Author: 长洱 / Chang’er
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
When Zheng Cheng learned about the accident at Ansheng International’s opening ceremony, it wasn’t long after he received a call from his good colleague.
In fact, he never thought that Xing Conglian was like a nagging mother-in-law, but when it came to Ansheng International, he felt that Xing Conglian was being too cautious.
He held his phone and circled the office with some annoyance.
First, regarding the poster covering up the wide-angle camera, Xing Conglian actually specially asked his subordinate to call him to inform the mall to rectify it; then, regarding the flow of people on the scene, Xing Conglian, a captain from the criminal police division, even called the director of the police station in his jurisdiction to give an order on how to control the flow of people. The tension he felt was as if there was going to be a major terrorist attack at the opening ceremony of Ansheng International Mall, which was simply too outrageous.
So now, he had received a third call from Xing Conglian.
On the phone, Xing Conglian no longer used a tone of discussion or inquiry. The captain of the criminal police division spoke straightforwardly. “Lao Zheng, prepare to start evacuating the masses.”
When Zheng Cheng heard this, he was initially surprised, then perplexed, and finally irritated. Although they had a good relationship with each other, in the end, his administrative level was higher and Xing Conglian’s reach was too far.
In fact, the reason he was unhappy was not only because someone was telling him what to do in his jurisdiction but also because he sensed the hidden thoughts behind Xing Conglian’s action. Naturally, he knew that Xing Conglian didn’t mean to accuse him of his abilities.
In fact, regarding the poster, he had also notified Ansheng International to rectify it, but they didn’t comply and refused to take it down. Instead, they said they would take it off immediately after the opening ceremony and asked that he be accommodating. What reason did he have for not being so? Regarding the crowd flow at the scene, he was clear that it exceeded the standard, but for the grand opening of a well-known shopping mall, it was a once-in-a-lifetime event. It was impossible for the shopping mall to hold a second opening ceremony. Did he really need to stop customers from entering? What was more, everyone in Hongjing knew that the mall was under the Huang family, so people were eager to greet them at their mall’s grand opening. Zheng Cheng thought to himself that not everyone was solitary like Xing Conglian and was willing to do whatever without fear of offending others.
So how did he answer?
He said, “Lao Xing, you’re too easily excited. Isn’t the situation at the scene fine?”
Within a few seconds after he finished speaking, the door to his office was knocked on frantically. Before he could even say “come in”, a police officer rushed in and reported nervously. “Director Zheng, the situation on the scene isn’t good. I think something has happened.”
What do you mean by “You think something has happened?”
He was taken aback for a moment and then slammed the table. “What do you mean ‘you think’ something has happened? Are you going to use ‘you think’ when your report involves a human life?”
“It seems that Li Jingtian was injured, but the scene is so chaotic that we can’t assess the situation!”
Both he and Xing Conglian blurted it out at almost the same time. However, his subordinate didn’t respond. After Xing Conglian had asked the same question, it seemed that someone on his end was explaining the situation on the scene to him.
In that short gap, he discovered that what he was most worried about was something else. He suddenly realized that the youngest Huang family member seemed to be present at the opening ceremony today. What if something bad happens to that young master?
A few moments later, Xing Conglian paused, said “Wait a minute” to the person on the other end, and then said to him, “Lao Zheng, I’ll make it clear. Organize the police officers to divert the crowd on the periphery. I’ll be responsible for controlling the infield and evacuating the flow of people, so the traffic diversion of North 4th Road, He’an Road, Xiangping Road, and Chun’an Road will be handed over to you. We’ll contact you later.”
After Xing Conglian finished speaking, the word “Okay” was still hanging in his mouth, but the other party had already hung up. Zheng Cheng felt that he, as a director, seemed to be under the command of a captain.
But there was nothing wrong with someone taking responsibility.
He could only hope that everything was fine.
Lin Chen stood on a wooden chair as if it were a raft in the waves. The situation had undoubtedly deteriorated.
He tried his best to hold onto the wall so that he wouldn’t fall as he tried to observe the situation of the scene again.
On the stage in the lobby, Li Jingtian fell to the ground. His shirt was stained with blood, and a beam of white light shone on him like falling snow.
Under the stage, Li Jingtian’s fans screamed desperately. Some of the girls were trying their best to get on the stage. They didn’t know what they could or should do. They just wanted to climb up the stage and rush to their idol. The first of them were the mall directors who were being escorted by security guards and wanted to leave. Among them was Huang Ze.
