The muttation buries its teeth into the chest of the female morphling addict who threw herself between the monkey and Peeta. Katniss and Peeta prepare to fight it off, but then the muttations retreat as if they are being called away. Katniss reflects that the Gamemakers are in complete control of everything in the arena. Peeta and Katniss do their best to save their fellow victor, but Katniss can tell that one of the woman’s vital organs has been punctured. In a moment that recalls Katniss’s song for Rue, Peeta explains to the dying woman how he once strived to find the color of light on white fur in his painting.
Katniss, Peeta, and Finnick recover, but they stay on the beach. Katniss knows that sooner or later they will be driven back into the jungle. For now, they can rest, and Finnick stays up to mourn Mags. In the morning, his eyes are puffy, but he has collected shellfish for them to eat and water for them to drink. Their wounds from the fog begin to itch. As Katniss strides along the beach, she looks up at the sky and tells Haymitch to send them some ointment if he is not too drunk. No sooner does she say it than a tube of ointment falls from the sky. The ointment makes Katniss’s skin an ugly shade of green, but it takes away the itching. Finnick rubs the ointment on as well but regrets that this may be the first time in his life he has not been pretty. The two go to wake up Peeta, humorously startling him with their grotesque appearance, and a loaf of bread drops from the sky. Katniss interprets this bread as a message that her friendship with Finnick is winning her sponsors.
The next interruption in their day is not an attack. Instead, three victors break free from the jungle and land on the beach. They are all deeply red—covered in blood that they had hoped would be rainwater. Finnick recognizes Johanna Mason and rushes to welcome her, much to Katniss’s irritation. Fortunately, Johanna has Wiress and Beetee with her. Katniss and Johanna are not happy to see each other, and Johanna slaps Katniss for a flippant remark, commenting that she brought Wiress and Beetee along for Katniss. Before Katniss can figure out what is happening, Finnick carries Johanna into the water and douses her repeatedly until she calms down.
Friendship between Finnick and Katniss seems to have come easily, but she and Johanna are constantly at odds. However, Johanna does explain some things to Katniss. Beetee was injured at the Cornucopia, but Johanna saved both of the District 3 victors because Haymitch spread the word that if Johanna wanted to ally herself with Katniss, she would have to bring Wiress and Beetee along. She also explains why Mags was so willing to sacrifice herself for Finnick: she was his mentor.
However, the most important revelation is made by Wiress and interpreted by Katniss. Wiress keeps wandering about the group saying “tick tock,” which irritates Johanna. Beetee, who is still recovering from his wounds, cannot explain what Wiress is suggesting. However, Katniss finally figures it out as she looks around at the circular arena and recalls the bell that tolled twelve times. As the puzzle unfolds, Katniss realizes, “Tick tock, this is a clock.”