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CHAPTER SUMMARY FOR ENDER'S GAME BY ORSON SCOTT CARD
CHAPTER ELEVEN: Veni, Vidi, Vici
Colonel Graff thinks Ender should have more time to prepare his army before they enter into the battle schedule, as is customary, but Anderson insists that the computer knows what it is doing and it said that Ender could handle it. The two officers also talk about events back on Earth, which have been stirred up by activity on the nets.
Ender has broken his army into groups of five and thus given them the ability to think and work on their own, while remaining a part of the larger operation. His army has worked out so well that he is unsure who deserves the credit, whether the success was mostly due to his own talents at training soldiers or the teachers’ aptitude at seeing hidden potential. Ender is ready for battle, and Dragon Army’s first one is with Rabbit Army.
That morning he has his army go to the gym beforehand to get warmed up. He even takes more time than before at the gate before entering the battleroom to determine each toon’s basic actions, sending each one in a different direction. C toon had most of the damage because of their assault position, but by the end of the battle, only one soldier was completely frozen. Major Anderson comes out to give Ender the teacher hook to do the honors of unfreezing both armies. Carn Carby, the commander of Rabbit Army, loses gracefully, going up to Ender immediately afterwards to congratulate him.
Dragon Army goes to breakfast happily, and Ender even gives them extra time as a celebration. Even as he is happy with the win, Ender still sees ways for his army to improve, especially on their aim, which he has them practice. Then, since he has won his battle, Ender is able to go to the commanders’ mess for the first time for lunch. Although while he is getting his food, the room becomes silent, commotion gradually starts back up. Ender is then able to look around, and sees the scoreboard in this mess has categories for each commander, rather than for each army as a whole.
Dink comes up to him, saying that Ender will not win against him and warning him against getting too confident. However, Ender and Dink both feel the same awkwardness with their friendship as Ender had felt with Alai, now that they are competing against each other, and so the conversation does not last long. Petra even avoids looking at Ender, but Carn Carby again talks to him, saying that the other commanders are not treating Ender well and he hopes Ender beats the next army he faces to make Rabbit Army look better.
The next morning, when Ender gets out of his shower, he realizes they have a battle again. With this, since armies had never before had battles in two consecutive days, Ender realizes that they cannot count on any of the rules, and tells his army they had better get used to it.
This battle is against Petra’s Phoenix Army, which Ender had been a soldier in before becoming commander of Dragon Army. As such, he is familiar with their maneuvers to some degree, but they are also a more flexible army than Rabbit, able to respond to Ender’s tactics quicker and with greater success. Dragon Army still wins but more of them have been frozen than were in the battle with Rabbit Army, more than Ender thinks he will have in any other battle. Petra is not a gracious loser, and is so angry that Ender is in doubt of whether they will be friends again.
After one week, Dragon Army has won all seven battles that they fought. Everyone knows they are good, that Ender’s first win was not a fluke, and so he is once again picked on outside of the battleroom, though it does not bother him. Instead, to pick up new tactics, Ender starts watching old videos of the battles with the buggers. He realizes though that the humans reacted slowly, and so he turns to the buggers’ disciplined way of fighting to learn. Even so, it is a frustrating process, because the videos are incomplete, with many parts edited out, especially when it comes to Mazer Rackham’s victory.
One day while Ender is watching the videos (as are a number of others, trying to figure out what Ender was learning), Major Anderson comes and takes Ender to see Graff. The colonel questions Ender about why he is winning and how is soldiers are holding up, as well as about Ender’s personal activities-why he is looking at the videos, and no longer playing the fantasy game. The meeting ends when Ender questions when they will give his army someone worthy of competition, at which Anderson hands him a note. It is the second battle of the day for Dragon Army (this one against Salamander Army), and it is ten minutes from then.
When Ender tells his army, they complain, but winning is more important to them than their own tiredness. When they arrive late to the battleroom, there are no stars and the room is bright and empty. Ender realizes that Bonzo’s army has surrounded Dragon Army’s entrance gate, out of their sight. To counter that, Ender divides his army into groups with a person serving as a shield, one as a shooter, and two as throwers, to launch the shield and shooter through the gate and then they themselves begin shooting. Though they lose more soldiers than in any other battle, they win quickly, since Salamander Army is all in one spot, against a wall, making them easy targets.
Ender is angry at the teachers for pairing them with an army so bad, and he even has Bean say that Salamander Army should have kept moving around the door. While Ender realizes that in doing so, he has dishonored Bonzo, he does not have time to do anything about it, to prepare for Bonzo’s counterattack.
Shortly before lights out, Bean notices he has a message from Ender for him to come see him. In Ender’s room, they talk about why Bean is a good soldier, until Ender makes him realize that the game is only important as a way for the school to find real commanders for the war against the buggers. Ender then admits that he does not know if he can keep winning, but he knows that he cannot lose. He wants Bean to have a small group of soldiers to try out new tactics, stupid things that no one else would do. Bean understands Ender’s admittance and agrees to do it. The lights go out, so Bean spends the night in Ender’s room.
Titling the chapter “Veni, Vidi, Vici”, Julius Caesar’s infamous phrase translating to “I came, I saw, I conquered”, reinforces the tie between the children and history, As is said in Chapter Seven, those at Battle School do not act like children, but rather like history. Now Ender is being compared to Julius Caesar through his record of military victories.
The speakers, Colonel Graff specifically, are also of note because he was unknowingly exactly correct in his comment that it is because of those people on the nets that Ender is going through the difficult trials of Battle School. Peter and Valentine are at least partly responsible for the events on the nets through their pseudonyms Locke and Demosthenes, and it is indeed because of Valentine that Ender agreed to go to Battle School originally.Table of Contents | Message Board | Downloadable/Printable Version