Third? Yeah, talk to the shadows, too. Keep an ear out as much as you can inside organized criminal outfits, shadowrunner circles, fixers, and their stables of hired guns. Do palatable favors for mobsters and gang leaders when you can, collect favors from low Knight Errant management, stuff like that. They’ll give you big picture info instead of the micro-scale it’s best to work at, and they’ll often be the exact same motherfuckers—Knight Errant included, they ain’t off the hook—causing your problems instead of solving them, but don’t kid yourself. You need to pay attention to the movers and shakers, too. Just don’t forget they’re your headaches, not your painkillers, more often than not. You might do gigs for them, but the reason you’re doing those gigs is the smaller folks, the work-a-day schmucks who sleep down the block.
Fourth, put it all together. Now that you’ve wrapped your head around the problems you can fix and the ones you can’t, and now that you’ve got a network in place to help you, the next thing to do is identify what needs work before it’s a crisis. Any mook who spends a lot of time on his feet can tell you, before you get a blister, you get a hot spot. Find the hot spots.
Look for where there’s trouble brewing, look at the assets you’ve got, and nip that shit in the bud before bullets get fired, spells get slung, and bodies drop. It’s a whole lot easier to stop two gangs from scrapping than it is to get them to stop, right? You’re more likely to talk someone down before they’ve lost a buddy or a sister or a brother to something stupid, right? You’ve got better odds of getting your cop buddies to look the other way before headlines get made and they get pressure from middle management, right?
Build up a rep as an impartial third party. Get this gang to trust you and that gang to trust you, and suddenly you can play ref between them, maybe get ’em to sit down and talk stuff over instead of going for the throat, chop-chop. Once you do that, maybe word spreads, and you’ve got bigger fish doing the same thing. Shoot straight. Deal fairly with everyone, keep your word even with the worst shitbirds out there, and you’ll open up options for yourself and your neighborhood.
Start spinning plates.
> Whether it’s looking for Mr. Johnson or this sort of dogoodery, your rep is all you’re worth.