Chapter 6 Summary

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Opening Section

An unnamed person complains that Ender is determined to ice out of Battle School in a few months. According to him, Ender’s whole launch group is ruined. They mention that Ender is stuck in a game called the Giant's Drink. The first speaker orders Graff to wait and see what Ender does with the group, although Graff wants to do something else. Graff suggests that the owner of the voice take care of the International Fleet instead of meddling at Battle School. “The fleet is looking for a battle commander,” the first voice says. “There’s nothing to take care of until you get me that.”

Main Narrative

For the first time, the boys from Ender’s launch group put on their uniforms and guns and go into the battleroom. There is no gravity in the battleroom, and the equipment is all unfamiliar. Eager to figure out how everything works, Ender immediately launches himself across the room. He is clumsy with the new equipment, but he learns a few things about controlling his direction, and he purposefully changes the way he thinks about his body’s orientation within the room. With a little difficulty, he manages to get back to his classmates.

Bernard and his best friend, Alai, are the next to try flying. Bernard tenses up, but Alai moves much more naturally. Several other boys let go of the wall and end up stranded, floating in the middle of the room with no way to propel themselves back to the walls. After watching these boys for a moment, Ender notices Alai alone at a wall not far away. Ender immediately joins Alai, and the two of them quickly decide to work together.

Ender and Alai try out a few ideas for moving in null gravity, and they shoot each other’s feet to see what will happen. When they find out they can freeze their suits, they form a plan to shoot all the other boys. Alai wants to ask Bernard to join them, and Ender agrees as long as Alai lets him invite Shen.

By the time Dap enters the battleroom, Ender and his three allies have frozen all the other boys. As Dap unfreezes the losers, they complain that Bernard and Alai attacked them without warning. Dap simply says the losers should have been ready.

Ender does not mind that everyone else in the group thinks Bernard and Alai led the attack. He knows that the balance of power in his group has shifted. Bernard is no longer in control, and the group is now united rather than divided. The boys have chosen Alai to be their leader.

During private study time, Ender plays on his computer. He is drawn to a game with a section called the Giant’s Drink, which he hates because it is impossible to win. In the game, a giant offers Ender two drinks, claiming one is poisoned and the other will take him into Fairlyland. However, Ender has tried the game so often that he knows it is rigged; every glass is poisoned. Every time he makes his onscreen character choose a glass, he dies gruesomely.

After playing and losing several times, Ender grows frustrated. He kicks over both of the drinks the Giant offers, then runs up the Giant’s nose and burrows into his eye. As the Giant screams, Ender pushes through and finds himself in Fairyland.

Ender takes no pleasure in winning his way to Fairyland this way. He logs off his computer feeling sick. He tells himself that he is a cruel and brutal person like Peter.

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