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The Mortality Doctrine has 11 entries in the series. The Mortality Doctrine ( Series). James Dashner Author (). cover image of The Mortality Doctrine Series. The Rule of Thoughts (Mortality Doctrine, Book Two) By James Dashner - Free download as PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or read online for free. From the New. 29 Aug Best Seller. The Mortality Doctrine Series: The Complete Trilogy by James Dashner. Buy. The Game of Lives. (The Mortality.
He didnt nd much, though he did gure out that the family name was Porter and the girls name was Emileah strange spelling. From a family and a girlfriend. Te boys name. Stolen it. Tere were several from the girlfriend, Gabriela; three just that morning.
Tere were several from the girlfriend, Gabriela; three just that morning. Reluctantly, Michael opened the most recent.
Jax, Uhhhhh, you slip in the shower and bang your head? Are you sleeping in a puddle of soapy water and drool right now? I miss you. Im on my second cup of coffee and theres a jerk at the next table getting friendly. He sells stocks, or companies, or dead peoples organs, something.
Please come save me. You might even get a coffee- flavored kiss. Gabriela She attached a pic, a shadowy, blurred image of someone Michael could only assume was Gabriela dark skin, dark hair, pretty with pouting lips, her nger tracing an imagi- nary tear down her cheek.
Her brown eyes tilted down in mock sadness. With a heavy heart Michael swiped it closed and continued looking through the text box. Several things fell into place when he found a note from Jacksons dad, sent just that morning: Jax, Hope all is well, buddy.
Im sure youre up and at em by now, right? L Were safe and sound. Puerto Rico is beautiful. But I know you have big things coming up this week, so well be thinking about you.
Keep us in the loop, and be careful when you access our accounts. Make sure you protect our codes! That was Moms input. See you next week. Is Gabby still visiting her dad? Say hi to her for us. We miss you already. Dad So Jackson Porter was obviously okay when his family left for vacation. Which meant that his body had not been merely clinging to life, brain- dead, like so many others dis- covered throughout the world. Had those all been tests of some sort? Michael wondered.
Had Kaine actually perfected the Mortality Doctrine process before he used it on Michael?
Or was Michael the rst that had worked? It was a terrifying thought either way. If it seemed the attacks had stopped, no one would be worried about the VirtNet. Kaine could just move ahead and unleash an army of Tangents on the world with no warning. But Michael had a more immediate concern what to do about Jackson Porter. Reading that letter had made him ab- solutely certain of one thing: Te notion of passing for this stranger with his family and friends seemed ridiculous now, especially if Gabriela showed up and started whispering sweet nothings in his ear.
So what could he do? He had to get out of there. He could leave a note with some kind of explanation. It would break his familys hearts, but at least it would let them know he was alive. He could even keep corresponding with them, keep the deception going. Surely that was better than nding out a computer program had erased the mind of their son and replaced it with another. But there was the issue of money.
Something banged, hard, against the front door of the apartment, startling him. He turned and looked toward the noise. Tere it was again. A hard thunk, like wood against metal. Again, then again. Michael jumped up from the chair and hurried down the hall, through the kitchen, toward the front door.
Te pound- ing happened twice more, as if someone were swinging something large back and With a splintering crash of the framework, the metal door exploded inward.
Michael crouched down, throwing his arms up to protect himself as the door slammed to the ground, narrowly missing him. Heart in his throat, he looked up to see who was in the doorway. Two men. Both dressed in jeans and drab annel shirts, they held some sort of old- fashioned wooden battering ram. Tey were both big, muscular, one with dark hair, the other blond. Neither had shaved for a few days, and intensity strained their expressions. Tey dropped the length of wood and stepped toward Michael.
He shot backward, scrambling across the kitchen until he ran into the counter and lost his footing, dropping to the oor. Te two men stopped just a few feet away, looking down at him with twin sneers. Do I even need to ask? Michael managed to say.
He wanted to feel brave to be brave but the vulnerability of his human body suddenly hit him.
