"Look at the middle," Axford said.
complied. Many spokes of light -- each of which was a thick braid
formed from hundreds of individual strands -- pushed inward from the
inner face of the torus, as if they were meant to connect with each
other, or form a bridge to some other knot of strands in the middle of
But there was nothing there. The braids splayed apart, ragged as the branches of a lightning-struck tree.
"Something's missing," Bella said. "It looks as if it wasn't finished."
"Or it was finished but something was destroyed. Perhaps that's the answer to the question, Bella."
"About where the Spicans went. Perhaps the animals revolted, and stormed the zoo."
"Then the Spicans are dead."