more excitement and noise in there than-- well, than I've ever heard when the inmates were sober.
Of course, public drunkenness is what people are usually jailed for in this town."
"From the hive queen. He wants to talk to you. I didn't know where you were."
"Yes. Well, I'll go see him when I leave here." Where she had been was with her husband. Jakt
was getting ready to go back into space on the shuttle, to prepare his own ship for quick departure,
if need be, and to see whether the original Lusitanian colony ship could possibly be restored for
another flight after so many decades without maintenance of the stardrive.
The only thing it had been used for was storage of seeds and genes and embryos of Earthborn
species, in case they were someday needed. Jakt would be gone for at least a week, possibly longer,
and Valentine couldn't very well let him go without spending some time with him. He would have
understood, of course-- he knew the terrible pressure that everyone was under. But Valentine also
knew that she wasn't one of the key figures in these events. She would only be useful later, writing
the history of it.
When she left Jakt, however, she had not come straight to the mayor's office to see Grego. She
had taken a walk through the center of town. Hard to believe that only a short time ago-- how many
days? Weeks? --the mob had formed here, drunken and angry, working themselves up to a
murderous rage. Now it was so quiet. The grass had even recovered from the trampling, except for
one mudhole where it refused to grow back.
But it wasn't peaceful here. On the contrary. When the town had been at peace, when Valentine
first arrived, there had been bustle and business here in the heart of the colony, all through the day.
Now a few people were out and about, yes, but they were glum, almost furtive. Their eyes stayed
down, looking at the ground before their feet, as if everyone were afraid that if they didn't watch
every step they'd fall flat.
Part of the glumness was probably shame, thought Valentine. There was a hole in every building
in town now, where blocks or bricks had been torn out to use in the building of the chapel. Many of
the gaps were visible from the praqa where Valentine walked.
She suspected, however, that fear more than shame had killed the vibrancy in this place. No one
spoke of it openly, but she caught enough comments, enough covert glances toward the hills north
of town that she knew. What loomed over this colony wasn't the fear of the coming fleet. It wasn't
shame over the slaughter of the pequenino forest. It was the buggers. The dark shapes only
occasionally visible on the hills or out in the grass surrounding the town. It was the nightmares of
the children who had seen them. The sick dread in the hearts of the adults. Historicals that took
place set in the Bugger War period were continously checked out from the library as people became
obsessed with watching humans achieve victory over buggers. And as they watched, they fed their
worst fears. The theoretical notion of the hive culture as a beautiful and worthy one, as Ender had
depicted it in his first book, the Hive Queen, disappeared completely for many of the people here,
perhaps most of them, as they dwelt in the unspoken punishment and imprisonment enforced by the
hive queen's workers.
Is all our work in vain, after all? thought Valentine. I, the historian, the philosopher Demosthenes,
trying to teach people that they need not fear all aliens, but can see them as raman. And Ender, with
his empathic books the Hive Queen, the Hegemon, the Life of Human-- what force did they really
have in the world, compared with the instinctive terror at the sight of these dangerous oversized
insects? Civilization is only a pretense; in the crisis, we become mere apes again, forgetting the
rational biped of our pretensions and becoming instead the hairy primate at the mouth of the cave,
screeching at the enemy, wishing it would go away, fingering the heavy stone that we'll use the
moment it comes close enough.
Now she was back in a clean, safe place, not so disquieting even if it did serve as a prison as well
as the center of city government. A place where the buggers were seen as allies-- or at least as an
indispensable peacekeeping force, holding antagonists apart for their mutual protection. There are
people, Valentine reminded herself, who are able to transcend their animal origins.
When she opened the cell door, Olhado and Grego were both sprawled on bunks, papers strewn on
the floor and table between them, some flat, some wadded up. Papers even covered the computer
terminal, so that if the computer was on, the display couldn't possibly function. It looked like a
typical teenager's bedroom, complete with Grego's legs stretching up the walls, his bare feet
dancing a weird rhythm, twisting back and forth, back and forth in the air. What was his inner
"Boa tarde, Tia Valentina," said Olhado.
Grego didn't even look up.
"Am I interrupting?"
"Just in time," said Olhado. "We're on the verge of reconceptualizing the universe. We've
discovered the illuminating principle that wishing makes it so and all living creatures pop out of
nowhere whenever they're needed."
"If wishing makes it so," said Valentine, "can we wish for faster-than-light flight?"
