The Tana Case Part 1

GM: Yin
Players: Phoenix (Tang Lanhua), Lotus (Pema Lhadron), Yin
Synopsis: This is the opening for a series of plots called "The Tana Case". The case is acquired as a contract between the "Yin Detective Agency" and the Shining Mountain in K-Town, in order to improve their reputation with the local minorities (especially Tibetans). The Tana Case is about a missing person from the Tibetan diaspora, Tanaka Tana. He disappeared six months ago.
Date: 2082-05-02

Diary Recording #1 (2082-05-01)

The audio recording begins with a heavy rustling, then a hard thud. Yin's voice is calm and reflective, but also tired. Yin speaks in Japanese.

I am thankful for the good luck that guides me. It has been three weeks since I moved to Denver and today I got my confirmed first case in Denver. I went to the Shining Mountain office in the Korean District (K-Town) and inquired about unresolved cases with a special budget available. It's just the same problem for everyone, no matter if it's official Lone Star or a Triad front. Public security is understaffed and overworked. And there are cases you don't want or can't completely drop and ignore, because they are relevant for your statistic. But you can't solve them either. Such cases would drain your resources dry, with little chance of any success. But closing the case is not an option, because superiors or interest groups are on your heels. One category of such cases are missing persons. One missing person doesn't seem to be a big deal, unless it's someone of importance. But the real problem is the statistics. Missing persons are worse than dead persons, in some way. Missing means: their fate is unknown, which, in turn, means that you, as a public security provider, have no clue. You are not in control. And it doesn't matter if the person had an accident, got shot robbed and buried, or just left your area of responsibility. And if you have too many of those cases, your reputation and trust will drop drastically. That's when you consider to spent money for private investigations.

The Shining Mountain Supervisor I spoke to, a Leng Han Chiao, eventually saw me after three hours of waiting. I introduced myself and we talked about the criminal situation around Little Chibba, public relations, and unsolved cases. Of course, the Shining Mountain is backed heavily by the Triads in Denver. It's basically their subsidiary. But the talk turned productive when I explained the immense potential an independant investigator can have in settings with social minorities. Suddenly, he opened up and we soon talked about the Korean Sector. Shining Mountain is responsible there as well, but it is extremely hard for the Triad backed executive and judicative power to really get through to the people. And you don't want to ignore your minorities' needs constantly over years. So, Leng Han Chiao pulled out the file of the Tana Case.

Tanaka Tana is the son of Mrs. Tanaka Dawa and Mr. Tanaka Zopa. The family lives in K-Town since 2045. The son is eighteen years old and went missing about six month ago. The report was filed on Tuesday, 25th of November 2081. Four days earlier, on Friday the 21st of November, Tana did not return from his High School (the Dunyi School) in K-Town this day. The Shining Mountain did a poor job, because the first hours are almost always the most relevant ones when it's about a missing person. They only recorded the statements of Tana's father and checked their internal database, along with Tana's description and DNA record. Two days later, on 27th of November, the Shining Mountain office routinely cross-checked their criminal records and missing persons with the FTZ central law enforcement database. Tanaka Tana's SIN got registered at an FTZ checkpoint this very day, entering the FTZ through the Park Station checkpoint, CAS.

And that's almost the whole story, as far as Shining Dragon is concerend. They set the case on hold, because now it was no longer a problem of the Asian Sector. But Tana's parents wouldn't give up so easily. They besieged the Shining Mountain office on a daily basis after they had not heard a single word from their son after another week. The Shining Mountain sent a request for information to Lone Star Headquarters in the FTZ, but the only result was that Tanaka Tana had not left the FTZ until end of 2081. And also during the following month, the family heard nothing. Then, on the 5th of February 282, Tanaka Tana had his eighteenth birthday which affected his legal status in regard to free movement and legal guardian. But the mother continued to rally people, write petitions, and visit the Shining Mountain day by day. The case caught more attention than the Shining Mountain had hoped for, so they most likely made it extremely clear to the Tanakas that they have to lay down low and leave it be. The Supervisor then showed me missing person announcements which still show up on lamp posts and public transports. Tana's fate has even inspired street art and graffiti to a limited extend. He had some pictures of those.

