“A mannequin, we need a mannequin. Where can we find one at this god forsaken hour?” Lord Fyrom Squibb noticed it was just about an hour before midnight. They dashed back to their luxury hotel in galleria Vittorio Emanuele. Milan was after all the fashion center of the world. “Certainly Sire, we will have a taylor with you within the hour.” Impeccable service. The hotel had taylors on call. The galleria Vittorio Emanuele the heart of the pulsating fashion city.
The taylor agreed to sell his mannequin for about 50 francs equivalent in pounds. The investigators dashed back to La Scala and the Stage Manager, Paolo Rischonti, took them to the deepest basement with flickering electric lights. Behind a locked storage door there it was. It’s opalescent marble making identical to that of the left arm. This must indeed be the torso of the Sedafkar Simulacrum. The investigators agreed that Ian should carry the torso. With his Strength 80 and Dexterity 80 he was well suited for the task.
The night was calm and the investigators had four suites in line, so only one investigator at a time watched the corridor outside. Milan was cold this January.
The next day, Monday 25th January, 1923, was the day of the premiere for the opera Aida. According to the news the opera singer Miss Cavollaro was still no where to be found. Her spare would sing instead.
The investigators decided to go to the main library and do research. They had until the evening free.
They got interested in this Flavio Conti. How did he recover so quickly from TBC? They investigated him further and found his address in a fashionable part of Milan and also that he had an Alfa-Romeo RL. Now this was a sharp lead! Off they went to see Signore Conti.
His apartment was on 3rd floor and surprisingly all the windows were wide open in the middle of the winter. Cold winds blew from Monte Bianco straight into the apartment. “Wait here I will see to him.” answered one of the servants in broken English. There were three servants altogether. The investigators were admitted.
Flavio Conti sat behind a large oak desk with his back towards two large windows wide opened. The room was freezing cold. Despite it, Conti had his sole shirt three buttons open. The investigators (Spot Hidden_) noticed huge scars on his chest going from top and down in under the shirt. What was going on here? Conti acted nervously and shouted to them in Italian. He was obviously under enormous duress and pressure (Psychology_). Professor Scott tried to calm him using Latin. Colonel Williams switched to English and Conti did speak English. Conti seemed to calm down for a moment (Fast Talk) but then suddenly reached for something in the drawer on his right side. Colonel Williams stared him down forcefully. "Now this is a path you do not want to stride down. We all know how it will end." The investigators moved their hands slowly towards their guns. They were 4 to 1 and had superior firepower. Conti looked as in total despair. He dashed for his .38 revolver and put it to his head, but Ian was quicker and flew over the desk trying to knock the revolver out of his hand. A hard punch for 6 hit points but Conti was still sitting up with the revolver in his hand. Colonel Williams also jumped the desk but missed with his 30 % brawl skill. Professor Scott ran over and managed to grapple the revolver out of Conti’s hands. Lord Fyrom Squibb drew his gun but aimed towards the back door to cover it in case the servants would dash in from behind.
Conti now in total despair tried to jump out the window. The investigators jumped after him and luckily grabbed him by the legs in a last hundred of a second dash. Ian and Colonel Williams were strong men (80 respectively 75 Str). Unfortunately Professor Scott was not as lucky and went out the window himself (fumble 00-roll) but managed to get a grip with his left hand hanging in the balance. Colonel Williams valiantly switched his grip to Professor Scott and saved the day. Ian managed to pull Conti back by himself (80 Str). A short interrogation followed but nothing important came out of Conti except for a few lines: “I cannot die….. A Brother of the Skin lives forever!” Then he just laughed evilly and watched the investigators as in a daze.
Colonel Williams left the crowd and went for a drink with the servants. Using Fast Talk and Persuade he managed to get some information from the otherwise impeccably dignified servants. “Can I see the garage?” “No sorry you have to ask Signore Conti”. A certain Signore Faccia had been seeing Signore Conti recently. Quite often too. He was of great stature apparently. “At least we have something” thought Colonel Williams and convinced the others it was time to leave.
Researching Signore Arturo Faccia they found his address, a mansion in the outskirts of Milan. They went there and using Locksmith gained entry through the backdoor. The mansion was gated and had broken glass as protection on three meter high walls and the gate had long spears discouraging any intruders. The house was almost empty on the inside, no correspondence or leggers except for a description of a major warehouse in Northern Milan.
“We still have time to check the warehouse out before the opera starts” said Colonel Williams. They left the mansion looking for a cab. Arturo Faccia would get visitors soon.