A/N: I own nothing from the Maze Runner Trilogy. All rights to James Daschner and the writers of the Maze Runner movie. The idea of the story is to replace a male protagonist with a female protagonist and see where that takes the plotline of the story, so much of the content written by Daschner, meaning actual paragraphs and sentences, are the same. I give all credit to Daschner for the words he's written. I've made the obvious alterations (changing 'he' and 'him' to 'she' and 'her', etc.) but it's truly an A/U story, so I've put my own spin on much of it.

Chapter One

She began her new life standing up, surrounded by cold darkness and stale, dusty air.

Metal ground against metal; a lurching shudder shook the floor beneath her. She fell down at the sudden movement and shuffled backward on her hands and feet, drops of sweat beading on her forehead despite the cool air. Her back struck a hard metal wall; she slid along it until she hit the corner of the room. Sinking to the floor, she pulled her legs up tight against her body, hoping her eyes would soon adjust to the darkness.

With another jolt, the room jerked upward like an old lift in a mine shaft. Harsh sounds of chains and pulleys, like the workings of an ancient steel factory, echoed through the room, bouncing off the walls with a hollow, tinny whine. The lightless elevator swayed back and forth as it ascended, turning the girl's stomach sour with nausea; a smell like burnt oil invaded her senses, making her feel worse. She wanted to cry, but no tears came; she could only sit there, alone, waiting.

"Okay," she murmured to herself. "Calm down. Start with the basics. Start with what you know. My name is…" She trailed off. "My name is…" She tried again.

That was when she realized; she didn't remember anything about her life.

She didn't understand how this could be possible. Her mind functioned without flaw, trying to calculate her surroundings and predicament. Knowledge flooded her thoughts, facts and images, memories and details of the world and how it works. She pictured snow on trees, running down a leaf-strewn road, eating a hamburger, the moon casting a pale glow on a grassy meadow, swimming in a lake, a busy city square with hundreds of people bustling about their business.

And yet she didn't know where she came from, or how she'd gotten inside the dark lift, or who her parents were. She didn't even know her name. Images of people flashed across her mind, but there was no recognition, their faces replaced with haunted smears of color. She couldn't think of one person she knew, or recall a single conversation.

The room continued its ascent, swaying; she grew immune to the ceaseless rattling of the chains that pulled her upward. A long time passed. Minutes stretched into hours, although it was impossible to know for sure because every second seemed an eternity. No. She was smarter than that. Trusting her instincts, she knew she'd been moving for roughly half an hour.

Strangely enough, she felt her fear whisked away like a swarm of gnats caught in the wind, replaced by an intense curiosity. She wanted to know where she was and what was happening.

With a groan and then a clonk, the rising room halted; the sudden change jolted her from her huddled position and threw her across the hard floor. As she scrambled to her feet, she felt the room sway less and less until it finally stilled. Everything fell silent.

A minute passed. Two. She looked in every direction but saw only darkness; she felt along the walls again, searching for a way out. But there was nothing, only the cool metal. She groaned in frustration; her echo amplified through the air, like the haunted moan of death. It faded, and silence returned. She pounded on the walls with her fists.

Nothing.

She backed into the corner once again, folded her arms and shivered, and the fear returned. She felt a worrying shudder in her chest, as if her heart wanted to escape, to flee her body.

A loud clank rang out above her and she sucked in a startled breath as she looked up. A straight line of light appeared across the ceiling of the room, and she watched as it expanded. A heavy grating sound revealed double sliding doors being forced open. After so long in darkness, the light stabbed her eyes; she looked away, covering her face with both hands.

She heard noises above—voices—and fear squeezed her chest.

"It's a girl."

"A girl?"

"No way."

"I got dibs!"

"What's she look like?"

"How old is she?"

"Let me see, shank"

"You're the shank, klunk-face."

"About time we got one."

"Been a while."

"Dude, it smells like feet down there!"

"Hope you enjoyed the one-way trip, Greenie."

"Ain't no ticket back, babe."

She was hit with a wave of confusion, blistered with panic. The voices were odd, tinged with echo; some of the words were completely foreign—others felt familiar. She willed her eyes to adjust as she squinted toward the light and those speaking. At first she could see only shifting shadows, but they soon turned into the shapes of bodies—people bending over the hole in the ceiling, looking down at her, eyes wide.

And then, as if the lens of a camera had sharpened its focus, the faces cleared. They were boys, all of them—some young, some older. She didn't know what she'd expected, but seeing those faces puzzled her. They were just teenagers. Kids. Some of her fear melted away, but not enough to calm her racing heart.

Someone lowered a rope from above, the end of it tied into a big loop. She hesitated, then stepped into it with her right foot and clutched the rope as she was yanked toward the sky. Hands reached down, lots of hands, grabbing her by her clothes and arms and hands, pulling her up. The world seemed to spin, a swirling mist of faces and color and light. A storm of emotions wrenched her gut, twisted and pulled; she wanted to scream, cry, throw up. The chorus of voices had grown silent, but someone spoke as they lifted her over the sharp edge of the dark box. And she knew she'd never forget the words.

"Nice to meet ya, Greenie," the boy said. "Welcome to the Glade."