That's the initial situation now. Shining Mountain have done some investigations around the Dunyi school and among Tana's friends, but nothing was recorded - or at least the Supervisor did not grant me any access. So we start basically from scratch. The Shining Mountain has agreed to pay for my investigation of Tana's wherabouts, but my official client is the Tanaka family. However, I have been kindly reminded that every little detail has to pass the sturdy desk of Supervisor Leng. *sigh* Ah well, at least I have the impression that they actually care a bit about Tana's fate. Why else would they share the case and even spent some pocket money on it?

First thing will be to talk to the parents directly. Everything else will follow after. But if I can't reconstruct the events from the 21st of November last year, and maybe the five days after, I have little chance to learn anything at all. It's been six months now. The dust of time covers fast and I don't have a detective department or forensic team to back me up. … I should probably consider to ask Utayama-san if she would be willing to help. The Tanaka family is part of the Tibetan diaspora and there might be a language issue as well. I'll think about that tomorrow. Well, and there's always Yuki-chan, curious as ever…

The record ends with Yin's light hearted but tired chuckle.

Recruiting Attempt of Lotus

Text Message to Utayama Hasuko from Yin (#9019)
Pema-san, I hope you are having a good time and are not too occupied with learning. If I may, I would kindly ask you a favor. It's better to discuss it confidentially, though. You can find me at the Mountain Hills or we can meet elsewhere. I have full understanding if you can't find the time, so no worries. O genki de.

Text Message to Yin from Utayama Hasuko (#7659)
Come to the Red Rock Diner. It's not too far from the Mountain Hills. I'll be there in a few minutes.

You pull open the glass and steel door to the Red Rock Diner, a rush of savory odors mixing with the smells of the street.
Red Rock Diner

Pema steps into the diner after having been caught by a sudden shower of rain, folding up one of those Japanese transparent plastic umbrellas with illuminated handle. She shakes the last bits of sour rain off before walking in, ordering a cup of soykaf from Vera before walking over to the table where Yin is seated.

Yin entered the Diner a few minutes ago and settled at one of the available tables.
Yin stands up and bows properly as Pema arrives. "Ah, Pema-san. Domo. Thank you, that you can find the time." Yin has a small backpack ready on the bench and a datapad on the table.

Pema bows back and takes a seat, setting her cup of kaf on the table and dumping her shoulder bag on the seat next to her. "No problem, I was passing by. What can I do for you?" She leans back, ruffling her own hair a bit to get raindrops out of it.

With a musical hum following his step, Haze does a twist and sidescoots into the the establishment as he smacks the door open with a hip bump. A cigarette at his lip burning idly as he gives the crowd a lazy gaze, making way towards the bar. Spying a familiar face he can't help but grin, bringing a palm to his lips for a moment and gently casting the arm in Pema's direction. In that same moment, a voice manifests itself next to her, "You stink, haha." all the while the body is busy ordering himself a nice cup of kaf from Vera, and a slice of pie.

Lotus winces a bit at the disembodied voice whispering in her ear, and she looks around in confusion for a bit. She closes her eyes for a moment but still moves her head as if looking around; what that means should be obvious for anyone with any magical knowledge. She eventually spots a potential culprit, narrowing her eyes and pointing at Haze, although she does have a bit of smirk on her face so she doesn't seem to annoyed.

With a quickdraw from the belt with two vicious finger pistols, Haze replies to the point with some bang bang action from the hip. With a spin, he snatches up his soykaf and plate of pie while casually making his way over towards her table. He continues that musical hum as he goes along, apparently he has a song stuck in his head he can't seem to get rid of. "Peeema-chwaaan."

