CHAPTER ONE: What do I do now?"


"What do I do now?"

The question haunts Sylvia through the day. Walking down the streets of the fairly maligned Inverted City, the brown-haired girl looks at the surroundings around her. Nothing feels normal to her, and nothing feels like it used to be before. A while ago, at this very place, Sylvia learned that her enemy, Robyn Sanchez, is going to return to the city for a special event. She was Sylvia's childhood friend who had an enormous attachment to her. One day, when Sylvia was nine and Robyn was ten, an event took place that caused Sylvia to have trust issues. She never specifically has said what this event was, but from what her friends know, Robyn had mentally broken down her to such a point that she became oblivious to everything thrown at her. Robyn then led Sylvia to a "secret" part of the city, and got her lost. She was at her all-time-low, so she just kept walking, finally coming across a portal that took her to the old town of her best friend, Derek. Derek is a Psychic, a special, human-like being with certain marks on their right eyes that gives them special abilities. And with Sylvia, Derek, and their two companions Cori, a blue spirit with bright neon yellow eyes that can morph into anything and Fenton, a fox with a collar that gives him human speech and can project any weapon, they make up the team that protects Inverted City. But there is one person that Sylvia knows that makes her feel truly safe in the city... the greatest person she has ever known: Noodle.

Noodle wears a paper bag over his head because he is self-conscious about his appearance, and he only shows his true self to Sylvia. He also has a bunny-ear headband because he absolutely adores rabbits. Noodle also had a pretty rough childhood, but nobody really knows his story except for Sylvia, and they both keep it a secret. Noodle had lived in a church for orphans known as HomeChurch. Unbeknownst to Sylvia, they had met in the city and were able to get to each other easily because HomeChurch is in an area a length across the city. Every day, the two would meet up and spend a lot of time with each other, but recently, Noodle had left for a week for self-reflection purposes. Sylvia had fully endorsed his decision, but she really had missed him.

In Present Day, the week was coming up on the fifth day, and Sylvia still felt as bad as an apocalypse. After a bit of time walking through the city, she decides to head back to her room in the hotel. The hotel in the city had been abandoned for many years, but officials have since come around to refurnishing it up for once. Sylvia travels up the elevator and enters the first door to her left. Inside, Cori, the spirit, is watching Fenton, the fox, roll around on the bed trying to itch out a scratch. and Derek is sitting on the other bed. He looks up and notices Sylvia entering the room. "Hey, Syl. How've you been holding up this past week?" said Derek. "Ehh, I don't really know. It's.. complicated to say the least," Sylvia said, with a hint of sadness. "I don't know.." Derek looks at Sylvia in worry and remembers why she feels this way. "Yeah.. I know. You really miss Noodle, huh?" Derek asked. "I don't just miss him.. I feel so alone without him. He made me feel safe, and I don't know what to do for the rest of this time," Sylvia says on the verge of a breakdown. "Well, don't worry. We all miss him too. But he'll be back in two days. Just think about that!" said Derek.

Sylvia sits next to Derek, with Cori and Fenton joining as well. Cori puts her hand on Sylvia's shoulder. "I know how it feels to miss someone. I remember my mom left our place after my dad.. um.. did something terrible to her. All I can say is things will get better from here," Cori says, remembering everything that happened to her. "I remember my brother doing something to my old town and being on the run from the police because of it. He.. didn't make it out though, and he was taken away from me," said Fenton. "Look, just know Noodle will be back soon. So you no longer have much to worry about. Well, besides.. you-know-who," Derek said, with a hint of malice in his voice. "Oh, right. Her," said Sylvia. Sylvia stands up and looks out the window. She looks across the city and sees a building in the distance.

This building is Studio Palace, the one place where everybody goes if a special kind of event takes place. Sylvia puts her hand on the glass and surveys the area, with glistening eyes. "What am I gonna say to her? How do I know if she's still as mentally abusive as I remember..?" said Sylvia. Derek, Cori and Fenton walk up to the window as well. "Hey, don't worry. Maybe she's changed with time," Derek said with sympathy. "Maybe.. but I don't know.." Sylvia sits back down on the bed. Then, a knock is heard from the outside of the door. Derek smiles and looks at Sylvia. "Oh my gosh, yes! Sylvia, I forgot to mention today, but I have a surprise for you," Derek said, beginning to walk to the door. "What is it?" Sylvia tilts her head a bit to the side in confusion. Derek opens the door and Noodle slowly steps inside. "Sylvia?" Sylvia notices him and is beyond ecstatic. "NOODLE! YOU'RE BACK!" Sylvia says in pure joy. She springs up and runs to Noodle, with him spinning her into a hug. They both look at each other, still held in the tight hug. "Oh, baby moth, how come you're back early?" Sylvia sometimes calls Noodle "baby moth" because he has a both strange and unrequited fascination for light. Sylvia drew this comparison to how a moth is addicted to light, and seeing the resemblance in how, to Sylvia, Noodle looks like and is as fluffy as a moth, she came up with the nickname. And it stuck for a long, long time.

