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SPOILER WARNING: Children of the Fleet and "Renegat" plot details follow.

Dabeet Ochoa was a Fleet School student[1] and later the Proconsul of Catalunya.[2] He is the main protagonist of the Fleet School series and was first introduced in Children of the Fleet.

History

Early Life

Dabeet was born around 9 BX to an unknown woman and Hyrum Graff. However, there was some kind of necessity that kept Graff and Dabeet's mother from interfering with his life, so Dabeet was given to a member of the Fleet, Maria Rafaella Ochoa, who was assigned to pretend to be Dabeet's mother and was raised by her. Graff and his unnamed partner were distressed at this separation, but believed it was the best chance for Dabeet to have a normal life.[1]

Maria and Dabeet lived in a Hispanic community in Indiana. Maria lied to Dabeet his entire life, telling him that they were Venezuelan and that she was his actual mother. She told him that she was impregnated by an officer of the International Fleet at age 15 and gave birth to Dabeet, and that she came from a wealthy family. As he grew up, Dabeet began to doubt the more outrageous of these lies, like the wealthy family and the father in the Fleet.[1]

Children of the Fleet

Time on Earth

By around 1 AX, Dabeet had grown tired of living with his mother and her lies, so one day he looked at his school file that contained his genome and used it to apply for Fleet-child status in his mother's name on the school computers. He applied to Fleet School and a dozen other boarding schools on Earth and Luna. After this, he thought that it would not be long that he would leave Indiana for somewhere else.[1]

About a year later, his father and the Minister of Colonization Hyrum Graff appeared at Dabeet's school. Graff came soon after to Dabeet's apartment to test him, although he played it off as a recruitment for an ordinary student he had no connections to. He explained the differences between Battle School and Fleet school to Dabeet and what a commander in the Dispersal Project would experience. Graff pretended that he did not want to accept Dabeet into Fleet School, but was actually looking for how Dabeet would convince him otherwise. Dabeet asked for Graff to tell him the truth of his father's identity, but since Graff could not reveal to him that he was in fact his father he instead told him that his father was a member of the IF and that he had no relation to his supposed "mother". Graff lied to him about his mother, pretending to reveal the "truth" that he was born in Ecuador to a mother who could not take care of him, so he was placed into foster care. However, he said that his mother sent anonymous donations so he would be taken care of and educated. His supposed foster mother was Maria Rafaella Ochoa, who brought him into the United States so he could be better educated. After this, Graff stood up and left, telling Dabeet that he had given him information and a test, and that if he was ready for anything that concerned Graff he would let him know.[1]

After Graff left, his "mother" came back into the room and asked Dabeet how it went. Since he had just learned what he thought was the truth about her, Dabeet lied about what had happened to avoid a conflict; afterward, he contemplated what he had learned.[1]

The next day, Dabeet went to school like usual but could not concentrate as he was thinking about what Graff had told him. During his lunch, the principal of his school told him that his father was at the school and that he was supposed to take Dabeet to him. When they reached the spot he was supposed to be, both Dabeet and the principal fell unconscious from a gas.[1]

When Dabeet woke, he was on an airplane seated near a uniformed man he thought was from Latin America. Dabeet discussed his hypotheses for which country he thought was kidnapping him, but the man merely humored him until Dabeet passed out once again. Dabeet woke up later in a different room with a man behind a desk (nicknamed the General) talking to a man on a speakerphone whom he presumed was Brazilian. Dabeet discussed the policy of the International Fleet with these men and how it would affect the wars to come on Earth, and found out the men were planning some kind of attack on Fleet School in order to involve the IF in Earthside affairs to protect smaller countries from bioweapons they believed were being smuggled through the station. Dabeet realized that the IF's policy of non-intervention would lead to large amounts of refugees that would be beneficial for the Dispersal Project. In order to prevent these wars caused by the Fleet's policy, Dabeet decided that there had to be some kind of attack on the IF to provoke them. He told the two men that if he were accepted into Fleet School, he would open a door on the station twice to signal to the men that they were clear to attack. Afterward, the plane was turned around and returned to the United States so Dabeet could eventually make it to Fleet School.[1]

After the kidnapping event, Graff communicated with Dabeet, likely over the Nets, discussing what had happened. At the end of the conversation, Graff told Dabeet that he was accepted into Fleet School.[1]

