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SPOILER WARNING: Ender Quintet, Short Story and The Last Shadow plot details follow.

Jane, sometimes called Jane Ribeira, was a sentient being thought to reside in the philotic connections of the ansible network.[4] She was first introduced in Speaker for the Dead.



Jane was an Aiúa called upon by the Formic Hive Queens to serve as a "bridge" between them and Ender Wiggin, in hopes of trying to understand his human mind. Though they understood little, what they did get out of him was the image of the Mind Game, which they used to give Wiggin a message on the planet of Shakespeare in the recreation of Fairyland. Upon failing to directly contact or enslave Ender, the Hive Queens abandoned the bridge and forgot about it.

Eventually, Hyrum Graff commissioned for the Mind Game to be reprogrammed to invest for Ender Wiggin's pension. This connected the game to the Ansible network, where the Aiúa began to grow and develop into Jane.[5]

Jane Comic2

Jane talking to Andrew in her holographic form.

The Investment Counselor[]

In 400 AX, as Andrew landed on the planet Sorelledolce and attempted to sort out his taxes, the tax man Benedetto attempted to steal his information with a snitch program. Jane, watching through the Ansible network, deleted the program from his computer. He attempted to find it with another program but that program was soon deleted as well. Jane then put an ad for financial software in Andrew's email, which struck him as strange as interstellar travelers were not supposed to get ads. He opened the ad and it created a 3-D presentation of Jane's head. She spoke to Andrew, which struck him as odd for a software, and responded to his actions. She told him that if he liquidated his salt mine assets it would cover his tax bill perfectly. She also said he would only have to pay around 7,000 starcounts, far less than Andrew had calculated. She told Andrew to call her Jane, and she called him Ender which shocked him, and he ordered her to terminate the program. Jane then removed herself from Andrew's computer.[6]

After Andrew searched online for Jane, she reappeared on his computer. She explained that if he "installed" her it would be safe and cheap, and she could be his companion. Andrew was impressed at how real she seemed. He agreed for her to help with the tax forms and they were completed in a moment, explaining that his brother Peter Wiggin wrote the tax laws to benefit the rich. Stunned that she knew his brother was Peter, she explained that people could easily track who Andrew was through his voyages, and offered to protect the information.[6]

As Benedetto attempted to publish a report that Andrew was Ender the Xenocide, Jane appeared and admonished him against doing it. Benedetto ignored Jane and sent the essay, to which Jane attached another essay detailing all of his blackmailing schemes, which led to Benedetto's imprisonment. In prison, Benedetto was killed by someone he had made an enemy of. Feeling as though it were somehow his fault, he gave Benedetto's family some of his money, and decided to Speak for the Dead at his funeral. Jane helped him gather the information on the man. Later, Andrew and his sister Valentine left Sorelledolce with Jane as a virtual companion after 10 weeks.[6]

Speaker for the Dead[]

About 2,700 years later, Jane still accompanied a now 35 year old Andrew Wiggin throughout his galactic travels. She was his closest friend, even closer than Valentine. She could communicate with Andrew through a microchip placed in his ear.[4]


During the events of Xenocide, the specifics of Jane's creation were uncovered, and it was realized that her aiúa was physically located inside Ender's body. This was taken to mean that even if her program was scrubbed from the Ansible network, she would not be completely killed (though she would lose the vast majority of her mental capacity) as long as Ender was alive. This was elaborated on in the next book, demonstrating that her survival was not quite as assured as previously thought.

Children of the Mind[]

In Children of the Mind, it was established that while Jane's aiúa was intimately connected to Ender's, it did not physically reside in his body. Instead it travelled continuously throughout her pattern, between all of the ansibles and computers she was connected to, many times a second.

When the new ansible network security measures were implemented, Jane was cut off from the vast majority of her "body" and mental capacity. As it happened, it felt like countless limbs becoming numb and unresponsive, and her memories and ability to think rapidly disappearing. The network on Lusitania remained active, housing her aiúa, but it did not even have enough capacity for conscious thought. Since her aiúa was so desirous of the vast size of her original pattern, she could not bring herself to remain in this tiny network, and soon leapt away from it (which normally would mean death).

Since she was so bound to Ender, and he was specifically inviting her at the time, her aiúa was drawn to his pattern. Overwhelmed by the new sensation of organic life, and incapable of conscious thought, she quickly began subduing his (at that time three) bodies with her immense willpower. Both his aiúa and the philotes of his body rebelled against being taken by force, resulting in his bodies convulsing and seizing uncontrollably. Realizing the harm she was doing, Jane left, and landed in the philotic network of the pequeninos' fathertrees.

The fathertrees recoiled against her, but she eventually found the portions of the network belonging to the mothertrees, who were barely sentient and naturally accommodating enough to house her. For this intermittent period, she flitted between all of the mothertrees on the various worlds, causing their physical forms to glow with light and bear fruit.

