Everything came into focus at that moment for Thomas. There’d been a fanaticism about Vince that hadn’t fully hit him until now. And there was the way the Right Arm had treated Thomas and his friends in the van after taking them hostage at the Berg. Also, why did they have all these explosives but no real conventional weapons? It didn’t make sense unless their goal was to destroy, not take over. The Right Arm wasn’t exactly on the same page as he was. Maybe they thought their motives were pure, but Thomas was beginning to realize that the organization had a darker purpose.
He needed to step carefully. All that mattered at that moment was saving his friends and finding and releasing the others who’d been captured.
The lady’s voice interrupted Thomas’s thoughts. “You’re doing a lot of heavy thinking in that noggin of yours.”
“Yeah … sorry. When do you think they’re going to set off the explosives?”
“Pretty soon, I suppose. They’ve been planting for hours. They want them all to detonate at the same time, but I’m guessing we aren’t quite that skilled.”
“What about all the people inside? What about the ones we came to rescue?” The two of them looked at each other, then shrugged. “Vince hopes to get everyone out.”
“He hopes? What does that mean?”
“I need to talk to him.” What Thomas really wanted was to find Minho and Brenda. Right Arm or no Right Arm, he knew what they had to do: get to the Maze and lead everyone out of there to the Flat Trans.
The lady pointed to the hole in the side of the building. “Just through there a ways is an area they’ve pretty much taken over. You’ll probably find Vince there. Careful, though. WICKED’s got guards hiding all over the place. And they’re vicious little buggers.”
“Thanks for the warning.” Thomas turned, eager to get inside. The hole loomed over him, dusty darkness waiting within. There were no more alarms or flashing red lights. He stepped through.
At first Thomas didn’t see or hear anything. He walked on in silence, careful of what might be around each turn. The lights got brighter the farther he walked, and he finally spotted a door at the end of the hallway that had been propped open. He jogged to it and peered in to see a large room with tables scattered across the floor set on their sides like shields. Several people crouched behind them.
The people were watching a large set of double doors on the other side of the room, and no one noticed him as he squeezed against the doorframe, hiding most of his body from the inside. He leaned his head in to get a better look. He spotted Vince and Gally behind one of the tables, but didn’t recognize anyone else.
On the far left side of the room, there was a small office, and he could tell that at least nine or ten people were huddled inside. He strained to see, but he couldn’t make out any faces.
“Hey!” he whispered as loudly as he dared. “Hey! Gally!”
The boy turned immediately, but had to glance around a few seconds before he spotted Thomas. Gally squinted, as though he thought his eyes might be tricking him.
Thomas waved to make sure he saw him and Gally motioned for him to come over.
Thomas looked around again to make sure it was safe; then he crouched down, ran over to the table and collapsed on the ground next to his old nemesis. He had so many questions he didn’t know where to begin.
“What happened?” Gally asked him. “What did they do to you?” Vince shot him a glare but didn’t say anything.
Thomas didn’t know how to answer. “They … ran a few tests. Look, I found out where they’re keeping the Immunes. You can’t blow the place up until we get them out.”
“Then go get ’em,” Vince said. “We’ve got a one-shot deal here, and I’m not going to waste it.”
“You brought some of those people here!” Thomas looked to Gally for support, but he only got a shrug in response.
Thomas was on his own.
“Where’s Brenda, Minho, everyone else?” he asked.
Gally nodded toward the side room. “Those guys are all in there, said they wouldn’t do anything until you came back.”
Thomas suddenly felt sorry for the scarred boy beside him. “Come with me, Gally. Let these guys do whatever they want, but come help us. Don’t you wish someone had done the same for us when we were in the Maze?”
Vince spun on them. “Don’t even think about it,” he barked. “Thomas, you knew coming in here what our goals were. If you abandon us now I’ll consider you a turncoat. You’ll be a target.” Thomas kept his focus on Gally. He saw a sadness in the boy’s eyes that made his heart break. And he also saw something he’d never seen there before: trust. Genuine trust.
“Come with us,” Thomas said.
A smile formed on his old enemy’s face and he responded in a way Thomas never would have expected.
Thomas didn’t wait for Vince to react. He grabbed Gally’s arm and they scooted away from the table together, then ran to the office and slipped inside.
Minho was the first to him, pulling him into a bear hug as Gally watched awkwardly from the side. Then the others were there, Minho. Brenda. Jorge. Teresa. Even Aris. Thomas almost got dizzy from the quick exchange of hugs and words of relief and welcome. He was especially thrilled to see Brenda, and he held on to her longer than anyone else. But as good as it felt, he knew they didn’t have time for it.
He pulled away. “I can’t explain everything right now. We have to go find the Immunes WICKED took, then find this back-door Flat Trans I learned about—and we need to hurry before the Right Arm blows this place up.”
“Where are the Immunes?” Brenda asked.
“Yeah, what did you learn?” Minho added.
Thomas never thought he’d say what he had to say next. “We need to go back to the Maze.”
|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|