On to the text!
The gang has just left Newt in the bowling alley. They walk through the open door to see that the guards have gone and there are a shit-ton of Cranks outside waiting for them. Thomas, to his credit, just marches right fucking through. This kid is fucking done with everything. He knows that if they run, the Cranks will give chase, so he tries to remain calm, despite the fact that they are surrounded by bloodthirsty, mangled, bloody faces. Thomas leads them out into the outer parts of the Crank Palace.
Once they leave the Central Zone, Thomas hears someone tell them to run. It's one of the guards from earlier. He and his partner are hauling ass out of this alley. They have been relieved of their weapons and are being chased by some particularly ravenous Cranks. It basically plays out like any fast-zombie movie. While running, the guards tell the gang that they were attacked and dragged out of the Central Zone. All in all, not great for the gang. The guards turn down this other random alley and the gang continues toward the door. The gang is still being chased as they leave the Crank Palace and head toward the Berg. The gang all hit the Berg at once, far ahead of the Cranks who have no chance of catching up. Jorge flies the Berg up and lets it hover in the air above the Cranks so they can gather their thoughts.
|I will stop using this gif when it stops being relevant.|
Eventually they get up and head over to the couches where they slept a while back. They talk about Newt. Thomas tries to say that it's better if Newt has completely lost it because he won't remember who he is. He won't remember what happened to him and what he has lost. He won't be suffering. Minho is not convinced. "Nice try, slinthead, but I don't believe it. I think he'll always be there just enough to be screaming on the inside, deranged and suffering every shuck second of it. Tormented like a dude buried alive." Holy shit, that's dark. Minho very quickly went from comic relief to the bearer of bad news. This poor kid. Out of everyone, I feel the worst for Minho. But that's not the end of his tragedy spiel, though. He continues, "I think I understand WICKED a little more now. After seeing those eyes up close. Seeing the madness. It's not the same when it's someone you've known for so long. I've watched plenty of friends die, but I can't imagine anything worse. The Flare, man. If we could find a cure for that..." Thomas knows what he's thinking, but thinks to himself, "nothing about this was black-and-white. It never would be." I'd just like to take a moment to remind everyone that these kids are all about 17. Let that sink in for a hot minute. Yeah, it's fucking horrifying.
Brenda comes in and apologizes to the boys for what they have been through. Minho is unmoved. Thomas appreciates the gesture. They conclude to hang out in the Berg and rest for a couple of days at the Denver airport.
After a while, Thomas takes to wandering around the Berg. He suddenly remembers the envelope that Newt gave him back at WICKED during the escape. He locks himself in the bathroom to read it, which is the most teenage thing Thomas has done thus far. I mean, who didn't lock themselves in the bathroom as a kid? Anyways, he reads the note. It is the most tragic thing you could possibly think. Newt was asking Thomas to
|Seriously, fuck this book.|
There is a much needed time jump here to relieve some of the soul crushing misery. The gang has dicked around on the Berg for two days and decide to go back to Denver and meet up with Gally to discuss the Right Arm and how they can help or whatever. I'm not sure what their full plan is. I'm pretty sure they don't, either. Jorge opens the cargo bay door to reveal three people dressed just like Red Shirt back at the coffee shop. They are armed with pistols and a Launcher. Behind them, the gates into Denver are hanging wide open and there are two lifeless bodies lying on the ground. Apparently lots can happen in three days. The three people order the gang off the Berg and into a van that is waiting nearby. They get in the van will little fuss (for once). They are told to put on black hoods, and they do. They are driven into the city. After a very long ride, they are ordered out the van and marched into a room. They all take their hoods off to reveal they are in a large room filled with other people. They had all been kidnapped as well. All the people turn out to be Immunes.
Thomas looks around the room and spots a familiar face - Aris. Aris walks over and shakes Thomas's hand. Thomas asks where everyone else is. Aris says that they were taken by another group. At that moment, Teresa appears. Thomas is slammed with conflicting emotions when it comes to Teresa. He still kind of hates her, but he's glad to see her again. He asks her where they had gone back at WICKED. She doesn't know what he's talking about. She asks to have private conversation with him and he reluctantly agrees.
