Dr. Flavio Pescuddu is an Italian-born citizen of Rapture.
Born in the seaside town of Montesilvano in the Province of Abruzzo in the year 1919, Flavio was always a reclusive and socially awkward kid. Bullied and berated constantly, as well as having a less then perfect family life, made him a meek, weak person, and was once even reduced to tears by an on-edge teacher who told him he would never amount to anything as he made a simple mistake in a metalwork lesson. He was once stabbed repeatedly with a combat knife by a group of local young thugs and they took it in turns to dunk his battered head in the small puddle of his own blood. That particular incident scarred him more then all the social rejection, beatings, taunts and insults he also faced throughout his younger years. The physical pain from the scars and wounds required constant care and painkillers, and as such he developed an addiction to the painkillers he was prescribed. Even after the prescription was removed, he was sometimes seen swindling and nicking bottles. This addiction carried on into his later life, however he resolved to stop after he almost died from swallowing a whole bottle.
However, despite his significant personality flaws and social status as an outcast and his academic status as a hopeless case, he was a good, dedicated person at heart, and also had the hidden capacity for great intelligence. The event that brought this element of Flavio into the open was one stormy day at the age of 14. His older brother Salvatore, a daredevil and lady's man, got in a serious accident on a farm and was saved from crippling injury or death by a passing off-duty doctor from the city who did it out of the kindness of his heart. This close shave with irreparable loss gave Flavio a new lease on life, and feeling forever in debt to the medical profession for saving his only brother, he was inspired and from then on his career choice was clear in his mind, and he developed an almost unhealthy interest in the medical profession (a trait he would later share with his friend Dr. Laurence Bernard). Given a purpose in life, he stopped slacking at school and hiding away from the social world. He eventually dropped the statuses of outcast and academically hopeless, and became a popular, friendly guy with good grades. Despite this, certain scars from his youth, like scarring memories, certain social quirks and the painkiller addiction, remained, and still plague him in Rapture.
Early Adult LifeEdit
He eventually secured an easy place in a high-ranking urban Italian college after doing well in his final school exams. Studying hard, he eventually passed his final medical exam at the age of 24 and immediately set to work in the local hospital, hoping for the moment where he could be a hero like the off-duty doctor. During this time he became a respected medical researcher and a leading figure in the industry. At the age of 26, after the war ended (he avoided conscription initially by being a student, but when that ended he briefly served as a medic) he was on the local beach, contemplating life. He saw a lifeguard dragging a wounded man, grasping for air, onto the beach, and seeing a chance to do good, stepped in and saved the man’s life.
His daughter, a medical student and aid volunteer from America who was a big lover of Italy and knew the language, was called Sarah Dickinson and she graciously thanked him for saving his life. The two found they had good chemistry, and hit it off almost immediately. While the frequent long distances between them and Flavio's relative lack of English skills at the time were obstacles, their relationship lasted and it was genuine and loving. Sarah eventually received a letter from her ideological hero Andrew Ryan (while she was an aid worker, she believed it was not the business of governments or a moral obligation to help the poor, and after seeing the atrocities committed in Europe and Asia, now hated the surface world) inviting her family and herself to Rapture. She accepted eagerly, and Flavio, while a charitable altruist, eagerly came along so as to be with Sarah.
Arrival in RaptureEdit
Flavio, now fluent in English and aged 29, arrived in the city of Rapture in 1948, and quickly settled in. He became a respected and hardworking member at a clinic and research centre run by an entrepreneurial English scientist Dr. Julius Chryston. His working relationship with his boss was frosty at best, filled with ideological disagreements, disputes, pay arguments and general hatred. He did however become best friends with the egotistic yet well-meaning middle-aged urbanite Canadian Dr. Laurence Bernard.
The arrival of ADAMEdit
Flavio’s life was changed for the worst by the arrival of ADAM. Both him and Laurence were idealistic and morally opposed to the concept, but initially ignored it, getting on with their middle-class lives. Eventually, the impact became too big to ignore, and they became bitter and disillusioned, having been left behind by Rapture’s medical community and slowly becoming nobodies. They maintained low views of scientists like Tenenbaum and Suchong, viewing them as amoral, greedy, talentless hacks. Bernard in particular was particularly aggressive towards them, angry how they were receiving all the success while “good men, geniuses even” like Flavio and himself were left to become discredited, poor and depressed.
However, a glint of hope emerged: Sarah was pregnant, and he was confirmed as the father. Just as things were looking up for Flavio, despite Rapture’s problems and him being sidelined and outcasted professionally, she left him for his boss Dr. Julius Chryston, leaving him heartbroken, furious and confused. Both he and Laurence were convinced it was because Julius was a suave, powerful Splicer high on life, while Flavio was the opposite. Flavio spiraled even further into depression, struggling to come to terms with the betrayal.