Yin looks up curiously at Haze as he makes his way to their table. Politely, he does not disturb the greeting. He rather checks his datapad briefly and slips it into his backpack.

Without waiting for Haze to move over, Pema turns back to Yin. "Sorry about that. So, what was it you wanted to discuss? It's not too… crowded here, is it?"

Yin answers a bit uncertain: "Well, it depends. actually. I could use your help regarding a matter with someone in the Tibetan disaspora." For now, Yin waits and does not elaborate further.

Haze lifts up both his mug and plate as he leans his rump on the backrest of the bench and lifts one leg after the other to cross over to the other side and slip down with a bounce into a seat. "Wagwan me bruddah." He throws to Yin along with a wink. "What's crackin' around here?"

Yin bows briefly his head as a silent reply to Haze. Yin is probably not fond of the self-invited guest. "A friend of yours?", he asks Pema.

Pema arches a brow - or at least one can assume she does, hidden behind those thick bangs of hers. Maybe she doesn't have eyebrows at all. Nobody knows. She raises her cup of kaf and blows on it in a vain attempt to facilitate it reaching a drinkable temperature. "Tibetan diaspora? There isn't much of one here, really. Is it someone I know? Tenzin Dorje? Owns a restaurant in a food court on South Orchard, by the Yingzao Fashi architecture office." She turns over as Haze comes to sit by their table. "Business… I think?" She also gives the other loud fellow by the bar a gaze but little else. "Yes, this is Haze. We've done some work together in the past. Haze, this is Yin and vice versa."

Yin looks between Haze and Pema and probably tries to imagine what kind of work would probably include both of them.

Yin turns his head to the entrance when Nine enters and resolves: "Let's talk later, Pema."

Pema frowns a bit at the topic she came to discuss being postponed. "Um… okay, why don't you send me an email about it or something? It sounds important." She leans back and grabs her cup of kaf with both hands, taking a first sip of it. "How does a pie remind you of a person?" She says, slightly bewildered, and narrows her eyes at Haze. "Like, you mean he's a sweet person? People offering work usually aren't, in my experience."

Yin watches in disbelief as a free-for-all breakfeast is announced: "What's going here, damn it? Is this a vanity fair?" He then nods to Pema: "I probably will. Sorry for wasting your time, Pema-san."

"Nah, mother fucker just eats a lot of pie." Haze replies to Lotus with a laugh, forking another bite down the piehole. He keeps the fork pinched in his lips to applaud to the call of breakfast for all. Free food? In this economy? Stuff it in your pocket and eat it later kids. He then looks to Yin and grins, "Welcome to Denver, Dumpling."

Yin snorts to Haze's response: "Yeah. Thank you, Haze. I think I'll move on. I've too much going on right now and I don't want to be bad company." He raises from his bench and picks up his belongings. He then bows to Pema and Haze: "Nevermind. Was nice meeting you, Haze, Pema-san." Politely, he bids goodbye. "Excuse me for leaving first."

Pema looks up in surprise at Yin's departure. She doesn't really get up from her seat, instead just waving a little and offering a 'Otsukaresama desu' farewell phrase in Japanese.

From: Yin Subject: Regarding the topic eralier today
To: Lotus

Respected Pema-san

As you suggested at the Red Rocks I give you a brief lineout of my present issue. But I'll keep it brief and general. I prefer to discuss details in person to protect my clients.

It is a simple matter, actually, quickly told. You probably know that I run a private investigation firm. And I've accepted a contract opportunity in the Asian Sector. The client is someone from the Tibetan diaspora in K-Town. I don't know if you know the people involved, I believe not.

Anyway, even though I do speak Cantonese, I'd rather have someone with genuine Tibetan language proficiency with me when I first make contact. It's an elderly couple. I'm sot sure if they even speak English well enough. It's important that there are no misunderstandings when we meet.

Let me know if you can help me out. If you want to get involved in that case, we could work that out as well.



