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A/n: I did not proofread this...oh well.

It didn't take the Chaotix long to figure out that she'd spoken to Silver as her good spirits accompanied her all the way back to the Tower. They were also in a relatively good mood; apparently her taking Silver to the secondary realm had affected the amount of assassins the ghost could produce. Perhaps he temporarily regained his telepathy fully when he was in the secondary realm. 

Regardless, the fewer assassins and brief words shared with the hedgehog in question felt like cause to celebrate enough, and in response, Espio made a spaghetti for dinner. According to Charmy, there was nothing better than Espio's spaghetti. (Y/n) agreed, it was the best thing she'd had in a very long time. 

The next day, the Chaotix left for the crossings again, and (Y/n) promptly went to see Silver, Tikal by her side. She was determined not to lose any of the progress they'd gained. And for the moment, she was positive that consistency was going to be their best hope of reaching the futuristic hedgehog. 

Minutes later, they were back in front of the door, the red lighting still as ominous as ever. The (a/t) slipped into the secondary realm, her and Tikal falling into a vaguely familiar pattern as they separated the ghosts, though (Y/n) still called on Sonic and Shadow to help, their respective glows appearing immediately. 

Once Silver was out, the immune was relieved to see that he had remained conscious and awake, though his eyes were moving frantically and his posture was tense, the orb of his power held tightly against his chest. 

"Silver?" she asked lightly. His eyes snapped to hers, but there was barely a glimmer of recognition in them. 

"Can't have it," he muttered, eyes wide. She lifted her hands and took a step back.

"Hey, it's okay," she said. "I'm not going to take it. Silver, it's me, (Y/n)."

"(Y/n)..." He blinked several times, then sank until his feet touched the floor. Apparently, they still had a ways to go before he controlled his ghost and not the other way around.

"Yeah," she said, shuffling closer. "I pinky promised you that I would come back, remember?" She held her pinky up, lowering to her knees as he did, squeezing his eyes shut.

"Right," he breathed. "(Y/n)." He sucked in a deep breath, then let it out slowly, opening his eyes with a new clarity. She smiled softly.

"Good morning," she said, bracing her hands on her knees. "How are you?" He stared at her. She tilted her head expectantly.

"I...don't know?"

"Let's break it down, then. What are you feeling physically?"

He paused, thinking. "Not much," he admitted after a moment. "An effect of this realm, I'm sure." (Y/n) nodded. "I feel...a sort of wind, and a slight pressure on my conscience, or that's what it feels like in the wake of the ghost. Like the silence is so unfamiliar." He looked up at the (a/t). "How long has it been since the insurgence?"

"About six months," she replied. He stared at her again, his ears slowly flattening. "Hey. Silver, it's okay. What's left of the population is moving into the safe zone here in the Assassination Zone, and they're thriving."

"What's left?" Silver echoed. "How much is left?" She shrugged carefully.

"Thousands. The safe zone is huge to accommodate everyone coming in."

"Just thousands?" He shrank in on himself. "There were millions. Billions, maybe. And now they're gone. And how many of them did I single handedly kill with the assassins?"

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