The events in this planned novella begin at the start of what should be Death Cure. The world as well will be more fantasy rather sci-fi. This will be vastly different from the original books, so be aware, dear reader.
Everything is either created or influenced by James Dashner. The feminized Thomas as well, who I will try my hardest to keep in character, because frankly there is little depth to Thomas in the book itself.
They had passed twenty miles deep into the forest when Minho called out they were safe enough. Thomas collapsed down onto the loose, wet soil and squeezed her tired eyes shut. She could feel Newt carefully setting himself down beside her. The run from the facility couldn't have been an easy glide for his limping foot, even more so with the hard rocks and roots that jutted from the forest floor, letting from them many oaths and hisses of pain throughout. She was thankful her legs had numbed down to hard muscle that she wouldn't feel much of her bruised, beaten feet. Newt would have suffered more, and Thomas wanted to give him some assurance, but they had not spoken much for the past few days and she didn't know if he would appreciate her empty prattle.
Thomas sat up abruptly after restlessness hit and traced Minho's heavy breathing to the side, his back propped up against a large, looming tree. His shirt was discarded on the ground and he flushed pink all over. The distant moonlight suited him, she supposed, touching onto his sweaty skin an innocent glow.
He smirked at her when he caught her staring. "Like what you see?"
She ignored him. "Where are we going now?"
He shrugged, nonchalantly, turning his gaze over his shoulder to look at something that wasn't there.
"There's no telling, we don't even know where here is," Newt muttered.
"We could look for a-a road sign or something."
"No, it's all wild wood. We should have taken a look at that map before having left off."
Thomas glanced up to the stars above them. She was mesmerized when she had seen them a couple of hours back, when the sky was a sunset-blended red to purple then indigo blue. The memories she held on to in her head told her not to expect any stars; she was certain they were blanketed over by the smog and light of a loud world, all obscured by the black of night. And yet here they were, blinking and looking down on her, like far-away titans that passed their judgement over them. It was only then that she felt the reality of it all overwhelm her – that she was free, finally free, to feel the last of an old and evergreen world in this dying galaxy.
Taking idea from Newt, she searched the stars thoroughly to find a pattern. Minho had followed her example, and he was the one who saw it first.
"There." He scrambled over and grabbed her hand to draw an impression of a kite over a bright, bluish-white star and several other dimmer ones below it. The constellation floated against a plunging crack of purple and cloudy red that cleaved the sky, and Thomas wondered if the rest of the universe was condemning them, too.
"Aquila. That sucker halved by the Milky Way. We're up north, and it's gonna get real cold soon enough."
"So, we go south then?"
There was a fleeting rustle a few yards from them. Newt peered into the trees, listening in very still until he waved the noise off. Thomas caught something skitter up a tree as he pointed out that south wasn't an option.
"You weren't listening. If what they said was all true said there wouldn't be anything to find down there. It's all gone."
"Don't care, just want to get away from them as far as we can."
Thomas kept quiet while Newt talked to them about where they could possibly go. He was adamant against going anywhere near the equator, and was wary of the west and eastways. Newt worried that they might crash into several of the dangerous ruins and the wild tribes they were told about, leaving them not much choice but for the cold north, which seemed hard and desolate but safer of an option than any of the other directions.
Minho urged them to cover more distance when they had all agreed to travel towards cruel tundra. Thomas hung around at the rear, assigning herself to watch after her companions during the walk. The trees that towered above them gave her a tingling fear of the night. She could sometimes see flitting shadows at the corner of her eyes, sharply turning towards the movement, and nothing seemed to be there at all; fear was creeping up on her and it was only when they had stopped at a small clearing did she notice that she had floated over to Minho's side.
Newt wouldn't let them set a fire and Thomas was forced to huddle under a shallow caving beneath a large root for some warmth. She stared at the abandoned squirrel Minho had wanted to stew up for dinner, not seeing the pitiful, pleading eyes as she tried to push away dark thoughts that involved griever-bears and griever-wolves and dead Newt and Minho. What felt like hours of frustrating consciousness disappeared into a dreamless sleep, and when she awoke she felt all the joy in the world to see the bright stars, and Aquila, still shimmering above her.