The hovercraft materializes above me without warning. If it was quiet, and a mockingjay perched close at hand, I would have heard the jungle go silent and then the bird’s call that precedes the appearance of the Capitol’s aircraft. But my ears could never make out anything so delicate in this bombardment.

The claw drops from the underside until it’s directly overhead. The metal talons slide under me. I want to scream, run, smash my way out of it but I’m frozen, helpless to do anything but fervently hope I’ll die before I reach the shadowy figures awaiting me above.