Monday, March 17, 2014

The Death Cure - Epilogue

Final WICKED Memorandum, Date 232.4.10, Time 12:45
TO: My Associates
FROM: Ava Paige, Chancellor
RE: A new beginning
And so, we have failed.
But we have also succeeded.
Our original vision didn’t come to fruition; the blueprint never came together. We were unable to
discover either a vaccine or a treatment for the Flare. But I anticipated this outcome and put into place an
alternate solution, to save at least a portion of our race. With the help of my partners, two wisely placed
Immunes, I was able to plan and implement a solution that will result in the best outcome we could’ve
hoped for.
I know the majority of WICKED thought that we needed to get tougher, dig deeper, be more ruthless
with our subjects, keep searching for an answer. Begin new rounds of Trials. But what we neglected to
see was right before our eyes. The Immune are the only resource left to this world.
And if all has gone according to plan, we have sent the brightest, the strongest, the toughest of our
subjects to a safe place, where they can begin civilization anew while the rest of the world is driven to
It is my hope that over the years our organization has in some part paid the price for the unspeakable act
committed against humanity by our predecessors in government. Though I am fully aware that it was an act
of desperation after the sun flares, releasing the Flare virus as a means of population control was an
abhorrent and irreversible crime. And the disastrous results could never have been predicted. WICKED
has worked ever since that act was committed to right that wrong, to find a cure. And though we have
failed in that effort, we can at least say we’ve planted the seed for mankind’s future.
I don’t know how history will judge the actions of WICKED, but I state here for the record that the
organization only ever had one goal, and that was to preserve the human race. And in this last act, we
have done just that.
As we tried to instill in each of our subjects over and over, WICKED is good

The Death Cure - Chapter 73

Thomas could barely breathe. He was coughing, spitting. His heart raced, refused to slow down. He’d
landed on the wooden floor of the shed, and now he crawled forward, wanting to get away from the Flat
Trans in case any nasty debris came flying through. But he noticed Brenda out of the corner of his eye. She
pushed some buttons on a control panel, and then the gray plane winked out of existence, revealing the
cedar planks of the shed wall behind it. How did she know how to do that? Thomas wondered.
“You and Minho get out,” she said, an urgency in her voice that Thomas didn’t understand. They were
safe now. Weren’t they? “I have to do one last thing.”
Minho had gotten to his feet, and he came over to help Thomas stand. “My shuck brain can’t spend one
more second thinking. Just let her do whatever she wants. Come on.”
“Good that,” Thomas said. The two of them then looked at each other for a long moment, catching their
breath, somehow reliving in those few seconds all the things they’d gone through, all the death, all the
pain. And mixed in there was relief, that maybe—just maybe—it was all over.
But mostly Thomas felt the pain of loss. Watching Teresa die—to save his life—had been almost too
much to bear. Now, staring at the person who’d become his true best friend, he had to fight back the tears.
In that moment, he swore to never tell Minho about what he’d done to Newt.
“Good that for sure, shuck-face,” Minho finally replied. But his trademark smirk was missing. Instead
was a look that said to Thomas he understood. And that they’d both carry the sorrow of their loss for the
rest of their lives. Then he turned and walked away.
After a long moment, Thomas followed him.
When he set foot outside, he had to stop and stare. They’d come to a place he’d been told didn’t exist
anymore. Lush and green and full of vibrant life. He stood at the top of a hill above a field of tall grass
and wildflowers. The two hundred or so people they’d rescued wandered the area, some of them actually
running and jumping. To his right the hill descended into a valley of towering trees that seemed to
stretched for miles, ending in a wall of rocky mountains that jutted toward the cloudless blue sky. To his
left, the grassy field slowly became scrub brush and then sand. And then the ocean, its waves big and dark
and white-tipped as they crashed onto a beach.
Paradise. They’d come to paradise. He could only hope that one day his heart would feel the joy of the
He heard the door of the shed close then the whoosh of fire behind him. He turned to see Brenda; she
gently pushed him a few steps farther away from the structure, which was already engulfed in flames.
“Just making sure?” he asked.
“Just making sure,” she repeated, and gave him a smile so sincere that he relaxed a little, feeling the
tiniest bit comforted. “I’m … sorry about Teresa.”
“Thanks.” It was the only word he could find.
She didn’t say anything else, and Thomas figured there wasn’t much she needed to. They walked over
and joined the group of people who’d fought the last battle with Janson and the others, everyone scraped
and bruised from top to bottom. He met Frypan’s eyes just like he had Minho’s. Then they all faced the
shed and watched as it burned to the ground.
A few hours later, Thomas sat atop a cliff overlooking the ocean, his feet dangling over the edge. The sun
had almost dipped below the horizon, which appeared to be glowing with flames. It was one of the most
amazing sights he’d ever witnessed.
Minho had already started taking charge down below in the forest where they’d decided to live—
organizing food search parties, a building committee, a security detail. Thomas was glad of it, not wanting
another ounce of responsibility to ever rest on his shoulders again. He was tired, body and soul. He hoped
that wherever they were, they’d be isolated and safe while the rest of the world figured out how to deal
with the Flare, cure or no cure. He knew the process would be long and hard and ugly, and he was one
hundred percent positive that he wanted no part of it.