It was something hed never thought about in Lifeblood Deep. His world could end at any second. Te two men didnt answer; they looked at each other with puzzled expressions, so Michael spoke again. I guess I do, he murmured. Who are you? Both of them swung their gazes back to him. We were sent by Kaine, the dark- haired man said. A lot has changed in the last day or two. We were sent to. He has big plans for you, son.
Michaels heart sank. Hed hoped for more time. His mind spun with questions, but what came out of his mouth sounded plain stupid. Well, you couldve just knocked. But both remained oddly silent, and the whole situation was beginning to take on an air of absurdity. So, Michael asked, are you guys going to tell me any- thing? Your names, at least? He felt oddly peaceful as he spoke, as if any immediate danger had been swept away by the man brushing the dirt o his pants. Te dark- haired man straightened and folded his arms.
His face showed no emotion as he spoke. My name is Kinto, he said, then nodded toward his partner. Tis is Douglas. We were under the impression that you were still inside the Con, still undergoing the Doctrine transfer.
Looks like we were. Yeah, Kinto agreed. Looks that way. At least the men knew about Kaine and the Mortality Doctrine. So does that mean Kaines taken a human body, too?
How many Tan- gents have done the same thing? His mouth was still open when Kinto held up a hand to silence him. Te mans expression was all business. If Kaine wants you to know something, hell make sure you do. Youve been given a gift, Douglas continued.
For now, just be happy and do what youre told. Fine with me, Michael replied. His insides were a churning storm lightning, thunder, sleet, strong winds, the whole bit but he tried to display a sense of calm.
Hed had way too many experiences lately that had ended in his being dragged away, and it was something he wanted to avoid if at all possible. He would go with these men until an opportunity to break away presented itself or until he had a revelation about what he should do. Fine with you? Douglas repeated, obviously surprised at the simple response.
Fine with me. Michael swallowed. Hed just keep his comments to a minimum and go with it until a better plan developed. Kinto gestured toward the door. Ten lets go. I dont think I need to tell you not to try anything. Douglas will go rst, then you, then me. Nice and easy. Life couldnt be simpler, Douglas said gruy, though he broke his stern act with a smile. You follow me, Kinto follows you.
And all your dreams will come true. He headed for the door and Michael fell in line behind him, with Kinto right on his heels. Tey went through the shattered doorframe and into the hallway, the apartment building silent except for their footsteps.
For some reason, Michael thought of Lifeblood Deep, how it had been his lifes goal to make it there someday, and a wave of sadness washed over him. Hed been there the whole time. And now look where hed ended up. He knew it was ironic, somehow, maybe even profoundly philosophical, but all he could feel was defeat. He kept walking. He sat squeezed between the two men as they jostled along underground, and his thoughts kept re- turning to Jackson Porter.
His family. His girlfriend, even. What had happened to the consciousness of the boy once known as Jackson? Was that it for him? Had his mind, his personality, been erased?
Or was it stored somewhere, some- how? If Michael could be transferred into Jacksons body, maybe Jackson could be transferred out. Guilt overwhelmed him. Tough it hadnt been his choice, hed taken a life, and he wished he could make the loss bearable for them in some way.
Not a word had been spoken between Michael and the others since theyd left the apartment, unless you counted the grunts the men made when they needed to change direc- tion. Michael sat, quiet, as the train pulled into a station and stopped. Te doors opened and he watched absently as the passengers crowded in like herded cattle. Tere were some who smiled or apologized when they bumped into others.
Tose were few and far between.
One woman barely made it through before the doors closed on her, catching the corner of her handbag. She had to yank hard before it came free, allowing the doors to seal shut. As Michael observed, his mind started turning. His gaze went from the woman to her purse to the door, and his thoughts picked up speed.
What in the world was he going to do? He literally knew no one, had no home, no money, no clothes. No place to start. Did he continue with these peo- ple, go to this gathering place, this meeting, nd out what Kaine wanted with him? He needed answers from the Tan- gent, but did he dare let himself be trapped in a situation he couldnt get out of?
