Later that night, Wiress helps Katniss realize that the arena is like a clock and the attacks are timed. Katniss thinks back to the party at Snow's mansion where Plutarch showed her his watch. Katniss wakes the others to explain her discovery to them, but they are soon attacked by some Careers. Wiress is killed and Finnick takes a hit that was directed at Peeta, making another instance when Peeta should have died but was rescued by someone else.
After the ambush, the group heads back into the jungle. While Finnick and Katniss are looking for water, they become trapped in their section and have to listen to jabberjays imitate the sounds of Prim and other loved ones dying and being tortured. Though Peeta tells Katniss the sounds of the birds are fake, it is still a very painful experience for her and Finnick.
That same night, Peeta shows Katniss that the locket around his neck has pictures of her mother, Prim, and Gale in it. He begs her to let him die for her because she has people to return home to while he has no one. When they awake the next morning, Katniss and Peeta decide they can no longer trust Finnick, Johanna, or Beetee and want to break away from them. However, they agree to wait until Brutus and Enobaria, two Careers, are dead. He tells Katniss that Beetee has a plan to kill the Careers, and they return to the group to hear it.
Beetee's plan involves his wire, the water, and the tree that is struck by lightning at midnight and at noon. He wants to wrap his wire around the tree and drop the end of it into the water. The theory is that when the lighting hits at midnight, Brutus and Enobaria will be electrocuted.
They agree to the plan and help Beetee wrap the wire around the tree. Katniss and Johanna split from the group so they can drop the coil down into the water. At first, they are able to move through the jungle without any problem. However, the pair realizes the wire has been cut from somewhere near the tree.
The next thing Katniss knows, Johanna has hit her in the head with the wire's cylinder and is cutting into her arm before running away. Katniss is badly hurt and dizzy, but still makes her way back to the lightning tree, where Peeta and Finnick are gone and Beetee is lying unconscious on the ground. She believes that the alliance between herself, Peeta, Finnick, Johanna, and Beetee is over and is determined to save Peeta. She notices that Beetee's wire, which is still connected to the tree, is also wrapped around the knife.
Suddenly, Finnick and Enobaria are back at the tree but they can't see Katniss because of the darkness. Katniss, who believes Finnick is now her enemy, decides she must kill them both. But as she is preparing to kill them with her arrows, she remembers the words of Haymitch before she left for the Quell.