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"Rise and shine, rookie! We'll get you briefed and then we'll be on our way!" 

(Y/n) opened her eyes with a groan, instantly becoming alert at Charmy's grinning face hovering over hers. She sat up, the bee rolling backwards to the end of her bed with a giggle. "Sleep well?" he asked, bouncing the mattress slightly. 

"I suppose," she replied, shrugging. 

"I'm excited! If you really are immune, maybe you can stop people from getting dragged off! You could really help us." He scooted forward, his excited expression fading slightly. "I believe you, (Y/n). I believe you can help Silver." She blinked and his excitement was back. "But that's at a later time! Come on! Come on! Espio always gets a little antsy in the mornings." 

Charmy jumped off her bed and darted out into the hall, disappearing around the corner. (Y/n) rubbed the last remnants of sleep from her eyes and stood up, stretching her arms above her head as she followed the young bee. 

"Good morning," the crocodile, or Vector, she'd learned, said, looking at a monitor set against the wall in the living room. It still baffled the (a/t) the technology the city had been able to get up and running. Nothing except for what Tails had pieced together in Sonic's camp had worked in the Freezing Zone, and she'd seen nothing that implied there was working technology beyond Shadow's camp in the Burning Zone. 

"We've already got an incoming group," Espio said, studying the monitor with his arms crossed over his chest. He glanced at (Y/n). "Are you ready for your first run?" 

"After yesterday?" she asked skeptically. She looked to the monitor, but she couldn't decipher any of the symbols blinking on what looked like a map. "I mean, I guess. As ready as I can be." 

"It's not too bad. You get a shield, take up a flanking position, and listen for shrieks. Assassins are very quiet when they've spotted their targets," Charmy said, climbing onto the coffee table. 

"I think I got the basic gist of it on my crossing," she said. She was really starting to wish Tikal was here with her. Espio reached down and grabbed a blue shield just like the one he'd been carrying on her crossing, passing it to her. 

"You've made it across two Zones on your own," Vector said. "I think you're gonna be just fine." Espio nodded, unsheathing a blade and flipping it in his hand, holding the hilt out to the (a/t). 

"Go for the neck or the face," he said. She stared at him, then nodded and took the blade. Charmy grabbed his signs and tucked a flare into one of his pockets, Vector getting down just low enough that the bee could jump onto his shoulder. 

"And off we go!" Charmy said, pointing to the door. "People to save, assassins to vanquish!" Espio shook his head and gestured for (Y/n) to go ahead of him, bringing up the rear of their group. She gripped the hilt of the blade tightly. Off to destroy the fruits of whatever terror is controlling Silver the Hedgehog.


They set off at a light jog, exiting the city and entering the tunnel where they'd come into the city. They emerged from the tunnel and passed through the checkpoint, moving onto the plain where the crossing groups came through. 

"The kill zone," Charmy said ominously. Though it was clear he was attempting to appear nonchalant, a tremor had entered his voice. Each time they came onto this plain, there was the chance they didn't come back. 

"Stay low," Espio whispered, the four lowering their heads and pushing through the tall grasses. (Y/n) kept her ears perked, the shrieks of the assassins still very much present. Good. They hadn't been detected yet. 

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