Newt calls for the Med-Jacks, the Glade’s version of doctors, to examine the girl. They determine that she may be in a coma. One of the Gladers calls out, sarcastically asking why the Med-Jacks get to touch her first. Fearing for her safety, Alby says that if any of the boys touches her, he’ll be banished. As they take her away, Thomas feels sympathy for her and feels connected to her in some unknown way. Alby calls a Gathering, which Chuck explains is something that only occurs when something truly significant happens.
The continuation of several themes: Thomas’ exploration of his feelings and instincts, the boys’ immature objectifying treatment of the girl, and Alby’s domineering demand for order within the Glade at any price—even banishment.
Thomas and Chuck go to raid the kitchen for some food. As they eat, Thomas asks Chuck what’s inside the concrete building. Chuck says that’s where they keep the maps. Chuck explains that the Runners come together after each day and pool their information to add to their maps of the Maze. Realizing he may never escape the Glade, Thomas wonders aloud if they are all murderers put into the Glade as punishment for their crimes.
Like most adolescents, Thomas has a difficult time defining his identity. Previously he had felt a sense of innate purpose—to become a Runner—but now, having lost hope, he thinks he might just be a criminal.
After Thomas and Chuck finish eating, Thomas goes exploring and discovers a beetle blade, which reminds him of a small metallic lizard. He inspects it and sees the word “WICKED” spelled out on its back. The beetle blade shoots off into a wooded forest area and Thomas follows it to investigate.
The word WICKED on the backs of the beetle blade suggests that something evil might lie beneath the appearance of order and stability at the Glade. It could also reflect Thomas’ exploration of his own identity as a “wicked” murderer.