"Grego's doing math in his head right now," said Olhado, "so he's functionally dead. But yes. I
think he's on to something-- he was shouting and dancing a minute ago. We had a sewing-machine
"Ah," said Valentine.
"It's an old science-class story," said Olhado. "People who wanted to invent sewing machines kept
failing because they always tried to imitate the motions of hand-sewing, pushing the needle through
the fabric and drawing the thread along behind through the eye at the back end of the needle. It
seemed obvious. Until somebody first thought of putting the eye in the nose of the needle and using
two threads instead of just one. A completely unnatural, indirect approach that when it comes right
down to it, I still don't understand."
"So we're going to sew our way through space?"
"In a way. The shortest distance between two points isn't necessarily a line. It comes from
something Andrew learned from the hive queen. How they call some kind of creature from an
alternate spacetime when they create a new hive queen. Grego jumped on that as proof that there
was a real non-real space. Don't ask me what he means by that. I make bricks for a living."
"Unreal realspace," said Grego. "You had it backward."
"The dead awake," said Olhado.
"Have a seat, Valentine," said Grego. "My cell isn't much, but it's home. The math on this is still
crazy but it seems to fit. I'm going to have to spend some time with Jane on it, to do the really tight
calculations and run some simulations, but if the hive queen's right, and there's a space so
universally adjacent to our space that philotes can pass into our space from the other space at any
point, and if we postulate that the passage can go the other way, and if the hive queen is also right
that the other space contains philotes just as ours does, only in the other space-- call it Outside-- the
philotes aren't organized according to natural law, but are instead just possibilities, then here's what
"Those are awfully big ifs," said Valentine.
"You forget," said Olhado. "We start from the premise that wishing makes it so."
"Right, I forgot to mention that," said Grego. "We also assume that the hive queen is right that the
unorganized philotes respond to patterns in someone's mind, immediately assuming whatever role
is available in the pattern. So that things that are comprehended Outside will immediately come to
"All this is perfectly clear," said Valentine. "I'm surprised you didn't think of it before."
"Right," said Grego. "So here's how we do it. Instead of trying to physically move all the particles
that compose the starship and its passengers and cargo from Star A to Star B, we simply conceive
of them all-- the entire pattern, including all the human contents-- as existing, not Inside, but
Outside. At that moment, all the philotes that compose the starship and the people in it disorganize
themselves, pop through into the Outside, and reassemble themselves there according to the
familiar pattern. Then we do the same thing again, and pop back Inside-- only now we're at Star B.
Preferably a safe orbiting distance away."
"If every point in our space corresponds to a point Outside," said Valentine, "don't we just have to
do our traveling there instead of here?"
"The rules are different there," said Grego. "There's no whereness there. Let's assume that in our
space, whereness-- relative location-- is simply an artifact of the order that philotes follow. It's a
convention. So is distance, for that matter. We measure distance according to the time it takes to
travel it-- but it only takes that amount of time because the philotes of which matter and energy are
comprised follow the conventions of natural law. Like the speed of light."
"They're just obeying the speed limit."
"Yes. Except for the speed limit, the size of our universe is arbitrary. If you looked at our universe
as a sphere, then if you stood outside the sphere, it could as easily be an inch across or a trillion
lightyears or a micron."
"And when we go Outside--"
"Then the Inside universe is exactly the same size as any of the disorganized philotes there-- no
size at all. Furthermore, since there is no whereness there, all philotes in that space are equally
close or nonclose to the location of our universe. So we can reenter Inside space at any point."
"That makes it sound almost easy," said Valentine.
"Yes, well," said Grego.
"It's the wishing that's hard," said Olhado.
"To hold the pattern, you really have to understand it," said Grego. "Each philote that rules a
pattern comprehends only its own part of reality. It depends on the philotes within its pattern to do
their job and hold their own pattern, and it also depends the philote that controls the pattern that it's
a part of to keep it in its proper place. The atom philote has to trust the neutron and proton and
electron philotes to hold their own internal structures together, and the molecule philote to hold the
atom in its proper place, while the atom philote concentrates on his own job, which is keeping the
parts of the atom in place. That's how reality seems to work-- in this model, anyway."