He missed his family and his friends more than anything. Tey couldnt all be fake he refused to accept that. Te train continued along the tracks, ashing lights breaking up the darkness of the tunnel. Kinto and Douglas sat on either side of him, their shoulders pressed against his, their faces as blank as most of the others on the train. Michael had a sudden thought: Somewhere out there in the big, bad world, he had the two best friends a person could ever ask for.
Tey werent Tangents like him they never had been. Tey were real. Weber had said so. Bryson and Sarah. He was a Tangent. Did that change things? He had a sudden and terrible vision of them stumbling backward, running away from him, a freak that had taken the body of a real person.
But did he actually believe that? Wouldnt they under- stand? Yes, he decided. Yes, they would. Te train bounced and creaked, everyone staring down at the oor. Lights ashed and dimmed, then blazed back on. His two escorts said nothing.
He couldnt go with them. He just couldnt. Yes, he needed answers. Yes, he needed to gure out a way to con- front Kaine and nd out the why of everything. But not this way.
Not with the Tangent calling the shots. He thanked the stars that hed seen that poor woman get her handbag caught, be- cause it had sparked an idea.
He had to stay calm. He stilled his whole body until he sat frozen, like a wax gure, and waited for the right mo- ment. Te train began to slow and pulled into the next sta- tion. Te doors slid open and passengers surged o en masse, plowing into those who wanted on the train. Cattle in, cattle out. Michael watched it all calmly, waiting.
Riders found their way to seats until those were full, then packed in, clasp- ing handholds attached to the ceiling and the poles running the length of the car. Tere was a loud tone and the doors began to close.
Without warning Michael launched himself out of his seat, knocking people out of the way, and lunged for the disappearing gap between the closing doors.
He stumbled over something, recovered, dove for the thin sliver of an opening. His body made it through, but the doors slammed against his right calf, the rubber seals clutching, holding him rmly in place.
He crashed to the ground, twisted around to look back. Te two men stood just on the other side of the doors, calmly looking down at him through the gap. Teir serene expressions actually scared him more than if theyd grown fangs and wings. Douglas bent down and grabbed Michaels foot, pulling him with a shocking amount of strength, while Kinto at- tempted to force the doors open.
Tey didnt budge. A blar- ing bell rang out, followed by a mechanized voice. Please remove all obstructions from the path of the door. But Douglas held rm on the other side, twisting Michaels foot painfully. Michael cried out and struggled even harder. A woman on the train screamed. It was a piercing wail that drowned out the alarm it must have been clear that Doug- las wasnt exactly trying to help Michael. Ten the train started to move.
It lurched forward, dragging Michael along the cement oor of the station as he tried to grab anything nearby, but there was only the oor. A second alarm rang out, this one more of a booming, electronic clang that lled the air, and the train stopped.
Michaels leg screamed with pain; the doors pinched in a viselike hold where they had closed around his calf. Douglas continued to twist his foot from inside the train, and the other passengers were realizing that he was hurting Michael doing more harm than good. Tere were shouts, and Michael strained to look and saw scuing; a punch was thrown. Douglass head snapped to the left, but his face registered no pain.
Michael watched it all in a daze, as if his mind had risen out of his aching body. And then someone was pushing his foot instead of pull- ing on it. A hand gripped the underside of his calf, trying to leverage it at a better angle. Kinto and a burly man were ghting inside the train they fell to the ground and Doug- las released his hold on Michael.
He pulled himself up and pushed against the door of the train with his other foot. Te alarms clanged and rang at a deafening pitch.
People on the train were shouting and pointing at him through the windows. Finally his leg slipped free from the vise of the two doors and they slammed shut. Michael pulled his leg in and rubbed his calf and ankle, watching from the ground as the train lurched into motion again.
Te alarm cut o and the familiar creaks and groans of transit resumed.
He glanced up as the cars disappeared into the tunnel. In the very last one stood Douglas, staring back at him through a grimy, ngerprint- smeared window, ignoring the still- chaotic scene playing out behind him.
And for the rst time, the man looked angry. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the authors imagination or are used ctitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
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