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silent, flameless. When a ship is hit,
sprays in all directions, but that's all.
together jerry-built fleet that was assembled
the surface of the Earth. When it was
in structure, but covered in fur to retain
"Woolly Ants" or "Ants" or "Woollies" or any
They all mean the same thing: The ones who
want to kill us; the ones we have to kill.
EXT FLAGSHIP SPACE
INT ADMIRAL'S BRIDGE
The busy headquarters of a computer-age war.
belts like drive-up-window workers at
The center of the room is the Simulator, a
three-dimensional representation of all the
ships that the computer is tracking. Earth
represented in white dots and streaks.
Admiral SAKATA (50), a Japanese-American,
including Commodore O'CASEY (35), stands
watching as the battle progresses.
EXT "NZF WAITANGI" SPACE
still, taking no part in the battle. Then a
small port in the "Waitangi" opens and a
single missile fires.
INT ADMIRAL'S BRIDGE
Who fired that missile!
responds in only a second.
The Waitangi, sir. Captain Mazer
I had Rackham in training. He told
not the words, but the purpose of
My purpose was to keep my reserves
concealed, and he just revealed
His exec reports that as soon as he
fired that missile, Rackham placed
himself under arrest.
We're in combat. There'll be no
trial. He is to be executed as
soon as he can be transferred to
twenty, differently targeted.
No! He used a multi-warhead! Why
didn't he just put up a neon sign?
goes for a while, then suddenly changes
insignificant-looking Formic ship.
warhead goes up the rocket nozzle.
moment it's there, the next it's just
INT ADMIRAL'S BRIDGE
is happening. He holds up one hand to
silence the buzz of conversation, and points
at the display with the other.
They've stopped firing.
They're not retreating, either.
Cease firing! Everybody!
Formic ship. If it's a trap, be
prepared to blow the thing up.
Formic ship like butter. When it's
completely severed from the hull, the disc
magnet on the drill. The marines dive
that they see, but none of them fire back. A
INT ADMIRAL'S BRIDGE
Dr. IMANUJAM, in civilian clothes, is
reporting to Admiral Sakata, O'Casey, and
they did not respond in any way.
They all died within hours.
What was it, chicken pox?
Our best guess is that the entire
hive was controlled by the will of
a queen. When she was killed, the
whole hive died.
Dr. Imanujam, do you know when the
hive queen was killed?
then turns to an assistant, also in civilian
Play it back for them.
Looks like we've identified the
hero of our great victory, sir.
Unless he's already been shot.
I don't care who plays the hero.
We have to know how he figured out
which ship was the hive queen.
They want to know if Rackham is
still under arrest, sir.
Bring him here immediately.
Sakata strides away from the group. O'Casey
So. What do you want to bet Mazer
Rackham is in command when the
thirty-five lightyears away. The
"Fifty years later."
ESTABLISHING SHOT: FUTURE GREENSBORO, DAY
surface of Earth. We drop down, see a city
transparent domes. We zoom close to a glass
uniforms, with no insignia of rank. On the
the ten most talented children
we've ever seen.
So why did you reject them for
Valentine is too compassionate for
command. We don't believe she
could ever send men to die.
MR. WIGGIN (dryly)
Why do I suspect that isn't Peter's
It isn't bad that Peter's
aggressive. But he's also impatient
and ruthlessly ambitious. He would
endanger the lives of his men.
He's too naughty, she's too nice.
our family in peace?
We want to give you a waiver to
have a third child.
If you sign in advance that we get
But what if he turns out as ...
unsuitable as the other two?
Child Valentine, just as Peter pushes
Valentine and knocks her down. She doesn't
fight, she just sits up and turns her back on
foot, then settles down to play with the toys
she had been playing with.
let you have.
"10 years later"
ESTABLISHING SHOT: FUTURE GREENSBORO, DAY
INT CLASSROOM DAY
ENDER WIGGIN (9) sits at a desk in a
CLOSE on the back of Ender's neck. A tiny
red-blinking machine, the monitor, sits under
the hairline, just to the right of the spine.
"Hey, Third. Let me copy."
retrieves the note, looks at it.
Mr. Stilson ...
She hands a hall pass to Ender.
To the school doctor. Apparently,
Mr. Wiggin, you're having a medical
Ender gets up, leaves.
