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Total posts: [26]
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How to sneak out of a very secure building:

I'm currently trying to write a short story (since most of my longer projects seem to have stalled), however there is a fairly big problem that won't go away no matter how much I shift stuff around. Basically, the main character starts out inside a very high security facility (of the 'keep people out' kind rather then the 'keep them in' variety) and in the interest of having anything other then a downer ending it is vital that he manages to get out of it by the end. Unfortunately I can't work out a plausible way of doing so, especially since a Air Vent Escape isn't an option due to it being a thoroughly discredited trope, not to mention that he while making his escape he has to get past some people who are breaking in. You can see why I'm having a bit of difficulty. Any ideas?
 
What about some kind of Bavarian Fire Drill. Maybe Get a matinence worker's uniform and dust mask and act like he is supposed to be going someware.

Not an option. There shouldn't be anyone inside and the main character would never be able to pass for one of the people breaking in. Funny you should mention a maintence workers uniform though, since that's what they end up wearing most of the time.

edited 19th May '11 4:03:38 PM by Weaver

 
 4 Dec, Thu, 19th May '11 4:14:45 PM from The Dance Floor
Stayin' Alive
Have them lie their ass off? Something like "Oh, I'm here for a job interview/the janitor/lost/new here/visiting/assisting on a project/trapped, will you tell me where the exit is?"

Mind you, that trick seems to work best when you're not talking to guards or people on high alert, but there's got to be a helpful grunt worker somewhere in the building, I presume. After that they might be able to twist it into an "I'm with them" sort of thing.
Nemo enim fere saltat sobrius, nisi forte insanit
Deviantart.
not to mention that he while making his escape he has to get past some people who are breaking in.

That could work in his favour - they cause enough chaos that no one notices him escaping.

Also, if they're more 'keeping others out' than keeping him in, might they let him go willingly? You know, like 'I want him to stay safe in here, but I'm not willing to hold him against his will'.
If I'm asking for advice on a story idea, don't tell me it can't be done.
 6 Major Tom, Thu, 19th May '11 6:32:49 PM Relationship Status: Barbecuing
Eye'm the cutest!
Air Vent Escape does in fact work. There's a plethora of buildings where the HVAC systems are big enough for people to fit in. (I even used it recently despite my work being in The Future.* )

So it's not so much a Discredited Trope as one people don't like to accept without either sufficient coolness, or good reason. (Such as escaping pursuit or getting out of an elevator system.)
"Allah may guide their bullets, but Jesus helps those who aim down the sights."
 7 nrjxll, Thu, 19th May '11 7:52:52 PM Relationship Status: Not war
More accurately, it's an unfairly Discredited Trope.

 8 Major Tom, Thu, 19th May '11 7:54:51 PM Relationship Status: Barbecuing
Eye'm the cutest!
^ That too. People keep forgetting the trope has been done repeatedly in Real Life.
"Allah may guide their bullets, but Jesus helps those who aim down the sights."
just read the topic name, but I'd say they just look like they belong, forge some ID, and act natural. If it is high traffic, this is much easier, other wise, not so. Just have em' look like they belong and have a disguise and good faked ID, or steal someone's and carefully replace their pick on it, giving them correct information to get in, but with their pick. Unless finger prints or eye scans are needed... I don't know then.

Sorry I would read everything here but I am very busy at the moment, something just got my attention and this is the quickest thing I can say (my gf wants me for something)
as of the 2nd of Nov. has 6 weeks for a broken collar bone to heal and types 1 handed and slowly
Have them lie their ass off? Something like "Oh, I'm here for a job interview/the janitor/lost/new here/visiting/assisting on a project/trapped, will you tell me where the exit is?"

Mind you, that trick seems to work best when you're not talking to guards or people on high alert, but there's got to be a helpful grunt worker somewhere in the building, I presume. After that they might be able to twist it into an "I'm with them" sort of thing.

Wouldn't work due to the fact that the main character wouldn't be able to lie convincingly to save his life (in fact he can barely talk), plus there are no 'grunt workers' or for that matter anyone else apart from him and the people who are trying to break in. Prior to anyone breaking in he's the only human being in the place.
 
