Born in South Africa, educated at Lincoln Laboratory, trained under MI5, and now employed by Murkywater. Vernon Locke heads their special cyberwarfare division, which has been tasked with infiltrating and destroying Crime.net. Locke has managed this. However, being a mercenary with no loyalties that extra money couldn't bend, Locke sees this as an opportunity. An opportunity to get rich, and cause a little chaos. He has reached out to Bain and the Payday gang. The deal? Work with him, or he brings Crime.net down forever. And he already has a couple of jobs for you...
Vernon Locke, of South-African nationality as evident by his accent, has long been an employee and operative with mercenary organisation Murkywater. Even with the borderline grey-area reputation of that organization, surveillance and underground chatter has long been hailing Locke as something more than a soldier-for-hire. Perhaps he is some kind of double agent, aiming for something bigger.
Most recently he has been sighted seemingly on his own, not working under the Murkywater umbrella, but perhaps involved with Bain and the Payday gang. Some intelligence operatives have also been following up on connections between Locke and “The Butcher”, though again- the exact nature of said connection remains a mystery at present.
Locke is the only contractor to not have a live-action portrayal thus far.
Locke is one of the two contractors to directly assist the crew during a heist, the second being Jimmy. He is also the second of three contractors to appear in a heist in person, the first being Hector and the third being Jimmy. Finally, he is the third contractor to instruct players directly throughout his heists, preceded by Bain and Vlad. Unlike Vlad, who simply gives instructions alongside Bain in every contract after and including Meltdown, Locke instructs the crew alone throughout the entirety of the Beneath the Mountain heist, with Bain only coming in after the heist is finished.
While also on this note, Locke is the first contractor to outright "betray" the Payday gang in a mission contracted by his name, unlike Hector, whose treacherous intentions were only found out later on as part of another plotline.
Vernon Locke has for a long time lacked an entry in the FBI Files' Clown Case folder, possibly due to his affliation with Murkywater. He has seemingly avoided suspicion by the authorities (and Murkywater) up until the Alaskan Deal where the police noticed him fleeing the scene. He has since received an entry and can be found in messages relating to him in Garrett's internal memos. In Brooklyn Bank, Locke reveals Murkywater has eventually obtained knowledge of his treachery and has "closed all their communication channels" with him.
Locke can purportedly bring down Crime.net at the simple push of a button.
With his "betrayal" in Alaskan Deal, it remains uncertain if his threat to take down Crime.net is a bluff or not. However, with him being revealed to be on the PAYDAY Gang's side in the Reservoir Dogs Heist, it's unlikely the button exists and even then he wouldn't have used it, especially since he appears to be working independently from Murkywater. This is supported in the FBI Files where Locke has been profiled by Solomon Garrett and is theorized by him to be working separately.
Like The Butcher, Vernon Locke was introduced into PAYDAY 2 with a pair of heists packed into a single DLC as a collaborative effort between Overkill Software and another company.
Locke appears to be skilled in the field of avionics, as he serves as the crew's getaway pilot and provides aerial support to lift the money pallets in Birth of Sky.
Despite Locke being South African, his accent is not that of a native Afrikaans speaker owing to actor Ian Russel being British. Rather, his accent sounds more similar to the New Zealand Maoris.
He tends to curse quite often, more than the most of the other contractors.
He also has the tendency to change how he speaks to the heisters during Birth of Sky, being friendly and calm in one moment, but getting more aggressive if they don't complete certain objectives.
It is hinted Locke has the same monitoring privileges as Bain, as Locke is able to recognize very specific details despite not being present with the crew. Some examples include him leaving remarks on the death of the logistics officer and the diner keycard in Birth of Sky.
Though not involved, Locke is mentioned in Murky Station of the Hardcore Henry heists, thus Beneath the Mountain and Birth of Sky take place before Jimmy was introduced to the PAYDAY gang.
In the Heat Street remake, Locke is more directly involved for tipping off the PAYDAY crew to Matt's intentions and assists them to retrieve him to safety away from the police.