Ender's Game

Eight years after they reach their colony world, Ender gets a big surprise. What is it?

Chapter 15

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Ender finds a "white ball of silk with a few frayed strands sticking out here and there ... the pupa of a queen bugger, already fertilized by the larval males, ready, out of her own body, to hatch a hundred thousand buggers." Ender can see a clear vision of the buggers' hatching of this queen, her fertilization, and the blessing by the queen mother, to "become herself, to become a new city, a new world, to give birth to many queens and many worlds." He does not understand how he can perceive these bugger memories. He then sees his first battle with the buggers from the bugger queen's point of view, and he feels her sadness, her sense of resignation, as she watches her ships be destroyed. "'The humans did not forgive us,' she thought. 'We will surely die.'"

Ender asks the larval queen how the buggers could live again, and in response she sends him images of him putting the cocoon in a cool, dark place, with water, then later opening the cocoon and helping the small queen come out. Ender tells the queen that he cannot do so, because "your children are the monsters of our nightmares now. If I awoke you, we would only kill you again." Then, the queen sends an image of buggers killing humans and the grief that she feels over it, and this feeling is so powerful that Ender weeps. Ender tells her that if she could only make everyone else feel that way, then they could forgive the buggers, but he then realizes that they can only affect him that way. The queen thinks to him, "We are like you ... We did not mean to murder, and when we understood, we never came again. We could live with you in peace. Believe us."

Ender decides to take the cocoon and "go from world to world" until he finds a time and place for her to awake in safety.