Janson pulled out a long, slender knife, held it up and inspected it with narrowed eyes. “Let me tell you something, kid. I’ve never thought of myself as a violent man, but you and your friends sure have driven me to the brink. My patience is stretched to a minimum, but I’m going to show restraint. Unlike you, I think about more than myself. I’m working to save people, and I will finish this project.” Thomas forced his every inch to relax, to be still. Struggling hadn’t accomplished a thing, and he needed to save his energy for when the right opportunity presented itself. It was clear that the Rat Man had lost it, and judging from that blade, he was determined to get Thomas back in the operating room at any cost.
“That’s a good boy. No need to fight this. You should be proud. It will be you and your mind that save the world, Thomas.”
The man holding Thomas down—a squat guy with black hair—spoke then. “I’m going to let go of your mouth now, boy. Let out one peep and A.D. Janson’s gonna give you a nice poke with that blade of his.
Understand? We want you alive, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a few war wounds.” Thomas nodded as calmly as he could and the man let go of him and sat back. “Smart boy.” It was Thomas’s cue to go for it. He swung his leg violently to his right and kicked Janson in the face. The man’s head jerked backward and his body crashed to the ground. The dark-haired man moved to tackle Thomas, but Thomas squirmed out from under him and went after Janson again, this time kicking the hand that held the knife. It flew out of his grasp, skipping across the ground until it smacked into the side of the building.
Thomas turned his attention to the blade, and that was all the squat man needed. He lunged at Thomas, who landed on his back on top of Janson. Janson squirmed beneath them as they wrestled, and Thomas felt a desperation seize him, adrenaline exploding through his body. He screamed and pushed, kicked, fought his way out from between the two men. Scrabbling and clawing with his hands and feet, he got loose and dove toward the building for the knife. He landed next to it, grabbed it and spun around, expecting an immediate attack. Both men were just getting to their feet, obviously stunned by his sudden burst of strength.
Thomas stood up as well, holding the knife out in front of him. “Just let me go. Just walk away and let me go. I swear if you come after me I’m gonna go crazy with this thing and won’t stop stabbing till you’re both dead. I swear it.”
“It’s two against one, kid,” Janson said. “I don’t care if you have a knife.”
“You’ve seen what I can do,” Thomas replied, trying to sound as dangerous as he felt. “You’ve watched me in the Maze and the Scorch.” He almost wanted to laugh at the irony. They had made him into a killer … to save people?
The short guy scoffed. “If you think we’re—”
Thomas reared back and threw the knife as he’d seen Gally do, handle over blade. It cartwheeled through the space between them and slammed into the man’s neck. There was no blood at first, but he reached up, shock transforming his face, and clawed at the knife stuck in him. That was when the blood came, spurting in jets in time with his heartbeat. He opened his mouth, but before he could speak he collapsed to his knees.
“You little …,” Janson whispered, his eyes wide with horror as he stared at his colleague.
Thomas was shocked by what he’d done, and froze to the spot, but the moment broke as Janson turned his head to look back at him. Thomas burst into a sprint out of the courtyard, around the corner of the building. He had to get back to the hole in the building, had to get back inside.
“Thomas!” Janson shouted; Thomas heard his footsteps in pursuit. “Get back here! You have no idea what you’re doing!”
Thomas didn’t even pause. He passed the bush he’d hidden behind and ran full-bore toward the gaping hole in the side of the building. A man and a woman still sat nearby, crouched on the ground so that their backs touched. Upon seeing Thomas, they both clambered to their feet.
“I’m Thomas!” he yelled at them just as they opened their mouths to ask questions. “I’m on your side!” They exchanged a look, then returned their attention to Thomas just as he skidded to a stop in front of them. Heaving for breath, he turned to look back, saw the shadowed figure of Janson running toward them, maybe fifty feet away.
“They’ve been looking all over for you,” the male guard said. “But you’re supposed to be in there.” He jabbed a finger at the hole.
“Where is everybody? Where’s Vince?” Thomas panted.
And as he spoke he knew Janson was still tearing after him. Thomas turned to face the Rat Man, whose face was screwed up in unnatural rage. It was a look Thomas had seen before. It was the same insane anger he’d seen in Newt. The Rat Man had the Flare.
Janson spoke between heavy breaths. “That boy … is property … of WICKED. Hand him over.” The lady didn’t flinch. “WICKED doesn’t mean a pile of goose crap to me, old man. If I were you, I’d get lost, and I wouldn’t go back inside, either. Bad things are about to happen to your friends in there.” The Rat Man didn’t respond, just kept panting, his eyes darting between Thomas and the others. Finally, he started to back away, slowly. “You people don’t get it. Your self-righteous arrogance will be the end of everything. I hope you can live with that while you rot in hell.” Then he turned and ran away, disappearing into the gloom.
“What’d you do to piss him off?” the lady asked.
Thomas tried to catch his breath. “Long story. I need to find Vince, or whoever’s in charge. I need to find my friends.”
“Calm down there, kid,” the man responded. “Things are kind of quiet right now. People getting in position, planting, that sort of thing.”
“Planting?” Thomas asked.
“What does that mean?”
“Explosives, you idiot. We’re about to bring this whole building down. Show old WICKED that we mean serious business.”
|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|