Friday, August 8, 2014

Designs of the Enemy

Behind the Story of Threat Multiplication (Part 2)

Warning:  this post contains spoilers for Certain Hypothetical and Threat Multiplication (though hopefully not for future books in the series) and I recommend reading those books first.

Also be warned that this shows the ‘sausage-making’ aspect of writing, which some of you may not want to know about.

After looking at what everyone would be doing in the wake of the events of Certain Hypothetical, it became clear to me that it would be the schemes of the bad guys that would provide the premise for book 2.  And there were three remaining enemies whose plots and plans would cause the problems in this story (even though, as it ended up, two of them would remain off-stage and one would only appear briefly toward the end.)  So I continued developing Threat Multiplication by taking a closer look at what those three would be doing and why.

With his political influence reduced and without the State National Guard at his disposal, Governor Roberts wasn’t supposed to be a threat to anyone anymore.  But he was an ambitious and ruthless politician who wanted to save his skin – he’d become a desperate man with more motivation, even if he did have less to work with.  He would be ready to do anything to get ahold of the FURC compound.

Lacking the obvious resources to do that, he’d have to be more devious how he went about it.  He would want to soften them up and distract them to leave them more vulnerable to an attack by his reduced forces.  For that he needed confederates.

A beaten Lt. Henson had been exiled – what could he do?  He didn’t want revenge.  He considered himself a professional who’d failed – what he wanted was to redeem that failure with a success.  So being put out of the compound, he found himself with a prime opportunity to achieve just that.

He knew that Governor Roberts would need more allies, so he went to work convincing the local law enforcement that the governor (and Lt. Henson himself) were on the side of the angels.  He also had useful contacts, including a way to get in touch with a conspirator still within the FURC to help them from the inside.

While everyone had assumed that the traitor Eric had managed to escape the compound during the climactic events of book 1, he was still there, hiding out on the inside and biding his time.  He did want revenge, and he had absolutely no compunction about what he would do or who he’d hurt to get it.  He would be willing to co-ordinate with Governor Roberts to an extent, but he was a man with his own plan and his own goals.

There, I decided, I had a lot to work with.  The question I had next was exactly what those three intended to do – but more importantly, how and when those attacks would appear to threaten the main characters.
Next:  Part 3 – Multiple Threats

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