Oct. 10th, 2010

badninja: (shoot em duke em)
quotes collection, will be updated frequently. needed a static post for it.

As a game, it was fun. But Valentine didn't like some of the positions Peter made Demosthenes take. Demosthenes began to develop as a fairly paranoid anti-Warsaw writer. It bothered her because Peter was the one who knew how to exploit fear in his writing -- she had to keep coming to him for ideas on how to do it. Meanwhile, his Locke followed her moderate, empathic strategies. It made sense,
in a way. By having her write Demosthenes, it meant he also had some empathy, just as Locke also could play on others fears. But the main effect was to keep her inextricably tied to Peter. She couldn't go off and use Demosthenes for her own purposes. She wouldn't know how to use him. Still, it worked both ways. He couldn't write Locke without her. Or could he?


"I've been deciding," said Peter, "whether to kill you or what."
Valentine leaned against the trunk of the pine tree, her little fire a few smoldering ashes. "I love you, too, Peter."
"It would be so easy. You always make these stupid little fires. It's just a matter of knocking you out and burning you up. You're such a firebug."
"I've been thinking of castrating you in your sleep."
"No you haven't. You only think of things like that when I'm with you. I bring out the best in you."


"Peter, why do I get the idea that you are thinking of this as a golden opportunity for Peter Wiggin?"
"For both of us, Val."
"Peter, you're twelve years old. I'm ten. They have a word for people our age. They call us children and they treat us like mice."
"But we don't think like other children, do we, Val? We don't talk like other children. And above all, we don't write like other children."

"You're just what the world needs. A twelve-year-old to solve all our problems."

"It's not my fault I'm twelve right now. And it's not my fault that right now is when the opportunity is open. Right now is the time when I can shape events. The world is always a democracy in times of flux, and the man with the best voice will win. Everybody thinks Hitler got to power because of his armies, because they were willing to kill, and that's partly true, because in the real world power is always built on the threat of death and dishonor. But mostly he got to power on words-- on the right words at the right time."

"I was just thinking of comparing you to him."

"I don't hate Jews, Val. I don't want to destroy anybody. And I don't want war, either. I want the world to hold together. Is that so bad? I don't want us to go back to the old way. Have you read about the world wars?"

"Yes."

"We can go back to that again. Or worse. We could find ourselves locked into the Warsaw Pact. Now, there's a cheerful thought."

"Peter, we're children, don't you understand that? We're going to school, we're growing up--" But even as she resisted, she wanted him to persuade her. She had wanted him to persuade her from the beginning.

But Peter didn't know that he had already won. "If I believe that, if I accept that, then I've got to sit back and watch while all the opportunities vanish, and then when I'm old enough it's too late. Val, listen to me. I know how you feel about me, you always have. I was a vicious, nasty brother. I was cruel to you and crueler to Ender before they took him. But I didn't hate you. I loved you both, I just had to be-- had to have control, do you understand that? lt's the most important thing to me, it's my greatest gift, I can see where the weak points are, I can see how to get in and use them, I just see those things without even trying. I could become a businessman and run some big corporation, I'd scramble and maneuver until I was at the top of everything and what would I have? Nothing. I'm going to rule, Val, I'm going to have control of something. But I want it to be something worth ruling. I want to accomplish something worthwhile. A Pax Americana through the whole world. So that when somebody else comes, after we beat the buggers, when somebody else comes here to defeat us, they'll find we've already spread over a thousand worlds, we're at peace with ourselves and impossible to destroy. Do you understand? I want to save mankind from self-destruction."

She had never seen him speak with such sincerity. With no hint of mockery, no trace of a lie in his voice. He was getting better at this. Or maybe he was actually touching on the truth. "So a twelve-year-old boy and his kid sister are going to save the world?"

"How old was Alexander? I'm not going to do it overnight. I'm just going to start now. If you'll help me."

"I don't believe what you did to those squirrels was part of an act. I think you did it because you love to do it."

Suddenly Peter wept into his hands. Val assumed that he was pretending, but then she wondered. It was possible, wasn't it, that he loved her, and that in this time of terrifying opportunity he was willing to weaken himself before her in order to win her love. He's manipulating me, she thought, but that doesn't mean he isn't sincere. His cheeks were wet when he took his hands away, his eyes rimmed in red. "I know," he said. "It's what I'm most afraid of. That I really am a monster. I don't want to be a killer but I just can't help it."