See ALL the stars!
[up][up][up] The reaction of "Thor, the god of thunder, is trying to enter my building!" detracts from it, though.

edited 20th May '11 1:21:19 PM by Yej

Da Rules excuse all the inaccuracy in the world. Listen to them, not me.
 12 Silent Reverence, Fri, 20th May '11 1:24:43 PM from 3 tiles right 1 tile up
adopting kitteh
Does your character know that there are other people trying to sneak in? Because if he knows, and since the building is empty excepto for him, it's pretty simple to do.

  1. Wait for people who are trying to break in to make a break through.
  2. Use break through.
  3. ????
  4. OUTSIDE!

Continued from my last post since I was interrupted by dinner:

Also, if they're more 'keeping others out' than keeping him in, might they let him go willingly? You know, like 'I want him to stay safe in here, but I'm not willing to hold him against his will'.

It isn't a case of 'I want him to stay safe in here', although explaining what it is a case of would give too much of the story away. Regardless, while the one who put the building on lock down is willing to let him out, and is in fact actively helping him escape, the people outside aren't and things wouldn't end well if they caught him.

Air Vent Escape does in fact work. There's a plethora of buildings where the HVAC systems are big enough for people to fit in. (I even used it recently despite my work being in The Future.* )

So it's not so much a Discredited Trope as one people don't like to accept without either sufficient coolness, or good reason. (Such as escaping pursuit or getting out of an elevator system.)

Noted. I'm not sure how big the vents in this place would be but the character is rather small and skinny.

just read the topic name, but I'd say they just look like they belong, forge some ID, and act natural. If it is high traffic, this is much easier, other wise, not so. Just have em' look like they belong and have a disguise and good faked ID, or steal someone's and carefully replace their pick on it, giving them correct information to get in, but with their pick. Unless finger prints or eye scans are needed... I don't know then.

Acting like they belong isn't an option since as already stated, it's rather obvious that they don't. A fake ID would probably be easy to make but given the circumstances it would beabout as much use as a chocolate teapot.

Does your character know that there are other people trying to sneak in? Because if he knows, and since the building is empty excepto for him, it's pretty simple to do.

Wait for people who are trying to break in to make a break through. Use break through. ???? OUTSIDE!

Yes, he knows that people are trying to get in, in fact that's why he's trying to get out. As I said above, getting caught probably wouldn't end well for him. Plus he's trying to sneak something else out with him. Also, I didn't say that the building was empty except for him, I said that he was the only human being in there.

 
 14 Silent Reverence, Fri, 20th May '11 2:38:39 PM from 3 tiles right 1 tile up
adopting kitteh
Oh... the only human there. Vamps? Leprechauns? I hope he can get a costume. Otherwise the standard plan is just as usual — feign normalcy and approach or find the place where the outsiders are gonna break in thru. Havind a load to carry around is quite a problem, though.

Which one is more prioritary? Getting out undetected, or getting The Load out? I'd not discard the choice of just put a straight face, walk across a corridor and punch everyone you come across to a pulp unless secrecy was too much a part of it to lose — that as you mention the building is highly secured, but depending on the tech level he could just do a lot of noise, make his way to the records/surveillance room, destroy everything, and wait for the outsiders.

IMHO, far more info is needed. You are not stating why, social engineering aside, a fake ID simply can't be useful even once (to get the Janitor's credentials)

edited 20th May '11 2:39:40 PM by SilentReverence

Oh... the only human there. Vamps? Leprechauns?

Here's a hint: I've recently developed a love of Portal. Fortunately the similarities are fairly limited.

Which one is more prioritary? Getting out undetected, or getting The Load out? I'd not discard the choice of just put a straight face, walk across a corridor and punch everyone you come across to a pulp unless secrecy was too much a part of it to lose ó that as you mention the building is highly secured, but depending on the tech level he could just do a lot of noise, make his way to the records/surveillance room, destroy everything, and wait for the outsiders.

