WICKED is good,
Dylan O’Brien is cute,
I am a crank and so are you
The Maze Runner/Fan fiction – She Came Close
I run, my heart pounding, my chest rising and falling in rhythm, as my feet slam against the grey glossy ground. My throat is dry; pleading for water. Red sirens flash behind their metal barricades in corners of the walls and resonate around my ears rapidly. I turn the next corridor; it’s clear; white washed walls, sirens in the corner of the walls as well as surveillance cameras. I suck my teeth and carry on running; my charcoal hair blowing furiously behind me, my eyes starting to water with fear and shock – is this real? Am I really doing this? Long tubes hanging from my arms are still punctured in my skin making it irritable to run without having the long needles wriggle about in my flesh.
Suddenly someone shouts, ‘Hey, stop there!’ I skid to a halt as a man walks towards me, his heavy boots sounding like a hammer against ground. I know this man, Janson. He always takes orders from Paige with the uttermost enthusiasm than any other soldier in this compound – he makes me sick. He scuttles along beside Paige every day, making sure she has what she needs for this experiment. Janson resembles a rat with his tall brittle figure, with a rough beard, black suit and demon looking eyes, and he holds a Launcher; I can already hear the crackle of the electrical grenade ready to be fired. Janson stands there with the Launcher in his hand pointed directly at me. My heart starts to race with fear of what is about to happen. The metal from the barrel glints brightly into my eyes like a light at the end of a tunnel. I start to panic forgetting to even breathe as I stare helplessly at Janson whose lips are slightly curved as if he knows that if he gets me he will be great, greatly rewarded by Paige if he is able to bring me in.
Janson inches slowly towards me; his lips sucking into his mouth and out. ‘Put your hands up!’ he orders, he pulls the barrel back. I obey. I catch a glimpse of myself on the glass door just a few centimetres to my right; my hair is silky and sweaty past my shoulders, my bang flutters angrily against my forehead due to my deep breaths. My eyes are my best feature I think; they are blue. Blue like the harsh blue sea in a terrible thunder – it scares them. My skin is pink and laced with the tubes and my clothes only consist of two parts; the plain white vest and black combat trousers.
But that door, the one I see my reflection in, is where I need to go.
Without a second thought, I lunge towards Janson. He is taken by surprise as he pulls the trigger; an explosion of the blue electrical grenade releases itself past my shoulder. I need the Launcher, Janson falls on his back as the grenade is released; he spits and swears furiously aiming the Launcher at me again. I kick it clean out of his raw hands; it clatters against the ground. Immediately Janson kicks me in the shin and I collapse to the ground, wincing. He is about to get up, but I won’t give up. I pounce onto his back, slamming him against the ground, smiling grimly, as he releases a yelp of pain. I crawl off his body and reach for the Launcher, standing up and turning towards him, Launcher raised ready to fire. The Launcher feels odd in my arms as I turn it over; my sweat makes the grip slippery but I hold on. Sneaking I quick look at the Launcher, I see the barrel; I pull it back like Janson did and aim it again focusing on his frozen body.
‘Sophie,’ he whispers, ‘you don’t know what you’re doing, put it down.’
I hold it firmly in my arms and press my lips on a thin line; he used to do that, their favourite student, Thomas. He used to impress everyone, but he disgusted me. He was a suck up, him and that girl, Teresa – I hated her more than anyone. Thomas was tolerable, but she was the most hated student in that class – I hated her more than anyone, she believes every word that comes out of WICKED's mouth - gullible.
‘I think I do know how to use this bloody Launcher!’ I say, even though I don’t think I do. Pull the trigger, right?
‘You can’t go up there,’ he says shortly, ‘you can’t ruin the scheme. They’re up there for a reason.’
‘What reason?’ I spit.
‘To save the whole of humanity.’ He answers.
