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Ender's Game
The Movie

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Ender's Game
The Book

About Chartoff Productions


Ender's Game
screenplay by
Orson Scott Card

          Copyright © 1999 by Orson Scott Card
          All rights reserved
          Based on the novelet "Ender's Game," copyright © 1977 by Orson Scott Card (publ. Analog Aug. 1977, Condé Nast Publications) and the novel Ender's Game, copyright © 1985 by Orson Scott Card (publ. TOR Books).
          Screen rights exclusively the property of Chartoff Productions Inc. and Fresco Pictures LLC.


     
          EXT   NEAR A MOON OF SATURN   SPACE
          
          It's war in space the way it's really fought
            silent, flameless.  When a ship is hit,
          there's a brief flash of light and debris
          sprays in all directions, but that's all.
          
          Earth's ships are blocky, a ragtag thrown-
          together jerry-built fleet that was assembled
          in a panic after the brutal first encounter. 
          The aliens did not try to communicate   one
          of their ships showed up and started scouring
          the surface of the Earth.  When it was
          finally brought down, the aliens were found
          to be about a meter in height, bodies antlike
          in structure, but covered in fur to retain
          body heat.  The scientists called them
          "Formicines," the military calls them
          "Formics," and everybody else calls them
          "Woolly Ants" or "Ants" or "Woollies" or any
          number of other names in other languages. 
          They all mean the same thing: The ones who
          want to kill us; the ones we have to kill.
          
          
          EXT   FLAGSHIP   SPACE
          
          One of the few new, sleek Earth ships.
          
          
          INT   ADMIRAL'S BRIDGE
          
          The busy headquarters of a computer-age war. 
          Officers scurry on urgent errands, most
          wearing headsets with heads-up displays and
          small one-handed computer keypads on their
          belts   like drive-up-window workers at
          McDonald's.
          
          The center of the room is the Simulator, a
          three-dimensional representation of all the
          ships that the computer is tracking.  Earth
          ships are in bright green; Formic ships are
          in bright red.  Missiles and lasers are
          represented in white dots and streaks. 
          Admiral SAKATA (50), a Japanese-American,
          with several aides and subordinates,
          including Commodore O'CASEY (35), stands
          watching as the battle progresses.
          
          
          EXT   "NZF WAITANGI"   SPACE
          
          A large contingent of retrofitted cargo ships
          is hidden behind a moon of Saturn, absolutely
          still, taking no part in the battle.  Then a
          small port in the "Waitangi" opens and a
          single missile fires.
          
          
          INT   ADMIRAL'S BRIDGE
          
          The Simulator shows a single white missile
          coming from the group of reserve cargo ships. 
          Sakata immediately notices it, points.
          
                     SAKATA
                 Who fired that missile!
          
          An AIDE punches something on his keyboard and
          responds in only a second.
          
                     AIDE
                 The Waitangi, sir.  Captain Mazer
                 Rackham.

                     SAKATA
                 I want his executive officer to
                 take command of the Waitangi and
                 put Rackham under arrest
                 immediately.
          
                     O'CASEY
                 I had Rackham in training.  He told
                 me once that a soldier should obey,
                 not the words, but the purpose of
                 the order.
                 
                     SAKATA
                 My purpose was to keep my reserves
                 concealed, and he just revealed
                 their position!
                 
                     AIDE
                 His exec reports that as soon as he
                 fired that missile, Rackham placed
                 himself under arrest.
                 
                     O'CASEY
                 That's Rackham.
                 
                     SAKATA
                 We're in combat. There'll be no
                 trial.  He is to be executed as
                 soon as he can be transferred to
                 another ship.
          
          INTERCUT between simulator and actual ships
          and missiles.  The single missile erupts into
          twenty, differently targeted.
          
                     SAKATA (V.O.)
                 No!  He used a multi-warhead!  Why
                 didn't he just put up a neon sign?
          
          The warheads disperse.  We follow one, which
          goes for a while, then suddenly changes
          course and heads straight for a small,
          insignificant-looking Formic ship.
          
          The Formic ship continues to fire toward the
          main Earth fleet, never responding in any way
          to the warhead coming up from behind.  The
          warhead goes up the rocket nozzle.
          
          The Formic ship is silently obliterated.  One
          moment it's there, the next it's just
          sparkling dust.
          
          All firing from all Formic ships stops
          immediately.
          
          
          INT   ADMIRAL'S BRIDGE
          
          Admiral Sakata is the first to realize what
          is happening.  He holds up one hand to
          silence the buzz of conversation, and points
          at the display with the other.
          
                     AIDE
                 They've stopped firing.
                 
                     O'CASEY
                 They're not retreating, either.
          
          Undefended now, several more Formic ships
          blow up.
          
                     SAKATA (cont.)
                 Cease firing!  Everybody!
          
          Several aides speak into their mouthpieces
          and punch keys.  All firing stops from the
          Earth fleet.
          
                     SAKATA (cont.)
                 I want a boarding party on one
                 Formic ship.  If it's a trap, be
                 prepared to blow the thing up.
          
          
          EXT   FORMIC BATTLE CRUISER   SPACE
          
          A dozen Remora-class landing pods whirl
          around the Formic cruiser and attach to it.
          
          
          INT   REMORA LANDING POD
          
          A dozen marines in space suits watch as a big
          laser carves through the surface of the
          Formic ship like butter.  When it's
          completely severed from the hull, the disc
          that was cut out flies up to attach to a
          magnet on the drill.  The marines dive
          headfirst through the hole, weapons ready.
          
          
          INT   FORMIC BATTLE CRUISER
          
          The marines fire at the first few Formics
          that they see, but none of them fire back.  A
          marine walks up to one sitting at a console
          and shakes him.  The Formic topples over.
          
          
          INT   ADMIRAL'S BRIDGE
          
          Dr. IMANUJAM, in civilian clothes, is
          reporting to Admiral Sakata, O'Casey, and
          other top officers.  Aides watch nervously,
          occasionally responding softly to chatter on
          their headsets.
          
                     IMANUJAM
                 Some Formics were still alive, but
                 they did not respond in any way. 
                 They all died within hours.
                 
                     SAKATA
                 What was it, chicken pox?
                 
                     IMANUJAM
                 Our best guess is that the entire
                 hive was controlled by the will of
                 a queen.  When she was killed, the
                 whole hive died.
                 
                     O'CASEY
                 Dr. Imanujam, do you know when the
                 hive queen was killed?
          
          Imanujam leads them to the Simulator display,
          then turns to an assistant, also in civilian
          clothes.
          
                     IMANUJAM
                 Play it back for them.
          
          We replay Rackham's missile killing the
          Formic ship.  All Formic firing stops.  An
          AIDE listens intently to headset.
          
                     O'CASEY
                 Looks like we've identified the
                 hero of our great victory, sir. 
                 Unless he's already been shot.
                 
                     SAKATA
                 I don't care who plays the hero. 
                 We have to know how he figured out
                 which ship was the hive queen.
                 
                     AIDE
                 They want to know if Rackham is
                 still under arrest, sir.
                 
                     SAKATA
                 Bring him here immediately.
          
          Sakata strides away from the group.  O'Casey
          follows, talks privately to him.
          
                     O'CASEY
                 So.  What do you want to bet Mazer
                 Rackham is in command when the
                 Formics launch their next invasion?
                 
