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View Full Version : Could use some help spicing up this plot point



Joker
July 31st, 2020, 10:08 PM
Hey folks, so far I've managed to hash out two thirds or so of my outline. There's just one major plot to go and I can pad the rest out with side plots.

So late in Act 1, the protagonists steal a massive cache of data from ExoGen, the corporate bad guys. After running a sorting program, the hacker Fritz (deutoragonist) discovers that the illegal black projects that created Dzesika (protagonist) have been moved, and that a financial officer in the company is arranging payments to keep it running. They want to get their hands on the bank payments in order to search for more leads, see if they can't trace them to wherever the new facility is.

To do this, Fritz needs to get his hands on whatever device the finance guy is using to make the payments. He has no idea where or what it is and, just being a scrawny nerd, needs Dzesika to do the physical stuff.

Right now, that's all I got, and I'm blanking on how to make this more interesting. I need red herrings, dangerous situations, something more than just peeking into this dude's window and finding his phone. Any help is appreciated!

Olly Buckle
July 31st, 2020, 10:50 PM
They want his phone, right?

So first they find what sort of phone it is and get a matching one.

Then they set up a situation, best if you could tailor it to the participants. The aim is to get the mark to put it down long enough to be swapped, eg, he always keeps it in his jacket pocket, and they set up something he has to take his jacket off for. You get time for a good look at it that way, if the phone you replace it with has been sabotaged he might even think his phone has died and you get to keep it.

I have a situation in my novel where this is done. His phone is then used to call an incriminating number before someone says 'I have the wrong phone' and starts reading numbers out. They swap back, but the person he swaps with has a different make registered to him, so he can deny any such thing happen. Later he puts his jacket down while he goes for a last pee, they nick his phone and take it to an incriminating meeting before putting it down the back of the chair the jacket was left on.
There is also a point where someone phones an incriminating number, but rings off immediately and then has a 'conversation' in earshot of the mark before leaving his phone where the mark has an opportunity to write down the last number called.

Not exactly what you are asking I know, but hopefully it will give you ideas.

Joker
July 31st, 2020, 11:03 PM
snip

That's actually pretty helpful, man.

So ExoGen is a really shady company. Like, Weyland-Yutani and Umbrella having a merger bad. So I expect they do a lot of business with organized crime. Would allow me to flex the punk in cyberpunk. Maybe they have to get the info from a crime boss the guy deals with.

Anyways, I'm assuming they put in a fake phone so it isn't reported to the cops as stolen? And the battery has been tampered with so he thinks it's fried?

Taylor
August 1st, 2020, 11:55 PM
So late in Act 1, the protagonists steal a massive cache of data from ExoGen, the corporate bad guys. After running a sorting program, the hacker Fritz (deutoragonist) discovers that the illegal black projects that created Dzesika (protagonist) have been moved, and that a financial officer in the company is arranging payments to keep it running. They want to get their hands on the bank payments in order to search for more leads, see if they can't trace them to wherever the new facility is.

How did they find these payments? What did they see in the data? Is it from the central accounting software? The bank statements? They could see the credits going out of the bank account, but not the payee? That would be unlikely. And if they can't see it from the data, how would the device help? From the cache of the data transmitted from the device? Can that be hacked? If they were trying to hide it, it would likely be payed to a holding company.

Perhaps they find out the payee is a holding company and the officer of the holding company is the same guy. They search public records to find the incorporation of the company. They go to the holding company address listed on a company search. It's the same guys home. Or a reputable business. There are all kind of directions you could go from here...

Joker
August 1st, 2020, 11:57 PM
How did they find these payments? What did they see in the data? Is it from the central accounting software? The bank statements? They could see the credits going out of the bank account, but not the payee? That would be unlikely. And if they can't see it from the data, how would the device help? From the cache of the data transmitted from the device? Can that be hacked? If they were trying to hide it, it would likely be payed to a holding company.

Perhaps they find out the payee is a holding company and the officer of the holding company is the same guy. They search public records to find the incorporation of the company. They go to the holding company address listed on a company search. It's the same guys home. Or a reputable business. There are all kind of directions you could go from here...

I appreciate the post, but I've got it all sorted. Probably should have made a post about that. Sorry!

Taylor
August 2nd, 2020, 12:09 AM
I appreciate the post, but I've got it all sorted. Probably should have made a post about that. Sorry!

No worries, glad to hear you solved it! I enjoyed getting into it...it's my old world of auditing....

Matchu
September 21st, 2020, 07:18 PM
After a very dry "financial opener" I suggest chapter two might be paragliding with the boss in the Slovenian Alps? All of a sudden he finds his leash untied and [he] hurtles down into a meadow. Chapter three back to your bank.. Chapter four "corporate mixed rugby" and so forth/interchange toward denouement.

Gofa
September 26th, 2020, 11:56 AM
You are better hacking into the company accounting software than a bank
more believable and better recognised data

River Rose
September 26th, 2020, 04:02 PM
You are better hacking into the company accounting software than a bank
more believable and better recognised data

Buyer beware.
Make proper sure the data is worth hacking.
Once u know for sure they have proper data...
Mmmmmmmmmm.
I hack a different way.
..

ironpony
October 6th, 2020, 03:55 AM
It's difficult to think of suggestions without knowing more. Perhaps you need to come up with what ending you want to built towards, if you have an ending yet?