Thomas finally got in contact with Teresa, but she had no idea who he was, or why he was in her head. She must have gotten her memory wiped again. Thomas is sad, but he has other things to worry about. The loud bell stopped ringing, and when they got out of the room, the bodies were completely missing, including the stench that went along with them. The Cranks screaming through the windows were also gone, replaced by brick walls and there are no longer any metal bars. Thomas and the rest of the Gladers are confused, but decide that they have nothing better to do than sleep off the confusion. When they awake, there is a strange man in a case in the Common Room, but the case is invisible. Thomas tries to get to him, but ends up smashing his nose against a glass-like surface. The man later tells them that they are infected with the Flare, and must reach a certain point across a desert to get treatment for it. When they leave, they have to walk through dark tunnels for hours, maybe days, and nearly 3 people lose their heads. Thomas saves one of them, but the other 2 are doomed. The one who is saved, they see everything that happens. There is a liquid-like mass of silver, eating away at their face and sticking to their flesh. Thomas and the other boy have to wrench the liquid silver off, and once they do, it morphs into a perfect ball shape, and floats away. The other boys that got killed by this liquid silver lost their heads completely, the silver completely severing their heads from their necks and swallowing it whole. But finally, the Gladers find their way to a dead end, where there is a secret opening.