The Scorch Trials Summary
Basically, people called Creators put a bunch of boys whose memories were erased into a Maze in Book One of The Maze Runner series. Thomas, the protagonist, was one of the last ones to be put in the Maze, along with a girl named Teresa, the only girl, and that's when things got strange. Lots of shenanigans went down, but the boys eventually found out how to escape. Once they escaped, they were "rescued" by some sort of rebel group, and then they were brought to a safe haven where they could sleep, and stuff like that.
Got it? Good.
The Scorch Trials opens with the boys—we call them Gladers—all in their dormitories having a grand old confusing time, when a new something bad happens. Crazy people outside—they're called Cranks—start screaming, so the boys all race into Teresa's room to see if she's okay. On the way, they find a bunch of dead bodies hanging from the ceiling of the hallway. Great. Then, when the boys get to Teresa's room, they find that she's gone; a boy named Aris is in her room instead.
Okay, so things just got really weird.
No one knows what's going on, and when the boys get back to the hallway, it turns out that the dead bodies are all gone.
Later, a random dude just appears in the central room of the dormitories. He sits in a chair and reads a book, and he's also protected by a force field. Eventually, he breaks his silence and tells the boys what's going on. He's part of WICKED, and the scoop is that the boys are all about to be put into a trial. At 6 a.m., they'll need to go through a Flat Trans—whatever that is—and then enter the Scorch, where they'll need to reach the safe haven in exactly two weeks' time.
Sounds easy, right?
Actually, no. That doesn't sound easy at all.
Anyway, the next morning, the kids all go through the Flat Trans. It's a dark portal thingy, and bad stuff happens inside. A few kids get their heads sliced off from metal ball things, but eventually, most of them reach the other side. Phew? Meanwhile, Thomas tries telepathically to reach Teresa, but she isn't responding, which is pretty alarming.
When the boys exit the Flat Trans, they walk out into the Scorch, which is pretty much a barren wasteland with extreme heat. Up ahead is a city filled with Cranks, and ahead of the city is a mountain range. The boys need to make it past the mountain range.
The boys make their trek to the city, but a storm hits and blows a few of them to pieces. Things are going fantastically, as you can tell.
When the boys reach the city, they run into a Crank dude named Jorge, who claims he's the leader of the Cranks. He wants to kill Minho so much, but Thomas talks him out of it. In fact, Thomas talks Jorge into helping the kids, as their safe haven supposedly has the cure for the Flare, the disease that all of the Cranks have.
By the way, the kids all have the Flare, too—it just hasn't affected their brains yet.
Jorge starts to lead the boys toward the mountain with another Crank named Brenda, who's super smart. Unfortunately, Thomas and Brenda get separated from the rest during a Crank attack.
Brenda helps Thomas make his way through the city by taking him through an underground tunnel system. On the way, the pair is attacked by some crazy Cranks, but everything turns out okay. When Brenda and Thomas reach the center of the city, Thomas finds a sign that says he's the true leader. Apparently, these signs are everywhere, which is why Jorge and Brenda ended up helping him.
But Thomas and Brenda get in trouble pretty quickly: a group of Cranks force them to attend their party, where Thomas and Brenda are drugged and captured. Luckily, Minho and the Gladers ambush the party and save Thomas and Brenda.
Once again, Thomas has the worst luck: one of the Cranks turns out to have a pistol, and he shoots Thomas in the shoulder. To make things even weirder, WICKED sends a flying-saucer-type-deal called a Berg to take Thomas back to the WICKED headquarters so they can fix him up. Hey, WICKED didn't expect a gun to be in the Scorch, so that doesn't count as part of the trials.
Hmm, so WICKED said there were no rules, yet they just rescued Thomas because rules were broken. Strange.
Anyway, Thomas is dropped off with the group again, and they all make their way to the mountains. And whaddya know, Teresa is there with Group B, a bunch of girls who were also put through the Maze trials. Teresa isn't so happy anymore, and she seems to hate Thomas. In fact, Group B takes Thomas hostage: they walk away with him to kill him.
On their way to the place where he's supposed to be killed, Thomas talks the girls out of killing him. He thinks that WICKED is testing the girls' rational thinking as another Variable. The girls let Thomas go, but Teresa is not happy, and she storms away. Evidently, she wants this guy dead, so bad. She meets back up with everyeone when they're almost at the safe haven; there, she convinces Thomas to follow her, pleading that she was only acting mean.
Then comes her betrayal: she totally leads Thomas to a dark room, where he's supposed to be killed. She's been accompanied by Aris the whole time, and he's been communicating with her telepathically ever since they were put into the Maze. Ouch. Thomas is crushed. Turns out their mission was to kill Thomas the whole time.
Thomas is gassed in the room, but he doesn't die. In fact, his injuries from getting whacked on the head by Teresa's spear are cured, and she comes running into the room telling him it was all an act. The story goes that WICKED told her they'd kill Thomas if she didn't do what she was told; her mission was to make Thomas feel betrayed, or else WICKED would kill him.
Well, we're not sure what to think of that, but we can tell you one thing: boy, does this boy feel betrayed.
Thomas reluctantly follows Aris and Teresa so that they can reach the safe haven. He doesn't trust either of them, despite the fact that they seem like they're genuinely sorry for what they did. The three meet up with Groups A and B, who are standing over a stick with a flag that says "The Safe Haven."
With an hour left until the end of the trials, giant coffin-like containers suddenly descend from the clouds, and huge monsters climb out. Oh, brother.
Both groups are forced to fight the monsters, and there's basically an epic battle. A few Gladers die, but no one too important. Then when the trial time is up, another Berg appears, and everyone jumps on it. Finally, the trial is over.
Haha. Not quite.
A man who represents WICKED isn't too happy about the fact that Brenda and Jorge have made it onto the Berg, since they aren't test subjects. Oh, well—Thomas steals the dude's gun and forces him to let Brenda and Jorge stay.
Everyone's placed back in a dormitory again, except for Thomas, who finds himself in a plain white room. Teresa speaks to him telepathically, asking if he's okay. She tells him that everyone's been in the dorms for a week, but WICKED has been telling everyone that Thomas has the Flare, so he's being treated elsewhere. Thomas gets totally fed up with Teresa and tells her to go away, real mature-like.
Though she's hurt, Teresa consents, but she tells Thomas one last thing: "WICKED is good" (65.39).
The story ends there, but then the epilogue begins with yet another memorandum from Ava Paige, the Chancellor of WICKED. She says that things are going well despite a few hiccups, and the kids are all going to have their memories restored eventually.
Yeah, there's totally going to be another book.
- Ever wake up to someone talking to you telepathically? No? Well, that's how our hero Thomas wakes up: Teresa is talking to him from another room.
- Apparently, Teresa's been thinking about Grievers; on the other hand, everyone is probably thinking about The Maze and Grievers and such.
- Thomas has been thinking about his friend Chuck—the kid who sacrificed himself for our hero's life.
- Pretty soon, Thomas and Teresa stop their telepathic chitchat, and Thomas dozes off.
- In Thomas's dream, he's about 4 or 5 years old, and he's in bed. A woman sits next to him and tells him that she doesn't know why they chose him.
- Our best guess is that Thomas was one of the brightest children around, and "they" are WICKED. But that's just a guess.
- The woman then tells Thomas that she loves him. Aww.
- Then Thomas asks if the woman if she's going to crazy like the people on T.V.—like Daddy, specifically.
- Okay, so the woman is Thomas's mother, and apparently his father went crazy. Got it.
- But then Teresa rudely interrupts Thomas's dream.
- Despite Teresa trying to wake him up telepathically, Thomas can't wake up. He thinks he hears chaos in the room he's sleeping in, but nah. He's just dreaming.
- Uh, no. There's definitely chaos in your room right now, Thomas, old buddy.
- Finally, Thomas shakes himself awake, and whoa,wouldn't you know it, all of the boys are running around like crazed animals.
- Three feet from Thomas's bed is a window, and behind that window is a dude with bloody hands and a messed up face. You know, like a zombie.
- The man yells, "I'm a Crank... I'm a bloody Crank!" (2.16).
- Then the man yells, "Kill me! Kill me! Kill me!" (2.17).
- Ah, so everything's a-okay.
- All of the boys are awake, and Minho informs Thomas that these Crank people are everywhere. Great.
