Thomas couldn’t think of any possible explanation for the statement. “What are you talking about?” he asked.
Newt didn’t respond, just kept staring at him with hardened eyes, his arms shaking, his Launcher pointed at Thomas’s chest. But then he stilled and his face softened. He lowered the weapon and looked at the floor.
“Newt, I don’t get it,” Thomas persisted quietly. “Why are you saying all this?” Newt looked up again, and there was none of the bitterness that had been there just seconds earlier. “I’m sorry, guys. I’m sorry. But I need you to listen to me. I’m getting worse by the hour and I don’t have many sane ones left. Please leave.”
When Thomas opened his mouth to argue, Newt held up his hands. “No! No more talking from you.
Just … please. Please leave. I’m begging you. I’m begging you to do this one thing for me. As sincerely as I’ve ever asked for anything in my life, I want you to do this for me. There’s a group I’ve met that are a lot like me and they’re planning to break out and head for Denver later today. I’m going with them.” He paused, and it took every bit of Thomas’s resolve to keep quiet. Why would they want to break out and go to Denver?
“I don’t expect you to understand, but I can’t be with you guys anymore. It’s gonna be hard enough for me now, and it’ll make it worse if I know you have to witness it. Or worst of all, if I hurt you. So let’s say our bloody goodbyes and then you can promise to remember me from the good old days.”
“I can’t do that,” Minho said.
“Shuck it!” Newt yelled. “Do you have any clue how hard it is to be calm right now? I said my piece and I’m done. Now get out of here! Do you understand me? Get out of here!” Someone poked Thomas’s shoulder and he spun to see that several Cranks had gathered behind them.
The person who’d jabbed Thomas was a tall, broad-chested man with long, greasy hair. He reached out again and pushed the tip of his finger into Thomas’s chest.
“I believe our new friend asked you people to leave him alone,” the guy said. His tongue snaked out to lick his lips as he spoke.
“This is none of your business,” Thomas replied. He could sense the danger, but for some reason he didn’t care. There was only room enough inside him to be sick about Newt. “He was our friend way before he came here.”
The man slicked his hand over his oily hair. “That boy’s a Crank now, and so are we. That makes him our business. Now leave him … alone.”
Minho spoke before Thomas could respond. “Hey, psycho, maybe your ears are clogged with the Flare.
This is between us and Newt. You leave.”
The man scowled, then brought up a hand to show a long shard of glass gripped in his fist. Blood dripped from where he held it.
“I was hoping you would resist,” he snarled. “I’ve been bored.” His arm flashed out, the glass slicing toward Thomas’s face. Thomas ducked toward the floor and reached up with his hands to deflect the blow. But before the weapon hit him, Brenda stepped in and swatted the guy’s hand away, which sent the glass shard flying. Then Minho was on him, tackling the Crank to the ground. They landed on the woman he’d stepped over earlier to get to Newt, and she screamed bloody murder, started flailing and kicking. Soon the three of them were entangled in a wrestling match.
“Stop it!” Newt yelled. “Stop it now!”
Thomas had been frozen in place, crouching as he waited for an opportunity to jump in and help Minho.
But he twisted around to see that Newt was holding his Launcher in shooting position, his eyes wild with fury.
“Stop or I’ll start shooting and not give a buggin’ piece of klunk who gets hit.” The man with the greasy hair pushed his way out of the melee and stood up, kicking the woman in the ribs as he did so. She wailed as Minho got to his feet, scratches covering his face.
The electric sound of the Launcher’s charge filled the air just as Thomas got a whiff of burnt ozone. Then Newt squeezed the trigger. A grenade smashed into Greasy Hair’s chest and lightning tendrils enveloped his body as he fell screaming to the ground, writhing, legs rigid, drool foaming out of his mouth.
Thomas couldn’t believe the sudden turn of events. He looked at Newt with wide eyes, glad he’d done what he had, and happy he hadn’t aimed the Launcher at him or Minho.
“I told him to stop,” Newt half whispered. Then he aimed the weapon at Minho, but it was shaking because his arms were. “Now you guys leave. No more discussion. I’m sorry.” Minho held up his hands. “You’re going to shoot me? Old pal?”
“Go,” Newt said. “I asked nicely. Now I’m telling. This is hard enough. Go.”
“Newt, let’s go outside.…”
“Go!” Newt stepped closer and aimed more fiercely. “Get out of here!” Thomas hated what he was seeing—the complete wildness that had taken over Newt. His whole body trembled and his eyes had lost any hint of sanity. He was losing it, completely.
“Let’s go,” Thomas said, one of the saddest things he’d ever heard himself say. “Come on.” Minho’s gaze snapped to Thomas, and he looked like his heart had been shattered. “You can’t be serious.”
Thomas could only nod.
Minho’s shoulders slumped, and his eyes fell to the floor. “How did the world get so shucked?” The words barely came out, low and full of pain.
“I’m sorry,” Newt said, and there were tears streaming down his face. “I’m … I’m going to shoot if you don’t go. Now.”
Thomas couldn’t take it for one more second. He grabbed Brenda by the hand, then Minho by the upper arm, started pulling them along toward the exit, stepping over bodies and winding his way through the blankets. Minho didn’t resist, and Thomas didn’t dare look at him, and could only hope that Jorge was following along. He just kept going, across the lobby, to the doors and through, outside into the Central Zone, into the chaotic crowds of Cranks.
Away from Newt. Away from his friend and his friend’s diseased brain.
|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|