Anyone who loves Ender's Game would risk showering with Bonzo Madrid if it meant getting the chance to spend a week fighting in the Battle Room, exploring . Years ago, Earth was invaded by the Formics, an alien race that had overpopulated their own world and was looking to colonize a new planet. Now the. Ender's Game and Philosophy: The Logic Gate Is Down. Editor(s). Kevin S. Decker. First published:2 August Print ISBN |Online.
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ENDER'S GAME by Orson Scott Card. Chapter 1 -- Third. "I've watched through his eyes, I've listened through his ears, and tell you he's the one. Or at least as. this war happens, there'll be too much, even for a genius. He has to be a genius and nice. too Document1 ENDER'S GAME by Orson Scott Card. First day with this army, all fresh from the teacher squads, and Ender had forgotten how young .. Ender had never had more than five boys frozen in any game.
I want you ready to do that any time I call for it. You're kneeling on a shield, and the shield is your own legs. Brakidaktili Tip C: Ender Wiggins was rushed from place to place so quickly he had no time to examine anything. So we trained children, who didn't know anything but the game, and never knew when it would become real.
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Years ago, Earth was invaded by the Formics, an alien race that had overpopulated their own world and was looking to colonize a new planet. Now the International Fleet, headed by Colonel Graff, is looking for young, brilliant minds to aid in the fight against the Formics. Colonel Graff chooses Ender to train in Battle School where Ender shows his strength and brilliance, and quickly moves up the ranks.
Ender and his crew of misfits fight and triumph battle after battle in a simulator. To become the next commander of the entire International Fleet, Ender has one last battle to win against the Formics in the simulation.
He and his team win a stunning victory by wiping out the entire Formic fleet and their home planet. However, after the game ends Colonel Graff informs Ender that none of the battles have been simulations; in fact, everything has been real and Ender has annihilated the entire Formic species. Horrified, Ender runs away into the wasteland of the former Formic colony and finds the last dying Formic queen who had been trying to communicate with Ender.
Ready for anything, at any time. Strategy was nice, but it was worth nothing if the soldiers couldn't hold up under the strain. He turned the corner into the residence wing and found himself face to face with Bean, the seven-year-old he had picked on all through practice that day.
Ender didn't want problems right now. Bean's high voice piped up behind him. But I'd better be treated like it. One or the other.
Love and kisses? Bean was unworried. They've got to be good soldiers, they've got to know how to take orders, they've got to be able to think for themselves in a pinch, and they've got to be able to keep respect. That's how I got to be a commander. That's how you'll get to be a toon leader. If you actually work that way, I'll be a toon leader in a month.
Ender let go of him and walked away, and didn't look back. He was sure, without looking, that Bean was still watching, still smiling, still just a little contemptuous. He might make a good toon leader at that. Ender would keep an eye on him. Across his desk sat Lieutenant Anderson, who was earnestly pointing out high points on a chart. Doubled their speed. He thinks well, too. Graff sighed. He's got to be.
He's eleven, for heaven's sake, man, what do you want, a miracle? I want him to have a year's worth of battles in a month. He's getting them into form. And we need Ender. We need somebody. You think it's Ender. Which of the commanders if it isn't him? Do you realize that? Ender's army is nine years old. Are we going to put them against the older kids? Are we going to put them through hell for a month like that?
I've watched him in battle, I've listened to tapes of his training sessions, I've watched his sleep patterns, I've heard tapes of his conversations in the corridors and in the bathrooms, I'm more aware of Ender Wiggins that you could possibly imagine! And against all the arguments, against his obvious qualities, I'm weighing one thing. I have this picture of Ender a year from now, if you have your way. I see him completely useless, worn down, a failure, because he was pushed farther than he or any living person could go.
