Chapter 12 Summary
General Pace, a member of the military police, says that some teachers think Colonel Graff is neglecting a “potentially lethal” situation. Pace has heard that Bonzo Madrid and several other boys are conspiring to beat up Ender Wiggin. When Graff says he must stand by and do nothing, Pace is incredulous. Graff insists that Ender must believe that adults will never rescue him from any problem, no matter how large. Reluctantly, Pace agrees to go along with Graff’s plan.
At practice in the battleroom, Ender watches Bean experiment with a strong, thin string. Bean figures out how to use the string to change direction in midair, and all of Dragon Army gets excited. On the way back to his quarters, Ender feels proud about the strength and mutual trust within his army. Dragon Army has now fought and won at least one battle every day for over four weeks.
As he walks, Ender notices many older boys hanging around in the corridors. He realizes they are lying in wait to beat him up. Ender’s friends work hard to protect him, but Ender remains convinced that the teachers will never allow anything truly dangerous to happen.
Some time later, Ender is showering alone in the bathroom when seven large boys come in. Bonzo Madrid is with them. Ender stands his ground and questions Bonzo’s honor in bringing six friends to fight a small, naked boy. Bonzo strips naked himself and orders the others to stand down. Ender knows he is in a desperately bad situation. Bonzo is bigger and stronger and wants Ender dead.
Before the fight begins, Dink Meeker bursts in. He begs Bonzo to let Ender go. “Who else can fight the buggers!” Dink exclaims. This display of loyalty only increases Bonzo’s jealousy.
Bonzo and Ender fight viciously. When Ender bloodies Bonzo’s nose, he does not stop because he does not want to have to fight again. He continues assaulting Bonzo until Bonzo is unconscious.
After the fight, Ender cries himself to sleep. When he awakes, he is shocked to realize he has been assigned another battle, the second formal game of the day—this time against two armies at once. “The bastards know what I’ve been through, and they’re doing this to me,” he thinks.
Furious at the unfairness of the teachers, Ender decides he no longer cares about the game. He makes no conventional attempt to fight the two armies who are assigned to battle against him. Instead, he sends a formation of boys to the...
(The entire section is 656 words.)