Chapter 14 Summary
At the end of the thirteenth chapter, Rue brought Kat’s attention to something in the tree she is hiding in. Beneath them, the Careers and Peeta have made a camp and are planning to resume their attack on Kat again in the morning. Rue has now hid again, and Kat is examining the object above her. It is a tracker jacker wasp nest.
Like the mockingjay, tracker jackers are muttations that are left over from the Dark Days. The tracker jackers are more dangerous than regular wasps are. Their venom is much more poisonous and several stings can be fatal. Their venom is also a hallucinogenic. Finally, the wasps are particularly territorial, and they will track down anyone who disrupts their nest. Although they have been eradicated from the area surrounding the Capitol, tracker jackers survive in the districts.
Tracker jackers were designed to be used as weapons, which is convenient for Kat. She climbs higher and inspects the nest. The wasps seem calmer than usual, probably from the smoke that accompanied the fire that burned Kat’s leg and hands. Kat takes advantage of the wasps’ drowsiness and begins to saw the branch so she will be able to drop the nest on her attackers in the morning.
Kat returns to her base in the tree and finds that Haymitch has secured medicine for her. Beneath a parachute, there is a bottle of ointment that Kat applies to the burns on her hands and legs. It is very effective, and by morning Kat’s hands are better, even if her leg still needs more time to heal. Before the Careers wake up, Kat returns to the tracker jacker nest and cuts it down. Three wasps sting her, but the rest all burst from the nest on the ground and attack the careers. Although Peeta, Cato, and another Career escape to a nearby pond, the wasps kill Glimmer and another Career.
Kat also escapes to a pond. However, after a five-minute wait, she returns to Glimmer’s corpse to retrieve her bow and sheath of arrows. Kat has to turn over the body, which is now so full of venom that it is distorted and popping green liquid from its sores. Kat has also begun to hallucinate. She manages to free the bow and arrow before she hears the Careers returning. She tries to take aim but is too drugged to notch the arrow.
The first Career to return is Peeta, who is shocked to find Kat. He urges her to run before the other Careers can return, and he even pushes her away. Hallucinating, Kat flees from the other Careers and wonders if Peeta has been watching out for her all along.