"Well, I had some time to self-reflect, as you all know, and Derek came up with the idea for me to surprise you with my return since I was here early!" Sylvia looks in surprise, and then turns to Derek. "You were behind this?" "Well, I had to do something special to reconnect you with your best friend. What else was I gonna do?" said Derek. Cori flies over to Noodle. "She really did miss you, though. I'm glad we could make her less depressed." Sylvia breaks the hug and buries her face in her hands. "Cori, you weren't supposed to say the last part!" Sylvia yelled, muffled. Noodle looks at her, worried. He pats Sylvia's head, and she looks up, blushing, with the two having eye-contact for a bit. "Hey, I know you missed me. But I'm back for good now! You don't have anything else to worry about. Everything's out of my system, so I feel much, much better," said Noodle. "Yeah.. I.. I-I'm glad.." Sylvia said, still embarrassed after Cori's slip-up. "How, um, are you feeling now?" Noodle asked. "Multiple emotions all at once, actually.. like, pure happiness, embarrassment from Cori, and something.. like a warm feeling. I can't explain it, but it's making me feel an emotion I haven't felt in a long time, and it is radiating off of you onto me.." Sylvia twirls her hair around her finger. She looks at Noodle and smiles. "It's Love!" Cori and Fenton yell in unison. Sylvia and Noodle instantly turn red right at that moment. "Guys, what the hell, no!" said Sylvia. Cori and Fenton laugh and flop down on the bed. They high-five each other in success from their so-so achievement. "Ugh, you're both so lame," said Sylvia. "Heh, that was a pretty good one though, guys," Noodle said, giving in to the joke. Derek then checks the clock mounted on the wall.

"Hold on, what's today?" Derek asked. "Uhh.. September 22?" said Fenton. "Then that means the Horizon Lines are gonna be seen in the sky tonight!" said Derek. Sylvia looks over to Derek, with starry eyes. "The Horizon Lines?! Holy crap, yes!" "What are the Horizon Lines?" Noodle asked. Sylvia puts her hands on Noodle's shoulders, making him faintly blush. "They are AMAZING from the images I saw of them. Just imagine them as this city's version of the Aurora Borealis. It's one of those 'you have to see it to believe it' events," Sylvia said, excited out of her mind. "I've always wanted to see them, but I never did, because.. well, Robyn drove me out of here." "Speaking of Robyn, they are gonna appear after her event. So people can go to the event, and then easily find a spot to watch the Horizon Lines," said Derek. "Sounds convenient. A little too convenient," said Sylvia. "She's gotta be setting this up for something to happen, I'm sure of it. It's a real thing she'd do." "Come on, Syl. Look at the positives! We could both go to the event and then to a good spot to watch the Horizon Lines, and maybe I'll have my chance to-" Noodle cuts himself off and looks around the room, seeing everyone looking at him, Cori and Fenton smirking. Noodle shifts around nervously. "Uhm.. I, uh.. Yeah, this could be g-good bonding for us!" Noodle says, trying to keep his composure. Suddenly, the TV in the room starts playing a commercial after its usual broadcast. The commercial shows Robyn walking around Studio Palace. The camera follows her in swift movements, like if Leigh Whannell made it in his particular style. Robyn turns around. "Hello, residents of Inverted City, it's yours truly: Robyn Sanchez! The world's most famous model, and the most beloved one at that!" said Robyn. "Well, not really THAT beloved but sure," Sylvia says, barely holding on to actually caring about this whole event. On the screen, an ad for Avylis appears on the side of the screen next to Robyn "If some of you haven't heard, my new fragrance line, Avylis, releases at midnight tonight, and I'm hosting a special release party at 10PM to commemorate it!" Robyn walks up one of the two dividing stairways and stands on the balcony overlooking the interior. The camera pans up to the dome-like glass ceiling. "And after the event ends at 12:15, you can finally witness the Horizon Lines in the sky in all their glory for the first time in a decade," Robyn said, walking down the stairs and in front of the door. In the last few seconds of the commercial, Robyn turns her head to the camera and delivers one last "See you soon..." before the camera cuts to black, with the text "Avylis Release Party Studio Palace - 10PM-12:15PM" coming up on screen.

"You have got to be kidding me.. that is so frickin' suspicious!" Sylvia yelled in anger. "And one thing's for sure. She hasn't changed a bit." Sylvia paces around the room, still reeling over everything that happened in the last few minutes. Noodle stops her, and Sylvia stops in her tracks as well. "Will you feel at least a little bit better.. if I actually did come with you to the event?" Noodle interjected. Sylvia blushes a bit. "Oh, definitely! I would love that!" "Well, you were quick to jump to that," said Derek. Sylvia and Noodle step back a bit away from each other, flustered. "Hehe, just, uh.. trying to make her feel more safe, that's all," said Noodle. "And you're doing a great job," added Sylvia. "Okay, so if we meet up back here at about 8:30, we'll figure out a plan of action. Sound good?" Derek asked. "This is gonna be something..." said Fenton.

A while later, Noodle opens the door to HomeChurch and steps inside. The interior is kept in a flawless condition, almost like it was just finished being built. The church had been abandoned for the longest time, but Noodle kept the inside as clean as possible, almost converting it into a little house of sorts. He walks down a long stretch of hallway and walks into a side-room, made into a bedroom by Noodle. He opens his desk drawer and takes out a slip of paper. He begins to write a letter onto it. Noodle sighs, stops writing, and looks out the window on his side. "*sigh* Someday I'll work up the courage. Don't you worry." Then, a familiar figure steps to the door frame and taps onto the door, with Noodle turning around and seeing them. "Noodle?" The figure asks. Noodle stands up and walks to them in surprise. "Robyn?" He asks.

END OF CHAPTER ONE