He was done.
“Hey, there.”
Thomas turned to see Brenda. “Hey, there, back. Wanna sit?”
“Why, yes, thank you.” She plopped down next to him. “Reminds me of the sunsets at WICKED, though
they never seemed quite so bright.”
“You could say that about a lot of things.” He felt another tremor of emotion as he saw the faces of
Chuck and Newt and Teresa in his mind’s eye.
A few minutes went by in silence as they stared at the vanishing light of day, the sky and water going
from orange to pink to purple, then dark blue.
“What’re you thinking in that head of yours?” Brenda asked.
“Absolutely nothing. I’m done thinking for a while.” And he meant it. For the first time in his life, he
was both free and safe, as costly as the accomplishment had been.
Then Thomas did the only thing he could think of. He reached out and took Brenda’s hand.
She squeezed his in response. “There are over two hundred of us and we’re all immune. It’ll be a good
Thomas looked over at her, suspicious at how sure she sounded—like she knew something he didn’t.
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
She leaned forward and kissed him on the cheek, then the lips. “Nothing. Nothing at all.”
Thomas put it all out of his mind and pulled her closer as the last wink of the sun’s light vanished
below the horizon.

The Death Cure - Chapter 72

Somehow Thomas kept his balance, despite the entire room quaking from the closest series of explosions
yet. Most of the racks collapsed, and objects were launched across the room. He dodged a jagged chunk
of wood, then jumped over a round piece of machinery that spun past him.
Gally, who was at Thomas’s side, tripped and fell; Thomas helped him up. They continued charging.
Brenda slipped but caught her balance.
They crashed into the others like the first line of soldiers in an ancient foot battle. Thomas met the Rat
Man himself, who was at least half a foot taller than him, wielding his blade; it came down in an arc
toward Thomas’s shoulder, but Thomas thrust upward with his stiff cable and connected with the man’s
armpit. Janson screamed and dropped his weapon as a stream of blood gushed from the wound; he
clamped his other hand over it and backed away, glaring at Thomas with hate-filled eyes.
To his right and left, everyone was fighting. Thomas’s head was full of the sounds of metal against
metal, screams and shouts and grunts. Some had matched up two-on-one; Minho ended up fighting a
woman who seemed twice as strong as any of the men. Brenda was on the ground, wrestling a skinny man,
trying to knock a machete out of his hand. Thomas saw all this with a quick glance but then returned his
attention to his own foe.
“I don’t care if I bleed to death,” Janson said with a grimace. “As long as I die after I get you back up
Another explosion jolted the floor beneath him and Thomas stumbled forward, dropping his scavenged
weapon and slamming into Janson’s chest. They both crashed to the ground, and Thomas struggled to push
off the man with one hand while swinging as hard as he could with the other. He smashed Janson’s left
cheek with his balled fist and watched as the Rat Man’s head snapped to the side, blood spraying from his
mouth. Thomas reached back to swing again, but the man arched his body violently, throwing him off; he
landed on his back.
Before he could move Janson had jumped on top of him and gotten his legs wrapped around his torso,
pinning Thomas’s arms with his knees. Thomas squirmed to get loose as the man rained down blows with
his fists, punching Thomas’s unprotected face over and over. Pain flooded him. Then adrenaline surged
through his body. He wouldn’t die here. He pushed his feet against the floor and thrust his stomach toward
the ceiling.
He only rose a few inches off the ground, but it was enough to free his arms from the man’s knees. He
blocked the next punch with both of his forearms, then threw both fists up and at Janson’s face, connected.
The Rat Man lost his balance; Thomas pushed him off, then kicked him by coiling both legs and slamming
the bottoms of his feet into Janson’s side, then again, and again, and again. The man’s body inched away
with each kick. But when Thomas next pulled back with his legs, Janson suddenly flipped around and
came at him, grabbing Thomas’s feet and throwing them to the side. Then he jumped on top of Thomas yet
Thomas went nuts; kicking and punching and squirming to get out from under the man. They rolled, each
gaining the advantage for only a split second before toppling over again. Fists flew and feet kicked
—bullets of pain riddled Thomas’s body; Janson clawed and bit. They continued to roll, beating each
other nearly senseless.
Thomas finally got a good angle to slam his elbow into Janson’s nose; it stunned the man, and both of
his hands flew to his face. A burst of energy shot through Thomas; he jumped on top of Janson and put his
fingers around the man’s neck, began to squeeze. Janson kicked out, flailed his arms, but Thomas held on
with feral rage, clutching, leaning forward with all his weight to crush as he constricted his hands tighter
and tighter. He felt things snapping and pulling and breaking. Janson’s eyes bulged; his tongue jutted from
his mouth.
