Sunday, August 17, 2014

Death Cure Part 8: The Search for Spock

And by Spock, I mean Newt. After all the discussion of Red Shirt last week, it was hard to resist the Star Trek reference. And, as you will soon see, it is dripping in relevance. Let's get started.

Chapters 33-39

In the beginning, the gang is wandering around the city, trying to get to Newt, who is still wiling away his time off screen doing God knows what. After a while of not being able to find a cab, they conclude that it's too late and dark to leave that night (why they didn't just take Red Shirt's car, I will never know). Plus, the city seems super murder-y with everyone having disappeared after the issue with the Crank in the coffee shop. They are walking back to their hotel when Jorge suddenly stops. He tells the others that he hears something behind them. It's like a whispering. Brenda then shouts and points off into the distance. She saw something moving. She thinks it was a person who came out from behind a building and then just back. Minho starts shouting at the person Brenda saw, to no avail. Nothing more happens and they all go back to the hotel. Foreshadowing is lovely, but obvious in this book. It's like, 'oh, gee. I wonder if that will be important later.' Subtly is a lost art.

In the morning, the gang gets up and heads out to find Newt on the Berg where they left him. They walk
What a fucking horror show.
through the city in an attempt to find a cab. Again, they totally should have stolen that car. Everything would be much easier. But anyway, they walk down this dark alley and see movement in an empty lot. After a while, they see that it's a man who seems to be digging in the dirt for something. They continue walking but turn back at the end of the alley, everyone curious as to what the man was doing. As if sensing their curiosity, the man looks directly at them. He is covered in blood. It's on his face, his hands, it's coming out of his mouth. He then returns to what he was doing. The gang, naturally terrified, runs for two blocks until they find a cab. Once in the cab, Minho says what they were all thinking - they just saw a Crank eating a person. He continues with, "I'm pretty sure that's not something you're supposed to see during a nice leisurely stroll through a quarantined city in the middle of the day. I believe Gally. I think this place is crawling with Cranks,
and soon the whole city's gonna start killing each other." Minho's usually pretty sarcastic, but when he's not, he's pretty fucking spot on. The way Minho is used as both comedic relief and the unwavering voice of reason is effective and heartbreaking. The fact that, of all people, sarcastic dick Minho is the one to say these terrifying things means that they are true because, if even Minho can't make a joke about it, it's pretty fucking serious.

Pretty soon and with no additional trouble, the gang arrives back at the airport where they left the Berg and thus, Newt. Jorge opens the cargo door to reveal: nothing. The Berg is empty and silent. Nothing is running and Newt is nowhere to be found. Minho runs off to find him. Thomas and Brenda begin to search as Jorge goes to get the Berg powered back up. Thomas finds Minho sitting on a couch with a note clutched in his hand. Minho is just staring at the note. He hands it to Thomas, who reads the note from Newt. He is gone. He was taken by others to go live with the other Cranks. He tells them that it's a good thing and thanks them for being his friends. He tells them goodbye. My heart shatters into a million tiny pieces.

Seriously, this is heartbreaking.
Minho tells the others in no uncertain terms that they are going to find Newt. No one puts up any fight. Brenda, of course, knows exactly where they have taken him. Brenda is super shady. She knows too much about everything. Or maybe I'm just too used to Thomas knowing jack shit. Anyway, they all head out to a place lovingly titled the Crank Palace. Every major city has one. It's a villiage/town type place where they stick all the Cranks before they have reached the Gone (completely lost their minds). The original intent was to give them some semblance of a normal life before they're toast. Mostly, it's been a massive failure. They quickly turned to violence and anarchy. Newer Cranks being surrounded by what they will eventually become turns out to be not such an awesome time. Who knew?

Newt comes first.
The gang head out there (it's not far from the city) in the Berg. They land just outside and are met by heavily armed guards. The guards as what they want and Jorge tells them the truth - "We're from WICKED, and one of our guys got captured and taken here by mistake. We'll be picking him up." The guards are unmoved. The gang describes Newt to the guards. They say they might have seen him, but demand payment to take the gang to him. Jorge says that they have money (which they are stealing from WICKED), so they are taken inside.

Surprise, surprise. The Crank Palace is terrifying. Everything is run down and filthy. At first, they don't really see any Cranks. One of the guards says that most of them are in the Central Zone (the innermost part of the Palace) and the rest are on the Bliss and shut inside their homes (which are more like shacks). The guards tell the gang that about half of the Immunes that work their have gone missing recently. Thomas assumes that it's because WICKED is really desperate to get more Trials started.

