For no apparent reason the monkeys begin to retreat, and the group carries the injured woman out to the sand. As she lies dying, Peeta, knowing she was fascinated with colors, describes the colors of various things to her. It’s still night, so they decide to get some rest. Finnick takes first watch, and Katniss can see that he’s distraught over Mags’s death. When she wakes she finds he’s collected water and shellfish for them. The blisters caused by the fog have scabbed over and itch, and when Katniss looks to the sky and asks Haymitch to send something for their skin, a parachute almost immediately arrives with an ointment. It turns their skin green but offers immediate relief. Katniss and Finnick decide to wake Peeta with their faces all green, and they get a laugh from the fright it gives him. A loaf of bread parachutes down, and Katniss realizes Haymitch is telling her to be friends with Finnick.
From the beach they see a massive wave hit part of the island, and a bit later three people come out of the jungle walking toward them. It’s Johanna Mason, Wiress, and Beetee. Beetee is injured, having taken a knife in the back at the Cornucopia. Johanna says it rained blood in the jungle, and Wiress seems to have lost her mind. She repeats “Tick, tock” over and over. Johanna angrily shoves Wiress, and when Katniss shouts at her she slaps Katniss and says she saved them for her. They treat Beetee’s wound and Katniss helps Beetee and Wiress wash all the blood off. While everyone rests, Katniss and Johanna keep watch. Johanna asks what happened to Mags, and when Katniss tells her she says Mags was Finnick’s mentor and half his family. She also explains that she saved Wiress and Beetee because Haymitch told her that if she and Katniss were going to be allies she had to save them for Katniss. A gong sounds twelve times again and Katniss sees a lightning storm start. She realizes then that the island is a clock face, and each section has its own danger that is triggered at a certain time. That’s what Wiress means by “Tick, tock.”
Katniss wakes everyone and explains what she figured out. She then remembers Plutarch Heavensbee saying “It starts at midnight” and showing her the mockingjay on the night of the feast. Beetee asks for the wire he had that Katniss took off when she bathed him, and Finnick gets it for him. Johanna doesn’t understand why he wants it so badly. Peeta points out that Beetee won his Games by using wire to create an electrical trap. Katniss thinks Johanna must have known this and wonders why she would pretend not to. They head to the Cornucopia to watch the jungle, and Wiress begins singing as she washes Beetee’s wire in the sea. Peeta creates a map on a large leaf while Finnick and Johanna load up with weapons.
Katniss notices Wiress has stopped singing and notches an arrow as she turns to find Gloss, the male tribute from District 1, has slit Wiress’s throat. Katniss’s arrow skewers his head as Johanna hits the female tribute from District 1, Cashmere, who is Gloss’s sister, square in the chest with an axe. The tributes from District 2, Enobaria and Brutus, also attack, and Finnick deflects a spear from hitting Peeta and takes a knife in his thigh before they flee. As Katniss goes to chase them, the ground under the Cornucopia begins rapidly spinning, then stops abruptly, leaving everyone disoriented. They realize that the spinning caused them to lose track of which section is which. They cautiously enter a section of jungle, and Peeta wants to go deeper to gather water. But Johanna says he should stay and make another map and leave Katniss to do that. Katniss realizes that the tributes are all working to keep Peeta alive, and the only reason she can come up with is that he’s by far the best speaker of the group and the most moral. She wonders if he’s being kept alive to serve as the leader of the rebellion. Just then she hears her sister, Prim, screaming and rushes into the jungle to find her.
Katniss finds a jabberjay making the noise that sounds exactly like her sister. She kills it and understands that it’s a trick by the Gamemakers. Just as Finnick catches up to her she hears an unfamiliar voice crying out, and Finnick rushes after it. He runs to it, shouting “Annie!” but when Katniss reaches him and shoots the bird making the sound, he also realizes it was a trick. They think the Gamemakers must have collected the screams the birds repeat from their actual loved ones. It’s a psychological blow to both. They decide to leave, but heading back, they literally walk into a transparent wall separating them from Peeta, Johanna, and Beetee. It’s impenetrable, and Katniss realizes they’re trapped inside for the hour.
More and more birds arrive and torture them with the distressed voices of their loved ones. When it’s over Peeta reassures Katniss that the voices weren’t real, and Beetee confirms for them that it’s not difficult to manipulate a recording of someone’s voice. Johanna says they’d never hurt Prim because the public loves her, and to Katniss’s surprise she shouts loudly that they’d never want the whole country in rebellion. Peeta asks Katniss whose voice they used against Finnick, and he guesses it’s Annie Cresta, the girl Mags volunteered for. In her Games, she went mad when her district partner was beheaded, but she managed to survive and win because of her strong swimming skills after a broken dam flooded most of the arena. Katniss recognizes that despite Finnick’s image, the woman he loves is a broken girl back home.