Terror on the Orient-Express
Teatro alla Scalla backstage
9 jan. 1923 – Milan
It was a bliss, Choura had always dreamed about visiting il Teatro alla Scala de Milano, and now he was backstage, looking for clues and the musical director ! He dared to hope… maybe… maybe he could land a role on tomorrow’s premiere of the Aida! If only they knew where the diva Cavollaro went. This was too strange for her to disappear upon her arrival, and she wasn’t even there for the repetition they said. He hoped for the best, but fear the worst.
Cihat was more pragmatic. They searched for a while and couldn’t find the director Toscanni nor the scenic director. Only one clue left, the costume designer. Milano was not as he expected, like a dead city, rotting in her magnificent shell, dead inside. A lot of people were sick and many from affliction of the chest. There has to be the torso piece of Sedefkar simulacrum here, somewhere. His own arm ache. The pomades and care of Henry helped but he had to wear the sling. And do not like it.
After asking for direction to the smoking pharaoh with the glasses and cigar, they went up. Suddenly, Choura stopped and pointed between the curtains. Without thinking, Cihat took a peek and saw it too : an Eye. Gigantic, colossal, looking right at them.
He blinked and realized after a brief examination that it was a theater props, another of theses pieces of illusion hanging around and stored everywhere He shoved Choura who stood still, like hypnotized and fascinated by the vision. He shook harder until Choura manage to regain his senses.
– “Are you alright ?”
– “Oh,Yes. For a moment… ”
– “For a moment I felt strange. I felt… Like I din’t know which is the stage and which is the scene…”
Pencil doodle on A6 sketchbook
Excerpt from the Terror on the Orient-Express Chaosium Call of Cthulhu RPG campaign