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  1. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    Secretly getting footage from fascist overlords: How can I make this legit?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Mallory, Apr 26, 2011.

    Hey guys -

    So this dystopian novel I'm writing/revising takes place in a setting that's a mix between Nazi Germany and Orwell's "1984." My protag and her friends started a small resistance group that's akin to the White Rose group who resisted the Nazis in real life: basically they're just a small group of college students who secretly distribute flyers and handouts and stuff. However, a character's missing father's friend has connections, and the group gets involved with a larger and more powerful resistance group. One of the higher-ups in the group wants to lead a mission to gather footage from surveillance cams of the regime's secret concentration camps, in order to distribute the truth and awaken people.

    My question is, how could they get footage like this? My first thought was stealing a guard uniform somehow and pretending to be guards there, but I figured that such a high security place would have accounted for all their guards already and would recognize someone who doesn't belong. My next idea would be if an insider (in the camp) could cause some damage to the surveillance cameras control room, and the people collecting footage could pose as repair people or something. But, again, wouldn't such a top-notch center be able to handle its own repairs?

    How can I make this legit and believable?

    Thanks!!!
     
  2. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Someone leaks it to them?
     
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  3. J.D. Rand
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    J.D. Rand Member

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    Well, a lot of information is passed around thanks to bribes; discreetly set up a meeting with someone who has access to the surveillance footage, and offer them money (or something that they would consider of value to them) in return for that footage, and to keep quiet about the whole deal.

    Of course, there's always the chance that said person would back-stab the protagonists and notify their superiors, but that could be worked pretty well into the story if you want added suspense.
    Not to mention a good motivation for said person to not report the event would be that they may end up getting in serious trouble for accepting the bribe. That one depends on how much they value their own life over the continued existence of the regime they work for.
     
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  4. KillianRussell
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    KillianRussell Contributing Member

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    you may want to google pam jenoff the kommandant's girl
     
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  5. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    Thanks guys! +Rep to you both!

    The bribe thing could work really well, actually. :) And yeah, I do want something to go wrong with it, in order to kick off necessary resulting events.
     
  6. TheGreatNeechi
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    TheGreatNeechi Member

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    Double agent.

    The actual resistance group is duped into bribing a double agent inserted by local authorities under the guise of a concerned citizen who just happened to know a guy, who knew a guy, who knew another guy.... who could find the necessary information.

    The resistance agents would never hope to be able to confront the real source of such information, so they assume its legitimate and take the bait.

    On the opposite end, the authorities know there is a resistance group operating in the area. They insert an agent along with tidbits of information and watch for them both to come down the pipe. When the resistance agrees to the bribe the authorities know their agent is being taken seriously, and he (or she) is instructed to bite.

    It doesn't have to be a bribe though. I doubt your group has that kind of money. What they don't know is they're being used as pawns in a greater game. There is an internal power struggle at the top of the regime, and your boys and girls just got a front seat.
     
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  7. Unit7
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    Unit7 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well if they have technology sorta like present age I suppose you could make it believable that they hacked into the control room and download the footage needed.

    But not exactly sure how advanced their technology is and such and how much time you want to spend on how they obtained the material.
     
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  8. Tessie
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    Tessie Contributing Member Contributor

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    My thoughts are similar to what Unit7 has said. What if your people hack into the external electrical hub and download the footage, or better yet, create a power shortage, which gives them the time to set up their own secret cameras in the building (while it is still dark inside)? :)
     
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  9. Leonardo Pisano
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    Leonardo Pisano Active Member

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    Mallory, what about a rescue action of one of the persons inside? You can have a duo-plot: let it fail so that person is considered much more important than he is (directing attention away from the real man!) and it's a decoy for planting the camera.
     
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  10. Anonym
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    Anonym Contributing Member

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    I've had similar issues with my WIP. I generally assume that powerful people are in power for a reason; if it were easy to infiltrate or swindle them they probably wouldn't be where they are. Thus, echoing what most people have said: use an inside job. Tactfully of course, but yeah, often the only people capable of undermining dystopian despotism are members of the despotism themselves, being in part why there is often so much scrutiny within the proverbial 'party' (1984) to weed out dissenters. Such lengths wouldn't be gone to if the threat of a defector were paltry, so they obviously have the potential to screw with the hegemony if they put their minds to it. If all that makes sense.
    The greatest challenge assuming you take this route is avoiding the appearance of contrivance in regards to your "inside man", I believe. I did so by a Chekov's gun of sorts, but I'm sure there are many such story devices that could be useful in getting around it. Good luck.
    [/brain diarrhea]
     
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  11. nzric
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    nzric Active Member

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    The way they get the footage is a great way to symbolise the strengths/vulnerabilities of the regime they're trying to overturn...

    If they hack or break into the system that implies the system/technology/infrastrucutre is vulnerable to a bunch of college students (?). Remember a lot of the terror of 1984 was how omniscient and all-powerful Big Brother was. If you expose chinks in the regime's armor people will start to see the wizard behind the curtain (to mix a metaphor).

    If they bribe someone that implies there's some things that the proletariat value (money, food?) more than the fear of getting caught. Which means that either people are really desperate or that the regime's use of fear isn't totally effective.

    If it's leaked to them it means there is a widespread undercurrent in the public that could be tapped to get people to rise up against the regime

    ... or like TheGreatNeechi said it could mean the regime is playing them. Maybe it's intentionally leaked and it's a conspiracy with the students unwitting pawns of the regime or powerful elements battling for power within the regime.

    There's also a the old-fashioned approach. Have someone from the concentration camp escape with some evidence they have smuggled out (cellphone/tape footage?). But of course that implies that there is both an organised secret resistance in the camp and that the regime's security is vulnerable and not all-powerful.
     
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  12. zaphod
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    zaphod Member

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    Blows against a regime don't have to come solely from a heroic citizen standing up for their freedom, as if that ever happens in real life anyways. Most people will submit if it means they have food and shelter and security anyways. It can come from people on the inside who want to get ahead. What is the nature of the country and what macro-trends are happening? Is there growing urbanization, new technologies or industries? Who would stand to cash in on a change?
     
  13. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    Thanks guys!

    Nzric, I have lots to ponder now, thanks.

    Sorry I haven't replied to this thread in a while - have been way busy.
     
  14. Dandroid
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    Dandroid Senior Member

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    A peculiar and probably understandable feature of the nazi/neo-nazi movement was the underground trading of violent and snuff pornography...perhaps footage of atrocites in camps could be purchased for the supposed 'prurient' purposes...
     
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  15. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    ^ Interesting. Had never thought of that before, and could add another layer of nastiness for the antags and a subplot...thanks!
     

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