The guards take them near the Central Zone and leave them outside to go look for Newt. They come back a few minutes later, saying that they found him. They're super fidgety about it, but when pressed, one tells the gang that "He said - very pointedly, I might add - to tell you guys to get lost." Great. Hope is overrated anyway. Jesus, I say 'anyway' a lot. Sorry about that.

Minho decides he simply doesn't give a fuck and demands to be taken to Newt. Everyone backs him up on this. They tell the guards that they won't get paid until they take them to Newt. Naturally, being self-serving dicks, this works. They agree to take these kids into the Central Zone full of Cranks. Naturally, everything is more horrible then they could have imagines. There used to be shops everywhere, but they are closed and empty. Everything is run down, there are people everywhere. Those people are either high as balls or fighting each other in a particularly vicious fashion. Everything is just generally horrible. The guards tell the gang that Newt is in the bowling alley. The guards lead them through the city toward said alley. A woman grabs Thomas and says she wants to kiss him. She laughs manically while rubbing his chest. Everyone is suitably creeped the hell out and they keep moving toward the bowling alley.

Once there, the guards stay outside while the gang enters. The bowling lanes have all been torn up. There are people in sleeping bags everywhere sleeping or staring up the the ceiling. They are all on the Bliss. They find Newt sitting in the far lane, looking away from them. They approach him cautiously, stepping over people as they go. Newt suddenly speaks without turning around to look at them. "I told you bloody shanks to get lost!" he nearly shouts at them. Minho is the first to respond. "We need to talk to you." He tells Newt that he's sorry he got taken. He's sorry they had to leave him, but they're going to break him out. Newt tells him to not come any closer and then turns to reveal that he has a Launcher strapped to his chest. He points it at Minho. He explains to the gang that he's sick. He says, "I'm... not well.... Honestly, I appreciate you buggin' shanks coming for me. I mean it. But this is where it bloody ends. This is when you turn around and walk back out that door and head for your Berg and fly away. Do you understand me?" Again, I'm fucking heartbroken.

Newt and Minho 4ever.
Minho tell Newt that he doesn't understand. They risked their lives to go in there and get him. He tells Newt, "we're taking you home. You wanna whine and cry while you go crazy, that's fine. But you're gonna do it with us, not with these shuck Cranks." Newt fucking loses it. "I  am a Crank, Minho! I am a Crank! Why can't you get that through your bloody head? If you had the Glare and knew what you were about to go through, would you want your friends to stand around and watch?" he shouts at Minho. Minho has no reply because the reply is obvious. No, no he wouldn't.

Newt then rounds on Thomas. "And you, Tommy... You're got a lot of nerve coming here and asking me to leave with you. A lot of bloody nerve. The sight of you makes me sick." This hurts Thomas to his core. Newt doesn't explain what he means. Newt asks them to leave. "I'm sorry, guys. I'm sorry. But I need you to listen to me. I'm getting worse by the hour and I don't have many sane ones left. Please leave." He tells them that he's found some other Cranks and they are going to go into Denver later. Again, he doesn't explain. He asks them to remember him from the good old days. Minho tells him he can't. I cry.

Just then, another Crank shows up to try to hustle the gang out. He tells them that he is with Newt. The Crank is brandishing a shard of glass. Of course, Minho provokes him. The Crank slashes as Thomas, but doesn't connect. The Crank and Minho tangle for a while. Newt breaks it up with the threat of his Launcher. When they stand up, Newt hits the Cranks with one of the Launcher grenades. He tells the gang to leave, while pointing the Launcher at Minho. He's shaking, but resolved. Thomas tells the others that they should leave. He pulls Minho and Brenda out, hoping that Jorge will follow. He can't bring himself to look at Minho, who isn't resisting. I'm very, very glad this book isn't from Minho's perspective because I'm pretty sure it would break me.


So that was pretty fucking heavy. Everything is tragic and everything hurts. I don't know what to say, everything is pretty self-explanatory. So, let's talk about something completely different.

As many of you may know, there is a Maze Runner movie coming out September 19. I'm super exciting for it, but I have some concerns. When I watched the trailer I was blown away. It looks awesome. But, it looks NOTHING LIKE THE BOOK. Literally everything in the trailer is unfamiliar. I had no idea what was going on. I just... I'm so conflicted. I really want to see it, I'm super excited, but I know it's going to be wrong. I'm not sure where it will lie on the scale of movie adaptations, but I'm hoping for it being closer to Fight Club (which was perfect) than Watchmen (which was fucking terrible). I guess I could say I'm cautiously optimistic. Only time will tell, I guess.

Until next time, happy reading.

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