View Full Version : A MacGyver Situation
July 11th, 2007, 10:52 PM
Alrighty I'm pondering a couple situations in my novel in which Main Character A is locked up in a house by Main Character B. Main Character A has attempted to fight Character B and realizes that she cannot take him hand to hand so starts pondering a way to take him down in a subtle, remote way (most likely a bomb).
So she is stuck in a house with electronic locking mechanisms (aka voice activated, no keyholes). Her guns and knives and the like have been taken away from her, and the knives in the kitchen have been removed. So she has the rest of the house at her disposal, the usual cleaning chemicals and kitchen appliances I suspect.
My first thought is that she uses soap chips and kerosene from hurricane lamps in a chandelier to create a small but nasty light bulb bomb for when Character B returns but I've got some people telling me that this is to unlikely to be believable. Any other ideas guys? Thank you so much for your time.
July 11th, 2007, 11:42 PM
Are there paperclips? MacGyver could always do just about anything with a paperclip. I'm sure your heroine could take down the sinister Mr. B if only she had a paperclip. Two or more and all bets are off. The man's already dead. He just doesn't realize it yet.
July 12th, 2007, 04:38 AM
" a way to take him down in a subtle, remote way (most likely a bomb). "
If bombs are subtle in your word, I'd hate to see the unsubtle approach. Anyways, she could cause a gas leak, slip out of the house, and rig the front door to spark when it opens.
I will point out that, from what you've told us, Character B is making an evil overlord mistake. As a reader, I might be annoyed.
July 12th, 2007, 07:35 AM
You'd think he'd at least have the sense to tie her up. Sticking her in a bare 3X3 concrete cell wouldn't be the worst idea in the world either. Maybe toss in some deathtraps. Sharks with frickin' lasers. Something.
It just seems like bad policy to give a resourceful opponent free rein in a fully stocked house. Maybe Mr. B was hoping she would bake him some cookies. That'd be sweet of her. Unless they were poisoned. That's not so neighborly.
July 12th, 2007, 09:42 AM
I would tend to agree that the villain is being a bit dim in leaving her alone to regroup and improvise.
With that said, my house is full of potential weapons. Electric cords can be used as nooses and garrottes. Pots and pans are great bludgeoning weapons. If there's a dresser, grab a sock, fill it with something heavy (gravel from the fish tank, in my case) and whip that sucker around. Or break the fish tank to flood the floor, hop onto a table, strip an electrical cord, and electrocute the sucker.
Almost anything can be improvised into a weapon. How effective will depend on your protagonist and on the number of foes she needs to take out.
July 12th, 2007, 12:37 PM
Why would they take the knives but not the cleaning chemicals? Even people who have never done it know that you can throw the stuff in people's eyes and most of it is labelled flammable. If there are matches, a bottle of wine and a kitchen towel, you can make yourself a pretty decent Molotov cocktail. I would think that they'd have taken away the matches, but if there's a stove, gas or electric, you can light a strip of cloth. Hell, just break the bottle and you have a glass knife.
Why also would there be hurricane lamps in the chandelier? A house with automated door locks wouldn't presumably have old-fashioned lighting and if it did, wouldn't they take that out with the knives? Of course, a smashed light bulb makes a handy knife too. If she's experienced with guns and knives, presumably she'd also know how to use hands and feet to attack as well.
I think you probably need to figure out what the heroine's plan is. If the bad guys plan to enter the house while she's there, it would make more sense for them to confine her to one room -- preferrably not the kitchen and not one with much in the way of windows -- and to tie her up, so her first task would be getting free. If they are simply storing her in the house and not entering it, then they might possibly let her run loose, in which case she can go for the gas, electricity, plumbing -- rip up pipes and wires and try to create enough damage to deactivate the house's locking system.
I would think a dark, windowless basement with her tied up and a guard outside or left with her is probably what you need. It's traditional yes, but it's practical for the badguys, and it's possible that they wouldn't have realized there's something usable as a tool or weapon stored away in a basement. If you really want the voice activated thing, a stripped bare room would be more likely. Also, see if you can rent some MacGyver episodes -- it might give you some ideas.
July 12th, 2007, 01:31 PM
They're just sticking her in the house for a few minutes while they set up the dunk tank with sharks that have lasers on their heads. It's all good. ;)
July 12th, 2007, 03:23 PM
Lol, first off, I adore you guys! You all are so awesome and witty!
Second Off: I should have really specified some more details ^^
James: Vyela (Character A) really prefers spoons but I think I might manage a paperclip in there just for you!
Hippokrene: My bad, poor choice of words. She needs away where she can avoid contact with him. He's faster, stronger, and a helluva a lot... "subtler" :D and if he even THINKS she is getting ready to be threatening he usually has her down before she knows what hit her.
The ideas with the gravel and the socks, and the pots and pans are good and I'll keep them in mind for my next family reunion :p
However, she needs something where she doesn't have to get physical with him, something that can get an instant kill hopefully, and something that she does not have to be present for when "it" happens. Filling the house with gas may just take the entire house out and her with it, thus I don't think she would want to use that. The area is located in a city that rains and storms so much, blackouts are a weekly thing so hurricane lamps are popular.
Why can't she get out of the house? Glad you might have asked. The house is "old" as she notes this when she explores. Old Hurricane lamps fitted in, the way it creaks under the city storms, and the drafts she can feel. But, it's a mish-mashed place too, because it has been fitted with a security system that was not original, electronic locks that respond to fingerprints, with windows that have been barred. At first I thought maybe she could force open the bars between the windows with an explosive but I wondered if it'd be too hard to gather enough materials that much force it, so thought maybe she'd go for something to get to him instead. She assumes that the house was retro-fitted by Mr. B's baddies, so thinks that they've been doing business from this building from time to time.
By the way guys, Mr. B did have her handcuffed and the door locked to the bedroom (traditional lock) but she's a little more capable then he forethought.
ANd again you guys are SOOO awesome, lots of hugs!
July 12th, 2007, 07:59 PM
What about the poisoned cookies? Nothing like chocolate chip cyanide. Be sure to wash it down with a glass of milk, though. Might stick otherwise.
What sort of construction is this house anyway? Wood? Brick? How big is it? One-story? Two? Three? Is there a basement? Attic? What are the floors like? Hardwood? Carpet? Linoleum? Is the floor elevated from the foundation? If there's a staircase, does it have those narrow wooden "pillars" supporting the banister? What's sort of time frame does Ms. A have to work with?
Shoot, here's an idea. Watch Home Alone. Then adjust for lethality. ^_^
July 12th, 2007, 08:06 PM
Sucks out his intestines with the swimming pool filter.
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