“ Please, Tommy... please.”
The words escaped his sickly lips like a prayer. The desperate need for silence, for peace... all the man felt was rage, rage... hurt, sadness. Hell, almost anything you could think up being a negative emotion.
The mental pain nearly outweighed how much he hurt on the outside too... the amount of fire that coursed through his very veins. A crank, savage, not human... they looked at him like a monster. Despite not having an accessible mirror, he could describe every little detail of his appearance, just through the traumatic look of fear on his friends’ faces.
And... after the struggle, it was finally over.
Newt was gone.
The knife that he had redirected to his own heart, the subtle grin trying to inch it’s way onto his indistinguishable face... The last thing he saw, was his best friend reaching for his hand before his head hit the floor.
And... that was the last thing he remembered. At least, until he heard voices...
“ Come now brother... you’re the one supposed to reassure me—“
“ I hate them... I hate them for this. Why did they do this to us?”
“ At least we’re not out there, yeah? Here? You can be safe.”
“ I love you, Lizzy. So much.”
“ I love you too, Isaac.”
“ I remember the day I first saw you in that bed... Newt, we’ve grown, so much since that day.”
“ I know... I know.”
“ And... we’ll continue to find each other, right?
“ Of course... always.”
“ ...Tommy..” He whispered out the word with a hushed pair of dry lips. Even through the darkness, he could hear the city around him crumbling to ash. Hearing the distant explosions and cries of the few survivors left. He wanted to feel sorry, he wanted to make the small voice in the back of his mind, repeatedly apologizing for the destruction grow louder.
But he didn’t do this.
He didn’t want this.
They did this to themselves.
All they wanted, was Minho.
It was rather bittersweet, one for the other.
He didn’t mind... he really didn’t, despite sounding as if he was feeling sorry for himself. Which I suppose, couldn’t be helped. What’d you expect from a man who’s bleeding out on the floor. Newt just wanted his friends to be happy. That’s really it. There was no glorious end of the rainbow for him, like Vince preached on a daily, no. He just wanted his friends to live, not just survive.
Smiling weakly as WCKED tower met with the city floor, sending a large murk of absolute rubble to ripple through the fallen city. A large wall of dust and ash enveloped him in a soft motion...
And then everything was still.
“I was always pretty sorry at goodbyes, ay Tommy?”
“ Yeah. But we won’t have to ever say goodbye again. Not once we make it to Paradise.”
Newt smiled, trying to hide the subtle tinge of hopelessness in his heart.” Yeah. Once we make it there.”
A pained gasp for breath erupted from the blond’s throat, crawling up his throat like an arachnid. Coughing and sputtering out as if he just learned how to breath.” Holy shit... holy shit...” He viciously cursed, his rasped voice managing through the constant harsh breathing that rattled his lungs. However, his breathing started to slow at a thought, a very specific thought... that crossed his mind like a comet.
Vigorously patting his chest for a heartbeat, Newt winced as the stab wound that still held true to it’s misery.” Barely.” He countered himself with a playful huff, taking a moment to observe the fallen empire around him. Miraculously, two large cement block almost perfectly roofed themselves over the boy’s weak frame.
Almost instantly, he checked his arm. It... it didn’t look great, but it looked... okay? It looked like the first few days he actually started noticing the veins. And that was nearly three weeks ago. The black had subsided to a pastel gray inside his skin, on the stronger parts of the infection, however, slowly started to gradate into a inky black.
He shivered at a rather unsettling imagining of his appearance from the night before—
Almost instantly, Newt sat up, causing an absolute ripple of agony to pierce through his nerves, making him cry out. The knife wound, directly implanted within the center of his chest, barely missing his lungs. Letting out a shaky exhale, he continued to glance around the murky atmosphere for something clean to wrap his now most likely infected gash.
He had to get up and find shelter, supplies... something. Perhaps there was a miraculously untouched communication hub, one that he could tune into Vince’s channel... and find the others.
“ Okay. Mental agenda: Wrap wound... find new clothes... leave the city... and find the Safe Haven.”
Newt then realized that much of the plan hasn’t changed for him. Just the now solo party, and injury he needed to wrap up. Shouldn’t be too hard. Hell, if he could survive a night with a stab wound and a collapsing city, unconscious even, this should be a walk in the park.
Even though it felt like a walk in hell.
He could barely even stand, legs shaking violently before he could take in a few strangled gasps for air. Clinging onto the nearest block of cement, he tensed his upper body to remain still whilst he regained his composure.” Shit, shit, shit...” He cursed violently, breathing shallowly as his hand held onto the dried crimson gash in his chest. Thinking more on it, he realized how much of an actual miracle that he was still here... breathing.
Newt wanted to believe that the wound didn’t puncture him too deeply, but with every battered breath, he could remember the moment he struck the blade through his own skin, so sickeningly vividly. Glancing down with a soft bead of sweat from his forehead, he stared at the dried crimson that chalked his his hands. Suppressing the urge to simply sink back to the ground, the blond pressed his back up against the concrete wall behind him.” ‘ve got to find the others.” He inhaled confidently. No damned wound would stop him, not even the flare. At least now he had somewhat of a conscious. He couldn’t really tell clearly through the pain. He only had any natural instinct a creature would when they were injured.
So, it wasn’t saying much...
But it was hope.
Gritting his teeth as he took his first step forward, he started to slowly stagger through the city’s streets. Everything around him was reduced to ash and soot. Newt was astonishing lucky to have survived such a devastation of an empire. Where he and Thomas last were, it was thankfully away from the fall radius of the towers of WCKED. He tried to remember where Gally said his rebel stations were underneath the city. Maybe one of those fallouts survived the attack. He could get some new clothes, clean off his wound, the necessities.
The abandoned subway station that they captured Teresa at... that name, it made his veins boil with enkindled rage. All of this, because of one person. Maybe that was the reason why Newt snapped at Thomas the way he did, because despite everything that had occurred because of her... he hesitated to act on a plan that save his best friend. Of course, after the uncharacteristic outburst, Newt apologized, but... it wasn’t long after that, Thomas sought after him, discovering how this came to pass.
He had a way of showing sides of Newt that no one else had. And the blond currently missed that trait. While sauntering unsteadily through the roads to the transit, he pondered what Thomas would say to him at this very moment.
“ Newt, I know you’re way to stubborn to give up now. C’mon. You still have to teach me how to fish, how to make Minho laugh, and pull a prank on Gally. Stuff like that, I want to experience it with you, at the Safe Haven.”
Newt let out a huff of a laugh at his imaginary image of his best friend.” Good that, Tommy. You were always so damn pessimistic.” He teased with a soft coughing fit.
“ Don’t stop now, Newt. For me man.”
He closed his eyes in determination, continuing to walk for what seemed like hours. Even though, in reality it was around a thirty minute hike until he reached the familiar stairs of the train station.” Stairs. Fitting for somebody who has both a stab wound and a bloody limp.” He chuckled darkly, clasping onto the rail like an IV as he slowly descended from the surface down to the underground tunnels. To his surprise, there was a clear path to the secret tunnel leading to Gally’s base. Clear enough that is. But he could climb a few rocks.
Yeah. It’ll be fine.
Slowly, Newt made his way up the collapsed roof of the subway. Stopping halfway up the slow hike, he saw the small opening, half covered with the very same metal roof that used to shield the underground from the surface. Grimacing, he clutched tightly onto his chest, using his good arm to snake up the tunnel with struggle.” Come on, come on...” He urged himself eyes shut tightly on themselves with a refusal to reveal any sort of fear. With one final kick on his limp leg, he was sent far enough into the small space to clasp onto the ladder that lead him further down into the fallout. Taking a minute to let air return to his deprived lungs, he pressed his feverish head to the cold metal of the ladder. Tired onyx eyes trailed to the tiny room below, he started to climb down the small railing.
Nearly groaning with delight and relief at the sight of a couch, Newt collapsed shamelessly onto the soft cushions for the concept of a proper nap. Even then, he was afraid to sleep. He could wake up as a crank, die and become one, or perhaps simply heat up from the fever of an infected wound. Letting out a loud growl by his own tasks, he reluctantly rose from the couch to glance around the room for supplies. Water, bandages, gauze, and new clothes. He could breath, knowing that he’d have enough supplies to at least get him back onto his feet. Even then however, he would have to evade the cranks outside... or maybe even inside, the once mighty walls of the city.
Baggy eyes fell over his now bare chest. His wound was infected. That much was clear, but even then... it was hard to complain. Hell, another centimeters to the left, he’d have busted a lung. Or even then, an inch and he’d have stabbed himself in the heart. He couldn’t comprehend the amount of luck he had been both blessed and cursed with. Shakily bringing a finger to press against the sickening purple skin underneath, the blond let his anxious heart slow to a soft and slow rhythm. The anxiety of his own current health was evidently too much to bare.
“ Breathe, Newt. Breathe.”
An imaginary voice soothed from the back of his mind, making his mouth pinch shut, eyes shutting upon themselves determinedly. And then he opened them again, composure rewritten like the reimagining of a storybook ending.
“ I can do this... for Brenda, for Minho, for Gally, and for Tommy.” He stated with sheer confidence, a familiar tilt of his cheeks creeping his way onto his face.
After a painful experience of cleaning his injury, he wrapped his skinny torso and surveyed the room around him for an ideal choice of clothing. He then saw a darker brown cloak that sunk to his knees, the same white tee he left to change into, along with the same pants. Glancing in the mirror, he huffed with a slight grin.” Lookin’ sharp mate.” Newt winked to himself, swaying in the darker cloak softly to take a glance at a chase’s physics.
Lastly, his "lucky red scarf" the same one he insisted on taking to the fight, but Gally refused.
‘Maybe that’s why things went to shit.’ He thought to himself bitterly, but shook off the thought in favor of wrapping the soft material around his neck. Nuzzling into the familiar feeling, he quickly packed the rest of the medical supplies, and canned foods. People used to pick on Gally for his paranoia... but when Newt sees him again, he’s going to give the man the biggest hug; whispering a soft thank you.
Re-emerging to the surface, he winced at the sudden wind that sent the murk sitting at the bottom of the earth flying to meet his face. Pressing his goggles to his face, and readjusting his scarf to go over his nose, he took a large step forward. This same step, being a meaningful one, as if to say...
You can try all you want... whoever you are, whatever you are. I’ll get back to my friends. You can bet your sorry ass on it.
And with that final declaration, Newt slowly pressed through the storm, murmuring his friends names from under his breath like a prayer.
“ Mr. Janson, you’re going to want to take a look at this.”
The man’s gray complexion clashed against the monitor’s blue light, revealing the black veins traveling up his scarred face. The two cranks from the following night... did a number on him.
And he was going to kill that little shit for it.
“ What am I looking for?” He questioned coldly, trying to ignore the unquestionable anxiety of finding his next syringe. The man at the monitor pointed to the subway entrance at the corner of their drone’s camera shot.” That kid traveled with A7, right?” Janson scoffed disbelievingly before his eyes widened with astonishment.
A woman instantly stood from her seated position at the name.” Impossible. He had the flare... h- he was killed—“
“ Apparently not, Mrs. Agnes.” He cut off irritably, letting a soft smirk cross his face.” Seems that luck is on our side for the both of us, dearie.” He taunted, making the woman’s eyes narrow with determination.” If he’s alive, that can only mean that he’s been cured.” The man nodded.” Bingo.” Gently pushing the man on the monitor aside, he zoomed in on a familiar blond.” Not only can the kid give us the cure, but he can lead us to the rest of his miserable friends.”
Teresa cringed at the thought of Thomas being extracted by WCKED, but she understood that it was a necessary sacrifice.” I understand.” She murmured, making Janson chuckle.” Do you?” She visibly tensed, thinking back on the previous night. She saved Thomas, in the consideration that this was it. There wasn’t a city of people anymore to protect... but now? She had a second chance.
She took it as a clear sign when a helicopter of WCKED’s pulled her to safety only a few feet away from the eyes of The Right Arm. The men there told her that she was here for a reason, and that she was pathetic for throwing it all away for the well-being of a single boy.
And she then realized— that they were right.
But even though she and Newt didn’t get along all well since her transition back to WCKED, she still recognized his kind heart. Newt was the "Glue". Appropriately named for his levelheadedness and compassionate exterior. So now seeing that she’d be the reason Newt’s chance of life is stripped from him once again, Teresa felt her heart shatter subtly. But in favor of helping the people that needed her, she glared angered at the blurry image of the blond.” I do, Janson. We should send the immunes after him, group X.”
“ You read my mind, Mrs. Agnes. I had them called up from their cells.” He spoke, the door behind them opening ominously on cue. Two large boys stood protectively in front of the smaller boys and girls behind them. About ten teenagers that they’ve been holding behind the scenes. All of them possessed a capability on the battlefield.
“ You called us?” The ebony individual spoke, eyes cold and unforgiving, as a redhead’s hand fell on the boy’s shoulder cautiously.
Janson smiled masked, eyes trained on the leader of the group.” Lads, lasses, we’ve got a chore for you... a field trip of sorts.” The boy chuckled.” There’s nothing we’re going to willing do for you, Ratman.” The name made the elderly man growl from under his breath.” There’s a difference in this however... in exchange for a crank, we will let you go.” Teresa had to hide her face, knowing full and well that he was lying. But they, didn’t know that. They never even heard the man speak before, just... stare at them, menacingly, like lab rats.
“ In exchange for a... crank, you’ll give us freedom?” A mocha woman questioned with a astonished expression frozen onto her face, making Janson nod his head.” Yes.” The man in front of the group glared at the man suspiciously.” I’m not buying it. What’s so special about some stupid crank anyway?”
Janson smiled at the question, answering confidently.” This one has been cured.” The group collectively froze at the statement.” If you bring him here, we won’t have any use for immunes anymore. You’d be free to leave.” The boy blinked, letting out a soft smirk.” Boys. What say we catch ourselves a crank?” He questioned threateningly, making the boys and girls glance to one another enthusiastically.
Teresa’s sad eyes landed on the unsuspecting group with guilt, pressing a gentle hand to Newt’s face on the monitor.” I’m sorry...”
Whelp, THAT FELT GOOD. After I watched the Maze Runner with a few friends, I needed this reassurance that somewhere, Newt is still KICKING.
Chapter 2: Wonderful
Thomas awakens to find himself in the Safe Haven... only, he remembers that the man most deserving of this same storybook ending,
“ Tommy... Kill me!”
