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  • Writer's picturePeter K F Cheung SBS

On Duty

  1. FADE IN.

  2. Act 1

  3. INT. SITTING ROOM - 22:00 (Yesterday)

  4. Finishing dinner, PETER begins to read a thick book on crimes.

  5. PETER (V.O.): I've to update myself on sentencing orders. I'm on duty in Tuen Mun tomorrow.

  6. INT. BEDROOM - 23:30 (Yesterday)

  7. Peter sets alarms at 07:00.

  8. PETER (V.O.): I take public transport to work. I don't want possible traffic jams to delay my occupational duty.

  9. EXT. TRAIN CABIN - 07:45

  10. Sitting in a priority seat, Peter checks a route map.

  11. PETER (V.O.): Should I change in Mei Foo? Ah, there's now the Tuen Ma line, I can change at Diamond Hill. I should arrive in time

  12. Later and after changing stations, Peter arrives the Tuen Mun terminus.

  13. Act 2


  15. A. 09:00. Interview room#1. Peter and his ASSISTANT are seeing CLIENT#1. Having discussed, Client#1 signs on a sheet.

  16. B. 09:30. Secured interview room#2. Peter and his Assistant are discussing with CLIENT#2 in English.

  17. C.09:45. Secured interview room#2. Peter and his Assistant are seeing CLIENT#3, then CLIENT#4, then CLIENT#5 and then CLIENT#6.

  18. D. 10:15. Secured interview room#3. Peter and his Assistant are discussing with CLIENT#7 who is handcuffed.

  19. E. 10.30. Interview room#4, Peter and his Assistant are seeing CLIENTS#8 & 9.

  20. F. 11:00. Court. Client#1 pleads guilty. Peter mitigates. Client#1 is fined.

  21. G.11:05. Court. Client#2's bail review is rejected. Upon Peter's application, social welfare assistance is ordered.

  22. H.11:10. Court. Client#3's case is transferred to the District Court, as Clients#8 & 9 look on from the gallery.

  23. I. 11: 20. Court. The bail reviews of Clients#4 and then Client#5, are respectively rejected.

  24. J. 11:30. Court. Clients#6 appears. Peter confirms there's no bail application and no reservation of the right of review.

  25. K. 11:35. Court. Client#7 appears. After Peter's objection to an adjournment sought, an earlier date and other arrangements are fixed.

  26. L. 12:00. Office. Presented with some papers prepared by his Assistant, Peter signs them off.



  29. Checking the menu, Peter does the order.

  30. PETER (V.O.): In the late 2000s, my family used to come here after our Friday evening Latin dance lessons.

  31. Pausing.

  32. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Believing it's our parental duty, our children had lots of extra-circular activities. They danced Ballet, and so Latin dance was easy stuff for them.

  33. Recalling.

  34. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): My wife and I never had the opportunity to learn to dance. Though delayed, we made that up ourselves.

  35. Recalling.

  36. PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd): We took part in public parent-child dancing competitions. My wife and son got gold, and my daughter and I got silver.

  37. Smiling.

  38. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Now, our children are overseas.

  39. Pausing.

  40. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Yesterday, our elder daughter sent us Tokyo-snowing photos. Having something Japanese now is a consolation. .

  41. Eel rice in hot stone bowl is served.

  42. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): The earthenware bowl is Korean rather than Japanese.

  43. Pausing.

  44. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Fate is such that our elder daughter met her Korean boyfriend while learning Japanese together in Fukuoka.

  45. Pausing.

  46. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): In the New Year, her boyfriend believed he is duty-bound to sent us gifts. So he sent by air bottles of raw crabs marinated in soy sauce and spicy stir-fried octopus to us.

  47. Pausing.

  48. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Apart from the pleasant surprise, my wife and I have never had Korean delicacies as delicious as them.

  49. Recalling.

  50. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Treasuring the delicacies, we consumed the raw crabs little by little, even days after the best-before date!

  51. Act 3

  52. INT. SITTING ROOM - 23:00

  53. Peter checks his diary.

  54. PETER (V.O.): I'm on duty next week to offer pro bono legal advice. It's my moral duty to help.

  55. Pausing.

  56. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): The issues boil down to the neglect of duties - the duty not to harm others is a perfect one.

  57. Pausing.

  58. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): My clients expect legal advice from me. Discharging my legal duty responsibly makes me happy.

  59. Reflecting.

  60. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Whilst one has a choice whether to do good or not, to undertake the imperfect duty is perfect to me.

  61. Peter takes a look of a thick book on philosophy.

  62. THE END.

  63. FADE OUT

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