                     SAKATA
                 The nearest Formic planet is
                 thirty-five lightyears away.  The
                 commander of the human fleet in the
                 next invasion probably hasn't been
                 born yet.
          
          
          TITLE: "Fifty years later."
          
          ESTABLISHING SHOT: FUTURE GREENSBORO, DAY
          
          A swanlike shuttle glides high over the green
          surface of Earth.  We drop down, see a city
          amid dense forest and patches of rolling
          farmland, a few high spires rising above
          transparent domes.  We zoom close to a glass
          bubble projecting from the tallest spire.
          
          
          INT   CONFERENCE BUBBLE   DAY
          
          MR. WIGGIN (27) and MRS. WIGGIN (25) are
          seated across a small table from Dr. DELOGER
          and two men in International Fleet (I.F.)
          uniforms, with no insignia of rank.  On the
          other side of a glass partition, CHILD PETER
          (5) and CHILD VALENTINE (3) are playing.
          
                     DELOGER
                 Peter and Valentine scored among
                 the ten most talented children
                 we've ever seen.
                 
                     MR. WIGGIN
                 So why did you reject them for
                 Battle School?
                 
                     DELOGER
                 Valentine is too compassionate for
                 command.  We don't believe she
                 could ever send men to die.
                 
                     MR. WIGGIN (dryly)
                 Why do I suspect that isn't Peter's
                 problem?
                 
                     DELOGER
                 It isn't bad that Peter's
                 aggressive. But he's also impatient
                 and ruthlessly ambitious.  He would
                 endanger the lives of his men.
                 
                     MR. WIGGIN
                 He's too naughty, she's too nice.
                 
                     MRS. WIGGIN
                 So you'll leave us alone to raise
                 our family in peace?
          
                     DELOGER
                 We want to give you a waiver to
                 have a third child.
                     (Beat)
                 If you sign in advance that we get
                 him if he tests positive for us.
                 
                     MRS. WIGGIN
                 But what if he turns out as ...
                 unsuitable as the other two?
                 
                     DELOGER
                 You raise three children in peace.
          
          The Wiggins turn to look at Child Peter and
          Child Valentine, just as Peter pushes
          Valentine and knocks her down.  She doesn't
          fight, she just sits up and turns her back on
          him.  He gives her another shove with his
          foot, then settles down to play with the toys
          she had been playing with.
          
                     DELOGER
                 Or at least as much peace as they
                 let you have.
          
          DeLoger pulls out various papers and puts
          them in front of the Wiggins to sign.
          
          
          TITLE: "10 years later"
          
          ESTABLISHING SHOT: FUTURE GREENSBORO, DAY
          
          New domes and towers appear; the city has
          grown.
          
          
          INT   CLASSROOM   DAY
          
          ENDER WIGGIN (9) sits at a desk in a
          traditional classroom   traditional except
          that the teacher, MISS PUMPHREY (30), is
          demonstrating a point about the pyramids by
          "peeling" layers from a large hologram at the
          front of the room.  Ender is the youngest and
          smallest in the class by a couple of years.
          
          CLOSE on the back of Ender's neck.  A tiny
          red-blinking machine, the monitor, sits under
          the hairline, just to the right of the spine.
          
          A tiny folded note lands on Ender's desk.  He
          unfolds it.
          
          NOTE: "Hey, Third.  Let me copy."
          
          Ender glances back at STILSON (11), who threw
          the note.  Stilson looks as innocent as can
          be.
          
          Miss Pumphrey suddenly touches her ear,
          listens, and walks to Ender's desk, where she
          retrieves the note, looks at it.
          
                     PUMPHREY
                 Mr. Stilson ...
          
          Pumphrey is about to lecture him, but
          something in her earpiece interrupts her. 
          She hands a hall pass to Ender.
          
                     PUMPHREY
                 To the school doctor.  Apparently,
                 Mr. Wiggin, you're having a medical
                 emergency.
          
          Ender gets up, leaves.
          
          
          EXT   BREEZEWAY   DAY
          
          All the classrooms open into a garden-like
          breezeway.  As Ender passes, GRAFF [male] and
          ANDERSON [female], officers responsible for
          Battle School, are heard in voiceover.
          
                     ANDERSON (V.O.)
                 What are you doing?
                 
                     GRAFF (V.O.)
                 Ender Wiggin is ready.
          
          
          INT   SCHOOL MEDICAL CENTER   DAY
          
          THE MONITOR LADY (50) greets Ender with a
          phony medical smile as he enters.
          
                     MONITOR LADY
                 Andrew, I suppose by now you're
                 just absolutely sick of having that
                 horrid monitor.  Well, I have good
                 news.  It's coming out today.
          
          Ender reaches up to touch the monitor.
          
                     MONITOR LADY (cont.)
                 It won't hurt a bit.
          
          THE DOCTOR (40) enters, all bustle and cheer.
          
                     DOCTOR
                 Climb up and lie on your tummy.
          
          Ender climbs up on the examining table.
          
                     DOCTOR (cont.)
                 For a few days, you'll have a
                 feeling of something missing.  But
                 that feeling will quickly pass.
          
          He attaches the extractor, a machine as big
          as Ender's head, and flips it on.  It whirrs
          as tiny metal arms and tentacles go out and
          probe under the skin, inside the bone. 
          Suddenly Ender's back arches, his mouth agape
          in agony.  Convulsions.
          
                     DOCTOR
                 Get me the muscle relaxant!
          
          The monitor lady dives for a blackjack-like
          injector already waiting on the counter.  The
          doctor whacks it against Ender's bare arm. 
          In moments, Ender goes still.  The doctor
          affixes a bandaid to the back of his neck as
          Ender wakes.
          
                     MONITOR LADY
                 There now, Andrew.  Are we all
                 right?
          
          Ender sits, touches the bandaid at the back
          of his neck.
          
                     ENDER
                 Does this mean I failed?
          
          INT   CLASSROOM   DAY
          
          Ender comes back into class.  Everyone is
          taking a test at their desks.  Stilson
          notices the bandaid, the lack of a monitor. 
          In a mock sports announcer voice he intones:
          
                     STILSON
                 Third-boy strikes out.
          
          Ender doesn't turn around.  But everyone else
          looks.
          
          
          EXT   BREEZEWAY   DAY
          
          School's out.  Kids pour out of the door,
          Ender among them.
          
                     ANDERSON (V.O)
                 He'll be younger than the other
                 students.  He'll have a hard time
                 adjusting.
          
          
          EXT   WIGGIN FRONT YARD   DAY
          
          In a row of smallish but well-kept-up houses,
          a large tree has scrap lumber nailed to it: a
          ladder up to a treehouse.  Ender, carrying a
          nearly-empty backpack, trots along the
          sidewalk and up the front walk toward the
          door.
          
                     ANDERSON (V.O., cont.)
                 Colonel Graff, it never works to
                 advance a child ahead of schedule.
                 
                     GRAFF (V.O.)
                 Have you ever tried it with Ender
                 Wiggin?
                 
                     ANDERSON (V.O.)
                 Battle School has been functioning
                 for more than forty years.  You've
                 been in command less than a month.
                 
                     GRAFF (V.O.)
                 Is there a trial period?
                 
                     ANDERSON (V.O.)
                 No, but there's a learning curve.
          
          Ender pauses at the corner of the house,
          peels the bandaid off his neck.  He walks
          along the side of the house to the door and
          goes inside.
          
                     GRAFF (V.O.)
                 Do you know what orders I received
                 when I was made commander?
                 