The words rang in Thomas’s head like a broken church bell. The sight of thick, nearly ebony blood oozing endlessly from a man he held so close to his heart, he thought he couldn’t breathe... let alone feel the soft noise of a beating heart. The former Glader never felt a pain like this before... ever. It physically hurt to see his dearest friend in such agony.
“ If you’ve ever been my friend, you’ll stop me from becoming one of them...”
Thomas bit back the sting behind the white’s of his eyes. Those words, hurt. Hurt worse than the gash in his side, than being stung that faithful night in the Glade. God, looking back on it now? He sure did feel like shit... So many people died, so many people who trusted him. Winston, Zart, Jeff, Alby, Chuck...
And now Newt.
“ Please Tommy... Please—“
“ Shut up...” He silently told the venomous serpents coiling their toxic lies onto his mind. His guilt, manifested into a creature of anger, hurt, and lastly... loneliness.
Despite being around three of his wonderful friends, Brenda, Minho, and Gally, there was still something missing.
His... best friend, the one who deserved to be here on the ship with them, more than anyone, was rotting underneath the collapsed city of WCKED. Life had a funny way of surprising people. That day Newt showed Thomas his arm, the day he confessed wanting to die all those years ago in the glade...
Why would life, treat a boy deserving of everything in Thomas’s eye-
It didn’t make sense... he couldn’t make sense of it, no matter how hard he tried. All he could think about, was his long lost friend. The one who put kindness above himself. He remembered on their long journey through the Scorch, he practically had to beg Newt to stop pretending to be of adequate health... The blond simply replied,
“ Are they okay?”
Thomas glanced at the group behind him, he wouldn’t describe them as... okay, but they were okay enough.” Yes?”
“ Then I’m okay.”
“ I’m okay” Newt would say that every, damn, day. And it scared Thomas. The way he’d give him that masked grin. It made him truly believe that he didn’t need to bother with him. If only he knew the amount of reassurance he got from Newt those days in the city... Were all a lie. He could’ve read the signs. The way he suddenly slowed when they were outrunning the train to the city... when he fell, and Thomas thought he had lost Newt even then.
Two times, two too many times...
He couldn’t describe the level of shock that coursed through his body as Newt, normally the quiet, negotiator of the group; the one who didn’t pick sides... rather, chose what would be best for the group as a whole, suddenly snapped.
“ DON’T LIE TO ME”
He was slowly losing Newt... he felt it, yet— was powerless against time.
And then? The world stopped.
Thomas’s, world, stopped.
He stopped breathing.
Staring at nothing,
There was no warning, no goodbye, just... a sudden halt, of... everything.
Watching as Teresa, a woman who no matter how hard he tried to forget about, he cared so deeply for.... A woman that he grew to know over the span of most of his short life. Teresa was a woman who he thought he could trust... but Thomas learned quickly that she wasn’t sharing that same love. Rather, she was simply profiting off of Thomas’s love for something else. She wanted his blood... and Thomas wanted her heart. A toxic relationship, and a bitter ending to it... didn’t change the fact that Thomas was screaming out in misery at Teresa when she plummeted to her death.
Two of the most important people in his life, stripped away from reach, in the span of what felt like heartbeats...
Then slowing down...
And stopping, all at once.
Writhing in agony at the bottom of the cockpit, Thomas had a million flashes of a familiar blond fly through his mind like a polaroid. Every laugh, smile, and irresistibly familiar frown, he couldn’t take it anymore. He knew he was dying already, there was no point in trying to fight it off anyway. Simply collapsing to the floor below, he watched as Brenda and Minho’s faces twisted in fear and shock at the gunshot wound that was enveloping his lower torso.
“ Thomas hold on!”
Too little too late.
And then his mind travelled to a eerily familiar place...
Staring out over the flat wasteland ahead, he listened to the soothing melody of wood crackling underneath intense flames. Winston, had died, and Thomas was just about ready to throw in the towel, but then he heard footsteps from behind. Newt. And parallel to their first night in the glade together, the two boys sat shoulder to shoulder against a log, staring out over their obstacle, which this time happened to be the possibility of there not being an ending.
“ Don’t mind Fry. He was just letting off steam...”
“ No, he’s right. I did this Newt. I’m the reason we’re stuck out here.”
Newt glared softly at the sentence.” You’re the reason we’re free... Tommy, the group may have their doubts, but you know they’d follow you anywhere.”
Thomas glanced over at the blond at the statement.” They’d follow you too Newt.” The boy huffed at that.” Nah, it’s different with me. You know it is... Listen, we all have our roles to play, mine’s being there to make sure you don’t shuck up.” He teased lightheartedly, making Thomas let out a sharp inhale of a laugh.
But his expression soon glazed over to meet with the previous grief stricken exterior,” Newt, I dunno if there’s a way out of this. I don’t know where we’re going.” He confessed softly, eyes reluctantly watering, making the man by his side exhale deeply through the nose. Staring up at the stars, he spoke softly.” There is a place out there... for us somewhere.” As Thomas observed the boy’s face further, he noted how the stars reflected over his onyx eyes so clearly... that you could chart a course through the cosmos within them.
“ I dunno where it is—“ Newt laughed lightly, continuing forward to say,” But I know an awful lot of our friends have died to get us this far.” Turning to face Thomas he spoke confidently.” So we can’t give up.”
“ You, can’t give up. I won’t let you.” He chuckled brightly, an emotional grin crossing his face as Thomas’s world faded to the same familiar darkness of his sleep. Reaching out for Newt, wanting desperately to hug him, joke with him, do things that they’d normally do. Yet the memory slowly faded to dust.
But Newt was right.
He, along with thirteen other Gladers,
Died to get him here.
So he couldn’t give up.
“ Good that, Tommy.”
Awakening in a tent, Thomas glanced around at the warm palette of sunlight that greeted his adjusting eyes. He heard incoherent chatter and laughter outside, a haunting reverb that he didn’t believe in, joy. It was all too good to be true. Why wasn’t he bleeding out? Why was the atmosphere so... welcoming? He didn’t want to get his hopes up. And so, the brunette lowered his expectations as he slowly made his way out from the cold reality of last night.
The sun blinded him for a few slow moments. Squinting his eyes, Thomas stared in awe and disbelief at the atmosphere around him. There was no way... the people here... they were—
A soft and quavering voice sounded off from behind. Thomas then turned his head around to meet Minho’s disbelieving gaze. The boy’s eyes were glistening with unshed tears, his shocked face... then molding into a bright beam. The corners of his mouth tugged upwards shakily, letting out a few soft and choked laughs before enveloping the brunet into a large hug.” Welcome back... Ugly shank.”
Thomas sobbed softly into the embrace, eyelids shutting to trap the tears that threatened to fall down his cheeks.” Minho. Is it—“
Minho exhaled shakily from the nook of Thomas’s neck.” Everything we pictured and more... He would’ve thought so too.” He spoke, making Thomas’s eyes inevitably shed large streaks of saltwater down his tan complexion.” God...” He still couldn’t grasp the concept. He always had the motivation to move forward, thanks to his friends. Newt, Minho, Gally, Brenda, and Jorge... Newt, amongst it all, was the one to bring peace and light.
’Stay strong, Thomas... Later.’
Minho noticed the expression, and his face visibly shadowed over.” I uh... I found this in your pocket when you got back.” Thomas hastily wiped his wet cheeks with his chalked knuckles in a presentation of resilience. The necklace. The one that Newt gave him, that... necklace.
“ Thanks Minho.” He smiled sadly, but soon found his eyes focusing on two familiar faces chatting rather friendly towards one another.” Is that—“
“ Gally and Brenda.” Minho cut in with a chuckle.” The two shanks haven’t been apart since they met back up after the battle. Gally can’t ever shut up around her it seems.” Thomas couldn’t help but feel a genuine grin return to his face. Gally and Brenda. Two people who have been through hell, deserved to make each other happy.” Good for them... I could’ve guessed that one coming I guess. They seemed to click pretty quick.” Minho concluded with a soft chuckle.
Thomas smiled at the realization that they found love through each other. Even now, they seem...
He was using that word an awful lot. But he liked it. Happy, a word that was used to describe a pleasant experience or feeling. Thomas at the moment, felt happy. For his friends...
All but one.
Minho patted his back gently.” C’mon, we’ve got one of Vince’s long and scary monologues coming up tonight.” He shuddered comedically, making an older voice sound off from the distance.” I heard that you little bastard.” He muttered with a wise grin, playfully swiping at the teen’s hair, making him laugh. Smacking him gently across the head with a hat, Vince spoke once more.” Thomas... it’s good to see you up and at em. Tonight we’re having a feast... in honour of the people who— couldn’t make it here.” He whispered solemnly, making Thomas nod his head distantly.” Is there anything I can do to help you, Vince?”
“ For tonight? Take care of yourself, my boy. We live in a world of—“
“ Ah, I’ll take care of myself on the sole condition that you promise to keep the long stuff for the speech.” He grinned nervously, making the older man huff.” Very well, Tom.” He spoke gently, sauntering to the campfire in front of him that was slowly being prepared.
‘Take care of yourself’ he repeated the words in his head like a distant echo. He had several sentences that’d ring hauntingly around the corners of his mind, several.
“Ah, my knight in shining armor… what, don’t think I can fend for myself?”
“Don’t worry Greenie. I’ve been in the maze for a month now, I know it inside and out. I’ll take care of you… You can count on Chuck!”
“You’re not like the others, Greenbean. You’re curious.”
“Thomas… take care of them.”
“Please… Please Tommy, please.”
Shuddering at the distant cries of his ghosts, he stared out over an endless horizon. Waves, repeat my overlapping against crystalline shores. The view… It was so incredibly, wonderful.
That was the word for it.
Biting down on his bottom lip, he suppressed tears that slowly started to build behind his eyes. He could feel it. The presence of guilt, shame, he wasn’t a leader. A leader, would’ve gotten all of his friends here. Alby, Winston, Chuck, Teresa, and Newt… five people that meant so much to him, followed him...
And they were gone.
Letting a few silent tears streak down his face, he glanced down at the small necklace he was fiddling instinctively with. The gentle breath of the southern breeze suddenly shifted into a violent wind, sending the small necklace flying out of Thomas’s hands. The man let out a grunt as he launched himself forward, lunging for the small trinket of his greatest friend. Falling to the sand with an overwhelmed heart, he shakily opened his palms, scared to discover whether or not he lost the small memory. To his relief, the necklace laid limply between his hands. Letting out a shaky exhale, the brunet started to get back up, until something caught his eye. A soft tuft of paper, hanging loosely from what seemed like a compartment within the small capsule. Blinking with surprise, he was quick to unravel the small piece… a note.
Running a fearful hand through his hair, he read through the writing slowly… taking in every word like a song, a melody… Newt’s, sweet, and unique voice, ringing through his head as he imagined the boy himself saying the words—
This is the first letter I could remember writing. Obviously, I don't know if I wrote any before the Maze. But even if it's not my first, it's likely to be my last.
I want you to know that I'm not scared. Well, not of dying, anyway. It's more forgetting. It's losing myself to this virus, that's what scares me. So every night, I've been saying their names out loud—
And I just repeat them over and over like a prayer, and it - And it all comes flooding back. Just the little things like where the sun used to hit the Glade at that perfect moment right before it slipped beneath the walls. And I remember the taste of Frypan's stew. I never thought I'd miss that stuff so much.
And I remember you.
From the first time you came up in the box, just a scared little Greenie who couldn't even remember his own name. But from that moment you ran into the Maze, I knew I would follow you anywhere.
And I have.
We all have.
If I could do it all over again, I would. And I wouldn't change a thing. My hope for you: when you're looking back years from now, you'll be able to say the same. The future is in your hands now, Tommy. I know you'll find a way to do what's right. You always have. Take care of everyone for me.
And take care of yourself.
You deserve to be happy. Thank you for being my friend.
Goodbye, mate... Newt.
Angst, ya love it you hate it. :,) I enjoyed writing this chapter! I really got to work on character depth with Thomas, We’ll be on and off with Newt and Tommy’s POVs btw. Love you guys! Have a stellar Thursday!
Chapter 3: Sunsets
Newt is stuck babysitting a WCKED puppet, and this same boy reveals something within himself that will change... everything.
Newt groaned with a familiar burning sensation rising in his chest, awakening to the soft rays that met with his fair skin. Pulling back the thin straw cloth that shielded him from the harsh sun, he instinctively shut his eyes to block out the fiery light that met his onyx hues. Letting out a soft exhale, he glanced down at his newer bandages with a tired expression.
He had been traveling for a little over a week now.
But it had felt like months…
Every day, he struggled to survive. The cranks, his wounds, his flare, and lastly, the heat itself. Since the former capital no longer had it’s filtered walls, the sun quickly became quite unbearable. It was hell trying to find water. Thankfully, he remembered some of the rebellion’s storage facilities underneath the city. He would, indeed, travel underground… but last time he did that, well… the flare caught up to him.
‘It was inevitable.’ He thought to himself bitterly, but couldn’t shake off the twitch of a smile that rose to his cheeks. He could be dead. But somehow, in some way… he was still alive. It was a sign, really, in Newt’s eyes. It seemed like the world gave him one last close to nothing chance of actually making it out of this…
He liked those odds.
His favorite part of the day, was the evenings. He would slowly climb to the top of one of the collapsed buildings for shelter… and if he was quick enough, or at least somewhat awake by then, he’d see the sunset.
If there was one thing he could remember distinctly about the Glade, it was that it had the most beautiful sunsets. It felt good to have that experience. It reminded him of how far he came. At least now, he had a choice. He was free. Newt, could do whatever the hell he wanted to.
But he chose to keep going.
Even now, he still repeats his friends’ names during his struggles. Despite everything, he knew that he needed to go back. They started this whole thing together, they needed to finish it all the same. If not, then what was the point? Newt knew his friends well enough to know that he was being missed… He hoped, at least. But even then, he knew for certain how much he missed them.
Especially Thomas, God…. Thomas made him feel so safe, so naively comfortable in his presence. And not having that now, was like a bird without a song. He couldn’t understand how confusing it all was… to simply not have his allies by his side… it broke his heart every time he thought about it.
Even then, he used these thoughts as motivation to push onward.
Sauntering more fast paced than other days, considering today wasn’t as hot as the others, he took a quick glance at his arm, lifting the sleeve with slight nervousness. He had felt more easily irritable as of late, and he knew the feeling of rage all too well. It was terrifying to him... sliding down his cloak’s sleeve, he huffed in relief to see only minor altercations.” Right then, I’m just being paranoid.” He huffed to himself with an optimistic smile, pressing onward with a light boost in his confidence.