She had never seen him show such weakness. You're so clever, Peter. You saved your weakness so you could use it to move me now. And yet it did move her. Because if it were true, even partly true. then Peter was not a monster, and so she could satisfy her Peter-like love of power without fear of becoming monstrous herself. She knew that Peter was calculating even now, but she believed that under the calculations he was telling the truth. It had been hidden layers deep, but he had probed her until he found her trust.

"Val, if you don't help me, l don't know what I'll become. But if you're there, my partner in everything, you can keep me from becoming -- like that. Like the bad ones."

She nodded. You are only pretending to share power with me, she thought, but in fact i have power over you. even though you don't know it. "I will. I'll help you."


They did their homework. Mother and Father worried sometimes, with Peter and Valentine constantly together, their desks tucked under their arms. But they couldn't complain-- their grades were good, and Valentine was such a good influence on Peter. She had changed his whole attitude toward everything. And Peter and Valentine sat together in the woods, in good weather, and in pocket restaurants and indoor parks when it rained, and they composed their political commentaries.


As soon as Father got them both onto his citizen's access, they began testing he waters. They staved away from the nets that required use of a real name. That wasn't hard because real names only had to do with money. They didn't need money. They needed respect, and that they could earn. With false names, on the right nets, they could be anybody. Old men, middle-aged women, anybody, as long as they were careful about the way they wrote. All that anyone would see were their words, their ideas. Every citizen started equal, on the nets.

They used throwaway names with their early efforts. not the identities that Peter planned to make famous and influential. Of course they were not invited to take part in the great national and international political forums -- they could only be audiences there until they were invited or elected to take part. But they signed on and watched, reading some of the essays published by the great names, witnessing the debates that played across their desks.

And in the lesser conferences, where common people commented about the great debates, they began to insert their comments. At first Peter insisted that they be deliberately inflammatory. "We can't learn how our style of writing is working unless we get responses -- and if we're bland, no one will answer."

They were not bland, and people answered. The responses that got posted on the public nets were vinegar; the responses that were sent as mail, for Peter and Valentine to read privately, were poisonous. But they did learn what attributes of their writing were seized upon as childish and immature. And they got better.

When Peter was satisfied that they knew how to sound adult, he killed the old identities and they began to prepare to attract real attention.


The only person Ender loves and trusts at all. She felt a deep stab of pain, of regret, of shame that now it was Peter she was close to. Peter who was the center of her life. For you, Ender, I light fires en your birthday. For Peter I help fulfil all his dreams. "I never thought you were a nice man. Not when you came to take Ender away, and not now."

"Don't pretend to be an ignorant little girl. I saw your tests when you were little, and at the present moment there aren't very many college professors who could keep up with you."
badninja: (noods: to the moment it began)
Speaking of Peter, he and I are in conversation; perhaps you knew. We're not messaging, we're using ansible bandwidth for conversation. It's bittersweet to see him at nearly sixty years of age. Hair turning steely grey, face lined, carrying a little weight (but still fit), and the lines of responsibility etched on his face. He's not the boy I knew and hated. But the existence of this man does not erase that boy from my memory. They are simply two separate people in my mind, who happen to have the same name.

I find myself admiring the man; even loving him. He has faced choices every bit as terrible as mine ever were—and he dealt with them with his eyes open. He knew before he made his decisions that people would die from them. And yet he has more compassion than he—or I, or Valentine for that matter—ever expected of him.

He tells me that in his childhood, after I was in Battle School, he decided that the only way to succeed in his work was to deceive people into thinking he was as lovable as me. (I thought he was joking, but he was not; I don't believe my reputation in Battle School was "lovable" but Peter was dealing with the way I was remembered at home.) So from then on, he looked at all his choices and said, What would a good person do, and then did it. But he has now learned something very important about human nature. If you spend your whole life pretending to be good, then you are indistinguishable from a good person. Relentless hypocrisy eventually becomes the truth. Peter has made himself into a good man, even if he set out on that road for reasons that were far from pure.

This gives me great hope for myself. All I have to do now is find some work to do that will lay to rest the burden that I carry. Governing a colony has been interesting and valuable work, but it does not do for me what I hoped it would. I still wake up with dead formics and dead soldiers and dead children in my head. I still wake up with memories that tell me that I am what Peter used to be. When those go away, I can be myself again.


OSC is trying to kill me through Ender

:|

(I am so excited about this part of the new stories, okay. The most important part of Game to me that took no more than a page. Soo much expansion)!

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