                     ANDERSON (V.O.)
                 No, sir.
                 
                     GRAFF (V.O.)
                 Then you don't know everything yet.
          
          PETER (15) drops from the treehouse, goes to
          the bandaid, picks it up, grins.  Then he
          drops the bandaid to the ground again and
          grinds it savagely under the heel of his
          shoe.
          
          
          INT   WIGGIN KITCHEN   DAY
          
          VALENTINE (13) is making cookies.  Ender
          comes in and dips a finger into the batter. 
          Valentine slaps at his hand, but he gets a
          taste into his mouth.  Then he grimaces.
          
                     VALENTINE
                 Yeah, well, if you'd asked I would
                 have told you it's nothing but
                 sugar and shortening and eggs.
          
          Ender dips again, methodically, and this time
          makes a show of savoring the dough.
          
                     VALENTINE
                 I'm going to puke.
                 
                     ENDER
                 It's a boy thing.
                 
                     VALENTINE
                 It's a perverted wacko circus geek
                 thing.
          
          Ender takes a bow to imaginary applause.  She
          sees the back of his neck.  Touches the spot.
          
                     ENDER
                 Oh, yeah.  They bounced me today.
          
          She hugs him, delighted.
          
                     VALENTINE
                 Oh, Ender!  Mom and Dad have been
                 so worried, they were afraid they
                 were going to lose you!
                 
                     ENDER
                     (Bitterly)
                 So it's a good thing I failed?
          
                     VALENTINE
                 Let some other kid go up into space
                 and play army!
          
                     PETER (O.S.)
                 So everybody guessed wrong about
                 Ender.
          
          Peter enters, carrying a fearsome Formic
          mask.  He smiles benignly.
          
                     PETER (cont.)
                 Now we can play together all the
                 time!
          
          Peter holds up the mask.  Ender tries to hide
          his dread of what's coming.
          
                     PETER (cont.)
                 Let's play astronauts and formics! 
                 Since you're never going to be an
                 astronaut, you have to be the
                 woolly ant!
          
                     VALENTINE
                 Leave him alone.
          
          Peter sweeps the mixing bowl from the
          counter, spilling the dough out onto the
          floor.
          
                     PETER (mock friendly)
                 Valentine, you silly goof, you
                 better clean that up before Mom
                 gets home.
          
          Valentine tries to pretend it's all a joke.
          
                     VALENTINE
                 Just for that, Peter, no cookies
                 for you.
          
                     PETER (savagely)
                 They're all for widdo Endo, so him
                 doesn't feel so baddums about
                 getting bounced from the pwogwam.
          
          He grabs Ender by the hair and puts the mask
          over his face.
          
                     PETER (cont.)
                 Look!  He's so scary!  The monster!
          
          Ender tries to shove the mask away.
          
                     ENDER
                 I don't want to play.
          
          Peter shoves him brutally across the room. 
          Ender falls against the wall.
          
                     PETER
                 You play whenever I say. You got no
                 angels watching over you now.
          
                     VALENTINE (yelling)
                 The whole time he wore that thing
                 you hated him because he still had
                 a chance.  Now he's out, a loser,
                 just like me.  Just like you.
          
          Peter bends down, scoops up a double handful
          of batter.
          
                     PETER
                 And they said you were the nice
                 one.
          
          He smears it all over the front of
          Valentine's clothing.
          
                     PETER (cont.)
                 If he's not better than us, he's
                 got no reason to exist.
          
          He turns to Ender, pulls him to his feet and
          drags him toward the stairs.
          
          
          INT   ENDER'S AND PETER'S BEDROOM   DAY
          
          Peter shoves Ender into the room.  Ender rips
          the mask off.
          
                     PETER
                 Put it on.
          
          Ender frisbies the mask across the room.
          
                     PETER (cont.)
                 Just how stupid are you?
          
          He grabs Ender and drags him to the mask.
          
                     PETER (cont.)
                 Put it on.
          
          Valentine appears in the doorway as Ender
          struggles to get free.
          
                     VALENTINE
                 I'm calling Mom.
          
                     PETER
                 Tell her that Ender's being a
                 disobedient little brat.
          
          Peter flips Ender onto his back, presses a
          knee into his belly.  Ender gasps, struggles
          like a bug on a pin.
          
                     VALENTINE
                 I'll call Father!
                 
                     PETER
                 He's never in.
          
          Peter presses harder.  Ender breathes in
          short little gasps that don't get enough air.
          
                     PETER (cont.)
                 I could kill you like this.
                 
                     VALENTINE
                 You're not a murderer.
          
                     PETER
                 No, I'm an exterminator.  The law
                 is two children per family.  We
                 never needed him.
                 
                     VALENTINE
                 This isn't funny.
                 
                     PETER
                 You can't stop me from killing him.
          
                     VALENTINE
                 You'd never get away with it.
          
          Ender's hand reaches a softball lying on the
          floor.  He smacks Peter's head with it. 
          Peter shrugs off the blow.
          
                     PETER
                 I'll tell them I didn't mean to do
                 it.  I'll cry.
          
          Tears come to his eyes.  While still pressing
          on Ender's stomach, he sobs, absolutely
          believably:
          
                     PETER (cont.)
                 I didn't know it would hurt him. 
                 He was laughing.  It was part of
                 the game.  I would never hurt
                 Ender.  I ... loved him so much.
          
          It's terrifying to Valentine how believable
          he is.
          
                     PETER (cont.)
                 They were sure right about you. 
                 You wouldn't fight even to save
                 your baby brother's life.
          
          In reply, Valentine kicks at Peter's face. 
          He lets go of Ender's shoulders and catches
          her foot, twists her leg, knocks her off her
          feet.
          
                     PETER (cont.)
                 You are both so stupid!
          
          With his arms free, Ender punches Peter
          solidly in the groin.  Peter swings at Ender;
          Ender dodges.  As Peter writhes on the floor
          in pain, Ender grabs a baseball bat from the
          floor and prepares to hit Peter in the head.
          
                     ENDER
                 Don't make threats, Peter.  It
                 gives the other guy a chance to
                 strike first.
          
          Valentine catches the end of the bat,
          stopping him.
          
                     VALENTINE
                 No, Ender!
                 
                     PETER
                 Do it, Ender!  Beat me till my
                 brains splash out!
          
          Ender tugs at the bat.
          
                     ENDER
                 It's him or me!
                 
                     VALENTINE
                 He's your brother, Ender.
          
          A voice from downstairs.
          
                     MRS. WIGGIN (O.S.)
                 We're home!  Is Ender here?
          
          Valentine rushes to the door.
          
                     VALENTINE
                 We're upstairs!  In the boys' room!
          
          Footsteps on the stairs.  Peter speaks
          rapidly, softly.          
                     PETER
                 I'm going to kill him one day,
                 Valentine.  When you've forgotten
                 all about this.  There'll be an
                 accident and we'll all cry, me
                 loudest of all, and then at the
                 grave you'll remember today, and
                 you'll wonder for a minute, and
                 then you'll say, No, not Peter! 
                 He's not a murderer.
          
                     VALENTINE
                 If you hurt him, I'll kill you.
          
                     PETER
                 You?  My gentle sister Valentine?
                 
                     ENDER
                 Bullies like him are all cowards.
          
          Ender and Peter gaze steadily at each other. 
          Both are expressionless.  Master chess
          players, assessing each other.
          
