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Chapter 8: Rat Notes from Ender's Game

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Ender's Game Chapter 8: Rat

Colonel Graff says to Major Anderson that Ender is the one, reiterating his belief that this boy can save the world from the Buggers.

Ender arrives at Rat Army and meets the slovenly casual "Rose de Nose," commander of Rat. Ender is then instructed to his toon leader, Dink Meeker. Dink is quiet and intelligent, and understand his importance to Rat Army. He leads separate practices during Rat's practice time, and is a key to Rat's success. Dink indicates that he will let Ender continue his own personal training, and add to it by learning from Dink. He also gives Ender a piece of useful advice, "Listen, Ender, commanders have just as much authority as you let them have. The more you obey, the more power they have over you." Chapter 8, pg 102

Dink asks Ender to teach the toon Ender's most critical piece of advice-once in the battleroom, ignore the gravity. The best way to think of things is that the enemy's gate is down. With a feet-first approach, the enemy will not be able hit as much of a soldier. Dink's toon eventually adopts it as a normal attack approach. In battles under Dink's command, Ender would be a part of the action. In the barracks, Ender defends himself to Rose when the commander gives a useless order. Dink indicates to Ender that Ender can take care of himself, and Rose decides Ender will attack the next army, Ender's first real battle, all by himself. Ender puts real damage into the enemy, and no longer gets bothered by Rose.

Ender notices that Dink never leaves with the team after practice, so Ender decides to wait for him. Dink was alone (with Ender) in the battleroom, and, as if meditating, took of his clothes and drifted in the room. He then puts his clothes on, and starts talking to Ender. He explains that this is why he isn't a commander. "I can't believe you haven't seen through all this crap yet, Ender... These other armies, they aren't the enemy. It's the teachers, they're the enemy. They get us to fight each other, to hate each other." Chapter 8, pg 108 Dink brings up the taboo subject of home, Ender thinks of Valentine, and starts to cry. Dink remarks that students aren't even supposed to cry. Dink keeps going, saying that Battle School is crazy, and he doesn't want it. Ender says maybe a commander doesn't have to be crazy.

Then Dink drops a bombshell - the supposed excuse for being at school, the Buggers, are a phantom threat. If they would be attacking, they would already have reached Earth, and all the videos are from the first two wars. Dink believes that the entire system is there to sustain the power of the I.F.

In the world of Battle School, some commanders decided that Ender's extra practice with Launchies is grounds for commanders to refuse to draft the soldiers. These commanders and their lackeys took down names at the next practice, and attacked the students in the battleroom the second one. However, they were not wearing uniforms, and some were seriously injured by Ender, who was cornered.

At the barracks, he learned that the adults would not punish anyone for the incident, and he frustratedly began playing the Fantasy Game. He arrived at a place called, "The End of the World," went inside, defeated a snake, and saw a mirror on the wall. As he approached, and looked into it, he saw Peter's face. Frightened, he smashed the mirror, and a number of snakes came out from behind it to kill him. Ender signed off.

The next day, other commanders said they would send some members of their army to protect Ender's practice session, and that they supported him. But in the back of his mind was the Fantasy Game, how it said that he is Peter. Angrily, Ender berates himself in his thought: "This game knows too much about me. This game tells filthy lies. I am not Peter. I don't have murder in my heart." Then, second guessing himself, "And then a worse fear, that he was a killer, only better at it than Peter... Well, I'm the bloody bastard you wanted when you had me spawned."Chapter 8, pg 119

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