1. AJ Winters
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    AJ Winters Member

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    What Are They Looking For?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by AJ Winters, Aug 25, 2012.

    Long story short:

    Ben loses his wife, Sara, to murder (doesn't really know why). Left with 17 yr-old daughter, Hailey. Few months after murder, both getting back on track until strange things start happening (e.g. Sara's colleagues are being murdered too/attacks on certain science facilities etc).

    Ben and Hailey caught in attack upon mall (antagonist appearances etc), but are helped by young man, Jason. The whole 'you're in trouble/they (antagonists) want you' ensues.

    Antagonists get a hold of Ben, Hailey and Jason (sort of interrogation/blackmail scene) and during this, it is revealed that:
    - Sara lied to Ben and Hailey about her job
    - she had performed a test (secret by govt.) on a group of volunteers (with medical problems) to cure them
    - said test went wrong and the medical symptoms were reversed (e.g. brittle bone to strength/electrocution to electrical control/x-men sort of stuff etc)
    - an atidote of some kind was made that could change the symptoms back again etc. etc.
    - the antagonists want to get it (so that they can destroy it/each has own motive etc.)
    - Ben and Hailey must have it/know where it is/know what it's classification code it etc.

    The last point is where I get stuck. I sort of need a way for the antidote to be hidden from the antagonists but be linked to the protagonists (both Ben and Hailey). I need something that contains the least amount of loop holes or isn't overly-complicated and unrealistic (and, yes, x-men stuff isn't realistic - that why I need something more realistic to balance it out). These are the ideas I've had so far:

    A classification code - antagonists think that Ben and Hailey were told by Sarah what the code was
    Location - antagonists think that Ben and Hailey were told by Sarah where it was hidden
    (not many, eh?)

    See, things like the antidote being hidden in Hailey's jewellery box etc. have loopholes - the protagonists could just ransack Ben's house (then where would I be).

    *Btw, when I say potentially, I mean that, in the end, Ben and Hailey don't know where it is/its code/or whatever - surprise antagonist revealed and it goes on from there.

    So, if anyone could can understand the complete waffle above, please share your ideas. All are welcome.

    Thanks,
    AJ
     
  2. Vsevolod
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    Vsevolod Member

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    What if her killer knows about it?
     
  3. luna claire
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    luna claire Senior Member

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    Hello. Okay, well, hopefully I did not misunderstand this. The codeword idea jumped out at me. It could be a phrase or cipher or something similar. Something that could be construed as a code but isn't, because as you said Ben and Hailey have no clue to where the antidote is. I'm not sure if that helps or not. Good luck.:)
     
  4. Prolix Plotbunny
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    Prolix Plotbunny New Member

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    This seems to have jumped at me the moment I read your post. How about the code is a very precious memory shared between the family? Something the deceased wife held closely to her heart, even while working on highly unethical top secret projects? This not only makes it plausibly private, but also adds a personal and intimate touch to the characters in question. Perhaps the memory is of a vacation, or some other place not immediately connected to the beginning setting, making the locating attempts in vain right away.
     
  5. patrickgoggles
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    patrickgoggles Member

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    Super complicated possibility: Sara worked at this job before meeting Ben. She actually met him through some sort of medical experiment/test/procedure (maybe she just drew blood for a blood bank to scan people's blood). In doing so she discovered that Ben may have a gene/characteristic in his blood to create the original cure. So She married him to keep him close eventually falling in love, blah blah blah. Had a child blah blah blah(who naturally has the same characteristics). Tests come to fruition, tests go bad. Seeing as they were the original source for the cure, they could arguably be used to reverse the cure(maybe?). They don't know where the antidote is because - They are the antidote!

    Easy peasy - Flash drive inside Hailey's favorite stuff animal.
     
  6. BrandonCHFG
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    BrandonCHFG New Member

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    Sara could have secretly injected one or the other to genetically imprint the code onto their DNA, allowing their blood to be turned into antidote producing factories? Possibly there was an "antidote" that didn't work, but it was actually something that allowed non-infected people to produce the antidote for infected people.
     