And then suddenly, he stopped. Newt’s eyes narrowed suspiciously when he saw the glint of a steel contraption on top of a nearby tower. That... that gun, That was the same gun—
His suspensions were proven correct as a barrel suddenly ignited, sending the same electrifying net that swallowed Minho that fateful night in the mountains.” Shit—“ Instantaneously, he threw himself onto the ground. As soon as he heard another taunting cackle of a gunshot, he lunged upwards behind the nearest column. Pressing his back against the cracked stone, he glared at the threat with shock and rage. How?! How even now, were they still hunting him?
Minho was right... they won’t stop.
Newt perked up at the sound of a bellowing voice speaking through what seemed like a speaker.” My name is Regris. I am from group X. Me and my buddies were sent to look for you. Now, we can keep playing this game of Cat and Mouse, or you can make both of our lives easy and turn yourself in.” The blond panted softly with rising adrenaline.
“ WHO SENT YOU?” The boy thundered towards the towers, voice raspy due to a normally quiet tone exceeding to something that’d reach the tower.
“ Janson. And the girl from group A.”
“ You’ve been in those walls, crank. You know what it’s like. They’ve promised us freedom in exchange for you!” Newt’s eyes widened with bewilderment, why would they be looking for him and not Thomas? The guy who had the cure. He shouted once more.” You’re delusional to think that they’ll actually let you go!” Regris growled.” Maybe. But it’s hope. Now, you can understand plenty why I mean this wholeheartedly when I say...”
“it’s nothing personal.”
Newt’s eyes turned to saucers at the sudden whisper that sounded off from behind him. A girl, redheaded, was able to sneak onto him while the other was speaking. He immediately shied away from the syringe that she tried to implant into his thigh, instead grabbing it by the hilt, and pulling it from her hands. Using this sudden vulnerability, he shoved the woman into the debris behind her, and darted in the opposing direction.
Keeping his rifle on his back, he swore to only shoot them if they proved to be a threat. He didn’t want to kill anybody, especially when he understood exactly what they were going through. But Newt had his own people to protect. And the dreadful news of WCKED’s survival would have to get to Vince and Thomas’s attention before it was too late. They couldn’t take from them again… they couldn’t.
His bad leg started to weigh him down further through his run. Every stride that made him slam into his right leg landed him in a world of hurt. But the distant purr of a motorbike told him everything he needed to in order to keep, on, running. One step after the other, he glanced behind him to see a freckled boy grin eagerly, cooing into the gray sky as he grew closer and closer to the blond. Newt could feel his hope deteriorating quickly, but didn’t let his own doubts stop him from trying.
Newt would rather die than let WCKED take his friends away from him again. A flicker of an idea sprung to his head, a large gap in the middle of a large bridge. He didn’t wait to see how far down it went, simply imagining the night that he and Thomas jumped onto the wall with Gally. He couldn’t help but close his eyes fearfully as he took a giant step angled off the edge of the bridge. Flying out over the abyss below, his eyes opened to see the surface of the road growing higher and higher from reach. In a last thought, he screamed out and used both of his hands to cling onto the thin cables that streaked from the bridge above. Curling into a fetal position, he took a few moments of silence to regather his breath. The freckled kid growled irritably at something, and yelled into his ear. As if he was scolded, but drove off to Newt’s sarcastic shock.” gone so soon?” He barked after.
Muttering British curses underneath his breath as he continued to inch upwards towards the top of the cable, he winced at his bleeding palms that stained the wires. Suddenly, he heard the familiar roar of a vehicle, the boy was charging towards him with a determined face. He looked as if he was going to make it… until the motorbike suddenly sputtered out, forcing the boy to jump out as soon as it started falling to the labyrinth of dust below. The boy closed his eyes as if he was ready to call it a day, but Newt felt a familiar sting at that same helpless expression. It was the same one he wore the day he—
Shooting off the wall behind him, Newt reached out with an open hand to clasp the other’s wrist. His bloodied nails dug into the boy’s skin, causing his eyes to shoot open with pain and surprise. Instinctively, he returned the grip, making the blond wince before he pulled their cable close to the wall. They clung to one another for a moment, simply processing what had happened.” Shit.” The boy cursed, glancing hesitantly over a frowning Newt. He gulped, and chuckled.” I suppose... an apology is in order.” That caused the older teenager to scoff softly and scramble upwards the cable.
“ H- hey Wait!”
Newt turned around to stare at the man with a raised brow.” Wait what? You tried to turn me into WCKED. You have to understand how that makes me a tad suspicious.” He retorted, making the freckled teen rub the back of his neck awkwardly.” Yeah… I know. And I’m sorry. I seriously didn’t know you were like— a cool guy!”
“ The name’s Tito.”
Tito paused, glancing over the bridge.” I… can— can we stick together?” This made Newt open his mouth to almost instantly protest, making the boy cut him off.” I, promise that I’ll help in any way I can. I am medically trained… I can help with your hands.” Newt glanced down at his swollen calluses, sickening crimson oozing cleanly from desolated skin. And then he came to thinking, this kid could help him with his stab wound… He only really knew what everyone else did when it came to treating it. The thought of waking up one day dead crossed his mind as a sure possibility, but maybe this shank could help him ease his paranoia.
“ Why’re you so eager to help me?” Tito visibly flinched, a shadow falling over his eyes.” Well… I’m, not like the others. I’m a control subject.” Gazing back up at the older individual, he glared back with determination.” I get bit, or worse… Reggie wouldn’t forgive himself. I can’t do that to him.” He spoke softly, making Newt’s heart twist with a partnering guilt. Despite what they were born into, they were both a minority of weaker beings amongst what compared to them as Titans. Newt remembered running into that maze thinking he was invincible… Even now, sometimes he envies that nativity. As such, he could relate to the child’s situation.” Alright then, Tito, follow me.”
Tito’s green eyes lit up with excitement and relief, quickly picking himself up from off the ground to walk behind the man.” Thank you, for- for saving me back there.” He murmured gently, making the blond’s eyes darken to a memory.
” You’re quite welcome.” He smiled empathetically, patting his back gently before sauntering alongside the boy with a stronger limp.
Newt grinded his teeth to bite back the scream that wanted to crawl it’s way up his broken throat, making Tito grimace apologetically.” Sorry! Sorry! I didn’t mean to!” He apologized avidly, eyes searching for the sloppy incision his scalpel made, making the older teenager growl.” Buggin’ Christ, you tryin’ to dissect me shank?!” He snapped, making the brunet deadpan.” A little patience would go a long way too y’know.” The small boy furrowed his brows calculatingly, this whole wound… it was— abnormal. By the agony poorly hidden on the man’s face, he could cross it off for being realistically painful, but then again,
He should be dead.
There wasn’t a way a crank could survive a wound like that. Even with… some way having medicine for the cure.
“ So, where is it?”
“ Care to be specific mate?”
“ The syringe!” Tito remarked irritably, making Newt narrow his eyes with confusion. Letting out a soft chuckle, he spoke once more.” What “syringe”?” The boy grew seemingly more and more impatient.” You know we wouldn’t have to hunt you down if you just gave it back? You’re a real selfish person.” At that, Newt’s eyes widened with offense.” Try again. I am not selfish.”
“ You stole it!”
“ What the bloody hell did I try to steal?!”
“ THE CURE.” Tito snapped, making Newt falter.” Wh— what cure?” The younger boy scoffed.” I can’t believe you. If you just turned it in, we could all be free.” The blond’s eyes were squinted in thought.” Tito I can promise you, I didn’t steal, anythin’.” The boy blinked, looking for a lie within the man’s face… but all he saw was truth. Letting out a sigh, he spoke.” Well then… if you don’t have the cure with you, then where is it?” The man opened his mouth, onyx hues scanning the small child’s face for a sign, but came short.” I wish I could say I knew… but I don’t. Until now, I didn’t even know they had an official cure.” He confessed, making Tito nod his head in confusion.” This doesn’t make any sense. Why would they think you had the cure?” He questioned to himself, but suddenly, his eyes lit up with shock.” Unless—“
Suddenly scrambling in his medical bag, Newt struggled to turn on his side to face him.” Tito. What’re you doin’?” The boy pulled out a device, looking much like the things the guards would use to check a civilian’s temperature.” Hang on I just— I need to check something.” He spoke, gently placing the machinery onto his feverish temple. Pulling back, he quickly hopped onto his small tablet. Newt suddenly grew impressed with how much the man could fit in his small backpack. Suddenly, the boy fell backwards, eyes glued to the screen… as if he had found an answer, a Eureka.
Slowly, Newt approached the small screen, making Tito swallow his shock. Pressing a shaky finger to the monitor, he spoke.” I— I have no words. This isn’t possible. A crank, that…” His words trailed, making Newt suddenly grow anxious.” What’s wrong with me?” He questioned with a subtle shake in his voice.” The string of your blood cells. It’s a pattern, right?”
“ Yeah?” Newt spoke questioningly, figuring the boy was trying to make it easy for him to understand.
“ Well,” The boy then shared the small screen with a darker, more chaotic looking image.”—This is an exposed crank. One that’s around as healthy as you are exteriorly. The cells are scattered, and weaker.” Newt’s brows lowered into a frown at the information.” And this,” The boy started, pressing the scanner to his own head.” Is me.” He muttered, making the image of his and the Glader’s stand side by side.” Somehow, you are nearly identically symmetrical to my blood pattern. Newt, you, are the cure.”
That rocked the man’s entire world, his eyes staring off into an abyss that only he could see. It was- that- it was impossible. Absolutely inconceivable, he was a crank. A bloody, crank. He wasn’t immune like Thomas, Gally, Minho, Frypan, or even Teresa… he was a crank.
“ I’m a crank.” He echoed distantly, his face of astonishment still frozen on his face, making Tito stare at the screen in sympathy.” You are… because despite slowing it down? You’re still vulnerable to becoming savage. But… to slow it down this much, to the point of where you barely even recognize the inconsistency of your cells… that’s why Janson wants you. It’s because you can... make their job easy.” He muttered, his eyes slowly glancing over at the nearby net gun that he carried subtly in his pack. Turning his face away from the man, he sat in silence as Newt was left alone to his thoughts.
“ I…” Letting out a soft and bitter laugh, he continued to speak.” I don’t know whether I should be happy or pissed off. I’ve found out two things today. WCKED’s still alive, and they want my cure. Me, a crank.” He shivered, hearing a soft shift in the boy’s position beside him; but couldn’t care less.
Staring out over a vibrant sunset, he spoke once more.” I used to imagine I’d watch a sunset with my friends, just me and them. Not inside a maze, or alone… just, with them. Somewhere, after a few drinks, or round of truth or dare.” He smiled softly at the thought, thinking of Thomas’s face when he was in a rare mood of comfort and happiness. When he wasn’t stressed, he could pull off the sweetest smiles.
“ I, I’m sorry, but I can’t go back.” He spoke gently, facing the teen that now had a loaded gun pointed at the man’s back. Soulless onyx eyes mirrored the flames of the nearby campfire.” Maybe someday… I’ll come back, help cure this damn flare… but my family is waiting for me out there.” The brunet let out a soft exhale.” Sorry dude. Reggie is depending on me… I can’t let him down.”
Newt felt a twitch of a smile tug at his left cheek, holding a small button in his bandaged hands.” I didn’t last this long to be gullible, mate.” Tito’s eyes turned to globes, opening his mouth before crying out. A small net was planted on the center of his back. A sharp electricity sizzled over his spine, making him collapse onto the floor, curling into himself.
Newt stared at the boy’s surprised and fading eyes.” Tito, you remind me of myself.” He confessed, pulling a nearby warm cloth over the boy’s body.” Don’t give up on yourself… and, remember your worth.” He spoke gently, a sad smile crossing his cheeks before he lifted himself up from his crouched position. The younger teenager’s eyes suddenly glistened with reluctant gratitude, until they slowly closed… making rebellious tears stray from them. Glancing over at a subtle machine that suddenly erupted with static commotion in the boy’s ear, he lifted the device to his mouth with a cold expression.
“ Don’t come after me.”
“ Next time, I’ll kill you.”
Placing the earpiece beside the now sleeping Tito, he picked up his own pack and sauntered into the night with a soft sob escaping his lips. Newt was shocked by the sound that emanated naturally from his throat. Somewhere in his heart, he knew he wanted to cry out how confusing, and tormenting this situation in its entirety was… but— he felt numb.
And he knew why.
Because nothing changed.
He would find Thomas, find the others.
“ And Tommy.”
Silently praying to himself as the moonlight graced his fair skin, he marched on.
Oh Newt... you beautiful beautiful man, :,,,)
This chapter was FUN. I love action, and I also love angst. Just a disclaimer that the OCs won’t have much of a role in plot besides P/A side characters lol, but considering that Ratman has no more friends, he needed some help. I love you guys!
Chapter 4: Lizzy, her name was Lizzy.
Thomas is slowly becoming accustomed to life in the Safe Haven... But memories and familiar faces are interrupting his day to day to reveal that... perhaps, their adventure isn’t as over as they previously thought.
Thomas’s eyes fluttered open to the sound of gentle waves lapping gently over crystal sand. Slowly rising to his knees, he glanced over at the note that kept him awake for most nights. Newt, knew… this was going to happen. He went through every day in that horrible city, subtly fighting to survive whilst fulfilling his role as the team’s shoulder. It hurt. It hurt Thomas to know that his friend was going through such a pain alone. But… in a Newtly fashion, he didn’t let that stop him. He went through it, with a smile, with a love, and that inspired Thomas to keep going. For Newt, and… everyone who helped him get as far as he did, he’d move forward for his friends.
The voice belonged to Brenda, caring eyes searching for the depth in Thomas’s.” You okay?” The brunet’s eyes tore away from the writing to smile at the woman softly.” I will be. Is Vince actually going to let me do chores today?” Brenda’s brow’s curved mischievously.” Depends on whether you think him not being here counts as permission.”
“ That’ll do.”
The woman chuckled softly, swatting playfully at his knees before walking out the tent. Thomas followed after the woman, eyes observing the construction of what seemed like a new bunkhouse. They needed more of those. Ever since Vince started expanding his ship routes, more and more kids have been flooding the beaches.
Thomas wouldn’t have it any other way.
They wanted to help anyone they could out of the hellscape that surrounded the youth. Something that seemed to come of a rarity. He knew Vince was just recently visiting Markus for a new round of teenagers. The man had been luring kids in with drugs, alcohol, and other sorts that looked pleasing to a young eye. Jorge, also joined his side in the fight. He wanted an excuse to beat Markus to shit again anyway.
