Seated on a slab of concrete, Vina vaguely muses. She is tired of her investigations. Theorems, abstracts, modules are abandoned by her adult's brain to reinstate the child's, to let a humbler sense of wonder guide her actions, less directed, aimed at nothing in particular, save her wooden blocks and toys, a ball peen hammer now distracting her from test tubes, vials, computers, idle play a welcome interlude that affords just plain good fun:

construct a city,

knock it down,


create a wall, like that in China,

make a castle with a drawbridge and a moat,

destroy them, too,

the thrill of causing stable structures, of a sudden, to collapse somehow equivalent to the satisfaction bred when they are built, as if destroying things were natural for a species born of intellect...
As an ant encounters Vina on its scent trail, it is

 - - smooched . What once was living, breathing, functioning, is reduced to punctuation, to a dot that ends a sentence

 - ; another ant concludes; a whole procession of Formicidae parades across the platform, unaware extermination

 - - descends from overhead, a victim here, a victim there suggesting slaughter reigns at random, at the whim of one who kills without remorse

 - - or regret. It is a game of 'now you are, and now you aren't,' a glib mentality that indicts its young participant yet acquits her; Vina's youth accepts the blame, provides excuse for her misbehaviour.