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Anderson and Graff discuss the weather. Just kidding. They discuss Ender and how they’re going to set up some new challenges for him.
They’re going to do that by giving Ender his own army (even though he’s only nine and a half).
Graff tells Ender they have some new rules for his new army, like he can’t trade any kids, so he’ll just have to do the best he can with them.
Graff gives Ender his “hook,” the device that lets the commander move freely around the battleroom during scheduled practice sessions. Does it work by magnets? Or maybe by gravity? No one knows, but it’s a reminder that adults don’t tell the whole truth to kids.
Ender’s new army doesn’t look so good – it’s made up of a bunch of new kids and older kids who haven’t done so well. And one loudmouth little guy named Bean.
Ender practices with his army, teaching them all about how – well, you know the drill by now: there’s no up or down in space, the enemy’s gate is down, and you should scrunch your legs up so the enemy has less to hit, etc.
Bean is one of the quickest learners there, so, naturally, Ender starts to make jokes about how little he is. Then Ender adds that Bean is also smarter than everyone.
Now, if this all seems like Ender’s doing exactly the same thing to Bean that Graff did to him, you just might be correct. Or, in other words, Ender can seem like a real jerk here.
Ender realizes the schoolteachers probably won’t give him the customary three-month training period, so he’ll have to whip this army into shape pronto. Luckily, they do show some promise.
Bean asks Ender after the practice why Ender picked on him. Ender says that everyone is watching Bean now, so he’ll win their respect if only he’s the best. (Which is a lot like the advice Graff gave Ender in Chapter 4.)
On the inside, Ender worries that he might be a bully like Bonzo or Peter. Then he realizes (just like we did) that he’s just doing what Graff did to him (but we realized it before Ender did – so who’s the smart one now?). He’s just helping Bean be the best soldier he can be. Really, it’s all for Bean’s own good and that little squirt should thank him.
Unfortunately, the school is no longer allowing Ender to have extra practice sessions with his old friends since they belong to other armies.
But Ender runs into Alai at the game room. Everything is just as friendly as usual, except for the fact that there’s a little hostility between them now that they’ll be fighting in the battleroom and Ender has his own army. Ender is sad.
Alai tells him that “Salaam” means peace. Which is ironic, because now they’re going to be at war against each other.
Ender doesn’t despair because he realizes he’ll always have a memory of Alai’s friendship, at least.
When he sees Alai the next day, though, he feels a wall between them and gets all sad again.
But Ender decides that he’s not going to get sad about it – he’s going to get mad and he’s going to defeat his enemies: the teachers.