Thomas’s chest constricted and his throat seemed to swell. Everything was on the line, but he was frozen.
Janson barked orders. “Dr. Christensen, quickly. Who knows what these people are up to, but we can’t waste a second now. I’ll go tell operating personnel to stand their ground, no matter what.”
“Wait,” Thomas finally croaked. “I don’t know if I can do this.” The words felt empty—he knew they wouldn’t stop at this point.
Janson’s face burned red. Instead of answering Thomas, he turned to the doctor. “Do whatever it takes to open this kid up.”
Just as Thomas opened his mouth to speak, something sharp pricked his arm, sending jolts of heat through his body, and he went limp, coll apsing onto the gurney. From his neck down he was numb, and terror flared inside him. Dr. Christensen leaned over him and passed a spent syringe to a nurse.
“I’m really sorry, Thomas. We have to do this.”
The doctor and a nurse pushed him farther onto the bed, hoisting his legs up so that he lay flat on his back. Thomas could move his head slightly from side to side, but that was all. The sudden turn of events overwhelmed him as he realized the implications. He was about to die. Unless somehow the Right Arm got to him immediately, he was going to die.
Janson stepped into his view. Nodding approvingly, the Rat Man patted the doctor on the shoulder. “Get it done.” Then he turned and disappeared; Thomas could hear someone shouting in the hallway before the door closed.
“I just need to run a few tests,” Dr. Christensen explained. “Then we’ll get you into the operating room.” He turned to fiddle with some instruments behind him.
It felt like the man spoke to him from a hundred miles away. Thomas lay helpless, his mind spinning as the doctor took blood, measured his skull. The man worked in silence, barely blinking. But the beads of sweat on his forehead showed that he was racing against who-knew-what. Did he have an hour to get this done?
Thomas closed his eyes. He wondered if the weapons-disabling device had done its job. Wondered if anyone would find him. Then he realized, did he even want them to? Was it really possible that WICKED
almost had a cure? He forced himself to breathe evenly, focus on trying to move his limbs. But nothing happened.
The doctor suddenly straightened and grinned at Thomas. “I believe we’re ready. We’ll wheel you to the operating room now.”
The man walked through the door and Thomas’s gurney was pushed into the hallway. Unable to move, he lay staring up at the lights in the ceiling flashing by as he rolled down the corridor. He finally had to close his eyes.
They’d put him to sleep. The world would fade. And he’d be dead.
He snapped his eyes open again. Closed them. His heart pounded; his hands grew sweaty and he realized he was gripping the sheets on the gurney in two balled fists. Movement was coming back, slowly.
Eyes open again. The lights zooming by. Another turn, then another. Despair threatened to squeeze the life out of Thomas before the doctors could do it.
“I …,” he started to say, but nothing else came out.
“What?” Christensen asked, peering down at him.
Thomas struggled to speak, but before he could force any words out a thunderous boom rattled the hallway and the doctor tripped, his weight pushing the gurney forward as he scrambled to stop himself from falling. The bed shot to the right and crashed into the wall, then rebounded and spun until it hit the other side.
Thomas tried to move, but he was still paralyzed, helpless. He thought of Chuck and Newt, and a sadness like none he’d ever known seized his heart.
Someone screamed from the direction of the explosion. Shouts followed; then everything grew silent again, and the doctor was up on his feet, hurrying to the gurney, straightening it out, pushing it again, banging through a set of swinging doors. A host of people dressed in scrubs awaited them in a white operating room.
Christensen started barking orders. “We have to hurry! Everyone, get to your places. Lisa, get him fully sedated. Now!”
A short lady responded. “We haven’t done all the prep—”
“It doesn’t matter! As far as we know the whole building’s gonna burn down.” He placed the gurney next to an operating table; several sets of hands were lifting Thomas and moving him over before the gurney even came to a complete stop. He settled on his back, strained to take in the beehive buzz of doctors and nurses, at least nine or ten of them. He felt a prick in his arm, glanced down to see the short lady inserting an IV into his vein. All the while the only movement he could manage was in his hands.
Lights were placed in position just above him. Other things were stuck into his body in various places; monitors started beeping; there was the hum of a machine; people talking over other people; the room was filled with the scurry of movement, like an orchestrated dance.
And the lights, so bright. The room spinning, though he lay perfectly still. The rising terror of what they were doing to him. Knowing it was ending, right here, right now.
“I hope it works,” he finally managed to get out.
A few seconds later, the drugs finally took him and it all went away.
|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|