12 From: Lotus At: Fri May 6 05:41:58 2022
Fldr : 0 Status: Read
To : Yin
Subject: Re: Regarding the topic eralier today


I understand your reluctance to speak at the Red Rocks, the place turned out to be a lot less quiet that particular day than it usually is. My apologies.

I'll speak to the Tibetans for you, if you wish. It's not unlikely that they speak Chinese if they've spent their lives in Asiatown (or grew up in Hong Kong like myself), but probably not all too well. The Tibetan language does have a lot of variety between dialects but I have a good grasp of all the major ones like Amdo, Khams and U-Tsang. There shouldn't be any misunderstandings.

/ P

Recruiting of Phoenix

The Cool Cat Club

As one goes out, another comes in. Phoenix makes her way in, carrying her skateboard under her arm, a messenger back slung over her shoulder, and heads straight for the bar with a tired grin on her face.

There is no way Yin would ever miss that skateboard again! He waves slightly to capture Phoenix's attention while still greeing Badger casually.

Badger pulls eyes off the bartender and looks over to the speak and blinks. "Yin? Hey there. Surprised to see you here. Not that I should be. This seems more your kinda place. Classy in here." He notes the wave and looks over at the new arrival.

Phoenix spots the wave and returns it, walking over. The short human qomen quietly places her messenger bag on the bar even as she leans the skateboard against it. "Yin! Good to see you. Is this where you hide out?" Badger gets a grin too, the east-asian woman giving him an utterly sincere smile.

"Badger, Lanhua," Yin introduces both briefly and decides that a proper bow is in order now. "And, well I just discovered the place. But I like it. Good chance I'll come back. Especially if I continue to see friendly faces around." he smiles.

To Badger, Yin adds: "And what dou you mean? You're welcome here, with or without tie, I assume. But if you don't like it here of you feel not welcome, we can move on."

Badger blinks again and then again as both Lanhua and Yin surprise him. He opens his mouth and then closes it only to open it and speak again. "Thank you, Yin. Worold's not always kind to the height impared like me. Not getting that vibe from this place but I do like to dress to the place when I can." He then looks to the skateboarder and gives her a tired smile. "Nice to meet you."

Yin turns to Phoenix: "I can only underline: glad to see you again, Lanhua. Actually, you are spirit-sent, maybe! Do you mind if I bother you with something business-related?"

Phoenix says "If it makes you feel any better," to the dwarf. "I'm not dressed for this place. At all." As she speaks the messenger bag is quietly picked up by the bartender and tucked behind the bar. "And I hear you. People can be jerks. We can stand over here and be short together?"
While she's not -dwarf- hieght, the woman is all of five feet high, if that, though aany impression of her as 'small' can be thrown off by her powerlifter shoulders. "Biz? You need a courier?"

"Yin watches the courier bag disappear and makes a mental note: "Ah, Isee. No, not a courier. But a translator. You speak Tibetan, don't you, Lanhua?"
Kensai did pay for another trink for Yin which he now just offers to Lanhua instead. It's a matcha tea with lemon grass.

Badger chuckles softly at Lanhua's words. "Thanks. But you should take a seat instead of standing. Makes it harder for others to note your height. Not that you need to be worried, miss." He falls silent as her attention is needed on translation.

"Not as well as I'd like," Lanhua admits. "But I can read it better than I can write it." She grins. "I rarely get asked to tanslate -that-, though, and I'd love to give a crack at it."
She takes Badger's advice and takes a seat.

Yin nods: "Sounds good. You see, I work as a private investigator and my clients are Tibetan, in K-Town. So I want to make first contact with someone they can relate to, as a translator, ideally. It's a missing person case." Yin pulls out his datapad again and shows a trideo portrait of a young Asian man. It's a black-haired lad in casual dress, with some band merch shirt and a baseball cap. Probably not even eighteen years old.

"If you are interested, we could probably work together on that case. I want to make sure it's a success. I have to, actually. It's an important one."

