The group's captors come in to distribute bread and water. Only one of the guards is armed, with a Launcher and a pistol. Minho overpowers him, and with the help of the other captives, the guards are forced to talk about what they are doing. They say that they are not bounty hunters for WICKED, but rather that they work for the Right Arm. They say that they don’t know why the Right Arm is capturing Immunes. They are simply doing their job. One of the guards offers to take a few people with him to see the higher-up officials in the Right Arm. However, the Cranks outside in the city are very violent now, killing anyone they see. The guard, Lawrence, only takes Thomas and Brenda with him. Thomas convinces Minho to stay, because he knows Minho’s temper is too short.
Thomas and Brenda ask Lawrence to take them in the van, choosing speed over stealth. They drive through the city, running into Cranks here and there. As they go through an alleyway, a group of Cranks damages their wheels and almost breaks in to the van, forcing Thomas to fire on them. When they reach the compound, the Right Arm guards there have to make sure that they are not Cranks. Thomas says that they are acquaintance of Gally’s. Thomas and Brenda are taken upstairs, where Gally and a large man named Vince are sitting. Vince is the leader of the Right Arm. He tells Thomas that they are kidnapping Immunes in order to run a look-alike operation. They are going to use the pretense of selling Immunes to WICKED as a way to get inside the WICKED headquarters. Vince, while not immune himself, is very passionate about what he does: he believes that they could have stopped the spread of the disease earlier, instead of doing what WICKED had been doing. WICKED took so many resources and money pursuing a cure that will probably never come to be. Vince and Thomas make a deal. Thomas emphasizes how important he is to WICKED. Vince also tells them that one of their Right Arm members, a woman named Charlotte, has the ability to shut down WICKED’s weapons. This will level the playing field once the Right Arm infiltrates WICKED’s facilities.
Thomas agrees to pretend to hike back into WICKED. He will pretend that he has returned to finish the plans, in accordance with the Rat Man’s wishes. Then, he will plant Charlotte’s device inside the facilities. Lawrence takes Thomas to the van again, to drive through the city and reach the Right Arm’s Berg hangar. As they are driving through the city, they reach an impasse with a huge number of Cranks fighting over food and garbage. While swerving to make its way through the mess, with other vehicles involved, Lawrence’s van smashes into a cement wall. Thomas looks up to see Newt standing twenty feet away. Thomas jumps out of the van and makes one last attempt to save Newt, but Newt says that he hates Thomas–he hated the Maze and the way in which Thomas always tries to play the hero. Newt asks Thomas to obey the note he gave him, and kill him; he also tells Thomas that his limp was from attempting suicide in the Maze. Thomas finally gives in and pulls the trigger, killing Newt.
Thomas rests in the van; then, in the Berg, his entire insides numb from what he has just done. The pilot and Lawrence drop Thomas off near WICKED, as planned. Thomas hikes through the mountainous woods until he sees WICKED’s complex. The Rat Man lets him in almost immediately. Before following the Rat Man to his office, Thomas says he needs to go to the bathroom. He plants Charlotte’s device in the bathroom; then, he goes to meet with Janson and Janson’s associates, Dr. Wright and Dr. Christensen. They tell him that he is the Final Candidate because he has responded the best to variables in the Trials. They had narrowed it down to Thomas and Teresa, but Thomas’s rebellious nature was even more helpful than Teresa’s obedience. They tell him that the final procedure is an operation on Thomas’s brain. This is a fatal procedure. They went through all the Trials in order not to have to cut everyone open–this way, they only have to cut open the Final Candidate. Thomas asks for some time to wait, which the doctors give him. The doctors say that they are asking for his sacrifice for science, but in reality, Thomas doesn’t have a choice.
The bounty hunters prove to be from the Right Arm. Furthermore, the Right Arm proves to be a very large organization, with a lot of secrecy and distrust within it as well. The guards who captured Thomas and his friends say that they have just been sent to do the dirty work (212). This is something that is reminiscent of WICKED, which is highly hierarchical in nature. However, the guards of the Right Arm try to remain quiet and not reveal the little that they do know.
While questioning the guards, Thomas is unable to shoot one of the guards who will not give him information. The guard calls Thomas’s bluff; he knows that he is safe. However, Minho takes the Launcher gun from Thomas and shoots the man in the toe. Everyone is stunned, guards and prisoners alike–the man’s toe is completely blown off. Thomas is “shocked that Minho had actually done it, but he had to respect the guy. Thomas couldn’t have pulled the trigger, and if they didn’t get answers now, they never would” (212). Thomas and Minho are different personalities, and different kinds of leaders. When they work together, are able to complement each other and move forward progressively.
Thomas, at this point in his life, has already accepted how important raw, pure survival is. That is why he says “…and if they didn’t get answer now, they never would” (212). Thomas never wanted to hurt the guards. Thomas even admits he wouldn’t have pulled the trigger himself. However, for his own survival’s sake, he knows they need answers, and need to do whatever they need to do to get answers. Thus, he does not condemn Minho’s savage action.
Thomas’s strong instinct for survival has not, however, overwhelmed his belief in a cure. While so many around him have already given up on that idea, including Teresa and now his new acquaintance Vince, Thomas still wonders if a cure is possible. When Thomas talks to Gally and Vince at the Right Arm headquarters, Vince laughs when Thomas mentions finding a cure. Vince says, “We gave up on their…cure a long time ago” (231). However, Vince and Thomas also have different agendas: the former wants revenge, whereas the latter does not. Thomas acknowledges this, telling Vince that he is not here for revenge, but the two men nonetheless don’t see eye to eye. Thomas’s strong instinct for survival has not completely thwarted his hope in humanity, and has not turned him into a simple revenge-seeker like Vince.
In the van with his Right Arm escorts, Thomas finally has to make the decision and action of his life. He confronts a Crank Newt, not fully Gone, but with a rather heavy loss of sanity all the same. After shooting Newt, Thomas “looked down, saw that his hands and legs were shaking, and he suddenly felt freezing cold” (251). This stark feeling of the cold in an otherwise warm, even hot, environment emphasizes the gravity of what Thomas has done.