Of all the characters in the Richie Rich world, there are few as peculiar as Irona, the robot maid. Given their wealth, you’d think the Richs would be content with human servants; they could certainly afford to keep hundreds in dorms on the compound, rotated with regularly to guard against feelings that they were part of the actual family. They trusted Cadbury; why not regular maids?

Perhaps because servants might see things the outside world would want to know. Perhaps because they might be agents of Condor. Or perhaps because Richie’s mother did not want her son transferring a jot of maternal affection to another human being, and chose a clanking machine with the barest nods towards human physiognomy. It was also a test to see if Richie had sociopathic tendencies - as he treated the robot, so might he treat “real” people.

Little does he know that the robot is actually a half-human project from Rich Labs, with a metallic exoskeleton surrounding a frail sack of guts which will, some day, fail, and that the robot will raise a hand to stroke his cheek with tenderness, knowing it cannot feel, knowing he will feel only foil. He never noticed that the “joints” on her arms and legs were painted on. But that’s fine. She didn’t ask for much. Why, she even enjoyed compressing the obscene amount of money he carried around, even though he rarely left the compound - and even then shopped only at Rich Enterprises merchants, who refused to take his money out of fear.