Badger tries to not drop eaves on the the conversation. Hard to do when it's right next to you. The words 'missing person' make him wince and he does so again when he catches glimpse of a young face on the pad. He shakes his head sadly and raises his hand to the bartender to get a drink.

Yin doesn't seem to mind if Badger listens in. He even turns the datapad for a better look.

Phoenix studies the picture. "I see," she says. "I'm happy to help. Anything we can do to reunite families, right? There are so few of us here in Denver. And none of us can get home easily." She shifts in place. "So. Yes. Absolutely. I've done interpreting, courier duty, bodyguarding and physical training. Let's add some investigation!"

You say "This sounds great. And your heritage as well as your…em…let's say you are not the typical sidekick you find in detective novels, but this will certainly help as well. It's Asiantown after all. I used to work with partners in China, and I can't replace them just by myself, so help is definitely appreciated."

Badger gives Yin a questioning look before he takes a closer glance at the pic in detail. He nods slowly and then grins at Yin's appraisal of Lanhau. "No. Not typical, which can work to your advantage. Good to have a well rounded person at your side." ,he adds.

Yin puts the picture of the subject away again and asks Lanhua: "Can I invite you to my place? I've set up an improvised office so I can fill you in with the details later?"

Phoenix nods once, sharply. "Agreed," she says. "And thank you for your vote of confidence. What time would you like me there? I've got gym time tonight but I can rearrange with my client if ned be. Time matters in these cases."

"Just stop by after your workout," Yin offers her an electronic card with an address entry.

Badger chuckles as the card is passed over. "I knew you were the classy type, Yin. And having the card on hand proves it to me."

Yin grins at Badger: "Excuse me, what is that supposed to mean?" he asks in a joking way. "This card can even be used with a cardreader!"

Phoenix Takes it and nods, of course, tucking it away somewhere on her person. "Got it. Don't worry I'll be sure to hit the showers first. Hate to come stink your place up." She laughs, and pauses. The messenger bag is back on the table, shaped slihgtly diffreently. Clearly whatever was inside has been changed for something else.

Yin inspects the bag curiously but is respectful enough not to inquire any further. "Alright. Would you excuse me for leaving first, Lanhua? There is some other business to attend to."

Mountain Hills Appartment 130

Yin is busy in room 130. The room is locked - should be, at least. An ordinary appartment, but the sign next to the door says: "Yin Detective Agency"

Phoenix studies the door for a moment - not unlike her own, a few stories up - and then she reaches out and wraps her knuckles lightly across it.

Yin opens a few seconds later, after peering through the peephole. "Hey, irasshai, Lanhua-san. Be welcome, and come on in."

Phoenix bows her head, waiting for the door to open, and to be invited in yet again, and then she finally walks inside and bows yet another time. "Yin… san," she says. "It is an honor to be welcomed into your home to see to this matter."

Yin is pleased by her politeness and returns it: "Thank you for your kind words. This is just a place to stay until I am a little bit more settled. But please, just feel at home. May I offer you anything?"

Phoenix says "Please, no. Unless you have some clean water. I have had all the nutrition I need for the next interval." She glances around. "You have done well with the place. The Feng shui is strong."

The appartment smells heavily of incense of various kind. On one smaller desk on a wall, several photographies are scattered about. They seem to be in some kind of post-processing. "The feng-shui?" he smiles and gets her some fresh water. "I just started to invite the Kami to this place. I take it as a good sign, that you feel comfortable. - You're working hard on yourself, don't you? A tight workout every day?" He offers a glass and a large bottle and drinks something himself.

Yin is a respectful guy, at least so far as Phoenix can tell, but since the memorable occurance in the temple bell room, where Phoenix revealed her affinity to fire, Yin is even more attentive around her.

Phoenix nods. "Hai," she says, with a a small grin. She takes the glass and takes a sip. "I have competitions near to the future, and they help me center on my way to more lessons with my various teachers. The road to mastery takes many efforts. The principals of Golden-Demon kung fu also require many teachers, so that the style is living and not static."