- Then Thomas telepathically yells out to Teresa, who doesn't answer. Double great.
- Oh, and the door's locked. Grrrrrrrrrreat.
- After some deliberating on what to do, a short boy hands Newt a fire extinguisher that was conveniently placed on the wall, and Newt uses it to break the lock.
- The door swings open, and just as the boys are about to escape, Frypan makes a good point: hello, maybe WICKED wanted the kids to escape. Maybe they should just stay put.
- Ehhhh, but that's no fun. The boys all rush out into the dark corridor, because that's what kids do.
- Up ahead of Thomas, Minho yells that there are things hanging from the ceiling, so they should watch out.
- Just as Thomas bumps into something, Newt finds the light switch. And boy, do the kids wish they hadn't found the light switch.
- Hanging from the ceiling are a bunch of dead bodies. They were the people who rescued the Gladers just the day before.
- Looks like Thomas will have to store that image away in his memory box.
- Kids are throwing up left and right, and Thomas is yelling Teresa! in his head. Ah, the joys of youth.
- Thomas shouts to everyone that they need to find Teresa, and Minho agrees.
- The kids find a door that's locked, and Thomas notices there's a sheet of paper slipped into a thin slot hanging from the door. It says "Teresa Agnes. Group A, Subject A1. The Betrayer" (4.15).
- Uh oh.
- Oddly enough, Thomas is fixated on the fact that Teresa's last name is Agnes, not the fact that she's The Betrayer.
- Atta boy.
- Anyway, the kids all march into the room and find it empty, except there's a swirling noise coming from the bathroom. Thank God—Teresa was just going to the bathroom and wanted privacy.
- The boys decide to hold a gathering in the room, but just then someone walks out of the bathroom. And it's not Teresa.
- It's a boy.
- The boys quickly grill the kid to figure out who he is, but the kid thinks they're joking. They're not.
- Finally, the boy from the bathroom gives in and tells them his name is Aris. He says that he has no idea what they're all talking about.
- Then Aris tells the kids that he escaped from the Maze.
- Thomas can tell this Aris kid isn't lying.
- Minho walks into the room amazed at seeing a new boy, so Thomas gives them the old, "Minho, meet Aris... Aris, meet Minho" (5.9).
- Teresa's still gone, so Thomas quickly tells everyone to search for her in another room. But there aren't any other rooms; Minho checked.
- Everything is locked from the inside, which is strange.
- Thomas has a sinking feeling that Teresa is one of the dead bodies—but he checks, and she isn't.
- The boys interrogate Aris to figure out his situation.
- Apparently, Aris was in the Maze, but he was the only boy with a bunch of girls.
- Hmm, so he was the male equivalent of Teresa.
- Just as Aris continues his story, Newt finishes his story for him. Newt's all like, Wait, were you the last one to get there? And did you get there in a coma? And did you have a note that said you were the last one?
- Remember, Newt has educated guesses because what he describes is that's exactly what happened to Teresa.
- Aris is flabbergasted, and Minho shouts out that WICKED must have built two mazes with two different tests. So Aris must have been part of Group B.
- Oh, and one last thing: Aris can speak telepathically, just like Thomas.
- So Thomas and Aris bond for a few seconds telepathically, and Thomas learns that WICKED killed Aris's best friend, Rachel.
- Sounds a lot like how WICKED killed Chuck.
- At this point, everyone can figure out that the Thomas and Aris are speaking in their heads because they're looking at each other with strange googly-eyes.
- Aris tells the kids that WICKED made some girl named Beth stab his best friend, Rachel.
- So Beth was the female equivalent of Gally, while Rachel was the female equivalent of... oh, boy—sounds like she was supposed to be the equivalent to Thomas.
- Remember, Rachel is to Aris as Thomas is to Teresa. Therefore, Thomas should be dead.
- Then Aris calls everyone sticks. Looks like Group B made up a vocabulary, too, just as Group A did. Group A calls everyone shanks.
- A random Glader points out a black splotch on Aris's neck. Everyone stand back.
- It's a tattoo. It says: "Property of WICKED. Group B, Subject B1. The Partner" (6.27).
- Everyone's pretty amazed at this, and soon they realize that they all have tattoos.
- Minho's says "The Leader," and Newt's says "The Glue." Most of the random kids don't have labels, though—just markers like A2, A3, A4, and so on.
- Then Thomas asks Newt what his says, and Newt looks a bit scared to tell him.
- After a bit of hesitation, Newt gives in. Thomas's says "To be killed by Group B" (6.62).
- Instead of dwelling on the whole Thomas is supposed to get killed thing, the boys are all distracted by a loud alarm going off. It's the same one that used to alert them that a Newbie would be joining them in the Glade.
- The kids run around and try to shut it off, but their room is locked. Ugh, again with the locked doors.
- Then, suddenly, the alarm stops. Huzzah.
- After the kids regain their senses, they realize that their door has swung open and someone turned off the lights again.
- Whoever these people are, they're really manipulative.
- Minho decides he'll search for the light switch; after all, he is the leader.
- Minho finds the light switch, but when the lights come on, the boys realize the dead bodies are all gone. Oh, and the smell is gone, too.
- What. Is. Going. On.
- At this point, Thomas doesn't want to argue anymore. He's too tired of arguing.
- But Winston points out that the Cranks, those crazy people who would scream "Kill Me," had stopped yelling.
- Well, it turns out that the windows were shut, and brick walls had been erected just outside the iron bars. So even if the Cranks were screaming, the kids wouldn't be able to hear them.
- Also, the dorm room the kids slept in has been stocked with all new clothing (new watches, too).
- The room with Teresa's label has been replaced with a label for Aris, whose last name is apparently Jones.
- Thomas starts worrying about Teresa again (as he always does) and yells to her telepathically.
- This time, she responds. But she isn't too happy.
- Teresa's response is something along the lines of Yo, kid. I don't know who you are, but get out of my shuck head. Leave me alone, or I'll slit your throat.
- Then the voice is gone. Gee whiz, what a gal.
- Thomas is pretty overwhelmed, so he decides to take a nap—seriously, he falls asleep so much.
- Thomas dreams again, this time about when was 7 or 8 years old.
- People in green suits and glasses are poking at Thomas, talking about cutting into his brain. They talk about cutting deeper into his brain—and they the same about some girl's brain. We can maybe guess they mean Teresa.
- One person says the Flare is rooted inside of Thomas. Hmm.
- Another person is afraid the cutting might kill Thomas; the other person is afraid he might survive. Huh, sounds like these people have no idea what they want.
- Then one person says something like Hey, maybe he and the others will save everyone. So that's good, at least. We guess?
- Thomas wakes up to see Newt staring at him. Newt reminisces about the good old days when the "original Gladers" were setting up the Glade.
- It must have been quite the scene for the original Gladers, but they were pretty darn good about being confused and such. They got the farm up and running within days.
- Hey, maybe those kids from Lord of the Flies could have learned something from these kids.
- Anyway, Thomas is all sad-face because he thinks they've been left there to die, but Newt reassures him that they're all being put through another kind of test, like the Maze.
- Well, we guess that's reassurance in some twisted way.
- Hunger then starts to settle in for the boys. They go about three days without food, and all of them are on the verge of starvation.
- So, what does Thomas do? He falls asleep. Perfect.
- Minho wakes Thomas up (thank you) and gives him an apple. Apparently, a random assortment of fruits, vegetables, and packages appeared in the common area that night.
- Oh, and one more thing: a skinny dude wearing a white suit has also appeared.
- And this dude is sitting in a chair reading a book.
- Just your typical night, folks. Nothing to worry about here.
- So, this dude in white won't tell any of the boys why he's there. He just tells them he'll talk when he's ready.
- Thomas walks up to the dude because that makes sense, and he hits an invisible wall. Yeah, it's like one of those walls you'll find in Call of Duty.
- Anyway, the guy gets annoyed with Thomas and speaks to him in a nasal voice, telling him that he needs to wait 47 more minutes.
- Ugh, fine.
- During this time, Minho tells Thomas to eat, and he refers to the new dude as Rat Man. Hah, good one.
- In the bathroom, Thomas sees Aris, and it looked like Aris wants to talk to him telepathically, but Thomas ignores him. Hmm, that's not very nice.
- Finally, everyone gathers around the new guy, and he pulls out a manila folder with lots of papers.
- The man then drops the bomb about what's going on.