  7. AJ Winters
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    AJ Winters Member

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    Thanks everyone for your help! :)

    Vsevolod - I've sort of been playing around with this idea for a while. Her killer was thought to be one of the Volunteers (because they wouldn't have wanted her to alert the authorities etc.), but it was actually (surprise antagonist and volunteer) a guy who was in on the whole experiment (because he eventually wanted to cure his ailment). I'm thinking that he knows of whatever the Volunteers are looking for (code or whatever I decide on) but waits for Ben to actually find it so that he can take it from him, destroy it, then kill Ben and Hailey because of what they've seen ("they know too much" sort of stuff). Does that make sense?

    luna claire and Prolix Plotbunny - I think you're both thinking the same thing, am I right? :) I like the idea of a codeword, and that code actually being a special memory or something like that, I'd just need a way for either Ben or Hailey to uncover this in a believable way; you know, something that would just make it click that they know what it is (as you can see what I've said to Vsevolod, I've decided for Ben/Hailey to (in the end) find out what/where the antidote is which can then bring in Mr. Surprise Antagonist). Any thoughts?

    patrickgoggles and BrandonCHFG - I'd say you two have the same idea as well, no? :p I originally wanted to do something like this, but wouldn't this have to involve someone who can then extract the antidote/code again? It's a great idea, I just don't want to have to introduce a deus ex-machina character; none of the Volunteers are scientists and Sara is dead - you can see the situation I'm in. :s Would you agree?

    But after reading all these replies, I think I've come up with something:

    I thought, perhaps, that the antidotes were in small vials (one for each Volunteer) and they each were labeled with a a particular code, the same for each one (remember the vials in Batman Begins that could be put into the sort of epi-pens to counteract Crane's toxin? Yeah, something like that). It doesn't really matter what the code is (they could just destroy every single vial they ever found), but the Volunteers want to make sure that they've destroyed the antidote-carrying ones - and to do that, they have to find a definite antidote-carrying one, test it and then get the label so that they can make sure that they destroy those ones (and yes, testing an antidote would include using it on one of their own, but they'd tried and use it on Jason or Wade, two of the Volunteers whom they don't like very much etc.) So, they think that Ben/Hailey has one (or more) of the vials and want to get it off them.

    I was thinking, maybe, that one could be stored inside Hailey's phone so that later she finds it in there via a conversation with Jason/Ben - I was thinking something along the lines of Hailey reminicing her mom telling her (sarcastically) that she'd always be able to find everything she needs in her phone... click! look in the phone... omigosh antidote...

    But then again, this could be waaaaaaay too cliche.
    Thoughts?
     
  8. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    But why kill the scientists who're gonna know this? Better to take Sara hostage, force it out of her, and when she doesn't comply, keep her hostage. Let everyone think she's murdered. When her family gets kidnapped, bring Sara out and then torture Ben and Hailey in front of Sara to force the code out of her. Makes more sense.

    Maybe it could just be hints left around the house. Like, Sara's favourite place was the gym, there's a clue there, which leads to Hailey's school friend's house, and there's a clue there etc etc until the family figures out where it is. Or how about Sara's computer password is actually the key to where this antidote is (double check with IT guys on this one lol)
     
  9. AJ Winters
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    AJ Winters Member

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    Ah, good point Mckk.

    Well, because I'm such a horrible person, I did want Sara to be really dead. The Volunteers couldn't control their abilities at first and fled... then when they decided they were going to destroy the antidote, they cm back to find her but she was already dead (killed by surprise antagonist... ssshhh).

    Also, not having someone who created/can fix the situation, I think, would give the Volunteers something to panic about, and would give Ben and Hailey a lifeline - the way I wrote Sara, she would probably immediately give up the code to save her family (don't want to make things too easy now, do we?) and if the Volunteers' only link is Ben and Hailey, then they'll be panicking to keep them alive etc.

    It's really strange that you should mention hints leading to a gymnasium etc; that's where the blackmail scene was originally set in. :confused: I'm seeing where you're going with the whole 'hint' thing, but I reckon it couldn't be anything too obvious, because the Volunteers could just ransack their house and find the code, am I correct?
     
  10. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Well you'd write the clue or present it in such a way that only Ben and Hailey would understand. Like, perhaps a strange note that says, "Looking forward to our date at the Warsaw's tonight. Love, Sara."

    The Volunteers would look at that and think nevermind and move on.

    Ben would see that and think, "Wait a minute, but she hates Warsaw's. That date never happened."

    Or the note could be, "Pick Hailey up from volleyball at 3pm please, got lots of work. Cheers."

    And Ben would think, "But Hailey finishes volleyball at 3.30pm."

    In Firefly, a sci-fi semi-western drama series, there was a genius girl called River and because she was so intelligent, she was sent to a special academy. It turns out this academy does horrific experiments on their students and River is now trapped in this academy, unable to communicate with her family or escape. So she starts writing letters to her brother, Simon, but obviously these letters are screened. Simon comes to his parents and says, "I think River's in trouble. Look at it, there're spelling mistakes in the letter."

    The parents say, "That's just normal. You're overreacting."

    Simon replies, "River learnt how to read and write when she was only 3. She never makes spelling mistakes. Something's wrong!"

    ^See what I'm getting at?
     

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