In the cafeteria, we got coffee and sat down. It was the middle of the afternoon, so most of the tables were empty.
"I'm not clear on what happened last night," Nikolai said.
She smiled. She always liked it when people asked questions like that.
"We heard some of it from Lloyd," she said, "and we can figure out the rest, or at least most of it. He went to visit Åsa in the infirmary in the middle of the night. She seduced him, knowing from past experience that he would fall asleep right after. Then she put on his clothes and went to Spence's room. It was very late at that point, and she was careful not to be seen. Then she killed Spence. It appeared as though he was asleep, his posture gave that impression, but they might have had a conversation first, we don't know.
"Then she went to Lloyd's room. She left the knife and the bloody clothes there, and returned to the infirmary, wearing clean clothes. She took off the clothes, and then she woke Lloyd up and told him she'd visited Spence and they'd had a fight and she'd knocked him out. She had always told Lloyd about how jealous Spence was, which was probably a lie, but she said that Spence had found out that she was sleeping with Lloyd, and that he'd be coming after both of them as soon as he woke up. She said she had to run and she wanted Lloyd to run away with her. Lloyd was stunned by this, and she pressed him that they should leave separately and meet at the other side of the bridge, in the city.
"By the time he was halfway to the bridge, wearing the clothes she'd had on, he'd figured out that he'd been conned. For one thing, why were the clothes different from the ones he'd been wearing before? But he figured there was no reason to return. He'd helped her, and he'd lied to us; his life with the Jinx was over."
When the questions were answered, the conversation changed abruptly. Dr. Lee leaned forward, and started to grill us with questions about U-town and how it functioned. She asked about food and water and transportation and economics and enforcement and medical care and sanitation (I was able to dredge up a few useful facts that I'd heard in the meeting that morning).
Nikolai left at some point during this, and then Christy and Fifteen joined us.
Fifteen, once he realized what was going on, immediately took over most of the answering, revealing an encyclopedic knowledge of every aspect of U-town life that surprised even me. A couple of the projects he described were news to me, and I wondered if he was inventing them on the spot, but I never asked.