TSA Chapter 41

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Chapter 41: Recognition

The camera switched to a close-up of Zhang Chi’s face. He looked cool and collected, his eyes bright and piercing as he stared at the drawing paper, as if he were gazing at a work of art. His mouth moved inaudibly, his pencil sweeping across the paper like a scanner, from time to time adding detailed lines. He unhurriedly stopped at a region of the paper for one or two minutes and and made several revisions, continuously erasing and redrawing.

“Is there still time?”

“There won’t be at this rate. He’s gonna lose.”

Both the live audience and those gathered in the lecture hall were restless, the background noise of their discussions rising.

The camera focused in on the portrait sketch. Everyone looked and heaved a sigh of relief to see there was still a minute and a half remaining, and there was already a vivid portrait on the paper.

When Zhang Chi gave handed the portrait to the host, the latter exclaimed, “You can draw such a perfect portrait in such a short time. Tell me, are you this fast when you normally do this to solve a case?”

Zhang Chi laughed. “Your show’s demands are much higher. Although Public Security’s demands are high, too, it’s still not this much pressure.”

Everyone laughed. The boss in the front row watched happily.

“However, once a case involves a criminal composite sketch, that means the case is usually quite difficult, and time is of the essence. Drawing a sketch then is no simple process. Constructing a composite sketch requires a lot of prep work, including understanding the case, visiting the crime scene, working with witnesses to help them remember, and then revising the sketch once it’s finished. The final draft takes more than ten times longer than this sketch did. Even so, the details of the case are not always favorable, and the sketch is not always very effective.”

“Officer Zhang’s response is so true Public Security work is certainly much more complicated than we imagined. So, how confident are you in the sketch you drew today?”

“All I can say is I did my best,” Zhang Chi said seriously. “As for the result, we shall see.”

Captain Liu leaned close to Gu Zhichang and chuckled, whispering, “Your apprentice has kept his usual arrogance in check today. His work when smooth as well.”

“Don’t say I favor him. I rarely judge people wrong, even more rarely accept an apprentice. That kid really is a model talent, intelligent and not conceited, clever and earnest. With moderate pressure and some more opportunities, we’ll be looking to him more for major and special cases.”

Captain Liu just smiled and shook his head. “Ok, ok. Whenever you talk about your apprentice you start praising excessively. I can’t take it.”

The camera switched over to the results portion. Everyone watched with bated breath.

Just then Captain Liu’s phone vibrated. He looked at the number and shot up with a grave look on his face, and he hurried out of the room and took the call.

“Hello, Director Chen, what can I do for you?”

“Do you all have an officer there by the name of Zhang Chi?”

“Yes. He was recently transfered to our team.”

“My friend told me he saw one of our officers on a reality show on TV. I’m watching it now. That young man has some real talent. How is his performance, usually?”

“Sir, Comrade Zhang Chi is very diligent and definitely has natural talent. We’ve relied on him to solve two cases here. Both of them were important serial killer cases.”

“Very good. I have an idea for you all to think about. All over the country there are many cases that require talented people like him to assist in solving. If you can transfer him to headquarters and send him out to various places as needed, that would be more convenient, and he would be doing his duty and wouldn’t waste time. But I wonder if he would be willing?”

“All right, I will give him your message first thing.”

“No need. I’m just letting you know. When the time comes, you all just need to cooperate. It just so happens I’ll be in your city next week so I’ll talk to him directly. You can arrange it when the time comes. In short, once he’s at headquarters his prospects will open up, and you can assure him he won’t have to worry about living arrangements or benefits.”

“All right, I understand. When he comes back I’ll set up and appointment with your secretary at once and get it arranged as soon as possible. Just leave it to me.” Captain Liu respectfully ended the call and smoked a cigarette outside, then quietly went back inside to his seat.

Gu Zhichang glanced at him. Captain Liu didn’t know whether to be happy or not. “Old Gu, prepare yourself. Our branch is small; it won’t be able to hold your apprentice for long.”

Gu Zhichang couldn’t help but laugh. “That’s too fast. Did what I just say attract the gold light down on my head?”

“Of course. The director of the criminal investigation division of Public Security just called personally to talk about his transfer.”

Gu Zhichang leaned over. “Are they really serious?” he said, concerned.

“It’s not something they’d joke about. He said his position and housing are taken care of, they just need him there. Your seat as master is not even warm yet and you’re soon to be without a student.”

Gu Zhichang had an unpleasant look on his face. “Is this a mandatory order?”

“I can’t say, but the organization has to be followed, though they still have to respect his wishes. But you tell me. What young, common officer would give up such a chance to ascend to a high level with such liberal treatment?”

Gu Zhichang once again smiled. “That’s good then. I still have some confidence. Do I look normal to you? If the teacher is not normal, how could the student be normal?”

Captain Liu had nothing to say to that.

Just then the lecture hall and the screen erupted in thunderous applause.

“Zhang Chi really did it!” Little Wu shouted. “The pride of our investigation team.”

Gu Shi, sitting to the side, smiled faintly. Sitting in the first row, she heard every word of her father’s talk with Captain Liu. Would Zhang Chi really do what her father hoped and guessed he would do, and choose to stay on the investigation team? Or would he leave this city because of the recognition of his talent?

On the TV, Zhang Chi’s smile was as relaxed as his name, measured, cool and collected and moderate. His portrait sketch had enabled the audience to select the correct model. He had completed a seemingly impossible task. But he didn’t look proud of himself as she had expected him to look. It seemed his days on the criminal investigation team had transformed him into another person. He was no longer the man with the stud earring. Just still as handsome.

She faintly looked forward to, yet also somewhat feared the day his decision was announced.

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