoured the conversation. “You think this is something to do with M City?”
Zhang followed the abrupt change of tack easily. “Not specifically. Why?”
“Well,” Dex said, “isn’t that why you’re here? I mean, I know I’m the greatest detective that ever was, but surely there are still detectives on your patch who can look into this for you?”
Zhang laughed at Dex’s false immodesty. “We are somehow managing to scrape by without you, it’s true,” she said, then her smile faded. “The real truth is I didn’t want to give this to the squad. I know how this works, and since I haven’t managed to figure out the connection it means there’s something… complicated going on here. And complicated usually means personal, and personal…”
Dex lifted his glass in acknowledgment. “Say no more. I’ll look into it. And, Cap, thanks for trusting me with, well, wherever this ends up.”
Zhang nodded. “Feel free to bring Lewis into this, too.”
“You know I can’t keep much from her for long,” Dex grinned.
“Besides,” Zhang said, taking the whisky bottle and pouring them both a top-up, “if you can’t trust your revolutionary collaborators, who can you trust?”