          Mr. & Mrs. Wiggin enter the room.  Mrs.
          Wiggin goes straight to Ender, kneels, scoops
          him into a vast embrace.  Mr. Wiggin lifts
          the hair on the back of Ender's neck, looks
          at the tiny mark.
          
                     MR. WIGGIN
                 We're so happy it's over.
                 
                     MRS. WIGGIN
                 Now we'll always be together!
                 
                     MR. WIGGIN
                     (Playfully)
                 Family hug!  Family hug!
          
          The DOORBELL rings.  Ignoring it, the kids
          gather around Mrs. Wiggin, hugging each
          other.  Mr. Wiggin bends to embrace them all. 
          The DOORBELL rings again.
          
                     ENDER
                 I'll get it.
          
          He pulls out of the hug and runs from the
          room.
          
          
          INT   WIGGIN FRONT ROOM   DAY
          
          Ender gets to the door as the bell rings
          again.  He pulls it open.  Standing there is
          GRAFF (35) in full dress uniform   a
          recruiting poster with a Mona Lisa smile.
          
                     GRAFF
                 Hello, Ender.
          
                                               FADE TO:
          Mr. and Mrs. Wiggin sit on the sofa with
          Ender between them.  There are tears on her
          cheeks.
          
                     MRS. WIGGIN
                 We thought it was all over.
                 
                     GRAFF
                 Only the waiting is over.
          
          Mrs. Wiggin turns her face away, weeping
          silently.
          
                     MR. WIGGIN
                 But he's barely nine years old!
                 
                     GRAFF
                 You agreed before he was born.
          
                     ENDER
                 I didn't.
          
                     GRAFF
                 Mr. and Mrs. Wiggin, will you
                 excuse us, please?
          
          It takes a moment to realize that he expects
          them to go.  They rise and comfort each other
          out the door.
          
                     ENDER
                 Why did you let me think I failed?
          
          Graff ignores his question.
          
                     GRAFF
                 Would you really have smashed in
                 your brother's head with that bat?
                 
                     ENDER
                 What answer will get me out of
                 Battle School?
          
          Graff leans close to him.
          
                     GRAFF
                 Who stopped the formics when they
                 invaded fifty years ago?
                 
                     ENDER
                 Mazer Rackham.
                 
                     GRAFF
                 Where is he now?
                 
                     ENDER
                 Dead, I guess.
                 
                     GRAFF
                 So who'll stop them next time?
          
          Ender's defiance fades into serious thought.
          
                     GRAFF (cont.)
                 I hope we have the greatest
                 military commander the world has
                 ever known, to outthink them,
                 outfight them, destroy them before
                 they scour humanity off the face of
                 the Earth.
                 
                     ENDER
                 I'm just a kid.
                 
                     GRAFF
                 What's inside you, Ender?  What can
                 you become?  What if you're the
                 only hope?
          
          Ender studies Graff's face.
          
                     ENDER
                 Do you say this to all the kids you
                 recruit?
                 
                     GRAFF
                 No.  I tell them not to come. 
                 Because there's no turning back. 
                 We take your childhood.  You might
                 never see your family again.
                     (cont.)
                     GRAFF (cont.)
                 But if you come to Battle School,
                 maybe you'll have something to do
                 with keeping them alive.
                 
                     ENDER
                 I guess it's what I was born for.
          
          Graff studies him a moment longer, then
          stands up.
          
                     GRAFF
                 On your feet ... soldier.
          
          Ender stands up.  They face each other in
          silence.
          
          
          EXT   WIGGIN FRONT YARD   DAY
          
          The family   all but Peter   are kissing and
          hugging Ender good-bye.  Graff stands beside
          a limo at the curb, watching.
          
                     ANDERSON (O.S.)
                 After growing up in that family,
                 how stable is he going to be?
          
          Graff talks softly into a tiny palm-held
          mouthpiece.  The other half of the phone is
          worn like a hearing aid.
          
                     GRAFF
                 Therapy is your job.
          
          Ender pulls away from his family, heads down
          the walk.  Graff holds out his hand.  Ender
          reaches out, at first like a child, to hold
          on; then like an adult, to shake hands. 
          Graff clasps Ender's hand when Valentine
          bursts from the family group and runs partway
          down the walk.
          
                     VALENTINE
                 I love you forever, Ender!
          
          Graff ushers Ender into the back seat of the
          car and closes the door.  As Graff walks
          around the car, Peter drops down from the
          treehouse and runs to the car window.
          
          
          ENDER'S POV
          
          Peter leans close to the glass, staring at
          Ender.  Ender stares back.  The car pulls
          away.  Peter is left behind.
          
          
          ESTABLISHING SHOT: SPACEPORT, NIGHT
          
          Several heavy cargo rockets and two passenger
          shuttles on the tarmac.  The ground opens up
          and spits out a hoverbus.
          
          
          EXT   SHUTTLE   NIGHT
          
          The hoverbus rises thirty feet, up to where
          the horizontal-takeoff shuttle sits like a
          plane on the tarmac.  A bridge appears in the
          air between the doors of both   a force field
          you can stand on.  Children ages 11-13 file
          across the bridge.  Ender crosses early  
          clearly the smallest of the children.  Soon
          after him come SEBASTIAN (French, 11) and
          ALAI (Senegalese-French, 11).  (Though some
          have accents, all the children speak fluent
          English.)
          
                     ALAI
                 Just like on television.
                 
                     SEBASTIAN
                 Look, they're letting babies in.
                 
                     ALAI
                 No, he's our instructor.
          
          They laugh.
          
          
          INT   SHUTTLE CABIN   NIGHT
          
          Ender is coming up the center aisle.  Their
          laughter rings in his ears.  Graff points to
          his seat.  As Ender slides into place ...
          
                     ENDER
                 You're coming with us?
                 
                     GRAFF
                 I have to or I'll lose my job.
                 
                     ENDER
                 What is your job?
                 
                     GRAFF
                 Commander of the Battle School. 
                 Think of me as the principal, with
                 the power to shoot deserters.
          
          Graff goes back to pointing out seats to
          students.  Ender identifies which harness
          straps are his and fastens himself in. 
          Sebastian and Alai end up in the next row
          back.
          
                     SEBASTIAN
                 Look!  Our instructor!
          
          He raps Ender on the head with his knuckle. 
          Ender winces, tries to duck away   but the
          harness won't let him.
          
                     SEBASTIAN (cont.)
                 Did you hear that?  Empty!
          
          He raps Ender again.
          
                     SEBASTIAN (cont.)
                 A church bell?  An empty bottle?
          
          Several other kids laugh nervously.
          
                     SEBASTIAN (cont.)
                 I know!  A septic tank!
          
          He raps again.  The laughter is more open. 
          But Alai reaches out a hand as if to restrain
          Sebastian.  The joke has gone on long enough. 
          Sebastian shrugs him off.
          
                     SEBASTIAN (cont.)
                 I'm only trying to get knowledge
                 out of the head of our instructor!
          
                     GRAFF
                 Eyes front!
          
          At once the kids face Graff at the front of
          the shuttle.
          
                     GRAFF (cont.)
                 I thought you were told to enter
                 the shuttle, take the seat you were
                 given, and strap in.  Why is it
                 that only Ender Wiggin, the
                 youngest of all, knows how to obey
                 an order?
                 
                     SEBASTIAN
                     (defensive)
                 I didn't think it was an order.
          
          Other kids nod, murmur their agreement.
          
