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  • Home > James Dashner > Maze Runner Prequel > The Kill Order (Chapter 54)     
  • The Kill Order(Maze Runner Prequel #0.5)(54) by James Dashner
  • Mark held his arms up to protect Trina and Deedee, backed up and pressed them against the wall by the stairs. The first person to reach him was a mangled old man with scratches and gashes covering his head instead of hair. He leaped into the air, coming straight for Mark, when there was a thumping sound from the kitchen. The man’s body turned into a gray wall and then he was gone in a cloud of mist that washed over Mark.

    Mark’s entire body went cold. The sound hadn’t come from Alec’s direction—somebody had figured out how to use the Transvice.

    The thought had barely formed in his mind before a bolt of white light shot past him and slammed into the chest of a woman standing in the group by the door.

    “Alec!” Mark yelled. “Someone’s shooting the other Transvice!”

    The fear that prickled Mark’s skin was like nothing he’d ever felt, even after all the hellacious things they’d experienced since that day when all went dark in the subtrans. A mad person was running around with a weapon that could vaporize a human in an instant. At any second, Mark’s life might vanish before he even realized what had happened.

    They had to get out of there.

    Even with their diseased minds, the others in the house knew something extraordinary was happening. Panic rippled through the group, and every last person turned and ran for the front door. Screams and hysterical cries for help filled the air. The hallway was a surging river of arms and legs and terrified faces, all pressed together, straining toward the front of the house. More shots rang out from the rogue Transvice; more people disappeared.

    Mark felt his sanity crumbling. He spun around and lifted Deedee into his arms, then grabbed Trina’s shoulder and heaved her off the wall, pushed her away from the crowd and into the dining room, where Alec had been fighting. He was surrounded by a mass of people—too many to shoot.

    Mark pushed Trina, this time toward the big bay windows—the few in the house that were still intact. He picked up a lamp and tossed it at the glass, shattering it into a million shards. Clasping Deedee tightly in his right arm, he ran forward, catching up with Trina and gripping her elbow with his left hand. Without slowing, he sprinted straight for the opening; then he let go of Trina and dove, turning his body at the last second so that his back went first. He hugged the girl tightly to his body, trying his best to protect her as he thumped against the hard-packed dirt of what had once been a flower bed. The fall knocked the wind out of him.

    Gasping for air, he looked up into the bright sky and he saw Alec’s head poke out of the house.

    “You really have lost your mind,” the man said, but he was already helping Trina climb out the window before he’d finished the short sentence.

    He jumped down after Trina landed safely. Then they were both helping Mark to his feet and Trina took Deedee back into her arms. Some of the infected had seen their escape and were following; others were streaming out the front door. Screams and shouts filled the air. People were already fighting each other outside.

    “I’ve had enough of this party,” Alec grumbled.

    Mark was finally catching his breath, and the four of them started running across the dusty yard, angling toward the street that would lead them back to the Berg. Alec tried to take Deedee from Trina but she refused, kept moving, her face showing the strain of carrying the burden. As for the little girl, her cries had been replaced at some point by silence. There weren’t even any tears on her face.

    Mark looked behind him. A man stood on the front porch, blasting away randomly with the Transvice, sending people to their wispy deaths. He finally noticed the group running away down the street and fired off a couple of shots. They came nowhere close, the white bolts smashing into the pavement, sending up poofs of dust. The guy gave up, returned to killing closer quarry.

    Mark and his friends kept running. When they passed the house full of small children, Mark thought of Trina and Deedee and the future. He didn’t stop.

    CHAPTER 60

    Finally they saw the Berg once again. It rose up in the distance, more beautiful than Mark would’ve ever guessed one of the beat-up old things could look. Though each one of them was heaving like every breath might be their last, they didn’t slow down, and soon the big hunk of scarred metal loomed above their heads.

    Mark didn’t know how in the world Trina had done it with Deedee in her arms the entire time. But she’d refused to let anyone else help.

    “You … okay?” he asked her between deep breaths.

    She collapsed to the ground, spilling the girl next to her as gently as she could. Trina looked up at him, still no recognition in her eyes. “I’m … fine. Thank you for rescuing us.”

    Mark knelt next to her, the pain creeping back into his heart now that the craziness of escaping was over. “Trina, do you really not remember me?”

    “You seem … familiar. But there’s too much in my head. We just need to get the girl—she’s immune, I know it—we need to get her to people who matter. Before we’re all too insane to try.”

    Mark felt something turn in his stomach and leaned back, away from his best friend. The chilling way she’d said those last few words …

    He knew that there was something seriously wrong with her. And couldn’t he say the same thing about himself? How long did he have until nothing mattered anymore? A day? Maybe two?

    The huge door of the Berg lurched into motion with a thump and a squeal, giving Mark an excuse not to respond. He watched as it lowered to the ground.

    Alec spoke loudly over the grinding gears and hydraulics. “Let’s get them on board, get everyone fed. Then we need to figure out what to do with ourselves. We might be like those kooks we just ran away from soon.”

    “Not the girl,” Mark said, so quietly he wondered if his friend even heard him.

    “What do you mean?” the man replied.

    “The scar on her arm. She was hit by a dart months ago. Think about it. Trina’s right. She’s immune somehow. That’s gotta mean something.”

    Trina had perked up at the statement, was nodding vigorously. Too vigorously. Mark’s heart sank a little bit more. She just wasn’t quite there.

    Alec let out one of his infamous grunts. “Well, unless you wanna swap bodies with her, I reckon it won’t do you a bit of good, now, will it?”

    “But maybe it could help others. If they don’t already have a treatment …”

    Alec gave him a doubtful look. “Let’s just get on board before some of them crazies catch up to us.”

    And blast us with my Transvice, Mark thought grimly. He appreciated Alec’s not giving him a hard time about it.

    Alec headed for the ramp, which was almost all the way down, leaving Mark to deal with the two girls. Mark reached for Trina’s hand.

    “Come on. It’ll be nice and safe on board. And there’s food, somewhere to rest. Don’t worry. You … can trust me.” It hurt to even have to say such a thing.

    Deedee stood up, her face still set in stone, and took Mark’s hand before Trina could. The little girl looked at him, and even though her features didn’t change, something in her eyes almost made him think she had a smile hidden inside somewhere. Trina got to her feet.

    “I just hope the boogie man doesn’t live on that thing,” she said in a distant, haunted voice. Then she started walking toward the ramp.

    Mark sighed and followed, Deedee in tow.

    The next few hours passed quietly as the sun sped toward the horizon and darkness fell on the land outside the Berg. Alec flew the ship to the neighborhood where they’d parked before—it still seemed deserted. Then they ate and prepared bunks for Trina and Deedee to get some sleep. Trina mumbled a lot, and Mark even caught her with a line of drool on her chin at one point. As he wiped it off, sadness once again welled up in his heart.

    As for him, sleeping seemed utterly impossible.

    He planned to talk to Alec, figure out exactly what their next move should be, but when he found him, the old bear was snoring in the pilot’s chair, sitting straight up with his head lolling to one side. Mark was half tempted to throw a chunk of food in his mouth, and giggled at the thought of it.

    Giggled.

    I really am starting to slip, he thought. And his mood sank into a low and dark place. He desperately needed to do something to take his mind off things.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire