Quote Originally Posted by Layla Nahar View Post
Hey, thanks everyone for your ideas.

The MC finds an object - just randomly, something small, pretty... he picks it up. He just likes it but doesn't know what it is - because ... I don't know(!)

The stakes are kind of - world in balance. It seems like the fate of a lot of people hang on what the MC does.

The setting is SF, (mining colony, deserted settlement) that kind of SF that's got a bit of a fantasy - or maybe magical/mysterious feel.

I don't know if the Thing is disguised or not - or if it's a physical thing or an abstraction..

Thank you for these questions to chew on:

*If the stakes are large-scale, what's the personal angle -- what would your character lose if Enemy gets hold of the Thing?
*What opportunities for hiding a Thing has your character ever had?
*Will they have hidden it alone, or would they have needed help?
This sounds like you're still feeling your your characters, world, and story, so I honestly don't know what help answers from us will be, because if you don't know, how can we? A person finds a thing, the thing is important, other people want the thing, and the MC either protects or fails to protect the thing... This could describe just about any Macguffin-based story.

But I'll take a swipe at it. Random spitballing:

The colony world used to be home to an extinct (or thought to be extinct) race that left behind mysterious artifacts that may be "magical" (or sufficiently advanced tech to essentially be magic), though most colonists don't really know or care: it's a hard life, mining, and that doesn't leave a lot of time or mental energy to play with toys that don't even work for humans 90% of the time. At best they're shiny trinkets to hawk, at worst they're bulky, weird, and in the way. So the MC finds one of these things, which turns out to work for him - but it taps into a deep stash of lost alien tech in the heart of the planet, which is potentially unstable after millennia of neglect (maybe run by an imbalanced AI), so the world might literally self-destruct if it's misused.
What does it do for him? Here's where you have to know your guy (or gal.) Figure out what would tempt him or terrify him - or both. Figure out what he loves, and make it a threat to that. Figure out what he fears or hates, and make it a gateway to that. Figure out what he secretly wants but won't admit, and offer that apple. Give the thing a cost that the MC doesn't understand until it's almost too late. Make the MC's enemies seem like friends until it's almost too late.

Hope that helps...