(The following are notes from Mrs. Johnson, which were distributed with the original Buckaroo Banzai press kit. With additions and corrections by ye humble editor Chris. Additions are marked by *WW1*)
"One last serving of information, not about Buckaroo but about the men around him. Since it's true that you can tell an awful lot about people from the company they keep, I'm including a few brief, sketchy biographies of some of the current Hong King Cavaliers, gathered from the usual sources. Although these men lack the distinction of rank in the military sense, there is a discernible infrastructure to the group, and the chain of command is probably the following:
RAWHIDE: real name unknown, of Western United States origin, straight as an arrow, owns no more than he can carry on his horse. Has known Buckaroo longer than any of the others. Believed to have a piece of bottom land in Wyoming, possible dependents, several brothers, one of whom may once have operated on the other side of the law, holds several advanced degrees in psychology, anthropology and entomology that belie his easygoing Zen-like manner. Interests: the human mind, the piano, all life-forms and cultures. Own once-stated belief: "the study of crime is the study of mankind in its truest form."
(*WW1* Fancies a BBI intern named Big Norse, a blue-eyed, blonde on a fellowship studying experimental physics. A wiz at math, she has trouble with music. In the novel, it is Big Norse who first discovers the existence of the Lectroids in space following Team Banzai.)
RENO: real name unknown, of Latin extraction. Dark, moody, dangerous, although possessing an easy grin and a quirky artistic streak. Fond of bright, flashy colors. Executes bold pencil sketches of Buckaroo and the Cavaliers which he sells to national magazines. The real force behind the many Buckaroo Banzai cottage industries (comic books, male action figures, dime novels, "hanks o' hair" collectibles). To quote an unnamed source: "slim with small feet and hands. His features are regular and pleasing, and his tiny black mustache (since shaved off) gives him the appearance of a modest bank clerk or accountant, but the eyes strike a jarring discord, their gaze always producing that sudden tightening of the spinal nerves which the unexpected appearance of a deadly reptile causes." The same report adds, "he has three speeds; gun, knife and rope." Has postulated the existence of a new layer of atmosphere between the troposphere and the stratosphere, calling it the flatusphere, an accumulation of methane gas derived from the world's constant farting and politicians' bullshit. Intensely loyal to Buckaroo. Has played the saxophone since childhood.
(*WW1* Reno was a member of a Government "Think Tank" when he submitted his application to the Banzai Institute. In the adventure "Bastardy Proves A Spur", Reno and Pecos declare their love for each other and promise to marry. The Flatusphere was in actuality proposed by Perfect Tommy, as reported in the Novel, on page 134.)
PERFECT TOMMY: real name unknown, believed to have met Buckaroo at Phillips Exeter, but may be only self-taught with a grade-school education acquired in the South. Young, handsome, of good family. Vain, pleasure-loving, heartless, sordid, callous and sentimental, he can be brave to excess or cringingly cowardly. An enigma. A chameleon. Changes his mind as fast as he changes his hair color. A product of broken dreams. Told Buckaroo upon his induction to the Hong Kong Cavaliers, "I'm Perfect Tommy. Find Me." Nicknamed by Buckaroo "Knight of the Lesser Boulevards." Accepted to a special program at MIT where he could have coordinated material testing in cryogenic propellants to determine compatibility of various chemical gasses and fluids associated with rocket propulsion and laser systems, but a woman and a scandal forced him to leave Cambridge for a time. Went to Egypt and there taught himself the rhythm guitar; was involved in an opium bust for which he received a prison term; escaped and (posing as a Belgian) joined the Foreign Legion. Served in Africa and survived, a better man for it. It was his design for the Jet Car's suspension that convinced Buckaroo that the promise of the Oscillation Overthruster might at last be realized.
PECOS: real name unknown, believed to be Kim or Yee. Oriental, born in San Francisco. Ran with the "Love Jones," a Chinese gang, although she herself thought to be a Korean. Recipient of a Buckaroo Banzai Minority Scholarship. Percussionist. Following graduation from the University of Washington, she joined the Cavaliers after the deaths of the Swede and the Seminal Kid.
In the adventure Bastardy Proves A Spur, Reno and Pecos declare their love for each other and promise to marry.
(*WW1* s/b Seminole Kid, who was with Pecos and the Argentine on the Calypso during the events of the Movie/Novel.)
