The two people are still discussing Ender – maybe they should get cable and have some TV to talk about? Anyway, one explains that Ender has to learn that he can’t rely on adults to help him, since there won’t be adults to help him when he’s fighting a war in space.
All the new kids – the Launchies – share a bunkroom. Ender discovers that each bed also comes with a computer and a spacesuit with a gun-like thing. (Also the compartments where these things are held are opened by a hand-scanner, which is, scientifically speaking, 100% cooler than a combination lock.)
Their bunkroom advisor, a guy named Dap, comes in and explains Battle School, which is very different from sleep-away camp, even if it totally seems like that right now.
For instance, he explains that the boys feel gravity only because the space station is spinning. (For more on how that would actually work, check this out.)
Most importantly, he says they should solve their own problems.
We move from a discussion of kids solving their own problems to Ender worrying that the bully whose arm he broke is gaining friends and power. Which must break some sort of record for lack of subtlety since that kid is definitely going to be a problem for Ender.
And Ender is eating alone because everyone thinks he’s a freak. Off to a rough start indeed.
During lunch, Ender notices that the older kids are all wearing different uniforms, which must be related to the big game that everyone cares about here. Also, there are giant scoreboards that say how the teams are doing.
An older kid named Mick comes over when he sees that Ender is eating alone. Mick complements Ender on his nickname – that’s the nickname of someone who finishes things. (It’s almost like Orson Scott Card is trying to tell us something. But what could it be?!? For more on this, check out “Writing Style.”) But then Mick tells Ender to kiss butt to get along. Ender refuses, even though he’s lonely and misses home.
There’s a quick description of life at Battle School, which is still school, so there are classes, but, you know, it’s all battle focused.
But who cares about classes? “[T]he games – that was what they lived for” (5.90).
The game room is full of all sorts of video games. Ender watches some of the older boys play and then beats them at their own game. So he feels a little better. They probably don’t.
There’s still the problem of Bernard, the kid with the broken arm, who still bullies Ender and has lots of friends.
This is how Ender deals with Bernard: he cracks into the computer network and sends messages that say that Bernard likes butts. And that pretty much ruins Bernard – most of the new kids stop taking orders from him. (It’s almost like Ender uses gossip to do something good. And yet, we’ve always been told not to gossip.)
Some kids that Bernard made fun of, like this one kid named Shen, start being friendly with Ender. If you stop reading now, you’ve got a happy ending for Ender.