1. JadeX
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    JadeX Active Member

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    What else is in the box?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by JadeX, Nov 15, 2015.

    I have a revolution brewing secretly against a global totalitarian government. There had been a revolution before, about 40 years ago, which ultimately failed - now known as "the Uprising". The father of one of my characters, Carl, fought in the Uprising. Carl knows the son of one of the men his father fought with in the Uprising in Europe. He contacts this friend via radio, hoping that he would know the location of a leftover secret arms cache. It's too risky to try to ship arms across the ocean, but he does know the location of another of Carl's father's former comrades - a remote village in West Virginia. Carl goes to this village and meets with the man his father knew. This man tells him that in the final days of the Uprising, they buried a metal box in a deep level of a nearby coal mine. That level of the mine has since been closed off. As no government official would have ever had reason to venture that far into a coal mine, the box is still there, undisturbed. The box is unearthed, and it contains several items that the fighters in the Uprising thought may be useful in the future should another uprising occur.

    My purpose in having the story go like this was so that they could obtain instructions on how to build a Sten submachine gun. The Sten was widely used in WW2 because its ultra-simple design could be built covertly from basic easy-to-make metal parts, which made it a perfect weapon for insurgents. As such, it would also be the perfect weapon for the insurgents in my story. So that's one thing that's in the box - Sten building instructions.

    Thing is, now I have this box... and I like the box, I don't think it would quite feel right if it were just the instructions in there by themselves. I think a box of assorted stuff is a good way to go.

    But what is actually IN the box, aside from the instructions? What would you put in a "revolution starter kit"?
     
  2. Catrin Lewis
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    Catrin Lewis Contributing Member Contributor

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    In what year does all this finding of the box take place? What condition is the metal box in? (It can get damp down in those old mines.) How much room is there in it? A few AKs in good condition would come in handy . . .

    What I'm more thinking towards is some sort of plastic explosives (among other things), but I don't know enough about them to know if they'd deteriorate over 40 years' time. Now, if both the Uprising and the "present day" insurgence take place in the future, you have the latitude to invent a kind of explosive that would remain stable. It could even be some compound where, if you mix a little of it with a common substance, could do a lot of damage.

    Your box might contain a copy of the revolutionaries' manifesto, to inspire those who come after. And a statement detailing why the previous uprising seemed about to fail (necessitating the hiding of the box), including some secret knowledge of the despots' weaknesses that the revolutionaries never got the chance to exploit.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2015
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  3. JadeX
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    JadeX Active Member

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    Late spring/early summer, 2014.

    Not really sure about its condition. I'll have to do some research and see what the best-case scenario would be.
    Not exactly sure about the size, I was keeping my mind open so I could consider any ideas. It would be no bigger than anything that would be carried down into the mines - which would include everything from generators, jackhammers, pickaxes, even large lighting kits, so it could probably be as big as 2ftX4ftX1ft6in or as small as a lunchbox. AKs, you say? There's a cool idea! You don't think that might come across as "just handing them something"? Or, might a reader consider it a reward for all the hoops they had to jump through to get there? (having to contact someone overseas, then venturing to a remote speck of nothing in the mountains to meet a guy they've never heard of, then go deep down into an abandoned mine and digging up this big ass box, and-... y'know what, f#&k it, maybe it is a reward. I didn't realise how much risk it actually was until I just typed that out. Yeesh.)
    The contents of the box, if it is particularly large like I mentioned, may also be packed into several smaller boxes or packages, which may help preserve the contents.

    Well, the Uprising happened in 1972, but, ah - how do I say this - there's alien involvement. Alternate history/science fiction hybrid. The idea of a new kind of explosive is therefore valid, there have been a number of extraterrestrial minerals and compounds and such have been introduced to Earth.

    A MANIFESTO! You're a genius! Excellent ideas! I could include other stuff too, like how to train recruits, how to operate certain weapons, tactics the enemy is particularly vulnerable to, maybe even their own equivalent of "The Anarchist's Cookbook". This is great. Thanks for the ideas! c:
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2015
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  4. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Maybe include a few actual Sten guns with ammunition, along with the plans (for the gun and ammunition).