- So, there are two groups, A and B, with 60 kids each. But Group B isn't important right now—sorry, Aris.
- The whole Maze thing and the trials the kids are doing now are part of a blueprint, not just an experiment.
- This man is part of a group called WICKED, and they're using the kids to stimulate the killzone and collect resultant patterns.
- The what now?
- Anyway, all of the obstacles the kids face are called Variables, and they're all there for a reason. If the kids continue to survive, they'll help save the human race.
- WICKED stands for World in Catastrophe, Killzone Experiment Department.
- So these people might be good guys, but who knows at this point.
- Also, the man reminds the kids that they should never believe anything they see. In fact, sometimes what they don't see is what's real. Great. That's helpful.
- Oh, and the whole "rescue" they had in Book One as well as the murder of Chuck and the trip in the bus? Yeah, that was a all part WICKED's plan.
- Now it's time for Phase Two. Yahoo.
- Rat Man continues: sun flares have ravaged the earth and there's a disease called the Flare that's killing people.
- By the way, all of the kids have caught the Flare.
- Uh, what?
- But don't worry— if they complete the Trials, then the kids will get a cure for the Flare.
- So, Phase Two is called The Scorch Trials.
- These trials begin at 6:00AM, and the boys need to enter something called a Flat Trans at that time.
- This Flat Trans closes 5 minutes later. If the boys don't enter, they'll be executed. So it's probably a good idea to enter the thing.
- Rat Man then gives the kids their instructions. Ready?
- There aren't any rules or guidelines. There are few supplies and nothing to help along the way.
- Bascially, all they get is this: Go through the Flat Trans when it opens.
- Find open air.
- Go one hundred miles north to the safe haven.
- Make it, or die.
- Huh, this all seems simple.
- Then the invisible wall fogs up, and the man disappears into thin air, along with his desk and chair. It's like magic.
- Don't worry, people—we have no idea what a Flat Trans is, either, or what in the world The Scorch Trials consist of.
- Thomas is really upset, which is pretty reasonable.
- Everyone's screaming and yelling, so Thomas goes to the bathroom for peace and quiet.
- Thomas tells Minho he thinks that the Flat Trans thing is something similar to the doorway they found on the Griever cliff.
- Hmm, that's a good assumption.
- Anyway, Frypan has taken charge of the food, and everyone needs to get ready for this whole Scorch Trials thing.
- Newt tells Minho they need a leader—which means he's telling Minho he's the leader, especially considering that Minho's tattoo says "The Leader."
- Minho's all like, Nah I'm no leader. You're the leader, Newt. Stahp it.
- But, yeah—Minho should probably be the leader.
- This whole time, Thomas is thinking about his own tattoo and how it says he is to be killed.
- That night, Newt convinces Minho to be the leader, and all of the Gladers (kids from the Glade) made makeshift packs of clothes from their bedsheets and gather plastic bags filled with water.
- Aris asks Thomas if he felt he was crazy when he first heard Teresa in his head. The boys bond for a brief moment before Minho addresses the group.
- Minho asserts his dominance in front of the group, then the clock strikes 6:00. The Flat Trans (which is an oddly shaped portal thingy) appears, and the boys go in—Minho first and Thomas last.
- Aris tries to communicate with Thomas telepathically right before he enters the Flat Trans, but Thomas isn't having any of it.
- And the kids are in.
- Once in the Flat Trans, everyone counts off—all 20 kids are there.
- It's pitch black in the Flat Trans.
- The kids decide to travel through the Flat Trans by putting their hands on the walls to guide themselves and walking forward. Boy, this sounds tough.
- Then a burst of weird whispering fills the air, and everyone's all like, Well that's spooky.
- Then the kids hear the whispering again. Winston points out that somewhere in the middle, the whispering said, "Go back."
- The boys all shut up for once, and they all hear it clearly: "One-chance deal. Go back now, you won't be sliced" (14.36).
- Huh, sounds promising.
- The kids all think about whether they should go back or not, but they remember that they can't trust anyone or anything, so they keep moving.
- The voice whispers again, saying they're all going to be sliced, but the boys keep moving in silence.
- After a mile or so, Thomas hears a boy shrieking ahead of him. Like, bloody-murder shrieking. Which makes sense: when Thomas gets to him, the boy is convulsing uncontrollably. Oh, and he has no head.
- Yep, instead he has a cold metal ball for a head.
- How's that for a surprise?
- The ball that is now the boy's head rolls away, and Thomas is seriously freaked out.
- The boys all gather around, and Winston deems the boy to be Frankie. Daw, poor Frankie.
- Newt then finds the metal ball; it's covered in blood.
- Again, everyone starts freaking out about going back, but Minho tells them to just run forward as fast as they can while ducking.
- Along the way, a death ball gets another kid.
- The boys stop when Minho hits his shin on a staircase. Well, we guess there's nowhere else but up from here on out.
- The kids all climb the stairs, and Minho finds a door-thingy. He opens it, and everyone is blinded by a huge light. Heat rushes in, and Minho's forced to close the door because everyone's eyes are now toasted.
- The kids wait for a little bit with the door opened a crack so that their eyes can adjust to the light; then Minho opens it again. The light is excruciating, as well as the heat.
- The boys feel like there's no way they can venture into whatever the light is, when suddenly Winston yells.
- A giant glob of liquid silver forms on the ceiling, plops off of it, and then floats toward the boys horizontally.
- Like, what?
- The glob forms a sphere of silver and flies directly into Winston's face, causing him to tumble down the stairs, screaming.
- Bye-bye, Winston; it was nice knowin' ya.
- Thomas goes after Winston. Thomas always flocks towards whatever is happening.
- It's not dark anymore; the boys can see everything, and the giant glob is basically eating away at Winston's head.
- Winston tries to yank it off, but it won't budge. Luckily, Thomas gives him a hand and they yank it off together.
- The glob forms into a sphere again, then scurries off into the darkness. Weird.
- Winston isn't looking too hot, though—he's got burns everywhere and his hair is scorched.
- Minho and Newt don't waste time: they order everyone to follow them, while a boy named Jack helps Winston. It's time to go outside.
- Before going outside, the boys put on their bedsheets like robes to block the sun and heat. Hmm, good thinkin', Lincoln.
- Minho enters the fray, and Newt and Thomas follow.
- It's hot out there. Like, so hot that Thomas can barely breathe.
- Also, it's a wasteland: no trees, no hills, no valleys. Just dust and rocks.
- Out in the distance, there are mountains, and halfway to the mountains there's a cluster of buildings resembling a town. These are all north—which is where the kids need to go.
- But not even the mountains look 100 miles north, which is how far they have to travel (in two weeks).
- Minho gathers the rest of the boys. Aris and Thomas share a sheet, and they march towards the town.
- For a little bit, Thomas and Aris talk about the Maze. Aris says that he made memories and things happened with his best friend Rachel—we don't know what this means, though. Maybe it's sexual; maybe it's just sentimental. Who knows at this point?
- Suddenly, Frypan shouts and points. Two people are running toward them from the town.
- The boys all prepare for a nice little scuffle with the two figures. The two figures stop about a dozen feet in front of the boys; there's a man and a woman.
- After a few futile attempts at asking who these people are, the woman responds that they're Cranks.
- Oh, goodie goodie gumdrops.
- The Cranks came to see if the boys had the Flare, and they're wondering how they got in the Scorch.
- The Scorch must be another word for the area they're in.
- The Cranks ignore all of the boys' questions. Then tell the boys that not all of the Cranks are gone, but not all of them are past the Gone.
- So now "Gone" has been capitalized, making it into a noun. Just as happened with the Maze, slap a capital letter on it, and you've got a whole new meaning.
- The Cranks then say that they'll all have the Flare soon, and so will the other group. You know, the ones that are supposed to kill the boys.
- Ooh, nice—not only will the Flare kill the boys, but Group B will, too—assuming that the Cranks are referencing Group B.
- The Cranks then leave, and the boys decide they need to follow them. What else are they going to do?
- It turns to nighttime, and things get a little less hot and a little more comfortable. Looks like the Gladers are on their way to Crankville.
- On their way to Crankville (we're just gonna call it that for now), Thomas hears a girl screaming.
- It could be Teresa, thinks Thomas, as she's on his mind 24/7.
- Everyone can hear the screams, so at least it's not all in Thomas's head.