Once Ender was convinced to let go of his life, and Young Val was emotionally devastated to let go of hers, Jane returned to Ender's pattern. Travelling to Val's body, she was explicitly given control of it (rather than taking control by force). She then helped Ender's aiúa take possession of Young Peter's body, despite its overwhelming tiredness and desire to give up.

Taking over Val's body gave Jane a physical form, with all the memories and personality of Val, as well as her own. This functionally caused Young Val as she was before to cease to exist. Jane's aiúa primarily resided in her new body, but continued to make the circuit of all her connected places several times a second. Once the Jane-friendly secret networks came online, she was able to immediately integrate them, recovering many of her memories and programs. After her transition to a physical body, she began to regard Ender as her father, the Hive Queen as her mother, and the mothertrees as her sisters.

Though the new networks lacked the amount of fast-access memory needed for instantaneous transportation, she was able to utilize the mothertrees as a fractally structured, biologically based storage medium, far exceeding the capacity of her computers. This allowed her to regain the ability to transport objects at will.

After the speaking of the death of Ender, Jane and Miro Ribeira were married under the mothertree near Lusitania Colony, along with Young Peter and Wang-mu.

The Last Shadow[]

In 3180 AX, Miro and Jane instantaneously traveled to the Herodotus, a starship carrying the Delphiki Family, to inform them about the Descolada problem after being requested by the data of Hyrum Graff's brain. After appearing in the mess hall of the ship, Jane walked to Ender Delphiki and expressed that he looked much like his parents, Bean and Petra Arkanian. The hologram of Hyrum Graff thought Jane was Valentine Wiggin, though much younger than she should be. She introduced Miro Ribeira to the group and explained how Andrew Wiggin had created her body and Peter Wiggin II while Outside, as well as the concept of an Aiúa and how the Recolada had neutralized the Descolada on Lusitania. The Leguminids doubted Jane's story and were baffled at how she and Miro appeared instantaneously on the ship. Jane then instantly transported the Delphikis to a plain of grass on Lusitania. Jane stated that she had left the Herodotus in orbit around the planet and explained the concept of instantaneous travel to them, and that she had sent Carlotta and Cincinnatus to Nokonoshima to persuade their spouses to join the Delphikis on Lusitania. Ender spoke out, saying that he did not wish to live as man and wife with his ex-wife Mayumi. Despite his objection, Ender was teleported by Jane to join his siblings on Nokonoshima. When asked by their children when their parents would return, Jane simply said when their work is done.[1]

Several days later, Miro and Jane met with Thulium after her journey across the grasslands where she encountered the Formics and Pequeninos. Jane explained that she was in constant contact with the Fathertrees and the Hive Queen of Shakespeare, which is how they knew where she was. After expressing her gladness that the disruption field was at a lower setting, Jane quietly asked Miro if that was an option for it.[1]

Some time later, Peter Wiggin II approached Jane about visiting Descoladora to find out who or what lived there, and if she would teach him how to jump Inside to Outside and back. Jane requested that the conversation be in writing (and was later put in the Peter Wiggin II Biographical Archive). Jane agreed to teach Peter, even though she thought it would be redundant. Upon questioning, Jane also revealed that Peter II was genetically identical to the original Peter Wiggin. Jane warned Peter about instantaneously traveling with Wang-mu, as he would have to make sure he knew and loved her perfectly, by which she meant a strong philotic connection. Peter and Wang-mu then returned to Lusitania, where he practiced instantaneously traveling several times. Jane stressed to Peter that there was no difference between teleporting across a field or across the universe, so Peter tried it by appearing near Han Fei-Tzu's house on Path. Jane appeared with him and brought Wang-mu, who cried upon seeing her home again. Peter questioned how Jane was able to teleport thousands of Formics, Humans, and Pequeninos to colony worlds without having a philotic connection to them, but Jane simply said she had talents he did not have. After returning to Lusitania, they decided to meet the Hive Queen of Shakespeare, but before leaving they were joined by Thulium Delphiki. As they walked, Jane reminded Peter that the Hive Queen would know him well due to him having the same aiúa as Andrew Wiggin. Peter strongly asserted that he was different from Andrew.[1]

They eventually reached the cave entrance to the underground Formic city. At the entrance they met Talker, a Formic worker who would guide them. Thulium told the group about how her father and siblings met Formic drones on the Formic Ark. When Jane expresseed a desire to see the videos of this, Thulium mentioned that she had already ransaked their data. As Thulium began to cross the river, Talker ran over and scooped her up to carry her as she was not tall enough to wade through. The rest of the group waded through and spent time drying off. The group began to enter the tunnel and venture towards the Hive Queen's dwelling place. Amazed at what she saw, Wang-mu pledged to write to Han Fei-tzu about it; however, Jane told her not to, to let him live out his days in the company of his daughter, and have him forget how much better he was pleased with Wang-mu than with his daughter Han Qing-jao.[1]

