He didn't see anything next. But he did hear something. A small voice. Female. Excitement welled in his chest before realizing all too late that the voice was too young to be 7's. And too loud to be one of his own kind. The time that he had spent passed out had replenished his energy to some degree, enough that his senses were coming back, but by bit. He heard a voice. He felt something wrapped around his waist, moving his limp body on occasion. His optics blinked open gradually, taking in a source of light and he saw ...
Large, brown eyes.
Staring right back at him with as much shock as he was currently trying to muster.
It took a few seconds and a sort of mini staring contest before either of them reacted, and both did simultaneously. The human girl's scream echoed through his hearing sensors causing him to flash his optics wildly, mouth gaping open in a silent scream. The shock of seeing the 'doll' she was playing with come to life in her very hands caused the girl to loosen her grip on 3's waist, and he took his opportunity, dropping to a wooden floorboard ground and running as fast as he possibly could behind whatever he could: namely, a large desk as the first item that he came across, knocking over a metallic trash can and sending papers scattering everywhere in the process.
Once behind the desk and to relative safety, 3 hunched and crouched on the floor, staring at the wall before him with his back against the wooden desk and hood tugged over his face in fright. This couldn't be happening ... this was impossible! Humans were an extinct species, they didn't exist, they were all dead! He had to be mistaken. Gradually he stopped rocking back and forth and lowered his hood past his audio receptors. Listening in as the hysterical screams formed back into structured sentences.
"It was alive, daddy! I promise, I'm not lying!"
A second voice, older, and strangled with an annoyed sigh. "I didn't say you were lying, sweetheart, but maybe you just ... mistook something for something else?"
"Daddy! It came alive and ran right behind there!"
"It was probably a rat. A rat wrapped in cloth." 3 took particular offense to this statement and clicked wildly.
"A rat?" A third voice, an older female, joined in the discussion. "Even so ... we have to do something about it."
There was silence for a moment, save for the sound of soft footsteps on wood and 3 crouched forward, sliding into the shadows and trying to get a slightly better read on what was being said before a shuffling sound above him caught his attention. He looked up, catching sight of a pair of dark blue eyes staring at him from the top of the desk before he darted back into the shadows, praying silently that he hadn’t been seen.
"Yep. It's a rat."
"Then what do we do? You know the rules."
The conversation went unnervingly quiet after than point, and 3 had reason to feel afraid. Moments later a screeching erupted from the sound of the heavy desk above him being move across the floorboards, turning his slim tunnel into a vast canyon through which anything could pass through. At the sight of a human shadow passing across his left line of vision, he ran directly to his right and out from behind the desk in panic. In that degree of panic, it was almost impossible to see the suspended, upturned trash can until it was slammed over the top of him trapping him in the dark shell.
"Got it! I got it!"
"Okay, you have the gloves?"
"Check. On the count of three, you lift and I swing."
"One." 3 flinched.
"Two." A sliver of light appeared under the trash can rim and he curled into a tight ball, hugging his knees. He was a goner.
"Th—" Light bathed the cowering Stitchpunk who waited for the final blow ... a blow that never came. His optics switched to glance over his arms. Towering above him were three humans: the girl that had him in his grasp, and two more.
9 recognised the projected images immediately. The one holding the can was the mousey-haired woman that had brought them the warm soapy water. And the one holding a hammer limply in his wrists, too in shock to wield it any longer? It was the man from the pipes. The man that had brought them there.