- The kids ignore the noise as well as they can, and Minho decides they should all take a potty break.
- Aris and Thomas talk for a bit. Aris's situation in the Maze was basically the exact same. The only differences were that Rachel (Thomas' equivalent) died, and more of the girl group survived.
- Aris thinks that WICKED is either trying to weed both the best girls and boys out so that they can breed them, or that they're just trying to weed out the best group in general.
- These are two really good observations.
- Then Thomas sees a dark shadow a few hundred yards ahead of him next to a building. The boys all look up, and the screaming from the girl stops.
- A figure of a girl appears.
- Awww, yeah—stuff just got even creepier.
- Of course, that's what Thomas thinks.
- Newt also thinks it might be Teresa, so that's a plus.
- Minho concludes that everyone should approach the girl, but Thomas pretty much demands he go alone so that they all don't fall into a trap.
- Okay, Mister Tough Guy.
- Thomas takes off, and as he approaches the girl, he can tell she is, in fact, Teresa.
- Teresa retreats into the house, which is dark and has no windows.
- Naturally, Thomas follows—because really, what could possibly go wrong?
- Inside, a light turns on, and Thomas sees Teresa. Her face is covered in tears, and she has brand-new clothes. She's clean—which is odd, because you'd think she'd be dirty.
- Thomas reaches for Teresa, but she starts back and yells at him to get away from her.
- Oof, trouble in paradise.
- Teresa's shaking violently, kind of like how Gally shook right before everyone escaped the Glade.
- But then Teresa does the unthinkable: she grabs Thomas, and they start kissing.
- Come on, folks—it was bound to happen eventually.
- So Thomas and Teresa kiss, but then she starts back again and tells him to run. She tells him that they all need to run away.
- Thomas is pained by this, but he follows Teresa's orders. Something's definitely fishy, so it seems best to do what she says.
- Instead of, you know, telling everyone what's going on, Thomas just decides to run away from the group shouting for everyone to follow suit.
- The kids do follow Thomas. Eventually, he stops to rest way ahead of everyone when the sun finally begins to come up.
- Minho reaches Thomas and is all like, What were you thinking? Why didn't you just tell us what happened before you ran off like an idiot? Now we're all tired and the sun's up!
- Minho has a good point, and Thomas tells him and the boys about what happened. Oh, except for the kissing. That one he'll keep to himself.
- Minho reassures Thomas that Teresa will survive, and they all rest, despite the fact that the sun coming up.
- Minho lets everyone sleep for about four hours, and when they wake up, they start walking toward the city. It's pretty darn hot out, so running would take up too much energy.
- Time passes, and it's nightfall again. Thomas figures they'll reach the city the next day. Then he falls asleep. Again.
- This time, Thomas dreams about when he was 10 years old. In his dream, he's with Teresa, and she's trying to get him to speak telepathically. She gets frustrated that he can't, and she refuses to talk to him regularly until he can speak telepathically. Yeesh, tough coach.
- Of course, Thomas does finally get the hang of it.
- When Thomas wakes up, a storm is brewing. Yeah, a storm in the desert.
- Something tells us this might be a Variable.
- Anyway, the boys start their march again but find an old guy lying in the sand underneath some blankets.
- Thomas investigates, as he does with everything.
- The man isn't dead, but he isn't moving, either. He just sort of blinks.
- But then the man starts whispering, and Thomas makes out the words, "Storm coming... full of terror... brings out... stay away... bad people" (23.45). Great.
- Then the man starts shouting, "Storm! Storm! Storm!" (23.46).
- This is totally creepy, so the boys start running toward the city.
- At this point, the storm is in full gear. There's thunder and lightning, and the lightning is dangerous.
- Oddly enough, there's no rain.
- Thomas is having a pretty tough time seeing in the storm, when all the sudden a lightning bolt strikes the ground and blows him to the side.
- As Thomas gets up, he notices that Jack is in a crater—completely mutilated.
- Jack has nothing below his knee, and his whole body is burned and bloody. Jack's a goner.
- Minho picks Thomas up, and they keep moving.
- But then another lightning bolt strikes, and this time it pretty much hits Minho. Uh oh.
- Turns out the lightning bolt doesn't kill Minho; it just sets him on fire.
- So Minho does the whole stop-drop-and-roll technique, while Thomas throws dirt on him. Works like a charm.
- Minho's pretty beaten up, but the kids keep moving. Gladers are getting tossed about right and left.
- Finally, Aris reaches a building ahead, and the remaining kids enter. Phew.
- Inside the building, Thomas falls asleep. Shocker.
- Then Thomas wakes up.
- Then Thomas falls asleep again.
- The next time Thomas wakes up, he's super hungry.
- Thomas also notices that Minho's burns aren't too bad, so he should be okay.
- The boys do a body count. There are only 11 of them remaining, which means that seven were lost in the storm. Winston and Jack are among the lost.
- Everyone's all pretty distraught, when all the sudden, a Hispanic man appears on the roof.
- Yep, this actually happens.
- The man does a gymnastics somersault after jumping down from the roof; then he springs up to his feet.
- The dude's name is Jorge, and he's the ruler of the Cranks.
- Jorge seems like an all right guy. He's definitely crazy, but he seems to want to help a little bit.
- Minho talks down to Jorge because he's a Crank, and Jorge goes berserk. He starts counting to 10 for an apology.
- Thomas forces Minho to apologize.
- But Jorge doesn't like Minho's apology, so he gives him a good old kick in the leg—and then another kick in the same place.
- Minho says he's sorry again, but then he attacks Jorge.
- Oh, boy—bad move.
- Just as Minho's attacking Jorge, tons of Cranks appear from the roof and jump down into the building. Thomas wrestles Minho off of Jorge, and they realize they're surrounded.
- Oh, and everyone has a weapon. Knives, broken glass, rusted machetes—you name it.
- The kids seem definitely done for, but Thomas convinces Jorge to let them talk for 10 minutes.
- Time for a nice meeting.
- Thomas and Jorge enter a really dark room, and Jorge tries to maintain the whole tough-guy persona.
- The plan: Thomas will tell Jorge everything. That way, maybe Jorge will understand.
- As Thomas tells his story, Jorge doesn't really seem either confused or understanding; he just stares blankly.
- At the end, Thomas gives his ultimatum: Jorge needs to help the kids get to the safe haven. If he helps, then maybe he'll be cured from the Flare, just as they will be.
- Then it's Jorge's turn to talk. Apparently the Flare works in stages. He has just caught it recently, along with some of the other Cranks.
- Oh, and the Cranks don't even have any of the numbing agent—which apparently exists—called the Bliss.
- WICKED also sent Jorge and the others to the city, so at least they have that in common.
- Eventually, Jorge agrees to Thomas's deal, as it's logical for him to agree. Plus, he sort of likes Thomas for being honest and brave.
- But Jorge's such a stick in the mud: he tells Thomas he'll agree only if he can kill Minho.
- Uh, "No," says Thomas, regarding Jorge's request to kill Minho (28.1).
- Jorge's pretty adamant about killing Minho, but Thomas talks him out of it. After all, Minho's the best fighter out of all of them, so they might need him.
- Jorge also seems like a pretty smart guy. He guesses that Group B might be Group A's competitors, so the more kids who make it to the safe haven, the better shot he'll have of getting the cure.
- But instead of making an alliance between the boys and his little army, Jorge decides that he'll accompany the kids with one girl named Brenda—because Brenda's a genius.
- Apparently, stealth will work better than strength. Plus, the other Cranks are all starting to go crazy, anyway.
- Oh, and the fewer Cranks there are, the better chance Jorge will have of getting the cure. This guy is only really thinking of himself, but he's pretty smart.
- Thomas and Jorge finally go back to their respective groups, and Jorge tells everyone that he and "bird-face" have struck a deal.
- Jorge is totally the Minho of the Cranks. They're what we call "FOILS."
- Anyway, Jorge tells everyone that they need to feed the boys, but there's one other thing: they're going to chop off a finger off of each of Minho's hands.
- Ah, each chapter always ends on such a cliffhanger.
- Minho isn't too happy about the news, but a really pretty Crank girl stops him from charging Jorge.
- Thomas secretly hopes that the pretty girl is Brenda. Oh, Thomas, you wanton rascal.
- The Cranks all start to disperse, and Jorge leads the boys to go get food. The pretty girls comes along. So, yes—she's Brenda.
