Minerva/Quinvaela slowly awoke from a drug induced sleep. She was lying on a medical table in the middle of a small room. Grime and dirt covered the walls, ceiling, and floor. A small surgical table stood nearby. Bloody surgical tools and bloody rags laid atop the table. Quinvaela was naked. Luckily she was in her natural alien form, nothing exposed. She noticed a neatly folded stack of green clothes at her feet. A door stood at one end of the room. A projector turned on and a man by the name of The Riddler explained to her, her circumstances: she was his prisoner and would have to complete his challenges to escape.
Quinvaela stepped into the next room, a large library. A guillotine stood at the end of the room. A weeping woman kneeled with her head stuck inside the the guillotine’s lunette. A projector turned on and the Riddler’s face filled the farthest wall. He explained the challenge:
Qinvaela had to pull the correct book in the library. Every book in the library was attached to the guillotine via an electrical cable. Pulling the wrong book would move the guillotine a little bit closer to the woman’s neck. Qinvaela had 4 tries. Tampering with the any of the cables or the guillotine would release the blade, killing the woman. The Riddler left Qinvaela with a clue
“I am where yesterday follows today, and tomorrow’s in the middle. What am I?”
Qinvaela looked around the room and tried different books, reading some of them to figure out the riddle. On her last attempt she pulled the correct book, a dictionary. The victim was released and followed Qinvaela into the next room.
The next room was a medical room, clean and sterile. A woman laid sedated on a surgical table. Surgical equipment laid on a table nearby. The Riddler’s projection returned explaining the second challenge.
A small explosive device laid dormant within the woman body. Qinvaela had 3 minutes to find the explosive and remove it before it exploded. Her clue, another riddle.
“I can run but cannot walk. Wherever I go, thought follows close behind. What am I?”
After some prods and pokes, Qinvaela found the device nestled behind the woman’s nostrils. The pair carried the sleeping woman into the next chamber.
They entered a large theatre. Four giant metal crates stood onstage, each connected to either a large tube or large metal plates with wiring . Four pedestals with buttons stood in front of each of the cubes, each with a symbol on its button.
The riddle read, “The man who invented it doesn’t want it. The man who bought it, doesn’t need it. The man who needs it, doesn’t know.” A man was trapped within one of the cubes. Qinvaela had three attempts until the buttons would stop working. Each of the cubes’ contraptions engaged. One pour water through it tube. Another pour dirt through it tube. The third’s plates began to glow fiery red. The final one began to get colder and colder.
Qinvaela wasn’t able to figure out the riddle but pressed the correct button by her third attempt. The cube’s dopr swung open and a man sit in a chair with dirt up to his neck. The three of them dug the man out and helped him out of the chair. His arms and leg had been tied to the chair. They found a door behind the stage curtains and continued on.
The final room was the inside of a prison cell. A man in an electrical chair screamed, his voice muffled by a gag. The chair was attached to an electrical cable, a keyboard attached to the other end. The keyboard had four green lights turned on. The Riddler read his final riddle:
“What is the beginning of eternity? The end of time and space? The beginning of every end and the end end of every race?”
Qinvaela attempted two combinations. With both incorrect the man screamed from the voltage running through his body. On her third attempt, she pressed a single button, the letter E. The clasps on the chair released.
The projector turned on once more. The Riddler berated Qinvaela, calling her a cheat. He said it wouldn’t matter because they were out of time. A timer came up on the screen with 5 seconds left. The group ran for the final door and broke through. Qinvaela was propelled forward by an explosion coming from inside the building.
From there the group explored the new city they were in. It seemed they were in Arkham City, a prison city outside of Gotham, designed to keep all of Gotham’s worst criminals locked up. They laid low and dodged into the backstreets to end up at a small haven for nonviolent political prisoners.
A couple hours and a helicopter bombing later, Gotham PD officers raided Arkham, arresting everyone in sight, including Qinvaela, and moved them to various Gotham precincts.
Qinvaela sat in a cell waiting, hoping that perhaps her friends would find her. But how? She was in an unfamiliar city, without a means to contact them. And the last time she had seen them, was at the bottom of the ocean…