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Author Topic: Battle Station Layout
I Am The War Chief
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I have been seperated from my copy of Enders Shadow but I seem to remember Bean finding a copy of the battle school original plans and there being XX amount of rings as opposed to how many was thought. Now with the release of a war of gifts on the cover is a nice illustration of the battle school and i count 6 rings lol have at it fanatics...
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I don't recall it ever going into much detail on that.
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In the book bean discovers that there are three rings. That's all that's mentioned regarding quantity, however each ring has a variable amount of decks. Bean postulates in the book that the extra rings house the administration, storage, communications and life support equipment.

The art on the cover is just that, art, an interpretation of the kind of place the artists imagines when they read. And as far as the battle school is concerned, to be honest, I never imagined it like the artist portrayed it in the cover art. But that's just interpretation, if you want a quote:

"Nothing was labeled except the locks, of course, but he learned of the existence of a parallel system of corridors on either side of the student area. The station must not be one but three parallel wheels, cross-linked at many points." (P. 148)

"...they had separate air circulation systems. The ductwork of one would not lead him to any of the others..." (P. 148)

I believe it's discussed a little further between Nikolai and Bean later on in the book but I'm having trouble remembering where.

[ December 01, 2007, 08:35 PM: Message edited by: SupaShaD ]

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Later Nikolai tells Bean that it's very likely the other two rings were never built, but the maps weren't updated because beaurocrats don't delete anything.
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Thanks for reminding me DDDaysh. Now I recall correctly, and you're right. Nikolai comments on how it's possible that the other rings weren't built at all, since the maps were created before the Battle School was completed. Blaming the lazy attitudes of the beaurocrats that run the IF for the potential lack of updates.

Still, it's never confirmed whether or not all three rings were built or if only one is actually on the station. In either case there could be between one and three rings on the Battle School, but no more than three, as no more than three were discovered in the evacuation plans. And in the event more than three were created the IF would have to update the evacuation routes to compensate for the changes of the station.

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Just a quick drawing showing how I originally envisioned Battle School. Obviously this was just a quick sketch together, but if I had spent time I reckon I could make it a pretty believable scene. In any event that's the beauty of writing, you can interpret the stuff any number of ways. There are three rings sure, but the possibilities as to how those are configured are endless. I just figured it to be shaped like this because it seems like the most likely design of a battle station in outer space given human based design and being only a couple centuries ahead of where we are now. And do forgive the quality, I spent of all of 5 minutes quickly painting this together to give an idea of how I saw it [Smile]

Also, the scale is dramatically off. Where the battle room is would most likely be quite large, hosting several actual battle rooms. The likelihood that there are more than four entry points is also good. In fact it might even be possible the center would be a sphere - hosting several quadrants for battle rooms and multiple entry points. That actually gives me another idea...

Ok this is an edit/update:

After thinking about the subject I realized I was still thinking "2D" about the place. It was posited in the books that the IF likely had the ability to manipulate gravity (along with the other technological advances of the buggers). So I thought the likelihood the station was spinning might be something I just took for granted, since the IF could just as easily manipulate gravity to simulate that effect, giving them effective cover they needed to convince the kids that's how it worked. So I drew up a doodle of how else it could look and this is what I came up with:


Obviously it's a radical design, but one that _could_ work if they had control over gravity. The battle rooms must always be at the center. Why? Because Ender comments how the floors always turn upward ahead of him. And to satisfy the requirements of the illusion (no gravity in the battle rooms which would only occur if they were in the center of a wheel design), as well as multiple entry points from different angles. It also gives multiple docking points for vessels, to help eliminate the chances of launchies discovering places they shouldn't when staff/supplies arrive.

It's shaped closely to an atom, curious since I didn't intend that when I drew it. In any event it just goes to show how one interpretation can vary greatly from another. In my original drawing it was similar in design to our own current International Space Station. However in my second, the conjoined rings form around a sphere where many connections can be made, much like the particles that orbit an atom. Needless to say it would be quite interesting to see built! [Smile]

[ December 02, 2007, 05:35 AM: Message edited by: SupaShaD ]

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I always visualized the rings side by side rather than inside of one another. Also note that it's not likely that they control the gravity inside as Bean mentions in Ender's Shadow how the Game room (towards the Center) has very low gravity enough to where they're nearly floating, while the Gym (farther outside) has higher than Earth gravity to aid in exercising.

Also, I seem to recall them saying there were nine decks rather than 6, which seemed to be confirmed when Graff was talking to Dimak and said (First sentence of Chapter 9 ES) "So he found out how many decks there are. What can he possibly do with that information?"

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Yea nine decks were confirmed, but we were talking about actual rings on the station. Each ring hosts nine decks -- as I mentioned in my drawings it was merely out of scale so I chose just to show how they would appear in a cross-section (though there aren't actually nine in the drawing, you get the drift).

As I mentioned before -- in the book it's claimed that the IF _may_ have gained the ability to control gravity with the other tech they picked up from the buggers. Ender believed so because the Battle rooms should be spinning out of sync or not at all with the rest of the station and there should be some sort of phase where you realize the gravity is less, however there isn't.

I mentioned that if they did indeed control gravity they would still make it appear as though you were in a standard ring setup, because that's the way it would be handled if they didn't control gravity. So they would have to emulate that type of setup with the gravity in order to keep kids from asking about how it's possible that they have the battle rooms without gravity, yet still in sync with the rest of the station (which would only feasibly happen if the station weren't rotating at all, or if the rooms were rotating with it). Again that's just a possibility and my drawings are just interpretations of what it might look like. [Smile]

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One more final post, I decided to mock up the various designs in 3d to show a better visualization. Not to scale, again, just quick to show the concept better than my crappy drawings [Wink]


Those are the three designs I'd most likely consider feasible in the "Enderverse". The first is the most futuristic, assuming the IF have complete control over the gravity of the station and have chosen to make it as efficient a design as possible. Battle rooms hosted in middle, rings surround the center in three different directions.

The second is a more conservative design, based on the same ideas used today in the international space station (although more technologically advanced obviously, since the ISS doesn't emulate gravity). The rings are separate and hosted around several various sections, making a modular build more favorable, and likely. The center sections would contain the battle rooms, as well as various administration and technological storage areas.

The third is an orbital design, hosted around a spherical center (again where battle rooms are hosted). Both the second and the third share the same idea that the IF does _not_ have control over the gravity, thus they're more traditionally bound to the wheel concept. In which each ring must rotate in order to simulate gravity.

Again, these are just my own interpretations, I always imagined Battle School as most closely related to the third of the stations present. The orbital system in which the ring floats around a center area, and all technological and administrative areas are contained within the rings, eliminating the need for a central structure outside of the battle rooms. Of course if you wanted to get really technical, this would be difficult to implement in real life yes, not to mention probably difficult even a couple hundred years in the future. But even still, it's just for fun, and I always liked to picture it like that [Smile]

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Nice images. Though I don't see much similarity to the ISS. I know Card has said before that he is not a visual person and therefore there is no official image of what the station looks like. Hard for me to imagine he could write 2 novels aboard the station and not know what it looks like, but then I'm a visual person. If I get some time I may contribute a few sketches as well.
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