"Tomorrow." Amy broke the silence, making everyone jump. "Michelle, you get all of the other Runners. Even the ones on break. Assign them to study the maps full time. And we need people to stay in the Maze overnight. Runners."
"Overnight?" Michelle said sharply. "That's dangerous."
"There's no point to staying anyways. It's dangerous everywhere now since the walls aren't closing."
"I guess. But who'd volunteer for that?"
"I would," Amy said. She met eyes with Rachel, and an understanding came between them. "And Rachel too."
"I think all of the Runners would," Nia said softly. "We have no choice but to get out of here now."
"Yeah. But the Runners know the Maps best."
"I'll guard the maps," Michelle said suddenly.
"I said I'll guard the maps." Michelle was acting weird. Stiff. She'd stopped plucking the bow string. Her voice sounded strained, as if she were being forced to talk. Rachel dismissed this for nervousness. Amy gave her friend a long look before nodding.
"Fine. But be careful."
Michelle nodded, then quickly ran out of the Room, Amy staring after her with a frown.
"She'll be okay," Nia said reassured her.
"What about everyone else?" Esther muttered. The room was silent again.
Amy got the bed. Sleep came, but it was an uneasy, light rest. Rachel kept waking up and every sound. She heard Esther and Nia's soft, slow breathing. They didn't wake up as much, but they did wake up sometimes. But Rachel never heard the same soft breaths coming from the bed. Each time she glanced up, Amy's eyes were wide open. The dull grey light still drifted through the room.
Around two o'clock in the morning, the metallic clatter of the Grievers broke the uneasy silence. Rachel shot to her feet, as did the others. Amy had gotten up first, and noiselessly ran to the window, looking through the cracks in the barricades. Nia put her finger to her lips to keep the girls silent. The girls gripped their daggers and swords silently. Rachel looked at another crack underneath, but saw nothing but the open Glade. Every ten to twenty minutes, sounds of moving Grievers penetrated the walls. There was at least three or four outside. Rachel was dismayed to hear that even Nia's breath had quickened in fear, her face pale. The tension in the room was so high no one would be surprised if the room suddenly exploded.
The door in the hallway suddenly whipped opened. Gasps and shrieks filled the air. They turned to the doorway, shaking hands tight around their weapons.
It was Beth.
Her eyes were wild, and her clothes were filthy and raggedy. She dropped to her knees, gasping, as if deprived of oxygen.
"They'll kill you!" She gasped. "One by one-until it's over!" The mad girl glared at Rachel. "This is your fault," She hissed, spit flying out of her mouth. She jumped to her feet. "You did this!" Beth threw a punch, which landed painfully on Rachel's ear. Rachel fell to the floor, making the flashlights make a loud clattering sound.
"Shh!" Esther quickly helped Rachel up.
"Beth!" Amy hissed. "Shut and be quiet. Stay down. Maybe they'll go away."
Beth sneered at her former Keeper. "You've always been stupid, Amelia. There's no point in hiding. It's all over. They kill you. They'll kill us all. One-by-ONE!" She leaped at the window, then tugged the boards off.
"No!" Amy grabbed Beth and shoved her away. Beth slammed the board down onto Amy's head, and she fell, unconscious, blood splattering Rachel's clothes.
"What are you doing?" Rachel said furiously. Beth turned to her.
"Shut your shuck mouth, Rachel! You don't want to remember! You don't know what the Changing did to me? You-don't-WANT-to-remember!" With that, she dove onto the Griever's body. The Griever grabbed onto her, making it impossible to escape, and sucked her in, making a horrible squelching song. Then it jumped out, and the Gladers ran to the window. The Grievers were rolling back into the Maze. Nia took off, following the Grievers.
"NIA!" Rachel screamed. "WAIT!" They watched hopelessly as Nia entered the Maze.