"So you transplant the whole thing to Outside and back Inside again," said Valentine. "I
"Yes, but who? Because the mechanism for sending requires that the whole pattern for the ship
and all its contents be established as a pattern of its own, not just an arbitrary conglomeration. I
mean, when you load a cargo on a ship and the passengers embark, you haven't created a living
pattern, a philotic organism. It's not like giving birth to a baby-- that's an organism that can hold
itself together. The ship and its contents are just a collection. They can break apart at any point. So
when you move all the philotes out into disorganized space, lacking whereness or thisness or any
organizing principle, how do they reassemble? And even if they reassemble themselves into the
structures they know, what do you have? A lot of atoms. Maybe even living cells and organisms--
but without spacesuits or a starship, because those aren't alive. All the atoms and maybe even the
molecules are floating around, probably replicating themselves like crazy as the unorganized
philotes out there start copying the pattern, but you've got no ship."
"No, probably not," said Grego. "Who can guess? The rules are all different out there. The point is
that you can't possibly bring them back into our space in that condition, because that definitely
would be fatal."
"So we can't."
"I don't know. Reality holds together in Inside space because all the philotes that it's comprised of
agree on the rules. They all know each other's patterns and follow the same patterns themselves.
Maybe it can all hold together in Outside space as long as the spaceship and its cargo and
passengers are fully known. As long as there's a knower who can hold the entire structure in her
"As I said, I have to have Jane do the calculations. She has to see if she has access to enough
memory to contain the pattern of relationships within a spaceship. She has to then see if she can
take that pattern and imagine its new location."
"That's the wishing part," said Olhado. "I'm very proud of it, because I'm the one who thought of
needing a knower to move the ship."
"This whole thing is really Olhado's," said Grego, "but I intend to put my name first on the paper
because he doesn't care about career advancement and I have to look good enough for people to
overlook this felony conviction if I'm going to get a job at a university on another world
"What are you talking about?" said Valentine.
"I'm talking about getting off this two-bit colony planet. Don't you understand? If this is all true, if
it works, then I can fly to Rheims or Baia or-- or Earth and come back here for weekends. The
energy cost is zero because we're stepping outside natural laws entirely. The wear and tear on the
vehicles is nothing."
"Not nothing," said Olhado. "We've still got to taxi close to the planet of destination."
"As I said, it all depends on what Jane can conceive of. She has to be able to comprehend the
whole ship and its contents. She has to be able to imagine us Outside and Inside again. She has to
be able to conceive of the exact relative positions of the startpoint and endpoint of the journey."
"So faster-than-light travel depends completely on Jane," said Valentine.
"If she didn't exist, it would be impossible. Even if they linked all the computers together, even if
someone could write the program to accomplish it, it wouldn't help. Because a program is just a
collection, not an entity. It's just parts. Not a-- what was the word Jane found for it? An aiua."
"Sanskrit for life," Olhado explained to Valentine. "The word for the philote who controls a
pattern that holds other philotes in order. The word for entities-- like planets and atoms and animals
and stars-- that have an intrinsic, enduring form."
"Jane is an aiua, not just a program. So she can be a knower. She can incorporate the starship as a
pattern within her own pattern. She can digest it and contain it and it will still be real. She makes it
part of herself and knows it as perfectly and unconsciously as your aida knows your own body and
holds it together. Then she can carry it with her Outside and back Inside again."
"So Jane has to go?" asked Valentine.
"If this can be done at all, it'll be done because Jane travels with the ship, yes," said Grego.
"How?" asked Valentine. "We can't exactly go pick her up and carry her with us in a bucket."
"This is something Andrew learned from the hive queen," said Grego. "She actually exists in a
particular place-- that is, her aiua has a specific location in our space."
"Inside Andrew Wiggin."
It took a while for them to explain to her what Ender had learned about Jane from the hive queen.
It was strange to think of this computer entity as being centered inside Ender's body, but it made a
kind of sense that Jane had been created by the hive queens during Ender's campaign against them.
To Valentine, though, there was another, immediate consequence. If the faster-than-light ship could
only go where Jane took it, and Jane was inside Ender, there could be only one conclusion.
"Then Andrew has to go?"
"Claro. Of course," said Grego.
"He's a little old to be a test pilot," said Valentine.
"In this case he's only a test passenger," said Grego. "He just happens to hold the pilot inside him."
"It's not as if the voyage will have any physical stress," said Olhado. "If Grego's theory works out
exactly right, he'll just sit there and after a couple of minutes or actually a microsecond or two, he'll
be in the other place. And if it doesn't work at all, he'll just stay right here, with all of us feeling
foolish for thinking we could wish our way through space."
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