The thought made him chuckle. At some point during their walk, Gally subtly joined their side, walking shoulder to shoulder with Brenda.” What’s going on, stranger?” He teased lovingly to the woman, making her smirk softly.” I dunno. You tell me… I was just showing Thomas over to some work.” She spoke, making Gally raise a brow.” Yeah? Good morning, Greenie.” He spoke, earning him a tired sigh from Thomas.” Do you really have to call me Greenie? It’s been about two years since we’ve been in that maze—“
“ To me you’ll always be Greenie.” He smiled, eyes beaming with a genuine appreciation for the man.” Anyway Uh… feeling better?” Thomas visibly shadowed over with those words.” So so, I think I just need to work.” Gally nodded his head.” Good that. Nothing better to make you blank than some labor.” Brenda scoffed, elbowing the man in his gut, making him grunt.” C’mon big guy.” She muttered softly, Thomas cackled close behind at the awkward flush that formed on Gally’s cheeks. Brenda simply flashed him a stunning smile that made his expression relax, sending Thomas a gesture towards a place where Sonya and Harriet were working together.” They oughta get you started on some work. Vince’ll be back soon though. Don't catch him seeing you overwork yourself.” He spoke softly. Thomas then flapped his two fingers into a salute.” Duly noted.”
Sauntering over to the two women, he could make out the fuzzy words that they were speaking.
“ Do you think Aris knows about us?”
“ Please. The dude is too freaking smart not to.”
A chuckle escaped the blond’s lips, making Thomas freeze in his steps. The way she brought a hand to her lips when she started giggling… the way she would recoil slightly in the spine, and squint her eyes to add emphasis to that… dazzling smile of his. The same one that made Thomas speechless the same day he came out of the box.
“ Greenbean? Meet Newt. He’s in charge when I’m not around.”
“ It’s a good thing you’re always around then. Listen, that was some dash you made earlier. For a second I thought you had the chops to being a runner.”
“ ‘Till you face planted.” He added banterfully, the corners of his mouth tugging into a soft smile, making Thomas feel a tight pinch in his heart.
“ Thomas! Hey!” Sonya gestured, making the boy’s mind travel reluctantly back to the present. A place without Newt. Thomas slowly approached the couple with a smirk.” So, I overheard you two talking about a said secret.” He murmured teasingly, making Harriet scoff.” Well it’s nothing that concerns you, now is i—“
“ We’re dating!”
“ Sonya!” Harriet exclaimed with a shocked expression, making the blond shrug with nonchalance.” I don’t care who knows it. I love you, and I want people to know how absolutely lucky I am.” This made the mocha skinned woman smile sheepishly, eyes trailing to the dirt floor.” Geez. You really know how to make me speechless.” Thomas felt his heart expand for the amount of love that was blooming for his small corner of the world.” That’s great you guys. I can say though, Harriet’s right. Anyone with half a brain could see that you two have eyes for each other. I mean… remember when that group F kid tried to kiss Harriet at the bonfire?” Sonya’s eyes lit up with a familiar fiery blaze.” I’d rather forget! That- that— drunk, wee little daft little shank had another thing coming if he thought he’d lay a single finger on my Harry.” She defended hastily, earning a whisper from Harriet to the ear.
Thomas could feel such joy for his friends… but even then, a small part of his heart was missing his own love. Teresa… the unresolved tension left the man with a tear in his heart. It would’ve been better if she had left him for dead. At least then he didn’t have to feel guilty… but now? Since the fall, all he could think of is how her death was his fault. That she could’ve indeed survived, if Thomas just complied with WCKED. She could’ve lived to see another day.
Just one more name to haunt him during his restless nights.
Thomas shook his head to ask a question, ignoring the sinly demons that were constantly tugging at his heartstrings.” Gal said you’d have some work for me to do?” Sonya nearly spoke, but he cut her off quickly.
“ —And no fertilizer. Been there, and I have graduated from Greenie duties.”
“ You’re no fun.” She exhaled slowly, beaming softly alongside her partner.” How’s about you help Frypan in the kitchen? We’ve got a new shipment of food. Doubt with him in charge, you’ll do much cooking. But he’ll certainly need help with the mess.” Harriet nodded softly at the statement.” I can second this. Poor guy. Took him another hour or so to get everything cleaned up after the newbies’ feast.” Thomas felt sympathy hit his heart for his friend, nodding his head softly.” Yeah. I’ll help him out. You guys need anything else?”
“ Just take care of yourself, Tommy!” Sonya hollered, making Thomas’s mind suddenly flash with memories. A flood that overtook all of his senses. Newt… and Sonya. Sonya.
“ Sonya. They made her name Sonya, Tommy. What kind of name is that?”
“ Lizzy. Her name is Lizzy. I won’t forget it. I can’t.”
“ I won’t either, Newt. I promise.”
Sonya’s eyes squinted slightly in confusion, a soft tilt of her head to emphasize the bewildered stretched over her fair complexion.” Pardon?” Thomas nearly screamed out her real name, before biting down on his own instincts. Son— Lizzy, barely even knew Thomas. She couldn’t hear something that groundbreaking from him. “ Hey. Newt’s your brother. Y’know, the crank that died?”
He nearly gagged at the words that rang through his head. It would come to be pure blasphemy from the likes of him. And as such, he would hold onto the name like a lifeline. He owed Newt this. He’d tell her… everything, every, little, thing, about Newt. He could spend hours talking on his smile alone. Let alone what lied on the inside. Externally and Internally, pure beauty.
“ Nothing. Sorry, I’ll leave you guys to it.” He murmured, causing the women to glance at each other suspiciously before continuing to their previous tasks.
“ Newt… give me a sign man. Am I going insane? Or am I actually seeing the truth?” He questioned softly underneath his breath as he continued to walked towards Frypan’s kitchen.
“ Thomas! Hey bud!”
Something… anything, please.
A solid few hours of hard work passed as the boy helped cater and prepare Frypan’s concoctions to the upcoming new arrivals. Thomas could now understand why Fry always insisted that they savor their food like it was the last they’d get. It was hard work. Even with the limited resources, Frypan was the best at what he did. After that effort, his stew never tasted sweeter. Assisting with the table setup, he watched the ship slowly grow closer from the edge of the blue horizon.
As the metallic vessel slowly pressed against the gentle cushioning of the salts of the Safe Haven’s shores, Thomas watched as several disbelieving youths slowly descended from the small railing leading from the main deck. Each one of those faces… carried a pain, a loss, a guilt. Something he could relate too familiarly with. Some even cried, simply clutching onto their friends shoulders for reassurance. From the corner of Thomas’s eye, he caught a small boy even pinching his own arm, as if to test the waters of reality. When his face contorted into a grimace, he glanced around him with wide eyes.” Is this real life?”
“ That it is… all of you. Every single one of you, are welcome here. You are safe… for real this time.” He added, making the crowd softly send out the scattered reverbs of a laugh.
“ Thomas. A word.”
Jorge’s voice made him spin around to meet the man’s gaze.” Yeah… of course.” Jorge glanced over at Vince with a solemn nod, causing the blond elder to return the same grin gesture; Thomas shrunk back softly in concern, but followed the man up the boat anyway.
“ While we were out there, we— we didn’t just find other immunes. We found adults.”
“ An, adult, more specifically.” Jorge added, giving Vince a subtle frown before they both turned to Thomas outside a door. The boy glared at the two with paranoid eyes.” What are you not telling me?” The men exchanged one final glance before opening the door. Unarming themselves, they followed Thomas from a safe distance. The immune slowly sauntered towards what seemed like a blond woman in restraints. He was about to make a remark on wasting his time with a pointless scare, but froze when he saw the face.
“ Hello, Thomas. Long time no see.”
The two Maybe stood in silence for a solid four minutes before the elderly woman spoke once more.” I suppose you’re wondering how I’m still here.”
“ Wondering.” He repeated with an unreadable expression darkening over his face, making the woman sigh exasperatedly.” Well… Assistant Director Janson forgot that I am paranoid. I suspected his betrayal as soon as I started to… sympathize with my subjects. I orchestrated my death, once again. So that I could one day return to reclaim WCKED—“
“ WCKED’s dead.”
“ That’s where you’re wrong, Thomas. WCKED is alive… and, supposedly, they have found the cure.”
Thomas’s eyes looked as if they were seeing into a void. There was… no sort of understanding for the words that came out of her mouth. Thomas was the cure. He knew that. How— how did they find the cure if… he wasn’t there?
“ That’s impossible.”
“ Is it? Think about it, Thomas. Your blood is the answer. Is there a brother or sister you know of? A partner… or perhaps someone you got into a quarrel with? Shared blood, Thomas. Think. Please…”
Thomas searched for an answer within her cold eyes, from what she showed externally, her blue eyes read that she already knew the answer, but wanted Thomas to discover it for himself. Shared blood… What fight? It could be a fist fight, a shivving…
His eyes suddenly pooled over with tears, obscuring his vision to where the woman facing him was a figure amongst static on a television. From the dizzying thoughts that were racing through his mind, he made out the words from her mouth as if he was underwater.
“ Where’s subject A5?”
DUN DUN DUN. Yup, alcoholic grandma is back, dramatic entrance and all :,). Also— Sonya can step on me, sorry, I don’t care if it’s gay LMAO.
Also Tommy now knows that Newt could possibly still be aLiVe?!????!? ooh shit. Also EW, I hate how short this is wtf
Chapter 5: Drunk and Confused
Newt finally reaches the wall separating him from the Scorch, but inconvenience and misfortune pay him a deathly visit. Even if he was to make it out of the city, what then?
Where would he go?
Newt couldn’t remember the last time he ate.
Life was slowly starting to shut down in his body. He could feel the subtle aches and sting every time he ever ran, jumped, or even moved. It was obvious enough to get behind the pain that circulated slowly around his right leg. Every step he took felt as if it could be his last if he wanted it to be. Hell, he wouldn’t doubt that if he simply laid down for a certain amount of time… his eyes would awaken to a world of white. One that didn’t hurt him, or have his friends waiting for him… somewhere. It was only a matter of waiting for them to round a certain corner…
But he wouldn’t give up on himself. Or them.
Newt had been through every sort of obstacle imaginable. The constant possibility of an apocalyptic uprising, a group of untouchable immunes breathing down his neck, and lastly… the terror of waking up a Crank. Still, miraculously, the black veins were nearly indistinguishable underneath the mud and dust that coated his pale skin. If there was one thing Newt could ask for right now, it was a proper bath.
It was only after the first eight days that Newt actually saw the collapsed wall that surrounded a former empire.
Climbing up a demolished wreckage between two towering skyscrapers, he instantly fixed his gaze on a familiar structure. One that gave him chilling Deja-Vu of an all too familiar maze. His eyes instantly regained a long lost hope. Moonlight illuminated the mysteriously flat path towards his hallelujah. Letting out a hoarse laugh of relief, he started to sprint towards the barrier leading to the Scorch. He rehearsed what he’d do a thousand times in his head. Grab a car, drive out for as long as he could, and then make it to the coast. The refugee village was his best chance of finding Vince. If he found Vince, he’d find Thomas and the others.
From the other side of the chaos, he saw Gally’s car miraculously untouched outside where the rebels tore down the wall…
Finally . Something’s going good for me.
Climbing up the rubble that shielded him from the Scorch beyond the wall, Newt gritted his teeth with determination. His leg pulsated with protest, making him reel back with soft pants.” Come on… You’re so close.” He whispered to himself, the only true company he had in what’s felt like months. The soft plea that reached his ears escaped his own chapped lips. Even then, he felt his heart beat steadily with angry confidence. Grunting between his grinding teeth, the blond let himself stumble over the top of the deconstructed wall. Exhausted, his body went limp as he let his back fall onto the floor below him. Coughing out, he subconsciously scratched his bad arm, and shot off as soon as he saw a familiar vehicle.
Swiftly, he jumped into the driver’s seat, listening with a satisfied grin at the gentle growl of a former WCKED Jeep. Starting to drive forward, he furrowed his brows at the darkness ahead.
The headlights weren’t working.
” Come on.” He groaned irritably, sending his fist to slam gently into the front board. Sighing at the uncertain flicker of the lights, he rose back to his driving position to stare at a still silhouette of a man. Swallowing down the sudden unease in his throat, he started to subtly reach for the ignition gear. At the sight of movement, the man ahead cocked his head curiously, an inhuman reaction… as if it was a bird, spotting potential prey. Newt didn’t want to become that same prey. The words he heard a few days ago came flooding back into his ears painfully loud.
It was yet another chase from Janson’s puppets… and Regris’s words cut into his consciousness like a knife.
“ Either you get taken by us? By your own virus… or a fellow crank. At least with the Ratman you have a chance of actually seeing another day!”
He replied confidently then.
“ I’d rather die or go insane, then help that— heinous human being!”
Gripping the steering wheel, he grinned smugly.
He was still hellbent on proving that asshole right. There was nothing else worse than a fate within that bastard’s hands. He was a coward, a monster, and he still… even now, at his lowest? Wanted to ruin everything he and Thomas were fighting for.
Slamming down on the accelerator, he heard a shrill cry escape the crank as he charged at the now moving car. Newt shut his eyes as he heard a sickening crunch as the man flew over the roof of the vehicle. The commotion sent a ripple of noise that stirred a horde of the same beast that he ran over. Their howls suddenly cut through the air, hungry cries.” Shit.” He cursed fearfully, eyes staring down the desolated roads ahead of him. Their paths cracked and hazardous. Newt already didn’t consider himself a good driver. Brenda had to teach him during their train robberies… but, even then, it wasn’t like he was graced a proper course like the generations before him were. In short, he “sucked ass” at it, in Brenda’s words.
Even then, he wasn’t going to let himself die to a car crash. As such, he yanked the gear backwards into ignition, and shot off into the dark wilderness around him. Betrayed faces of humans flashed in his headlights, one after the other, flying overhead with a sickening inattentive expression to the snapping of their leg’s ligaments as they hit the car’s front. Watching as a familiar black tar started to obscure his vision. Growling out, he tried to remember where the windshield wipers were located on the dashboard. Brenda taught him in a car far different than this one. This was far more advanced than he was used to. The blurry memorization of certain levers and buttons applied nothing to him. And then he noticed the subtle white symbol on a small button beside the wheel.” Hah!” He cheered triumphantly, watching as the wipers swiftly brushed against a sickening ink. It was just the right amount of sight to see an abandoned freeway ahead.
