by Suzanne Collins
Catching Fire Chapter 23 Summary
How It All Goes Down
- Katniss realizes that the arena is set up exactly like a clock, with sections from one to twelve. Each section is lethal for an hour at a time.
- Katniss shares her epiphany with the others and decides that they can't stay in one place, in case other terrors come to find them.
- She remembers how Plutarch showed her his own watch long ago, with the mockingjay on it, and wonders if he was trying to tell her something.
- They start to go, but Beetee refuses to move without his wire. Turns out, the strange metal thing Katniss set aside before is a wire, and it's Beetee's weapon.
- Johanna says Beetee risked everything to get it at the Cornucopia.
- They get moving again, and Finnick says they should head back to where they all entered the arena.
- Katniss worries about her allies. It's great to have them right now, but at some point they're all going to have to kill each other, and that's really going to suck.
- They make it to the beach, and Wiress goes in the water to wash the metal thing that Beetee's so attached to.
- She's singing, which everyone thinks is kind of weird.
- Beetee explains that Wiress can tell when things are about to go south; it's a special talent of hers. He compares her to the warning birds miners use.
- This makes Katniss sad; she's distracted by thoughts of her family and of District 12.
- The others regroup. Johanna finds her weapon of choice, an ax, and Peeta starts trying to make a map of the clock so they can figure out where the danger zones will be, and when. Everyone gathers around to look at Peeta's creation.
- Suddenly they realize something terrible: Wiress has stopped singing.
- They react as quickly as they can, but it's too late: a rival group of tributes has killed her. Johanna and Katniss kill two of the attackers, Gloss and Cashmere, while Finnick takes defense and covers them.
- Two of the other attackers, Brutus and Enobaria, escape.
- Then another trick of the arena happens, something that feels like an earthquake or an amusement park ride. Everyone's thrown off their feet and scattered. When the earthquake is over, the attackers are gone, Beetee is missing and Wiress is dead, washed out to sea.
- They spot Beetee in the ocean and Finnick gets him.
- Katniss realizes that they need Beetee's special metal object, which Wiress had, so she has to go in the water and pry it from Wiress' dead hands.
- They are all sad and stunned. Their little group is shrinking.
- They have to keep moving, though, so they decide to go back to the starting point of the clock. The problem is, they don't know where that is, exactly.
- The team is at a disadvantage because everything they do and say is recorded, so the Gamemakers can adjust the game and make it harder as the tributes make discoveries about it.
- They don't know what to do, so they just go back to the forested area.
- Finnick and Katniss go get water while Johanna and Peeta work on making another drawing of the clock and stay with Beetee, who's still weak.
- Katniss is confused because everyone around her seems to be trying to help Peeta. This is a weird thing to see in the arena, where each person is supposed to be out for him or herself. She feels like there's something she doesn't understand, but what?
- Katniss and Finnick are getting water from a tree when something terrible happens. They hear tortured screaming from close by: it's Katniss' sister, Prim.
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