Inspector Fu

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An Old Buddy Told Li Merit

One of the most interesting (and little-known) factoids about Inspector Fu Guozhi is that he is the nephew of Fu Manchu, the first son of Manchu's younger brother Fu Jian. (Fu Manchu and Fu Jian had a bitter enmity, and had nothing to do with each other once they were grown men).

Inspector Fu is a full Imperial Inspector, giving him a great deal of leeway in what he may take on as an investigation, and what outcomes he may cause to happen. He does not have a great deal of personal authority in terms of what he can mandate, but but he has great weight with the Imperial Bureaucracy and chances are good that his suggestions will be acted upon. The only area that he deliberately refrains from investigating is the Si Fan; there have never been any suggestions of a connection between the Inspector and the Si Fan, so it may be a case of avoiding an appearance of impropriety.

He is arrogant and proud and without humor; his use of the "destroy your career with a snap of my fingers" is used both against people who have erred in some way that he has investigated, and against people who have offended him more personally.

That said, he is, as far as anyone can determine, completely and absolutely loyal to the Empire. It is possible that he might be placated (he is more interested in respect than money) when it comes to an insult to him personally, but it is unlikely that he can be bought off in a case of harm to the Empire.

He has no wives or children (he visits a "flower house" once a month, but has no favorite); there are several junior inspectors who he has trained, who might be the people he has the most affection towards, assuming that they do not disappoint him.

A telling anecdote from his past, in his own words:

 "I was trained by a man named Inspector Li.  He took me from being a
 young man, bright but unfocused, curious about everything, to being an
 Inspector, a tool of the Empire as finely honed as your morning razor.
 He taught me to remember, and to discern.  As a trainee, we found the
 truth of many matters together, and I held him in great respect.  Then,
 when it came time for me to go my own way, no longer under his guidance,
 he told me a last secret - that I might find the salary of an Inspector
 insufficient, but there were always those who could be found guilty of
 something, who might pay to be overlooked.  I was sorely disappointed in
 my mentor.  I spent the next few weeks investigating those discrepancies
 in his past investigations, those monies that had changed hands, and
 then I filed a report with our superiors.
 "He lost his position and his pension.  I do not know what happened to
 him after that, and I do not care."
 "My duty - as should be that of every person who serves it - is to the
 Empire.  People who find a conflict between their duty and their
 "personal honor" mean that they want a way to avoid doing what they
 must, to assuage their feelings.  That they wish to think that they
 are nice people. This is weakness, and should be excised.  I am *not*
 a nice person, and I do my duty to the Empire.  That is all."