Someone swatted him on the head with an open palm; he could tell words were being spoken to him but
he didn’t hear them. Minho’s face appeared in front of his. He was yelling something. A bloodlust had
completely taken Thomas over. He wiped his eyes on his sleeve, focused again on Janson’s face. The man
was long gone, still and pale and battered. Thomas looked back at Minho.
“He’s dead!” his friend was yelling. “He’s dead!”
Thomas forced himself to let go, stumbled off of the man, felt Minho lifting him to his feet.
“We put them all out of commission!” Minho shouted in his ear. “We need to go!”
Two explosions rocked both sides of the storage room at the same time and the walls themselves
collapsed inward, throwing chunks of brick and cement in all directions. Debris rained down on Thomas
and Minho. Dust clouded the air and shadowy figures surrounded Thomas, swaying and falling and getting
back up again. Thomas was on his feet, moving, heading in the direction of the maintenance room.
Pieces of the ceiling fell, crashing and exploding. The sounds were awful, deafening. The ground shook
violently; bombs continued to detonate over and over, seemingly everywhere at once. Thomas fell; Minho
jerked him to his feet. A few seconds later Minho fell; Thomas yanked and dragged until they were both
running again. Brenda suddenly appeared in front of Thomas, terror in her eyes. He thought he saw Teresa
nearby as well, all of them struggling to keep their balance as they moved forward.
A splintering, shattering noise split the air so loudly that Thomas looked back. His eyes drifted upward,
where a massive section of the ceiling had torn loose. He watched, hypnotized, as it fell toward him.
Teresa appeared in the corner of his vision, her image barely discernible through the clogged air. Her
body slammed into his, shoving him toward the maintenance room. His mind emptied as he stumbled
backward and fell, just as the huge piece of the building landed on top of Teresa, pinning her body; only
her head and an arm jutted out from under its girth.
“Teresa!” Thomas screamed, an unearthly sound that somehow rose above everything else. He
scrambled toward her. Blood streaked her face, and her arm looked crushed.
He shouted her name again, and in his mind he saw Chuck, falling to the ground, covered in blood, and
Newt’s bulging eyes. Three of the closest friends he’d ever had. And WICKED had taken them all away
from him.
“I’m so sorry,” he whispered to her, knowing she couldn’t hear. “I’m so sorry.”
Her mouth moved, working to speak, and he leaned in to make out what she was trying to say.
“Me … too,” she whispered. “I only ever … cared for …”
And then Thomas was being dragged to his feet, yanked away from her. He didn’t have the energy or
will to fight it. She was gone. His body ached with pain; his heart stung. Brenda and Minho pulled him up,
got his feet under him. The three of them lurched forward, pushed ahead. A fire had started burning in a
gaping hole left by an explosion—smoke billowed and churned with the thick dust. Thomas coughed but
only heard roaring in his ears.
Another resounding boom shattered the air; Thomas turned his head as he ran to see the back wall of the
storage room exploding, falling to the ground in pieces, flames licking through the open spaces. The
remainder of the ceiling above it began to collapse, any support now gone. Every last inch of the building
was coming down once and for all.
They reached the door to the maintenance room, squeezed inside just in time to see Gally disappear
through the Flat Trans. Everyone else was already gone. Thomas stumbled with his friends across the
short aisle between the tables. In seconds they’d be dead. The sounds of things crashing and crumbling
behind Thomas grew impossibly louder, cracks and creaks and squeals of metal and the hollow roar of
flames. All of it rose to an unimaginable pitch; Thomas refused to look, though he sensed it all coming
down, as if it were just feet away, its leading edge breathing against his neck. He pushed Brenda through
the Trans. The world was collapsing around him and Minho.
Together, they jumped into the icy gray wall.

The Death Cure - Chapter 71

At least two hundred people had made it out of the Maze, but for some reason they’d stopped moving.
Thomas dodged people in the crowded hallway, struggling to get to the front.
He weaved around men, women and children until finally he spotted Brenda. She pushed her way
toward him and pulled him into a hug and kissed his cheek. With every bit of his heart, he wished it could
all be over right then—that they could be safe, not have to go any farther.
“Minho made me leave,” she said. “He forced me to go, promised to help if you needed it. He told me
that getting everyone out was too important and you guys could handle the Griever. I should’ve stayed. I’m
“I told him to,” Thomas responded. “You did the right thing. The only thing. We’ll be out of here soon.”
She gave him a little push. “Then let’s hurry and make it happen.”
“Okay.” He squeezed her hand and they joined Teresa, moving toward the front of the group again.
The hallway was even darker than before—the lights that worked at all were dim, and flickered off and
on. The people they passed huddled in silence, waiting anxiously. Thomas saw Frypan, who said nothing
but did his best to give an encouraging smile, which, as usual, looked more like a smirk. In the distance,
the occasional boom thundered through the air and the building trembled. The explosions still felt far
enough away, but Thomas knew it wouldn’t last.
When he and Brenda reached the front of the line, they found that the group had stopped at a stairwell,
unsure whether to go up or down.
“We need to go up,” Brenda said.
Thomas didn’t hesitate. He motioned for the group to follow and started climbing, Brenda at his side.