But it doesn't weigh enough, does it, Lieutenant, because there's a war on, and our best talent is gone, and the biggest battles are ahead. So give Ender a battle every day this week. And then bring me a report. He turned and faced the captain. Not that it makes any difference. But have you ever been to Beaman Park, there in the city? Beautiful park. No mallo, no battles, no worries. Do you know what else there is in Beaman Park? I mean kids who get up in the morning when their mothers call them and they go to school and then in the afternoons they go to Beaman Park and play.
They're happy, they smile a lot, they laugh, they have fun. I know I did when I was a boy. But right now the world needs soldiers. And this is the way to get them.
He's not a child. He's barely a person. He never slept more than five hours a night -- but the lights went off at and didn't come on again until So he stared at the ceiling and thought. He'd had his army for three and a half weeks. Dragon Army. The name was assigned, and it wasn't a lucky one.
Oh, the charts said that about nine years ago a Dragon Army had done fairly well. But for the next six years the name had been attached to inferior armies, and finally, because of the superstition that was beginning to play about the name, Dragon Army was retired. Until now. And now, Ender thought, smiling, Dragon Army was going to take them by surprise.
The door opened quietly. Ender did not turn his head. Someone stepped softly into his room, then left with the sound of the door shutting. When soft steps died away Ender rolled over and saw a white slip of paper lying on the floor. He reached down and picked it up. Ender got out of bed and quickly dressed. He went rapidly to the rooms of each of the toon leaders and told them to rouse their boys.
In five minutes they were all gathered in the corridor, sleepy and slow. Ender spoke softly. I've fought them twice before but they've got a new commander. Never heard of him. They're an older group, though, and I knew a few of their olds tricks. Now wake up. Run, doublefast, warmup in workroom three. Then for fifteen minutes they all lay up in the air, totally relaxing in the weightlessness. At Ender roused them and they hurried into the corridor. Ender led them down the corridor, running again, and occasionally leaping to touch a light panel on the ceiling.
The boys all touched the same light panel. And at they reached their gate to the battleroom.
The members of toons C and D grabbed the first eight handholds in the ceiling of the corridor. Toons A, B, and E crouched on the floor. Ender hooked his feet into two handholds in the middle of the ceiling, so he was out of everyone's way. They waited for a few seconds more, and then the gray wall in front of them disappeared and the battleroom was visible. Ender sized it up immediately. The familiar open grid of most early games, like the monkey bars at the park, with seven or eight boxes scattered through the grid.
They called the boxes stars. There were enough of them, and in forward enough positions, that they were worth going for. Ender decided this in a second, and he hissed, "Spread to near stars. E hold! Before the enemy even appeared through the opposite gate Ender's army had spread from the door to the nearest stars.
Then the enemy soldiers came through the door. From their stance Ender knew they had been in a different gravity, and didn't know enough to disorient themselves from it. They came through standing up, their entire bodies spread and defenseless. While Ender's group flew across the room the rest of Dragon Army lay down a protecting fire, so that E group reached a forward position with only one boy frozen completely, though they had all lost the use of their legs -- which didn't impair them in the least.
There was a lull as Ender and his opponent, Carn Carby, assessed their positions. Aside from Rabbit Army's losses at the gate, there had been few casualties, and both armies were near full strength. But Carn had no originality -- he was in the four-corner spread that any five-year-old in the teacher squads might have thought of. And Ender knew how to defeat it.
He called out, loudly, "E covers A, C down. B, D angle east wall. While they were still exposed, A and C toons left their stars and drifted toward the near wall.
They reached it together, and together jackknifed off the wall. At double the normal speed they appeared behind the enemy's stars, and opened fire. In a few seconds the battle was over, with the enemy almost entirely frozen, including the commander, and the rest scattered to the corners.
For the next five minutes, in squads of four, Dragon Army cleaned out the dark corners of the battleroom and shepherded the enemy into the center, where their bodies, frozen at impossible angles, jostled each other.
Then Ender took three of his boys to the enemy gate and went through the formality of reversing the one-way field by simultaneously touching a Dragon Army helmet at each corner. Then Ender assembled his army in vertical files near the knot of frozen Rabbit Army soldiers. Only three of Dragon Army's soldiers were immobile.
