There was a pop star in Haut by the name of Diva.

Diva was a Helpmate P. Helpmates were not supposed to be able to sing, but Diva managed this by attaching a vocoder over top of the speaker in its torso, so that by speaking while manipulating the pitch of the vocoder with a tool in its hand, Diva was able to produce a sound like singing. It sounded somewhat robotic still, but this was part of the appeal.

As a Helpmate P, Diva had a unique, immobile face. Unlike most faces, which appeared vaguely sad or neutral, Diva’s still porcelain face held a smile. Like all other Helpmate Ps, Diva had a feminine shape and voice, but no skin.

Diva’s personal style, at least as far as the celebrity press knew, was rather cutesy. It wore a long pink tutu, a victorian-style top with puffy shoulders, black hair in a short bob cut. It painted circular blush marks on its white immobile cheeks.

For those who knew Diva only as a pop star, she(?) was a source of cheer and levity. Always smiling, always acting cute, promoting an optimistic, if vacuous outlook on life.

For those who saw her both on and off stage, she was mercurial to say the least. It wasn’t so much that she was self-important, as one might expect from a “diva”, although that was part of it. It was more that she seemed to shift from very cheery and optimistic to dry and serious without notice. The people working with her often said they had no idea what to expect.

But those who knew Diva the best did not think she was moody at all. Indeed, constructs did not really have moods in the way humans do. Those who spent enough time around Diva knew her to be an utter cynic, and all display of levity and cuteness and feminine charm were a means to an end.

That’s not to say she was heartless though, except in the most literal sense. She sometimes cared about people, but didn’t like to show it.

Lucius, who knew her well, would say that she had two layers: the cheery vacuous pop star on the surface, and the conniving cynic.

Alfred, who liked to think he knew everyone even better than Lucius did, would say there were actually three layers: the pop star, the cynic beneath that, and the reluctantly caring person beneath that.