Work began to take turns for the worst. He and Laurence were one of the few employees in Chryston’s team to be reluctant to help with his experiments on Plasmids and ADAM, however eventually were bullied and manipulated into it. Funded by Plasmid companies like Sinclair Solutions, and with the intention of dispelling common myths about ADAM, the experiments involved subjecting test subjects (Persephone inmates provided by Sinclair) to various amounts and types of ADAM. The results mostly showed evidence of mutations and insanity, especially amongst those who underwent long periods of testing or large amounts of ADAM.
Displeased with these negative results, Julius, on the payroll of Sinclair, hushed up all the negative results, and made sure Flavio and Laurence, naturally disgusted and seriously concerned about the evidence showing ADAM’s side effects, were blocked from ruining business by speaking up about it to the press or public. The deaths of two nurses killed in the experiment (by one inmate who snapped) were covered up and attributed to the Civil War. Furious with the cover-up, they tried getting results known, but soon, after many failures, the cynical, depressed pair gave up, hoping someone else with more power and influence would make the truth about Splicing known.
Eventually, one night in 1959, Chryston issued an ultimatum to his employees. To help Sinclair’s business and public profile, all employees must take at least one gene modification. Flavio was furious. He had already lost almost everything else during the past few years; he did not want to lose his humanity as well. He strongly voiced his protests, and was immediately fired and ejected from the premises. Depressed and in a state, Flavio contemplated suicide, but eventually went into hiding, all hope for Rapture lost.
The other employees, scared of what happened to Flavio happening to them, caved in. Laurence took a few days, but eventually, under peer pressure, he too reluctantly got a Tonic. As it became clearer that those who were a frequent purchaser of ADAM products would do better career-wise in Chryston's part of the Pavilion, Laurence, seeking appreciation, thinking he could change the system from within, believing that Splicing was a good way to protect his loved ones and fearing becoming redundant, jobless, lonely, sidetracked and ostracized like his friend Flavio, began splicing more and more until he slowly lost grip on reality. He volunteered for the Sinclair Solutions Home Defence scheme as well.
After the ultimatum was issued, Flavio quickly fell behind on rent payments on his middle-class home and instead got a room in a cheap hotel in some worker housing. He became a complete recluse, observing the war and the fall of Rapture and the fall of its citizens and observing, intervening minimally. While only 41 at the time Ryan and Fontaine were killed, he looked like he was in his early sixties due to stress, chaos, depression (namely over never having seen his child, or not even knowing the gender. Regret over coming to Rapture was pretty big as well) and the growing painkiller addiction. He became a cynical, cold, bitter man, his heart of gold quickly fading and depression and hatred taking over.
He survived surprisingly well. He moved from survivor group to survivor group, moving on when they get on his nerves and he felt he could do better elsewhere. He learned how to lay traps, assemble weaponry and take advantage of the security system. Despite him being nowhere near as friendly, kind or idealistic as he was in the past, he still has a few friends amongst the sane survivors of the city, and has developed an ambition of gathering up all the sane survivors in the city and leaving to the surface. He acknowledges this is almost completely impossible practically.
Kind-hearted and humble, Flavio is a devout Catholic who strongly believes in family, morality and honesty. However, he can be shy, cantankerous and socially awkward at times, and despite his belief in honesty, finds it hard to trust others, and is a pessimist and often dry, sarcastic and cynical. He does not exactly agree with the ideology of Rapture, but finds several merits in the freedom-based foundation of the city and does not hold strong opposition to the objectivist philosophy. He struggles with a painkiller addiction, made worse by the depressing state of affairs in the city.
Flavio is a rather tall (6 foot 2 inches) handsome middle-aged Italian male. He has a rather good figure, but recently has built up a very small beer belly. He has a small, thin moustache and a few small, barely visible scars on his person (including a couple of faded ones on his face) from a bullying incident when younger. He has black hair and a tanned Mediterranean complexion but after several stressful years underwater, both are beginning to fade.
The life he left behindEdit
Flavio, while he had only a small number of good friends that he left behind, he failed to convince his family to come with them. He never explicitly said he was going to a city of no return, but did drop many hints. His small family threw aside his vague comments as silly and irrelevant, but when he did disappear, they formed an organisation dedicated to finding Flavio and the Dickinson family. The initially-nameless organisation was headed by Flavio's brother, Salvatore Pescuddu (b. 1915), who had become a fairly successful restaurateur in his hometown. Salvatore eventually found evidence relating to others who had disappeared in The Vanishing, and became convinced they were linked. Increasingly desperate and extreme in his search, he was eventually thrown in a mental institution, ironically built by the Chryston family. The organisation, now named the Vanishing Investigation Group in English, was taken over by a distant relative of the Dickinson family.
The official government explanation was that Flavio and the Dickinson family were probably driving on a mountain road in Italy when they crashed or fell into a river.