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ive watched through his eyes ive listened through his ears and tell you hes the one
or at least as close as were going to get

 thats what you said about the brother

 the brother tested out impossible for other reasons nothing to do with his ability

 same with the sister and there are doubts about him hes too malleable too willing
to submerge himself in someone elses will

 not if the other person is his enemy

 so what do we do surround him with enemies all the time

 if we have to

 i thought you said you liked this kid

 if the buggers get him theyll make me look like his favorite uncle

 all right were saving the world after all take him


 the monitor lady smiled very nicely and tousled his hair and said andrew i suppose
by now youre just absolutely sick of having that horrid monitor well i have good news
for you that monitor is going to come out today were going to just take it right out and
it wont hurt a bit

 ender nodded it was a lie of course that it wouldnt hurt a bit but since adults always
said it when it was going to hurt he could count on that statement as an accurate
prediction of the future sometimes lies were more dependable than the truth

 so if youll just come over here andrew just sit right up here on the examining table
the doctor will be in to see you in a moment

 the monitor gone ender tried to imagine the little device missing from the back of his
neck ill roll over on my back in bed and it wont be pressing there i wont feel it tingling
and taking up the heat when i shower

 and peter wont hate me anymore ill come home and show him that the monitors
gone and hell see that i didnt make it either that ill just be a normal kid now like
him that wont be so bad then hell forgive me that i had my monitor a whole year
longer than he had his well be not friends probably no peter was too dangerous
peter got so angry brothers though not enemies not friends but brothers able to live
in the same house he wont hate me hell just leave me alone and when he wants to
play buggers and astronauts maybe i wont have to play maybe i can just go read a book

 but ender knew even as he thought it that peter wouldnt leave him alone there was
something in peters eyes when he was in his mad mood and whenever ender saw that
look that glint he knew that the one thing peter would not do was leave him alone im
practicing piano ender come turn the pages for me oh is the monitor boy too busy to
help his brother is he too smart got to go kill some buggers astronaut no no i dont
want your help i can do it on my own you little bastard you little third

 this wont take long andrew said the doctor

 ender nodded

 its designed to be removed without infection without damage but therell be some
tickling and some people say they have a feeling of something missing youll keep
looking around for something something you were looking for but you cant find it and
you cant remember what it was so ill tell you its the monitor youre looking for and it
isnt there in a few days that feeling will pass

 the doctor was twisting something at the back of enders head suddenly a pain stabbed
through him like a needle from his neck to his groin ender felt his back spasm and his
body arched violently backward hi head struck the bed he could feel his legs thrashing
and his hands were clenching each other wringing each other so tightly that they ached

 deedee shouted the doctor i need you the nurse ran in gasped got to relax
these muscles get it to me now what are you waiting for

 something changed hands ender could not see he lurched to one side and fell off the
examining table catch him cried the nurse

 just hold him steady

 you hold him doctor hes too strong for me

 not the whole thing youll stop his heart

 ender felt a needle enter his back just above the neck of his shirt it burned but
wherever in him the fire spread his muscles gradually unclenched now he could cry for
the fear and pain of it

 are you all right andrew the nurse asked

 andrew could not remember how to speak they lifted him onto the table they
checked his pulse did other things he did not understand it all

 the doctor was trembling his voice shook as he spoke they leave these things in the
kids for three years what do they expect we could have switched him off do you
realize that we could have unplugged his brain for all time

 when does the drug wear off asked the nurse

 keep him here for at least an hour watch him if he doesnt start talking in fifteen
minutes call me could have unplugged him forever i dont have the brains of a bugger


 he got back to miss pumphreys class only fifteen minutes before the closing bell he
was still a little unsteady on his feet

 are you all right andrew asked miss pumphrey

 he nodded

 were you ill

 he shook his head

 you dont look well

 im ok

 youd better sit down andrew

 he started toward his seat but stopped now what was i looking for i cant think what i
was looking for

 your seat is over there said miss pumphrey

 he sat down but it was something else he needed something he had lost ill find it

 your monitor whispered the girl behind him

 andrew shrugged

 his monitor she whispered to the others

 andrew reached up and felt his neck there was a bandaid it was gone he was just like
everybody else now

 washed out andy asked a boy who sat across the aisle and behind him couldnt
think of his name peter no that was someone else