NEW JERSEY: real name Sidney Zweibel, medical colleague of Buckaroo's from Columbia's College of Physicians and Surgeons. Son of hard-workingbourgeoisie, he has all the tools but lacks the inner confidence to be a great surgeon. Plays a mean piano but needs to test himself physically to learn what he's really made of.
(*WW1* At Columbia P & S, New Jersey and B. Banzai shared Thornburg's histology and an enzymology class.)
BILLY TRAVERS : Eighteen year old (at the time of Across the 8th Dimension) computer hacker extrordinaire. Was offered a job at the National Security Agency when fourteen years old. Showed up at the Banzai Institute with his "credentials": a mountain of super secret data culled by him and his Atari 800 personal computer from electronic data processing (EDP) facilities of the Pentagon, the National Security Agency and the CIA, among others. Hacked into the personnel records of Yoyodyne Propulsions Systems and gave Team Banzai their first indication that something "weird" was up with the employees.
Was to be married to Felicia Vasquez in December of 1985, but first a computer glitch fouled those plans, then Felicia took off with a trucker named Jack Burton.
BIG NORSE : A girl from whom much had been expected. By the time she reached twelve in Denmark, she had entered the university, and as a result, grew further estranged from the general populace. Her sole concern became the abstract symbols of mathmatics, and although an arresting girl...she had always felt vexed with boys and even unwell in their company.
Her musicianship was the only constituent of her repertoire of talents needing improvement for her to "make" residency and join the group, and it seemed to her paradoxical that musical composition, so neat on the page and mathmatical in form, should so seek to involve the emotions in it's performance. Her problem, it is believed, was not a poor ear or a lack of facility with her hands, but an overabundance of earnetness. Rawhide is known to be sweet on her, and gives her piano lessons.
In the Novel, it is Big Norse who first discovers the existence of the Lectroids in space following Team Banzai.
PROF. TOICHI HIKITA : The world's foremost authority on electromagnetic particle acceleration. Grew up with Buckaroo's father, Dr. Masado Banzai, in Nagasaki, and came with him to America in 1937. Worked with the eccentric Italian physicist, Dr. Emilio Lizardo, on the development of first Oscillation Overthruster, the key to penetrating matter. Later teamed up with Masado at Princeton to work on the same problem. Was present the night Buckaroo was born and the day Buckaroo's mother and father were killed testing an improved version of the Oscillation Overthruster. Undeterred by the deaths of Masado and Sandra, and the bizarre fate of Lizardo, Hikita continues to work tirelessly toward this scientific breakthrough, spending days on end in his laboratory, not even pausing for meals. At other times, he can be seen driving around the countryside on his motor-bike, with an expression that belies his constant state of mental activity.
MRS. JOHNSON : Archivist of the Banzai Institute. Joined the scientific research center at age of nineteen when she became the premature widow of Flyboy. Started as an apprentice and quickly showed talent for record-keeping and organization. Is known to languish by day, but comes alive at night.
PINKY CARRUTHERS : Blue Blaze Irregular, gatekeeper of the Banzai Institute and auxiliary guitarist with the Hong Kong Cavaliers. Fond of sporting pink suits and stating that he knows over 47,000 unknown facts. Changes philosophies as often as Perfect Tommy changes his hair color. Plays his instrument well and does not tolerate rascals and scoundrels.
PENNY PRIDDY : Born in Wyoming, the identical twin sister (or is she?) of Buckaroo's young wife Peggy, who was mysteriously murdered on her wedding day. When Penny's parent were killed in a fire, she was adopted by relatives in Wyoming but ran away from home, wandering the roads outside Cheyenne until some cowboys gave her a ride into town. Spent some time as a religieuse in a convent, then traveled the world, obsessed with the unconscious desire to find her lost sister. Failed at various careers and fell on hard times. Loves extravagant costume jewelry, tints her hair, likes to wear revealing, glitzy clothes. Sometimes exhibits unexpected knowledge of abstruse scientific theories. Has a powerful effect on men.
Equipment: Looks like a "Baby Browning." These are pocket pistols, generally .25 ACP caliber. Very small, very light. Designed as carry guns.
When Penny arrived at the Institute, she was driving an "old Vauxhall Wyvern."
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