“ Great another bloody bridge…” He muttered to himself with a grimace of uncertainty. He was dead anyway if he stopped now. He heard the angry shrieks behind him, and through his side view mirror, he saw the horrific chase of a blind man’s hunger for human flesh. Brenda specific words suddenly rung through his head like a song, repeating the phrase aloud.” Speed is your best bet when all hell’s loose.”
Newt’s brows suddenly met at the bridge of his nose, a brave expression that showed recklessness and determination all in one. Slamming his foot to the floorboard, he watched as the world around him became a blur. Shouting out, he watched the other side grow closer and closer until the nose of his car hit the floor hard. The man’s head met with the steering wheel, and he was sent rocketing back into his seat. A giant white cushion suddenly engulfed his face as the car did an ungracious stumble. After a single topple, the Jeep was propped upside down, with an unconscious Newt dangling from his seatbelt.
The undead on the other side cried in protest, reaching helplessly for a car that wasn’t coming, the explosion of the wall caused a large quake in the Earth, a tear that fell deep between the small village surrounding the walls of the city to separate it from the neighboring desert.
Newt could involuntarily rest, safe from the claws of his fellow cranks.
Newt awakened to the sound of overlapping waves crashing onto one another. Groaning out, he was shocked to find himself in a small cot within a tent. Shakily, he brought himself to his knees to greet the view in front of him. A small village of… what seemed like kids . People his age. Cautiously optimistic, he glanced around the rather happy setting with a smile slowly building onto his pale cheeks. And then he saw him.
The man turned around slowly, a watery smile greeting the blond.” Hey Newt. Welcome to the—“
Gasping, Newt was instantly aware of the blood that splashed heavily in his skull. He had been positioned upside down all night. Groaning out, he pressed a hand to his head.” That’s going to make for one shucking mess of a headache.” He spoke bitterly, shakily reaching to the seatbelt that imprisoned him from the safety of gravity. Wincing as his body flopped onto the roof of the car, he rubbed his bruised forehead with a scowl.” Ow…” Ever so cautiously, he reached for the doorknob located on his upper left. Stumbling out of the car, he glanced around the bridge for an accessible car… or at least one he could perhaps fix. He may not be the best driver, but he always had a knack for fixing up things. This included mechanical situations… Jorge’s car for example. The old man didn’t care about consequences, and as such, he’d ram his busted up truck into just about anything to prove a point.
The thought made Newt rasp a chuckle.
Slowly approaching a car that seemed fairly operational, he lifted the hood with a soft grimace at the state of the engine. It didn’t seem all that bad. Just enough where someone who was inexperienced, or in a dire situation… would abandon in favor of better odds. Swinging the heavy bag of emergency tools that Gally fortunately packed securely in one of the pockets of his car, he started to work on the small mechanism. He smirked proudly at the finished result, cranking the keys into their slot with a face that seemed ready for disappointment. The gentle vibrato of a truck’s engine made his face light up with gratitude. For a change, he’d get to ride through the Scorch. Not nearly destroy his right leg walking through it.
Checking the fuel, he noticed that he had three quarters of a full tank… that— was, pretty good. Almost suspicious of how bright things were going, Newt slowly drove his new ride through the onslaught of forgotten cars. The Scorch never seemed so welcoming…
He was finally out of that godforsaken city.
“ I’m coming… I swear to you. Please , don’t give up on me yet guys.”
A few hours passed, and it was clear that the tank was starting to slowly grow more and more dry. Newt didn’t mind. It had taken it far enough for him to see a familiar face.
Newt knew he was crazy, but he needed a lead. Markus was his best bet, he seemed to know everything that happened in the Scorch. Perhaps he knew where Vince and the rest of the Right Arm were.” Only one way to find out.” He murmured to himself as he rolled into the marketplace of cranks and immunes alike. He felt a pang of sympathy for the partying teenagers. They seemed so unaware of what was to come. Markus wasn’t a smart man, but he was heartless and clever enough to make a living off of a youth’s own constant desperation for a thrill or relief off of reality. Newt felt his eyes narrow in disgust and anger at the man’s deceiving eyes reaching out to the occasional passing teenager. He watched from afar as he led an unsuspecting couple into the crowd inside after a quick sip of an intoxicating liquid. The man drank first, reeling his head back for a coughing fit at it’s kick. Markus then placed the small capsule in the woman’s hands, making her stare at it hesitantly. The action caused a naive boyfriend to kiss her head encouragingly, making her take a soft sip. After the two did their “initiation” of sorts, the greedy man led them inside.
Newt frowned as he approached the porch outside the raving party inside. Markus waltzed out of the room with a smug chuckle before his shocked eyes met with Newt’s onyx hues. The words lodged in his throat before he spoke.” You, you were with Jorge…” the man nodded.” Yeah? Well I’m back, and I need information.” The man smirked.” Oh? Did you get yourself lost?” Newt shrugged.” Lost is a word for it, sure…” The redhead chuckled devilishly, approaching the taller man slowly. Markus then grasped Newt’s chin in a bruising hold to bring him down to eye level. The blond frowned irritably at the action, but let the man speak.” You should know by now, Newt. That nothing’s free. I’d like some entertainment, if you will… a small test. For, we live in a New World… a world, for the youth.”
“ —Get to the bloody point already.”
“ I want to challenge you to a little game…” Markus concluded with a grin, letting his fingernail dig into the man’s skin, making Newt instinctively shove the man into the wall. Running his hands along his bruised chin, he spoke.” I’ll do your challenge.” He stated, making the man clap his hands excitedly.” Excellent!” Suddenly enthusiastic, he rummaged around for a specific item, making the teenager start to feel a hesitation at his words.
No, I can do this… I need this. If I don’t have a lead, then I’m going to die out here trying to find one... and I can’t have that.
Markus then turned to him with a silver bottle in hand.” Newt, I take it you’re not the drinking type.” The man shrugged.” So so. I drank in the maze.” He answered honestly. Gally’s formula certainly was stronger than most snake venom this sleazy shank could serve. Even then, it still scared him how there was an evil glint in the man’s eyes as he served him the beverage.” That’s quite alright. I just need you to… take a quick drink of this, and enjoy yourself a party.”
“ What’s the catch?” Newt asked with a soft frown, making the older man chuckle.” You’re a smart kid. I’ll give you that.” He spoke.” You have to stay sober enough to visit me in my office in two hour’s time.” Newt blinked at the words.” Why two hours?” The elder grinned.” I have some diplomatic situations to settle with… I’ll be a free man at four.” Glancing around, he was shocked to hear that they could even calculate the time. But he’d find a way to tell. Before he’d let his mind tell him all the shadiness of the proposition, he snatched the liquor from the man’s hands. Feeling his body scream in protest at the liquid that flooded his throat, he ignored it, drinking it even further. Markus chuckled maliciously.” Good boy.”
The comment made Newt pause his actions, coughing out at the sting and cloudiness that suddenly surrounded his senses.
“ Your audience awaits.” The man smirked slyly, pulling over a curtain. Leading to a crowd of raging teenagers.
He glared at the man before he stared out over a sea of sinful and rambunctious acts and people. His senses were suddenly drowning out his consciousness, making him all the more drunk and confused.
“ Shuck me… ”
Oh Markus... The shuckin’ creep. (I’m sorry, but that guy is SKETCHY as hell. Even in the movies, I got chills on certain lines he delivered.)
But HEYYYYY! Newt’s out of the city!!
...Wonder what Ratman’s up to right about now, haven’t heard from the dude in a while!
Chapter 6: Missing You
Newt soon discovers the drink is the very least of his worries. Under that very same influence, he comes to realize things that may change things... things that he is fighting for.
Newt’s eyes fell over an absolute swarm of party hungry teenagers. It was odd. He remembered Thomas explaining it’s chaos in strangely accurate detail… yet, Newt didn’t believe him. He blamed it on the drink.
Now he was wishing he was a little more considerable to his story. As if frozen in place. An impatient Markus carelessly shoved the injured man into the fray. He landed, despite his struggle, limply onto his side. His bruised ribs screamed in protest, making his eyes shoot open at the speed of a starved crank. Grunting irritably at his inability to move, despite his body telling him to. He knew now, that it wasn’t just the drink.
Something was wrong.
Feeling fearful, he itched away at his right arm as his limbs slowly let him rise to his feet. He heard Markus’s taunting laughter echo through the walls of the labyrinth Newt was now trapped inside of. Swallowing in his urge to check his now strangely irritable feeling eating at his arm, he pressed both of his hands in his pockets. Afraid of what to find, he simply blamed the drink.
Throughout the constant war to keep his senses from drowning his own maddened mind, Newt continued to subtly worm through the sea of lustrous and reckless youths having their way on the floor. Instead, he pulled himself a chair at the bar. His pale fingers gingerly graced a cool marble painted with a vibrant red. He could make out the blurry words of the man behind the bar offering a glass.
“ M’good. Thanks.” Newt replied, uncertain, his eyes catching onto the loud activity on the corner of the rave. He could make out an echoing, inhumane howl that split through the atmosphere like a knife. Feeling his curiosity pull him towards the group, he leaned his arm onto the nearby railing as he looked out over a truly horrific scene.
A crank, tied and beaten, was crying out savagely to the immune that was dancing smug circles around the beast. Someone who used to be human… someone,
Like me .
The chromatic offset that let a ghosted trail follow the dueling pairs’ movement’s, slowly morphed into a haunting image that Newt believed wouldn’t ever escape his memory. The man’s face slowly shadowed over to become his own. He saw himself… in that pit. With the rope slowly tightening around the coils of his neck, his bloodied wrists started to leave specks of black ooze onto the floor below him. The men who held him so mercilessly, brought him down to his knees like an animal. The subtle skylight leaked from above, making his blond hair glisten in contrast with the pistol that was slowly inched its way closer to his forehead. The crank’s eyes closed in on themselves, leaking black tar from their eyelids.
“ Please… please To-”
The sound of a bullet meeting the skull made Newt nearly collapse in horror. Faltering a few steps backward, he ran a hand instinctively through his hair. The sound wouldn’t ever leave him. It made his mind travel to the past… What if Thomas wasn’t quick enough? Would he hear that same noise? Would it haunt him? Shaking away the image of his face on the now fallen crank, he instead ventured back to the dance floor. The sensual dances of both boys and girls alike made him feel overwhelmed, uncomfortable, and…
Newt groaned annoyed at the thought. That was a lie. He didn’t care for Thomas in that way. Despite what the others may think, he wasn’t. It was just the thought of being by someone’s side… he's been alone for so long. He—
But in the most platonic way.
“ It’s in your head…” He repeated to himself endlessly as he walked, providing a small bit of confidence from his own comfort. Newt then saw the same man from earlier at the entrance staring out anxiously over the crowd. Deciding he needed more distraction from the raging emotions slowly storming inside his pit, he slowly approached the barstool next to him.
“ Hey. Looking for someone?”
The man glanced over with an offended expression, before seeing the genuineness in Newt’s chocolate hues.” It’s… my girlfriend. Loretta. She was literally right by me, and then Markus took her with a group of other kids, and… I- I was just told to wait here for her.”
Newt then felt his eyes focus through their drunken state. An idea suddenly made his entire face grow a few shades healthier than the hopeless pale previously shadowing him.” And that doesn’t seem at all suspicious to you?” The man shook his head.” Nah. This Markus guy seems okay… for the most part that is. I hated how he kept looking at her.” He spoke the last part in a bitter whisper, making Newt shrug nonchalantly.” Probably right. I mean, it’s not like he’s hiding anything. Sorry for the paranoia mate, served’ me well in the past.” He slurred, running a dirty palm over the side of his sweaty face.
The statement made the man slowly glare with rising suspicion.” Yeah… Um, thanks. I’m going to find my friends, and-” Letting out a shuddered exhale of sudden tension, Newt watched as the teenager quickly approached a trio of men who all seemed familiar.
Newt’s grin returned to his lips.
A hand then gracefully tapped his shoulder after what seemed like mere minutes after he aroused alert amongst a fellow stranger. Markus’s show woman, glared seductively down on the boy. From his seated position, she seemed to be intentionally towering over him, the harsh illumination of the pink hued spotlight making her frizzy blonde hair highlight her dangerously close proximity to Newt’s face.” The boss is waiting for you… congratulations.”
Newt’s eyes suddenly lit up with realization. He made it. It was just about as awful as he pictured it being, but even then… it went by strangely fast.” Good that… You lead I’ll follow.” He spoke, shakily coming to a stand. The woman giggled slyly and showed him to a door right outside the second story. There, she whispered sweet nothings to the doorman, making him quickly open the door for the two.
Markus stood over a stained and dusted studio window, staring out over a busy marketplace below him. Letting out a sweet sigh, he twirled his wine glass with a smirk.” Tell me, Newt, how did you come to wind up here… so far away from your romcom cast of friends?”
“ I’m the one who’s supposed to be asking the questions.” Newt growled, rubbing at his baggy eyelids. Growing increasingly more frustrated, he finally surrendered to his built up anger.” And it’s none of your business either. All you need to know, is where in the bloody hell I can find them?”
Markus let out an amused cackle.” An uncharacteristic burst of emotions there, blondie. Alright, I’ll tell you what, answer the question, and I won’t have my doorman shoot you in between the eyes.” Newt scoffed.” Do you think your petty threats can strike a nerve? Do your math, you invite me in here, and expect me to actually come unarmed—” Markus’s woman gasped fearfully at the sight of a handgun’s silver barrel gleaming against the Scorch’s rays.
Markus’s security instantly tensed, eyes fixated on a single target.” Put the gun down!” They would order upon deaf ears.
“ Tell me where they are. I’m a dying shank anyway.” He whispered with an unexpected waver in his depressing words.” I won’t care. All that matters? Is getting back to them.”
Markus visibly swallowed the lump that seemed to choke him.” Alright. The abandoned docks… By Ruthsfort, have you heard of it?” Newt grinned.” A car?”
“ Christ… you people with my cars, no.”
A cock of his pistol echoed subtly through the large room.
“ Alright! Alright! Jesus… Here.” The redhead then tossed over a pair of bronze keys.” That goes to Priscilla. She’s the blue Jeep.” Newt felt his eyes slowly narrow on themselves at his words, seemed he was close to a hallelujah.” Right, now, tell them to drop their guns.” Markus nodded his head to the three men that had their guns trained on the boy. Slowly, the dropped their guns to the floor, leaving Newt to start slowly exiting the room to the patio outside.
“ You never answered my question, blondie.”
