Thomas staggered a step or two to his left and caught himself on the heavy crate for support. He’d been thinking that maybe Cranks had attacked after all, or that some other group had infiltrated WICKED, taken Teresa and the others. Rescued them, even.
But Teresa had led an escape? They’d fought their way out, subdued the guards, flown away in a Berg?
Without him and the others? There were so many elements to the scenario, and none of them would come together in his mind.
“Shut your traps!” Jorge shouted over the din of questions from Minho and Newt, and Thomas jolted back to the present. “You’re driving nails through my head—just … quit talking for a minute. Somebody help me get up.”
Newt grabbed the man’s hand and pulled him to his feet. “You better start explaining what bloody happened. From the beginning.”
“And be quick about it,” Minho added.
Jorge leaned back onto the wooden box and folded his arms, still wincing with every movement. “Look, hermano, I already told you I don’t know much. What I said happened is what happened. My head feels like
“Yeah, we get it,” Minho snapped. “You have a headache. Just tell us what you know and I’ll find you some shuck aspirin.”
Jorge let out a little laugh. “Brave words, boy. If I remember right, you’re the one who had to apologize and beg for your life back in the Scorch.”
Minho’s face scrunched up and reddened. “Well, it’s easy to be tough when you have a bunch of lunatics with knives protecting you. Things are a little different now.”
“Would you stop!” Brenda said to both of them. “We’re all on the same side.”
“Just get on with it,” Newt said. “Talk so we buggin’ know what we need to do.” Thomas was still in shock. He stood listening to Jorge and Newt and Minho, but it felt like he was watching something on a screen, like it wasn’t happening in front of him. He’d thought Teresa couldn’t be more of a mystery to him. Now this.
“Look,” Jorge said. “I spend most of my time in this hangar, okay? I started hearing all kinds of shouts and warnings over the com, then the silent-alarm lights started blinking. I went out to investigate and just about had my head blown off.”
“At least it wouldn’t hurt anymore,” Minho muttered.
Jorge either didn’t hear the comment or just ignored it. “Then the lights went out and I ran back in here to find my gun. Next thing I know, Teresa and a bunch of your hooligan friends come running in here like the world’s about to end, hauling old Tony along to fly a Berg. I dropped my lousy pistol when seven or eight Launchers were aimed at my chest, then I begged them to wait, explain things to me. But some chick with blond hair whacked me in the forehead with the butt of her gun. I passed out, woke up to see your ugly faces staring down at me and a Berg gone. That’s all I know.”
Thomas took it all in but realized none of the details mattered. Only one thing about the whole affair stood out, and not only did it confuse him, it hurt him to face it.
“They left us behind,” he almost whispered. “I can’t believe it.”
“Huh?” Minho asked.
“Speak up, Tommy,” Newt added.
Thomas exchanged long glances with both of them. “They left us behind. At least we went back and looked for them. They left us here for WICKED to do whatever they want with us.” They didn’t respond, but their eyes revealed that they’d been thinking the same thing.
“Maybe they did search for you,” Brenda offered. “And couldn’t find you. Or maybe the firefight got too nasty and they had to leave.”
Minho scoffed at that. “All the guards are freaking tied up in that room back there! They had plenty of time to come look for us. No way. They left us.”
“On purpose,” Newt said in a low voice.
None of it sat right with Thomas. “Something’s off. Teresa’s been acting like WICKED’s number one fan lately. Why would she escape? It has to be some kind of trick. Come on, Brenda—you told me not to trust them. You have to know something. Talk.”
Brenda was shaking her head. “I don’t know anything about this. But why is it so hard to believe that the other subjects would have the same idea we did? To escape? They just did a better job of it.” Minho made a noise that sounded like a wolf growling. “Insulting us is something I wouldn’t do right now.
And use the word subjects again and I’ll smack you, girl or no girl.”
“You just try it,” Jorge warned. “Smack her and it’ll be the last thing you do in this life.”
“Could we stop the macho games for a bit?” Brenda rolled her eyes. “We need to figure out what comes next.”
Thomas couldn’t shake how much it bothered him that Teresa and the others—Frypan, even!—had left without them. If his group had been the ones to tie all the guards up, wouldn’t they have searched until they found their other friends? And why had Teresa wanted to leave? Had her memories brought back something she hadn’t expected?
“There’s nothing to bloody figure out,” Newt said. “We get out of here.” He pointed at a Berg.
Thomas couldn’t have agreed more. He turned to Jorge. “You’re really a pilot?” The man grinned. “Damn straight, muchacho. One of the best.”
“Why’d they send you to the Scorch, then? Aren’t you valuable?” Jorge looked at Brenda. “Where Brenda goes, I go. And I hate to say it, but heading for the Scorch sounded better than staying here. I looked at it like a vacation. Turned out a little rougher than I—” An alarm started blaring, the same whining scream as before. Thomas’s heart jumped—the noise seemed even louder in the hangar than it had been in the hall, echoing off the high walls and ceiling.
Brenda looked with wide eyes at the doors they’d come through, and Thomas turned to see what had caught her attention.
At least a dozen of the black-clad guards were pouring through the opening, weapons raised. They started firing.
|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|