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(Not) Falling Out

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Ding!

    The elevator doors slide open, and you and the Batter step out onto the 89731st floor of Shachihata's skyscraper.  The employees are bustling about, droning their stamps and Forms on endlessly.  It looks an awful lot like the 35173rd, 63361st, and 91382nd floors did, and you get the feeling that you're not really making any progress, here.

    The Batter walks on ahead of you and glances about.  Brilliant as he is at following orders and smacking ghosts around, technology, most recently elevators, has him stumped without your aid.  He usually tends to just sneer at the control panels, seemingly angry that they won't simply read his thoughts or respond to his bat.  This has been an interesting adventure for the both of you so far, and you almost find yourself endeared by the bizarre gaps in his skill set.

    Unfortunately, your little adventure has reached a roadblock.  A worker skips past you mumbling something about '83071,' and you sigh.  You suppose you'll have to turn yourself and the Batter around and go see what advice the Judge has, then.  You just wish there was a little more variety to these seemingly-randomized stories between you and your destination.

    Your eyes wander to one of the windows, so high up it's almost at the ceiling.  You recall how, in zone 0, the Batter had remarked on how nice it was outside when you pointed to of the windows, there.  You think, maybe there's something noteworthy on the other side of one of these windows too.

    You drag an empty chair over towards the wall, and carefully move yourself to stand on it.  The window is clean, but you're feeling especially adventurous today, and wrench it open.  A gust of air blows in, scattering papers all about.  You grip the window's frame in your fingers to look outside, and it's dizzying.  You can barely make out the bottom at all, from up here.

    "We're up so high," you remark, poking your head back into the room.  The Batter looks up at you in acknowledgement, and the little employees are running around screaming and trying desperately to gather their paperwork back up.  You hop down and observe the dismay tiredly.

    "Ugh," you say, leaning against a desk, "We're really lost. We should go back to the ground floor and call it a day."

    "No we shouldn't," the Batter replies, "There's no time. I must purify the Inspector."

    "Yes, there is," you insist, "This is a game, you've got all the time in the world."

    The Batter stares back for a really long moment.  "No..." he replies, not comprehending at all.

    "Well, then..." you rub your forehead impatiently, "Just ten minutes. I'll go and get a snack while you sit at the save point, then I'll come right back," you suggest.

    "Time is of the essence. I need you to help me purify the world," he says.

    "I will!" you say.

    "Now," he replies.

    "But I want to take a break!" you shout.

    "But you have to help me purify the world," he growls.

    "Maybe I won't, if you're going to be such a pain about it," you scold, "Not even letting me take a ten minute break."

    The Batter frowns deeply and holsters his bat, towering over you angrily, "Purification in progress..." he says.

    The Batter grabs a fistful of your shirt in one hand, your leg with the other, and, hoisting you off the ground, rapidly makes way for the window you'd opened earlier.

    "Hey, wait!!" you yell, flailing.  But he doesn't listen, and hurls your pathetic little body right out the open window.  You scream as you pass over the threshold and plummet dozens of floors at once; the wind screams, too, but you somehow manage to be louder in your sheer terror.

    You fall faster and faster.  What floor were you on again?  It was near the top, several thousand floors up.  You realize that you've got a long way to go before you hit the ground, and cease your useless shrieking.  The wind keeps you from clearly making out the ground, and you wonder how long it'll be before you collide with it.  Your short and uneventful life flashes before your eyes, and you find yourself thinking: 'Geez, I probably had this coming.'

    Finally, before you can even start screaming again, you strike the metal earth with a loud crunching, squishy noise.  Weak and fragile flesh-being that you are, you die instantly upon impact.  Which is actually a good thing, since you're so poorly held together that your insides are turned to jelly and your limbs are all dislocated and twisted from the force.

    Meanwhile, as you were wasting your time dying, the Batter had used his time wisely to figure out the elevator and make his way down without leaving a stain anywhere.  He marches around the building over to where you ended up and stands over you.  He shakes his head derisively at your splattered corpse.  You'd probably cry if you weren't dead.

    Since (unlike you) the Batter and Alpha have not died yet over the course of your adventure, he still has some Jokers in his inventory, and unceremoniously presses one against what's left of your chest.

    You jolt upright as you realize that you're alive again, only to fall back over, because you're in pain, now.  Dying tends to have that kind of effect on you, for some weird reason.  The Batter, kneeling beside you, sits you up and positions his other arm under the crooks of your knees.

    "If you use the arrow keys on your keyboard," he says, looking into your eyes, "I can carry you to the nearest save block, which can restore the rest of your lost health points."  You look back at him and process his words for a moment.

    You don't say anything, and you don't have to.  He effortlessly cradles you as you direct the both of you to the nearby save block.  Luckily, it isn't very far, and you find yourself feeling much better when he sets you down on it.

    "You are purified?" he asks.  He reaches forward and holds your hand, and it's like being a baseball softly gripped in a leather baseball mitt, because his hands are so large.

    "I..." you think for a second, and mentally check off what vital signs of yours you can detect.  "I think so, yeah," you reply.  The Batter nods silently and releases your hand, stepping back.

    "If you would like to take a break now, it would be a good time, since we're at a save block," he says.

    "No, no, it's fine," you say, "We can keep going. But we should save first."

    The Batter stands aside as you climb down from the save block and overwrite your previous file.  You say, "Alright," to him once you've finished saving, and then you both head back inside the building to make way for the roof.