Chapter 22 Summary
Katniss can hear the mutts hissing her name long before she can see them. She is surprised to find that Peeta has begun to hiss her name as well. It seems as though the Capitol programming is taking over his mind again. However, just as Katniss has trained an arrow on his heart, Peeta comes back to his senses. Now, he is urging Katniss to flee. These mutts are programmed to kill everything in their path until they kill her. Katniss offers to leave the others, but her squad is determined to stand by her. Katniss gives up her plan to abandon the others and ensures that everyone is armed, even the cameramen.
Now, they begin to flee as quickly as they can. They continue to face pods, and the hissing mutts seem to be coming from their planned route. At other intersections, Katniss can smell President Snow’s roses. Soon, they are in a firefight with Peacekeepers. However, Katniss and her sharpshooters make short work of them, until a second squad arrives to relieve them. However, before Katniss and her squad can fire on the next round of Peacekeepers, the mutts overtake them. They ruthlessly kill the Peacekeepers. The mutts are a hybrid of human and lizard, with naked skin and long tails.
Throughout the first part of the flight, Peeta seems more stable than anyone else. The others are making mistakes in their hurry to evade the mutts, and it is Peeta that is urging them along. However, before long, Peeta begins to feel himself losing control. He asks to be left behind. Katniss kisses him to bring him back to his senses, and she asks him whether he will be there for her. Peeta, the old Peeta it seems, replies “always.”
Katniss decides to return to the surface. They continue on, but Katniss notices that they are slowly losing members of the squad, each one remaining behind to ensure that Katniss can escape. Finally, they are about to reach the surface when Katniss looks down to see Finnick’s last stand. He is fighting off three mutts when he finally falls and Katniss notices that it is as though she sees his life flashing before her eyes. Katniss takes the Holo out, whispers “nightlock” three times, and drops it into the mass of mutts. The Holo explodes as Katniss, Peeta, and Gale reach the surface. A Capitol woman is nearby. She looks to be about to call for help, and Katniss kills her.