He refused to succumb to the fatigue. Four flights, five, six. He stopped on the landing, catching his
breath, and looked down, saw that the others were coming. Brenda guided him through a doorway, down
another long hallway, left and then right, up another flight of stairs. One more hall and then down some
stairs. One foot in front of the other. Thomas just hoped that the chancellor had been honest about the Flat
An explosion sounded somewhere above him, jolting the entire building and throwing him to the floor.
Dust choked the air, and small pieces of the ceiling tiles landed on his back. Sounds of things creaking
and breaking filled the air. Finally, after several seconds of shaking, everything grew quiet and still again.
He reached out for Brenda, made sure she wasn’t hurt.
“Everybody okay?” he shouted down the hallway.
“Yeah!” someone called back.
“Keep moving! We’re almost there!” He helped Brenda to her feet and they continued, Thomas praying
the building would stay in one piece just a little while longer.
Thomas, Brenda, and those following them finally made it to the section of the building the chancellor had
circled on the map—the maintenance room. Several more bombs had detonated, each one closer than the
one before it. But nothing strong enough to stop them, and now they were practically there.
The maintenance room was situated behind a huge warehouse area. Neat rows of metal racks full of
boxes lined the right wall, and Thomas crossed to that side of the room, then began waving everybody in.
He wanted everyone together before they went through the Flat Trans. There was one door at the back of
the space—it had to lead to the room they’d been looking for.
“Keep them coming and get them ready,” he told Brenda; then he sprinted for the door. If Chancellor
Paige had lied about the Flat Trans, or if someone from WICKED or the Right Arm figured out what they
were doing, they were finished.
The door led to a small room filled with tables that were littered with tools and scraps of metal and
machine parts. On the far side, a large piece of canvas had been hung against the wall. Thomas ran to it
and ripped it down. Behind it he found a dully shimmering wall of gray framed by a rectangle of shiny
silver, and next to it, a control box.
It was the Flat Trans.
The chancellor had told the truth.
Thomas let out a laugh at the thought. WICKED—the leader of WICKED—had helped him.
Unless … He realized he needed to know one last thing. He had to test it to see where it led before he
sent everyone through. Thomas sucked in a deep breath. This was it.
He forced himself to step through the icy Flat Trans surface. And he came out into a simple wooden
shed, its door wide open in front of him. Beyond that he saw … green. Lots and lots of green. Grass,
trees, flowers, bushes. It was good enough for him.
He stepped back through to the maintenance room, exhilarated. They’d done it—they were almost safe.
He ran out to the storage area.
“Come on!” he yelled. “Get everyone in here—it works! Hurry!”
An explosion rattled the walls and the metal racks. Dust and debris rained down from the ceiling.
“Hurry!” he repeated.
Teresa already had people running, shepherding them Thomas’s way. He stood just inside the door of
the maintenance room, and when the first person crossed the threshold he took the woman by the arm and
led her to the gray wall of the Flat Trans.
“You know what this is, right?” he asked her.
She nodded, bravely trying to hide her eagerness to get through the thing and out of there. “I’ve been
around the block a few times, kid.”
“Can I trust you to stand here and make sure everyone goes through?”
She blanched at first, but then she nodded.
“Don’t worry,” Thomas assured her. “Just stay here as long as you can.”
As soon as she agreed he ran back to the door.
Others had packed the small room, and Thomas stepped back. “It’s right through there. Make space on
the other side!”
He squeezed his way past the knot of people and back into the warehouse. Everyone had lined up and
was filing into the maintenance room. And standing at the back of the crowd were Minho, Brenda, Jorge,
Teresa, Aris, Frypan and a few members of Group B. Gally was there, too. Thomas weaved his way to
his friends.
“They better be quick about it up there,” Minho said. “The explosions are getting closer and closer.”
“The whole place is gonna fall down,” Gally added.
Thomas scanned the ceiling as if he expected it to happen right that second. “I know. I told them to
hurry. We’ll all be out of here in a—”
“Well, what do we have here?” a voice shouted from the back of the room.
A few gasps sounded around Thomas as he turned to see who’d spoken. The Rat Man had just come
through the door from the outside hallway, and he wasn’t alone. He was surrounded by WICKED security
guards. Thomas counted seven total, which meant that he and his friends still had the advantage.
Janson stopped and cupped his hands to shout over the rumble of another explosion. “Strange place to
hide out when everything’s about to come down!” Pieces of metal fell from the ceiling, clattering to the
“You know what’s here!” Thomas shouted back. “It’s too late—we’re already going!”
Janson pulled out the same long knife he had outside and flashed it. And as if on cue, the others
revealed similar weapons.
