Black juice is a cant term for funds available to a corporation, police force, intelligence agency or similar organisation which derives from illegal activity and is not processed through legitimate channels, making it primarily useful in the black economy.
Examples might be cash siezed from criminals by police and kept undeclared for use in covert programmes or the sort of revenue allegedly raised by the CIA from the "Air America" drugs trade1. By logical extension black juice can also extend to commodity money, with illicit drugs serving as an effective barter currency for criminal transactions.
This sort of funding tends to carry the curse of its origins, and as well as being used for morally dubious purposes is prone to corrupt those with access to it (not least because of the nebulous accounting for money which officially doesn't exist).
For reference, money diverted from legitimate sources via accounting trickery and used for less transparent purposes is grey juice - a term that may also apply to black juice that has been sucessfully laundered.
Game and Story Use
- PCs with the right connections may be able to tap supplies of black juice for their own ends.
- Of course, the penalties for embezzling these sort of funds can be rather steep and rarely subject to appeal.
- People who stumble across these things by accident can get into all sorts of trouble, getting on the wrong side of the bad end of a government agency or powerful corporation without meaning to. Good for plot.
- PCs are almost certain to develop this concept for themselves when they (as government employees) sieze large quantities of untracable cash and can think of far better uses than handing it in.
- The idea of a rogue agent within their own agency corrupted by black juice is also a good one (several NCIS plots - and those of other crime serials - revolve around people corrupted by morally dubious funds of one kind or another that they were using in the course of their work).
- In a supernatural campaign, the idea of this money having a curse on it can be less figurative - as in the case of the Thirty Pieces of Silver or those Incan Coins from Pirates of the Carribean.