- Brenda asks Thomas if he's the leader. He tells her that Minho's the leader, but she responds that she'd have guessed Thomas was the leader.
- Then Brenda kisses Thomas on the cheek and tells him that he's sweet and she likes him.
- Whoa, this all just happened so fast. Something ain't right.
- All the Gladers are staring at Thomas at this point, but he just puts his head up and follows with a slight smirk. Hehehe.
- The group finally reaches a room with boxes and cans of food. Everyone eats up—it's sausages and beans.
- Thomas and Brenda bond for a bit—it turns out she grew up in Northern Canada—but then an explosion on the roof rattles everyone.
- Ugh, so many explosions. Why can't these kids just have some peace and quiet?
- The roof crashes down and separates Thomas and Brenda from the rest of the group, so Thomas is forced to follow her.
- Great, Thomas is now stuck with the psycho-girl.
- Brenda leads Thomas to a series of secret tunnels called the Underneath. It seems like that's the only way to go.
- Before they go, Thomas and Brenda talk some more.
- Brenda gets Thomas to promise her that he'll take her to the safe haven so that she can get the cure.
- Brenda's also totally making moves on Thomas the whole time, but he resists, because he can't stop thinking of Teresa.
- Brenda's excuse is that where she came from, people are just more forward. Righttttt.
- Brenda also surmises that one of the Cranks and his buddies were the ones who triggered the explosion, thinking they could just kill everyone. Those guys are cray-cray.
- Meanwhile, Brenda's trying to hold Thomas's hand, and he's all like, Something is so strange about this girl, and I can't figure it out.
- But then it's time to stop the funny business and get back to work. Brenda and Thomas make their way to the Underground, the tunnel system that connects the buildings in the city.
- So, the underground is, well, creepy. And dark. And lonely. As you probably imagined.
- Brenda and Thomas walk a long way, taking lefts and rights that seemingly lead to nowhere. Then they come to an opening. Behind them, a light goes out. Hmm.
- Then another light goes out. Double hmm.
- Before Thomas can say I hate my life again, he and Brenda see a man in a dark, worn-out suit.
- Business meeting? Nah, it's a Crank.
- Hold on to your seats, 'cause you're gonna love what comes next.
- "Rose took my nose, I suppose," the man says (31.46).
- End of chapter.
- Still creeped out by the last chapter? Or maybe you're still laughing? We know: this nose dude just defied all expectations.
- Oh, he has no nose. By the way.
- Then the nose dude adds even more to his speech: "And it really blows" (32.3).
- Best. Character. Ever.
- Pretty soon, Mr. Nose starts grumbling at Brenda and Thomas, asking them, "Get it?" (32.5).
- Er, no. We don't get it, Mister Scary Nose Dude.
- Okay, so enough of the funny business. Brenda chucks a can of food at the Crank's face; then she takes off running with Thomas. The Crank starts running after them, asking for their noses, while more Cranks follow. Ruh roh, Scooby.
- Fortunately, Brenda knows a super secret hiding place she used to use.
- Brenda and Thomas crawl under a table and through a small crawl space, where they hide from the scary Cranks.
- The Cranks enter the room, but they can't find Thomas and Brenda.
- The Cranks leave, spouting phrases of gibberish and such, and all falls silent.
- After a few minutes, Brenda whispers to Thomas that she thinks they're safe.
- Wrong move: Mr. Nose was hiding the whole time. "Hello noses!" he screams, as he grabs Thomas by the shirt (32.61).
- Mr. Nose (we hope you like our nickname) starts banging Thomas against the walls—ouch—and Brenda decides it's all or nothing. She slices Nose's arm off with her knife, barely missing Thomas's own arm.
- Brenda and Thomas exit the hiding place. The Crank gets up with tremendous strength and kicks Brenda into Thomas, which causes her knife to fly.
- Brenda then jumps on Mr. Nose, and Thomas retrieves her knife. He's not gonna kill the dude, is he?
- Brenda screams at Thomas to stab Mr. Nose in the heart, but Thomas hesitates.
- Like, a lot.
- But Thomas gives in, and he stabs Mr. Nose right through the heart.
- Daw, sorry Mr. Nose—but you're dead now, we suppose. Which blows.
- All righty, then. Mr. Nose is dead, so Thomas and Brenda take off running again.
- Thomas and Brenda reach an opening (finally), and they're out in the city. It's empty, there are dead bodies lying about, and it smells horrible.
- Despite Thomas's extreme hate for the city already, he and Brenda decide to sleep there that night.
- Thomas and Brenda end up finding some abandoned trucks, which provide shelter and a good place to sleep.
- Before falling asleep, Thomas gets all caught up in the fact that he killed Mr. Nose.
- Brenda is understanding, and then she drops a bomb about how WICKED killed her dad. WICKED was trying to take her away, so her dad went at them. They shot him.
- Brenda's mother? Brenda just says her mother hadn't been around for too long, and Thomas decides not to ask anymore about it. Good choice.
- Finally, Thomas and Brenda sleep.
- Thomas wakes up from a nightmare, which isn't very shocking.
- Thomas and Brenda talk more, and Brenda fills him in about the outside world.
- Most of the countries unified once the Flare broke out, and they combined forces to fight it.
- Brenda thinks they're in Mexico, judging by the Spanish labels on the food cans.
- Brenda then talks about the Bliss, which is a numbing agent to ease the Flare. It helps you feel immune to the effects of the Flare, but it doesn't stop the Flare itself. The Flare ends up winning, no matter what.
- Thomas falls asleep again. This dude is always so tired.
- Thomas dreams about when he was about fourteen. Again, he's with Teresa.
- Thomas and Teresa are eavesdropping on a conversation between a man and a woman, most likely from WICKED.
- The man and woman talk about the Maze Trials, and how they liked the added end of it—our guess is that they liked Chuck's death. They also like the betrayal, if it needs to happen.
- Remember: Teresa was labeled "The Betrayer." So, yeah—that still might not have happened yet.
- The dream ends with Teresa and Thomas talking about how they'll never see the end of the Scorch Trials.
- Thomas wakes up—just as confused as we are—and takes a stroll outside.
- Thomas sees something on the wall of the alley; a large metal plaque. It's a sign that looks a lot like a sign he saw in the Maze.
- It reads: "Thomas, You're The Real Leader" (35.53).
- Court dismissed, bring in the dancing lobsters.
- While Thomas is staring at the sign in amazement, Brenda comes over and breaks the news to him: these signs are everywhere, and they've been there for a while.
- So when Jorge found out Thomas's name, he knew he should spare the kids.
- Brenda asks Thomas what's going on with him, so he tells her everything.
- And even though Thomas leaves out the parts about him and Teresa kissing and such, Brenda can sense that he and Teresa had a thing.
- Then Brenda calls Thomas "Tom," which is a bad move, because that's Teresa's way of addressing him.
- After some awkward silence, Thomas and Brenda hear noises. Pop quiz: what's Thomas gonna do next?
- If you answered Run toward the noise, you are correct.
- Thomas hears music and people singing and dancing. Hmm, strange. It's Probably Cranks, but maybe not full-blown Cranks.
- Then three Cranks show up behind Thomas and Brenda. Great.
- The Cranks ask Brenda and Thomas to join their party, which has lots of dancing, lovin', and booze.
- Err, thanks, but no thanks.
- After Brenda and Thomas try to get out of the party invitation, one of the Cranks—a blond-haired one—pulls out a gun.
- Whoa, really? A gun?
- The Tall and Ugly one has a knife, and the Ponytailed woman has a screwdriver.
- As you can see, Thomas has already named the Cranks. We've got Tall and Ugly and Ponytail, and the blond one with the gun is Blondie.
- So Thomas and Brenda reluctantly accept the party invitation.
- When a Crank with long hair opens the door, he says, "Hey, Thomas. We've been waiting for you" (36.75).
- Aaaand things just got even weirder.
- Inside the party, Long Hair tells Thomas and Brenda that a bunch of Cranks saw Thomas's reaction to the sign, so they figured he was indeed the famous Thomas.
- The people in the party seem supportive of Thomas—they tell him they'll protect him—but the three other Cranks still don't look too happy.
- Thomas is starting to think that Brenda led him there on purpose. Hmm.