“But we can salvage a few,” Janson said. “And it looks like we have the strongest and brightest right
here in front of us. Even our Final Candidate, no less! The one we need most, yet who refuses to
Thomas and his friends had spread out in a line between the dwindling crowd of prisoners and the
guards. The others in Thomas’s group were searching the floor for anything they could find to use as a
weapon—pipes, long screws, the jagged edge of a metal grid. Thomas spotted a warped piece of thick
cabling that ended in a spike of rigid wires, as deadly-looking as a spear. He grabbed it just as another
explosion rocked the room, sending a huge section of the metal shelving crashing to the floor
“I’ve never seen such a menacing bunch of thugs!” the Rat Man yelled, but his face was crazed, his
mouth contorted into a wild sneer. “I have to admit I’m terrified!”
“Just shut your shuck mouth and let’s get this over with!” Minho shouted back at him.
Janson focused his cold, mad gaze on the teenagers facing him.
“Gladly,” he said.
Thomas ached to lash out for all the fear and pain and suffering that had defined his life for so long.
“Go!” he shouted.
The two groups charged each other, their yells of battle drowned out by the sudden concussion of
detonating explosives that shook the building around them.

The Death Cure - Chapter 70

“Listen to me!” Teresa screamed. She grabbed him by the shoulders and turned him around to look him in
the face. “On the tail end of the Grievers”—she pointed at the closest pod—“what the Creators called the
barrel—inside the blubber, there’s a switch, like a handle. You have to reach through the skin and pull it
out. If you can do it, the things will die.”
Thomas nodded. “Okay. You keep people going!”
The tops of the pods continued to open as Thomas sprinted to the closest one. The lid was halfway up
when he reached it, and he strained to look inside. The Griever’s huge, sluglike body was trembling and
twisting, sucking up moisture and fuel from tubes connected to its sides.
Thomas ran to its far end and pulled himself up on the lip of the container, then stretched over and
leaned down to the Griever inside. He slammed his hand through the moist skin to find what Teresa had
described. He grunted with the effort, pushed until he found a hard handle, then yanked on it with all his
strength. The whole thing tore loose and the Griever fell into a limp mass of jelly at the bottom of the pod.
He threw the handle to the floor and ran to the next pod, where the lid was lowering to the ground. It
took him only a few seconds to pull himself up and over the side, bury his hand in the fatty flesh and yank
out the handle.
As he ran to the next pod, Thomas risked a quick glance up at Teresa. She was still helping people
from the floor after they slid down the chute and sending them through the doors. They were coming fast,
landing on top of each other. Sonya was there, then Frypan, then Gally. Minho came flying through even as
he watched. Thomas reached the pod, the lid now completely open, the tubes connecting the Griever to the
container detaching themselves one by one. He pulled himself up and over, slammed his hand into the
thing’s skin and ripped out the handle.
Thomas dropped to the ground and turned to the fourth pod, but the Griever was moving, its front end
slipping up and over the edge of the open pod, appendages bursting out of the skin to help it maneuver.
Thomas barely reached it in time, jumped up and heaved himself over the side of the pod. He pushed his
hand inside the blubbery skin, grabbed the handle. A pair of scissoring blades swiped at his head; he
ducked as he wrenched the piece out of the creature’s body and it died, its mass pulling it back into the
coffinlike container.
Thomas knew it was too late to stop the last Griever before it exited its pod. He turned to assess the
situation and watched as its full body sloshed out onto the ground. It was already scanning the area with a
small observer socket that extended from its front; then, as he’d seen them do so many times before, the
thing curled up into a ball and spikes burst from the skin. The creature spun forward with a great whirring
of the machines within its belly. Concrete kicked up in the air, the Griever’s spikes tearing through the
flooring, and Thomas watched, helpless, as it crashed into a small group of people who’d come through
the chute. Blades extended, it sliced through several people before they even knew what was happening.
Thomas looked around, searching for anything he could use as a weapon. A piece of pipe about the
length of his arm had broken off from something in the ceiling—he ran to it and picked it up. When he
turned back toward the Griever, he saw that Minho had already made it to the creature. He was kicking at
it with a fierceness that was almost frightening.
Thomas charged the monster, yelling at the others to get away. The Griever spun toward him as if he’d
heard the command, and it reared up on its bulbous back end. Two appendages emerged from the
creature’s sides and Thomas skidded to a halt—a new metal arm buzzed with a spinning saw, the other
with a nasty-looking claw, its four tips ending in blades.
“Minho, just let me distract it!” he yelled. “Get everyone out of here and have Brenda start leading
them to the maintenance room!”
Even as he said it, he watched a man trying to crawl out of the Griever’s way. Before the man could get
a few feet from it, a rod shot out of the creature and stabbed him in the chest, and he collapsed to the
floor, spitting blood.
Thomas ran in, raising his pipe, ready to beat his way past the appendages, find his way to the handle.
He’d almost made it when Teresa suddenly flashed in from his right, throwing her body onto the Griever.
It immediately collapsed into a ball, all its metal arms retracting to press her to its skin.
“Teresa!” Thomas screamed, pulling up short, not sure what to do.
She twisted around to look at him. “Just go! Get them out!” She started kicking and clawing, her hands
disappearing in the fatty flesh. So far she appeared to have escaped major injury.
