How long had it been since something this big happened on this highway
Liu Hang couldn’t remember.
As one of the staff of Hong Jing Expressway Co., Ltd., Liu Hang had joined the company right after he graduated.
While working there, he had gotten accustomed to major accidents such as traffic jams, car crashes, vehicles turning over in the middle of the road…
But a time bomb
That was really something new.
However, just five minutes ago, a time bomb strapped to the driver of the missing bus was found in the parking lot of Lang Chuan rest station on the Hong Jing highway.
It was reported that the countdown display was still flickering and ticking, confirming that it was not dormant.
All the personnel in the monitoring hall were terrified, as if the shrapnels from hundreds of kilometers away could hurt them.
He stood frozen in front of the screen — not because he didn’t want to leave this terrifying place, but because someone was looking at him with deathly calm eyes, rooting him on the spot.
“Liu Hang, right How many years have you been working here”
“Then you should be very familiar with the emergency evacuation process, right”
Liu Hang looked at the man covering the receiver with one hand.
He didn’t know why, but the person he looked down on before had turned into someone else entirely.
The policeman’s eyes were intense, but what paralyzed Liu Hang was the trust he saw in those eyes.
He nodded before he could stop himself.
“Take the staff to clear out the rest station in an orderly manner and do not disclose the existence of the bomb in order to prevent panic.
Having said that, Xing Conglian stopped covering the receiver and resumed his call.
My name is Xing Cong Lian, the captain of Hong Jing City Police Criminal Department.
Can you tell me how many people are on the bus at this moment”
“Just one!” Anxious, the security guard then asked, “When can we leave The bomb is going to explode in 29 minutes! When are you police going to come!”
Hearing this, everyone was shocked.
There were supposed to be 26 children and 2 teachers on the bus, where did they all go!
Xing Cong Lian squeezed Lin Chen’s hand before he continued.
“I’m going to have to bother you to take your mobile phone out and take two pictures of the site for me.” He paused, looked at the security guard on the screen then said, “First, I need you to take a picture of the time bomb.
The clearer the structure of the bomb, the better.
And for the second one, please take a picture of what’s inside the bus.”
Soon after, there was a response.
“Done, we took a lot!”
“You have WeChat, yes Please send it to me via WeChat.” The captain made eye contact with Wang Chao, who pulled up said application on his laptop, ready to receive the pictures.
“No, no, don’t open the door.” Hearing someone make that suggestion on the other side, Xing Cong Lian raised his voice, stopping the other party.
“29 minutes Don’t tell me there’s a lead wire connecting the bomb to the lock on the door, starting the timer once the door opens” Wang Chao was at the edge of his seat waiting for the photos — seeing Xing Cong Lian still busy on the phone, he whispered to Lin Chen instead.
“I’m afraid that’s exactly the case.
Jiang Zhe was correct on one thing.
If the boy really wanted attention, blowing up a bus in a parking lot would have a far weaker impact than installing a time bomb on it.” Lin Chen turned to look at Captain Xing, who was holding onto two mobile phones and busy on call.
“But he must ensure that we find the bus before it explodes.
The simplest way to do that is to connect the bomb to the door.
Once someone opens it, the countdown starts.”
“What about the children Where are they”
“26 children together is too noticeable.
He is not so stupid as to hide them in the rest station.
They were most likely dropped off somewhere between Mei Village and Lang Chuan.” Lin Chen leaned over.
“Can you get the highway’s surveillance records to check this bus”
“Ah Chen, let me give you Highway Surveillance System 101.
Most of the surveillance cameras on the highway are used to monitor the traffic flow and capture images of vehicles doing illegal stuff.
Unless the bus was caught illegally parking on camera, the system won’t scan for its license plate.
So it will take a lot of effort, that is, manpower to track it, which is something we severely lack right now ….”
“I’m asking if you can do it, or can you do it” Speaking softly, Lin Chen stared at Wang Chao, patting his head.
Wang Chao suddenly quivered and said in a rush, “In theory, we can still use the OCR system.
It’s a system that converts scanned documents into words.
So we can use that on all the shots taken by the highway surveillance cameras between Mei Village and Lang Chuan in these four hours, then filter for ones with the bus’s license plate in the frame.
Knowing which camera captured which frame when, we can then map out its approximate course but…” Wang Chao stopped, not knowing if he should continue.
Lin Chen gazed into Wang Chao’s eyes, waiting expectantly.
Wang Chao could only grit his teeth.
“However, the module for filtering highway surveillance photos didn’t come with OCR tech…”
“So…I have to upgrade the system a little….” Gulping, Wang Chao glanced at Xing Cong Lian and the chairman.
“You’ve got to be joking.
Can you take responsibility if something happens to the system!”
“He won’t have to.
I will.” Xing Cong Lian gripped the chairman’s shoulder and nodded at Wang Chao.
As if injected with a stimulant, the tech geek took a deep breath.
“Chill out, I just got rid of two Trojans on this system, nothing big will happen.
Then, I’ll turn on comp no.
2 so you guys can go over there to see the footage.
Finally, that sister over there on table 35 who’s playing poker, can you give me your phone number”
All of a sudden, the monitoring hall was shrouded in silence, leaving only the sounds of the electronics and the buzzing heater.
In the end, Lin Chen sighed and asked Xing Cong Lian, “Where did you find him”
“He owes me a little money.”
“It must be quite a sum then.”