“ It’s nothing that concerns you.” He quickly retorted from over his shoulder, making Markus chuckle darkly.” Now see, that’s where you’re wrong. Business is my business… and, it has come to my attention that you are of great value to me.” Suddenly, the same woman from before sent a small needle to penetrate his arm. His eyes lost focus with the blaring bass from the floor below them. The world around him seemed to be spinning nauseatingly slow. He whimpered weakly as Markus pressed a boot to his sloppily bandaged chest.” And you’re going to make me a very rich man…”
Markus then turned to the three behind him.” Make preparations. Tell Director Janson that I have his crank.” The men collectively nodded their heads in agreement, and set off for their separate tasks. However, the sound that escaped the fading boy’s lips sent a nervous shiver down his spine. A chuckle, a dry, sarcastic one.
“ You’re even stupider than I thought.” Newt muttered, making the man lean in close. An angry expression dawned on the redhead’s face.” What’s that to mean?”
“ Now… Tommy, is someone who brings people together, a rallier yeah?” Markus glared suspiciously.“ And… well, me? I’m a bit of’a firestarter—”
Markus’s eyes then trained on the now broken down door. A group of pissed off teenage boys stormed in with guns, and angry drunken expressions.” Where is she? WHERE IS SHE?!” The man from before thundered furiously, shoving the older man into the wall behind him.” You son of a bitch, I know… I know what you’ve been doing. I know!” Markus sobbed silently under the pressure of a large barrel capturing his bobbing Adam’s Apple.” Now now… let’s be professional about this.” He pleaded with a nervous grin, making the sunkissed man on the lead’s left smirk threateningly. Cocking a small pistol to his head, he counted down slowly.” Ten, nine, eight, seven—“
“ You’re seriously going to believe some stranger over me?! Someone who gave you shelter at your lowest! Accepted you!” The men glanced at one another with an equal understanding of his deception.” Tell me, where, she is.” Suddenly, a few dozen bullets erupted in the room, causing the teenagers to scream in pain at the electric surge parading recklessly throughout their bodies. They then fell, one by one, only sign of movement being their chests going up and down. Regris, the immune leader from Group X stood over the bodies menacingly. Markus scoffed, pulling up his jacket’s collar.” Took your long enough.”
“ Where is he?”
“ What’re you talking about? Where else could he go? He’s right there—“
But Newt was gone.
“ I… I don’t understand. I drugged him!” Regris scoffed.” Stubborn little prick.” He then pressed a piece to his ear.” We’re heading out. Our mutual friend has failed to return his end of the bargain.” He growled irritably, earning a denying shake of the head from Markus.” No, no no no! I swear to you, he was—“
“ “ Was.” I need a “He is here”. Was, is a word of the past…”
“ --An expensive word… one that costs time and resources we don’t need to expend.”
Markus slowly pulled his gaze to the door to see a familiar face. One that struck fear into the hearts of the young.” Janson…” His scarred face showed angry black veins slowly overtaking his right cheek and temple. One eye turned from a blue to a hazy and sickly gray. A dry huff escaped the man’s lips.” Markus… I know you. I know, how unreliable you are at times. But I? Gave you the benefit of the doubt. Tell me where he’s headed.” He spoke with an unreadable expression.
Markus let out a hoarse pant, a if it was a plea.” To Ruthsfort Bay. Vince is there.”
A quiet nod.
And the sound off of a proud pistol.
“ Thank you for your cooperation.” He muttered halfheartedly, an exhausted sigh escaping lips as he brought a charcoal stained handkerchief to clean off black ooze.” Teresa. Gather the caravan. We’ll beat him to the port… and kill Vince while we’re at it. Y’know. To be smart with our time.”
“ Of course…” The woman spoke hesitantly. Vince was a hero to the immunes. It’d tear them apart to kill the inspiring leader, father he became to her former friends. But she saw the reasoning behind it. Without Vince, the generation would be leaderless. That would make things easier… almost easy.” Regris, take a few soldiers and round up the immunes downstairs.” At that, Regris felt hesitation befall his features.” But, if we have the crank, we could find the cure—“
“ We’ll need the immunes to continue the cure. There’s only so much blood one person has… You understand, don’t you? Tito, he’s dying because of you.” Janson spoke heartlessly, eyes a blank glare. Regris’s lip visibly quivered at that. During one of their travels, he left Tito as a lookout… when they came back, they saw him struggling against a crank. The boy ended up getting bitten clean in the arm. He was rushed to the lab after that. They did all they could, practically giving him more time… but only that.
The guilt wore him down like an anchor on the daily.
“ I understand, Mr. Janson.” He growled, cocking his weapon before descending the stairs.
Teresa watched Janson’s frown slowly turn into a grin.” I like people who can get things done. Teresa… you’ve had your fair share of displacency, but… never did I doubt, in the end, you’d be for our cause.” He spoke emotionlessly.
Teresa let out a small smile.” Thank you sir—“
“ Just don’t misplace my trust for comfort. You’re still just as much of a traitor in my eyes.”
Newt’s back slumped against the wall, eyes fighting themselves to stop from closing them all together. They were here. He couldn’t give up now. He wouldn’t.
But the toxin flowing through his veins told him otherwise. He could feel his body slowly shutting down to rest.
He couldn’t let himself fall asleep. Newt hesitantly grabbed a knife from his pocket, and let the blade slowly dig into his arm. He let out a muffled scream through the cloth that he had implanted in his mouth. He couldn’t afford giving away his location by a noise. As soon as he made the cut, he swiftly pulled the knife away from his pale skin, and took in the image of his arm as a horrifying whole.
“ Here goes…”
Hesitantly, he rose his arm to his lips, sucking on a crimson cut before spitting it back out. A continuous cycle, back and forth, back and forth. Instinctively, his eyes started to water with agony. But he continued to drain the toxic that was slowly starting to exit his body with the rest of the blood that Newt was drawing. After a few minutes, he felt his strength returning, in surrender of a now worsening cut on his arm. Quickly, he shot off of his good leg and ran as fast as his legs could carry him. He heard a shout from behind which caused him to trip on himself. Falling face first into the dirt, he winced with pain and continued forward. Sprinting as hard as he could, the boy found himself facing a baby blue Jeep with the sly painting of a woman on it’s hood.
“ Hello Priscilla. I’m Newt.”
Revving his key into the drive, he glared down the same men who were advancing on him. The threatening purr of an engine made the trio instantly aware of their endangerment.” SHIT!” The man in front shouted fearfully as Newt’s foot met with the floorboard. His car flew passed the maneuvering men in a blur.
The chaos of the marketplace behind him was an ambience against a quiet radio. Groaning softly as the new wound that pulsated against his arm, he simply continued to drive forward. He was a wreck… he knew that. But he was willing to do whatever it took to get back to the others… to Thomas.
Despite what it came to, Newt considered today a victory.
“ Almost there.”
“ Were you able to find him?”
“ No… I wasn’t.” Teresa muttered defeatedly, earning a sigh from Janson.” Well… that’s disappointing. At least we know where he’s going. I honestly feel bad… the kid’s going through so much trouble, only to find out it’ll be for nothing.” He smiled.” Be ready to leave tonight. We’re going to the beach.”
Markus, what goes around comes back around.
Also, HOW’RE THE NEWTMAS SHIPPERS FEELIN’ TONIGHT?
I preordered the Crank Palace, IM SO FRIGGIN SCYCED FOR THIS...
Chapter 7: Is there still time for Hope?
Janson catches Newt and the others by surprise, meanwhile Thomas races against the clock to get his best friend back... and through that, he realizes things about the boy and himself that he never imagined before.
Thomas and the others had been on the road for days now. Their objective?
Bring him home.
Let him rest. Thomas would silently pray to nothingness, it was the most conflicting news to hear that Newt was alive… Alive, and perhaps already in WCKED’s possession. Newt, shucking, Newt. The most deserving boy of a storybook ending. When the hell would the world give him that? Thomas remembers, he remembers watching his best friend fall from the walls of the ivy, being careful not to make a noise as gravity let him be enveloped by his own sadness. He remembered the confusion, anger, and horror that instantly flooded his ears. He did this to him. He made the maze.
Newt was there, always. There wasn’t ever a doubt in his mind that Newt wouldn’t be by his side until the end. Then again, a single phrase echoed hauntingly throughout his mind.
Who was there for Newt?
Thomas groaned hatefully at the words, pushing them to the back of his mind for the time being. Minho noticed Thomas’s grimace and turned to face the man from the passenger’s seat.” Hey, shank,”
“ Sorry. Just thinking.”
“ Aren’t we all…” The man muttered, his voice trailing in a regretful sense. Thomas knew Minho was rocking in the same boat as him, he and Newt were close, they were brothers. When Newt— stabbed himself, they thought he was gone. He remembered Minho saying he begged to let him carry his body back to the ship, let him have a proper burial, but with every second uncertainly ticking as if it was their last, they had to leave him. He hasn’t been the same cocky runner that he saw in the glade since. Newt was his rock, they went everywhere together, they’ve known each other for several years.
And so, anyone would understand the shock when Thomas told him that Newt was alive.
Minho’s face was frozen with a furious surprise, making Thomas hesitantly start.” Minh-“ the man struck him with a fiery agility, sending Thomas to falter, rear hitting the floor.” You’re— you’re sick, Thomas. You can’t actually shucking believe some— murderous bitch, who’s trying to get in your head! We both saw him! Not only did he have the flare, but he stabbed himself.” He shuddered, face reading a mind that flashed back to something traumatic.” Just… Thomas, I know, things aren’t going to be the same. But…” To Thomas’s own horror, he watched as a few stray tears slithered their way down Minho’s olive complexion.
“ Minho… I wouldn’t lie to you about this.” Slowly, the man rose off the ground, making a nearby Brenda clutch onto Gally’s flexed arm.” Ava is a liar on most things, but not this…” The boy then showed the man a static video of Janson speaking into a monitor.” Subject A5, is alive.”
Minho’s eyes nearly shot out of his skull, accompanied by a disbelieving shake of the head by Gally.
“ Despite fatal injuries, he is still determined to make it to this “Paradise” the right arm had been preaching obnoxiously about… shame, thought he’d be smarter than that. Nonetheless, something has triggered not entirely a stop, but a slow in the virus inside him.” The screen then showed a blurry image of a familiar mop of blond hair, making the group collectively tear up at the sight.” I’ve sent out what remains of my team to find him. We will get the cure…” An exhausted sigh left the man, making him lean into the light, unveiling a trail of veins that branched throughout his face.” Even if I have to tear it out of him barehanded.” The violent conclusion strengthened its emphasis even further with an abrupt black screen.
“ No shucking way…”
“ Minho, we have to find him.”
“ Oh we’re finding him.” He declared with a shaky exhale.” And we’re going to bring him home .” Thomas’s eyes sharpened with determination. Brenda grinned as she started off in an opposing direction.” I’ll ready the fishing boat.” Gally stared at Thomas with conflict brining within his blue hues.” Well, where to, Greenie?” At that Thomas’s face faltered to something more unsure than anything.
“ The latest transmission involving your friend is by a man named Markus. He lives in the Scorch, has a cozy operation there.” The voice of Ava Paige made Thomas glared at the ground.” Right, we’re supposed to believe the crazy lady—“
“ Jorge, you have your Scorch Jeep parked next to the bay, right?”
“ Hermano… you’re not thinking—“ The expression Thomas have made the man surrender an exhausted sigh.” Yes. I do.” Gally shook his head.” No. I won’t believe her.”
“ You don’t have to. I’ll go alone, but I’m getting Newt back—“
“ Thomas!” Minho spoke, pulling him back with a hand to the shoulder.” we’re all with you. If you really think this is the right call, then… we’ll follow you.”
‘And from that moment you ran into the maze, I knew I would follow you anywhere.’
“ We will.” Minho repeated.
‘And I have.’
Thomas must’ve read that note at least a few hundred times since he found it. That was a little under a month ago. The genuine truth behind it made it difficult to forget. Those words burned into the redness of his eyes, every thought of it become a reverb of a familiar accented voice, and intoxicating laugh. Something that he could feel loved and safe knowing he had a memory of the boy before he descended into a frenzied state of madness. But… even then, he wanted more.
He wanted Newt .
“ Thomas. Stop spacing out, you’re freaking me out dude.” His eyes shot open with an apologetic expression.” I’m sorry. Brenda, how close are we to Markus’s place?”
“ Pulling… up.” She muttered that last part rather small. Thomas and Minho both turned their heads at the soft words. Vince cocked his gun, ready for a fight. The marketplace they passed through on their way to the Right Arm, now desolated, flames and smoke erupting from the forgotten sanctuary for both cranks and immunes alike.
Thomas shot out of the car, with Jorge calling after him from behind. At his right, a fearful Minho came second.” Thomas, you don’t think—“
“ No. no.” He spoke with a hasty shake of his head. He’s made it this far, he couldn’t have gotten himself caught now. He’s Newt. ” Thomas tried a chuckle, making Minho smirk nervously.” Right. The dude’s more stubborn than me.” A soft groan made both Minho and Thomas cock their weapons ready. Barrel’s fixated on a man lying flat on his stomach. A WCKED soldier, who seemingly had a pretty messed up knee, considering the odd angle it was shaped with.
A walkie hissed beneath the man’s belt, the Amber’s that cackled endlessly around it battling for a voice. Thomas hastily pulled the walkie to the fallen soldier’s face. Minho pointed a gun at the man as Thomas started to speak intimidatingly.” You’re going to ask them where subject A5 went, or I’ll let my friend here send a bullet through your skull.” He growled, making the man visibly gulp. Thomas hesitantly clicked the communications line, ampting the man to speak.
“ Where’s subject… A5?”
“ Weren’t you the one who got run over by him? Reported him in? He took Markus’s truck and hauled ass to Vince’s refugee station. Don’t worry… we actually have him on sight.” Thomas’s eyes widened at that, giving an expression that told the soldier to continue questioning.
“ Really now… How close.”
“ Let’s just say? He’s going to wish he came with us the first time.” The walkie then made an alarming sound off, as if it was an explosive deep within the line. Minho let out an angry, shuddered groan in between his teeth, trying desperately not to get too vulnerable in front of the enemy.
“ Regris, you there?”
A flat line, only answered by static, which gave him all the answers he needed. The captain let out a pained hissed and fell back onto the gravel behind him. Thomas gave Minho a fearful expression.” We’ve got to get there Minho. We can’t let them take him…” The two started back to the car before the man let out a smug chuckle.” Your little buddy’ll be strung up like a puppet in a matter of hours. Once WCKED has him? There’s no returning. Even if you somehow miraculously manage to get him back, he will be a shell of the stubborn little prick we’ve been hunting. He won’t feel like he’s free, he’ll probably wish he was dead.” The words made Minho pounce, but Thomas held him back. Thomas thought back to the day he saw Newt fall.