Thomas inched in closer, gripping the pipe tighter, looking for an opening to attack without hitting her
Teresa’s eyes found him again. “Get out of—”
But her words were lost. The Griever had sucked her face into its blubbery skin and was pulling her
farther and farther in, suffocating her.
Thomas stared, frozen. Too many people had died. Too many. And he wasn’t going to stand there and
let her sacrifice herself to save him and the others. He couldn’t let that happen.
He screamed, and with all of the force he had, he ran and leaped into the air, smashing into the Griever.
The spinning saw flew toward his chest and he dodged to the left, swinging the pipe around as he did. It
connected, hard, and the saw broke off, flew through the air. Thomas heard it hit the ground and clatter
across the room. He used his balance to swing back, driving the pipe into the creature’s body, just to the
side of Teresa’s head. He strained with all he had to pull it back out, then drove it in again, then again.
An appendage with a claw clamped down on him, lifted him into the air and threw him. He slammed
onto the hard cement floor and rolled, jumped back to his feet. Teresa had gained some leverage on the
creature’s body, had gotten to her knees, was swatting at the Griever’s metal arms. Thomas charged in
again, jumped and clung to its fatty flesh. He used the pipe to whack at anything that came near him.
Teresa fought and struggled from below and the creature lurched to the side, then spun in a circle, flinging
her at least ten feet through the air before she landed.
Thomas grabbed hold of a metal arm, kicking away the claw as it swiped at him again. He planted his
feet against the blubber, pushed himself down the creature’s side and stretched. He plunged his arm into
the flabby flesh, felt for the handle. Something sliced his back, and pain ripped through his body. He kept
digging, searching for the handle—the deeper he went, the more the creature’s flesh felt like thick mud.
Finally his fingertips brushed hard plastic and he forced his hand forward another inch, grabbed the
handle, pulled with all his strength and spun his body off of the Griever. He looked up to see Teresa
batting back a pair of blades just inches from her face. And then a sudden silence filled the room as the
creature’s machine core sputtered and died. It collapsed into a flat, oblong pile of fat and gears, its
protruding appendages falling to the ground, limp.
Thomas rested his head on the floor and sucked in huge lungfuls of air. And then Teresa was by his
side, helping him roll over onto his back. He saw the pain on her face, the scratches, the flushed, sweaty
skin. But then somehow she smiled.
“Thanks, Tom,” she said.
“You’re welcome.” The respite from the battle felt too good to be true.
She helped pull him to his feet. “Let’s get out of here.”
Thomas noticed that no one was coming through the chute anymore, and Minho had just ushered the last
few people through the double doors. Then he turned and faced Thomas and Teresa.
He bent over, hands on knees to catch his breath. “That’s all of them.” He stood straight with a groan.
“All that made it, anyway. Guess we know now why they let us in so easy—they planned to slice us to
bits with shuck Grievers if we came back out. Anyway, you guys need to push up to the front and help
Brenda lead the way.”
“She’s okay, then?” Thomas asked. The relief he felt was overwhelming.
“Yeah. She’s up there already.”
Thomas crawled to his feet, but didn’t take two steps before he stopped again. A deep rumble came
from somewhere, from everywhere. The room shook for a few seconds then stilled.
“We better hurry,” he said, and broke into a sprint, following the others.

The Death Cure - Chapter 69

The wounded screamed. Rumbles of thunder and the sound of rock fracturing combined to make a horrible
chorus as the ground beneath Thomas continued to shake. The Maze was falling apart around them—they
had to get out.
“Run!” he yelled at Sonya.
She didn’t hesitate—she turned and disappeared into the corridors of the Maze. The people who’d
been standing in her line didn’t need to be told to follow.
Thomas stumbled, regained his balance, ran over to Minho. “Bring up the rear! Teresa, Brenda and I
need to get to the head of the pack!”
Minho nodded and gave him a push to get him going. Thomas glanced back in time to see the
Homestead split down the middle like a cracked acorn, half of its slipshod structure collapsing to the
ground in a cloud of splintered wood and dust. His gaze swept to the Map Room, its concrete walls
already crumbling to pieces.
There was no time to spare. He searched the chaos until he found Teresa. He grabbed his old friend
and she followed him to the gap into the Maze. Brenda was there, trying her best with Jorge to facilitate
who would go next, to prevent everyone from going at once in a stampede that would surely kill half of
Another splintering crack sounded from above; Thomas looked up to see a section of wall falling
toward the ground by the fields. It exploded when it hit, luckily with no one underneath. With a sudden
jerk of horror he realized that the roof itself would eventually collapse.
“Go!” Brenda yelled at him. “I’m right behind you!”
Teresa grabbed his arm, yanked him forward, and the three of them ran past the jagged left edge of the
Door and into the Maze, weaving their way around the crowd of people heading in the same direction.
Thomas had to sprint to catch up with Sonya—he had no idea whether she’d been a Runner in Group B’s
Maze or whether she’d remember the layout as well as he did, if it was even the same.