Dabeet began mentally preparing to head to Fleet School by skipping class and cutting off his friendships, as they no longer mattered to him. However, now that he knew that he would actually be leaving his mother, he realized how much she did for him. His mother attempted to find a way to come with Dabeet to Fleet School as a nurse, but Dabeet shut the idea down. He told her to take care of herself now that he would be gone, and the two cried together. Maria then remembered that she had been given a phone for Dabeet that she assumed was from the Fleet. However, Dabeet realized that it was from the men who had kidnapped him, as Fleet School would have high tech Desks better than phones. This was a signal from the kidnappers that they knew where his mother was and that if Dabeet turned against them they could harm her.[1]

He kept the phone charged, but did not connect it to a computer. One day near the end of school, the General from the plane came up to Dabeet on a motorcycle and said they needed to talk. The General explained the phone to Dabeet and how to relay information to him while he was at Fleet School, using email and an encrypted photo. Dabeet considered that once he led these men into Fleet School, he would have no control over their actions, but reaffirmed his commitment to the plan of involving the International Fleet in the Earthside wars. However, he could not turn back or they would kill his mother.[1]

Dabeet asked Maria to take him to a doctor before he left because he was concerned about getting nauseous and vomiting in space. The doctor told him that the Fleet should have medical staff that would be prepared for that.[1]

Life in Fleet School

Soon after, Dabeet left Earth on a shuttle to Lunar orbit, where he would transfer to a supply ship making a stop at Fleet School. Oddly, he felt no nausea once he was in space, which made him wonder whether he was taken into space before as a baby.[1]

Once on the station, Dabeet met Lieutenant Odd Oddson and he brought him to see the Commandant of Fleet School, Colonel Urska Kaluza. On the way he observed the composition of the school, like how long it would take for someone's feet to disappear from sight due to the wheel structure of the station. When he arrived, Colonel Urska commented on his Earthside origin and sneered at his application to the school. Dabeet considered making a snarky remark but held back. After a bit more back-and-forth, Urska dismissed Dabeet and told him that Lieutenant Oddson would take him to his barracks to meet his team. Leaving the office, Dabeet met back up with Oddson and discussed Urska and how the students view her. He explained to Dabeet his team colors and told him to engage his fellow peers.[1]

When they arrived at the barracks, all the boys stood to attention for Lieutenant Oddson except for Cabeza, who did so after a delay in a joking manner. Oddson introduced Dabeet to the team, who were surprised that Dabeet had not received a punishment from Colonel Kaluza. Dabeet explained himself, but the students ridiculed him for being an Earthsider. After this, Oddson invoked the New Soldier Rule and made another student move bunks to give Dabeet one and introduced him to his locker.[1]

Dabeet spent the next few days analyzing his classmates and found that they were not cohesive as a team at all. He attributed this division to the groupings the students placed themselves in respect to their family heritage. He tried to find a mentor, but the only advice he received was from Delgado, who told him to practice in the battleroom. Oddson told Dabeet to do coursework before beginning in the battleroom. He finished this quickly, and then Oddson gave Dabeet a Flash Suit and told him to practice putting it on and off. Dabeet asked why the school allowed the students' divisions to create disunity in teams, but Oddson did not answer. He then realized that he would have to work hard if he wanted to become the type of person his team would want to follow. At night before going to sleep, Dabeet laughed at his situation, but another student laughed as he thought Dabeet was crying for his mother. Dabeet retorted, saying that he did miss his mother, but not his father.[1]

As Dabeet tried to accomplish what he saw as the purpose of Fleet School, he was called in to meet with Colonel Kaluza for being what she saw as too competitive. She rebuked him and then sent him out.[1]

One one occasion during battleroom practice, Dabeet discovered that shaped could be pulled out of the Stars and walls. Ragnar Olafson told him that it was pointless to "play with the shapes" as they had no strategic value in the battleroom. However, Dabeet kept thinking about them for the next few days. In the battleroom, Dabeet tried connecting the shapes from the walls to the Stars to build a structure. When one of the Stars moved to adapt to his structure, it surprised him and a nearby student, Zhang He. He and Dabeet discussed the logistics of building one of these structures during a battle, but were interrupted by both He's toon leader and the commander of the army, Bartolomeo Ja. Bartolomeo warned He not to waste his time with Dabeet, but He did not care and the two tried timing how long it would take to build a structure with the two of them working together.[1]

