Thomas’s eyes were open, but he couldn’t see anything. No, that wasn’t it. brilliant lights arced in lines across his field of vision, blinding him. He couldn’t blink, couldn’t close his eyelids to block it. Pain washed over his body; his skin felt like it was melting right off his muscle and bones. He tried to scream, but it was as if he’d lost all control of his functions—his arms and legs and torso shook no matter how hard he strained to stop them.
The crackle and pop of electricity filled his ears, but soon another noise took over. A deep, thrumming hum that pounded his ears and rattled his head. He was barely on the edge of consciousness, felt himself slipping in and out of an abyss that wanted to swallow him. But something in him knew what that sound was.
The engines of the Berg had started up, the thrusters burning their blue flames.
He immediately thought they were leaving him. First Teresa and the others, now his closest friends and Jorge. He couldn’t take any more betrayal. It hurt too much. He wanted to scream, all while needles of pain bit every inch of his body and the burning smell overwhelmed him. No, they wouldn’t leave him behind. He knew it.
Gradually his vision started to clear, and the white-hot charges of heat diminished in strength and number.
He blinked. Two, then three figures dressed in black stood over him, weapons pointed at his face. Guards.
Would they kill him? Drag him back to the Rat Man for more tests? One of them spoke, but Thomas couldn’t hear the words; static buzzed in his ears.
All of a sudden the guards were gone, tackled by two figures that seemingly flew through the air. His friends, had to be his friends. Through a haze of smoke Thomas could see the ceiling of the hangar far above him. The pain had mostly gone away, replaced by a numbness that made him wonder if he could move. He shifted to his right, then rolled to his left, then leaned up on an elbow, woozy and weak. A last few trickles of electricity skittered over his body and disappeared into the cement. The worst was over. He hoped.
He shifted again, looked back over his shoulder. Minho and Newt were each straddling a guard, beating the living klunk out of them. Jorge stood in between the Gladers, shooting his fiery Launcher in all directions.
Most of the guards must’ve given up or been disabled—otherwise Thomas and the others wouldn’t have made it even this far. Or maybe, Thomas thought, the guards were pretending, putting on an act, like everyone else in the Trials.
He didn’t care. He just wanted out of this place. And escape was right in front of him.
With a groan he shifted to his belly, then pushed himself up onto his hands and knees. Breaking glass, the crackle of lightning, the booms of weapons firing and pings of bullets hitting metal filled the air around him. If someone shot him now, there was nothing he could do about it. He could only drag himself toward the Berg.
The ship’s thrusters hummed as they charged; the whole thing vibrated, shaking the ground underneath him as well. The hatch door was only a few feet away. They needed to get on the ship.
He tried to yell something back at Minho and the others, but only a gurgling groan came out. On his hands and knees like a wounded dog, he started crawling forward as quickly as his body would allow—he had to fight for every ounce of strength within. He reached the lip of the ramp, pulled himself over it, inched up the slope. His muscles ached and nausea climbed out of his stomach. The noises of battle pounded his ears, put his nerves on edge; something could hit him at any second.
He made it halfway. Turned to look at his friends. They were backing toward him, all three now firing.
Minho had to stop and reload, and Thomas just knew he’d get shot or blasted with a grenade. But his friend finished and started up again. The three of them reached the bottom of the hatch door, so close now.
Thomas tried to speak again; now he sounded like a wounded dog.
“That’s it!” Jorge yelled. “Grab his butt and drag him in!”
Jorge ran up the ramp past Thomas and disappeared inside. Something clicked loudly, and then the ramp started to swing upward, its hinges groaning. Thomas realized he’d collapsed, his face resting against the raised metal traction pads beneath him, yet he couldn’t remember when it had happened. He felt hands pull at his shirt, felt himself lifted through the air. Then he slammed back down just inside the hatch door as it sealed shut and the locks engaged.
“Sorry, Tommy,” Newt muttered in his ear. “Could’ve been a bit more gentle, I ’spect.” Though he was close to unconsciousness, an indescribable joy lifted Thomas’s heart—they were escaping WICKED. He let out a weak grunt in an attempt to share that with his friend. Then he closed his eyes and passed 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|