- Thomas and Brenda are then told to dance, so they dance. Which is awkward for Thomas, because he can't stop thinking about Teresa.
- Then Thomas and Brenda are offered drinks by Long Hair.
- Whoa, whoa, that's a red flag.
- Thomas politely refuses, but then Long Hair gets seriously angry. Oh, boy.
- Blondie orders Thomas; if not, he'll shoot him.
- Thomas and Brenda drink, and not so surprisingly, they start to drift off. Those drinks were totally drugged.
- Right before they pass out, Brenda asks Thomas to kiss her—which he refuses to do, because she's not "her," meaning Teresa.
- Then Thomas passes out.
- When he wakes up, Thomas is tied down to a wooden chair. Blondie, Tall and Ugly, and Ponytail are the culprits.
- Brenda's also tied down on the other side of the room.
- The three Cranks start interrogating Thomas, and he figures, Hey, why not tell them the truth? It's not like I did anything wrong.
- So Thomas tells the Cranks about how he was brought to the Scorch. But the Cranks are sort of confused, because they were all brought there by something called a Berg.
- Also, the Cranks freak out at the whole Flat Trans thing, which stands for Flat Transportation. Apparently these could only be afforded by billionaires—which makes sense, because WICKED was behind everything.
- Anyway, Thomas tells the Cranks about everything. Like, everything.
- Blondie believes Thomas. He tells Thomas he used to be a lawyer, so he can tell when people are lying.
- Psh, brag more.
- Then a commotion breaks out above, and the three Cranks go to investigate.
- At this point, Thomas thinks about his chances against the Cranks, and he actually thinks about "Mr. Nose."
- See, Shmoop can predict the future.
- A lot of smashing and thudding is heard; then someone comes downstairs.
- Minho to the rescue.
- Minho helps Brenda and Thomas out of their chairs and tells them how they've survived thanks to Jorge's help. The boys planned an ambush on the Cranks once they saw them pull a gun out on Thomas.
- Thomas then gets a sinking feeling: he totally hurt Brenda's feelings.
- Oh, yeah—she looks awful at this point. She won't even look at him.
- All eleven Gladers are there. Hooray.
- The kids resolve to leave the city ASAP. They start to move out.
- Brenda gives Thomas the cold shoulder while they're walking. She says she doesn't care about him and his stupid girlfriend.
- With about a mile to go, Thomas hears something behind him. Oh, brother.
- Apparently, when Minho and the Gladers ambushed the Cranks, Blondie escaped. And here he is, pointing a gun straight at Thomas.
- The chapter ends with Thomas getting shot in the left shoulder.
- So Minho punches the crap out of the Blondie dude, and Thomas is in excruciating pain. Pure pandemonium.
- All Thomas wants to do is pass out, and that's what he does.
- Then Thomas wakes up.
- Then Thomas passes out.
- Then Thomas wakes up again—this time with people holding his arms and legs. Oh, and he can smell fire.
- Then Thomas feels a burning pain, and he passes out.
- Then Thomas wakes up. Ughh, make it stop.
- Brenda is holding Thomas's hand. Woo.
- Thomas hears the word, infection, then passes out. AGAIN.
- This time, when Thomas wakes up, he stays awake. Everyone is scrambling around looking at the sky, and he hears someone say the word Berg.
- The sky isn't stormy, so Thomas is confused about why people are looking at it.
- Brenda tells Thomas she's sorry for something. Then Thomas sees two people dressed in one-piece baggy outfits coming toward him.
- They have gas masks on, and they grab Thomas. As he's being taken away, he can see the word WICKED on the chest of one of the people taking him away.
- You could say this has been a bad day for Thomas.
- Okay, so when Thomas wakes up this time, he just hears whispers and sees a blinding light. He's in a hospital.
- Thomas hears a man and a woman complaining about how a working gun got into the city. They then decide to "just get on with it" (41.10).
- And Thomas passes out "for the umpteenth time" (41.12). We didn't make that up.
- When Thomas wakes up, he feels no pain. Woohoo. Then he dozes off. Aww.
- Thomas wakes up, and he hears the man and woman talking again.
- The woman says that the procedure they're doing might actually be a help to Thomas—and that him hearing them talk is probably a good thing. That way, Thomas knows WICKED will jump in if need be.
- Oh, and it turns out that there are only about four or five Candidates that are viable for whatever WICKED's plan is. Hmm.
- And then the drugs take over.
- Finally, finally, Thomas wakes up. He's hanging in the air by a rope, being lowered down to the ground.
- And Thomas is now back with the Gladers and with Brenda and Jorge. He's wearing fresh clothes, too.
- When everyone's done shooting questions at Thomas—give the kid a break, right?—they all go to a hut that's nearby, and he begins his story.
- Thomas tells about everything he heard and saw.
- Minho's all like, Honestly dude, you can be the leader. I'm just happy you're alive.
- Gotta love that Minho.
- Everyone pretty much thinks that Thomas is the chosen one at this point, but they decide together that they'll sleep first and then head out to the mountains the next day. It's all they can do at this point.
- When Thomas wakes up (how many times do we have to say this?), he hears a voice—in his head. It's Teresa.
- Teresa speaks quickly and tells Thomas not to respond—though he wouldn't have, anyway, since he's so flabbergasted at what's going on.
- Teresa tells Thomas that something terrible is going to happen to him the next day—and that he's going to be super hurt and super scared. But he needs to trust her, she says. No matter what he sees or hears or whatever, he needs to trust her.
- Then Teresa fades out… then she fades in… and then says Thomas won't hear from her for a while. Well, until they get back together, in fact.
- Ooh ooh, there's gonna be a reunion—that's so exciting.
- But that bad thing that's gonna happen. Yeah, not too pumped about that.
- The next evening, Newt wakes Thomas up, and they talk about WICKED. Thomas tells Newt that he thinks WICKED must be evil, even though they saved his life.
- Brenda wakes up, and Newt makes a jab at Thomas, asking if she's his new girlfriend.
- When nightfall comes, the kids begin to make their march to the mountains. Newt points out that WICKED broke their own rules.
- How'd they break their own rules? Well, they said there were no rules, so by saving Thomas, that was sort of breaking the no-rule-rule.
- We know—it's confusing.
- Anyway, the kids make their way to the mountains, and Thomas apologizes to Brenda for being mean earlier. It's sort of awkward, but Brenda cracks a joke, and all of the tension seems to fade away.
- About 100 feet from the mountains, a girl suddenly appears. Err, any guesses?
- Oh, yeah—it's Teresa.
- So Teresa's finally here, and beside her are a bunch of girls. There are probably about 20 girls in all—and they all have weapons.
- Seeing that Aris is having a silent nutty to himself, Thomas figures it's Group B.
- Group B and Teresa make a circle around the boys, and Teresa walks up to Thomas. Ooh, reunion time.
- Instead of hugging and kissing and whatnot, Teresa gives Thomas a good old smash in the right cheek with her spear.
- Then Teresa asks Thomas for his name. What's going on here?
- When Thomas doesn't really answer, Teresa hits him again, harder.
- At this point, we can tell things aren't really going as planned for Group A. Teresa orders them to give Thomas to Group B. If they don't, the girls will start shooting the boys with arrows.
- The boys, by the way, are really outnumbered at this point.
- Thomas doesn't want to risk anything, so he gives himself up to the girls. Unfortunately, Minho and his loud mouth can't help but yelling at Teresa—and this is rewarded with yet another crack to the skull for Thomas.
- Then, to make matters worse, the girls put a bag over Thomas. Darkness, again.
- A dark-skinned girl approaches Thomas with what seems to be pity, and she tells him not to resist. It's better just to let the girls kill him.
- You know. No big deal.
- Instead of carrying Thomas, the girls drag him. Wow.
- Along the way, Teresa whispers to Thomas that they're blocking her from talking to him telepathically, but he should still trust her.
- As you can imagine, Thomas is confused out of his mind. He half trusts and half hates Teresa at this moment.
- By the way, the whole dragging thing going on? It hurts.
- Group B eventually makes it far enough so that Group A can't see them anymore, and the mountain starts its incline. Luckily for Thomas, the girls are forced to carry him.
- Thomas asks the girl if he can just walk. Yeah, good one.
- It takes about an hour to get up the mountain, and Thomas starts going with Plan B: start talking really loudly—which he's great at.
