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Katniss looks up at Rue's gesture to see a wasp nest above her. She worries that these aren't normal wasps but one of the Capitol's muttations, "tracker jackers." These muttations were designed as weapons during the war. When they sting someone, he suffers severe hallucinations and sometimes death.
Though frightened by the possibility, she realizes that any wasp nest could prove a boon if she can saw its branch off and send the nest down to the Careers who are waiting for her below. In order not to alert them with the sound of sawing, she decides to wait for the nightly anthem to use the music as disguise. She climbs up as far away as she can, and realizes the smoke of the recent firestorm has subdued the usually frenetic wasps. As the anthem blares, she does her best but the pain in her hands limits her effectiveness and she doesn't finish. She decides to return to her sleeping spot and wait until dawn to finish the sawing.