As Thomas returns to consciousness, he begins to hear whispers in the dark. He has not died yet, as he thought he would. He calls out and pounds on the cave door. Suddenly the door hisses and opens. Teresa is standing right outside, and as soon as possible throws her arms around Thomas, apologizing profusely. She says that WICKED threatened to kill Thomas if they didn’t follow all of their procedures. Thomas is unable to fully trust, believe, or forgive Teresa now. They promise to talk about all of this later, but Aris suggests that they start running because they have only about five hours left until their given deadline for reaching the safe haven.
The group comes down from the mountain and sees the two groups of the male Gladers and Group B girls advancing furiously forward. As they run, Teresa tells Thomas about what happened since they were separated. The night after their rescue, she was taken by people dressed up in suits, similar to the ones who healed Thomas after his bullet wound. Teresa also reveals that she and Aris have indeed always had telepathy, even while she was in the Gladers’ Maze. She emphasizes that she never wanted to do any of those terrible things to Thomas. She says that WICKED wanted Thomas to feel completely betrayed in order to collect his brain patterns, or apparently something like that. She asks Aris to turn around; she kisses Thomas, but Thomas no longer feels anything. As they run, they see their friends’ groups converging. Thomas and Teresa talk telepathically, knowing that if they had time to sit down and discuss their memories and dreams they could figure out a lot more. However, they are running out of time, so they go full speed ahead to where the others are gathered. A stick on the ground bears a thin banner that reads ‘The Safe Haven’.
Everyone is nervous about what will happen next. Brenda and Teresa meet in an icy, jealous encounter. While waiting, Thomas tells his friends about what happened with Teresa and Aris. Minho says they are traitors and he will never trust them. A storm begins to brew. Suddenly, they see a section of the desert ground open up, and a strange chamber emerges. Several other similar chambers follow suit. These chambers look just like the ones that contained Grievers, which Thomas saw just after the Gladers escaped the Maze. Strange humanoid creatures emerge from the chambers. They do not have faces, but have strange lightbulb-like growths present at their joints and other places. The monsters also sprout blades as they advance towards the teenagers. Thomas and his friends realize that to defeat the monsters they have to break the lightbulb-like growths. However, even as they beat the monsters, the brewing lightning storm begins to release its fury. There are only a few minutes left until the allotted safe haven time, but to escape the storm, Thomas and his friends take refuge in the pods that the monsters came from.
Thirty seconds before the allotted time is reached, a Berg finally lands on the ground. Fighting through remaining monsters, Thomas and his friends reach the Berg. However, one of the personnel on board insists that only one of the two citizens—Jorge or Brenda—can stay. Thomas senses that this is a test, and tells the man to kill Brenda. As soon as the man’s back is turned, however, Thomas knocks him down and insists that both Brenda and Jorge stay. The man smiles and agrees. He introduces himself as David.
As he rests, Thomas is woken up by a telepathic voice in his head. However, the girl is no longer Teresa: instead, the voice is Brenda’s. Brenda warns Thomas that things are about to get bad for him. Thomas wakes up in a room that reminds him of the Box from the Maze. Teresa communicates telepathically with him, saying that WICKED took Thomas away from the group after landing. It has been almost a week. Thomas tells Teresa to go away. He says he is done playing WICKED’s games. However, Teresa ends on a strange note, claiming that WICKED is good.
The story ends with an epilogue that consists of a memorandum. The memorandum is from the Chancellor, a woman named Ava Paige. Chancellor Paige writes to her associates, saying that the deliberation process of the results of the experiment is currently underway. They will figure out soon which of the subjects are immune to the Flare.
When Thomas wakes up still alive, he is happy to not be dead. He is immediately upset, however, about what Teresa (and Aris) has done to him (302). He realizes that he can no longer fully trust Teresa. Despite all of their friendship from before, WICKED has succeeded in making Thomas feel fully betrayed. This feeling of full betrayal is what rips a hole in the fabric of their friendship. He will remember this feeling for the rest of their friendship from this moment onwards.
In the daylight, and after the dark night he was almost “killed,” Thomas realizes that Aris is not sinister at all anymore. Thomas says it was “almost as if everything that had happened back in the dead forest had been a creation of Thomas’s imagination” (309). While it most certainly was not his imagination, this statement is a reminder of the ways WICKED toys with its subjects’ brains. Thomas is never fully certain whether he is right or not. The Rat Man’s warning about not trusting one’s mind or senses only makes this situation worse.
Teresa tells Thomas that she had to pretend to kill him in order to appease WICKED. Otherwise, WICKED would have killed him. She can tell that Thomas is having a hard time forgiving her, and acknowledges this (317). She generously adds that she has already accepted it. To her, saving Thomas would be “worth losing what we might’ve had” (317). Thomas does not know how to respond to this. Because he is emotionally caught up in what has just happened, he obviously does not fully process those words. However, these words are a rather clear indicator of how much Teresa genuinely cares for Thomas.
Finally, Thomas and all his friends reach the Safe Haven location. After fighting off monsters, a Berg finally arrives. Thomas was originally hesitant to look outside. However, when he sees the Berg, he knows that they “couldn’t waste any more time. No questions, no fear, no bickering. Only action” (341). Thomas’s very developed survival instincts kick into action as he dashes for the Berg. Even despite his leadership style as a negotiator and as a calm, levelheaded decision-maker, Thomas still knows how to take action when needed. This balance is another hallmark of a good leader.
When Thomas falls asleep on the Berg, he is with his friends. They have just been rescued. When he wakes up, however, and after being telepathically spoken to by Brenda, he is in solitary confinement. The cell he has been placed in is very white and sterile. This is reminiscent of the treatment he received in the Berg. WICKED does its best to keep much of its environments that way: with no color, as Thomas himself describes (355). The colorlessness and the whiteness of WICKED are ultimately indicative of how practical they are. They have no time for frivolous concerns, but are straightforward in their mission to supposedly find a cure for humanity.