                     GRAFF
                 What did you think it was?
          
                     SEBASTIAN
                 An ... instruction.
                 
                     GRAFF
                 If you're really that dumb I wonder
                 how you find your butt to wipe it.
          
          Sebastian's face reddens, but he doesn't look
          away.
          
                     GRAFF (cont.)
                 You're in the I.F., now, children. 
                 The International Fleet.  All
                 instructions are orders.  All
                 suggestions are orders.  All hints
                 and wishes and secret yearnings of
                 a superior are orders!
                 
                     SEBASTIAN
                 How do we know who's our superior?
                 
                     GRAFF
                 Every human being in the I.F.
                 uniform is superior to you.
                 
                     SEBASTIAN
                 Even if they  
          
          Graff's fingertips press against Sebastian's
          lips.
          
                     GRAFF
                 The only appropriate answer when a
                 superior vilifies you is "Yes sir." 
                 Or, if you're really pissed off,
                 you can add, "Thank you, sir."
          
          He removes his fingers from Sebastian's lips.
          
                     SEBASTIAN
                 Yes sir.  Thank you, sir.
                 
                     GRAFF
                 You can dish it out, can't you,
                 Sebastian?  But you can't take it.
                 
                     SEBASTIAN
                 I   thank you, sir.
                 
                     GRAFF
                 Little Ender Wiggin, he can take it
                 without complaint.  Guess who looks
                 more like a soldier to me.
          
          Ender glances at Graff, then looks straight
          ahead, furious.
          
                     ENDER
                     (Quietly)
                 Thank you, sir.
          
          Everyone is rocked backward as the shuttle
          starts to move.
          
          
          EXT   SHUTTLE   NIGHT
          
          The shuttle is towed to its starting place at
          the end of the runway.  The engines are
          fired.
          
          
          INT   SHUTTLE   NIGHT
          
          The acceleration presses them back into their
          seats.
          
          
          EXT   SHUTTLE   CHANGEOVER
          
          The shuttle rises past the knife edge of the
          Earth's shadow, and suddenly it is in bright
          sunlight.  A huge fuel tank section peels off
          the bottom of the shuttle.  Small rockets
          maneuver the shuttle toward a high orbit.
          
          
          INT   SHUTTLE   SPACE
          
          Graff walks down the aisle.  Some of the kids
          are nauseated by weightlessness.  One starts
          vomiting.  Graff helps him.
          
          The moment Graff is behind them, Sebastian
          tries to smack Ender's head again.  The
          harness restrains him.  He unfastens it,
          grips the back of Ender's seat, and raps the
          top of his head   but hard this time, all his
          anger and humiliation in it.  Ender recoils
          in real pain.
          
                     SEBASTIAN
                 I still say it's empty.
          
          Alai grabs at Sebastian's clothes as
          Sebastian makes a fist and prepares to hammer
          it into Ender's face.
          
          Ender reaches upward, grabs the hand that is
          holding Sebastian in place, and yanks forward
          and down.  Propelled by Ender's pull and his
          own hammering motion, Sebastian at once spins
          upward, ass-over-teakettle, and yells in pain
          as he bounces off the "ceiling," breaking his
          arm.
          
          Graff arrives quickly, snatches him deftly
          out of the air.
          
                     GRAFF
                 You unfastened your harness,
                 soldier.
          
          Sebastian's only answer is to yell again in
          pain.
          
                     GRAFF (cont.)
                 Furthermore, you attacked an enemy
                 without taking into account the
                 possibility that he might defend
                 himself.  Do you know what we call
                 commanders who do that?
          
          A Japanese kid nearby pipes up.
          
                     SHEN
                 Stupid!
          
                     GRAFF
                 We call them heroes.  On the
                 monuments over their graves.
          
          Graff lifts Sebastian's writhing body up by
          the good arm like a captured toad being shown
          to a science class.
          
                     GRAFF (cont.)
                 Don't you get it yet?  Everybody on
                 this shuttle qualified as one of
                 the thirty or forty smartest kids
                 on Earth, out of three hundred
                 million kids your age.  And who do
                 you think tested highest of all? 
                 Could it be the one who's entering
                 Battle School a year ahead of his
                 age group?  Could it be the one
                 that this bully decided to pick on?
          
          With his free hand, Graff is pointing at
          Ender.  Everyone looks at Ender with varying
          degrees of loathing, resentment, jealousy, or
          awe.  Ender has no friends in this launch
          group now, and he knows it.  He looks away,
          lonely and afraid.
          
          
          EXT   BATTLE SCHOOL STATION   SPACE
          
          Earth is moon-sized in the distance.  When
          the shuttle spins in synch with the station,
          it is drawn inside.
          
          
          INT   CORRIDOR   "DAY"
          
          In bright artificial light the kids jog along
          behind Graff.  Graff stops at a door and the
          kids file in.
          
          
          INT   LAUNCHIE BARRACKS   "DAY"
          
          A long, narrow room sloping up at the back,
          lined with triple bunks.  Each bunk has a
          locker.A lot of the kids goof around or
          quarrel over who gets bottom.  Everyone
          ignores Ender, who has taken a bottom bunk
          near the door.
          
          Ender turns to his locker.  Inside it is a
          "desq"   a flat computer with a holographic
          display on its top surface.  When Ender
          touches it, words appear in the air above it.
          
          ENDER'S DESQ
          
               COMPUTER TEXT: "Enter name"
          
               ENDER TEXT: "EnderWiggin"
          
               COMPUTER TEXT: "EnderWiggin is this
          correct?  Y or N"
          
          Ender types N, and reenters his name as "
          Ewiggin" [with a space before E].  Again the
          computer echoes his name.
          
          WIDE
          
          Graff stands at the door with boyish officer
          DAP (23).
          
                     GRAFF
                 This is Lieutenant Dap.  As long as
                 you're in launchie barracks, Dap is
                 your mother.
          
          Some laughter.  Graff notices that Ender is
          ignoring him.
          
          ENDER'S DESQ
          
          A long list of names now forms a column on
          the display: Forms of Ender's own name. 
          Other people's names.
          
                     GRAFF (V.O., cont.)
                 Dap is also your father, your
                 trainer, your nursemaid, and your
                 worst nightmare.  Obey him the way
                 you'd obey God, or you're iced.
          
          WIDE
          
          A few kids titter at that.  Dap looks at them
          with terrifying blankness.  They fall silent. 
          Graff exits.
          
                     DAP
                 The bunk you are on right now is
                 yours.  If you're not on a bunk,
                 the closest one is yours.  No
                 trading, no arguing, that's it.
          
          SHEN'S BUNK
          
          Sebastian tries to drag Shen off the bottom
          bunk.  Alai is on the bunk above.
          
                     SHEN
                 No trading.
                 
                     SEBASTIAN
                 You knew that was my bunk.
          
          Dap is on them instantly.
          
                     DAP
                 Top bunk, Sebastian.
          
          Sebastian holds up his broken arm.
          
                     DAP (cont.)
                 There are lower bunks at the back
                 of the room.
                 
                     ALAI
                 I'll go back there with you.
                 
                     DAP
                 I said no trading!
          
          Sebastian walks toward the back.  Dap walks
          toward the door.
          
                     DAP (cont.)
                 Sign on to your desqs.  Explore the
                 system.  You've got an hour.
          
          ENDER'S BUNK
          
          Ender looks down at his computer.
          
