From: Hot Soup

To: Petra Delphiki

Subject: Jeesh

Isn't ansible connection just wonderful these days? I'm light-years away and can still send you emails.

Petra, you're the only one in Ender's Jeesh to have stayed on Earth. You're the only one who was able to suppress your need, your innate hunger for power and command. No, you're not like Bean no matter how much you loved him. He was the only one. All the other Battle School kids, we were chosen because we had ambition. A frightening hunger for unparalleled success.

Graff must have been completely convinced that Ender was the one. Either that or he was an idiot. He put all of us together, forced us to become friends when he knew that after Ender succeeded, we would all return to Earth and be pitted against each other by our nations.

But, I can't call Graff an idiot. He knew and offered us a chance to leave; we just took it far too late. Your husband Petra, he did a phenomenal job of uniting the world under the Hegemony. Alai and his Islam nation couldn't do it, Virlomi and India couldn't, and I'll admit, I couldn't do it with China. Only Peter could succeed. He was already Locke, an international political figure, at the age of 15. He had no loyalties to one nation; the world as a whole was his home. You perhaps knew Peter the best, besides maybe Valentine, but that's arguable. From Ender, we all knew of Peter's cruelty. But that was seen through the eyes of a child. No matter how brilliant he was, how brilliant we all were, we were still children. Well, except for Bean. Bean's the exception to a lot of things. Besides him, Ender was the youngest of us and whatever we needed he needed more. But you know all this. You are also the only one to really know Peter, both his cruelty and his love. Your children and grandchildren too. And it surprises me when I say that because you were younger than me. Technically, you still are. But, as I sit here on Path writing this, I am still only 23 and you are well into your 70s. Bean and Ender, they're probably still 16. Bean travelling into the endless universe and Ender moving and stopping and moving again.

But time and age are different. None of us have the years of wisdom that you've gained. We are still children in your eyes. You will be the first of us to die. And Bean the last. I know that Ender will settle down eventually. He needs to. But you and Bean. How did you two end up together? That lucky little bastard. He got the only girl in Ender's Jeesh. You two were special though; the one with no ambition and the one who could suppress it. I know, and you know, that if you didn't have Bean, you would have led Armenia to confront Islam, India and China. The Armenian people loved you they still do.

I like to think the offer still stands for you. To travel out into space and settle your own world, or join the new Armenian colony. I can't help but wonder what events would have ensued if you had taken power. But there's no point in 'what if's.

Petra, you may have been the best of us. You lived life as you were supposed to, no more no less. You lived a normal life, as much as you could. And I send my condolences for both your losses. The one that is dead and the one that is as good as dead. Though, I trust you do correspond occasionally. I'm guessing not too often considering he asked me to tell you that he made a stop at Virlomi's to pick up Randall. Relatively, he's only a year younger than his father and almost just as tall.

I'm sure you've heard from Ender. And Alai still has his loyal followers. Virlomi is governing her world. Suriyawong is leading the Thai colony. Vlad's making Russia and Dumper, Crazy Tom, Carn Carby, Dink, Shen, and Fly Molo, they're all governors. They didn't seem to know much about you now. I guess I'm the only one who's still keeping in touch with everyone. But Petra, we all still love you and we will all mourn your death. It's just a pity that no one will ever mourn Bean's. Right now however, it is not you who has died, but your husband. Petra, will you take over the Hegemony and maintain peace? I don't doubt you can do it. Or will you hand over Earth to Starways Congress as well? It's the only planet they don't have control of now. My advice, if you would take the advice of a defeated tiger, is to give Earth to Congress, live the rest of your life and die happy and fairly normal. Normal as far as the Jeesh goes.

My love and my sincerities,

Hot Soup

P.S. The Hive Queen and The Hegemon is quite a little duet, don't you think?

From: Petra Wiggin

To: Hot Soup

Subject: Re: Jeesh

I do write to Bean, Hot Soup, he just never writes back. It's his way of smiling ad saying "I love you Petra, but you should really learn to let go." I've also been corresponding with Ender ever since the Randall incident. And recently, I've even been talking with Randall. He keeps me up to speed (haha) with Bean.

Thank you Hot Soup, really, for your advice but I've already made my decision and handed over Earth to Starways Congress.

I do agree with some of what you've said but I cannot say that I was the best of us. We were and still are all the same. Except for Ender and Bean. They really were the best and look where that got them. No, the rest of us were the same. I wasn't better just different because I found something other than my intelligence to live for. You and Virlomi and Alai were just bored. You had nothing else you could do. All you've ever known was war and strategy and you were used to being on top. I know that if a woman ever presented herself to you that you might marry her, you wouldn't have led your conquests and your armies. I'm not talking about Virlomi. That would have been a political marriage. Alai and Virlomi didn't end up together in the end anyways. All of your toils, they added up to nothing. None of you are on earth anymore. You have no say in what goes one here.

It's different than you remember. It truly is peaceful, no war. That was the ideal for settling the Bugger planets. With only one race and one religion, there would be no war there either. Imagine, we couldn't live on a tiny planet and maintain peace, but as we expand throughout the universe we are able to. What strange creatures humans are.

Yes, I am going to die soon, but I would take the advice of a defeated tiger any day. After all, I am defeated as well though I was never a tiger to begin with. I was never really anything. When I'm gone, no one will remember the girl that taught Ender Wiggin to shoot a gun, no one will remember the only girl in Ender's Jeesh. The textbooks will write my name next to yours and Bean's and everyone else's, but it will be one of those names that history skips. The rest of the Jeesh will be known forever on their worlds as the one who started it all. Ender will never be forgotten, whether for good or bad I cannot say. Bean as well, no one will remember Bean and no one will remember me. And I'm ok with that. That's funny isn't it? The two of us. Married and yet not married, the brilliant children that gave it all up, no one will remember Arkanian and Delphiki.

I have no fear of death. I've lived my life and my children can fend for themselves. That is after the cycle life is it not? Animals, as humans are, battle for survival through reproduction. I think I've done a good job. I know that one day I'll see Bean again, whether in Heaven or Hell is for God to decide.

You're condolences are gratefully accepted but not needed. I didn't cry.


Petra Arkanian Delphiki Wiggin

P.S. Beautiful