The Maze Runner, Book 3 - The Death Cure
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The Maze Runner Book 3 - The Death Cure - Chapter 18


       

Someone grabbed the back of Thomas’s shirt and yanked him hard to the left; he stumbled and fell behind the cargo box just as the sounds of glass shattering and electricity crackling filled the hangar. Several arcs of lightning threaded around and over the crate, singeing the air. They’d barely winked out before a round of bullets thudded against the wood.

“Who let ’em loose?” Minho yelled.

“Hardly think it bloody matters right now!” Newt shouted back.

The group crouched low, their bodies pressed against each other tightly. It seemed impossible that they could fight back from such a position.

“They’ll flank us any second,” Jorge called out. “We need to start shooting back!” Despite the wild attack going on around them, the statement struck Thomas. “I guess you’re with us, then?”

The pilot looked at Brenda, then shrugged. “If she’s helping you, then so am I. And if you haven’t noticed—

they’re trying to kill me, too!”

A surge of relief edged through Thomas’s terror. Now they just had to make it onto one of those Bergs.

The onslaught had paused momentarily, and Thomas could hear shuffling footsteps and short barked commands. If they were going to gain an advantage, they needed to act quickly.

“How do we do this?” he asked Minho. “You’re in charge this time.” His friend gave him a sharp look but nodded curtly. “Okay, I’ll fire right, Newt fires left. Thomas and Brenda, you fire over the box. Jorge, you scout a way for us to get to your shuck Berg. Shoot anything that moves or wears black. Get ready.”

Thomas knelt facing the box, ready to jump to his feet on Minho’s signal. Brenda was right next to him, with two pistols instead of a Launcher. Her eyes were on fire.

“Planning to kill somebody?” Thomas asked.

“Nah. I’ll aim for their legs. But ya never know, maybe I’ll hit high by accident.” She flashed him a smile; Thomas was liking her more and more.

“Okay!” Minho shouted. “Now!”

They made their moves. Thomas stood, lifting his Launcher up and over the box. He fired without risking a good look, and once he heard the grenade explode he popped up to search for a specific target. A man was creeping toward them from across the room, and Thomas aimed, fired. The grenade burst into lightning as it hit the man’s chest, throwing him to the ground in a fit of spasms.

Gunfire and screams filled the air of the hangar, along with the staticky sound of electricity. Guard after guard fell, clutching their wounds—mostly in their legs, as Brenda had promised. Others bolted for cover.

“We’ve got them running!” Minho yelled. “But it won’t last long—they probably didn’t realize we had weapons. Jorge, which Berg is yours?”

“That one.” Jorge pointed toward the far left corner of the hangar. “That’s my baby. It won’t take long to get her ready to fly.”

Thomas turned to where Jorge had indicated. The Berg’s large hatch door, which he remembered from the group’s escape out of the Scorch, lay open and rested on the ground, waiting for passengers to run up its metal slope. Nothing had ever looked so inviting.

Minho shot another grenade. “Okay. First everyone reload. Then Newt and I’ll cover while Thomas, Jorge and Brenda run to the Berg. Jorge, you get her fired up while Thomas and Brenda cover for us from behind that hatch door. Sound like a plan?”

“Can the Launchers hurt the Berg?” Thomas asked. Everyone was jamming additional ammo into their weapons and pockets.

Jorge shook his head. “Not much. Those beasts are tougher than a Scorch camel. If they miss us and hit my ship, all the better. Let’s do this, muchachos!”

“Then go go go!” Minho yelled without giving any warning. He and Newt started launching grenades like crazy, voll eying them all along the open area in front of their waiting Berg.

Thomas felt a mad rush of adrenaline. He and Brenda took up position on the left and right of Jorge and they sprinted away from the protection of the cargo box. A flurry of firing weapons filled the air, but there was so much electricity and smoke that it was impossible to aim at anyone. Thomas shot his weapon as best he could while running, as did Brenda. He swore he could feel bullets blowing past him, barely missing.

Launcher grenades exploded in a crash of glass and light to their right and left.

“Run!” Jorge shouted.

Thomas pushed himself to go faster, his legs burning. Daggers of lightning shot across the floor from all directions; bullets pinged against the metal walls of the hangar; smoke twirled like fingers of fog in odd places. It all became a blur as he focused on the Berg, now only a few dozen feet away.

They’d almost made it when a Launcher grenade smashed against Brenda’s back; she screamed and fell, her face smacking the concrete floor as electricity spiderwebbed over her body.

Thomas skidded to a stop as he cried out her name, then dropped to the ground to make himself a smaller target. Tendrils of lightning-like electricity snaked across Brenda’s body, then dwindled to smoky wisps as they raced out along the floor. Thomas lay on his stomach several feet away, dodging the errant streaks of white heat as he searched for a way to get closer.

Newt and Minho had obviously seen the disastrous turn of events and given up on the plan. They were running toward him as they continued firing. Jorge had made it to the Berg and disappeared up the hatch, but he came out again, shooting a different kind of Launcher; its grenades exploded into spouts of raging fire when they made contact. Several of the guards screamed as they erupted in flames, and the others pulled back a little because of the new threat.

Thomas waited anxiously on the ground next to Brenda, cursing his inability to help. He knew he had to wait for the electricity to die down before he could grab her and start dragging her to the Berg, but he didn’t know if there was time. Her face had gone completely white; blood dripped from her nose and drool trickled from her mouth as her limbs spasmed and her torso seemed to bounce in place. Her eyes were frozen wide with shock and terror.

Newt and Minho reached him, dropped to the ground.

“No!” Thomas shouted. “Keep going to the Berg. Take cover behind the hatch door. Wait until we start moving, then cover us. Fire like crazy till we get there.”


      

“Just come on already!” Minho yelled back. He grabbed Brenda by the shoulders, and Thomas’s breath caught as his friend winced—several jagged bolts of lightning arced up his arms. But the energy had weakened considerably and Minho was able to stand and begin pulling her along behind him.

Thomas hooked his arms under Brenda’s shoulders, and Newt picked up her legs. They backed their way toward the Berg. The hangar was a world of noise and smoke and flashing light. A bullet grazed Thomas’s leg: a hot score of pain, then oozing blood. An inch difference and he might’ve been hobbled for life or bled to death. He let out a furious scream and imagined everyone in black as the one who’d shot him.

He stole a glance at Minho; the boy’s face was strained with the effort of dragging Brenda. Thomas harnessed his furious surge of adrenaline and took a risk, lifted his Launcher up from beneath him with one hand, firing in random directions as he used the other to help pull Brenda across the floor.

They reached the foot of the hatch door. Jorge immediately dropped his huge weapon and slid down the ramp to grab one of Brenda’s arms. Thomas released his hold on her shirt and let Minho and Jorge yank her up into the ship, her heels thumping against the raised traction molding.

Newt started firing his weapon again, releasing grenades left and right until he ran out of ammunition.

Thomas shot once more and his Launcher emptied as well.

The guards in the hangar clearly knew that their time was about to run out, and a horde of them sprinted for the ship and opened fire once again.

“Forget reloading!” Thomas shouted. “Let’s go!”

Newt turned and scrambled up the ramp. Thomas was right behind him. His head had just crossed the threshold when something thumped and cracked against his back. In an instant he felt the burning power of a thousand bolts of lightning strike him at once; he fell backward and tumbled end over end until he landed on the floor of the hangar, his whole body convulsing and his vision going dark.



       
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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