          ENDER'S DESQ
          
          A one-inch-high, 3-D fullcolor holographic
          boy in a SAILOR suit appears above the desq. 
          The desq simulates his speech using "shaped
          sound," so only Ender can hear him.
          
                     SAILOR BOY
                 When you play the fantasy game,
                 I'll be you and you'll be me.  If
                 you don't want to be a sailor boy,
                 press the arrow keys.
          
          Ender cycles through:  A knight.  A dog.  A
          dragon.  A samurai warrior.  Ender chooses a
          bear.  Not a teddy bear, not a slavering
          grizzly, just your ordinary brown bear.
          
          
          SEBASTIAN'S BUNK
          
          Sebastian sits on the very last bunk in the
          room, deeply pissed off.  Alai is leaning on
          the back wall.  Shen comes walking up to
          them.
          
                     SEBASTIAN
                 What do you want, thief?
          
                     SHEN
                 Just that I'm sorry.  I knew it was
                 your bunk, I only sat there to tie
                 my shoe.
                 
                     SEBASTIAN
                 Go take your butt somewhere else.
          
          Alai gives Shen a nod and a little salute. 
          Shen walks away.
          
                     SEBASTIAN (cont.)
                     (Loudly)
                 Look!  Shen wiggles his butt like a
                 girl when he walks!
          
          Utterly mortified, Shen hurries down the
          aisle, which only makes things worse. 
          Everybody is looking at his butt.
          
          CLOSE ON ENDER
          
          Ender sees what's happening, then starts
          typing on his desq.
          
          CLOSE ON SHEN
          
          Shen reaches his bunk, sits on it, then
          slides in, keeping his butt out of view.
          
          WIDE
          
          Every kid who's using his desq gets a text
          message at the same time.  They start
          laughing, calling others' attention to the
          message.
          
          SEBASTIAN'S BUNK
          
          Sebastian pulls his desq onto his lap.
          
                     SEBASTIAN
                 What are they laughing at?
          
          SEBASTIAN'S DESQ
          
               COMPUTER TEXT: Message from: God
                         Cover your butt.
                      Sebastian is watching.
                                God
          
          Sebastian leaps to his feet, livid.
          
                     SEBASTIAN
                 Coward!  Sign your real name!
          
          The other kids stifle laughter.
          
          SHEN'S BUNK
          
          Shen looks down at his desq, hoots with
          laughter.
          
          SEBASTIAN'S BUNK
          
          Sebastian and Alai both look at the new
          message.
          
          SEBASTIAN'S DESQ
          
          COMPUTER TEXT: "Message from:  Sebastian
                    North, south, east, west,
                        I like butts best.
                             Sebastian"
          [Note extra space before " Sebastian"
          in both places]
          
                     SEBASTIAN
                 I did not write that!  I can't even
                 type with my arm like this!
          
          Alai is struggling not to laugh as he
          deadpans:
          
                     ALAI
                 It's your name, Sebastian.
          
                     SEBASTIAN
                 Get away from my bunk, Alai.
                 
                     ALAI
                 It's a joke, man.  Just grin.
                 
                     SEBASTIAN
                 Some friend you are.
          
          Sebastian walks away from him, down the
          aisle, looking at each kid he passes, daring
          them to meet his gaze.  Most look away, like
          junior chimps submitting to the alpha male. 
          But Ender meets his gaze without expression.
          
                     SEBASTIAN (cont.)
                 It wasn't enough you broke my arm?
          
          Sebastian shoves Ender, rocking him back on
          the bunk.
          
                     SEBASTIAN (cont.)
                 The most brilliant kid on Earth.
          
          Sebastian prepares throw a punch.  Alai
          arrives in time to catch his arm.
          
                     ALAI
                 You already got Graff and Dap on
                 your case!
          
          Sebastian lets Alai drag him back to his own
          bunk.  Shen comes to Ender's bunk, sits
          beside him.
                 
                     SHEN
                 If it was you, thanks.  He's such
                 an eemo.*
                 *eemo: hick, dolt [Japanese 'potato']
              
          
          INT   OBSERVATION DECK   "DAY"
          
          Graff, wearing an undershirt, is seated at a
          table cluttered with communications devices,
          papers, his desq, and whatever parts of his
          uniform he's not wearing at the moment  
          including his shirt.  He is watching his
          desq, which is showing a brown bear standing
          on a table before an evil-looking giant.
          
          
          INT   LAUNCHIE BARRACKS   "DAY"
          
          Ender is playing the fantasy game on his
          desq, which shows the same scene.
          
          ENDER'S DESQ
          
          Ender-Bear is offered two drinks by the
          giant.
          
                     GIANT
                 Choose right, and you won't die.
          
          Ender-Bear chooses the one that looks like
          milk in a glass, drinks it.  At once he turns
          to powder and collapses in a pile as the
          giant laughs.
          
          
          INT   OBSERVATION DECK   "DAY"
          
          Graff shakes his head.  Ender-Bear arrives
          again before the Giant, who presents two
          different drinks.
          
          GRAFF'S DESQ
          
          Ender-Bear chooses the steaming teacup and
          drinks.  He bursts into flame as the giant
          laughs.  A BUZZER sounds.
          
          WIDE
          
          Graff looks up, sees a light blinking beside
          the door.  He puts a finger on an unmarked
          spot on the table and the door opens. 
          ANDERSON, 30, a woman in a major's uniform,
          enters.
          
                     GRAFF
                 What have I done now?
          
          She glances down at Graff's desq.  Ender-Bear
          drinks from a loving cup, inflates like a
          balloon, and pops.
          
                     ANDERSON
                 Ender went straight to the giant's
                 drink, didn't he?
          
          At once the giant offers another choice. 
          Ender-Bear drinks a green liquid and turns to
          stone. The giant picks him up and crushes him
          to gravel in his fist.
          
                     GRAFF
                 It took him maybe five minutes.
                 
                     ANDERSON
                 Has he done anything else?
                 
                     GRAFF
                 How many ways can one bear die?
          
                     ANDERSON
                 It's a sign of despair. 
                 Loneliness.  Self-destructive
                 tendencies.  The giant's drink is a
                 marker for attempted suicide.
                 
                     GRAFF
                 You don't make a great commander by
                 coddling him.
                 
                     ANDERSON
                 Is there some scientific basis for
                 this special training program
                 you're creating for Ender?  Or are
                 you just ... pulling wings off
                 flies to see what they do?
          
          Annoyed, Graff looks back down at his desq. 
          Ender-Bear has turned into a fly and is
          swatted by a giant flyswatter.
          
                     ANDERSON (cont.)
                 Ouch.
          
          Graff drums his fingers on the table. She
          leaves.
          
          
          INT   LAUNCHIE BARRACKS   FLASH SUIT MONTAGE
          
          A cart filled with flash suits bursts through
          the door.
          
          Flash suits are tossed into the arms of the
          kids.
          
          Straps are tightened around arms, legs,
          torsos.  Helmets go on heads, boots on feet,
          gloves on hands.
          
          The dao* or lightgun does not look like an
          assault weapon.  It slides onto the back of
          the hand, with a cord running into the
          control unit that nests in the fingers.  We
          see daos being slid into their slots, fingers
          closing over the controls, and test shots
          being fired, only faintly visible in the
          bright light of the barracks.  

          *dao: Vietnamese for weapon
          
          All the launchies are lined up, daos on their
          favored hand (ten percent of them are on left
          hands instead of right).  They break into a
          simultaneous jog.
          
