Hoss, a killer intent on improving his position on the charts, aiming for a gold record. He is indisputably one of the best solo acts in the game and is well aware of the pressure that fame puts on him to continue to play that game and become number one. Hoss’s problem is that he senses the futility of continuing to perform according to other people’s rules instead of according to his own instincts. The isolation into which his managers have pushed him is destroying Hoss’s confidence and his awareness of what is going on at the fringes of the game. He knows that the real threats to any star come not from the other acts playing within the game but from the Gypsy Markers acting outside the game who use and break the rules to fit their own purposes. This threat is realized in Crow, who is able to defeat Hoss in a shoot-out and to claim all Hoss’s territory and entourage.
Becky Lou, Hoss’s manager and girlfriend, a woman capable of shaping a renegade killer into a chart-topping solo marker, as she has done with Hoss. Becky, however, is also capable of destroying her creations, because she defines success as playing by the rules of the game. She is an opportunist who apparently joined up with Hoss when he was starting to make a name for himself on the circuit and who knows how to manipulate him to act against the instincts that served him well early in his career. After the fight, she leaves with Crow.
Star-Man, an astrologer, part of Hoss’s management team. In advising...
(The entire section is 645 words.)