I laugh half-heartedly, ‘Are they? Are they up there for that!? They are like lab rats in WICKED’s laboratory. They constantly watch them every day and night – it’s like an obsession. They are not lab rats, they are children! We are children!’ I say, pointing at myself. ‘How can you sit back and watch them die? I can’t keep watching them die! WICKED creates creatures that terrify even the bravest of humanity and for what reason!? I thought this was a saviour, a way of creating a cure for the flare, but it isn’t. It’s a torture chamber; the Maze is a Kill zone!’ I breathe hard through my nose and aim the Launcher between his eyes where I know hurts the most. ‘They can’t stay there; I have to get them out.’
‘They will find a cure.’ Janson says sliding on his bottom slowly backwards.
‘No, they won’t.’ I say shortly, and fire the Launcher. I watch the grenade, in fascination, for a few seconds collide into his head. He shrieks; electricity pulses through his body and then he lies still, unconscious for a few minutes. I take his ID card, pinching it out of his pocket careful not to touch the zaps of electricity that charges his body. I move back towards the door and slide it against the card reader. Before I enter, I hear footsteps. An army of men in black suits run towards me, they shoot; they miss me inches from my ear as I slide through the door. Aiming at the other side of the card reader I break it with just the grenade.
Turning back to the room, I realize it’s not a room but a passage. Cautiously, I hold the Launcher firmly against my chest and walk down. It leads to the box.
A boy around seventeen, a year older than me lies in the box. It’s full of the crates taken up to the Maze for the children to be fed and clothed. I climb inside and study his body; asleep, under the sleep serum. His breaths are even. He wears a blue jumper with a hood; his chestnut hair is long and curly against his sweaty forehead – I know this boy, Mendeleev, he was one that tried to run away out into the open. But WICKED decided to do him next as he was “unpredictable”.
I rest the Launcher against the side of the box and pull the tubes from my arms, wincing as I pull out the most sensitive ones. Scattering them on the ground, I reach towards Mendeleev and take his hoodie pulling it onto my own body. I un tuck my hair and zip the hoodie up to my chin. Gently, I drag Mendeleev out from the box and rest him against the wall.
‘You know,’ a voice echoes, I jump and immediately reach for the Launcher. Ava Paige stands a few feet away from the box, half concealed by the darkness within the small area around us. Although she has wrinkles on her face and wears ridiculous red lipstick – she stands strong with her back straight and her sharp silvery eyes glinting in the darkness. ‘You could just ask to be taken up…’
I grab the gate of the box and pull it in towards me creating a fence barrier between me and Paige. ‘Do you think I’m stupid? I know you will inject me with that memory wipe, so I can’t get up there and remember the way out!’
Paige chuckles in a nasty way that makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up, ‘Oh Sophie, you never really were the bright one were you?’
‘What do you mean?’ I say sharply, ‘You can’t touch me; you can’t inject me with that thing or make me wear that machine over my head. I will get those children out of that Killzone faster than you think up a new creature for your puppet show!’
Paige still wears that evil smirk playing on her face, ‘darling, we control you. Thomas, hand me the IPad.’ She holds out her left hand and immediately a silvery glow comes out from behind her and is placed in her hand. Thomas moves to her side slowly; his eyes linger on me for a moment and then he looks down as if he’s ashamed.
I glare at him with hatred swelling inside my body; I badly want to punch him for all that he’s done. I hate him. Paige starts talking and finally my eyes leave him focusing on the women’s pale face illuminated by the sharp glow of the IPad.
‘You see when you were as small as eight years old,’ Paige says, ‘we connected your mind and body to our network so we can monitor your behaviour and sometimes…control it.’
I panic; I understand now why those students I thought were lunatics were behaving like they did. WICKED has been controlling them.
‘You monster,’ Is all I can whisper, ‘but what has that got to do with the memory wipe? You can’t wipe my memories…’ My voice drifts off and Paige looks up from her IPad smirking still.
‘Don’t worry; your name will come back in a day or two.’ She says and she presses a button on her IPad.
A loud siren goes off inside my head like a key sliding against a chalkboard. The Launcher slides out of the grip and lands on the ground with a clatter. I wrap my hands around my ears to protect them but it doesn’t help – it’s in my head. I shriek as I collapse to my knees. I’m helpless, the memories are leaving me and I’m defenceless.
