Man plans murder to avenge his murdered family. How best to dissaude him?

Why, yes, it is another one of those hypotheticals with a long storytelling OP. No poll, though. If you don’t like these, the Game Room is next door.

  Today’s story stars **Heather**, a woman in her early thirties, and her older brother, **Chris**, a former Marine sniper, tossed out of the Corps for the crime of preferring breadsticks to bagels. Heather & Chris are the closest of friends; in fact, Chris practically raised Heather after their parents died. Heather is single and childfree, though she does adore Chris’s adoptive sons, Esau and Jacob.

  Actually, that should be *adored*, past tense. Esau and Jacob are dead, as is Chris’s spouse Steven. While Chris was working overseas, the three of them were killed in a brutal home invasion. The police arrested three men for the crime; Heather is convinced of their guilt. Unfortunately, due to some police work, the exclusionary rule, and a homophobic jury, the murderers were acquitted.

  Overwhelmed with grief, Chris been living with Heather since Steven & the boys died. His wedding anniversary is a day away, and Chris’s mood has been getting darker as the day approached. His house has been standing empty since the murders; Heather decides to go the house to get some photographs, hoping the sight of them will help Chris with his mourning. But when she arrives, she finds her brother already there. When she asks him what he’s doing, he says he has something in another room which will explain it. Taking her to the windowless laundry room, he suddenly grabs her cell phone, dashes out, and locks her inside. A few minutes later, while trying to batter down the door from inside, Heather hears hammering; Chris is nailing planks over the door.

  While Chris works, he explains that he’s been stalking the murderers. He’s chosen the spots where he’ll conceal himself while he assassinates them--today. He used this house as a base because he didn’t want Heather implicated. If he succeeds and survives, he will return to release her; if he is caught by the police, he will tell them where she is so they can let her out. He’s planned the operation meticulously so it will be clear Heather had nothing to do with it. No matter what, Chris wants her to know that he loves you.

  The hammering stops. “Wait!” Heather cries. “Wait, Chris, please, don’t do this. Please listen to me! Are you there?”

  Pause. “I’m writing a note,” he says. “Just in case they kill me, so somebody will know where you are and be able to come let you out.”

  “Will you listen to me? Please?”

  “For two minutes,” Chris says.

  What should Heather say?

Go get them and make sure they die painfully?

Nothing. Try her best to break out and then go and call the police.

What Heather should say: Two in the chest, one in the head.

It is pretty hard to dissuade a determined person. If they have opportunity then anything might happen.

Getting some physical distance between the parties might help. Perhaps Chris should move away to a tropical island. [del]I’ve heard i [/del]It helps.

"Chris, I don’t agree with you doing this, but you know I wouldn’t stop you.

You never expected me to turn up though, and this is putting my life in great peril. They could use some form of explosives or fire or even literally try to smoke out this place, and then I am dead or your escape plan is compromised. Perhaps both. Please let me go and I promise not to inform any authorities. I’m your sister. I’ll support you."

Then when he lets her out she should keep her word.

“Via con Dios.” Literally; I’m not talking about the Les Paul-Mary Ford song.

But this is a hypothetical situation and you can write the ending however you wish. That’s how stories work.

Hah! Pronoun trouble!

Try one of the following:
(1) “It’s not worth it! This is all just one of Skald’s hypotheticals!”

(2) “I need you! If you go to prison, I’ll be left all alone in this world!”

(3) “Remember what our parents / our religion / your ethical code / our shared experience / that one book or movie that made such an impression on us taught us about leaving vengeance up to God / Fate / the authorities.”

[If these are real people, they have a consiberable amount of history together, and there may well be something in that history that Heather can appeal to. Contrariwise, if they are fictional characters, an apprpriate backstory can be invented.]