          
          INT   CORRIDOR   "DAY"
          
          Dap stands beside the door.  The line of
          armed launchies emerges.  Ender is shorter
          than the others.  Sebastian's arm is in a
          cast, the sleeve cut from his flashsuit.
          
          INT   LAUNCHIE BATTLEROOM ENTRANCE   "DAY"
          
          The launchie line reaches the end of a
          corridor.  The end wall is a forcefield  
          steely brown, but with continuous swirling
          and deforming of subtle colors in mandelbrot
          patterns.  Then, when Dap presses a button on
          his "hook," the door dilates instantaneously. 
          Inside is a large space, dimly lighted.
          
                     DAP
                 Welcome to the battleroom,
                 children.
          
          
          INT   BATTLEROOM   "NIGHT"
          
          The children enter gingerly, becoming
          weightless the moment they pass the
          threshold.  They cling to handholds and move
          hand-over-hand along the wall, near the
          floor, trying to keep their body movements
          under control.  Legs are useless.
          
                     DAP (V.O.)
                 The moment you enter the battleroom
                 you're in freefall.  There are
                 handholds on all the walls  
                 including the floor and ceiling.
          
          NEAR ENDER
          
          Ender lets go with one hand.  Still clinging
          to a handhold with the other, he pushes off
          with his feet.  Immediately he flips around
          the fulcrum of the handhold and his body
          smacks into the wall.  Shen is amused.
          
                     SHEN
                 What are you trying to do, kill
                 yourself?
                 
                     ENDER
                 Try it.  The suit keeps you from
                 hurting yourself, and you can
                 control your bouncing with your
                 legs, like this.
          
          Ender flips himself over again, and again,
          with amazing rapidity.  That annoys Shen, who
          immediately flips himself just like Ender  
          but too hard.  He bounces back, yelping.
          
          Ender gets his legs under him and squats over
          a handhold as if he were trying to lift the
          wall he's standing on.  Then he pushes off,
          launching himself across the room.
          
          WIDE
          
          Ender flies across the room.  He tries to
          catch himself against the other wall, but
          there's no way   he rebounds at an oblique
          angle.  At the next wall he catches himself.
          
          NEAR ALAI
          
          Alai and Sebastian gather themselves for a
          leap.
          
          NEAR SHEN
          
          Shen, seeing them, launches first, but
          clumsily.
          
          WIDE
          
          Three more kids fly across the room, in three
          random directions.
          
                     DAP (V.O.)
                 Battle School is centered around
                 the war games in the battleroom. 
                 When you graduate from launchie
                 barracks, you will be assigned to
                 an army.
          
          During the voiceover, we see kids collide in
          midair, spinning off crazily.  Some try
          gymnastic moves.  One kid throws up.  When
          they get flashed by a dao, their arms or legs
          or whole bodies freeze in awkward positions,
          the lights on the suits going dark in the
          area where they were shot.
          
                     DAP (V.O.)
                 Someday you might even command one.
          
          NEAR ENDER
          
          Ender glides quickly along the wall,
          handhold-to-handhold.  Shen follows, till he
          sees that they're heading toward Alai and
          Sebastian.
          
                     SHEN
                 What are you doing?  They hate us!
                 
                     ENDER
                 The formics are the only enemy.
                 
                     SEBASTIAN
                 Look.  It's God and his favorite
                 butt.
                 
                     ENDER
                 What happens if four guys are out
                 in the middle and they push off
                 from each other?
                 
                     ALAI
                 I don't know.
                 
                     ENDER
                     (grinning)
                 Neither do I.
                 
                     ALAI
                 Let's find out.
          
          Alai grabs Sebastian's good arm, pulling him
          away from his handhold.  With his other hand
          he grasps Ender, and Ender seizes Shen.
          
                     ALAI
                     (To Ender)
                 So we all put our feet together and
                 push off?
                 
                     ENDER
                 One guy pushes off from the other
                 three.  Sebastian.
                 
                     ALAI
                 You're smallest.  You'll go faster.
                 
                     ENDER
                 Sebastian is strongest.
          
          Sebastian gets foot-to-foot with the other
          three, holding on to their feet with his good
          hand.  Then he pushes off.  They move a
          little, but he rockets away at nearly full
          speed.
          
                     ALAI
                 Salaam, Ender.
          
          
          INT   CORRIDOR   "DAY"
          
          The launchies pour out of the battleroom,
          running along the corridor.  Ender, Alai,
          Shen, and Sebastian come out as a foursome,
          running down the corridor like Ben-Hur's
          chariot horses.  When Alai jumps up to touch
          the ceiling, the others do it, too.  Ender is
          too short to touch it   trying too hard, he
          falls in a heap.  The others laugh, but
          Sebastian and Alai drag him to his feet and
          bring him along.
          
          
          FANTASY GAME
          
          Ender-Bear stands before the giant.  He
          drinks from an eyedropper.  His fur falls
          off.  Then his skin sloughs off, exposing
          bloody muscle.
          
                     GRAFF (V.O.)
                 Who programmed the game to do that?
                 
                     ANDERSON (V.O.)
                 The game is self-altering.
          
          The muscles peel off, revealing the skeleton. 
          The organs spill out of the belly.
          
                     GRAFF (V.O.)
                 Why were those images in the game?
          
          The bones separate and fall into a pile.
          
                     ANDERSON (V.O.)
                 A biology animation.  The fantasy
                 game can pull anything from the
                 system.
          
          Ender-Bear drinks from a demitasse.  He turns
          into a fish and the giant guts and debones
          him.
          
                     GRAFF (V.O.)
                 Sick.
                 
                     ANDERSON (V.O.)
                 The game?  Or the child?
          
          Ender-Bear stands before the giant again. 
          But he does not drink.  Instead, he kicks
          over one glass.  Then the other.  The giant
          starts pounding the table with his fists,
          trying to crush Ender-Bear.
          
                     ANDERSON (cont., V.O)
                 He's not trying anything that
                 hasn't been done before.
          
          Ender-Bear leaps up onto the giant's beard. 
          For a moment, the giant's animation freezes,
          while Ender-Bear continues to climb up onto
          the giant's face.
          
                     GRAFF (V.O.)
                 Has anybody tried this?
          
                     ANDERSON (V.O.)
                 It won't work.  That's what it's
                 for.  To see how soon they learn to
                 cut their losses and move on.
          
          Ender-Bear plunges his paw into the giant's
          eye and burrows in, flinging out eye-stuff
          like cottage cheese.  The giant waves its
          hands ineffectually, then opens its mouth in
          a silent scream and keels over backward.
          
                     ANDERSON (V.O.)
                 This violates the whole purpose of
                 the giant's drink!
          
          
          INT   LAUNCHIE BARRACKS   "NIGHT"
          
          Ender is the only one awake in the darkness. 
          He sits on his bunk, hunched over his desq. 
          The giant is lying on its back.  Ender is
          sweating, panting, as if he has just finished
          a race.
          
                     GRAFF (V.O.)
                 Surprise surprise.  The game's
                 supposed to break Ender, but Ender
                 broke the game.  What happens now?
                 
                     ANDERSON (V.O.)
                     (shaken)
                 I have no idea.
          
          
          In the game on Ender's lap, Ender-Bear climbs
          out of the giant's eye.  He turns toward the
          giant's ruined face.
          
                     ENDER
                 I'm sorry.
          