Finally, the siren has stopped, I stop screaming. But collapse in the box; my head feels numb and my sight becomes blurry and I can just see the two silhouettes in the distance.
Paige instructs Thomas to do something. He walks forwards, pulls the gate open and takes the Launcher out, and before he closes it, I think he whispers, ‘I’m sorry.’ But I’m losing my senses now; black dots appear in my vision obscuring it. I can't move; my body feels heavy.
Paige pushes the button on the side of the wall for the box to ascend to the Maze. It rattles and squeaks and before I’m out of sight from Paige she sings, ‘good luck on getting them out!’
I can’t get them out, I don’t remember the way.
I wake to the glare of the sun beating down on my eyelids - but it isn't strong enough to infect me with the flare.
The flare. That's the first thing I remember when I wake up, and then everything dissolves in my brain like it was never really there.
I find myself in a box; crates are packed around me with the same lettering marked across it – W.C.K.E.D
Voices crowd around the box, the first voice I hear sends confusion in through my empty brain.
'A new Greenbean!' Shouts the voice; it sounds bored but firm and dangerous like a person you don't want to mess with to whoever owns it.
'Dibs on the food supplies!' Cocks another; this time more friendly.
The other voice responds, 'you cook the slime, Frypan.'
Frypan? Is that a name?
I squint at the figures moving around the box, but they’re not really looking inside like they know what to expect. My nose catches some unfamiliar smells all at once; grass, trees, soil and a hint of faeces - life.
'Food, food, food,' hums Frypan eventually looking into the box. His jaw drops open as he looks at me; I stare at him taking in his warm features; dark skin and round body.
'No way!' He whispers still staring at me; I lie on my bum, knees up and my hands clutch the rails of the box. 'No way!' He says louder.
'What is it, Fry?' Asks a soft voice; rising from the crowd. It sounds light and reassuring, 'did they send up cake?' He jokes.
'Newt- guys!' Frypan squeals, 'you've got to come and see this! It's a…it’s a female Greenbean!' He shouts.
Shocked voices rise from above the box, and there's scurrying of feet on the land above.
Soil showers down on me by the heavy scurry of desperate feet wanting to see the “female Greenbean”. Brushing off the specks of earth from my clothes I stare up again; heads poke all over the sides of the box blocking the sun. I see them all and scan their faces - all shocked. Why?
I scan their faces once again. Then I realize - they're all boys and that means I'm the female Greenbean. But what’s a Greenbean?
Sweat licks my back as they all stare down at me; I feel small and vulnerable to them. But I don't want to be.
Who are these people?
Suddenly, a voice rises above the box; strong, deep and commanding, 'let me through.' He growls.
Finally, a new head appears; dark skinned and strong masculine features. He must be the leader. He peers at me, raises his eyebrows and sucks his teeth. Then he turns back to the crowd, 'What are you waiting for?' He demands, 'get Greenie up here!'
Greenie? Is that my name?
Hastily, two boys feed the rope down. It dangles in the air in front of me and I just stare at it blankly- what is going on?
The leader kisses his teeth in an annoyed manner, 'she doesn't know what to with it, Hawking!' He says, frustrated, addressing the skinny, freckled boy who was one of the boys who dangled the rope in front of my face. 'She’s forgotten her own name, how do you expect her to...' His voice fades away suddenly, and all I can hear is the word "forgotten" it echoes through my empty brain and it finally wakes up a few brain cells.
'I've forgotten,' I whisper; my hands shake and my heart races dangerously like a demented person.
I'm alone in this place with a bunch of strangers. What is this place? Who are these people?
Who am I?
They can't be good, they can't. Have they kidnapped me? I know I'm stronger than this, I know I'm not a vulnerable girl. I know I'm capable of murder.
Whilst the leader argues with Hawking; one of the boys continues to stare at me; his eyes are brown, like the sunset and his hair is a thick sandy blond. He's rather tall and muscular but there is some slenderness about his body. One of his legs has a mound of white sheet wrapped around it - then I realize - he walks with a heavy limp.