First off, it's not The Load, quite the opposite in fact, so as far as the character in question is concerned, getting it out is just as impotant as getting himself out. Secondly, they're in no state to fight their way out. Thirdly, the tech level is pretty high but the only objective is 'get out'.

IMHO, far more info is needed. You are not stating why, social engineering aside, a fake ID simply can't be useful even once (to get the Janitor's credentials)

A fake ID would be no use since a) there's no way in hell the character could pass as an employee even with an ID, and b) as far as the people breaking in are concerned, no one should be in there at all.

As for more info, I don't want to give too much away but here goes. The building belongs to the people who are breaking in, the reason they have to force their way in is that they basically got kicked out by someone who'd had enough of them, and the character trying to sneak out may be human but he's not exactly what you'd call normal.
 
If he is the only human in the bukding, what exactly is stopping him from just walking out while looking disgustingly smug? Locked doors? Automatic sentry guns? Semi-sentinent AI Hunter-Killer robots?

Consider the use of distractions, either by setting fire to the interior of a broom closet (cleaning agents are flammable, after all), hacking the security system (Intruder in Sectors C-7, B-5, A-9, D-145 and F-33 should keep the opposition busy) or another means of giving the people hunting for him something else to think about.

If he is the only human in the building, what exactly is stopping him from just walking out while looking disgustingly smug? Locked doors? Automatic sentry guns? Semi-sentinent AI Hunter-Killer robots?

The fact that the building is at least semi-surrounded by the people who are trying to get in and the building has to be kept sealed up in order to keep them out for as long as possible. It should be noted that the only reason he's trying to escape is because people are breaking in and he's scared of what'll happen when they do so. He was perfectly happy in the building itself, although I suppose he would've run out of food eventually. Come to think of it, getting out of the building is probably less of an issue then getting out and getting away without getting caught or spotted.
 
So, if I've got this straight, the building is some kind of locked-down, autonomous compound. Inside, robots (probably) do something important (presumably). Other people have been trying to get into this building, who may effectively be thieves, or invaders, or assassins, or what have you; they just want to get in, whatever they are.

Your character has managed to do that earlier than anyone else (unless they just didn't get thrown out, like the others did), but has realized that they are now the only person in a building that could very quickly be swarming with dangerous infiltrators. They hope to get out of this building, but it has a very highly monitored perimeter that this character can't afford to be caught by, correct?

Beyond that, we're probably going to need to know the kinds surveillance the other groups have around the building, how long your character has until the break-ins begin, and what kind of resources, exit routes, and information on both the building and said surveyors this character has access to.

Otherwise, the best we can probably do is just shout out general Escape Tropes until you say stop.
 
So, if I've got this straight, the building is some kind of locked-down, autonomous compound. Inside, robots (probably) do something important (presumably). Other people have been trying to get into this building, who may effectively be thieves, or invaders, or assassins, or what have you; they just want to get in, whatever they are.

It's not truely autonomous, it's just sort of ended up that way due to the aforementioned kicking out. The people trying to get in are the ones who got kicked out, plus help.

Basically what happened was a sort of non-violent variation of A.I. Is a Crapshoot, with the AI responsible for monitoring pretty much everything, controlling machinery etc getting hacked off with the behaviour of the humans they were supposed to serve (quite understandably given that they were up to some dodgey stuff and had a habit of threatening to wipe the AI's memory and/or alter their programming whenever they did something other then want they wanted them to) and deciding to retaliate by faking a fire/bomb alarm to make everyone evacuate and then locking them out. I don't think it had an actual plan, it was more of a case of them being at the end of their tether and trying to make a point. However it turns out that one there was some stuff going on that even they didn't know about and they ended up finding the main character in one of the labs after locking everyone out. Since they had nothing against him, they basically told him to refrain from going anywhere they shouldn't or breaking anything and basically left him to his own devices, although letting him out wasn't an option since by now the AI has realised that it has just done something it shouldn't have and that if the humans get back in it's going to get wiped and reformatted for sure. Given where they found the main character, things probably wouldn't go much better for him.