Thomas and Teresa head over to a couple of empty chairs. He asks again why she and the others left them behind and she says she didn't. She tells him that, "All anyone talked about at the complex was that you, Newt, and Minho had broken out and were in the surrounding forest somewhere. We looked but didn't see any sign of you." WICKED are tricky bastards. Again, I'm struck by the thought that this whole thing with the escape to Denver is just another elaborate trial. They talk for a while about how Thomas still doesn't trust Teresa (he has no reason to) and they assume they're about to be sold back to WICKED to start the trials over. Thomas leaves her a rejoins Minho, Jorge, and Brenda.
After a bit, the kidnappers come back into the room and start giving everyone water and bread. There are only three of them and they are armed with pistols and a Launcher. Minho decides that this is their opportunity. When the kidnappers get to him, he tackles the man holding the Launcher. Everyone stops for a beat before jumping in to help. They guards are overpowered and Thomas takes a pistol and takes control of the situation. The guards are all lined up against the wall. Thomas decides to question them to find out what's going on. Good call, kid. He puts the pistol to one guards head and asks why WICKED wants them. The guard is flummoxed. He doesn't work for WICKED, he tells Thomas. He works for the Right Arm.
Thomas continues to grill for information. What does the Right Arm want with them? The guards don't really know anything. They also don't believe Thomas will shoot them, which, to be fair, is true. But then Minho takes the gun. Minho doesn't fuck around. When the guard still refuses to say anything, Minho shoots him in the foot. He asks another guard what is going on. This one says that he doesn't know, but he can take them
|Minho is River Song-level not fucking around.|
Thomas agrees to go with the guard to meet the boss. They can only take a small group without being noticed by the Cranks who now completely run the city, so he wants to take only Brenda with him. Minho isn't pleased by this. He wants to go with Thomas. Thomas knows that Minho is a short-tempered liability, so he asks Minho to stay behind and be in charge of the group that is left behind. He really wants Minho to still trust him, and Minho does.
Pretty soon, the guard, Thomas, and Brenda head out to meet the boss. They take the van in order to get there faster. They speed through the city, occasionally being noticed by Cranks. At one point, their van is attacked pretty severely. Somehow, the Cranks manage to disable the van so it only moves a few inches at a time. They attack the van from all angles, trying to smash in window and get to the people inside. It's a very well-orchestrated attack considering. Eventually, the guard gets the van moving again before anyone is injured. They speed to their destination and park in a garage.
They are met by a bunch of armed guards who want to know who Thomas and Brenda are. They explain that they have come to figure out what the fuck is going on. Apparently, this is a good enough explanation and they are lead to a large conference room where two people are sat at a large table. One of these people is Gally, the other is a very large man. This man is named Vince. Vince is the boss of the Right Arm. Gally tells Vince that he can trust Thomas and Brenda. Vince then tells them why the Right Arm is abducting Immunes. He says, "We're collecting Immunes to mimic WICKED...We're going to use them to get inside their headquarters." Interesting... Seems like that can be done on a volunteer basis. Kidnapping isn't really something the good guys do, after all.
So, a bunch of shit just went down. Most of it was horrible. Like, super, ultra-horrible. But the most important development is to do with the Right Arm. This organization was set up to be the ultimate good-guys. We were told that their purpose was to bring down WICKED. And yes, that is what they are doing, but they are using very WICKED methods to get it done. Did you like that pun? I did. Anyway, the fact that the Right Arm is using methods so shady that everyone assumes that WICKED is behind them is important. It brings up the question of whether it is okay to fight fire with fire? Is it morally acceptable to use the same methods that WICKED uses to bring about their destruction? This would seem like is has a simple answer: No. But things are never that easy. WICKED themselves use these terrible methods because they think what they are doing is the right thing to do. The Right Arm is doing the exact same thing. Yes, it might bring an end to the horrifying thing that have happen thus far, but, theoretically, so would completing the trials. At this point, Thomas and the others are caught between a rock and a hard place. Do they go back and complete the trials, do they help the Right Arm even though they are just as corrupt, or do they pick a third option? It will be interesting to see what happens next.
That's it for now. Leave your thoughts and questions in the comments.
Until next time, happy reading.