Their victory margin -- 38 to 0 -- was ridiculously high, and Ender began to laugh. Dragon Army joined him, laughing long and loud. They were still laughing when Lieutenant Anderson and Lieutenant Morris came in from the teachergate at the south end of the battleroom. Lieutenant Anderson kept his face stiff and unsmiling, but Ender saw him wink as he held out his hand and offered the stiff, formal congratulations that were ritually given to the victor in the game.
Morris found Carn Carby and unfroze him, and the thirteen-year-old came and presented himself to Ender, who laughed without malice and held out his hand. Carn graciously took Ender's hand and bowed his head over it.
It was that or be flashed again. Lieutenant Anderson dismissed Dragon Army, and they silently left the battleroom through the enemy's door -- again part of the ritual.
A light was blinking on the north side of the square door, indicating where the gravity was in that corridor. Ender, leading his soldiers, changed his orientation and went through the forcefield and into gravity on his feet.
His army followed him at a brisk run back to the workroom. When they got there they formed up into squads, and Ender hung in the air, watching them. But the enemy isn't always going to be that bad. And if that had been a good army we would have been smashed. We still would have won, but we would have been smashed. Now let me see B and D toons out here. Your takeoff from the stars was way too slow. If Rabbit Army knew how to aim a flasher, you all would have been frozen solid before A and C even got to the wall.
That night Ender went for the first time to the commanders' mess hall. No one was allowed there until he had won at least one battle, and Ender was the youngest commander ever to make it. There was no great stir when he came in. But when some of the other boys saw the Dragon on his breast pocket, they stared at him openly, and by the time he got his tray and sat at an empty table, the entire room was silent, with the other commanders watching him.
Intensely self-conscious, Ender wondered how they all knew, and why they all looked so hostile. Then he looked above the door he had just come through.
There was a huge scoreboard across the entire wall. Only four of them. Dragon Army's score of thirty-eight mobile was embarrassingly better. Other new commanders had been admitted to the commanders' mess hall with cheers and congratulations. Other new commanders hadn't won thirty-eight to zero. Ender looked for Rabbit Army on the scoreboard.
He was surprised to find that Carn Carby's score to date was eight wins and three losses. Was he that good? Or had he only fought against inferior armies? Whichever, there was still a zero in Carn's mobile and whole columns, and Ender looked down from the scoreboard grinning.
No one smiled back, and Ender knew that they were afraid of him, which meant that they would hate him, which meant that anyone who went into battle against Dragon Army would be scared and angry and less competent. Ender looked for Carn Carby in the crowd, and found him not too far away.
He stared at Carby until one of the other boys nudged the Rabbit commander and pointed to Ender. Ender smiled again and waved slightly. Carby turned red, and Ender, satisfied, leaned over his dinner and began to eat. The score stood 7 wins and 0 losses. Ender had never had more than five boys frozen in any game. It was no longer possible for the other commanders to ignore Ender.
A few of them sat with him and quietly conversed about game strategies that Ender's opponents had used. Other much larger groups were talking with the commanders that Ender had defeated, trying to find out what Ender had done to beat them. In the middle of the meal the teacher door opened and the groups fell silent as Lieutenant Anderson stepped in and looked over the group.
When he located Ender he strode quickly across the room and whispered in Ender's ear. Ender nodded, finished his glass of water, and left with the lieutenant. On the way out, Anderson handed a slip of paper to one of the older boys. The room became very noisy with conversation as Anderson and Ender left.
Ender was escorted down corridors he had never seen before. They didn't have the blue glow of the soldier corridors. Most were wood paneled, and the floors were carpeted. The doors were wood, with nameplates on them, and they stopped at one that said "Captain Graff, supervisor. Captain Graff was seated behind a desk, his hands folded across his potbelly.
