It took over an hour of staring into the dark, but Thomas eventually fell asleep. And when he did, his dreams were a slew of scattered images and memories.
A woman, sitting at a table, smiling as she stares across the wood surface, directly into his eyes. As he watches her she picks up a cup of steaming liquid and takes a tentative sip. Another smile. Then she says,
“Eat your cereal, now. That’s a good boy.” It’s his mom, with her kind face, her love for him evident in every crease of her skin as she grins. She doesn’t stop watching over him until he eats the last bite, and she takes his bowl over to the sink after tousling his hair.
Then he’s on the carpeted floor of a small room, playing with silvery blocks that seem to fuse together as he builds a huge castle. His mom is sitting on a chair in the corner, crying. Thomas knows instantly why. His dad has been diagnosed with the Flare, is already showing signs of it. This leaves no doubt that his mom also has the disease, or will soon. The dreaming Thomas knows that it won’t be long before doctors realize his younger self has the virus but is immune to its effects. By then they’d developed the test that recognizes it.
Next he’s riding his bike on a hot day. Heat’s rising from the pavement, just weeds on both sides of the street, where there used to be grass. He has a smile on his sweaty face. His mom watches nearby, and he can see that she’s savoring every moment. They head to a nearby pond. The water is stagnant and foul-smelling. She gathers rocks for him to toss into the murky depths. At first he throws them as far as possible; then he tries to skip them the way his dad showed him last summer. He still can’t do it. Tired, their strength sapped from the stifling weather, he and his mother finally head home.
Then things in the dream—the memories—turn darker.
He’s back inside and a man in a dark suit is sitting on a couch. Papers in his hand, a grave look on his face. Thomas standing next to his mom, holding her hand. WICKED has been formed, a joint venture of the world’s governments—those that survived the sun flares, an event that took place long before Thomas was born. WICKED’s purpose is to study what is now known as the kill zone, where the Flare does its damage.
The man is saying that Thomas is immune. Others are immune. Less than one percent of the population, most of them under the age of twenty. And the world is dangerous for them. They’re hated for their immunity to the terrible virus, are mockingly called Munies. People do terrible things to them. WICKED says they can protect Thomas, and Thomas can help them work to find a cure. They say he’s smart—one of the smartest who have been tested. His mom has no choice but to let him go. She certainly doesn’t want her boy to watch as she slowly goes insane.
Later she tells Thomas that she loves him and is so glad that he’ll never go through what they witnessed happen to his dad. The madness took away every ounce of what made him who he was—what made him human.
And after that the dream faded, and Thomas fell into a deep void of sleep.
* * *
A loud knocking woke him early the next morning. He’d barely gotten up on his elbows when the door opened and the same five guards from the day before came in with Launchers raised. Janson stepped into the room right after them.
“Rise and shine, boys,” the Rat Man said. “We’ve decided to give you your memories back after all. Like it or not.”
|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|