Little and Large is a great dynamic. -- Gallifreya
[AN: I really had enough of Lewis and Vivi for now, so... ROBOTS!And for the sake of clarity, I am emphasising some height differences]
She was small, for a robot. The first one in Walter Manor who Hatchy had to look down at in order to meet her eyes. Not that there was much of a chance at that. She was painfully shy. And equally painfully afraid of everything.
Steve technically owned her, since he was the one to salvage her from a crate delivered by the Lost Letters Office. But she stayed at the manor where all the tools and equipment was.
Hatchy knew what it was like to be re-introduced to a world that had changed whilst he had been quietly mouldering. He knew how terrifying everything had been. The trick, he remembered, was being allowed to approach things at his own speed.
Therefore, he allowed her to approach him at her own speed. And it didn't take long after that for him and her to become fast friends.
Her name was Bitzer. And her creator had made her out of spare parts. Her clockwork mechanisms were all the small, tiny gears of watches. Apparently purchased wholesale. But the rest of her makeup was... eclectic.
But that didn't matter, in the end. He had someone he could talk to about the changes in the world. And she just had someone she could talk to. And boy, was she enthusiastic when she emerged from her shy shell. It was as if she was not merely short, but also concentrated.
She was intense.
The problem started with rehearsals. Bitzer followed in his wake, initially excited to see a show, and did her usual blending into the scenery because she was literally below notice.
At least until, in a moment of casual cameraderie, Rabbit let loose a friendly insult.
That was when Bitzer's intensity turned up to eleven and a hidden ferocity came to the fore. She'd never had weapons as part of her construction, but she made everyone present believe that she could breathe fire. No, she could breathe plasma.
She had Rabbit bailed up in a corner and fearing for her life before Hatchy came to the rescue, carrying Bitzer away by draping her over his shoulder.
"I can literally take you apart," Bitzer yelled from her perch. "I know how! I could do it with a screwdriver!"
Hatchy kept her from running back into the fray by the simple expedient of holding her feet off the floor. "Now, now," he cooed. "Rab-bit did-n't mean an-y-thing by that."
"Rabbit?" From rage to shock in an instant. She really didn't have the capacity for more than 0.1 emotion at a time. She stretched to peek past his shoulder. "C'est n'est pas mon cousine Lapin. She-she-she-she looked like a boy, the last time."
It was at that moment that Hatchy realised that Bitzer always hid whenever anyone else was around. Apart from himself, Steve, and Pete the sixth, nobody else got more of a glimpse of her. And she never met anyone else.
"When was the last time?"
"Nineteen eighty-eight. Why?"
Oh boy. Hatchy patiently explained that Rabbit had been recently restored from recovered blueprints. Colonel Peter Walter's original plans. Which, oddly enough, made the smaller automaton fume.
"I still-still don't know whether to hug-to hug her or smack her," Bitzer confessed. "Those were the plans Maman used to make me. And then I kept them safe. She never sent a thank-you note."