Regarding details, for the main character it basically breaks down as follows:
  • All security and survailance equipment within the building itself is under the control of an allied AI, as is anything on the outside that couldn't be disabled by those trying to get in.
  • All entrances/exits are locked, as are all windows, however there are people outside of them who are keeping an eye on the building in case it does something interesting. Reinforcements arrive at some point and they are hell-bent on getting back in. However since the building was designed to be nigh-impossible to break into that could take a while, especially since they are reluctant to risk damaging expensive equipment.
 
Sewer Drain. Laundry Chute. Helicopter off the roof. Breaking a Window open. Fire Escape. Window Washer's Lift. If you want to go exotic, Construction Crane off the side.

 
 21 doorhandle, Sun, 22nd May '11 4:01:55 AM from Space Australia!
I'm with blueharp

If it was up to me, Iíd just blast a hole in the wall or other barrier somehow and get out that way, but stealth, subtly, and tact are not among my skills so I wouldn't know. Also, the wounded comrade or whatever would probably not approve.

What security systems are there anyway? From what youíre saying, there arenít any guards, unless a sentry turret counts as a guard.

edited 22nd May '11 4:24:58 AM by doorhandle

 22 jasonwill 2, Sun, 22nd May '11 7:03:02 AM from West Virginia
move really quite and slowly. if there are no cameras, this is much easier.

really, it depends on what "high security" is.
as of the 2nd of Nov. has 6 weeks for a broken collar bone to heal and types 1 handed and slowly
What security systems are there anyway? From what youíre saying, there arenít any guards, unless a sentry turret counts as a guard.

Okay, first off, there are no sentry turrets. It may be inspired by Portal but that doesn't mean that it's a rip-off. Ergo no turrets, no neurotoxin, no testing, and nothing that even remotely resembles a portal. The character dynamics are also very different, as in the situation that they are in.

As for the security systems, well, to be honest the specifics keep changing the more I think about it and do research. A couple of definites are a), the facility is partly underground (this was a practical decision rather then a Portal-inspired one since I'd imagine that having something underground is about as secure as you can get and there's plenty of suitable structures left over from the Cold War that could be converted), and b) the security systems are of the 'make it as difficult as possible for an intruder to get in' variety rather then the 'kill the intruders' kind, although as I said I'm still working out the specifics.

edited 22nd May '11 9:52:10 AM by Weaver

 
 24 jasonwill 2, Sun, 22nd May '11 10:42:46 AM from West Virginia
that doesn't tell us anything. There are ways around each thing based on what kind it is. it is very specific to break out or in a place on knowing the type of security.

If you can't even tell us the system... then we can't help you (at least I can't). Cameras? inside? only at the entrance? all over teh place? everywhere? are there any windows or doors? how thick are the walls? how many exits is there? is he being monitored closely? non-lethal won't sufice unless we know if it has to be triggered or not.

If it is continuous, it has a much different approach than if it is a trigger system. and in what combinations.

a system would be: laser that sets off alarm, keycard lock, or even just a normal bolt lock. oh, and a security camera is a system as well. These are teh kinds of things I it looks like people are asking.

You can't know how to get out until you know what's in there.
as of the 2nd of Nov. has 6 weeks for a broken collar bone to heal and types 1 handed and slowly
If you can't even tell us the system... then we can't help you (at least I can't). Cameras? inside? only at the entrance? all over teh place? everywhere? are there any windows or doors? how thick are the walls? how many exits is there? is he being monitored closely? non-lethal won't sufice unless we know if it has to be triggered or not.

Okay, here goes:
  • Cameras - pretty much everywhere, but they're not being used against him since they're under the control of the aforementioned AI. Strangely I sort of overlooked this one due to the fact that given how widespread security cameras are over here I sort of took the fact that there'd be cameras everywhere as a given.
  • Windows and doors - present on above-ground sections of the facility but locked, closed off and secured. Actually, due to Rule of Cool more then anything else, I'm picturing something like the 'zombie-proof house', although this may change depending on how well my justification for it holds up.

Is that any help?
 
Total posts: 26
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