Derek "Dirk" Montgomery (born 2021) is a private investigator and part-time shadowrunner living and working in Auburn, Seattle (until 2052), Cheyenne (until 2056) and the Kingdom of Hawai'i. He is primarily known for being one of the first to uncover the insect spirit threat in the Sixth World and for saving the planet from extradimensional invaders a few years later. He is the protagonist of two Shadowrun novels written by Nigel Findley, and was said to have been the author's favorite character.
Dirk was raised in Renton, and spent 3 years studying computer science at the University of Washington in Seattle ("U Dub") before dropping out. His parents disapproved of this, particularly his father. They were killed by the Junk Yard Dogs street gang before reconciling. Dirk's sister Theresa did not take the loss well, and turned to simsense abuse to cope. Dirk eventually joined Lone Star, but after completing basic training decided that the police corporation wasn't the life for him after all. Wanted by Lone Star for breach of contract, he joined the ranks of the SINless and became a shadowrunner, though he never considered himself a particularly talented one. Dirk maintained an extensive collection of contacts, and specialized in legwork-oriented jobs: skip traces, surveillance, et cetera.
In 2052, a visit from the sister of an ex-girlfriend and the disappearance of his own beloved sister Theresa led to his investigation into the BTL 2XS, an investigation which culminated in his discovery of the insect spirit hive in Seattle underneath a Yamatetsu research facility. Dirk led a crack team to infiltrate the hive, kill the insect queen and rescue his sister. Though successful in their objectives, many died in the attempt and Dirk lost his arm.
After the events that led to his confrontation with the Universal Brotherhood and the Insect spirits, Dirk moved to Cheyenne, the capital of the Sioux Nation and became a specialist in data analysis, avoiding dangerous work. Dirk's left arm was now a cyber replacement provided by Yamatetsu corporation, a legacy of his last shadowrun in Seattle. His old self-image as a tough, self-reliant, hard-boiled PI didn't survive that experience--Dirk became a virtual recluse, leading a paranoid life and avoiding risk at any cost.
In 2056, he was forced back into peril when he was asked to deliver a message to a Yakuza boss in the independent Kingdom of Hawai'i. When the job was revealed to be a setup, Dirk became hunted by several factions, including at least one dragon and the legendary Harlequin. Ultimately, he became aware of an attempt by the islanders to weaken the barrier between Earth and the spirit world in a ritual which would allow dangerous outsiders to breach the veil. At great cost, he succeeded in preventing this, although the experience left him broken and alone.
As a character, Dirk was notable as not being particularly gifted in anything but survival - like a cockroach, he was relatively small and weak, but exceptionally hard to kill. While reasonably competent at such things as fighting and negotiation, he is surrounded by those who are much more skilled and significant than himself and is often a helpless pawn in vast happenings, a pawn who, despite himself, ends up effecting great change in the world at large through a combination of sheer tenacity and luckiness (or unluckiness). After observing him, Harlequin noted that Dirk was a kindred spirit to himself, and even offered his friendship to Dirk, although Dirk, mistrustful of others and drowning in sorrow, refused it.
- Sim Dreams & Nightmares, 3
- The Clutch of Dragons
- Shadowrun Website - Shadowland 2054-01-18 "Universal Brotherhood: Awesome, or Just Great?"