Scene 1: Superintendent Richardson's Office

The superintendent of Section 44 has a small office in the somewhat run-down Section 44 building on the seaward side of Kowloon. The walls have a handful of framed awards for bravery in the line of duty from a time when Richardson was a younger man. These days, he works behind his desk running what he calls the 'freak show'. He's in his late forties, slightly overweight, but he's been a police officer for a long time and is nobody's fool.

Supt Richardson: Okay, you lot. Looks like we've got a case for you this morning. It's just been kicked down to us from CID. There's a good chance it's just mundane, but they wanted to wash their hands of it so we'll take it on.

He slides a case file over his desk.

Started off as a missing person. Mingxia Thomas, seventeen, last seen leaving her parent's house four days ago to go shopping. Now, the Thomas family you may have heard of- they're loaded and well thought of around Hong Kong, real pillar of society material. Aaron Thomas, the father, used to be in the Colonial government. Married a local lass. After the handover, he lost his position but decided to stay. Owns a few businesses. The mother is Yunru Thomas, and there's an older brother Jacob but he moved to the US two years ago. CID did quite a bit of legwork on the case, but drew a blank.

Yesterday, Mr. Thomas reported hearing his daughter's voice while he was sleeping. When he woke he thought it was a dream, but he said in a statement that he continued to hear long after he woke. This talk of spooks worried CID, so they sent it to us.

With normal missing persons cases, by this time she'd probably be dead. But if there is weird stuff going on, all bets are off. Find her if you can- failing that find an explanation for the voices that Mr. Thomas can swallow.

Now, Mr. Bennet here is new to us. One of the rest of you needs to stay with him at all times to make sure he doesn't taint any evidence or break procedure. Our cases never make it to court, but we need to be able to demonstrate that we're policemen rather than just vigilantes.

Any questions?

The girl in the corner wearing a white lab coat and mechanic's goggles around her neck twirls the end of a pink pigtail around her finger ...

FINALLY! A chance to get out of the lab!

The man at the chair opposite Richardson scowls and takes another drag off his cigarette, flicking the ashes into the frosted glass ashtray on the table. He isn't nearly as enthusiastic about taking this case on as Ming, and it shows.

Inspector Huang: Can we expect any press involvement? It may not be as high-profile as the case of the actress who got kidnapped several years ago, but a family like this is bound to attract some attention at least from the business side of things -- and the last thing we need is reporters hounding us every step of the way.

The man in the sneakers and dark blue T-shirt seems distinctly out of place in the room with the police professionals. He watches the goings-on out the grimy window of the superintendent's office, almost appearing to not be paying attention to Richardson. But at the mention of the daughter's voice, he whirls around, becoming quite enthusiastic.

Oh, a disembodied voice? That's a good sign. Does the file indicate what the voice was saying?
(Nic grabs the file folder from Richardson's desk and flips through it.)

Hey, guys, can we swing by the father's place, maybe grab some of Mingxia's hair from a brush, or fingernail clippings, perhaps a favorite piece of her jewelry? Then maybe cruise the spot where she disappeared. Maybe grab a cappuccino on the way.

Inspector Huang looks cock-eyed at the newcomer's outlandish suggestion. In his normal line of work, such a suggestion would earn him some stares, if not a statement concerning how he might be going nutso. But then he casts an eye toward Arthur Lee, the resident magic cop of the crew, who seems to know what Bennet is talking about. Huang rolls his eyes and takes another drag.

Inspector Huang: Sorcerers. New guy here probably wants something to focus some kind of friggin' spell on. Hell if I know how that's supposed to work. Arthur here knows more than I do concerning that stuff.

But I do agree the house is a good place to start. If nothing else, I'd like to give the place a look with my own eyes, maybe pore through her internet history and see what turns up. CIS was probably looking for evidence of a regular kidnapping, and probably didn't think twice about the weirder elements. But if Mingxia was involved in the supernatural in any way, there should be plenty of clues that the other cops missed.

Nic looks pleased and heads for the door. He casually tosses the missing girl's file back on Richardson's desk as he passes.

Nic: Cool. Huang and Ming Shi can poke around in the computer files, and Lee and I can get a sense of what we're dealing with. Could be a demonic possession or kidnapping. I mean, if it were human kidnappers, we'd have received a ransom call by now.

I'll buy the cappuccino, maybe that'll boost your spirits, Ken.

Uh, somebody else drive.

Arthur Lee has been silently standing on a side of the room, his arms crossed and his back on the wall. As Nic is heading for the door, he intercepts him, removing his sunglasses and putting a hand on his shoulder. He stares at Nic, eyes into the eyes.

Arthur: Greetings, Mr Bennet. I am sure our cooperation will be fruitful... and long. I will make a point to watch over you.

It would probably be a nice welcome sentence if it was done with a smile.

Richardson scratches his chin.

Supt Richardson: Press, eh? As far as I remember, there were the usual appeals for help on TV and pictures in the press but Mr. Thomas was insistent that it not turn into a media circus. He still has enough connections to make that stick, so you should be okay. That said, there's always a chance some toe-rag will try to make a name for himself.

The report doesn't tell us what the voice said, so you'll have to find that out from the horse's mouth, so to speak. That sounds like a good place to start.

Opening scene 2- characters can join that or stay here for a while as they wish.