EXT BREEZEWAY DAY
All the classrooms open into a garden-like
Battle School, are heard in voiceover.
What are you doing?
Ender Wiggin is ready.
Andrew, I suppose by now you're
horrid monitor. Well, I have good
news. It's coming out today.
MONITOR LADY (cont.)
It won't hurt a bit.
Climb up and lie on your tummy.
For a few days, you'll have a
feeling of something missing. But
as Ender's head, and flips it on. It whirrs
Suddenly Ender's back arches, his mouth agape
in agony. Convulsions.
Get me the muscle relaxant!
In moments, Ender goes still. The doctor
affixes a bandaid to the back of his neck as
There now, Andrew. Are we all
of his neck.
Does this mean I failed?
INT CLASSROOM DAY
taking a test at their desks. Stilson
notices the bandaid, the lack of a monitor.
Third-boy strikes out.
Ender doesn't turn around. But everyone else
EXT BREEZEWAY DAY
School's out. Kids pour out of the door,
Ender among them.
He'll be younger than the other
students. He'll have a hard time
In a row of smallish but well-kept-up houses,
ladder up to a treehouse. Ender, carrying a
ANDERSON (V.O., cont.)
Have you ever tried it with Ender
Battle School has been functioning
for more than forty years. You've
been in command less than a month.
No, but there's a learning curve.
peels the bandaid off his neck. He walks
along the side of the house to the door and
Do you know what orders I received
when I was made commander?
Then you don't know everything yet.
PETER (15) drops from the treehouse, goes to
the bandaid, picks it up, grins. Then he
VALENTINE (13) is making cookies. Ender
comes in and dips a finger into the batter.
Valentine slaps at his hand, but he gets a
taste into his mouth. Then he grimaces.
Yeah, well, if you'd asked I would
have told you it's nothing but
sugar and shortening and eggs.
Ender dips again, methodically, and this time
makes a show of savoring the dough.
I'm going to puke.
It's a boy thing.
sees the back of his neck. Touches the spot.
Oh, yeah. They bounced me today.
She hugs him, delighted.
Oh, Ender! Mom and Dad have been
so worried, they were afraid they
were going to lose you!
So it's a good thing I failed?
Let some other kid go up into space
and play army!
mask. He smiles benignly.
Now we can play together all the
his dread of what's coming.
Let's play astronauts and formics!
astronaut, you have to be the
Leave him alone.
PETER (mock friendly)
Valentine, you silly goof, you
Just for that, Peter, no cookies
They're all for widdo Endo, so him
doesn't feel so baddums about
getting bounced from the pwogwam.
over his face.
Look! He's so scary! The monster!
I don't want to play.
You play whenever I say. You got no
angels watching over you now.
The whole time he wore that thing
a chance. Now he's out, a loser,
just like me. Just like you.
And they said you were the nice
If he's not better than us, he's
got no reason to exist.
drags him toward the stairs.
the mask off.
Put it on.
Just how stupid are you?
Put it on.
struggles to get free.
I'm calling Mom.
Tell her that Ender's being a
disobedient little brat.
knee into his belly. Ender gasps, struggles
like a bug on a pin.
I'll call Father!
He's never in.
I could kill you like this.
You're not a murderer.
No, I'm an exterminator. The law
is two children per family. We
never needed him.
This isn't funny.
You can't stop me from killing him.
You'd never get away with it.
floor. He smacks Peter's head with it.
Peter shrugs off the blow.
I'll tell them I didn't mean to do
it. I'll cry.
on Ender's stomach, he sobs, absolutely
I didn't know it would hurt him.
He was laughing. It was part of
Ender. I ... loved him so much.
You wouldn't fight even to save
your baby brother's life.
He lets go of Ender's shoulders and catches
You are both so stupid!
Don't make threats, Peter. It
Valentine catches the end of the bat,
Do it, Ender! Beat me till my
brains splash out!
Ender tugs at the bat.
It's him or me!
He's your brother, Ender.
A voice from downstairs.
MRS. WIGGIN (O.S.)
We're home! Is Ender here?
Valentine rushes to the door.
We're upstairs! In the boys' room!
Footsteps on the stairs. Peter speaks
I'm going to kill him one day,
Valentine. When you've forgotten
all about this. There'll be an
accident and we'll all cry, me
loudest of all, and then at the
grave you'll remember today, and
you'll wonder for a minute, and
then you'll say, No, not Peter!
