Chapter 10 Summary
After Peeta’s sudden warning, District 13’s commanders break into argument. Katniss and Haymitch seem to be the only ones that are worried about Peeta. Haymitch finally cuts through the argument and explains that Peeta would not have made up an attack. Coin remains unconvinced and points out that an attack on District 13 would invite retaliation, risk nuclear war, and damage their military compound in such a way that the Capitol would never be able to use it. However, she decides to issue an alert anyway because if nothing else, it will be good to have a drill. The alert begins and the population of District 13 calmly enters elevators that take them deep below ground.
When Katniss reaches the shelter, she is still worried over what has happened to Peeta. Plutarch approaches Katniss, but not to comfort her. He explains that Katniss needs to model responsible behavior for others to follow and characterizes Peeta’s situation as a “setback.” Katniss is furious but, as usual, she responds well under pressure. She finds her assigned sleeping area and reads instructions. The first order of business is to pick up supplies. The line is short when Katniss arrives, but after she turns around, she sees that the line has grown long. It seems that people are indeed following her lead. Katniss returns to her bunk and begins preparing it for herself, her mother, and Prim. However, even when Katniss’s mother arrives, Prim is still missing. Katniss realizes that Prim must have risked her safety to save Buttercup, their ornery cat. Katniss rushes to the doors of the shelter and forces the guards to wait an extra minute so that Prim will not be locked out during the attack.
That night, Prim and Katniss sleep next to each other. Katniss realizes that she has not been a very attentive older sister to Prim and asks how she likes life in District 13. It seems that Prim is adapting well. Though she admits that she misses District 12, there is nothing left there. Further, District 13 has already begun to train her to become a doctor. Katniss is surprised by how quickly Prim has begun to grow up.
When Prim inquires how Katniss is doing, District 13’s mockingjay admits that she is not doing well. She explains what has happened to Peeta and outlines her concerns for Peeta’s health. After careful thought, Prim argues that the Capitol will likely not murder Peeta. If they did that, they would not have any leverage or influence over Katniss’s behavior. Instead, it is more likely that they will try to use Peeta to break Katniss.