by Suzanne Collins
Catching Fire Chapter 24 Summary
How It All Goes Down
- Katniss takes off into the forest with no plan; all she wants to do is find her sister. But Prim isn't there. Katniss can hear her, but she can't see her. She becomes more and more frantic.
- Finally, she sees a bird, a jabberjay, and realizes what's happening. The jabberjay is an ancestor of the mockingjay; it mimics the sound of human voices. It's not real; it's just a part of the game.
- Still, Katniss kills the bird.
- Then Finnick finds her. She's starting to explain what's happened when another jabberjay speaks up. This one is a voice that Finnick knows, and he takes off in search of it.
- Katniss has to go after him. He won't stop panicking until she kills the bird and explains what happened.
- But then it gets worse. Finnick points out that since the birds are imitators, the people they love probably were in really bad pain.
- Then other jabberjays start, and Katniss can hear Gale's voice.
- Finnick realizes they have to move out of the jabberjays' vicinity, and he forces Katniss back to their campsite.
- When they get there, they realize they can see their allies but not hear or touch them. They are stuck behind a see-through wall. They're trapped with the horrible birds until the hour is over. Peeta, Johanna, and Beetee can't help them.
- The birds come after them. Katniss kills as many as she can, but they keep coming. For an hour, Katniss and Finnick have to try to hold on while they hear the voices of everyone they know in tremendous pain and suffering.
- When the hour is over, the wall is gone and the other allies rescue them. Peeta tries to calm Katniss and Finnick down by explaining that the jabberjays are fake, and that the Gamemakers used technology to create the sounds of agony. None of it was real. He reminds Katniss that their families can't be dead on the outside. That wouldn't play well to the crowds watching the Games.
- Slowly Katniss and Finnick come to believe the idea, especially after tech whiz Beetee confirms that it's not hard to generate fake voices.
- Johanna gets them all water, saying she's not afraid of the jabberjays because there's nobody she cares about. The jabberjays won't have a voice to use on her.
- Peeta and Katniss have a moment alone. Peeta explains that Finnick was probably hearing the voice of Annie Cresta, another tribute who should have come to this Games, but Mags volunteered to take her place. It turns out that Annie went crazy during her Games, and Finnick loves her.
- From far away, they see that someone else has died in a part of the clock they haven't visited yet.
- They regroup and figure out where they are on the clock.
- Then it's nighttime again, their second night in the arena. Another eight tributes have died. That means that only three other tributes remain outside their little group: their opponents Brutus, Enobaria, and Chaff.
- They receive a present from the outside world: bread has been sent from District 3. They get 24 rolls of bread and divide them as evenly as they can between themselves.
- When it's safe, they return to the stretch of beach where they spent last night. They're hoping they'll be able to relax and stay put for a few hours, when the clock will reset again.
- While the others sleep, Peeta and Katniss talk. They have a heart to heart and find out that Haymitch promised each of them, separately, that he'd help make sure the other one survived.
- They each try to convince the other that he or she should be the one to survive. Peeta plays his trump card, showing Katniss pictures of her family and telling her she should stay alive for them – and even marry Gale.
- They try to forget about the cameras and just be honest. Peeta says he doesn't have people who rely on him like she does. Katniss says she relies on him.
- Then they share an incredible kiss.
- There's lightning far away, which means the clock has started again. Finnick wakes up and takes over the watch. Peeta stays with him and pushes Katniss to go to sleep. He references their fake baby, and they're back to playing to the cameras.
- Katniss sleeps.
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