"Wait!" Amelia ordered. The other girls halted, and she pushed through the crowd, jumping down into the Box.
"What is it, Amy?" Michelle asked. Amy looked up at them, a mixture of confusion, horror, and curiosity.
"It'-it's a boy."
"But that's impossible! They only send up girls."
"Even if it were a girl it wouldn't be right." Amelia interrupted. "But that isn't all. He's...dead."
"Dead?" Michelle echoed.
"And he has a note in his hand." This time there was a slight tremor in her voice that send chills through every Glader's body.
"What?" Rachel asked, cutting the silence. "What does it say."
Amelia swallowed. "He's the last one. Ever."
"What does that mean?"
"The last Greenie?"
"The last delivery in the Box?"
"What if they stop sending up supplies?"
"We're shucked. We're shucked for good."
"Quiet!" Amy ordered. "Med-jacks!"
Esther and Hillary stepped forward. Then, suddenly, they gasped and jumped back. The boy had shot upright to a sitting position, glancing wildly around with wide eyes, mumbling something indistinctly. Then he locked eyes with Rachel and said five words.
"Everything is about to change." Then his eyes rolled back into his head and fell back. The Med-jacks caught him and carried him back into the Homestead. The girls stood there, silent, trying to figure out the meaning behind what had just happened.
"Everyone back to work!" The girls started to leave, muttering and shooting glances at Rachel. Rachel lingered for a second, staring into the Box, stunned. Then she turned and started going back to the Gardens.
"Stop for a moment there, Greenie." With dread, Rachel turned back to Amy, who was still stand in the Box. "Do you know that shank?"
"No," Rachel said. But she felt a twinge of doubt. She did know the boy, even if she couldn't recall any past memories about him. He looked vaguely familiar, and she felt a tug towards him, as if it were a crime to have forgotten him. The other girl's face darkened.
"Really? Because he seemed to know you. If you remember anything-any bloody thing about him, I don't care what it is-if you so much remember him klunking his pants when he was a kid, I want to know about it. You got it?"
"Y-yeah," Rachel said. Amy pushed herself out of the Box and nodded.
"Okay. Now come with me."
"We're going to visit him. Hurry up, let's go."
They stared down at the boy. He was very tall, with dark blonde, almost brown hair, a thin build, pale skin, and freckles, with a long nose.
"No." Rachel lied. Amy searched Rachel's face for a moment, then relented.
"Fine. Come on, let's go back to the Gardens."
Amelia had left the Gardens early to go to a closed Gathering of the Keepers. At sundown, every Glader was gathered around the South Wall. It was eerily silent, as if everyone knew what was going to happen, and they knew it was awful. Rachel had no idea what was going on, but no one bothered to tell her.
Sonya walked towards the Door from the Slammer, practically dragging Jackie along with her. Jackie was bound, pitifully sobbing.
"Please, Amy. Please." She choked. "I never would have hurt the Greenie. It was the Changing, I swear it. Just give me-give me time to recover, please."
Amelia was taking deep breaths, as if trying to say calm. Turning away from Jackie, she spoke to the silent crowd of girls.
"Jackie of the Bricknicks is being Banished today, as a result of her attempting to kill Rachel the Greenie. Watch it, and take it as a lesson for all-we must maintain order in the Glade. We can't have people breaking rules. The rules are what keep us together, and you can't break them, no matter what. Nia?"
Nia, a seventeen year old Runner, who seemed to be second in command of the Runners, took a pack filled with supplies and threw it into the Maze. Rachel hated that her connection with jackie was being announced. Jackie gasped.
"No," She moaned. "No, no, no, no. Please, Amelia. Harriet. Sonya."
Each girl avoided her eyes. Harriet and Sonya remained stone-faced, but Amy was obviously fighting to keep calm now. It appeared that she was a close friend of Jackie's. The door started to close with a rumble.
"Keepers." The Keeper of the Runners said this in such a quiet voice, it was almost unheard above the rumblings. "Each of you take a spear."
The Keepers obeyed, surrounding the sobbing girl, blocking any way back into the Glade.
"Push forward!" Sonya ordered. Amelia had started to bark the order, but her voice had caught, and she was unable to say it. The Keepers started to walk forward, closing in on Jackie, forcing Jackie to back away, into the Maze.
"No! No! No!" Jackie started sobbing and screaming hysterically. "You can't do this! You can't!"
"Keep going!" Harriet shouted.
"N-o-o!" Coughed Jackie. The doors were almost closed now, and she was almost out. "NO! NO!"
"You brought this upon yourself, Jackie!" Harriet shouted through gritted teeth.
Jackie's last scream was cut off by the wall as she was sealed off into the Maze.
"And let this be a lesson to you all," Sonya finished. The Gladers walked away, horrified. Amy stood there, silently, staring horror-struck towards the wall.
"Amy?" Rachel tentatively stepped forward and touched Amy's shoulder. "You okay?"
The piercing grey eyes turned to look at her. They begged for help, but then softened.
"Yeah. I'm okay, Greenie. Come on. You've had a long day, and you need sleep."