The ground continued to tremble, and lurched with every distant explosion. People stumbled left and
right, fell, got back up, kept running. Thomas dodged and ducked as he ran, jumping over a fallen man at
one point. Rocks tumbled from the walls. He watched one hit a man in the head, knocking him to the
ground. People bent over his lifeless body, tried to lift him, but there was so much blood that Thomas
could tell it was already too late.
Thomas reached Sonya and ran past her, leading everyone turn after turn.
He knew they were getting close. He could only hope that the Maze had been the first place to get hit
and the rest of the compound was intact—that they’d still have time if they could just get out. The ground
suddenly jumped underneath him and an earsplitting crack pierced the air. He fell face-first, scrambled to
get up. A hundred feet or so in front of him, a section of the stone floor had shifted upward. As he
watched, half of it exploded, sending a rain of rocks and dust in all directions.
He didn’t stop. There was a narrow space between the protruding ground and the wall, and he ran
through it, Teresa and Brenda on his heels. But he knew the bottleneck would slow things down.
“Hurry!” he yelled over his shoulder. He slowed to watch and could see the desperation in everyone’s
Sonya exited the gap, then paused to help funnel the others through, grabbing hands, pulling and
pushing. It went faster than Thomas could’ve hoped, and he continued toward the Cliff at full speed.
Through the Maze he went, the world shaking, stone crumbling and falling all around them, people
screaming and crying. There was nothing he could do but lead the survivors onward. A left and then a
right. Another right. Then they were into the long corridor that ended at the Cliff. Beyond its edge, he
could see the gray ceiling end at the black walls, the round hole of the exit—and a large crack shooting up
and across the once-false sky.
He turned to Sonya and the others. “Hurry! Move!”
As they approached, Thomas got a full view of the terror. Faces white and twisted in fear, people
falling to the ground, getting back up. He saw a boy who couldn’t have been more than ten, half dragging a
lady until she finally got her feet underneath her. A boulder the size of a small car toppled from high off
the wall and struck an older man, throwing him several yards before he hit the ground and collapsed in a
heap. Thomas was horror-struck but kept running, all the while yelling encouragement to everyone around
Finally he reached the Cliff. The two boards were firmly in place, and Sonya gestured to Teresa to
cross the makeshift bridge and go through the old Griever hole. Then Brenda crossed with a line of
people trailing her.
Thomas waited on the edge of the Cliff, waving people on. It was agonizing work, almost unbearable,
to see the people so slowly making their way out of the Maze when the whole place seemed ready to
collapse on itself at any second. One by one they ran across the boards and dropped into the hole. Thomas
wondered if Teresa was sending them down the chute instead of the ladder to make it go more quickly.
“You go!” Sonya yelled to Thomas. “They need to know what to do once they’re down there.”
Thomas nodded, though he felt horrible for leaving—he’d done the same thing the first time he’d
escaped, abandoning the Gladers to fight while he’d punched in the code. But he knew she was right. He
took one last look at the quaking Maze—chunks of the ceiling torn loose and stone jutting from the ground
where it had once been smooth. He didn’t know how they’d all make it, and his heart ached for Minho,
Frypan, the others.
He squeezed into the flow of people and crossed the boards to the hole, then swerved away from the
crowd at the chute and ran to the ladder. He picked his way down the rungs as quickly as he could and
was relieved to see at the bottom that the damage hadn’t reached that section yet. Teresa was there,
helping people get up after they landed and telling them which direction to head.
“I’ll do this!” he yelled to her. “Get to the front of the pack!” He pointed through the double doors.
She was about to answer when she caught sight of something behind him. Her eyes widened in fear, and
Thomas spun around.
Several of the dusty Griever pods were opening, their top halves lifting upward on hinges like the lids
of coffins.

The Death Cure - Chapter 68

Minho led the way this time, his shoulders squared as he ran, every inch of him showing the pride he’d
felt for those two years when he’d ruled the corridors of the Maze. Thomas was right behind him, craning
his neck to see the walls of ivy majestically rising toward the gray ceiling. It was a strange feeling, being
back in there after everything they’d been through since their escape.
No one said much as they ran toward the Glade. Thomas wondered what Brenda and Jorge must think
of the Maze—he knew it had to seem enormous. A beetle blade could never translate size like this back to
the observation rooms. And he could only imagine all the bad memories crashing back into Gally’s brain.
They turned the final corner that led to the wide corridor outside the East Door of the Glade. When
Thomas came to the section of wall where he’d tied Alby up in the ivy, he looked at the spot, could see
the mangled mess of the vines. All that effort to save the former leader of the Gladers, only to see him die
a few days later, his mind never fully recovered from the Changing.
A surge of anger burned like liquid heat in Thomas’s veins.
They reached the huge gap in the walls that made up the East Door, and Thomas caught his breath and
slowed. There were hundreds of people milling about the Glade. He was horrified that there were even a
few babies and small children scattered among the crowd. It took a moment for the murmurs to spread
across the sea of Immunes, but within seconds every eye was trained on the new arrivals and utter silence
fell upon the Glade.
“Did you know there were this many?” Minho asked Thomas.