    I am guessing then that information is very strongly controlled. Possibly chemical formulas for poison gasses, or coded maps to other stashes (such as one holding precious metals/gems to help fund a revolution). Maybe a sniper rifle with scope and ammunition, to eliminate political leaders/targets from a distance. Maybe radios and receivers that would be capable of picking up communications on frequencies used by those in power-- not their original purpose for being part of the stash, but allow them to listen passively in on what those in power are doing/saying/communicating in a limited fashion.
     
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  5. Akarevaar
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    Akarevaar Member

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    A couple of ideas, take them or leave them :)

    Address Book - Contact information for several of those involved in the last uprising, including their names, what the did, and where they were last seen.

    True Maps - I assume a totalitarian government might issue incorrect maps that don;t include the location of several key facilities.

    Question: do they have the same technology we have today? As in, does the internet exist? Do people have the same types of computers? If so, how about a disk or a USB or a floppy disk (if we're old school) that contains the aformentioned information, instead of physical copies?
     
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  6. Robert Musil
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    Robert Musil Contributing Member

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    In addition to the military gear, maybe you could include some character-related stuff. Like maybe Carl's father wrote him a farewell letter, and left that in the box too. Something to advance some of the sub-plots or give some of the characters some backstory aside from the revolutionary stuff.

    I dunno, maybe that farewell letter idea is too cheesy, and I have no idea if it would even be possible in terms of your plot/timeline. My point is just that you could use this to advance several different pieces of the story, and having something not strictly military in there would be an interesting, unexpected reveal if I were reading it.
     
  7. JadeX
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    JadeX Active Member

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    The Stens I could do, along with the magazines of course. Ammo I'm not sure about. Gunpowder degrades over time and so old ammo may lose some of its power, may delay to fire, and is more prone to misfire.
    I wonder, is there a way to 'revitalize' gunpowder?

    Ooh, coded maps, I like that.

    Great ideas! Definitely gonna use both of those, thanks!

    Well, it is an alternate history with a divergence point in the 1960s, so the short answer would be no, they don't have that stuff. However, like I said before, there is extraterrestrial involvement, so... things change. There most likely is some kind of computer and some kind of data drives or whatever, but not anything we know. Still, I could use this idea, just applied differently. Thanks for the input!
     
  8. Gibberish
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    Gibberish Member

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    I know this is an old thread, but I'll add my 2c. I like the idea given about coded intel/information. Knowledge is power, and the plans for the gun are a great example of this. Obviously there is always the risk that the enemy may find the information as well, no matter how well it's hidden. It must be encrypted/encoded. I think it would be great if the key to cracking the encryption would be connected with the MC's father, something he would have known, and the MC is the only one able to crack the code, mainly because he is the only one who would know intimate details about his father. Perhaps he has to go on a bit of an Easter egg hunt, gathering clues to unravel some hidden message. I've always liked the element of encrypted treasure maps, lol.
     
  9. JadeX
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    JadeX Active Member

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    Hey, no problem with that. I'm still writing this story and all input is welcomed. As far as I'm concerned you can comment on any of my threads, no matter how old.

    I would think, if the enemy (the government in this case) were to find this information, they would simply destroy it - it's not anything particularly valuable to them, they already know all this stuff and more, so they would just want to keep it from the public. But some kind of encryption may not be a bad idea. Since the rise of this global regime, all the thousands of languages spoken on Earth have been narrowed down to only a basic 6 - English, Spanish, French, Russian, Chinese, and Arabic. This was done to ease communication, particularly within the government, and all other languages have since been suppressed and are considered "dead". Anyone who still speaks any other language is a rare and ever-shrinking minority. So, instead of an actual "code" per se, what if the documents are simply written in some obscure language that was almost dead in the first place - like the language of some small Native American tribe?
     
  10. BrianIff
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    BrianIff I'm so piano, a bad punctuator. Contributor

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    How do you see the revolution actually playing out? I was thinking of officer's manuals on how the government handles insurgencies and their basic military doctrine, but I'm not sure what's practical without knowing what's going to happen. I was going to say blueprints of their communication HQ and how to call for an uprising, but I don't know what you're doing. Also, I'd consider adding Hindi to the list.
     
  11. Gibberish
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    Gibberish Member

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