Ennesby is an AI attached to the Toughs. He loves really bad puns, obscene gestures involving the finger (one reason he wishes he had fingers), winning at chess, his own freedom, smartassery, and especially any conjunction thereof. He has a weapons-grade vocabulary. He is fairly unique in that he is "unfettered"--that is, he has no hardwired loyalties and can follow his conscience. Due to his "vanilla-helix" architecture, he is also one of few AIs in the story that can easily migrate between different computational hardware. Several other AIs have apparently "inherited" this nature from him, either by being descended from him (Lunesby) or by temporarily being a "ghost" sharing his hardware (Tagii).
The "flying maraca", his physical body, has human-looking eyes, a speaker grille in front that moves like a mouth, and floating eyebrows (though Howard's art style is such that all characters have them, so whether they actually levitate is unknown). The maraca is capable of withstanding chemical explosives at point-blank range. Additionally, he has various capabilities, including short-ranged levitation and a maser (adapted by Ennesby from the levitation). The maraca was built for him by Kevyn.
All the manipulatory equipment is housed in the "fiddly bit" sticking out the underside of the ball. If it's snapped off, he's unable to levitate or manipulate objects. However, he 'is' able to roll using his eyebrows (the exact method is not stated), and Kevyn says that he will keep the security video of the whole event.
Ennesby started out as the "state-of-the-art vanilla-helix viral artificial intelligence" that brought the holographic New Sync Boys, a popular if fictional boy band, to life. After their exposure by Schlock and Brad during their job (protect the Boys from over-eager female fans, which they then reasoned whose passion would be redirected onto themselves in the band's absence), he uploaded himself to the Hypernet in embarrassment and infected the systems of the Toughs' starship Kitesfear, demanding sanctuary. From there he was dubbed "Ennesby" (from NSB, an acronym of "New Sync Boys") and transferred into his physical body: the aforementioned "flying maraca."
Ennesby's gender as a note is not really elaborated on; when he was initially getting used to his new body he asked whether he was going to wear pants or a skirt (maracas don't usually wear clothes though); but the crew refer to him as 'he' in general. In addition, during the first visit to Luna, in which he hacked into the government's computer systems, he spawned off a definitely daughter AI, Lunesby, at which Thurl commented that Ennesby was now a father.
Ennesby later transferred his primary identity into the new ship's computer on the Serial Peacemaker, but kept the flying maraca as a semi-independent secondary extension. The computers on the Peacemaker made him ten times faster than a normal ship AI, a fact of which he was very proud. With the recent destruction of the Serial Peacemaker by the Pa'anuri during the Core War, Ennesby is now struggling to deal with the loss of a large portion of his processing ability as well as the distrust of Tagon and Kevyn, though the captain has made him his adjutant, at which he is highly effective.
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