By the time Lolita Cindy and I made it back to the dirigible, we barely had energy to stagger to our berths. As excited as I’d been for the opportunity, I hadn’t anticipated the excursion to be quite so draining.
From the moment we’d stepped inside World Steam Expo, my heart sank. Though I could indeed blend in as Lolita Suzanne had suggested, my quest seemed impossible. How was I supposed to find one item in this sea of finery, frippery, and outright nonsense? As daunted as I was by the immensity of my task, I refused to shy away from the challenge. Lolita Cindy seemed quite at home so, as I’d been told, I accompanied her for much of the first day.
We learned of villains and heroes and damsels-in-distress (who I feel are all best put out of their misery, thank you very much). In addition, we learned both trickery and attacks with a variety of weaponry. As soon as I felt comfortable enough, I set out on my own.
Oddly enough, it didn’t take long before I set my eyes upon my goal. In mere moments, however, it was snatched from my grasp and lost once more in the crowd. I spent much of the evening searching for it, from the battle room of Aegis to the thrummingly violent strains from The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing–all for nought. I retired, exhausted and dejected.
After an unfortunate delay, I returned the next day to resume my hunt. When every avenue brought me nothing, I turned at last to the lure of wormwood and the hope of second sight. Once again, music called to me, the siren songs of The Bawdy Boys as well as the musical displays from Steam-Powered Giraffe hypnotized me, lulling me into a strange sense of security and innocence as the drink took hold of my brain. I danced in a haze of clockworks and corsets until I woke with the sunrise…outside on the grass.
No one was near, but beneath the expanse of my skirts rested the sapphire beauty I’d come to claim. How I’d taken possession of the thing, I’ve no earthly idea. What the wormwood and music did to my mind…
It didn’t matter. I had what I’d come for. At once, I secreted it away from pirates, scientists, and that little slip of a girl who delighted in showing off with her pistol. None there could be trusted, not even my fellow Lolita. Still, appearances had to be maintained, so after securing my treasure, I made my way back to Lolita Cindy, staying demurely by her side until we returned to the ship.
Though I detest the idea that I had to leave my prize, I am confident none will find it. For certain things have a life of their own–the sapphire chose me as its keeper as surely as I chose it. And I will return. I must. For this adventure has only begun.
Needless to say, I had a fantastic time at World Steam Expo, and I can’t wait for next year. Also, if you have a chance to visit Ms. Martha’s Corset Shoppe, I highly recommend her work. I got a beautiful blue corset from her at the convention and am kicking myself for only buying one.