Chapter 7 Summary
Katniss has arrived in District 8 with her escort. Boggs is in charge of her bodyguards. Cressida and Messala are in charge of filming Katniss’s actions. Their crew wear strange cameras that encase their bodies and make them look like insects. Haymitch is watching from above in the hovercraft. On the ground, District 8 looks like it has been devastated by the Capitol’s recent air attack. Buildings have been destroyed and the wounded are being brought into one central location, which Gale finds alarming.
Katniss meets Paylor, the Commander of District 8’s rebellion. Paylor does not seem very friendly, but Boggs begins spreading the word of Katniss’s “miscarriage.” He also explains that Katniss insisted on coming to see the wounded. Actually, Katniss’s mother is the healer of the family; Katniss has never been able to stand the sight of blood. When they enter the hospital, Katniss is overwhelmed with questions about her health and about Peeta. It seems like every survivor of the attack wants to touch or talk to Katniss. By the time she gets through the hospital, she is mentally exhausted, but Boggs and Gale assure her that she has done a great job.
Haymitch now communicates with Katniss from the hovercraft through an earpiece that she is wearing. He explains that the Capitol bombers are returning. It is too risky for the hovercraft to reveal its presence, so Katniss and her escort will have to find a place of safety nearby. The attack does not seem to be targeting the Mockingjay. Instead, it is targeting the wounded. Katniss realizes that Gale, who always tries to think like his enemy, has anticipated the ruthlessness of President Snow and his troops.
Although Boggs tries to take Katniss away to safety, she instead does her best to escape her escort. She and Gale climb a ladder and join rebels that are returning fire on the incoming bombers. Armed with their incendiary and explosive arrows, Katniss and Gale soon begin targeting the bombers as though they were hunting geese back in District 12. They manage to destroy several bombers, but they fail to save the hospital. It is destroyed, and everyone inside is killed.
The camera crew rush up to Katniss. They say that this attack was a message from President Snow. Katniss knows that the cameras are rolling, but the emotion of the moment allows her to respond with her characteristic fire. She answers that if President Snow wants to send a message, she has sent him one as well. Pointing at the burning bombers that were destroyed by her explosive arrows, Katniss declares that “fire is catching.”