And he spoke.
“ You’re wrong. We were once WCKED property. And look at where we are now, we’re… we’re a family. We have each other. We’re all survivors. Minho, he was captured by you, and… had to go through so much, but he’s back. And still as rebellious as ever.” Minho’s face showed subtle pride in the realization that he was still here.” Brenda,” the woman smiled brightly at her name being called.” You took her brother, and left her for dead with Jorge. They grew stronger together, and now? They are leaders of the Right Arm. Gally, he… used to…” Gally turned his head away in shame, bracing for what to come. Thomas noticed this and thought on his words.” Gally was used to the same system you forced on them. But, when he finally got out? He adapted, and freed himself from your manipulation.” From Thomas’s view, he could’ve swore he saw a tear trail down Gally’s cheek at the praise.” And that “stubborn prick” That’s Newt. He’s a survivor, and… shit, he’s a leader. There isn’t a single thing you could do to break any of our spirits, especially his. We’ve gotten this far.”
“ You can’t break us.”
The soldier’s eyes showed cold, making him slump defeated.” Right then… go fetch your boyfriend.” He growled loathingly, making Minho nudge Thomas to the car.” It’s not safe here… let’s go find Newt.”
Hang in there Newt… I promise, I haven’t forgotten you.
Newt’s eyes stared aimlessly at the never ending dunes and sand that stretched over the horizon beyond. The blood loss, dizziness, and everything in between was starting to make him think alarmingly dark things. But he kept on, because that’s what he knew best. Letting out a soft exhale, he tried to focus on the soft ambience of the glade parties at night. A shaky smile graced his lips at the familiar sound of Zart shouting nonsensical Glader-Slang, Chuck laughing carelessly, and Alby stepping between an argument between Gally and Minho.
He remembered Thomas.
The first night he came out of the box, the two hit it off instantly, Newt remembered the fact that they were both so comfortable in one another’s presence that Newt could’ve sworn they’d known each other for years.
“ I’ll get you there, Newt. I’ll get us all there.”
“ Yeah well, wherever “there” is…”
“ It sounds like a nice place, Tommy.”
The soft thump of a metal scrapping against a larger barrel made Newt’s eyes rocket to supernovas.
“ It’s real, Newt.”
The truck then came to a screeching halt, the front coming to a collision before the car roof itself met with the Earth below.
A soft chuckle left Newt’s lips.
Newt’s head met with the front board, an action that caused a world of white to consume his vision in a flash.
“ What, don’t believe me?”
The last thing he saw was a familiar pair of boots coming closer,” I told you, A5. No one survives the Scorch. Even you.”
“ Especially, you.”
“ No… I just, it’s a nice thought, yeah?”
“ I mean, I picture you, me, Frypan, Minho, all resonating on how far we’ve come… Honouring Chuck, Alby, Winston, and the others who helped us get this far… I… I want that reality.”
“ We’ll get that Newt.”
A helpless tear escaped his hope-deaf eyes, before they shut completely.
“ I sure hope so, Tommy… if not for me, for you.”
Chapter 8: A Cornered Rat
Janson now has the cure, and hope, for another tomorrow. As such, he and Newt have a long overdue interaction.
Newt’s eyes slowly regained focus to flutter open to a small metal box. The light placed in the center a dreadful white, making him feel even more claustrophobic. The way his rear jumped ever so slightly off of the bench he was limp on gave to the idea that they were in a truck. He and… him.
“ Good to see you’re awake, A5.”
Newt’s brows met in the middle with a soft wrinkle, a grimace of hate that failed to faze the man sitting across from him.” Let me go, Janson.” A simple question, one he knew he wouldn’t get the answer he wanted from, but even so, he needed to know why he was here. The man let out a dry laugh.” Funny. No. I need you.” Newt licked his upper lip, a habit when he was seeking a comfort he wasn’t granted. Looking down at his lap, he was alert enough to hear Janson’s footsteps to the other side of the truck.” Now, before I start extracting your blood, I need you to answer some questions.” Newt gave him a hateful smirk.” Seriously? You think I’ll know where Tommy is? Let alone talk? You’re crazy….”
“ Am I?” The elderly man questioned softly, turning to grab something from his bag.” I think I’m right to question you. I mean, you wouldn’t cause me this much trouble if you didn’t have somewhere to go…” He murmured.
“ If I knew where Tommy was, then you wouldn’t have me right now.” Newt stated, staring the man down with the cold of a forgotten winter.” I won’t tell you a damn thing.” A genuine chuckle then threw Newt off guard, making him blink with suspicion. Janson spoke once more, back turned from the man as he grabbed a syringe from his kit.” It humors me how much you care for the same people that left you to die.” Newt’s eyes widened in fury.” How— how dare y—“
“ You’re alive, A5. And they left you, to die, alone.” He smiled, making the blond avert his gaze proudly. Newt knew he was trying to get under his skin, but still, a pathetic tinge of insecurity ached within his heart.” You’re a liar. You know nothing.” He spoke confidently, making Janson sigh exhaustedly.” I see… denial. Well, perhaps through a little bit of therapy you’ll come to realize the truth of the matter. That being—“
“ That they don’t care? Sure. Let’s go with that. It doesn’t make any of the difference. I won’t tell you a shucking thing you stupid son of a bitch!” He was surprised by his own outburst, memories flashing back to he and Thomas after he hesitated on their mission to rescue Minho.
It’s coming back…
“ Rare outburst of emotions there, A5. Must be the flare. I better operate fast now, before I lose you to your own madness.” He muttered, making Newt shake away his own paranoia.” I don’t need the flare to hate you.” He muttered dismissively, making the man shrug.” Touché, but still, time is money, or in this case, a cure.” He spoke, getting close enough for Newt to recoil at the sight of Janson’s scarred face. The boy then grinned mischievously after the sight, letting out a smug chuckle.” Well shuck me, you managed to make yourself look even uglier.”
This caused Janson to grow increasingly more upset, clicking the trigger to their infamous guns. Newt’s eyes shot open with such speed that it beat the scream that inched its way up his throat. Janson knew of Newt’s injury long before they made it to his compound, he was the “sad one”. Such a vague name, but it told a story all on its own. And so, he tased his leg. It was certainly a good way to hurt him plenty, both emotionally and physically.
“ Thomas, where is he hiding?”
“ Your guess is as good as mine.” Newt managed through shaky inhales for the oxygen so carelessly ripped from his lungs. Janson pulled him close by his scarf, letting Newt’s senses overload with a disgusting aroma from the man’s sickly stench.” I know you're lying, A5. You know something. And you should know, that I’ll do what I need to do to make sure you talk.” He didn’t want to know what that meant. The older man then balled the red fabric beneath his fist so ferociously that the scarf started to constrict tightly around his throat. The man then pulled a large syringe from his pocket, making Newt subtly panic.” Carry that with you on a daily now, eh?” He tried being smart with him, but the painful hold around his neck, the nauseating reawakening of pain from his limp, and not to mention the sudden voice inside his head screaming murderous things to do, was too much to bear.
“ No, A5. This is a special occasion… just for little pricks like you.” The man then injected the liquid into the blond’s leg, making him wince. He didn’t feel anything at first really, just a sore ache from the place he shot him…
And all of a sudden, a white hot pain shot through his body like lightning across a black canvas. The blood inside of him boiled, quite literally from the sudden poison that rushed through him. He couldn’t even scream, just sit, mouth agape as he silently prayed for it to end. There wasn’t a single word in the world to describe the pain that Newt was experiencing. It’d be an impossible feat.
“ The location?”
He shook his head hastily, shutting his eyes upon themselves to refuse the warm tears that wanted to escape to meet with soft pale skin. Janson let out an amused huff.” The lengths you’ll go. You’re a stubborn one lad.”
“ ‘ve gotta be…”
“ Aha. So he can speak. Tell me A5, are you going to cooperate? Or am going to have to show you another one of my toys? That one for example, makes the remnants of the flare well, quite appropriately flare up, and make your body feel as if it’s on fire. From your expression I’d say mission accomplished.” He smirked coldly, grabbing Newt’s hair to slam his head into the back of the moving truck. The blond bit back another whimper at he simply glared persistently at the man.” Your precious “ Tommy” I need both him and you in order to get what I want out of this… but, alas, I can be patient… something that can’t wait is your blood.”
Newt subtly smiled in the back of his mind, knowing he stalled long enough for the man to fall back temporarily.” That… didn’t take long enough…”
” You’re not out of the woods yet, A5, so don’t celebrate quite yet.”
“ It’s Newt.”
“ Oh I know. I just don’t care to name cattle… seems unnecessary, y’know?” Newt visibly shivered at that. He knew Janson was rather opinionated on the generation of the immune, but even still… he was a monster.” You’re disgusting…” He spoke weakly, feeling all the more helpless as his own body worked against him. Janson let out a sigh.” Call me a monster, I’m just a realist. You teenagers are nothing compared to the minds of WCKED. Your sacrifice shouldn’t be a problem, Ava just had to be a sympathizer. Her and her son, Thomas. Both of them were such a thorn in my side.” Newt’s eyes fixated on him at the statement.” Son?” The man nodded his head with an emotionless expression.” The woman was weak. Just like him… and now, she’s gone, but I have Thomas to deal with all over again.”
Newt’s world was spinning around him. Ava and Thomas, were related… it made all the more sense, the more he thought on it.
Janson’s shadow from Newt’s vision showed the intimidating outline of yet another syringe, this time one that had a thin tube that connected to a bag. He closed his eyes with a soft frown of forgotten hope.
I’m sorry Tommy… I don’t know how I’ll get my way out of this one.
“ You’re already in a lot of pain, just try to be very… very still.” Janson grinned sadistically, making Newt’s breaths grow increasingly quick.” Please…” He tried, a last attempt of giving himself time.” Please Janson, please don’t do this. You don’t have to do this.”
“ Aww that’s where you're wrong lad… I do need to do this.” He smiled heartlessly nonchalantly that it made Newt want to bowl over in defeat.” Don’t worry… I’ll draw only just enough to interrogate you after—“
Suddenly, the two were thrown to the side of the metal box, making Janson gasp in pain as Newt fell on his lap. The man groaned irritably, and quite literally threw Newt up off of his chest. Shakily, he picked himself up off his knees as he slammed his arm into the wall separating the front from the back.” If you want to keep your dick, I’d consider driving better!” He roared threateningly, causing a muffled outcry from the front. Janson rolled his eyes at first, before he grew suddenly alert. He glanced over at Newt’s unconscious body with relief.” Finally. The little prick is still.” Even then, he spoke into the comms.” What’s the situation?”
A hissy static answered him, making him grow all the more suspicious.
“ Captain Dalton, respond!”
“ Hey Janson.”
The man’s eyes widened with unbridled anger.” Little shit.” He grinned, maddeningly infuriated.
“ We have your truck surrounded. You can give us Newt back now, or we’ll open fire on your drivers.”
Janson chuckled darkly.” You think you’re so smart, huh? Well… how about you turn yourself in, and I won’t kill your boyfriend?”
“ Nah. He can take care of himself plenty…”
“ Convenient timing, Tommy.”
Janson’s eyes widened to globes as he saw the blond grab his shoulder and jab the remaining fluid of the syringe into his skin. The man’s face showed an indescribable agony before his knees buckled and fell onto the floor convulsing uncontrollably.” A5!” He thundered to no avail, for Newt was already reaching for the comms.” ...Tommy?”
“ Oh Newt…”
“ I missed your voice so bloody much Tommy…” He whispered with a happy sob escaping his lips.
“ Newt… oh my God. Newt. Just— just hang in there. We’re coming for you. I promise.”
“ I hear you, Tommy…” He murmured with a tearful and relieved grin rising to his cheeks, voice audibly trailing to a whimper.
“ I hear you…”
Thomas didn’t care who saw, but the tears that fell from his cheeks, were those of happiness. Happiness, that he’d get to see his best friend once again. Hearing his voice, was both the most amazing and heartbreaking thing. The pain and tire behind his words was enough to turn his blood to ice, but hearing him speak alone… say “Tommy” was a beautiful feeling. One that he wanted to keep and cherish.
“ I need you to stay awake just a little longer…”
“ ‘F course, Tommy…”
Minho’s eyes glared dangerously at the opposing truck that was tailing their Jeep.” You bastards are gonna pay!” He roared murderously, cocking his gun at the ready. This caused a golden shell to flutter gracefully from it’s barrel. During this time, the passenger of the advancing vehicle stuck out the car window to aim for Minho’s head.
Gally pulled the man into the car, nearly too late. The bullet clipping a strand of gelled hair from the Asian’s scalp, before he returned to his perch to return the favor. The man stared down the nose of his barrel, waiting for the opportune moment. Noticing the visible unstable front tire on the car’s left, he focused his aim on the rubber. The bullet flew through the cold air, meeting the tire at an explosive impact that caused the rubber itself to disappear in a single pop. The driver and the passenger were both thrown from the car as it was sent to a sharp swerve. Gally and Minho glared victoriously at the scene, once again sitting in the back of Jorge’s speeding vehicle. Thomas spoke into the walkie again.
“ What’s your truck’s number, Newt?”
The silence received made him instantly panic.” Newt?”
“ How should I know?”
A relieved chuckle for the man’s continuous retorts gave him a soft grace of reassurance.” Just… Janson, is he carrying anything on him, anything that can tell us where you are?”
“... Mmh… yeah, actually. Give me a minute.”
“ Hermano, you might want to hurry that up.”
Thomas glanced at the road ahead in confusion before Brenda pointed to the five containment trucks all splitting in opposing directions.” Shit.” Thomas instantly returned to the stolen communication line, fingers gripping the walkie bruisingly tight.” Newt… I need you to hurry for me, okay? The number—“
“ Three… three’s the number. Please hurry, Tommy…”
And with that, the walkie gave off the sound of the other’s hitting the floor.” JORGE! It’s the third truck!” The man glared determinedly at Brenda who held a pair of binoculars. The woman hastily searched for the right box number through the dirty lenses, the dust and debris adding another layer of a problem.” Shit… I need you to get closer.”
“ Your funeral.” The elderly man spoke, slamming his pedal to the dirt infested floorboard below. The tires underneath screamed for speed as they blew past the walls of dust trailing the truck’s sodden pace. Thomas gripped the seats anxiously. He couldn’t lose Newt again.