I know I can kill this one; he looks vulnerable, but something about him makes me feel like I can trust him. Is it the look in his brown eyes? Or the way he doesn't look at me like I'm some gift like the other boys look at me- I shake that feeling out of my head - they have kidnapped me, I can't trust anyone.
Immediately, I snap into action; like a light bulb has switched on inside, filling me with energy and adrenaline. I jump onto the nearest crate, aware of the sudden gasps from above, and then stick my foot on the box railing; it's sturdy and strong so it takes my weight. Yanking myself up on the grass I breathe heavily - but I don't stop there.
For a moment, everyone around me is still and gaping at me - admiration? Shock? Perhaps fear?
It wants it to be fear, I want them to fear me.
Suddenly, I see a glint of metal through the corner of my eye; it's the boy with the limp. And he carries a weapon. Without thinking, I pull the weapon out from his belt and pull him into an arm lock, pointing the weapon, which looks like a knife, at his chest and then addresses the rest of them.
'Who are you?' I say; my hand trembling, making the knife shake in my grip. 'What is this place!?'
The leader approaches me slowly, 'my name is Alby.' His voice is deep, 'this place...' He gestures his hand around the place, '...is our home. We came up here just like you did.' He points at the box. I follow his finger towards the box; it's bigger than I thought, even with the crates inside. Just like I did they came up here like I did. Then-
'Why can't I remember anything?' I demand, squeezing my arm around the boy's neck tighter. He chokes.
'Calm down.' Alby says watching my grip on the boy I'm holding. I loosen my grip a little but still keep him as close to me as possible. 'Like I said; we came up here just like you did. We don't remember anything when we came out - apart from our name – that - they let us keep.'
'Who's they!?' I demand, furiously.
‘We call them the Creators.’ Alby walks towards me slowly, ‘we don’t know who they are but we know that they watch us.’
Curiosity and confusion boil my brain. My grip slackens on both the boy and the knife; he breathes. Maybe Alby is telling the truth. It seems, despite my lack of trust in people, I think I believe him. This place isn’t normal; I am surrounded by four great walls, inside are children, roughly the same age as me. Living and breathing just like me. We have been taken from our family, (and I know I must have one) though I don’t know who they are or where they are now. We have been robbed of our previous memories somehow because I know I must have had some life before I came up in that box. But who are these creators and how do they watch us?
‘How do they watch us?’ I ask, voicing my thoughts and turning my gaze towards Alby.
I hear a frustrated groan from behind me and suddenly something knocks on my head. I cry out; my hands release the boy and the knife at the same time and they fly to where I felt the knock. Shock waves pummel through my head as my hand touches something wet and sticky. Moving my hand towards my face; I see blood has coated my fingers.
'Gally!' I hear Alby roar. 'What did you do?'
'She was asking too many questions.' Replies Gally; I immediately recognise the voice; bored, firm and dangerous- the first voice I heard when I woke up.
I whip around and punch him in the nose; he doubles back; his hair is short blonde, he has a square jaw and sharp eyebrows. Blood is gushing out from his nose - satisfying me, but confusion is still rattling my brain as the blood trickles down my skull.
But, before I can even suppress a satisfactory grin on my face - Gally reels back and kicks me, hard on the shin. Shrieking, I clutch it in pain. But he doesn't stop there. Even though blood is swimming through his mouth, he hooks his foot onto the back of my leg and pulls. I smack the ground; my breath has knocked from my body; my head sears with pain.
Suddenly, Gally is restrained by five Gladers, whilst he spits the blood from his mouth furiously. Alby is shouting angrily towards Gally. I can't make out the words; everything washes over my ears, I'm not really hearing anything.
The boy who has the limp; bends over my body. He yells something; I think he says, 'Med - jacks!' But dizziness has swept over me, my head bleeds; turning the grass crimson and my leg feels sore. I'm in so much pain, I feel like I'm going to vomit. Two boys rush over to me; one light skinned and the other dark skinned. They pull me onto a bed and before they lift me up, I manage to vomit - no, not vomit. My throat croaks a name.
'Sophie.' And then the black dots have increased, obscuring my vision and I fall unconscious.