After battleroom practice was over, Dabeet contemplated the fact that he was cooperating with others, something he did not do prior. Zhang He and Dabeet ate lunch together and they joked about the food. Dabeet asked He what about him affronted others when he offered them help, and He told him that he was sometimes rude and condescending because he was smarter than them. After a bit more bantering, Dabeet realized that He was his friend.[1]

Some time later, Lieutenant Odd split the barracks into "outside" and "inside" teams to practice station maintenance tasks in preparation for being an exploratory commander. Dabeet, along with Zhang He, were a part of the inside group. As Dabeet contemplated how he was going to be able to give the signal to The General, the inside group was being lectured by an accountant about bills of lading. He told Dabeet to pay attention, and Dabeet responded by explaining the rest of the lecture that the accountant had not said yet. The accountant soon left after witty retorts from Dabeet and Zhang He. The man was replaced by Enya Polonia, the cargo and loading supervisor. She gave Dabeet and Zhang He a task to check the cargo from a ship and compare it with the bill of lading, hinting that there would be 5 discrepancies. However, after investigating, Dabeet and He found 2 extra discrepancies. Unsure if this was part of the test or if the two were genuine contraband, they decided not to tell anyone for the time being, but he eventually sent a letter concerning it to Graff.[1]

As Dabeet and He practiced using the battleroom construction system, other students including Ragnar, Timeon, Cabeza, and Monkey joined in. After practice the group discussed possible metaphors relating to the construction during lunch. Dabeet made the group laugh on an occasion and realized that he had friends, and wondered if this was how Ender Wiggin and his Jeesh was like.[1]

Later, Dabeet met with Robota Smirnova, the station head of security, to confide with her what he had found out while tallying cargo and to attempt to get her to open the doors to signal the message to The General. When he asked if their conversation was private, she took him to the unfinished section of the station that had no listening devices and switched off the tracker in his suit. He discussed the situation with her.[1]

When Dabeet asked Urska Kaluza to communicate with Graff via ansible, he instead was greeted by Ender Wiggin while en route to Shakespeare, then an unnamed colony. He asked Ender for advice on his situation, and the soon-to-be-governor said that he should explain the situation to his team and Colonel Kaluza so that they would be safe in the event of an attack. After finishing the ansible call, Dabeet went to talk with Kaluza about the threat to Fleet School, but she rebuffed him and threatened to confine him.[1]

In the following days, more of Dabeet's team joined the construction practices, including the commander Bartolomeo Ja. After this, Dabeet participated in his first battle, but mostly analyzed from the sidelines.[1]

On one occasion, Dabeet wrote an opinion essay for his exogeography class about why house cats should be banned from interstellar starships.[1]

Dabeet received a letter from his mother that had a cipher disguised as a crossword puzzle attached to it from the South Americans. He stayed up all night attempting to solve it, and had no sleep for the battle the next day. After his team had won, the other team complained to Lieutenant Oddson about Dabeet's team using the construction, which they did not know about. Dabeet delegated the explanation of it to Zhang as he was too tired. Afterward, Dabeet was forced to tell Zhang about some of the situation, and he gave him some hints about how to solve the cipher.[1]

Zhang's hints worked and Dabeet solved the cipher. It told him that Dabeet needed to be ready on October 18 for the plan. As he struggled to find out how he would find a way to let The General and his men in, his grades in classes began to slip and he started skipping battleroom practice. To empty his mind, he went to the game room when he noticed an airduct that looked like it had been clamped down, though it was not built to. As he contemplated why this security was needed, Monkey appeared behind him and explained that it was because of Bean, a small student with test scores far higher than even Dabeet's. After moving on to talking about Dabeet's closed-off nature, Monkey got him to break down his barriers and talk to her. He explained the situation with the South Americans and his mother being held hostage to her. Since Monkey had lived on a ship before coming to Fleet School, she knew a lot about mechanics and agreed to help Dabeet's problem as long as he followed everything she said.[1]

Soon after, the two went to an unoccupied area of the station and opened a wall panel, looking around in the space behind it. Monkey got into a discussion with Dabeet about how test scores do not really matter in the real world, and how he places far too much importance on them. She told him that he was likely chosen to betray Fleet School since he was from Earth and would feel no allegiance to them, and they deduced that the person behind the planned attack was likely someone familiar with Battle School and hated it, and wanted to kill everybody inside the station.[1]