          
          FANTASY GAME
          
          Ender-Bear looks around.  The giant's corpse
          lies on its back in a meadow, surrounded by
          forest.
          
                     ENDER (V.O.)
                 I didn't mean to kill you, I just
                 ... you wouldn't let me by.
          
          A bat flies up, lands on the giant's nose.
          
                     GAME BAT
                 How did you get here?  Nobody comes
                 here.
          
                     ENDER (V.O.)
                 I killed the giant.
          
          The bat flies up and away.
          
                     GAME BAT
                 Welcome to Fairyland!
          
          Ender-Bear comes upon a playground in the
          woods, with children swinging and sliding and
          climbing the monkey bars. Ender-Bear tries to
          join in the game.  The children see him,
          point at him, start to shout.
          
                     GAME CHILDREN
                 A bear!  A bear!
          
          The children all run to the edge of the
          woods.  Ender-Bear is left alone.  Then, one
          by one, the children transform into huge
          wolves that slink around the edges of the
          playground.  Ender-Bear tries to move off in
          another direction.  But he is surrounded. 
          The wolves leap on him.
          
          
          INT   LAUNCHIE BARRACKS   "NIGHT"
          
          Ender slams his hand down in the middle of
          the desq.  The game goes away.  He is
          trembling as he puts the desq away.
          
                     GRAFF (V.O.)
                 I thought this game was supposed to
                 help the kids.
                 
                     ANDERSON (V.O.)
                 It isn't therapeutic, it's
                 diagnostic.
          
          Ender throws himself back onto his pillow and
          lies there, staring at the ceiling, clenching
          and unclenching his fists.
          
          
          INT   ANDERSON'S QUARTERS   "NIGHT"
          
          Anderson's quarters are designed to do double
          duty as office and berth.  She sits on her
          bed and Graff sits in the guest chair, both
          hunched over Anderson's desq on a small table
          between them, replaying the game.
          
                     GRAFF
                 So what's the diagnosis?
                 
                     ANDERSON
                 There's no literature on this.  It
                 never happened before.
                 
                     GRAFF
                 Something you don't understand?
                 
                     ANDERSON
                 And that makes you happy?
                 
                     GRAFF
                 You never understood.  I'm happy
                 you finally realize it.
          
          Anderson blows up.
          
                     ANDERSON
                 I have always understood more than
                 you!  You're so busy training the
                 commander that you don't realize
                 what you're doing to the child!
                 
                     GRAFF
                 He's smarter than any of the people
                 who made up this Battle School.  He
                 sees right through your plans.  The
                 only way to stay ahead of him is to
                 take blind leaps into the dark.
                 
                     ANDERSON
                 That's not science.
                 
                     GRAFF
                 That's right.  Science deals with
                 laws, with generalities.  We're
                 trying to create an exception.
                 
                     ANDERSON
                 Why?  Science works!
                 
                     GRAFF
                 I hope you're wrong, because
                 science tells us we have no chance
                 of beating the formics in the end.
          
          Anderson is stunned.
          
                     GRAFF (cont.)
                 Of course, that information is so
                 classified that if you even think
                 it in front of someone else you
                 could be shot.
                     (beat)
                 I wish you'd stop fighting me,
                 Major Anderson.  I wish you'd help.
          
          Graff leaves.  Anderson hugs her knees,
          thinking.
          
          
          INT   LAUNCHIE BARRACKS   "NIGHT"
          
          Ender is asleep, a child after all, one fist
          clenched up near his face.
          
          Dap comes and stands by his bunk in the
          darkness.  Wakes him gently.  Hands him a
          uniform.  Blinking, Ender gets up, looks at
          the uniform, realizes what it means.
          
                     ENDER
                 What about Alai?  Shen?  Sebastian?
          
          Dap puts a finger to his lips.
          
                     DAP
                 Each in his own time.
          
          Ender starts to dress, full of misgivings.
          
          
          INT   SALAMANDER BARRACKS   "DAY"
          
          The soldiers of Salamander army are just
          getting dressed.  Some of them are still in
          bed.  It's a sloppy barracks.  And not a
          happy one.  BONZO (12) sits on the first bunk
          by the door, surrounded by soldiers.
          
          The door opens.  Ender stands there in
          Salamander uniform.
          
                     BONZO
                 Por todos los santos.
          
          PETRA ARKANIAN (11), a girl with close-
          cropped hair and no sign of puberty, steps in
          front of Ender.
          
                     PETRA
                 How did you get a Salamander Army
                 uniform?
          
          Ender holds up a piece of paper.
          
                     ENDER
                 Orders.
          
          
          Petra reaches for them.  Ender holds them
          back.
          
                     ENDER (cont.)
                 I'm supposed to give them to Bonzo
                 Madrid.
          
          The room falls silent.
          
                     PETRA
                 Not BAHN-zo.  BONE-so.  Aqui
                 hablamos espa¤ol.
          
                     ENDER
                 Are you BONE-so?
          
          Some nervous laughter from other kids.
          
                     PETRA
                 I'm Petra Arkanian.  The only girl
                 in Salamander Army.  With more
                 balls than any boy in the barracks.
          
          This is greeted with hoots of derision. 
          Bonzo comes up behind Petra, pushes her
          contemptuously out of the way, and reaches
          for the order slip.
          
                     BONZO
                 What are they doing to me? 
                 L grimas de Cristo!  Mboto!
          
          MBOTO, a lanky African kid, slides off his
          upper bunk.
          
                     MBOTO
                 Sir?
                 
                     BONZO
                 They've transferred you to Eagle
                 and this is your replacement!
          
          Mboto tousles Ender's hair and chuckles.
          
                     MBOTO
                 Good luck.
          
          Without a backward glance, Mboto leaves.
          
                     BONZO
                 How old are you?
          
                     ENDER
                 Nine.
          
                     BONZO
                 You're not even supposed to be in
                 Battle School.
                 
                     PETRA
                 He must've got lost on his way to
                 ground school.
                 
                     BONZO
                 Calla-te, Putra.
                     (To Ender)
                 I don't know what the teachers
                 think they're doing, but I'm not
                 going to keep you.  I'm trading you
                 as fast as I can, even though I'll
                 probably have to trade away a good
                 soldier to do it.
                 
                     ENDER
                 What do I do in the meantime?
                 
                     BONZO
                 Nothing.  You understand me?  Just
                 stay out of the way.
                 
                     ENDER
                 But I can train with you, right?
                 
                     BONZO
                 I said nothing!  Nada!  Compreende?
          
                     ENDER
                 Yes sir.
                 
                     BONZO
                 You sleep in the back!  You stay
                 out of my sight!  I deserve more
                 respect than to have them send me a
                 soldier like you.
                 
                     PETRA
                 Maybe it's an honor.  Maybe they
                 thought you were the best commander
                 to train an underage kid.
                 
                     BONZO
                     (to Petra)
                 I've already tried to trade you
                 away but nobody wanted you!
                 
                     PETRA
                 You couldn't train anybody.
          
          Bonzo slaps her across the face.  Petra
          glares at him.
          
                     BONZO
                 You going to report me?
          
          She sullenly shakes her head.  Bonzo turns to
          Ender.
          
                     BONZO
                 Last bunk on the left.  You don't
                 use your desq.  You don't wear your
                 flash suit.  You don't exist.
          
          Ender walks down the long aisle between
          bunks.  The soldiers stare at him or look
          away.


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