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The Occult Underground and the Australian criminal underworld interact in strange, strange ways. Also, MacGuffins!
I wouldn't say that anyone really knows Dave West. A lot of people know of him, though. He's not really what people think of when you say 'crime lord'. Hasn't been for years, now. He's like a crime lord's banker. You want to pull a heist, buy some wholesale ice, whatever, but don't have the cash? You talk to Dirty Dave West, he gives you some money and you pay him back when you get your payoff. The way I hear it, he doesn't even charge more than a token amount of interest - way below what you pay on your mortgage, at any rate.
What he really takes his payment in is favours, and I mean big ones. After all, he's just made a score possible that you never could've pulled by yourself, so that success is partially his. He's been doing it a long time, too, so he's got a network of hard, crimey bastards all up and down Australia's east coast who'll do whatever he needs doing.
And you know what? A lot of what he needs doing involves kacking dukes and breaking cabals. Sometimes this is pretty direct 'make this idiot disappear' stuff. More often, some big fish who wasn't so very big a little while ago gets a call to ensure that something becomes property of Dave West, and that the health of the current owner isn't a high priority. To the sort of people Dirty Dave West helps, that's as good as an open inviation to bring down the hurt and save themselves some time and energy.
There's all sorts of rumours about why this is. The bullshit-free truth is that there is no great vendetta. Dave West doesn't give a stone cold shit about the Underground. He doesn't care about anything. Dirty Dave West is a myth and his entire network is a front for the Sleepers. Yeah, you heard me. They're proactive, here in Australia - not really a bunch who wait for some freak to go completely balls-out and poke the sleeping tiger. They see you starting to go a bit off the rails outside the comfort and safety of an otherspace and all of a sudden Dave West decides that he wants something of yours and you - yeah, your health isn't a concern at all.
It's clever, you've got to give them that. Of course, like everything else in this world, it's breaking down. It's been going on too long, you see. Everyone who's anyone in the criminal underworld knows that he's around, though, and that he's got an agenda they can't figure out. A lot of them have gotten pretty paranoid, especially the ones who still owe 'him' favours. They're spending a lot of time trying to put a face - or a plan, or anything at all - to the name.
Well, they've succeeded, in a fucked-up, more-trouble-than-it-was-ever-worth kind of way. Not only has something calling itself Dirty Dave West taken direct control of a couple of amphetamine labs in Sydney, another one has called down two hits in Newcastle. There's another doing large-scale standovers in Melbourne and a fourth importing ecstacy into Brisbane, and that's just the four that I know of. He looks different in every city and he can't be found - he just walks into some kingpin's private office, says he's running things now, walks out and disappears. The gangsters are driving themselves batshit trying to figure out where he goes, because they won't believe the real explanation. They can't find anything because there's nothing to find. Dirty Dave West doesn't exist when he's not trying to take over the underworld.
So, problems for them, huh? Opportunity for you and me, though. You see, there's a set of documents the Sleepers created to allow them to use him as a front - birth certificate, passport, drivers license, a hundred points of ID and more. It looks like it's been scattered around the place, but if someone could get their hands on enough documents, I'm betting they could take control of the guy, just like he's doing to the crooks, and that's got to be a prize worth the risk. If nothing else, his bank account's got to be good for a million bucks or so.
Great plot hook, great "treasure" to try to get.