Monkey organized a meeting with Zhang, Ragnar, Timeon, and Ignazio to tell them about the terrorist situation. When they met, she explained everything, leading to a tense silence. They discussed it, with the group being angry at Dabeet. He understood that he was not wanted and he left the room. While he was trying to enter one of the service closets, a teacher named Gusti passed him in the hallway, looking for Timeon. This indicated to Dabeet that the security system was off, as normally they would know where he was through his tracker. After this, he discovered that if he double-palmed a door panel it would open, no matter what. He returned to the group to tell them this, but they did not note it as Dabeet had, causing him to leave again. Dabeet went up a level and discovered a service corridor with carts that the students could escape to when the attack happened. He went back to the group to let them know, but they were discussing the problem and Zhang He told him to hold off showing them until later.[1]

Monkey asked Dabeet to show her the service corridor, and after playing with the carts for a bit they discussed the plan the group had formulated and the upcoming attack in general. To prepare for it, Dabeet asked Monkey to tell him tips for moving around in space outside the station. She gave him 6 rules, and when he repeated them exactly to her she wished him luck and she jogged off. Dabeet then went to the airlock and performed an EVA, familiarizing himself with the structure of the station and moving around outside in the vacuum.[1]

While in logistics class, Dabeet was called out to be reassigned and was to report to the docking port. He realized that the Fleet was getting rid of him, Urska Kaluza, and the training officers before the terrorist attack so they would be safe and that they would not interfere. Instead of going, Dabeet went to the airlock he used before and went outside the station. He observed its structure and investigated the small ship that was transporting the reassignees. After the ship left, he stayed out there and waited for the raiding ship to come.[1]

The Raid and Aftermath

After about 5 days of going in and out of the airlock to keep watch, Dabeet got too hungry to stand it and went to shower and eat at the mess hall. He was friendly to the cooks, trying to change his usually bitter personality. After he went back outside the airlock, he saw a Juke Limited ship attached to the hull. He knew this was the raiders' ship and went inside to get to a closer airlock. He passed two girls and told them to notify Monkey and Zhang He about it, then went to another airlock and crawled toward the ship. After jumping from the station to the Juke vessel, he opened the airlock and went inside the cargo bay. Inside, he found an abandoned ship with crates full of Vacoplaz and wired together to make a single detonation. He left the ship and went to the service corridor, doubting that any of his peers would be there but he found Zhang, Monkey, Timeon, Ignazio, Ragnar, and Bartolomeo waiting for him. He told them what he had learned and they set off to take action.[1]

They made their way to the airlock and planned to evacuate the ship's atmosphere and blow it away from the station. Since Dabeet already had a suit on board the ship, he took charge and said he would do it. The plan was for Dabeet to blow out the atmosphere, jump out as soon as he saw the station, and grab the line that Monkey would throw out for him, and she would grab him to pull him back. After he agreed to follow her rules, they saluted each other and Dabeet headed inside the ship.[1]

Dabeet secured his hold on the ship's hull and blew the airlock out. Once his position had somewhat stabilized, he jumped out towards the station, but he was slightly off in his direction. However, Monkey still got him with the tether, and when he noticed the tear in her suit from the debris he locked his onto her to prevent the air from escaping. They hit the station's hull and rolled into the airlock, where after repressurization they found that Monkey was okay and she thanked Dabeet for saving her life. Bartolomeo Ja also thanked Dabeet for saving the station.[1]

After a bit more dialogue between the cadets, Dabeet burst into tears and thanked all of them for helping. Monkey hugged him and the others clapped his shoulders and reaffirmed their gratitude. Suddenly, they remembered that the raiders were still onboard the station, likely in the battlerooms. The group decided to head to the commandant's office and use the intercom to tell them to surrender. Dabeet tried to delegate to Bartolomeo, but he insisted that Dabeet do the announcement. He spoke to the invaders and told them that whoever was in charge of them had set them up on a suicide mission that had failed, and told them that they should surrender unless they wanted to be killed by the Fleet ships that would soon arrive. The group told Dabeet that he had done a good job, and most of them left to make sure the invaders had given up, leaving behind Monkey, Dabeet, and Ignazio.[1]

Dabeet and the others looked around Urska Kaluza's office and her snack pantry for about a half an hour until Ragnar came in and let them know that 2 of the raiders' officers were shot dead by their own men and the rest were locked in the battlerooms. After 3 hours, the Fleet soldiers arrived, and a colonel checked in Kaluza's office to find the three cadets there. They joked with him and he assumed they were drunk, but a teacher let him know that they were the ones who saved the station. Impressed, the colonel and his men left them to enjoy their just rewards.[1]

