When she woke, she realized quickly that she’d been duct taped to a chair. She felt only a dull sort of surprise - being a superhero painted a huge neon bullseye on your back. Someone would always try to take a shot at you.
She blinked to clear her sight, but all she could make out were indistinct grey shapes, lines blurring in the half light.
The lights turned on with a metallic thunk, illuminating the stage whose outlines she had only guessed at. For set dressing, there were three plain doors, each painted bright red.
Whoever had bound her to the chair had stopped winding the gray tape at her neck. She started moving her hands… or trying to… hoping to feel some give in the tape that stuck stubbornly to her skin.
“Hello?” she tried at last.
The answer boomed from the ceiling like the voice of a god, and she flinched under her bindings.
“Glad you’re up. You’ve got some work to do.”
“Making decisions,” the voice boomed. “The most important kind of work there is. You need to choose one door.” Pause. “And stop messing with the tape. You’ve shot your superpower charges for the next two days, and I know it as well as you do.”
She shrugged but kept messing with the tape.
“Pick a door,” the voice said, and now she was certain she heard glee. “Any door.”
“What’s behind them?”
Jesus, she thought, and it was half prayer and half exclamation. “Middle door.”
“Middle door. Now I’m going to do you a favor.”
“Please don’t,” she muttered.
“I’m going to open a door, and tell you what’s behind the other two doors. Then you have the opportunity to switch your choice, if you want to.”
The far right door flew open, thrown by an invisible hand. A brownhaired man in a long white lab coat was bound to a folding metal chair. He was blindfolded and gagged, but she recognized him instantly.
“Say hello,” the voice instructed.
She stayed stubbornly silent, and her efforts at the tape doubled.
“Very well. Be rude. Now for the other two doors.” A spotlight blinked on and glinted off a long blade suspended twenty feet above the doctor. “Choosing one of the remaining doors will sever the rope and chop him in half.” The voice could barely contain his glee. “Another spotlight clicked on, casting a circle below the doctor’s feet. She saw the outline of a trapdoor. “The other will drop him away from the blade and straight to freedom. You can stick with the middle door, or you can switch to the door on the left. You have one minute on the clock to decide.”
She felt sweat beading along the edges of her bonds. Given five minutes, maybe ten, it might actually loosen the tape. But she didn’t have five minutes. Or ten. Neither did he.
She had nothing but the strength of her convictions, and she went with that.
“Middle door!” she called out, trying to sound confident.
“Middle door it is,” the voice said, and the blade flashed white fire as it descended.