TSA Chapter 53

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Chapter 53: Pouncing Wolf

That night at seven the detectives, military police, and special forces split into three and made directly for the suspect, Yu Tao’s, residence. The apartment building was very quiet, the only sound music from the public square.

In the dim light of night the military police quickly surrounded the apartment building. Above and below the third floor staircase the armed special forces unit lay in wait, ready to add support. All was quiet. Someone’s dog on the third floor was barking. A few of the special forces looked at each other.

Zhang Chi knocked on the door. “Express delivery, 302, is anyone at home?”

The door opened and Zhang Chi flashed his i.d. He said in a low voice, “We have an operation going on, can you keep your dog quiet. For the next hour do not come out no matter what happens, and don’t open the door.”

The resident peeked out, but at that he nervously nodded and called to his dog in a low voice and took it inside, forgetting even to close the door.

Zhang Chi smiled. “No worries, it’s normal. I’ll help you take your trash out. Here’s my card. I’m new here. If you need any express delivery in the future, remember to call me.” When he was finished he shut the door for the man.

Several special forces officers gave him a thumbs up. He calmly, expressionlessly continued up the stairs.

Zhang Chi was wearing a bulletproof vest, leading the way. They had decided against a soft entry and instead were opting for a force entry, taking the suspect by storm so they could arrest yu Tao quickly.

A knock at the door was met by a mean voice. “Who is it?”

“Maintenance. Your toilet is leaking downstairs. Can we come take a look and see if we can fix it? Zhang Chi spoke in the local accent.

The door opened. Zhang Chi was going to keep his distance, but when he saw the person was unarmed and went up and grabbed his arm. Yu Tao reacted swiftly and threw him off.

“Up, get up here quick!” Zhang Chi yelled.

There was a flash of light and his reinforcements surged up like ravenous wolves after their prey and charged with him into the room.

Yu Tao was flustered and headed straight for his bed.

Zhang Chi first thought was, “He’s going for a gun!”

He had to get there first! He sprinted over with large strides and jumped on Yu Tao’s back as they both landed on the bed at nearly the same time.

Yu Tao could barely move under Zhang Chi’s weight, but he still reached with all his might for his pillow, groping underneath. He tried several times without success while Zhang Chi was struggling to turn him over. A hand snaked out from somewhere, coming toward him.

Zhang Chi clenched his teeth as he ate a kick, then quickly sprang up. He saw a white flash and his neck felt cool. He grabbed Yu Tao’s arms and forced them behind his back and pressed with all his strength, taking advantage of the moment before Yu Tao stood up to slam him into the wall and hold him there firmly.

The suspect, Yu Tao, was strong, but still no match for Zhang Chi with regard to build and strength. Now he was struggling, but could not free himself. When he saw the room suddenly fill with special forces police he gave up trying to resist.

The police swarmed up and cuffed him. Someone went to the pillow and felt underneath.

He pulled it out and everyone gasped when they saw it was a loaded regulation pistol.

“You’re hurt!” someone said to Zhang Chi. “You’re bleeding. A lot.”

Zhang Chi just then realized his neck was wounded, his collar already stained with blood. He thought back to when Gu Shi said, “You’ll come back okay” as his vision blurred and the ground suddenly felt spongy like cotton.

“Quick, hold him up. Call the paramedics.”

Before he blacked out he heard someone yell.

Gu Shi was not the first to learn Zhang Chi had been hurt.

After supper she normally went for a swim. As she opened her bedroom door, Gu Zhichang was in the living room taking a call, a newspaper fallen haphazardly to the side.

He held his glasses, then suddenly stood. “What? Where is he now? Okay, I’ll go now. No, no need. I’ll go by myself.”

She turned and came back. “Dad, is there a new case?”

“Zhang Chi is back. I need to go see him.” Gu Zhichang looked around for his wallet and a light jacket. It was autumn and the nights had cooled slightly.

She knew at once something had happened. She went in her room and dropped her gym bag and turned on her phone. “Dad, I’m going with you. I’m calling a cab.”

Gu Zhichang nodded and they went downstairs without a word and quickly got in the cab.

“Which hospital is he at?” Gu Shi wiped the sweat off the tip of her nose.

“He’s not in the hospital. We’re going to his house on Five Gate Street.

Her tense body relaxed a bit and she leaned back in her seat. Zhang Chi had kept his word like he had promised her, to come back safely.

Gu Zhichang called and asked the address and the cab turned down a small, secluded road. Gu Zhichang was more familiar with this area; it had been on his route back when he was a young beat cop. The security guards were all from military backgrounds and it was an affluent neighborhood. They were old buildings redone in the new style, but almost every building was a single house unit with renovated pavilions and courtyards, giving the place a completely new look, like a villa, with dense shade trees. Every mansion like this in Zhenghai cost several tens of millions.

He never expected his apprentice would be living here. He had never heard Zhang Chi mention it, and he had not guessed it based on his experience. He figured Zhang Chi was the child of an ordinary family. This guy was good at keeping secrets. Very low key.

Gu Shi watched the traffic light change outside the window and she said, “You want to buy something?”

“Let’s go see him first. We don’t know how he is recovering. If he needs something we can get it for him later.”

A simple-looking middle-aged woman answered the door. She looked surprisingly happy when she saw Gu Shi; she seemed to know about Gu Shi. She asked her name and learned she was Zhang Chi’s coworker and warmly welcomed them in and led them up the steps.

The room was not lavish as one might expect. There was nothing except a landscape ink painting above the table in the foyer. It was a little too simple, making the house seem emptier. The room was done in black, white, and gray tones. Under the dim lights at night it seemed to all blend together so that you couldn’t tell the boundaries. It was somewhat cold and cheerless.

They passed by a wooden spiral staircase. There were no family pictures on the wall, mostly just pictures of Zhang Chi’s parents together and single pictures of himself. The woman led them to Zhang Chi’s bedroom. “Little Chi, your teacher and Gu Shi are here to see you.”

The bedroom was lit by a single bedside lamp. When he heard what she said a black figure quickly reached over and turned on the overhead light.

Zhang Chi’s hair was a mess, but his eyes were wide open in anticipation. Once he saw who came in his look was the same as the woman’s had been and he did his best to sit up.

“No no, lay down.” Gu Zhichang went over and helped him lay back down.

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