Katniss looks around and sees that in the water there are strips of land radiating out from a central island like spokes. When the gong sounds, signaling the tributes can move, she dives into the water and swims hard for one of the strips, then sprints to the Cornucopia. She finds a bow and arrows immediately, but when she turns Finnick is there with a trident and net. He says it’s lucky they’re allies, and just before Katniss looses an arrow she spots a bangle on his wrist. It’s the one Effie gave Haymitch when training began, and Katniss understands Haymitch meant it as a sign that she should trust Finnick. They fight off a few of the other tributes until Katniss spots Peeta still out in the water. Finnick volunteers to get him and swims out. Mags, meanwhile, swims slowly to land. The four form a group and head away from the Cornucopia into the dense jungle.
Katniss climbs a tree and sees the massacre taking place at the Cornucopia. She’s not surprised but still disappointed, thinking that the tributes were all friends. Finnick seems to know her thoughts and says the tributes didn’t win their Games by chance, except maybe for Peeta. As they hike through the jungle looking for water, Peeta takes the lead, chopping down the dense vegetation. Katniss notices a shimmer in the air indicating a chink in the force field, and before she can say anything, Peeta is sent flying back by the field. Katniss runs to him and finds his heart has stopped.
Finnick shoves Katniss out of the way, and initially she thinks he’s trying to kill Peeta. Instead he begins working to resuscitate him. Peeta wakes up and Katniss runs to him, crying hysterically. She sees he’s wearing a chain with a mockingjay hanging from the end. Finnick says Katniss seemed to know the field was there, and she lies and says she can hear it. She doesn’t want the Gamemakers to know that she’s aware of the chinks. They resume walking with Katniss in the lead. They travel a great distance without finding water, and Katniss climbs a tree to get a look. She sees the island is a small, perfectly symmetrical circle.
They make camp for the evening and Katniss goes out to hunt. She kills a large rodent in a tree and notices the rodent’s snout is wet. It was drinking, but she can’t find a water source. They eat it along with the small nuts that are everywhere. The next morning they learn which tributes died, and then they receive a gift. Nobody knows what it is at first, but Katniss realizes it’s a spile. They drive it into a tree and soon have a steady drip of water emerging. In the middle of the night, a gong sounds and a lightning storm takes place in the distance. After the storm ceases, Katniss sees a heavy fog moving toward them, only it doesn’t look natural. She wakes everyone and tells them to run as her skin begins to blister from the fog.
They run away, with Finnick carrying Mags. Peeta has difficulty because of his artificial leg, but Katniss stays with him. The fog is often right behind them, and when Peeta finally stumbles, Katniss notices the left side of his face sagging. The fog doesn’t just burn; it’s also a nerve agent. Finnick offers to carry Peeta if Katniss can carry Mags, but Katniss doesn’t get far before her legs barely work. Finnick, whose arms are beginning to twitch, can’t carry both. Before they can decide what to do, Mags kisses Finnick and runs into the fog, collapsing in a horrible seizure. Katniss wants to scream, but she drags herself behind Finnick as he carries Peeta away.
Eventually they can’t run anymore. Katniss watches the fog, expecting it to overtake them, but it stops moving forward, as if it had pressed against a glass. They notice monkeys in the trees as they crawl toward the edge of the sea in front of them, and they find that soaking in the salt water removes the toxin. Finnick is so debilitated that Katniss and Peeta have to help him, but soon he’s recovered. Peeta goes to make a hole for the spile in a tree, and when Katniss and Finnick head toward him they notice the monkeys again. Scores of them sit gathered and waiting. Suddenly they attack, and Katniss, Peeta, and Finnick do all they can to fight them off. Katniss runs out of arrows, and as Peeta reaches to give her the sheath he’s carrying, a monkey leaps at him. Out of nowhere another tribute, the woman from District 6 who is addicted to the drug called morphling, jumps in front of Peeta, and the monkey bites into her chest.