So Thomas, Newt, and Minho are being marched away from Rat Man and the other Gladers by armed guards. Nothing says, "you're not prisoners here" quite the way that armed guards do. Anyway. They are shown to a room with bunk beds, a kitchenette, and a few other things. There's even food in the kitchenette. This place is a huge step up from the captivity the boys have experienced in the past. Thomas freaks because it wasn't that long ago that he was trapped in a room all by himself.
The boys get down to discussing their failed escape plan. They talk about Brenda for a bit. Newt and Minho say that she can't be trusted and she's just another WICKED stooge. Thomas disagrees (because of course he does). He thinks that she is really on their side he tells the others about what Brenda told him when she
|Seriously, don't doubt how fucked up WICKED really is.|
The boys fall asleep. Thomas dreams about his past. He has dreams about his mother, his father being diagnosed with the Flare, and his being recruited by WICKED. They are then woken up by loud knocking at their door. It's Rat Man, because of course it is. And he's brought five armed guards with him. He tells the boys that they are going to be given their memories back, whether they like it or not.
|Seriously Rat Man, stop being a dick.|
As you can probably assume, this didn't go over so well. Newt is the first to react, saying, "Like hell you are." You tell, 'em, Newt. Then something strange happens. Minho jumps out of his bed and goes along with it. He tells the others that there is no reason to resist, that Rat Man is right. He marches past the guards and into the hallway. Thomas figures out that this is just Minho buying them time for their escape and goes along with it. He gives Newt a sly wink to let him know that the fix is in, and they join Minho in the hall.
Rat Man leads the boys down a hallway. He narrates the entire journey because he's an obnoxious dick. When they reach their destination, Thomas asks about the other Gladers. Rat Man refers to them as 'subjects' and Newt comes unglued. He slams Rat Man against a wall and yells at him to never do it again or he'll break Rat Man's neck. This is hugely out of character for Newt, who is normally very level headed and calm. He didn't have a huge role in the last book simply because he is so relaxed and calm all the time.
This is the point where the boys decide to make their escape. They start by attacking the guards and they do pretty well for all of 30 seconds. Their rebellion is easily quelled by the guards. Rat Man basically tells them they are disappointments because they keep trying to rebel. Thomas then confronts Rat Man about what was done to him as a child. It's a very important moment, so I'll include it in it's entirety just below.
|Let me know if these are too small to read.|
They quickly run to find Newt and Minho. They are in a room with the remaining guards and Rat Man. Thomas and Brenda burst in and disable the guards. Thomas tells Rat Man to get on his knees and give him his key card. Rat Man obliges, but is sassy about it, so Thomas shoots him with the Launcher. Everyone is satisfied by watching him writhe in pain. I think this book is turning me into a sociopath.
|Fucking nailed it!|
Jorge was a trick by WICKED. But, I digress.
They boys and Brenda set off to find the other Gladers and Group B. They hear other guards coming, so they come up with an excellent strategy to fight them off. They hide behind a doorway and attack as they enter. It's a great plan that totally works. They even take a hostage, a female guard. She tells them that there are about 50 guards on duty and that there is something else going on besides their escape. There is some other happening that has required most of the other guards to be sent to a different location, but she doesn't know exactly what it is. It is at this point that Newt notices that they are being watched by a beetle blade, like the ones from the Glade.
Brenda then leads the boys and the prisoner through the hallways, trying to get to the hanger. They run down halls and take corners without slowing. The whole thing is entirely reminiscent of the Maze. They get to a set of double doors, which everyone assumes has guards on the other side. They position themselves to defend against the guards. Just as Minho is about to make the prisoner swipe her key card and open the doors, the lights go out and an alarm sounds. The prisoner then runs off. They open the door with Rat Man's key card and find that there is no one behind it.
They continue down another hallway to find the weapon's depot. It is completely unguarded. At this point, they know that they are being set up. They know that this is just another element in WICKED's plan for them. They walk into the depot and Newt discovers that some of the weapons are missing. There are voids in the layer of dust that is covering everything. Minho asks what it means and Newt snaps at him, "Can't you figure out something for yourself for once, you bloody shank?" Minho responds with sarcasm and anger, as
|I can't deal with the possibility of Newt's death.|
Brenda redirects the conversation back to the task at hand. She points out that there is about a dozen Launchers missing and that they have all been taken within the last hour or so. She points out that the Launchers are heavy, so you can't carry another weapon with them. If the guards had taken them, they would have had to leave other weapons behind, but there are aren't any spare weapons there. The question is then, who took the weapons?
There is a bunch we could talk about from this section but I want to focus on one thing. I promise it's not knowledge and darkness and how they relate to each other. I want to talk to you about Newt. Tragically, I have told you very little about Newt. We only skimmed the first book together (he's a very important part of that) and he didn't have a very large role in the second. Newt was one of the leaders of the Gladers when they were back in the Maze. That has carried over through the Scorch. Newt became a leader because he is generally very calm and rational. He is one of the only characters who thinks things through before doing anything. That is why Newt having the Flare is so damaging. He's such a wise character and the prospect of watching his slowly lose his sanity is heartbreaking. In this section, we are already seeing the cracks in Newt. He's already growing increasingly angry and lashing out. Having to watch Newt become one of those Cranks from the Scorch isn't going to be fun for anyone.
Until next time, happy reading.