He's not a murderer.
If you hurt him, I'll kill you.
Bullies like him are all cowards.
Both are expressionless. Master chess
players, assessing each other.
Wiggin goes straight to Ender, kneels, scoops
him into a vast embrace. Mr. Wiggin lifts
the hair on the back of Ender's neck, looks
at the tiny mark.
We're so happy it's over.
Now we'll always be together!
Family hug! Family hug!
I'll get it.
He pulls out of the hug and runs from the
Ender gets to the door as the bell rings
recruiting poster with a Mona Lisa smile.
Mr. and Mrs. Wiggin sit on the sofa with
We thought it was all over.
Only the waiting is over.
Mr. and Mrs. Wiggin, will you
excuse us, please?
them to go. They rise and comfort each other
out the door.
Why did you let me think I failed?
Graff ignores his question.
your brother's head with that bat?
What answer will get me out of
Where is he now?
Dead, I guess.
So who'll stop them next time?
I hope we have the greatest
ever known, to outthink them,
outfight them, destroy them before
I'm just a kid.
What's inside you, Ender? What can
you become? What if you're the
Ender studies Graff's face.
Do you say this to all the kids you
No. I tell them not to come.
Because there's no turning back.
We take your childhood. You might
never see your family again.
But if you come to Battle School,
maybe you'll have something to do
with keeping them alive.
I guess it's what I was born for.
On your feet ... soldier.
a limo at the curb, watching.
After growing up in that family,
worn like a hearing aid.
Therapy is your job.
reaches out, at first like a child, to hold
on; then like an adult, to shake hands.
Graff clasps Ender's hand when Valentine
down the walk.
I love you forever, Ender!
treehouse and runs to the car window.
away. Peter is left behind.
ESTABLISHING SHOT: SPACEPORT, NIGHT
and spits out a hoverbus.
EXT SHUTTLE NIGHT
the horizontal-takeoff shuttle sits like a
clearly the smallest of the children. Soon
after him come SEBASTIAN (French, 11) and
ALAI (Senegalese-French, 11). (Though some
Just like on television.
No, he's our instructor.
You're coming with us?
I have to or I'll lose my job.
What is your job?
Commander of the Battle School.
Think of me as the principal, with
Sebastian and Alai end up in the next row
Look! Our instructor!
He raps Ender on the head with his knuckle.
Ender winces, tries to duck away but the
harness won't let him.
Did you hear that? Empty!
He raps Ender again.
I know! A septic tank!
He raps again. The laughter is more open.
But Alai reaches out a hand as if to restrain
Sebastian. The joke has gone on long enough.
Sebastian shrugs him off.
I'm only trying to get knowledge
out of the head of our instructor!
I thought you were told to enter
the shuttle, take the seat you were
given, and strap in. Why is it
that only Ender Wiggin, the
youngest of all, knows how to obey
I didn't think it was an order.
What did you think it was?
An ... instruction.
If you're really that dumb I wonder
how you find your butt to wipe it.
Sebastian's face reddens, but he doesn't look
You're in the I.F., now, children.
The International Fleet. All
instructions are orders. All
suggestions are orders. All hints
a superior are orders!
How do we know who's our superior?
uniform is superior to you.
Even if they
superior vilifies you is "Yes sir."
you can add, "Thank you, sir."
Yes sir. Thank you, sir.
You can dish it out, can't you,
Sebastian? But you can't take it.
I thank you, sir.
Little Ender Wiggin, he can take it
without complaint. Guess who looks
more like a soldier to me.
Thank you, sir.
starts to move.
EXT SHUTTLE NIGHT
the end of the runway. The engines are
INT SHUTTLE NIGHT
EXT SHUTTLE CHANGEOVER
Earth's shadow, and suddenly it is in bright
INT SHUTTLE SPACE
Graff walks down the aisle. Some of the kids
are nauseated by weightlessness. One starts
tries to smack Ender's head again. The
grips the back of Ender's seat, and raps the
top of his head but hard this time, all his
in real pain.
I still say it's empty.
it into Ender's face.
and down. Propelled by Ender's pull and his
upward, ass-over-teakettle, and yells in pain
out of the air.
You unfastened your harness,
Furthermore, you attacked an enemy
possibility that he might defend
himself. Do you know what we call
commanders who do that?