- Thomas tells Group B just to kill him and get on with it, but they don't—which means that something strange is going on. Something's not right.
- The girls are all like, Let's just get some sleep. Teresa reassures them that they'll kill Thomas the way they were told to. This will be repayment for what Thomas did to her.
- There are two points we should take from this: one, these girls following orders (most likely from WICKED); and two, Thomas apparently did something to Teresa.
- The captors and the captive reach Group B's camp at the top of the mountain.
- Thomas learns that the dark-skinned girl is Harriet, and a reddish-blonde girl is Sonya.
- These girls act like they're next in line to Teresa.
- Teresa then orders the girls to tie Thomas to a tree. Ouch, she's pretty harsh.
- At this point, Thomas absolutely hates Teresa. He's totally not into this. But at least he's fed. That's sort of a plus.
- Harriet and Sonya keep looking at Thomas throughout the night, so he finally speaks up and asks them if they really want to kill him.
- Harriet's all like, Yeah, we do, nanna nanna boo-boo—and she sticks out her tongue at him.
- Then Sonya clarifies: if they don't kill Thomas, WICKED won't let them get to the safe haven.
- Remember, people—Thomas's tattoo did say he was to be killed by Group B. And Teresa's label said she was The Betrayer.
- Just a friendly reminder.
- Back to Thomas and the girls. Teresa comes back and tells the girls to shut up.
- Thomas asks Teresa what he did to her, and she's all like, You know what you did.
- Uh, no. Thomas has no idea.
- Teresa walks away, and Thomas decides that he needs to sleep, and he needs to stay alive. Woo, at least he isn't giving up.
- Time for a Thomas-dream. He's fifteen, and he and Teresa are staring at a massive bank of screens.
- Teresa says, "I can't believe they're all dead" (47.4). Hmm, a promising statement.
- Teresa's referring to the original Creators. Apparently, they all died.
- Thomas then says, "All that matters now are the patterns. The killzone. Nothing else" (47.14).
- Okay, so those things are clearly really important, but Thomas still has no idea what they are. Then he wakes up.
- When Thomas wakes up, Harriet and Sonya are staring at him, and they tell him they want to know what he knows.
- Thomas figures now is a time to possibly get out of this sticky situation, especially since Teresa has gone to scout the area.
- Thomas promises he'll tell Harriet and Sonya everything—because why not?—as long as the girls tell him everything they know, too.
- The girls are skeptical about Teresa, so Thomas thinks he might be able to join forces with them. Or at least convince them not to kill him.
- The girls agree and then go over to fetch the rest of the girls. Story time.
- It turns out that the girls don't know much about WICKED, so Thomas feels like he has some kind of upper hand.
- Thomas tells the girls that he thinks the objective of them killing him is just another Variable.He also suggests that WICKED is testing their ability to think rationally.
- Or, Harriet says, mayble the girls are being tested to see if they have the guts to kill Thomas. Hmm.
- Anyway, the girls disperse, and Harriet decides to talk it over with Teresa—much to Thomas's dismay, as Teresa scares him to death now.
- Thomas sees Teresa and Harriet get into some kind of heated debate, after which Teresa storms off.
- Harriet cuts Thomas free and tells him that the girls all think he's right about the Variable.
- But Teresa is seriously mad at Thomas. She wants him dead.
- The girls treat Thomas pretty well, and they make their way toward what they think is the safe haven.
- Along the way, Thomas gets the girls to tell him their side of the story. They say they've been traveling through underground tunnels the whole time.
- Oh, and the whole thing with Teresa kissing Thomas in the shed? It was planned—something to make Thomas trust her.
- Ever since Teresa joined the girls, she's made Thomas out to be a complete monster. Everything they've done—putting him in the bag, carrying him to the camp, and so on, has been planned. The girls were also supposed to take him to a special place to kill him—but that obviously fell through.
- On the second night of traveling, Thomas and the girls reach the end of the Pass and come up to a valley. It's flat, and there's absolutely nothing in front of them. There's no sign of a safe haven.
- Oh, well. The girls figure they should keep moving.
- All of a sudden, Thomas hears a voice. Any guesses?
- Yeah, it's Teresa. She tells Thomas that the act is over and that he needs to follow her.
- All of Thomas's instincts are shouting Don't! And all of us are shouting Don't! But he follows, because he's Thomas, and that's what he does.
- Teresa asks: "You've met Aris, right?" (50.3).
- Apparently, Teresa knows Aris really well—so well that she's been in contact with him before the Maze. They can speak telepathically together. They also communicated while they were in the Glade.
- Now, Teresa and Aris are going to do what they were told to do.
- Oh, and Aris is behind Thomas with a huge knife at the moment.
- "Hi, Tommy," says Aris (50.16).
- Okay, wow. Huge bombshells just dropped from Teresa. Thomas is absolutely crushed. He's so confused at this point that he just stays quiet.
- The three reach a cave. Teresa stops to kiss Aris and gets all lovey-dovey with him.
- Now, that's a dagger to Thomas' heart.
- At the back of the cave is a pale green door that's glowing. That seems to be the place Teresa is looking for.
- Teresa tells Thomas she's truly sorry she hurt him, if that helps.
- Nah, that doesn't help.
- The three go to the door, and Thomas just wants this nightmare to end.
- Teresa starts punching in a code on some keypad, and the door opens, with white mist coming from the opening.
- The door moves aside, and inside there's just darkness. Great, more darkness.
- Teresa grabs a flashlight from her bag and walks in with Thomas and Aris.
- Thomas is still not happy, as you can imagine. But he's still got a bit of fight left in him.
- Up ahead there's a room. It's the room Teresa and Aris are supposed to take Thomas to.
- Right as they start ushering him into the room, Thomas asks Aris what Rachel looked like when she died.
- Remember, Rachel was the girl Aris became best friends with back in the Maze.
- Aris is shocked, which gives Thomas the split second he needs to smack the knife out of Aris's hand.
- Time for some action.
- Thomas punches Aris in the stomach, then scrambles towards the knife.
- Teresa has that huge spear, though. She clobbers Thomas in the head with it. Then she smacks him again, and he's pretty much crippled at this point with a major concussion.
- Aris jumps on Thomas, and he and Teresa carry Thomas into the room.
- Then, when the door is closed, Teresa speaks to Thomas telepathically, saying she's sorry. Oh, and she thanks him for being their sacrifice.
- Inside the room, a hissing sound starts, and gas seeps from the walls.
- Thomas is like, Really? They did all of this just to gas me? Weak.
- Thomas falls into a deep slumber (surprise) and dreams again (double surprise). This time, he's 16 years old.
- Thomas is standing in front of Teresa, a girl he doesn't recognize, and Aris. Everyone looks sad—especially Teresa, who's crying.
- Thomas says, "See ya tomorrow," and he walks towards a door that Aris opens (53.16).
- We can guess that this is Thomas's goodbye before he enters the Maze.
- Thomas wakes up. That's right, he's still alive.
- Not only is Thomas alive, but he also feels great. His concussion is gone, and nothing hurts anymore.
- But Thomas is still in that little room.
- The door opens, and in comes Teresa, crying and hugging him, telling him she's sorry. Like, really sorry. But Thomas feels nothing for her; he feels betrayed and still can't trust anything she says or does.
- Teresa claims it was all an act and that they needed to do what they did.
- Meanwhile, Aris is like, Can we tell him on the way to the safe haven? We have five hours.
- Teresa, Aris, and Thomas start to make their way across the wasteland, though Thomas just wants to stay back and give up. He doesn't trust Teresa and Aris, and he's too hurt to have any kind of hope.
- Teresa reassures Thomas that Group B and Group A are making their way across the wasteland, too, and that they're all alive and well.
- Teresa also decides that they need to run to catch up. Eventually, the three come to a hill, where Thomas can see Group B ahead of Group A below in the desert.
- Also, it's cloudy. Let's hope another storm doesn't hit.
- Teresa decides that now is a good time to tell Thomas her side of the story. She starts talking about how people with baggy jumpsuits and goggles came to her while she was in her secluded room.
- These are the same people who took Thomas away from his group to heal him from his gunshot wound—WICKED.
- Thomas decides to interrupt Teresa's story by speaking to her telepathically. He asks her if she and Aris really talked while in the Maze.
- It turns out that Teresa and Aris had been talking while they were in their comas.
- Aris looks at Thomas and Teresa and is all like, Are you guys talking in your heads right now?
