Friday, August 15, 2014

Multiple Threats

Behind the Story of Threat Multiplication (Part 3)

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 discovering what the antagonists wanted and why, I wondered how they would go about it.  (Though I don’t like to plan out what the main characters will do, to leave the actual story a surprise, knowing the details of what other people will be doing is both part of the premise that starts the story and the environment that will shape how the tale travels along its way.  In Certain Hypothetical that included Miles and Tony and Verity and Ken and Caroline as much or more than the actual villains.  Here I focused on what the bad guys were up to.)

Even with the local sheriff’s forces added to the state troopers and SWAT that Governor Roberts could command, it was clear he didn’t have enough to take the FURC compound with a direct assault.  The governor would rely on a three-pronged plan to help overcome that deficiency – destabilization, distraction, and infiltration.

To soften them up he sought the help of Eric on the inside to hack into the FURCSnet and shut it down to cause confusion, and to poison the guards to weaken the defenses.  He provided Eric with the computer virus, which had to be used from the inside.  And since Eric was hiding out right there in the Guard HQ, he could easily poison the guards himself (but would take a perverse pleasure in extorting Crystal to do the dirty work for him.)

On the other hand, the Governor had been monitoring communications between the FURC and the outside, so he knew a small team would soon be heading north to get the Cameron family and bring them back to the compound (despite Ken and Fiona’s attempts to be carefully vague in their conversations over the unsecured cell phone connection.)

He intended to use the white supremacists he’d been cultivating as a tool to achieve two ends – one was to distract the FURC defenders by having them chase Kat and the Camerons all the way to the FURC (under the misapprehension that they were part of the actual assault on the compound.)  The other was to use that distraction not only to divert attention away from the real attack, but to allow Lt. Henson’s associate Lacey to slip into the FURC and find a way to open up the gates for the Governor’s combined forces.

Once the enemy knew that Kat was out of the compound and on her way to the Camerons, their schemes were set in motion.  Then, knowing what the bad guys would be doing and when, all I had to do was turn around and see how it would all look to the main characters.
Next:  Part 4 – The Approaching Storm

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