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  • Writer's picturePeter K F Cheung SBS

Alternative Home Coming

  1. FADE IN.


  2. Act 1


  3. INT. STUDY - MORNING


  4. Surfing the web, PETER makes a call and then ends it.


  5. PETER (V.O.): Not sure if the High Court Library has reopened. If it's open, I'm not sure if it'd close during lunch time.


  6. Pausing.


  7. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I want to do some research before attending a meeting at 3.pm.


  8. At 11:00 Peter leaves home.


  9. EXT. HIGHT COURT, G/F - 12:00

  10. '

  11. Arriving, a STAFF gestures Peter to take the escalators to a High Block. Peter looks excited.


  12. PETER (V.O.): The High Court Library has moved to where I used to work back in the late 1980s.


  13. Peter takes the stacks of escalators up.


  14. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): From 1986-1991, I took these escalators on work days.


  15. Act 2


  16. INT. GOVERNMENT OFFICES, 1/F - 12:10


  17. Stepping out of a lift, Peter sees the High Court Library sign on the wall.


  18. PETER (V.O.): In 1988, I'd turn left to go to my office. The library of the Attorney General's Chambers was on the right hand side.


  19. Pausing.


  20. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Now, it's the new High Court Library.


  21. Having taken a photo at the entrance, Peter passes the barrier gate with a smart card.


  22. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): If I'm not a lawyer, I won't the able to use the facilities here.


  23. Peter talks to a STAFF.


  24. PETER: Do you close during lunch time?


  25. STAFF: No.


  26. PETER (V.O.): Good, I don't have to hurry then.


  27. Seeing the new mobile bookshelves, Peter looks astonished.


  28. FLASHBACK


  29. INT. ATTORNEY GENERAL'S CHAMBERS' LIBRARY - DAY (Oct 1987)


  30. Quiet. Peter in suit is only library user. He checks the books in fixed bookshelves.


  31. PETER (V.O.): Having completed my 1-year study leave. I'm reporting duty today. But no one is free to see me.


  32. RETURN TO PRESENT


  33. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): That day, the Hong Kong stock market crashed.


  34. Peter arrives at the old edition sections.


  35. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): These're some of the books, digests, journals and reports that I used to read decades ago.


  36. Peter grabs some to skim through them.

  37. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Yes, I used to read Halsbury's Laws of England. There weren't any Halsbury Laws of Hong Kong then.


  38. Sitting in a corner, Peter reads periodicals.


  39. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): While working, I didn't have time to read them. Now, working in retirement, I can read some of them.


  40. Having read a few articles, Peter checks the time and leaves.


  41. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): When I quit the Attorney General's Chambers in late 1991, the main thing I missed was the library. Now, I can come as often as I like.


  42. INT.CONFERENCE ROOM, HKUST - 14:50


  43. Arriving, Peter grabs a packet of crackers to eat.


  44. PETER (V.O.): Although I haven't had lunch, I've discovered that I still passionate about learning the law.


  45. A COLLEAGUE sitting next to Peter remarks.


  46. COLLEAGUE: Peter, you've to treat yourself better.


  47. The CHAIR then makes his opening remarks.


  48. INT. BUSINESS SCHOOL, HKUST - 17:20


  49. Sitting area. Peter has just finished discussing with a PROFESSOR.


  50. PETER (V.O.): He's a PhD in Maths (Harvard). I want to seek his views on Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT). I'm investigating if ordinary people can monetize their intellectual property (IP) via NFT.


  51. Later, Chair comes to chat with Peter.


  52. CHAIR: Peter, we can't retire...a counsel aged 84 is still working...


  53. PETER: True, we've status wealth...


  54. INT. MTR CABIN - 18:30


  55. Crowded. A young MAN offers his seat to Peter, Peter politely declines.


  56. Act 3


  57. INT. STUDY - NIGHT


  58. Lying on a sofa, Peter is watching TV, breaking a story about Afghanistan: An Endless War.


  59. PETER (V.O.): The Law of War used to be a component of international law. I saw volumes of it in old libraries. When war has been outlawed, there's Law of Peace.


  60. Pausing.


  61. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): But for the latter part of 2019, Hongkongers have been enjoying peace. And there's no place like home.


  62. Pausing.


  63. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Returning to the very floor where I used to work and research is like an alternative home coming to me.


  64. FADE OUT.


  65. THE END


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