2nd floor: You ascend just one floor. The elevator door opens to reveal a workout center specifically built for people who are too lazy to climb just one flight of stairs. That's you, dummy. Since you're a good sport who doesn't take life too seriously, you laugh it off and decide to head on in and work up a sweat.
For the next hour, you pump iron and rock the machinery like a champ, hitting your glutes and pecs hard and majorly turning heads. One by one, each person in the gym catches a whiff of your powerful scent and rushes over to get your phone number and Snapchat username. The crowd of admirers grows larger and larger until you realize that you are about to be crushed to death beneath the clinging bodies. As a last resort, you barrel through the throng with total abandon, miraculously breaking free and stumbling back into the elevator.
You pound the Door Close button as hard as you can, but the arm of one salivating fanboy pokes through the door as it's closing. The limb is severed with a sickening crunch and falls at your feet. Disgusted, you realize that the hand at the end of the severed arm is clutching a room key for an apartment on the 39th floor of the building.
13th floor: You and your new robot pal get off of the elevator in what appears to be an abandoned office area. The robot rolls forward into the space cautiously, as if it's looking for something. It rolls into each room of the floor and gives each a close inspection, opening closets and scrutinizing surfaces.
Suddenly, it pauses. "THIS IS UNEXPECTED," it says before resuming its search.
You're hesitant to follow it into what might be a trap, so you decide to ask what it was hoping to find on this floor.
The whirring noise resumes for the for a very long time. You tense up and begin to eye the elevator, but the robot speaks up just before you split.
"THIS WAS WHERE I MET MY FRIENDS. THEY ARE GONE NOW."
Your heart breaks all over again for the goofy little machine as you realize that the whirring noise is its way of crying. You decide to adopt it, or whatever it is a concerned human can do for an at-risk robot.
"Come on, pal," you say as you extend your hand. "Why don't you come on up to the top floor with me and enjoy the view?"
The robot follows you into the elevator.
"Welcome to FutureDyne, dude, what can I do - is that a robot?!"
The friendly robot backs slowly into the elevator. It seems to be afraid.
"Hey, guys! Get over here! It's a robot!"
The employees of FutureDyne spill out into the waiting area with looks of skepticism and curiosity on their faces. They begin to murmur to each other and crowd around the elevator. The robot shrinks back even further.
The last person to emerge is the only employee over the age of 30. He's wearing a suit and tie and appears to be the boss of the young team.
"Ah, I see you've met the friendly robot," he says with a smirk.
The pogo stick employee looks at his boss with incredulity. "You knew there was a robot in this building?"
"Sort of. Not really. Here, let me show you." The boss strides forward, nudges past you, and grabs onto the robot's head. With a solid yank, he removes the head, which is just a cardboard box spray-painted to look metallic. In place of the robot's former head is the smooth, pale face of a young child.
"What are you doing outside of the 50th floor again?" the boss asks the thing.
The robot doesn't answer.
The boss turns to address the room of employees. "You see, the ‘friendly robot' of Willis Tower is actually - aaaarrrrgghhh!"
The man's speech is suddenly interrupted when the robot-urchin, hissing and baring a mouthful of pointed teeth, leaps up and bites into his neck. After tearing the man's neck to shreds, the monster turns toward the room and hisses again. After scanning the onlookers' frightened faces, it lunges for you.
The last thought to pass through your mind before your death is the memory of your ninth birthday, which you had announced by passing out handwritten invitations for weeks to every kid on the block. None of them came. "Don't worry, sweetie," your mother had said while consoling you, "some of us just don't make friends as quickly as other people."
39th floor: You get off of the elevator and make your way to apartment 3904. Upon entering, you find yourself standing in a nicely decorated living space with luxury furniture, a large television, and a bowl of real fruit sitting out. The kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom are equally nice, and you realize that you've never even been inside a home this fancy before.
