Minho pointed his gun at the ceiling and fired, making Thomas jump. The noise of the crowd collapsed into complete silence.
Minho didn’t need to say a word. He gestured to the woman to speak.
“It’s crazy out there. It’s all happened really quickly. Like they’ve been hiding and waiting for a signal or something. This morning the police were overpowered and the gates were opened. Some Cranks from the Palace joined them. They’re everywhere now.”
She paused and took the time to meet a few gazes. “I promise you don’t want to go out there. And I promise that we’re the good guys. I don’t know what the Right Arm has planned, but I do know that part of it includes getting all of us out of Denver.”
“Then why are you treating us like prisoners?” someone yelled.
“I’m just doing what I was hired to do.” She turned her attention back to Thomas and continued. “I think it’s a stupid idea to leave this place, but like I said, if you’re going to, you can’t take more than a couple of people. Those Cranks spot a big group of fresh meat walking around and it’s all over. Weapons or no weapons. And the boss might not like it if a crowd shows up—our guards see a van full of strangers and they might start shooting.”
“Brenda and I will go,” Thomas said. He didn’t even know he was going to say it until it popped out of his mouth.
“No way,” Minho shook his head. “Me and you.”
Minho was a liability. His temper was too short. Brenda thought before she acted, and that was what they needed to get out of this alive. And Thomas didn’t want to let her out of his sight—plain and simple. “Me and her. We did pretty well for ourselves back in the Scorch. We can do it.”
“No way, man!” Thomas could swear his friend almost looked hurt. “We shouldn’t split up. All four of us should go—it’ll be safer.”
“Minho, we need someone back here to watch over things,” Thomas said, and he meant it. This was a whole roomful of people who might be able to help them take WICKED down. “Plus, I hate to say it, but what if something does happen to us? Stay behind and make sure our plans don’t die. They’ve got Frypan, Minho. Who knows who else. You said once that I should be the Keeper of the Runners. Well, let me do it today. Trust me. Like the lady said, the fewer we are, the better our chance of going unnoticed.” Thomas looked his friend in the eye and waited for a response. Minho didn’t answer for a long time.
“Fine,” he finally said. “But if you die I will not be happy.” Thomas nodded. “Good that.” He hadn’t realized how important it was that Minho still believe in him. It went halfway to giving him the courage he needed to do what he had to do.
The man who’d said they could take Thomas and his friends to the boss ended up being the one to guide them. His name was Lawrence, and regardless of what was outside, he seemed eager to get out of the room full of angry people. He unlocked the big door and gestured for Thomas and Brenda to follow him—
Thomas with the pistol and Brenda with the Launcher.
The group made their way back down the long hallway and Lawrence stopped at the door leading out of the building. The dull light from the ceiling shone on the man’s face, and Thomas could see that he was worried.
“Okay, we have to make a decision. If we go on foot, it’ll take a couple of hours, but we have a lot better chance of getting through the streets. We can hide on foot easier than if we take the van. The van would get us there faster, but we’d be spotted for sure.”
“Speed versus stealth,” Thomas said. He looked at Brenda. “What do you think?”
“The van,” she said.
“Yeah,” Thomas agreed. The image of the bloody-faced Crank from the day before haunted him. “The thought of being out there on foot scares me to death. The van, definitely.” Lawrence nodded. “Okay, then, the van it is. Now keep your mouths shut and those weapons ready. First thing we gotta do is get in the vehicle and lock the doors. It’s right outside this door. Ready?” Thomas raised his eyebrows at Brenda and they both nodded. As ready as they’d ever be.
Lawrence pulled a stack of key cards out of his pocket and unlocked the many latches lined up on the wall. He clenched the cards in his fist and pushed his body up against the door, then slowly cracked it open.
It was dark outside, a lone streetlamp providing the only light. Thomas wondered how long the electricity would hold up before it stopped, like everything else eventually would. Denver could be dead in days.
He could see the van parked in a narrow all ey about twenty feet away. Lawrence peeked his head outside, looked left and right, then pulled it back in.
“Seems clear. Let’s go.”
The three slipped out, and Thomas and Brenda sprinted to the van as Lawrence secured the door behind them. Thomas felt like a live wire. Anxiety had him glancing up and down the street, sure he’d see a Crank jump out at any second. But though he could hear the far-off sound of crazed laughter, the place was deserted.
The van’s locks disengaged and Brenda opened the door and slid inside just as Lawrence did. Thomas joined them in the front seat and slammed the door shut. Lawrence immediately engaged the locks and started the engine. He was just about to gun it when a loud pop came from right above their heads and the van shook with a couple of thumps. Then silence. Then the muted sound of a cough.
Someone had jumped onto the roof of the van.
|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|