Dragon's Song

The Song Box - Episode 3

Glimpses of a bigger picture

The heroes decide to meet back at the Eating Counter, as it’s a central location for all of them. As Raymond Johnson is arriving, he sees a jet black SUV parked outside, and sees one of the occupants pointing a camera with a telephoto lens at the restaurant – a tell-tale sign of a stake out.

He finds a local fruit vendor and buys a banana, before sneaking back to the SUV and sliding it up into the vehicle’s exhaust pipe, before heading up into the restaurant himself. Once inside, he informs the rest of the group that they’re being watched. Olaf Mikkelson takes a look, and then calls in the licence plate and learns that the SUV is registered to the Terrorism Response Group, which makes him somewhat suspicious.

Shamus is feeling mischievous, so he orders some noodles from Shen Kar-Wai and then sends Dai Nanhai down to deliver it to the vehicle. The occupants are surprised, and realising they were made, drive off shortly afterwards. But because of the banana in the tailpipe, the SUV breaks down only a little ways down the road, causing traffic chaos on busy Temple Street.

After the heroes meet up again this next morning, Lightning Su decides to find a way to “recover” the stolen box, as though she is taking a phone call from a contact. She pretends to be talking on the phone, although the veracity of the call leaves at least Olaf suspicious.

Shortly after she pretends to hang up, her phone rings for real: it’s Buddy Ha, saying that he has a “customer” who is interested in the box. Although there’s nothing in his tone of voice, Su figures out quickly that he’s talking under duress, as he never refers to “customers”, only “clients”.

She passes the message on to the rest of the heroes, and asks if they will accompany her to retrieve the box, following her tip off. What she doesn’t tell them is that she wants them along as muscle, because she wants to go visit Majestic Imports, Buddy Ha’s exclusive gallery, which is where she thinks he is being held.

The group agrees, and they set off through the cross-harbour tunnel to Hong Kong island.

Shortly afterwards, they arrive at Majestic Imports, and find the front door unlocked. This surprises Su, as she knows that Buddy always leaves the door locked, as the gallery is by appointment only (helping to maintain its “exclusive” status).

Inside, on the ground floor, everything appears normal, although the gallery is currently unattended. The decor is modern, made up of white walls, stainless steel and glass shelving and a variety of expensive art pieces. Olaf takes a close look and realises that some of the pieces at least may have been stolen in Europe or North America, so he begins carefully taking photos of the items for later cross-checking.

Meanwhile, the others follow Su up the back steps to the office. There they find the place in utter disarray, as though the place has been torn apart. There’s some blood near the desk, but there’s no sign of Buddy.

Looking around, the heroes realise that the office area is under video surveillance, so they search around some more and find a panic room at the back of the office area. Once inside, they find the surveillance gear, and can review the video footage.

Expecting to find Buddy here when he made his call to Su, they find the gallery owner had already been abducted by that time. They rewind the security footage even further, and find that four hours earlier, two men in robes – with partly shaved heads and long ponytails – had arrived in the office and asked about a box. When Buddy refused to talk, they began threatening him. As a result, Buddy pulled a Colt .45 from under the desk and then everything went pear shaped: the two robed men proceeded to kick the living snot out of Buddy, before dragging him out of the office.

Shamus, looking for an advantage, rewinds the surveillance tape several times and studies the assailants’ fu moves in slow motion. After a few watches, he realises that both of them are using a kung fu form that’s very strong on offence, but comparatively weak on defence, perhaps showing a chink in their otherwise formidable armour.

Olaf calls the Hong Kong Police Force and reports the break in, and waits downstairs for the police force to arrive. Meanwhile, the rest of the group scout about, following Buddy’s blood trail out the back of the building into the alleyway. Olaf also makes a call to an Interpol colleque, Eddie Schickelgr├╝ber, and requests a phone trace on the number that called Su’s phone earlier. Eddie says he’ll see what he can do.

They discover that the blood trail goes up the wall to the roof, so they scout around looking for access. After a while, they find a way out, and follow the trail down the roofline, where they again lose it, as though Buddy was flown off the roof somehow.

Meanwhile, in the gallery, the police have arrived, and the forensic unit spreads out and begins to catalogue the crime scene. Shortly afterwards, Charles Tam and Danny Pieu from the TRG arrive and start asking Olaf questions. They tell him that they’re still waiting on his report from the break in at Sylvia Yun’s estate, and he explains that all they need to do is officially request the paperwork using the correct requisition form and they can have it. Danny makes a quick call and has it organised.

After leaving the gallery, Su and the others actually do retrieve the stolen box. Just after they do so, she gets another call from Buddy Ha. When he asks if Su had recovered the box, he explains the customers are quite anxious to have it delivered, and he gives her an address on the docks in Kowloon, telling her to arrive one hour after dark.

Olaf, meanwhile, contacts Eddie again, and realising that the number is a mobile phone, requests a rough triangulation of the phone’s signal. Eddie is able to confirm that the call is coming from somewhere on the Kowloon docks, indicating that Buddy is already at the meet location.

Dai, with his knowledge of the Hong Kong gangland situation, explains that the docks in that area are under control of the Green Serpent Triad. He doesn’t know if the triad is involved in the thefts or Buddy’s kidnapping though.

Hoping to get the jump on the meet, the heroes locate the security company that provides surveillance for the dock area. Using some trickery to distract the staff there, Dai is able to sneak onto one of the monitoring station computers and starts looking for footage. After a while, he finds a couple of seconds worth of video showing two men in robes dragging what appears to be a badly beaten man. From the angle of the camera, it’s more or less in the area where the meet is scheduled to go down after dark.

With not much time left, the heroes decide to prepare for the upcoming battle…

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