Vampire: The Greatest Generation
Dirk Van Dammt
A veteran of two world wars shameful about the source of his family's fortune
Dirk Van Dammt learned as a child that it’s a good idea to listen to everyone else’s take first, so you know where your opinion fits in. He feels he betrayed these instincts in the trenches during World War I, though only his unit-mate, Albert Grunwald, knows he abandoned the rest of his squad.
Dirk has faith that he is, deep down, a good person because he has devoted his life to positive civic engagement, giving back to a nation that has done so much for him. Opposition to this devotion is personified in Peter Mulgrew, a lifelong business and political rival. Peter would love to find a way to discredit Dirk.
Dirk still struggles to come to terms with his discovery that his family built their fortune on the backs of New York’s poor. His parents, Fritz and Kitty, committed tax evasion and extorted millions by overcharging renters of their slum tenements. They have mob connections, having hired goons to beat fathers and mothers within inches of their lives were they late on rent payments. Dirk’s parents are still alive, though their time is coming to an end. They are unsure they want to give control of the family estate to their more generous son.
Dirk knows there is more to the world than what’s seen on the surface because of the time he hiked the Trans Pennine Trail with his English friend, Ollie Rockefeller. They had a close encounter with a Will-o’-the-wisp along the trail. Ollie followed the wisp and has been much more secretive with dirk since that day.
Now that the war is over, Dirk is determined to out the totalitarian apologists and social Darwinists who threatened the stability of the union during the Great Depression and throughout World War II. He is joined in this goal by Joseph Ryan, president of the International Longshoremen’s Association, though Ryan is suspected of also having ties to the mob.