During the dinner celebration, Dabeet was constantly being approached by students so he could not finish his food. Eventually his friends moved the crowd away so he could eat. During this, Robota Smirnova appeared and explained that the Fleet had been planning an operation to board the enemy ship before Dabeet and his team blew it away, saving their lives. She also told the students that Urska Kaluza was in custody for being a collaborator of the terrorists and informed Dabeet that his mother was safe. Dabeet began to cry and his friends comforted him.[1]

Several days later after things calmed down after the attack, Dabeet was called from class into the commandant's office where he was greeted by Hyrum Graff alongside Robota. After congratulating her on her promotion, Robota left the room to give the two privacy. Graff gave Dabeet a choice to stay at Fleet School or return to Earth, where he would not be involved with the Fleet's inquiry into the event. Dabeet chose to remain in Fleet School. Graff then told Dabeet that his mother was an officer of the Fleet assigned to Dabeet, so there would be no reason to go and visit her. When Dabeet inquired further into his parentage, Graff told him not to bother and that he would never find out, though he said they were alive and distressed that their son could not know them. When Dabeet noticed a flash of pain on Graff's face when he disparaged his parents' absence, he asked if Graff was his father. Graff lied to Dabeet and said no, but if he were he would gladly take ownership of him. Dismissed, Dabeet walked back through the halls of Fleet School and accepted it as his home.[1]

"Renegat"

Dabeet eventually graduated from Fleet School and joined the Exploratory Service. He was sent from planet to planet as a Proconsul for several years, to evaluate and countermand decisions made by the current colony leaders.[2]

After the Exploratory Service noted the eccentricities of Kenneth Argon, the head of the Catalunya colony under the E.S., they sent Dabeet Ochoa to investigate. After arriving, Argon insisted that Dabeet interact with the Llop species native to the planet. While Ken was working with the parasite that gave the Llop speech, it killed him. This caused disorder among the citizens of Catalunya, and so Dabeet called for a Speaker for the Dead to calm the agitated colonists down.[2]

Andrew and Valentine Wiggin were already in-route to Catalunya after Valentine heard about Kenneth Argon and sought to write a biography about him. Andrew, a Speaker for the Dead, decided to investigate Argon's death with help from Dabeet.[2]

Eventually, they brought a Llop named Great Mother into an Exploratory Service lab. Here, the last remaining parasite that gave the Llop speech was, though close to death. Great Mother joined with it and briefly got back her ability to speak. She relayed information about her people to Andrew, Valentine, and Dabeet, and requested something record her sing the song of her people. Valentine left a recorder in the lab and exited with Dabeet and Andrew.[2]

With the discovery that the Llop were pseudo-sentient, Andrew and Dabeet realized that it was likely that Starways Congress and the Exploratory Service would not allow continued human settlement of Catalunya, and that the colony would be evacuated. Dabeet was unperturbed, as he had been to many colonies that were not granted continuing status and he knew he would just be sent to another planet afterward.[2]

Personality

Dabeet was a hard worker, as he constantly over-performed at his elementary school in order to better his chances of going to a boarding school. However, his main detractor was that Dabeet had a self-described "you're-so-stupid-attitude" towards people he disliked or viewed as less intelligent, which led to many people viewing him as stuck-up. Since nobody was his intellectual equal, he unconsciously looked down on everybody else. When someone else asserted authority over him, he said it felt deeply wrong.[1]

Realizing these flaws, Dabeet began to slowly change how he interacted with others. When the doors to the mess hall were late to open for him, and the noncom said that Dabeet must be impatient, he simply said he was hungry and apologized, instead of lashing out at her for not doing her job. However, his abrasive personality turned out to be useful when he made his announcement to the raiders, making a good show of bravado and convincing them to give up.[1]

Trivia

  • Dabeet predicted the situation on Lusitania with the Pequeninos 3,000 years before it happened in an assignment discussing the relation between humans and the planets they colonized.[1]

Quotes

References

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 1.23 1.24 1.25 1.26 1.27 1.28 1.29 1.30 1.31 1.32 1.33 1.34 1.35 1.36 1.37 1.38 1.39 1.40 Children of the Fleet
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 "Renegat"
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