Catching Fire Chapters 22 - 24 Summary

The morphling from District 6 has endured the mutt monkey attack meant for Peeta. The monkeys mysteriously retreat and the morphling is still alive. Katniss and Peeta stay with her as she slowly dies. The boils from the poison fog attack have scabbed over and itch, the itching is intense as Katniss, Peeta, and Finnick try to recover from the events of the day.

Finnick volunteers to stand watch as Katniss and Peeta sleep. In the morning, Katniss awakens to find she has been itching herself bloody in the night. She asks for something for the itch and Haymitch sends them some cream.

She and Finnick are becoming friends, which is rewarded with a loaf of bread sent by Finnick's district. They eat the bread topped with some shell fish Finnick gathered.

A huge wave covers a hill causing the water near the beach they are camping on to rise. After the water has receded they see three figures approaching them. It is Johanna Mason from District 7 and Beetee and Wiress from District 3. The District 3 tributes are in bad shape, Beetee has a stab wound in his back and Wiress walks around in circles repeating "tick tock". Johanna informs Katniss she has saved them for her, because Haymitch told her befriending them would ensure Katniss would make her part of her alliance.

In the night, Katniss figures out the tick tock Wiress is talking about is the spokes surrounding the Cornucopia. Midnight and noon seem to be the times the lightning strikes occur as predetermined attacks by the Gamemakers. The attacks are also following the sections in order. The Gamemakers are using the spokes as a clock.

Katniss realizes each hour a different section is attacked. The first four attacks are released on the arena in the first four hours on the clock. She concludes they must move from their camp, because it too close to an attack area. She explains to the others her theory and tells Wiress she understands her tick tock message.

Johanna claims to not understand why Beetee wants a cylinder containing wire with him, even though she knows he won his Games by setting an electrical trap. Her claims seem false since she nicknamed him Volt. Putting her doubts aside, Katniss and the others return to the Cornucopia to test the clock theory.

At the Cornucopia, Wiress starts to sing a song, which Katniss remarks is like a canary in the mines. A canary in the mines sings until it smells bad air, then it stops and the miners leave the mine.

Peeta draws a map of the arena to show how the tail of the Cornucopia is pointed to twelve on the clock. This allows them to figure out where the next attack will occur, but then Wiress stops singing. They are under attack by Gloss, Cashmere, Enobaria, and Brutus. They kill Gloss and Cashmere, but not until Gloss has slit Wiress throat and Finnick is injured.

As they give chase, the land surrounding the Cornucopia begins to spin. After it stops they no longer know which land strip is twelve o'clock, thus making their plan hard to implement.

During this time, Katniss is wondering why the others are trying to keep Peeta alive. She decides it is his ability to use words to motivate people towards rebellion. He is the tribute whose interviews moved the population to tears.

Then Katniss hears a scream and runs towards it, because it is the scream of Prim. Katniss takes off running into the jungle. She can't seem to find her sister, because the screams seem to be coming from the sky. She looks up into the trees and sees a jabberjay. This is a bird once used by the Capitol to spy on the people during the rebellion. It can remember what humans say and repeat it exactly in the person's own voice. Katniss kills the bird.

Finnick finds her, but before she can explain what happened he hears a woman's screams and runs towards it. The woman is Annie Cresta, a woman from his district, who went mad during her Games. She is the one Mags volunteered to take her place. Finnick is in love with Annie. Katniss and Finnick think their loved ones are being tortured, so the Gamemakers can use their screams against Katniss and Finnick.

They return to Peeta, Johanna, and Beetee to find they are being kept behind a transparent wall. Then a flock of jabberjays arrive imitating the screams of everyone Finnick and Katniss love. It is almost more than they can bear, to listen to the screams. After the hour is over the birds leave and the wall disappears, then they are reunited with the others. Peeta convinces them the screams are their loved ones' voices manipulated to sound like screams. Johanna agrees, because the country loves Prim and she shouts out that if Prim were to die then the country would go into rebellion.

That evening as they stand watch, Peeta and Katniss realize Haymitch is playing them against each other. He has told them they are each responsible for the other's survival. But Peeta acknowledges Katniss has more to live for because of her family. He tells her his life would be over if she died. They begin to kiss and this time it means more to Katniss than just a way to win the Games.

Katniss, Peeta, and Finnick join up with Wiress, Beetee, and Johanna to form an alliance. Wiress gives Katniss the clue she needs to understand the Gamemakers are using the arena as a clock. They set off their attacks on each section of land on a timetable. Katniss begins to understand why Peeta is being saved by everyone in the alliance. His gift is communicating ideas in such a way as to arouse the spirit of the country, it is key to uniting the country.

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