Hi! I’ve plotted myself into a corner and can’t find a way out. Maybe you guys can help me a bit to untangle this mess, please? In short: My (steampunk inspired) fantasy thriller novel takes place in a colony (really just a little piece of land that Big Country A took away from Big Country B after a war about 100 years ago). The industrial revolution has happened and the world gets more and more materialistic etc. while the people from country B and the colony originally led a very nature centered life that is more and more slipping away. There are different groups: a) A group that fights for that nature based life in a rather peaceful way („the good rebels“) b) A cult that fights for that nature based life in a more and more violent way and gets so frustrated by the situation that they vouch for destroying the whole world, starting with the colony, and turn to terrorism. („the bad rebels“) c) A group sympathizing with the government of Big Country B (which by now is basically a dictatorship and doesn't care much about nature either) that tries to destabilize the colony to rise tension between Big Countries A and B („the other bad rebels“). They are a pain in the neck, but not really important to the story (for now?). d) (Organized) criminals who will work for whomever can pay them, also good for smuggling stuff etc. („the jokers“) e) A group of police officers etc. who fight against the bad guys, and consists of people with cultural background of countries A and B as well as people hanging between both cultures („the heroes“) The heroes e) have to „save the world“ by destroying the cult, but that’s where the problems really start: - If they turn to Country B for help, my message will look like it’s okay to be a dictatorship. Besides, I guess, Country B would only help for something great in return (like handing over the colony to them) which would also look very bad. Besides #2: I guess Country B would like the cult leader since he could help eliminate the colony without (much) interfering from B and then crush him easily and win everything – this would be quite a dark ending, probably too dark? - If they turn against the cult, won’t it look like the colonizers fight against the last remainders of the original inhabitants of the colony? (which would also look bad) - If they get help from Country A, the colonizers alone are the heroes (which also looks bad, sigh) and so on ... I guess I should get rid of the dictatorship in country B, but then the colony would somewhat be obsolete as well and I could set the story in one big country that has to fight against a mad cult leader. That would make the story much easier, but also much simpler, and the colonial setting was the actual reason for writing this story because I liked the idea of cultures clashing but also mingling, and how they try to get along with each other – but obviously they can’t :-( . Any ideas how to untangle this mess? Thanks for any input!