Not now, not ever.
Would he ever let that man out of his sight ever again.
“ THERE! On the other far left, that’s truck three!”
Minho and Thomas collectively shuddered with reassurance.” Shucking hell…” Minho muttered shakily as Jorge made a sharp turn that damn near tipped the Jeep. The trio in the back seat gripped onto the object closest to their left to hold a balance. It didn’t take much effort from Jorge to catch up to the truck. As soon as he reached it, a ready Brenda aimed her revolver to the driver’s shoulder, making him reluctantly slam the brakes and send his second flying through the window. All five instantaneously jumped from their car, eyes glued to the latch holding their friend captive from their reunion. Brenda smirked as she walked quite literally over the man that fell out from the sudden halt in the road.” Pays to wear a seatbelt.”
The sudden commotion that greeted Thomas’s ears from the inside however made the color from his face morph into a white. A large thud, and a flare, perhaps a gunshot, something that sounded so devastatingly life threatening that it made him want to scream in terror for what would greet them on the other side.
“ Gally hurry!” Both he and Minho simultaneously shrieked, making the man place both of his knees onto the tail end of the vehicle as he used his muscle to pry at the metal. A large roar echoed through the brute’s throat as he continued to pull a trapped metallic towards his chest. Suddenly, the lever came undone, sending the redhead to plummet to the dirt below. A large smog escaped the back of the vehicle as a shadow coughed and wheezed. Minho and Jorge readied their weapons as Thomas stood alert in front. The silhouet then took a single step forward to reveal its beauty within the vibrant sunset of the Scorch sky. The pink rays of the sun met with the blond’s swept golden locks, making it sway and glisten gently. Paler skin contrasting against a beautimous pair of onyx eyes. The man smiled proudly despite an apparent pain hiding within the corners of that… beautiful, beautiful face. The same one that made Thomas melt and collapse in shock. Sinking to his knees, Thomas spoke disbelievingly.” Newt.”
“ Hey Tommy.”
WOWOWOWOW. I LOVE ALL OF THE COMMENTS AND LOVE IM GETTING FROM YOU GUYS, THANK YOU?!?!????? OH AND, FOR THOSE WHO WERE LOSING HOPE OF NEWTMAS REUNIONS? Here it beeeeeeee. I am so utterly happy I made it this far into the plot to write this, ugh, they literally deserve the world.... I just— I need a moment, :,).
Chapter 9: Getting Close to Losing you Again
Newt isn’t quite out of the woods yet... (also Newtmas)
Newt’s eyes grew all the more watery from the relief of having his friends return to him. He knew, deep down, somewhere that they all were stubborn enough to find each other again, but even then… It was a beautiful, beautiful surprise to Newt. Hearing Thomas’s voice, through the static, made him feel something he thought died along with his humanity that dreadful night in Denver.
Even though his consciousness tackled back and forth through reality and a void, he spoke to Thomas, the simplest motivation being hearing his voice. That higher pitched voice that’d have an occasional crack or waver. The same one that carried him across the Maze, the Scorch, and the city. And now? There was hope that he’d carry him across the Safe Haven too. Thomas could cure him, and… he could actually feel free. Free with his generation.
Soon after the thought of salvation, two hands gripped both of his shoulders in a bruising hold, pushing him down towards a metal floor. An angry man leaned over him, eyes ablaze with madness.” Sorry to break up the little reunion, but you’re not going anywhere.” That’s when Newt felt a sudden surge of emotion. That very same angry resonated through his bones, making once faded gray veins turn a deadly ink. Letting out a roar, he sent his fist to slam into the other’s left cheek. The man was knocked back, winded by the man’s heightened ferocity.
“ Do you have any idea what you bastards put us through? We’re humans too!”
Janson visibly rolled his eyes at that.” Please… your teenagers. If it weren’t for the trials, everything, you’d be in high school right now, wishing yourselves for dead. Maze or no maze, you’re all product of the same sad meaningless existence.” Smirking down at his bad leg.” But you already knew that, didn’t you?” Newt shut his eyes tightly, refusing to remember those dark… dark feelings within the maze.” No. I’m better now.” He defended, making Janson shrug.” Say whatever you need to say to make yourself believe that, but I think it’s safe to say that we’re both aware of things the others aren’t—“
“ DON’T EVER COMPARE ME TO YOU!” The blond bursted with a horrified expression.” I’m leaving, Janson. Your last hope for a cure. It’s over. You should know when you’ve lost.” He spoke, relieved to see the veins retreating to a regular gray hue. Janson growled at the echo of familiar words.” I’ll decide when I’ve lost…” He spoke, the flare growing stronger at the illusion of a familiar face. A haunting face, one that made him feel anger, guilt, frustration, and betrayal.
When the truck came to a stop, Newt’s eyes widened with joy, pressing two palms to the door leading out of the bus.” Guys I’m here!” He chanted with disbelief. Hearing the commotion of the drivers and his friends on the outside, he eagerly pounded his fist on the metal door that separated him from his future. There wasn’t a word in the world to describe Newt’s happiness in that single moment
That was all stolen from him by the echo of a single bullet.
Slowly turning to find a smirking Janson pointing his gun triumphantly to his torso.” I was going to say that we both know deep down that we can’t escape ourselves… who we are. You? Are a lab rat. Property. Me? I’m someone who knows what they need to do to make sure they survive. Sympathizers are weaker beings. I for one know what must be done for the good of myself and my allies.”
Newt fell to his knees.
“ Sorry A5. Really, you’re a fighter, I’ll give you that. But I have my own problems.” Newt was blankly aware of the sudden surge of pain that erupted through his shoulder.” That being a cure. If you’re selfish enough not to give the world that, then at least I should get my end of the bargain. As promised by that woman. ”
Muffled shouts of alarm at the commotion grew more distant in Newt’s ears.
And then the doors opened to light.
“ Gally hurry!” Both he and Minho simultaneously shrieked, making the man place both of his knees onto the tail end of the vehicle as he used his muscle to pry at the metal. A large roar echoed through the brute’s throat as he continued to pull a trapped metallic towards his chest. Suddenly, the lever came undone, sending the redhead to plummet to the dirt below. A large smog escaped the back of the vehicle as a shadow coughed and wheezed. Minho and Jorge readied their weapons as Thomas stood alert in front. The silhouet then took a single step forward to reveal its beauty within the vibrant sunset of the Scorch sky. The pink rays of the sun met with the blond’s swept golden locks, making it sway and glisten gently. Paler skin contrasting against a beautimous pair of onyx eyes. The man smiled proudly despite an apparent pain hiding within the corners of that… beautiful, beautiful face. The same one that made Thomas melt and collapse in shock. Sinking to his knees, Thomas spoke disbelievingly.” Newt.”
“ Hey Tommy.”
Suddenly, Newt collapsed into Thomas’s arms. The brunet barely had anytime to react before the beloved blond’s hair was coming in contact with his face. The man instantly shot up, checking for any apparent wounds, but suddenly, felt his fingers wrap around something warm. A warm ooze, and what felt like a piece of plastic. Reeling his hand back to face he, Gally, and Minho, he was horrified to find crimson blood mercilessly being stolen from the man’s left ribs, a hasty, uncertain incision that seemed desperate and all the more heartless.” No. No. No…” Minho instantly sunk to his knees to inspect his fallen friend.” What the hell happened to him?!” The man was all the more panicked when he didn’t get a response, only incoherent murmurs from Thomas, almost insane. He shivered at the madness that lingered in the man’s eyes as he coddled the unconscious blond possessively. Letting out a frustrated growl, he suddenly gripped the tube with a force that showed he was ready to undo it. Thomas’s eyes widened to supernovas as he shoved the man backwards.” What the hell Minho!”
“ He’s dying Thomas!”
“ There has to be a smarter way about this hermano.” Jorge spoke up, all five turning their head at the ominous shadow that chuckled maliciously from the back of the truck.” Hey Thomas…” Thomas’s eyes showed with a deathly stare that, if possible, would have Janson six feet under. Instinctively, he pulled Newt closer to his chest.” You… you— you better tell me what the hell happened to him,”
“ I shot him.”
Thomas saw red, simply staring into the boy’s paler face for a sign that he’d indeed wake up from his painful slumber.” It was an accident at first… but then, I decided, if I can’t have him alive… I alone, can at least have the cure.” Brenda’s eyes watered with fury.” You're a monster!” The man shrugged.” Nothing I haven’t heard before. But it doesn’t change a thing. The boy’s death will be my promise of a long life.” Slowly, he picked a damaged comm from the floor with a nonchalant grin.” I’ve got Thomas and his friends with me. Fall back, I want them all.”
“ We aren’t going anywhere with you.” Thomas spoke with a wavering loathing in his voice, pushing Newt closer to his chest, the action earned a sarcastic apologetic smile to grace Janson’s face.” See, that’s where you’re wrong lad. You are coming with me.” Thomas was immediately made aware of the surrounding trucks coming closer and closer in a world of dust and dirt. He stared into the closed eyes of an amazing, amazing Individual. One that deserved his happy ending.
Please, Newt. You’re my best friend. I can’t lose you again. Not now… when I just got you back… please.
Jorge, Brenda, Gally, and Minho huddled close to the pair, eyes glaring down the glaring white lights that showed harshly through the smog of the desert dust beneath sodden tires. It was clear enough that time was bleeding out from Thomas’ reach. He couldn’t hear anything, only the world focused onto Newt’s pale face. It wasn’t fair, Dammit. Newt made it this far, to have it stolen from him in the very threshold of hope. There wasn’t an apology, a beg, a plea in the world that’d suffice the amount of guilt and longing he had for the boy that deserved so much more than given.
The approaching tires roared thunderously angry-like, making the group exchange last minute dialogue; desperate to search for a solution that wasn’t there. Janson, once in the midst of his doom, flipped the switch in an instant. The bastard is good about turning tables… Staring even deeper into Newt’s eyes, he let out a soft and emotional smile as he started to speak to him in a sense that only Newt would hear.
Remember how much you used to obsess over sunsets in the Glade? At the Safe Haven, Jesus Christ Newt, the sun literally sits on the water, just… it always made me think of you, you know. How the small blessings in life always made you so happy and appreciative. Flowers, sunsets, stars, rain… You were always positive, and not even in an annoying way. Your sister’s like that. Oh my God… Newt, did you know you have a sister? Her name is Lizzy. We know her by Sonya, but I specifically remember you hating that name over her original. It was incredible. I was doing my chores, and then suddenly, she said “Tommy” and then I remembered. You, Sonya, and how much you two loved each other. I’m so sorry you didn’t remember each other.
We all remembered you, Newt.
I hope you know that.
Come back to me.
Suddenly, a large cable snaked its way down from a larger aircraft above, sending Jorge backwards to glare up at the ship.” Son of a bitch… it’s Vince!”
The group collectively froze before they heard the impatient man howl from the speakers.
“ Get your asses up here before I leave you!”
Janson’s was immediate to snap out of his state of bewilderment. Cocking a pistol, he aimed for Thomas’ head, making Brenda screech and barrel into the man.” Get your head out of your asshole and help us Thomas!” She shouted harshly in his ear, snapping the brunet out of his disembodiment. Immediately, he shot off his toes with a sudden gasp. Newt’s body was being tugged by the very same cable that was collecting his blood. Grimacing, he spoke.” You’ll thank me later for this…” He muttered, grasping cold metal, to yank it out of feverish flesh. The blond’s eyes shot open with a roar of pain, instinctively, his eyes turned an inky black. Grasping at Thomas’ shoulders, he growled animalistically before falling back into a slumber.
That… that face, was like—
“ Please… Please Tommy, please…”
Gally’s strong grip pulled him into the Jeep as it slowly lifted from the ground. After what seemed like hours of triumphant cries and happy shouts, Thomas was instantly made aware of—
“ Thomas we did it!” Minho laughed tearfully.” We shucking got Newt back.” He spoke, glancing down at the paler boy in the man’s arms. Jorge glared at the wounds, eyes showing subtle concern.” He’ll be okay, Hermano. He’s been through hell and back to get to you, a bit of a cold won’t stop him now.” Thomas could see through the eldest man’s eyes.
Newt was in bad shape.
‘ When is he not? ’ He thought to himself bitterly, brushing a strand of crusty blond hair, making the rest of the group exchange thoughtful glances. They suddenly became aware of the motivations running through Thomas’ head, Newt wasn’t just Thomas’ friend… he was—
And then his eyes betrayed him, Thomas could feel his eyes growing ever so slowly overwhelmed with tears of anger and grief. There was too much, happening too fast, without Newt here to witness it…
“ Can you give me a sec with him?”
His fellow companions nodded solemnly, before exiting to the cockpit. There, Thomas lay, Newt limp in his arms as a feverish halo developed over his brow. Soft groans of discomfort were both a symphony of relief, and nails against a chalkboard in Thomas’ ears. It showed evidence that Newt was indeed still with him, but it also came to show that he was in a world of hurt.
“ I don’t think you’d believe me if I told you where you are right now… we’re in a WCKED airship,” He quickly corrected his words.” OUR WCKED airship. Vince saved us… again, believe it or not.”
“ You wouldn’t believe how nice of a place the Safe Haven is… it’s always beautiful there. You’d love it, you will, love it.” He didn’t remember when the tears stared to fall from his eyes, the only way made aware was by the tiny droplets that hit Newt’s face.
“ I need you to come back to me… It’s been hell. Absolute hell without you here… Every day I wake up, I always expect to see you there, somehow, I find a way to forget… And it’s killing me. I’ve read your note at least three hundred times… It scared me that that was the only thing I had left in your memory. Minho, the lucky shank, snatched your jacket…” He laughed, not knowing the difference between it and a sob.
“ I relive that night, every time I close my eyes…” He confessed with a choked cry.
“ … I do too.”
Thomas’ eyes shot awake to see Newt reflecting his tearstained expression.” Every second of every day.” He smiled brightly, snapping the man holding him to instantaneously pounce on his. Newt laughed a triumphant cry, careful not to touch his fatal gash. The two then simply held one another, close, careful, as if the other would disappear if the embrace was ever weakened.
“ You’re going to the Safe Haven, Newt.”
The boy huffed disbelievingly,
“ About, bloody, time.”
(HELP MY NOTES ARE GLITCHY AHAHA)
Ignore the bottom one, (it’s from a WHILE AGO LOL.) SORRY FOR LEAVING YOU GUYS ON A CLIFFHANGER!!! Ily ALL, so shucking much!!!! I took a hiatus for school! But now I’m back and more motivated than ever!!!!