There were people everywhere—certainly more than the Gladers had ever numbered. But what stole
Thomas’s words was seeing the Glade itself again. The crooked building they called the Homestead; the
pathetic copse of trees; the Bloodhouse barn; the fields, now only hardened weeds. The charred Map
Room, its metal door blackened and still hanging ajar. He could even see the Slammer from where he
stood. A bubble of emotion threatened to burst inside him.
“Hey, daydreamer,” Minho said, snapping his fingers. “I asked you a question.”
“Huh? Oh … There’s so many—they make the place look smaller than it ever did when we were here.”
It didn’t take long before their friends spotted them. Frypan. Clint, the Med-jack. Sonya and some other
girls from Group B. They all came running, and there was a short burst of reunions and hugs.
Frypan swatted Thomas on the arm. “Can you believe they put me back in this place? They wouldn’t
even let me cook, just sent us a bunch of packaged food in the Box three times a day. Kitchen doesn’t even
work—no electricity, nothing.”
Thomas laughed, the anger easing. “You think you were a lousy cook for fifty guys? Try feeding this
“Funny man, Thomas. You are a funny man. I’m glad to see you.” Then his eyes got big. “Gally?
Gally’s here? Gally’s alive?”
“Nice to see you, too,” the boy responded dryly.
Thomas patted Frypan on the back. “Long story. He’s a good guy now.”
Gally scoffed but didn’t respond.
Minho stepped up to them. “All right, happy time is over. How in the world are we going to do this,
“Shouldn’t be too bad,” Thomas said. He actually hated the idea of trying to funnel all these people not
only through the Maze itself, but then all the way through the WICKED complex to the Flat Trans. Still, it
had to be done.
“Don’t feed me that klunk,” Minho said. “Your eyes don’t lie.”
Thomas smiled. “Well, we’ve certainly got a lot of people to fight with us.”
“Have you looked at these poor saps?” Minho asked, sounding disgusted. “Half of ’em are younger than
us, and the other half look like they haven’t so much as arm wrestled before, much less had a fistfight.”
“Sometimes numbers are all that matters,” Thomas responded.
He spotted Teresa and called her over, then found Brenda.
“What’s the plan?” Teresa asked.
If Teresa was really with them, this was when Thomas needed her—and all the memories she’d had
“Okay, let’s split them into groups,” he said to everyone. “There’s gotta be four or five hundred people,
so … groups of fifty. Then have one Glader or Group B person be in charge of them. Teresa, do you know
how to get to this maintenance room?”
He showed her the map and she nodded after examining it.
Thomas continued. “Then I’ll help move people along as you and Brenda lead the way. Everyone else
guide one of the groups. Except Minho, Jorge, and Gally. I think you guys should cover the rear.”
“Sounds good to me,” Minho said, shrugging. Impossibly, he looked bored.
“Whatever you say, muchacho,” Jorge added. Gally just nodded.
They spent the next twenty minutes dividing everyone into groups and getting them into long lines. They
paid special attention to keeping the groups even in terms of age and strength. The Immunes had no
problem following orders once they realized the new arrivals had come to help rescue them.
Once they were organized into groups, Thomas and his friends lined up in front of the East Door.
Thomas waved his hands to get everyone’s attention.
“Listen up!” Thomas began. “WICKED is planning to use you for science. Your bodies—your brains.
They’ve been studying people for years, collecting data to develop a cure for the Flare. Now they want to
use you as well, but you deserve more than a life as lab rats. You are—we all are—the future, and the
future isn’t going to happen the way WICKED wants it to. That’s why we’re here. To get you out of this
place. We’ll be going through a bunch of buildings to find a Flat Trans that’ll take us somewhere safe. If
we’re attacked, we’re going to have to fight. Stick with your groups, and the strongest need to do
whatever it takes to protect the—”
Thomas’s last words were cut off by a violent crack—like the sound of stone splintering. And then,
nothing. Only an echo bouncing off the enormous walls.
“What was that?” Minho yelled, searching the sky for the source.
Thomas inspected the Glade, the walls of the Maze rising up behind him, but nothing was out of place.
He was just about to speak when another crack sounded, then another. A thunderous din of rumbling
crossed the Glade, beginning low and increasing in depth and volume. The ground started to tremble, and
it seemed as if the world was going to fall apart.
People turned in circles, looking for the source of the noise, and Thomas could tell panic was
spreading. He’d lose control soon. The ground shook more violently; the sounds amplified—thunder and
grinding rock—and now screams erupted from the mass of people standing in front of him.
Suddenly it dawned on Thomas. “The explosives.”
“What?” Minho shouted at him.
Thomas looked at his friend. “The Right Arm!”
A deafening roar shook the Glade, and Thomas spun around to look up. A large portion of the wall to
the left of the East Door had broken loose, great chunks of stone flying everywhere. A huge section
seemed to hover at an impossible angle, and then it fell, toppling toward the ground.
Thomas didn’t have time to shout a warning before the massive piece of rock landed on a group of
people, crushing them as it broke in half. He stood for a moment, speechless as blood oozed out from the
edges and pooled on the stone floor.