He nodded, and Anderson sat. Ender also sat down. Graff cleared his throat and spoke. Ender glanced at Anderson, and then spoke to the captain behind the desk. Legs doubled up as a shield, so that a flash doesn't immobilize. Jackknife takeoffs from the walls. Superior strategy, as Lieutenant Anderson taught, think places, not spaces.
Five toons of eight instead of four of ten. Incompetent opponents. Excellent toon leaders, good soldiers. Waiting for what, Ender wondered. Lieutenant Anderson spoke up. Not a chance, he decided.
Anxious for the next battle. Graff shrugged slightly and turned to Ender. He got to his army five minutes later. Three toon leaders were already undressed and lying naked on their beds. He sent them all flying down the corridors to rouse their toons, and gathered up their suits himself. When all his boys were assembled in the corridor, most of them still getting dressed, Ender spoke to them.
We'll be late to the door, and the enemy'll be deployed right outside our gate. Ambush, and I've never heard of it happening before. So we'll take our time at the door. A and B toons, keep your belts loose, and give your flashers to the leaders and seconds of the other toons.
By then all were dressed, and Ender led them at a trot to the gate. When they reached it the forcefield was already on one-way, and some of his soldiers were panting. They had had one battle that day and a full workout. They were tired. Ender stopped at the entrance and looked at the placements of the enemy soldiers.
Some of them were grouped not more than twenty feet out from the gate. There was no grid, there were no stars. A big empty space. Where were most of the enemy soldiers? There should have been thirty more. Then he flashed them, so that their bodies were frozen rigid.
Each boy was holding two flashers. Then Ender and the members of E toon picked up the duos, three at a time, and threw them out the door. Of course, the enemy opened fire immediately. But they mainly hit the boys who were already flashed, and in a few moments pandemonium broke out in the battleroom.
All the soldiers of Leopard Army were easy targets as they lay pressed flat against the wall or floated, unprotected, in the middle of the battleroom; and Ender's soldiers, armed with two flashers each, carved them up easily.
Pol Slattery reacted quickly, ordering his men away from the wall, but not quickly enough -- only a few were able to move, and they were flashed before they could get a quarter of the way across the battleroom. When the battle was over Dragon Army had only twelve boys whole, the lowest score they had ever had. But Ender was satisfied. And during the ritual of surrender Pol Slattery broke form by shaking hands and asking, "Why did you wait so long getting out of the gate?
He knew that now the games would be arranged against him, to even up the odds. He didn't like it. One of the others opened the door, then stepped back and held it wide. Ender stood for a moment, then asked if he could come in. They answered, of course, of course, come in, and he walked to the upper bunk, where Bean had set down his book and was leaning on one elbow to look at Ender.
Together he and Ender padded silently down the corridor to Ender's room. Ender entered first, and Bean closed the door behind them. When you told me to make you a toon leader? And none of them was you. Ender nodded. I've obeyed orders quickly, and I've commanded a squad in mop-up and never lost a soldier. I was, too, and I've been made a commander six months early. Now they've put me into battles after only three weeks of training with my army.
They've given me eight battles in seven days. I've already had more battles than boys who were made commander four months ago. I've won more battles than many who've been commanders for a year. And then tonight. You know what happened tonight. But my army is getting tired, and I'm getting tired, and now they're changing the rules of the game. You see, Bean, I've looked in the old charts.
No one has ever destroyed so many enemies and kept so many of his own soldiers whole in the history of the game. I'm unique -- and I'm getting unique treatment. Bean smiled. But it was no accident that I got the soldiers I got. My worst soldier could be a toon leader in another army. I've got the best. They've loaded things my way -- but now they're loading it all against me.
I don't know why. But I know I have to be ready for it. I need your help. They both knew it was true. Ender continued. So I'm going to cut every toon down by one, including you. With four others you'll be a special squad under me. And you'll learn to do some new things. Most of the time you'll be in the regular toons just like you are now.