You settle into a recliner - which feels almost perfectly contoured to your body - and grab some mail from the nearby coffee table. You read the name of the apartment's owner and mouth it to yourself silently: Brent.
"I'm Brent," you announce to no one in particular. "Hey, I'm Brent."
Hours pass with no sign of Brent, then days, and pretty soon, you realize that Brent is never coming up to his apartment again. You assume Brent's identity, seizing control of his apartment and bank accounts. Brent's vast personal fortune allows you to spend your way to obscene happiness for the rest of your life, and you die with a completely contented smile permanently etched on your face.
"HELLO," says the robot, "I AM A FRIENDLY ROBOT."
You're glad to hear this, but you're not quite convinced. You poke your head out of the elevator and look down two long hallways to your left and right. There are no doors leading into or out of these hallways. You get the impression that the robot has just been sitting here, facing the elevator, for quite a while.
"If you're so friendly," you ask, "then why do you have no friends with you on this floor?"
The robot is silent, but you can hear gears whirring in its head. Unsettled, you reach for the Door Close button.
"I WAS LEFT HERE BY MY OLD FRIENDS MANY YEARS AGO," the robot pipes up. "THEY PROMISED THEY WOULD RETURN." A pause. More whirring. "THEY DID NOT."
Your heart melts for the poor little thing. You invite your new friend onto the elevator and ask it where it would like to go.
"I HAVE ALWAYS WANTED TO SEE THE 13TH FLOOR," it says.
66th floor Oops! The elevator craps out on its way to the top, leaving you stuck at the 66th floor with no visible means of progressing. You pry the doors open and find yourself facing a dirty man in a trench coat.
"Hey pal, wanna see somethin' neat?" he asks.
"Come with me then."
The man hobbles down a short hallway to another elevator door. "This'll take you straight down to the basement level. You know what's down in the basement?"
You shake your head.
"Well, just hop on in and go have a look."
You eye this new elevator with suspicion but accept that you have no other options at this point.
78th floor: Upon seeing the bloody arm on the floor of the elevator and hearing your panicked confession about what occurred, building security immediately places you under arrest. The ensuing investigation reveals that the arm's owner bled to death while you had your anxiety attack in the elevator, which makes you responsible for his death. Multiple witnesses in the gym testify that the man was only trying to get on the elevator after finishing his workout, but that you, with a crazed look in your eye, pounded the button in order to force the door shut on his arm.
Over the course of the next nine months, you stand trial for manslaughter. You cough up the dough for a decent lawyer, but you're only able to work out a plea bargain that gets you five years behind bars and ongoing inpatient therapy for the rest of your life. Your loved ones abandon you over the whole affair, and the guilt of what you've done haunts your every waking minute. While sobbing into your coffee one morning, you choke on some toast and die an early death.
Take the stairs next time.
Basement level: You step out of the elevator and into a soft blue glow that wipes your mind of all thought. An intoxicating hum fills the air around you, and you find yourself moving forward against your will. As you walk, the walls of the hallway give way to damp stone, and the floor becomes soft earth. The temperature begins to drop, but you can't feel it. You're too engrossed in the entrancing hum and the blue light.
After what seems like hours - or maybe even years, who knows? - you emerge into a vast cavern. In the center is a humongous mantis with glowing blue eyes. You realize that, for the first time in your life, you are truly at home. You take a seat next to an elderly woman who is also caught up in the glow and the hum, and you remain there for the rest of your natural life.
Top floor: You and your new robot buddy take a tour of the top floor of Willis Tower. What a sight! The city sprawled beneath you, the clear blue sky above you. It's like something out of a dream. After hours of goofing around together and getting to know each other, the two of you decide to head back down to the ground floor and go out for some ice cream.
As you walk through the lobby with your new best friend, you can barely contain your excitement over what might lie ahead for the two of you. A few of the strangers you pass give you both a strange look, but you just ignore them. In this moment, nothing can bring you down.