The harsh lights surrounding the mirror of her dressing table blared at Sana, shocking her eyes as she habitually flipped them on. Pulling off her coat and starting to tug at her long, leather opera gloves, she reminded herself that she didn't need the switch. She then reminded herself that she'd made it a habit, it 'felt' normal. Glove finally off, Sana touched one of the bulbs, restricting the amount of electricity they received, the lights dimmed to a comfortable level.
As much as she despised what was about to occur, there was part of her that had to admit, she also loved it. It was like an itchy wool security blanket, felt so good, yet chaffed all the same. Being on stage, being the '8th wonder of the world', she got to feel adored, sometimes loved, people thought she was amazing. It felt nice, despite the fact that it was in reality, hollow. It was also safe. She didn't have to be terrified of getting nervous or excited and then having someone touch her. On stage... She was on her pedestle and the crowds couldn't touch her.
Being so wrapped up in her thoughts, Sana hadn't noticed the mid 50's, monocled man, carrying a tray of tea, slip into her dressing room. Walter was more then accustomed to Oksana staring at herself like this before a show. He was the only one who called her Oksana now adays. She was famed, adored, scientists clamoured for her insights. But to him, she was still the little russian girl afraid to touch people, who only smiled while dancing in the rain during a lightning storm. Even though a bitter quirk had touched that smile since the "Old Lord" had passed, he could still find the girl in the young woman, who was currently staring at herself, wondering at her own self loathing.
Walter knew it was self loathing only because she hated and needed the stage. Thanks to Lord Wingates, whom had purchased her to make a show of her and instead fell in love with her and adopted her, Oksana had become an accomplished scientist. More then anything she wanted to work with others to usher in the electrical age. However with the Lord dead and Oksana his only legal heir, the people who ran the Wingates companies and experiments contracts wanted to keep her an uninvolved figure head. Thus the pressure to keep up her so called "showbiz" contracts was extremely high, saying it was good for the company's image. Being a guilty pleasure and safety net for her, Oksana gave in to their manipulations and continued the stage and private appearances. So Dr. Oksana Vadleski remained Sana Storm as she was called publicly. Walter knew she'd break free of this cycle, he just hoped it was soon. Things as they were weren't good for her and he was getting old, high society was becoming trying, he needed a proper challenge. So did Oksana.
"I have your Chamomile. Do remember to drink it while it hot this time." Walter scolded as he placed the tray on the dressing table.
"Thank you Walter... It's almost time isn't it?" The bitter smile had crept on to her face, "Thank goodness I came dressed and ready this time, hmm?"
"Yes Lady Oksana. I'll let them know you'll be out shortly." Walter bowed, ever the proper butler, and turned for the door, "In mind of being ready, your data report is due to Dr. Richards at the end of the week is it not?"
"Thank you Walter..." Oksana whispered, a genuine smile now in place of the other one.
The old butler smiled triumphantly to himself as he left the room, leaving her to her tea.
Sana picked up her tea, blowing on it, then sipping thoughtfully, "Clever old man, you hate it too, don't you?"
"Let's get this over with..." Oskana stood, anger rising, and went for the door, the bulbs at the dressing table flaring brillantly, then bursting in a cloud of sparks and glass.
"Silly lawyers, you should know that in London, theres always a Storm on the horizon..."