But when I need you. I don't know what they'll throw at us. What would you do if suddenly our flashers didn't work, and the enemy's did? What would you do if we had to face two armies at once? The only thing I know is -- there may be a game where we don't even try for score. Where we just go for the enemy's gate.
I want you ready to do that any time I call for it. You take them for two hours a day during regular workout. Then you and I and your soldiers, we'll work at night after dinner. We'll win. The other commanders had finally realized they had some catching up to do.
From earlymorning to lights out soldiers all over Training and Command Center, none of them over fourteen years old, were learning to jackknife off walls and use each other as shields. But while other commanders mastered the techniques that Ender had used to defeat them, Ender and Bean worked on solutions to problems that had never come up. There were still battles every day, but for a while they were normal, with grids and stars and sudden plunges through the gate.
And after the battles, Ender and Bean and four other soldiers would leave the main group and practice strange maneuvers. Attacks without flashers, using feet to physically disarm or disorient an enemy. Using four frozen soldiers to reverse the enemy's gate in less than two seconds.
And one day Bean came in workout with a meter cord. It wasn't more than an eighth of an inch thick, but it would have lifted ten adults without breaking.
They asked what for. I said to practice tying knots. Now don't let go of the rope. Give me about twenty meters of slack. As soon as he was sure they were ready, he jackknifed off the wall and flew straight out, fifty yards.
Then the rope snapped taut. It was so fine that it was virtually invisible, but it was strong enough to force Bean to veer off at almost a right angle. It happened so suddenly that he had inscribed a perfect arc and hit the wall hard before most of the other soldiers knew what had happened.
Bean did a perfect rebound and drifted quickly back to where Ender and the others waited for him. Many of the soldiers in the five regular squads hadn't noticed the rope, and were demanding to know how it was done. It was impossible to change direction that abruptly in nullo.
Bean just laughed. They'll never know what hit them. The next game was only two hours later, but Bean and two others had become pretty good at aiming and shooting while they flew at ridiculous speeds at the end of the rope. The slip of paper was delivered, and Dragon Army trotted off to the gate, to battle with Griffin Army.
Bean coiled the rope all the way. When the gate opened, all they could see was a large brown star only fifteen feet away, completely blocking their view of the enemy's gate. Ender didn't pause. The rope snapped taut, and Bean flew forward. As the rope was stopped by each edge of the star in turn, his arc became tighter and his speed greater, until when he hit the wall only a few feet away from the gate he was barely able to control his rebound to end up behind the star.
But he immediately moved all his arms and legs so that those waiting inside the gate would know that the enemy hadn't flashed him anywhere. Ender dropped through the gate, and Bean quickly told him how Griffin Army was situated.
All their soldiers are under cover, and there's no way to hit any of them until we're clear to the bottom wall. Even with shields, we'd get there at half strength and we wouldn't have a chance. We'll go for the gate, Bean. William Bee, Griffin Army's commander, waited patiently as the screen approached, his men waiting at the fringes of their stars for the moment when whatever was behind the screen became visible.
About ten yards away the screen suddenly exploded as the soldiers behind it shoved the screen north. The momentum carried them south twice as fast, and at the same moment the rest of Dragon Army burst from behind their star at the opposite end of the room, firing rapidly. William Bee's boys joined battle immediately, of course, but William Bee was far more interested in what had been left behind when the shield disappeared. A formation of four frozen Dragon Army soldiers were moving headfirst toward the Griffin Army gate, held together by another frozen soldier whose feet and hands were hooked through their belts.
A sixth soldier hung to the waist and trailed like the tail of a kite. Griffin Army was winning the battle easily, and William Bee concentrated on the formation as it approached the gate. Suddenly the soldier trailing in back moved -- he wasn't frozen at all! And even though William Bee flashed him immediately, the damage was done. The format drifted in the Griffin Army gate, and their helmets touched all four corners simultaneously.
A buzzer sounded, the gate reversed, and the frozen soldiers in the middle were carried by momentum right through the gate. All the flashers stopped working, and the game was over.