Toby was a supporting character in Book I and Book II of The Ballad of Halo Jones. He was a robot dog (strictly speaking, an Iliac 600 Ripper built in 4947 AD) owned by Brinna. His job was to protect her and her housemates Halo, Rodice and Ludy from harm in the dangerous 50th-century housing estate called the Hoop. Toby's sentience was so great that it led him to fail spectacularly at this fairly simple task: he fell in love with Halo and murdered Brinna so that Halo would inherit him. The unsuspecting Halo took him with her when she got a job on the Clara Pandy, an interstellar spaceship. When Halo and the dolphin steersman were taken hostage by representatives of the Tarantulan Emancipation Army, who objected to Earth's "undeclared war" in the Tarantula Nebula, Toby charged straight through a wall and turned the hostage-takers into mincemeat. (Not that anybody on board would have known what that is, because in the 50th century everyone is vegetarian.)
Eight months into the Clara Pandy's voyage, Halo told the ship's cyberneticist Mix Ninegold that she missed her friends, so he gave her Toby's old audio memory spools to play, because they would have the voices of her friends on them. Halo played the tapes and was horrified to hear a recording of Toby murdering Brinna. Toby told Halo of his love and offered to acquire a humanoid body so they could be together, but then he realised that Halo was terrified of him and decided to kill her instead. Toby was valued by the ship's crew as a masterpiece of engineering and a highly efficient guard dog, whereas hostesses like Halo were seen as dispensable, so given a plausible excuse he would probably have got away with it.
Halo's cabin-mate Toy Molto locked the frenzied Toby in the ship's furnace, but he broke out and charged after them, glowing red-hot and bent on slaughter. The Glyph killed him by emptying a barrel full of flammable liquid into his path. Both Toby and the Glyph were killed by the subsequent explosion.
Powers and abilities
PowersCan hear people's heartbeats; has infrared vision.
AbilitiesChewing off the face of anyone who looks at him funny; bursting through metal walls.
TransportationThe Clara Pandy.
Metal fangs and claws. Basically, he is a weapon.
- Appearances of Toby
- Character Gallery: Toby
- Images that feature Toby
- Fan-Art Gallery: Toby
- Toby quotations
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