He leans against the kitchen counter and hm's: "I went to the Ninth Immortal dojo a few days ago, looking for you. There was some master doing his kung fu kata. Some remarkable big elf, I think. White hair. You probably know him?

Phoenix nods. "Yes. Lazarus. He is one of my teachers - his style is unique, and I think heavily informed by his size and power, but there are lessons to be gained there, yes?" She smiles, and sips the water again. "Yet you did not ask me here to learn about kung-fu. Or I did not think you did."

You say "You are right! Let's get to the matter on the table, literally"

On the table in the living room, there is some material gathered that is linked to the so called "Tana Case". A digital map of K-Town, some holographic pictures of the subject Tanaka Tana, and a few protocols, some even in handwriting. Yin explains in detail what this case is about, what is already known and what not [see the DIARY RECORD #1 above]. After a quarter of an hour or so, the case is laid out and there are probably several questions unanswered. Yin seems to be ready to talk quiet open about the case and looks at Lanhua: "Hm, could you follow so far? Does ist all make sense, or do you have questions?"

Phoenix says "It does. He was traveling when he was taken, so shining mountain laid off. Now they are under pressure to reopen. Because of this case, or have there been more like it?" She finds a spot to perch in and puts on her thinking face. "And have you had contact with the parents yet?"

Yin nods, "The Supervisor wouldn't reveal too much, but I have a certain feeling, that there are more cases like that. And no, so far I haven't talked to the parents. That's why I am so glad you are here. I want to make sure that there are no misunderstandings. After that, we have to see. I mean, there are some possible ways to approach the case. The FTZ border crossing, the day he went missing, and maybe other leads." He scratches his head.

Phoenix says "I know some people who can help," thoughtfully running through her list of people-to-call in her head. "My contacts in K-town are thin, however. Perhaps this can help with that? And perhaps that conversation will lead to more inspiration of where t o look." She frowns. "We need to find out if there are more like this. It will tell us whether or not we are dealing with one case or many, yes…" She stops, blushing. "So sorry," she said. "I carry away. You are the experienced investigator. I am, what you said… sidekick?"

Yin laughs, "Ah, no, seriously. Anyone can be a private investigator. Some are better than others, but in a city f hsadows like this? I already feel how you inspire my own thinking. So don't worry. If you want to help the Tanaka family bring back their son, I take you in as a partner. Including the payment and all. I don't want to exploit you in any way."

Phoenix says "I definitely wish to help," she nods. "The payment is… less important, but I suppose it matters. Life isn't cheap. What is being offered?"

You say "That's the good thing: it depends on what we can dig up."

You say "If this case sticks and we find serious leads, the contract will expand, usually. I think five to ten thousand for a closed case is the minimum here, from my experience."

Phoenix nods briefly. "Right," she says, and picks up the docs to look at pictures again. "I will take a few minutes to lean on my tibetan side, and I can be ready when you are. Do you have a car?"

Yin sighs. "The damn wheels…, he laughs a bit about the situation. "That's the second time the wheels are the weak spot. But this time I have a rental car at hand. That will suffice for the initial interviews and interrogations. Should it come to observation, I'll see that we get some support or a decent car."

Phoenix says "If it comes to it, I have a cabby who I trust closely. We've helped eachother out in the past. I also have a motorcycle, but…" she shakes her head ruefully. "It is not much room for one. Are we intending to go… nowish?"

"Let's go tomorrow, as soon as we can. Is that fine for you?

Phoenix says "Works. I actually live upstairs, so I won't be far." She makes sure he has her contact number. "And be careful, okay? Who knows what's under the surface here."

"You live upstairs?" he laughs briefly. "I… this is how spirits see our future and guide our paths. Feel free to come by whenever you want. - And yes. We play it safe and watch out for each other."

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License