Thomas follows Minho through the Maze, keeping up but slowly getting more and more tired as he runs. They start in section Eight and find the Door that leads into Section One. As they run, Minho shows Thomas how to cut ivy without stopping and drop it behind them in order to leave a trial. At lunchtime, they rest and Minho explains how Alby nudged the dead Griever with his foot. This caused the creature to come alive, but instead of attacking them, it tried to flee, running over Alby in the process.
Minho’s insistence on training shows the importance of experience. Though Thomas felt an innate drive to be a Runner, he must first acquire the knowledge and experience before he can become a true Runner.
They run some more and then rest again. Thomas sees a beetle blade and asks what they’re for and why they have the word WICKED on them. Minho says the Gladers have always assumed that the beetle blades spy for the Creators but they don’t know what the word means.
Minho’s lack of knowledge about the beetle blades shows that even one of the Glade’s leaders doesn’t know everything about their world. They may try to keep this lack of knowledge hidden from the other Gladers because it may weaken the appearance of their authority.
As they talk, Thomas notices a glimmer of silver against a wall. Thomas goes to investigate and Minho shrugs, already seeming to know what he’ll find. When Thomas approaches the walls and pushes the ivy out of the way, he sees a metal plaque with the words, “WORLD IN CATASTROPHE: KILLZONE EXPERIMENT DEPARTMENT.” Minho says these plaques are all over the Maze. They continue to run, but finding nothing new, they turn back an hour later
Since the Maze is an experiment, all the control that Alby, Newt, and Minho seem to have over life in the Glade is actually an illusion. In reality, they have no real control because they’re just lab rats in the Creators’ experiment.
At the end of the day, Thomas feels physically depleted. Becoming Runner has lost its appeal and he feels exhausted with this new life already. Right before he falls asleep, he hears Teresa’s voice in his head, saying “Tom, I just triggered the Ending.”
Thomas’ disenchantment with being a Runner reveals that he never actually had an instinctual drive to be a Runner. He simply mistook his repressed memories of the Maze as an innate calling to run through it.