Thomas and the others had been on the road for days now. Their objective?
Bring him home.
Let him rest. Thomas would silently pray to nothingness, it was the most conflicting news to hear that Newt was alive… Alive, and perhaps already in WCKED’s possession. Newt, shucking, Newt. The most deserving boy of a storybook ending. When the hell would the world give him that? Thomas remembers, he remembers watching his best friend fall from the walls of the ivy, being careful not to make a noise as gravity let him be enveloped by his own sadness. He remembered the confusion, anger, and horror that instantly flooded his ears. He did this to him. He made the maze.
Newt was there, always. There wasn’t ever a doubt in his mind that Newt wouldn’t be by his side until the end. Then again, a single phrase echoed hauntingly throughout his mind.
Who was there for Newt?
Thomas groaned hatefully at the words, pushing them to the back of his mind for the time being. Minho noticed Thomas’s grimace and turned to face the man from the passenger’s seat.” Hey, shank,”
“ Sorry. Just thinking.”
“ Aren’t we all…” The man muttered, his voice trailing in a regretful sense. Thomas knew Minho was rocking in the same boat as him, he and Newt were close, they were brothers. When Newt— stabbed himself, they thought he was gone. He remembered Minho saying he begged to let him carry his body back to the ship, let him have a proper burial, but with every second uncertainly ticking as if it was their last, they had to leave him. He hasn’t been the same cocky runner that he saw in the glade since. Newt was his rock, they went everywhere together, they’ve known each other for several years.
And so, anyone would understand the shock when Thomas told him that Newt was alive.
Minho’s face was frozen with a furious surprise, making Thomas hesitantly start.” Minh-“ the man struck him with a fiery agility, sending Thomas to falter, rear hitting the floor.” You’re— you’re sick, Thomas. You can’t actually shucking believe some— murderous bitch, who’s trying to get in your head! We both saw him! Not only did he have the flare, but he stabbed himself.” He shuddered, face reading a mind that flashed back to something traumatic.” Just… Thomas, I know, things aren’t going to be the same. But…” To Thomas’s own horror, he watched as a few stray tears slithered their way down Minho’s olive complexion.
“ Minho… I wouldn’t lie to you about this.” Slowly, the man rose off the ground, making a nearby Brenda clutch onto Gally’s flexed arm.” Ava is a liar on most things, but not this…” The boy then showed the man a static video of Janson speaking into a monitor.” Subject A5, is alive.”
Minho’s eyes nearly shot out of his skull, accompanied by a disbelieving shake of the head by Gally.
“ Despite fatal injuries, he is still determined to make it to this “Paradise” the right arm had been preaching obnoxiously about… shame, thought he’d be smarter than that. Nonetheless, something has triggered not entirely a stop, but a slow in the virus inside him.” The screen then showed a blurry image of a familiar mop of blond hair, making the group collectively tear up at the sight.” I’ve sent out what remains of my team to find him. We will get the cure…” An exhausted sigh left the man, making him lean into the light, unveiling a trail of veins that branched throughout his face.” Even if I have to tear it out of him barehanded.” The violent conclusion strengthened its emphasis even further with an abrupt black screen.
“ No shucking way…”
“ Minho, we have to find him.”
“ Oh we’re finding him.” He declared with a shaky exhale.” And we’re going to bring him home .” Thomas’s eyes sharpened with determination. Brenda grinned as she started off in an opposing direction.” I’ll ready the fishing boat.” Gally stared at Thomas with conflict brining within his blue hues.” Well, where to, Greenie?” At that Thomas’s face faltered to something more unsure than anything.
“ The latest transmission involving your friend is by a man named Markus. He lives in the Scorch, has a cozy operation there.” The voice of Ava Paige made Thomas glared at the ground.” Right, we’re supposed to believe the crazy lady—“
“ Jorge, you have your Scorch Jeep parked next to the bay, right?”
“ Hermano… you’re not thinking—“ The expression Thomas have made the man surrender an exhausted sigh.” Yes. I do.” Gally shook his head.” No. I won’t believe her.”
“ You don’t have to. I’ll go alone, but I’m getting Newt back—“
“ Thomas!” Minho spoke, pulling him back with a hand to the shoulder.” we’re all with you. If you really think this is the right call, then… we’ll follow you.”
‘And from that moment you ran into the maze, I knew I would follow you anywhere.’
“ We will.” Minho repeated.
‘And I have.’
Thomas must’ve read that note at least a few hundred times since he found it. That was a little under a month ago. The genuine truth behind it made it difficult to forget. Those words burned into the redness of his eyes, every thought of it become a reverb of a familiar accented voice, and intoxicating laugh. Something that he could feel loved and safe knowing he had a memory of the boy before he descended into a frenzied state of madness. But… even then, he wanted more.
He wanted Newt .
“ Thomas. Stop spacing out, you’re freaking me out dude.” His eyes shot open with an apologetic expression.” I’m sorry. Brenda, how close are we to Markus’s place?”
“ Pulling… up.” She muttered that last part rather small. Thomas and Minho both turned their heads at the soft words. Vince cocked his gun, ready for a fight. The marketplace they passed through on their way to the Right Arm, now desolated, flames and smoke erupting from the forgotten sanctuary for both cranks and immunes alike.
