Sorry for the incredibly long hiatus, but I'm back! hopefully...
Can you believe it? This is my first update in over half a year. Yes, that's a long time for those of you who didn't know.
So, chapter 4! Enjoy.
From: Peter Wiggin
To: Vlad Impaled
Re: my brother's friends
It was not long ago I requested a friendly chat between us, on neutral territory, on my brother's behalf. Since your acceptance, Ender has returned to Earth as I'm sure you are aware. In response to this event, I would like to propose a change of terms to our meeting. It may be in your better interest to convene in FPE territory seeing as your allegiance has already been called into question by the Russian Federation and that I would like to include Ender in our conversation.
As for how, be aware that the FPE is capable of removing you, although illegally, from your current state of residential imprisonment.
Vlad stared through the opening in the back of the vehicle. The bumps and dips in the road were started to give him a headache, not the kind of thing he had envisioned upon his exodus from Russia. An eleven hour plane ride followed by two more in this god forsaken caravan and he still had no idea where Peter had towed him.
In the distance, snow capped summits lined the horizon and the dusty air of evening was settling atop the mountains. Closer, fields of dried grass blurred past as the caravan stumbled on its way. Vlad reclined in his seat and pondered his current location. Of the mountainous regions he could think of, only the Andes and the Americans were under FPE control. China, home to the majority of the Himalayas had far too much control over the smaller neighboring countries to allow any of them the thought of joining the FPE. Most of Europe, not yet willing to acknowledge the decline of their previous power, remained too proud to succumb to FPE control. With Ender in tow, the States seemed like a strong possibility, but Peter wouldn't risk a trip there. Anything action that even hinted at a preference for his native country meant conspiracy for the FPE. That left the Andes. Dumper had been the first of the Jeesh, after Bean and Petra of course, to support Peter. The Quechua were perhaps the most isolated of all the FPE's people, but to hold their meeting there would surely mean the addition of Dumper. Vlad didn't like the idea of getting too many people involved, but if that was the price of security, he would take it.
Vlad stepped down through the back of the caravan to greet the Hegemon. He smirked at the bright red shawl Peter had wrapped around his shoulders.
"My attempt to relate to the people," Peter informed him.
"It suits you."
"May I call you Vlad?"
"Only if I may call you Peter."
"Well Vlad, allow me to introduce you to the Quechua," Peter said as he lead him to a meadow of temporary tents and chains of grazing llamas.
Dumper greeted them as they reached the outskirts of the community, "It's good to see you again Vlad."
"And you, Dumper."
The man smiled, wrinkling the lines of paint on his face, "I don't mind the endearing nickname, but I would appreciate Champi T'it'u in the presence of my people. Please come, Ender is waiting for you."
"He should be waiting somewhere off to the east, a little beyond our grounds tonight. Here," Dumper handed him a red cloth similar to the one Peter sported. "It gets chilly in the nighttime." Vlad thanked him and slipped it on. As he did so, he saw Dumper retreat back to the central fire of the camp.
"He won't be accompanying us?" he inquired of Peter.
"Unlike most Battle Schoolers, he has silenced his militaristic ambitions in order to pursue the greater good of his people. He'll offer his insight if and when he sees fit."
As they approached, Ender was sitting at the foot of a hill, staring at the two of them. "How have you been Vlad? Russia treating you well?"
"If not for the idiocy of command, I think it would have been a suitable place to live out the rest of my years."
"You say that as if you have few left."
"That may just be the case, seeing as your dear brother has snatched me out of the country without consent."
"Then I'm sure Peter his reasons," he turned to the man in question with teasing anticipation.
"Why thank you Ender," Peter countered. "You jeeshboys think you're so clever. I guess I'm acknowledging that you are by asking for your help. He sighed, "The FPE is tiny as of now and we need to expand. China, India and the Muslim world is out of the question. But, you have your little contacts in Japan, the Philippines, the UK, and the Netherlands."
"Actually," Vlad interjected, "I don't think Crazy Tom would be too eager to join." Ender nodded his agreement.
"Isn't Fly already part of the FPE?" Ender asked.
"Technically not. He has expressed his support, but the Philippines still claim national sovereignty."
"Shen's a possibility," Ender continued, "but Japan won't let him go. I'm positive he'll attempt, successfully, his own coup. He'll have the sense to join us then, but until that time, he's a pawn. As for Crazy Tom, the moment he gets word of your proposal, we can expect to go to war with the UK. Dink's to insubordinate for you, Peter. He will most likely accept Hyrum's offer of a colony. Or, we could ask him to join with the incentive of letting him have a little fun."
"Fun?" Peter raised an eyebrow.
"Allow him to wreak a little havoc, and he'll be glad to follow you."
"Well Ender," Vlad said, "I'm glad you could erase all possible options Peter laid out for us. What do you suggest now?"
"I thought you were supposed to be smart," Ender grinned. "Don't worry, I know someone who can help. She's a little…discontent with how Alai and Han Tzu have been treating her country. Personally, I think she's slightly resentful of the attention Han Tzu's been getting."
"Who?" Peter asked, looking from one battle school grin to the other.
"Wu," Ender and Vlad declared in unison.
A/N I doubt Vlad's last name is actually "Impaled", but it's what he used as his email in Shadow of the Giant so I just adopted it. Although...I have a feeling he meant it as being stabbed in a figurative sense and not really his name...
I also wanted to incorporate Wu into the story. I don't think she's mentioned at all in any books after Ender's Game, but Bean's recognized her as an amazing soldier so I think she should play some role in this.
Lastly, I just wanted to say that the battle school kids are hilarious. I was rereading parts of the Shadow of the Giant in order to write this chapter and they are so immature yet so funny.
Thanks for reading!