1. njw
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    njw New Member

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    It was just supposed to be a nice cruise...

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by njw, Sep 17, 2012.

    I have most of the basic plot for this organised, I'm just struggling to think of a couple of things. Characters are an eclectic bunch of guests and crew on a 200ish guest cruise ship in the Caribbean. The ship is going to be boarded at night by about 20 mercenaries who will arrive by a small boat and have a few people on the inside to disable communications, etc. Their plan is to extract a VIP and escape on their vessel. The problem I have is how to transform this into a full-on mass hostage situation when the mercs end up taking over the ship because they can't leave or decide not to.

    Does anyone have any ideas for a plot device that will change the game enough?
    Also can't decide who the VIP should be and who's paying the guys who are boarding the ship. It's obviously someone very well financed so I was thinking drug cartel but I'm yet to settle on a plausible motive.
     
  2. DefinitelyMaybe
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    DefinitelyMaybe Contributing Member Contributor

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    A passenger steals the mercenaries boat? There will be lifeboats, but they won't be powered or sufficiently fast to escape.

    The leader of the mercenaries is killed, and the remaining mercenaries don't know what to do.

    The boat is surrounded by armed military, and the mercenaries cannot leave without getting shot up.

    Passengers/crew take some of the mercenaries hostage in one part of the boat, while the mercenaries hold the passengers/crew hostage in the rest of it. The mercenaries won't leave without their captured hostages. Stand off.
     
  3. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    Well, you have to decide what the motive will be for the kidnapping - revenge, money, or to manipulate an outcome -
    release a prisoner, back off from a political or financial decision, withdraw troops from a certain sector, avoid building
    in a certain area, preventing him from being at point A to purchase a land deal or vote on a decision that will affect the villain - ect.

    You have to also decide who is going to be the hero - a passenger who doesn't know the boat very well but who
    takes as helper, one of the crew ( someone who knows the boat well ) or the hero is a one of the crew.

    Elements can alter things as they're unexpected. A storm could delay their escape.
     
  4. RobT
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    RobT Active Member

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    I'm assuming when you say extract, you mean kidnap.

    You could have a simple mayday got sent before communications could be severed. A navy or coastguard ship turns up so the mercenaries can't leave.

    You could have a double cross such as the person who hires them to kidnap the VIP is actually on board the ship as well. The mercenaries find out they're going to be double crossed, killed etc . . . So they stay by choice with the paymaster as their new hostage along with the other passengers.

    Tidal wave, ship capsizes . . . Poseidon Adventure part 3? :D

    You may want to think about your story a bit more yourself though as you appear stuck for ideas with quite a broad outline.
     
  5. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Watch Die Hard :D

    I know it's not a crew ship but it IS a mass hostage situation! Why do the mercs want the ship? Why do they want the VIP? Maybe they want the VIP for themselves rather than hand him/her over to their employer. What do the hostages do to fight back?
     
  6. njw
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    njw New Member

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    Thanks for the ideas people! I want to shy away from the action hero tropes by making the characters normal people, albeit rich or otherwise lucky ones, and of the 12 major ones only two have had any experience in dangerous situations. So the plan is not for them to overpower the mercs but to eventually get word to the authorities of the situation and stay alive until help arrives. I think something happening to their boat that prevents their escape is the best bet, and I had thought of it being followed by their plan B which is to take over the boat and wait for pre-arranged backup. This means it's a race against time for the passengers to get the boat moving again and/or give the US government enough time to mount a rescue. I don't know how plausible that all seems though, or how to get the boat out of equation.

    As for motive, I'm thinking close family member of some kind of government official who will be used as leverage. I just need an excuse to give him a secret service detail because they're instantly recogniseable and always fun to play around with.
     

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