Thomas shot out of the car, with Jorge calling after him from behind. At his right, a fearful Minho came second.” Thomas, you don’t think—“
“ No. no.” He spoke with a hasty shake of his head. He’s made it this far, he couldn’t have gotten himself caught now. He’s Newt. ” Thomas tried a chuckle, making Minho smirk nervously.” Right. The dude’s more stubborn than me.” A soft groan made both Minho and Thomas cock their weapons ready. Barrel’s fixated on a man lying flat on his stomach. A WCKED soldier, who seemingly had a pretty messed up knee, considering the odd angle it was shaped with.
A walkie hissed beneath the man’s belt, the Amber’s that cackled endlessly around it battling for a voice. Thomas hastily pulled the walkie to the fallen soldier’s face. Minho pointed a gun at the man as Thomas started to speak intimidatingly.” You’re going to ask them where subject A5 went, or I’ll let my friend here send a bullet through your skull.” He growled, making the man visibly gulp. Thomas hesitantly clicked the communications line, ampting the man to speak.
“ Where’s subject… A5?”
“ Weren’t you the one who got run over by him? Reported him in? He took Markus’s truck and hauled ass to Vince’s refugee station. Don’t worry… we actually have him on sight.” Thomas’s eyes widened at that, giving an expression that told the soldier to continue questioning.
“ Really now… How close.”
“ Let’s just say? He’s going to wish he came with us the first time.” The walkie then made an alarming sound off, as if it was an explosive deep within the line. Minho let out an angry, shuddered groan in between his teeth, trying desperately not to get too vulnerable in front of the enemy.
“ Regris, you there?”
A flat line, only answered by static, which gave him all the answers he needed. The captain let out a pained hissed and fell back onto the gravel behind him. Thomas gave Minho a fearful expression.” We’ve got to get there Minho. We can’t let them take him…” The two started back to the car before the man let out a smug chuckle.” Your little buddy’ll be strung up like a puppet in a matter of hours. Once WCKED has him? There’s no returning. Even if you somehow miraculously manage to get him back, he will be a shell of the stubborn little prick we’ve been hunting. He won’t feel like he’s free, he’ll probably wish he was dead.” The words made Minho pounce, but Thomas held him back. Thomas thought back to the day he saw Newt fall.
And he spoke.
“ You’re wrong. We were once WCKED property. And look at where we are now, we’re… we’re a family. We have each other. We’re all survivors. Minho, he was captured by you, and… had to go through so much, but he’s back. And still as rebellious as ever.” Minho’s face showed subtle pride in the realization that he was still here.” Brenda,” the woman smiled brightly at her name being called.” You took her brother, and left her for dead with Jorge. They grew stronger together, and now? They are leaders of the Right Arm. Gally, he… used to…” Gally turned his head away in shame, bracing for what to come. Thomas noticed this and thought on his words.” Gally was used to the same system you forced on them. But, when he finally got out? He adapted, and freed himself from your manipulation.” From Thomas’s view, he could’ve swore he saw a tear trail down Gally’s cheek at the praise.” And that “stubborn prick” That’s Newt. He’s a survivor, and… shit, he’s a leader. There isn’t a single thing you could do to break any of our spirits, especially his. We’ve gotten this far.”
“ You can’t break us.”
The soldier’s eyes showed cold, making him slump defeated.” Right then… go fetch your boyfriend.” He growled loathingly, making Minho nudge Thomas to the car.” It’s not safe here… let’s go find Newt.”
Hang in there Newt… I promise, I haven’t forgotten you.
Newt’s eyes stared aimlessly at the never ending dunes and sand that stretched over the horizon beyond. The blood loss, dizziness, and everything in between was starting to make him think alarmingly dark things. But he kept on, because that’s what he knew best. Letting out a soft exhale, he tried to focus on the soft ambience of the glade parties at night. A shaky smile graced his lips at the familiar sound of Zart shouting nonsensical Glader-Slang, Chuck laughing carelessly, and Alby stepping between an argument between Gally and Minho.
He remembered Thomas.
The first night he came out of the box, the two hit it off instantly, Newt remembered the fact that they were both so comfortable in one another’s presence that Newt could’ve sworn they’d known each other for years.
“ I’ll get you there, Newt. I’ll get us all there.”
“ Yeah well, wherever “there” is…”
“ It sounds like a nice place, Tommy.”
The soft thump of a metal scrapping against a larger barrel made Newt’s eyes rocket to supernovas.
“ It’s real, Newt.”
The truck then came to a screeching halt, the front coming to a collision before the car roof itself met with the Earth below.
A soft chuckle left Newt’s lips.
Newt’s head met with the front board, an action that caused a world of white to consume his vision in a flash.
“ What, don’t believe me?”
The last thing he saw was a familiar pair of boots coming closer,” I told you, A5. No one survives the Scorch. Even you.”
“ Especially, you.”
“ No… I just, it’s a nice thought, yeah?”
“ I mean, I picture you, me, Frypan, Minho, all resonating on how far we’ve come… Honouring Chuck, Alby, Winston, and the others who helped us get this far… I… I want that reality.”
“ We’ll get that Newt.”
A helpless tear escaped his hope-deaf eyes, before they shut completely.
“ I sure hope so, Tommy… if not for me, for you.”