 quiet mr stilson said miss pumphrey stilson smirked

 miss pumphrey talked about multiplication ender doodled on his desk drawing
contour maps of mountainous islands and then telling his desk to display them in three
dimensions from every angle the teacher would know of course that he wasnt paying
attention but she wouldnt bother him he always knew the answer even when she
thought he wasnt paying attention

 in the corner of his desk a word appeared and began marching around the perimeter of
the desk it was upside down and backward at first but ender knew what it said long
before it reached the bottom of the desk and turned right side up


 ender smiled he was the one who had figured out how to send messages and make
them march even as his secret enemy called him names the method of delivery praised
him it was not his fault he was a third it was the governments idea they were the ones
who authorized it how else could a third like ender have got into school and now the
monitor was gone the experiment entitled andrew wiggin hadnt worked out alter all if
they could he was sure they would like to rescind the waivers that had allowed him to be
born at all didnt work so erase the experiment

 the bell rang everyone signed off their desks or hurriedly typed in reminders to
themselves some were dumping lessons or data into their computers at home a few
gathered at the printers while something they wanted to show was printed out ender
spread his hands over the childsize keyboard near the edge of the desk and wondered
what it would feel like to have hands as large as a grownups they must feel so big and
awkward thick stubby fingers and beefy palms of course they had bigger keyboards
but how could their thick fingers draw a fine line the way ender could a thin line so
precise that he could make it spiral seventynine times from the center to the edge of the
desk without the lines ever touching or overlapping it gave him something to do while
the teacher droned on about arithmetic arithmetic valentine had taught him arithmetic
when he was three

 are you all right andrew

 yes maam

 youll miss the bus

 ender nodded and got up the other kids were gone they would be waiting though the
bad ones his monitor wasnt perched on his neck hearing what heard and seeing what he
saw they could say what they liked they might even hit him now no one could see
anymore and so no one would come to enders rescue there were advantages to the
monitor and he would miss them

 it was stilson of course he wasnt bigger than most other kids but he was bigger than
ender and he had some others with him he always did

 hey third

 dont answer nothing to say

 hey third were talkin to you third hey buggerlover were talkin to you

 cant think of anything to answer anything i say will make it worse so will saying

 hey third hey turd you flunked out huh thought you were better than us but you
lost your little birdie thirdie got a bandaid on your neck

 are you going to let me through ender asked

 are we going to let him through should we let him through they all laughed sure
well let you through first well let your arm through then your butt through then maybe
a piece of your knee

 the others chimed in now lost your birdie thirdie lost your birdie thirdie

 stilson began pushing him with one hand someone behind him then pushed him toward

 seesaw marjorie daw somebody said



 this would not have a happy ending so ender decided that hed rather not be the
unhappiest at the end the next time stilsons arm came out to push him ender grabbed
at it he missed

 oh gonna fight me huh gonna fight me thirdie

 the people behind ender grabbed at him to hold him

 ender did not feel like laughing but he laughed you mean it takes this many of you to
fight one third

 were people not thirds turd face youre about as strong as a fart

 but they let go of him and as soon as they did ender kicked out high and hard
catching stilson square in the breastbone he dropped it took ender by surprise he hadnt
thought to put stilson on the ground with one kick it didnt occur to him that stilson
didnt take a fight like this seriously that he wasnt prepared for a truly desperate blow

 for a moment the others backed away and stilson lay motionless they were all
wondering if he was dead ender however was trying to figure out a way to forestall
vengeance to keep them from taking him in a pack tomorrow i have to win this now
and for all time or ill fight it every day and it will get worse and worse ender knew the
unspoken rules of manly warfare even though he was only six it was forbidden to strike
the opponent who lay helpless on the ground only an animal would do that

 so ender walked to stilsons supine body and kicked him again viciously in the ribs
stilson groaned and rolled away from him ender walked around him and kicked him
again in the crotch stilson could not make a sound he only doubled up and tears
streamed out of his eyes

 then ender looked at the others coldly you might be having some idea of ganging up
on me you could probably beat me up pretty bad but just remember what i do to people
who try to hurt me from then on youd be wondering when id get you and how bad it
would be he kicked stilson in the face blood from his nose spattered the ground
nearby it wouldnt be this bad ender said it would be worse

 he turned and walked away nobody followed him he turned a corner into the corridor
leading to the bus stop he could hear the boys behind him saying geez look at him
hes wasted ender leaned his head against the wall of the corridor and cried until the
bus came i am just like peter take my monitor away and i am just like peter 
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