We call them heroes. On the
monuments over their graves.
to a science class.
Don't you get it yet? Everybody on
on Earth, out of three hundred
million kids your age. And who do
Could it be the one who's entering
age group? Could it be the one
degrees of loathing, resentment, jealousy, or
lonely and afraid.
Earth is moon-sized in the distance. When
it is drawn inside.
INT CORRIDOR "DAY"
kids file in.
lined with triple bunks. Each bunk has a
locker.A lot of the kids goof around or
quarrel over who gets bottom. Everyone
near the door.
"desq" a flat computer with a holographic
display on its top surface. When Ender
"EnderWiggin is this
correct? Y or N"
computer echoes his name.
This is Lieutenant Dap. As long as
you're in launchie barracks, Dap is
Forms of Ender's own name.
Other people's names.
GRAFF (V.O., cont.)
Dap is also your father, your
trainer, your nursemaid, and your
worst nightmare. Obey him the way
you'd obey God, or you're iced.
with terrifying blankness. They fall silent.
The bunk you are on right now is
yours. If you're not on a bunk,
the closest one is yours. No
trading, no arguing, that's it.
Sebastian tries to drag Shen off the bottom
bunk. Alai is on the bunk above.
You knew that was my bunk.
Dap is on them instantly.
Top bunk, Sebastian.
of the room.
I'll go back there with you.
I said no trading!
toward the door.
Sign on to your desqs. Explore the
system. You've got an hour.
Ender looks down at his computer.
A one-inch-high, 3-D fullcolor holographic
sound," so only Ender can hear him.
When you play the fantasy game,
I'll be you and you'll be me. If
you don't want to be a sailor boy,
press the arrow keys.
Ender cycles through: A knight. A dog. A
bear. Not a teddy bear, not a slavering
Sebastian sits on the very last bunk in the
What do you want, thief?
Just that I'm sorry. I knew it was
your bunk, I only sat there to tie
Go take your butt somewhere else.
Shen walks away.
Look! Shen wiggles his butt like a
girl when he walks!
Utterly mortified, Shen hurries down the
Everybody is looking at his butt.
CLOSE ON ENDER:
Ender sees what's happening, then starts
typing on his desq.
CLOSE ON SHEN:
Shen reaches his bunk, sits on it, then
slides in, keeping his butt out of view.
Every kid who's using his desq gets a text
message at the same time. They start
Sebastian pulls his desq onto his lap.
What are they laughing at?
Message from: God
Cover your butt.
Sebastian is watching.
Sebastian leaps to his feet, livid.
Coward! Sign your real name!
Sebastian and Alai both look at the new
"Message from: Sebastian
North, south, east, west,
I like butts best.
in both places]
I did not write that! I can't even
type with my arm like this!
It's your name, Sebastian.
Get away from my bunk, Alai.
It's a joke, man. Just grin.
Some friend you are.
Sebastian walks away from him, down the
aisle, looking at each kid he passes, daring
them to meet his gaze. Most look away, like
The most brilliant kid on Earth.
arrives in time to catch his arm.
Sebastian lets Alai drag him back to his own
bunk. Shen comes to Ender's bunk, sits
If it was you, thanks. He's such
hick, dolt [Japanese 'potato']
uniform he's not wearing at the moment
including his shirt. He is watching his
Choose right, and you won't die.
milk in a glass, drinks it. At once he turns
Graff shakes his head. Ender-Bear arrives
laughs. A BUZZER sounds.
the door. He puts a finger on an unmarked
spot on the table and the door opens.
ANDERSON, 30, a woman in a major's uniform,
What have I done now?
She glances down at Graff's desq. Ender-Bear
balloon, and pops.
Ender went straight to the giant's
drink, didn't he?
to gravel in his fist.
It took him maybe five minutes.
Has he done anything else?
How many ways can one bear die?
It's a sign of despair.
tendencies. The giant's drink is a
marker for attempted suicide.
you're creating for Ender? Or are
flies to see what they do?
Ender-Bear has turned into a fly and is
swatted by a giant flyswatter.
gloves on hands.
The dao* or lightgun does not look like an
assault weapon. It slides onto the back of
the hand, with a cord running into the
control unit that nests in the fingers. We
closing over the controls, and test shots
bright light of the barracks.