The human wall of security guards was being pushed to the point of shaking. This was probably the most wretched moment in Huang Ze’s life. Many pairs of teenage girls’ hands were pressed on his head. The crazy fans didn’t care about Huang Ze’s police rank or how many stars he had. They just wanted to pass through those people in the front row and rush to the stage.
At the same time, there were more people on the scene screaming frantically because of the sudden appearance of a knife and blood. Human instinct made them want to quickly escape from this terrible place.
So the situation became one group of people wanting to rush forward while another group wanted to escape. The huge flow of people seemed to be like waves of an embankment or a fire sweeping through dead wood, and they all seemed to converge with force.
“Xing Conglian, is Wang Chao done?” Lin Chen asked coldly.
“I’m already trying to work as hard as I can. Damn it, when something happens, it’s not like it will give notice!” Before Xing Conglian could respond, Wang Chao shouted first. “A’Chen, it’s probably too late to try to reach the broadcasting room. I’ll cut the broadcast line to our side. What do you want to say to the Captain? I have about 30 seconds!”
“How’s the situation on the stage?” Xing Conglian asked. “What happened to Li Jingtian?”
“His throat was cut.” Lin Chen’s gaze immediately fell on Li Jingtian. He was lying on the empty red carpet. His face was pale, and it was unknown whether he was still alive.
“Holy shit! No wonder things got this crazy! Captain, what should we do? Can this be controlled?” The teenager’s voice also tensed up. Because of the tension, his speed of speaking became more rapid. “Shit, shit, shit. B4 and C5 are starting to hedge. Someone fell. What should I do? What should I do?!”
In crowded places, the most terrifying situation is the hedging of the flow of people and the sudden fall of someone. Hedging meant trampling and falling meant death. This left them a very short amount of time to control the flow of people.
Strangely enough, the more impatient Wang Chao’s tone became, the calmer was Xing Conglian’s voice. “I can see. Work on your own thing and don’t worry about it.”
He comforted calmly and even added “don’t worry” at the end.
The low tone came through the airwaves, like running water infiltrating dry gravel, which gave people a sense of trust.
“Do you have any good advice, Consultant Lin?” Xing Conglian asked him.
“A rioting crowd is no different from a rioting herd of animals. If you want to quickly control a group of animals, you can only use the most primitive instinctive reactions of humans. Then, in fact, there’s a very dangerous, but very useful method.”
“It doesn’t seem appropriate to be playing tricks right now, Consultant Lin?” Xing Conglian even had a slight smile when he said it.
This was probably a man who had done great things, so this kind of mental quality was incomparable to anyone.
Lin Chen paused, then replied, “No, I’m just considering its suitability.”
“What’s the result of your consideration?”
Lin Chen stood high up and looked down. The hall was a mess and chaotic, as if it had been bombarded by many shells. People were pushing, shoving, and tearing; some had fallen, and others were trying to help them up; and those in the front kept getting pushed by the flow of people from behind.
“Have you heard of the freeze response*?” Lin Chen jumped off the wooden chair. The crazier the crowd was around him, the calmer he became. “When human life is threatened, it will remain still for an instant. This is the most effective means of life preservation provided by our limbic system, but this freezing time is very short…”
*A reaction to specific stimuli, most common observed in prey animals. When a prey animal has been caught and completely overcome by the predator, it may respond by “freezing up/petrification” or in other words by uncontrollably becoming rigid.
“But you can control riots instantly, right?”
Before he could continue, Wang Chao interrupted and shouted, “Okay, Captain!”
The mall broadcast made a soft sound when it was turned on, so no one seemed to notice it.
Lin Chen took two steps back. Although he didn’t know what method Xing Conglian would use, he still covered his ears and leaned close to the wall.
Immediately afterwards, as if rocks were cracking and thunder roared, a deafening gunshot exploded in the audience.
Lin Chen froze suddenly as the entire mall became silent.
Freezing response happens more often than you think. When put into a dangerous situation, one can lock up due to fear, shock, and other variables. Think about all those car accidents where a car is coming towards a person, and they don’t get out of the way. Some people just shut down because of this freezing response. Also, in situations like these, the most death often doesn’t come from the culprit, but from other people. This is known as crowd collapses and crushes.
Happy Lunar New Year.