Brenda’s expression was a strange mixture of anger and excitement. Thomas readied himself next to her, gripping the Launcher tightly in his hands. He knew it was a gamble to trust Brenda. He’d been tricked by nearly everyone in this organization; he couldn’t underestimate WICKED. But she was the only reason they’d gotten this far. And if he was going to bring her along, he couldn’t doubt her anymore.
The first guard arrived, a man dressed in the same black gear as all the others, but with a different type of weapon—smaller and sleeker—held tightly in front of him. Thomas fired, watched the grenade connect with the man’s chest; it sent him reeling backward, twitching and convulsing in a web of lightning.
Two more people—a man and a woman—were right behind him with Launchers raised.
Minho acted before Thomas could. He grabbed the woman by the shirt and yanked her toward him, then swung her across his body and slammed her into the wall. She got off a shot, but the silvery grenade shattered harmlessly on the ground and sent a short burst of crackling energy along the tiled floor.
Brenda fired at the man, hitting him in the legs; tiny jagged bolts of electricity shot up his body and he screamed, falling back into the hallway. His weapon fell to the floor.
Minho had disarmed the woman and forced her to kneel. He now held a Launcher aimed at her head.
A fourth man came through the door, but Newt knocked his weapon away and punched him in the face.
He collapsed to his knees, holding a hand up to his bloodied mouth. The guard looked up as if to say something, but Newt stepped back and shot him in the chest. At such close range the ball made a terrible popping sound as it exploded against the man. A wretched squeal escaped his throat as he fell to the floor, writhing in a web of pure electricity.
“That beetle blade’s watchin’ every bloody thing we do,” Newt said. He nodded toward something at the back of the room. “We’ve got to get out of here—they’re just going to keep coming.” Thomas turned to see the little robotic lizard crouched in place, red light beaming. Then he looked back at the doorway, which was empty. He faced the woman. The muzzle end of Minho’s weapon hovered just inches from her head.
“How many of you are there?” Thomas asked her. “Are there more coming?” She didn’t respond at first, but Minho leaned forward until his gun was actually touching her cheek.
“There’re at least fifty on duty,” she said quickly.
“Then where are they?” Minho asked.
“I don’t know.”
“Don’t lie to me!” Minho shouted.
“We … Something else is going on. I don’t know what. I swear.” Thomas looked at her closely and saw more than just fear in her expression. Was it frustration? She seemed to be telling the truth. “Something else? Like what?” She shook her head. “I just know that a group of us were called to a different section, that’s all.”
“And you have no idea why?” Thomas threw as much doubt into his voice as possible. “I have a hard time believing that.”
“I swear it.”
Minho grabbed her by the back of the shirt and pulled her to her feet. “We’ll just take the nice lady here as a hostage, then. Let’s go.”
Thomas stepped in front of him. “Brenda needs to lead—she knows the way around this place. Then me, then you and your new friend, then Newt in the rear.”
Brenda hurried to stand beside Thomas. “I still don’t hear anybody, but we can’t have long. Come on.” She peeked into the hallway, then slipped out of the room.
Thomas took a second to wipe his sweaty hands on his pants, then gripped the Launcher and followed her. She turned right. He heard the others fall in behind him; a quick glance showed that Minho’s captor was running along, too, looking none too happy with the threat of an electric bath just inches away.
They reached the end of the initial hallway and made a right without stopping. Their new path looked exactly the same as the last, a beige all ey stretching before them for at least fifty feet before it ended in a set of double doors. Somehow the scene made him think of that last stretch of the Maze right before the Cliff, when he, Teresa, and Chuck had run for the exit while everyone else battled the Grievers to keep them safe.
As they neared the doors, Thomas pulled the Rat Man’s key card out of his pocket.
Their hostage yelled to him. “I wouldn’t do that! I bet there’re twenty guns waiting to burn you alive on the other side.” But something about her tone sounded desperate. Could it be that WICKED had become overconfident and lax in their security? With only twenty or thirty teenagers left, surely they didn’t have more than one security person for each of their subjects—if even that many.
Thomas and his friends had to find Jorge and the Berg, but they also had to find everyone else. He thought of Frypan and Teresa. He wasn’t going to leave them behind just because they’d chosen to get their memories back.
He skidded to a stop in front of the doors and turned to face Minho and Newt. “We’ve only got four Launchers, and we better believe that there are more guards on the other side of those doors waiting for us.
Are we up for this?”
Minho stepped up to the key card panel, dragging the guard with him by the shirt. “You’re going to open this for us so we can focus on your buddies. Stand right there and don’t do anything until we say. Don’t mess with me.” He swiveled toward Thomas. “Start shooting as soon as the doors crack.” Thomas nodded. “I’ll crouch. Minho, you lean over my shoulder. Brenda to the left and Newt to the right.” Thomas got down and stuck the point of his weapon right where the doors met in the center. Minho hovered above him, doing the same. Newt and Brenda got in position.
“Open on three,” Minho said. “And guard lady, you try anything or run away, I guarantee one of us will get you. Thomas, you count off.”
The woman pulled out her key card but said nothing.
“One,” Thomas began. “Two.”
He paused, allowed himself a moment to suck in a breath, but before he could yell the last number an alarm started blaring and the lights went out.
|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|