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Far Away from Emptiness

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Newt turned the small metal box over in his hand, and looked up at Thomas with disgust on his face. "This is from WCKD," he said. "Tommy, what the fuck…"

"It's okay, Harriet checked it out. It's safe."

Newt traced the letters, etched in smooth, brushed aluminium, with a shaking finger. "What does it do?"

Thomas licked his lips, nervous. "It.. It's like a data storage device."

"Data?"

"Me and Theresa used to work with them. I think Theresa might have helped develop them… anyway, we used them, back in the lab."

"When we were in the maze."

Thomas was looking down at the grass. So thick, so green. Thicker and greener than the glade, even. None of them could get used to it, how lush everything was in Paradise. "Yes," said Thomas. "They used it on all of us."

It was the size of a matchbox, the top smoothly rounded. There was a tiny square in one end, a socket of crystaline material. It must plug into something.

"Newt-"

"It steals your memories," said Newt. "That's what they used to take our past away."

Thomas nodded. "But not forever. They're still there. That's how Theresa remembered her mother. They made her remember, back before the scorch, when they took her from us."

Newt cradled it in his grubby palm. His nails were dirty from digging new trenches for planting out, and the box gleamed, bright, unnatural silver, all hard lines among their soft new world.

"How do you know whose they are?"

Thomas looked at him, his eyes full of concern. Regret, maybe. Guilt. And something else, something new, something that had saved Newt back in Denver when he'd lost everything, even himself.

Newt shook his head.

"They're yours," said Thomas. "It's all in there. Your parents, your friends, your childhood, WCKD, everything, right up to the Maze. You can remember."

Newt's heart raced, his hands shook. The box felt so cool against his sun-heated skin. It sat there, right next to the scar he'd got the day Tommy saved his life.

"I know how to use it," said Thomas. "It's safe. I promise."

Newt took one last look at the box, and chucked it back to Thomas. Thomas fumbled and it went tumbling to the ground. When Tommy picked it up there were bits of mud and grass sticking to it. Newt laughed at him.

"You don't want to remember?" said Thomas.

Newt shrugged. "Way I see it, life couldn't have been too great, what with the sun and the flare, and sure, I'd like to remember who my familiy were, if I had any. If they loved me. But they gave me up, Tommy, more 'n likely. Then there was WICKD and all those fucking experiments. I don't want to remember that. I've got new memories now. All I want is this." He looked around at the trees, the cliff, the fields full of green shoots they'd put all their blood, sweat and tears into planting over the past two months.

Then his eyes came to rest back on Tommy. "And you, you shank. I think I'll make an effort to remember you."

Then Newt was pressed flat on his back in the grass, Tommy on top of him, pinning down his arms and kissing him.

Newt had a new world, new friends, a new future.

Let the past stay forgotten.

*