Brenda smiled and moved toward Thomas, then tripped on something and stumbled forward. She caught the bed with her right hand, but she fell in such a way that the syringe’s nozzle landed on the forearm of the guard gripping Thomas’s wrist. She instantly pushed the trigger with her thumb, releasing a quick, sharp hiss, before he jerked himself away.
“What the hell!” the man shouted, but his eyes were already glazed.
Thomas acted instantly. Now free from those iron fists, he pushed down on the bed and swung his legs in an arc toward the female guard, who was just coming to her senses after a brief moment of frozen shock.
One foot connected with her Launcher and the other with her shoulder. She let out a yell, which was closely followed by the smack of her head hitting the floor.
Thomas scrambled after the Launcher, grabbed it before it slid out of reach and aimed it at the woman, who was holding her head in her hands. Brenda had run around the bed and grabbed the man’s weapon, and she pointed it at his limp body.
Thomas gasped for air, his chest heaving as adrenaline throbbed through his body. He hadn’t felt so good in weeks. “I knew you—”
Before he could finish, Brenda fired her Launcher.
A high-pitched sound pierced the air, increasing in volume for a split second before the gun discharged and kicked, making Brenda jerk backward. One of the shiny grenades shot out, slammed into the woman’s chest and exploded, sending tendrils of lightning arcing across her body. She began to twitch uncontrollably.
Thomas stared, stunned at what the Launcher did to a person and amazed that Brenda had shot it without hesitation. If he had needed further proof that Brenda wasn’t totally committed to WICKED, he’d just seen it.
He looked at her.
She returned his gaze, the slightest of smiles on her face. “I’ve been wanting to do something like that for a long time. Good thing I convinced Janson to assign me to you for this procedure.” She bent over and took the unconscious man’s key card, slipped it into her pocket. “This’ll get us in anywhere.” Thomas had to resist the urge to pull her into a hug.
“Come on,” he said. “We have to get Newt and Minho. Then everybody else.” They sprinted through a couple of twists and turns in the hallways, Brenda leading. It reminded Thomas of the time she’d led him through the underground tunnels in the Scorch. He urged her to hurry—he knew that more guards could show up at any second.
They reached a door, and Brenda swiped the key card to open it; a brief hiss sounded, and then the slab of metal swung open. Thomas burst through with Brenda close on his heels.
The Rat Man was sitting in a chair but sprang to his feet, his expression quickly twisting to a look of horror. “What in God’s name are you doing?”
Brenda had already fired two grenades at the guards. A man and a woman dropped to the ground, convulsing in a cloud of smoke and tiny lightning bolts. Newt and Minho tackled the third guard; Minho grabbed his weapon.
Thomas trained his Launcher on Janson and put his finger on the trigger. “Give me your key card, then get on the ground, hands on your head.” His voice was steady but his heart was racing.
“This is complete lunacy,” Janson said. He handed his card to Thomas. He spoke quietly, seeming amazingly calm under the circumstances. “You have zero chance of getting out of this complex. More guards are already on their way.”
Thomas knew their odds were bad, but it was all they had. “After what we’ve been through, this is nothing.” He smiled as he realized it was true. “Thanks for the training. Now, another word and you’ll get to experience—how did you put it? ‘The worst five minutes of your life’?”
Thomas pulled the trigger. The high-pitched sound filled the room, followed by the launch of a grenade. It hit the man’s chest and exploded in a brilliant display of electricity. He screamed as he fell to the ground, convulsing, smoke streaming off his hair and clothing. The room filled with an awful smell —a stench that reminded Thomas of the Scorch, when Minho was struck by lightning.
“That can’t feel good,” Thomas said to his friends. He sounded so calm to his own ears that it disturbed him. As he watched their nemesis twitch, he was almost ashamed for feeling no guilt. Almost.
“It supposedly won’t kill him,” Brenda said.
“That’s a shame,” Minho replied. He stood after tying up the uninjured guard with his belt. “The world would’ve been better off.”
Thomas turned his attention from the twitching man at his feet. “We’re leaving. Now.”
“I’ll bloody drink to that,” Newt said.
“That’s exactly what I was thinking,” Minho added.
They all turned to look at Brenda. She lifted her Launcher in her arms and nodded. She looked ready for a fight.
“I hate these people just as much as you,” she said. “I’m in.” For the second time in the last few days, Thomas was filled with that foreign feeling of happiness. Brenda was back. He glanced at Janson. The crackling static was beginning to die. The man’s eyes were closed and he’d finally stopped moving, but he was still breathing.
“I don’t know how long a blast from one of these lasts,” Brenda said, “and he’s definitely going to wake up angry. We better get out of here.”
“What’s the plan?” Newt asked.
Thomas didn’t have a clue. “We’ll make it up as we go.”
“Jorge’s a pilot,” Brenda offered. “If we can somehow make it to the hangar, to his Berg …” Before anyone could respond, shouts and footsteps sounded in the hall.
“They’re coming,” Thomas said. The reality of their situation hit him again—no one was going to let them just waltz out of the building. Who knew how many guards they’d have to get past.
Minho ran to the door and took a stance right next to it. “They’ll all have to come through right here.” The sounds from the hallway were getting louder—the guards were close.
“Newt,” Thomas said. “You get on the other side of the doorway. Brenda and I’ll shoot the first couple who come through. You guys catch the rest from the sides, then get out into the hallway. We’ll be right behind you.”
They took their positions.
|Chapter 1||Chapter 2||Chapter 3||Chapter 4||Chapter 5||Chapter 6|
|Chapter 7||Chapter 8||Chapter 9||Chapter 10||Chapter 11||Chapter 12|
|Chapter 13||Chapter 14||Chapter 15||Chapter 16||Chapter 17||Chapter 18|
|Chapter 19||Chapter 20||Chapter 21||Chapter 22||Chapter 23||Chapter 24|
|Chapter 25||Chapter 26||Chapter 27||Chapter 28||Chapter 29||Chapter 30|
|Chapter 31||Chapter 32||Chapter 33||Chapter 34||Chapter 35||Chapter 36|
|Chapter 37||Chapter 38||Chapter 39||Chapter 40||Chapter 41||Chapter 42|
|Chapter 43||Chapter 44||Chapter 45||Chapter 46||Chapter 47||Chapter 48|
|Chapter 49||Chapter 50||Chapter 51||Chapter 52||Chapter 53||Chapter 54|
|Chapter 55||Chapter 56||Chapter 57||Chapter 58||Chapter 59||Chapter 60|
|Chapter 61||Chapter 62||Chapter 63||Chapter 64||Chapter 65||Chapter 66|
|Chapter 67||Chapter 68||Chapter 69||Chapter 70||Chapter 71||Chapter 72|
|Chapter 73||Book 1: Maze Runner||Book 2: Scorch Trials||Book 3: Death Cure||Prequel: Kill Order|