- Thomas still feels weird about Aris, but it seemed like they were on the same side in his dream.
- Teresa decides to tell the rest of her story to everyone. The people who showed up in her room put something in her mouth that made her pass out. When she woke up, people told her the whole plan of what she and Aris had to do by speaking in their minds.
- Two important things stuck out to Teresa: one, these people would kill Thomas if she strayed from the plan; and two, they needed her to make Thomas feel betrayed.
- Oh, Thomas feels betrayed. He feels really betrayed.
- That's about it, though. Teresa still doesn't know how it all fits together.
- Then Teresa tells Aris to turn around so she can kiss Thomas. Thomas kisses back but feels nothing.
- Thunder rumbles in the sky, giving Thomas an excuse to pull away from Teresa. All feelings for her are gone at this point.
- Dirt starts to fly up at the kids, too, as the wind picks up heavily. The three can see both groups ahead of them, so they decide to run and catch up.
- On the way, Thomas and Teresa speak telepathically.
- Thomas tells Teresa all about his memory lapses and how he can't piece everything together. Teresa can't, either.
- Eventually, the three see that Group B has stopped and that Group A had caught up to them. But they're all standing around in a circle, not fighting or anything.
- When Teresa, Aris, and Thomas reach the groups, Minho tells Thomas that Harriet explained everything to them. So it seems like they're on good terms.
- Thomas tells everyone that Teresa and Aris are on their side—even though he still doesn't really believe it.
- Minho then shows Thomas what they're all standing around: it's a stick with an orange ribbon that says "The Safe Haven."
- Cue cliffhanger mode.
- So there's about an hour left of the two-week time limit the Gladers were given. The sky is ominous, the wind is strong, and something doesn't seem right. The safe haven is just a stick?
- While they wait for whatever happens, Teresa and Brenda are awkwardly introduced.
- While Thomas has somewhat forgiven Teresa, Minho is vehemently against her. He's never going to trust her again, he says.
- It turns out Minho and the Gladers had to fight a few Cranks on their way, but they all made it through safely.
- All of a sudden, a large section of the desert opens up, and several coffin-like containers appear. These look like the same containers the Gladers saw in the Maze, where they figured the Grievers slept.
- There are dozens of them, just floating in the sky surrounding everyone.
- Teresa asks Thomas if they should get inside of coffin things, hoping that maybe those will transport them. Sounds reasonable.
- But just as the kids contemplate this, the coffins swing open. A misshapen arm hangs out the side of one, and then a monster walks out. It has light-bulb-like growths all over its body, and it's roughly human-shaped, though taller than the Gladers.
- Pretty soon, all of these monsters are surrounding the Gladers, and blades shoot out of their fingers, toes, and shoulders.
- Yikes, maybe Grievers wouldn't have been as bad.
- Teresa hands Thomas a large knife, while Minho and Harriet order their respective groups to get into a position to fight.
- Instead of waiting for the monsters, the kids decide to attack first. Thomas takes his monster head on, sliding underneath it while slashing its legs with his knife.
- Though Thomas slices the monster, it doesn't seem to do much. The monster doesn't stagger back or moan or anything, and it takes a swipe at Thomas.
- Looking over at Teresa, Thomas realizes that she's trying to pop the light bulb growths on the monster attacking her—maybe this is how the monsters get their power.
- Thomas takes Teresa's idea and pops one of the monster's growths; the light goes out, and this seems to damage the monster.
- At this point, it's a free-for-all. Kids are attacking monsters and trying to pop their bulbs. One girl and one boy are already dead.
- Just as Thomas gets near the end of his monster's bulbs, a lightning bolt smashes into the ground, knocking both him and the monster back.
- The storm has arrived.
- The monster Thomas had been fighting is dead, and so is Teresa's. The two decide to jump into one of the coffins to avoid the lightning bolts.
- Thomas and Teresa jump in, and everything seems okay. Jorge and Brenda then run over and jump in as well.
- Five minutes until the time is up.
- A lightning bolt strikes the coffin and leaves a hole on the top. Rain seeps in.
- Three minutes left.
- Everyone's shouting and wondering what they should do.
- Two minutes left.
- The kids hear a humming sound outside, and it sounds artificial.
- Thirty seconds left.
- Thomas makes a quick decision and orders everyone to pop the lid off of the coffin. They all agree, as they all feel the coffin probably isn't the right idea.
- When the kids pop the lid off, they see a Berg—the same kind of thing that picked up Thomas after he got shot.
- Want more action? Well, it's coming right at ya.
- All of the Gladers scramble toward the Berg.
- Minho, Newt, and a few other Gladers, including Harriet and a few Group B girls, join the charge to the Berg.
- Right before the kids reach the Berg, more monsters step in their way.
- The Gladers all go Rambo on the monsters and defeat them pretty quickly.
- Just as the Berg starts to elevate, a few kids jump on; then Thomas and Teresa grab on.
- Minho, Harriet, and Newt help a girl on, too.
- Phew, our heroes are all making it.
- Thomas and Teresa even help Brenda on, with a little help from Jorge.
- But just as the kids start to feel a little safer, a man with short red hair points a pistol at Brenda, asking who she and Jorge are.
- The man then tells Thomas that he can save either Brenda or Jorge but not both; Thomas has to choose one person, or they will both die.
- Since this is a pretty odd ultimatum, Thomas bravely points at Brenda and tells the man to kill her. He thinks that by choosing Brenda, the man might kill Jorge instead—you know, reverse psychology.
- Anyway, the man starts to take Brenda away. Ruh roh.
- In a desperate attempt, Thomas jumps forward and tackles the man, causing the pistol to fly away. Thomas then grabs the pistol and points it at the man.
- Point: Thomas.
- The man then tells Thomas that his name is David, and that there won't be any more tests. It's all good; Thomas just shouldn't shoot him.
- David continues, saying they're taking everyone to a safe place with no more set-ups or tests or lies.
- Yeah, right.
- The only thing the kids need to do is listen to the next thing they're told, says David.
- David tells everyone to follow him—and since they really have nothing else they can do, they follow.
- The Gladers are all in the Berg still, but the conditions are similar to the dormitories they were in earlier in this book. They can take showers, have hot food, get medical attention—you name it.
- While they wait around, Teresa tries to tell Thomas she's sorry again.
- Thomas is still pretty salty about everything.
- Then Thomas falls asleep, along with everyone else. They're all exhausted.
- Thomas panics for a second when he wakes up because all he sees is white. But then he realizes he must be dreaming.
- Thomas hears a voice in his head, but it's not Teresa's voice.
- The voice says, You're about to understand more. Very soon now (64.10).
- The voice also says that things are going to get bad for Thomas.
- Oh, one last thing. The voice is Brenda's.
- Thomas freaks out and wakes up.
- When Thomas wakes up, he's alone in a room.
- The room is a lot like one of those rooms you'd find in an asylum where they put people with straitjackets.
- Thomas tries to reach out to Teresa telepathically. Nothing.
- Aris: nothing.
- Brenda: nothing.
- Then Thomas falls asleep again.
- When Thomas wakes up, Teresa is screaming at him telepathically.
- Teresa tells Thomas everyone's been put into another dormitory, and the Berg has landed. It's been a week since they last saw him.
- Teresa and the others were told that Thomas was too sick from the Flare and that he was taken away for medical attention.
- Thomas is flustered beyond belief now. He can't stand the confusion anymore.
- Finally, he tells Teresa one last thing: he tells her to stop talking to him.
- Teresa is hurt, but she says okay. Still, she leaves him with one last thing: "WICKED is good" (65.39).
- Just as in Book One, the epilogue is structured as a memorandum filed by Ava Paige, the Chancellor of WICKED.
- This Memorandum's subject is: "SCORCH TRIALS, Groups A and B" (E.1).
- In the report, Ava says that a ton of progress has been made, though not everything went ideally. She expresses a hopeful confidence in the subjects and believes that once everyone's memories have been restored, the subjects will be ready for their tasks.
- Ava says that the future of the human race is what really matters and that every death and sacrifice is worth the ultimate outcome.
- The Psychs are also deliberating, and when the time's right, they will remove the Swipe and tell the remaining subjects if they're immune or not immune to the Flare.
- So, yeah, it seems like WICKED's plan is still going okay, but we'll just have to find out in the next book, won't we?