When they arrived in the Queen's chambers, Peter explained his plan for him and Wang-mu to travel to Descoladora and discover what was on the planet. He explained that they should go as they learned quickly, but if they died to an unknown virus their loss would not cripple the Descolada project. Thulium spoke out against them, saying they should not go as they are not experienced geneticists and would not know what they were looking at. She insisted that she should go, as she considered herself the most expendable geneticist. The Queen then returned to Peter saying that they did need a geneticist on their journey, that they should take both Thulium and her cousin Brussels Delphiki. Peter disliked this option, which Jane noted as being due to the fact that Peter would not be in charge of it, and she taunted him for it. Peter was further rebuked by the Queen when she said that no one depended upon his leadership as much as her workers depended on her authority. Humbled, Peter realized within himself that he did not need to be in control, but simply look out for the others. Reading his mind, the Hive Queen praised Peter and said that he was now truly the leader of the expedition. Jane congratulated Peter, and the Hive Queen said that Talker would be unable to lead them out and told Thulium to instead. Later that night as Jane and Miro slept together they discussed what had transpired in the Queen's chambers.[1]

When Peter asked Jane how he could procure supplies for his mission to Descoladora, she set him up with a Starways Congress Account, and warned him not to expose the secret of instantaneous travel when the left the planets they visited. As they searched for the equipment on a planet, they could not find one so they decided to call Jane. They talked for a bit, Jane teased Peter, and she hung up. Later, she spoke with Thulium about Jane teaching her how to instantaneously travel, and Jane agreed; the conversation was eventually quoted by Plikt in "Leguminidae".[1]

After the discovery of talking Ravens and Keas on Descoladora, Jane and the Hive Queen conversed to discuss the news. When Jane asked if one of the Keas returned to Lusitania, Royal Son, had an Aiúa or not, the Hive Queen explained that one did not have an Aiúa, one was an Aiúa, and that all creatures capable of movement were one at a fairly high level. When Jane asked what capacity he had, the Queen said that his was brighter than the aiúas of Formic Workers, brighter than most Pequeninos, and also stronger, wiser, and brighter than most Humans.[1]

When Thulium and Sprout left to Descoladora unannounced, they were rebuffed by the Keas and Thulium immediately returned. She panicked when she realized she left Sprout, but Jane came on the intercom to say that he was safe on the planet. Her first reaction was to go back for him but Jane demanded that she stay. Jane then left to escort the Raven Dog to meet the Pequenino Fathertrees and the Hive Queen. When Jane returned, Thulium started screaming demands at her, accusing Jane of playing God. She lambasted Jane for the decision to leave Sprout there. Thulium eventually settled down and agreed to proccess Peter and Wang-mu's data from Descoladora.[1]

When Sprout returned from the planet, he explained that he had met a man with ape-like features named Ruqyaq, who explained that the residents of the planet, which they called Nest, originally came from Earth after the First Formic War and modified themselves during the non-relatavistic journey into a subspecies called the Yachachiyruna or Engineers, and that the birds had bred intelligence into themselves. Jane conversed with Thulium about the discovery and Thulium expressed heavy doubt. Jane, with access to ancient databases, confirmed the existence of the Quispe clan and the ship Ark. Their conversation was later cited in Demosthenes' work The Delphiki Orphans.

Jane collected Thulium, Peter, Wang-mu, Miro, Ela Ribeira and Quara Ribeira, the Raven Dog, along with 3 Pequeninos and 3 Formic workers to meet with Sprout. With everybody assembled, they watched the video recordings that a Yachachi had made of Sprout's activities on Nest. After seeing proof, Ela said that she would not have called the meeting if she knew the proof existed. Thulium asked Jane if Sprout had developed the ability of Outside-in travel, which she confirmed. Jane also explained that Outside-in travel came easily to Leguminids, as well as Peter, Wang-mu and Miro, but that the Hive Queen had told her that most lacked the ability to bring anything except themselves through. Dog expressed disappointment over this, but Sprout explained that it would be disastrous if all Keas learned how to and created chaos on all the worlds. Jane expressed a desire to meet the Runa, the normal humans of Nest, and Dog said that she would set up a meeting. Sprout asked Dog if he did a good job meeting the Yachachi, and Dog said that they could not have chosen a better emissary. The Pequenino Fingers talked with Dog about helping them proccess the data in the video, and explained that his name was Fingers (digits) because he was good with computers.[1]

Soon after, Jane, Peter, and Wang-mu went to the Formic city to talk to the Hive Queen, and she used Talker as a translator. They discussed the Formic's ignorance in the First and Second Formic Wars and wondered if the interactions with the Runa would turn sour due to their fear of the more advanced humans from Lusitania. Their conversation was later quoted by Plikt in "Peter Wiggin as Ender's Heir".[1]

Some time later, a meeting was called for all members of the Descolada Project, where they discussed the discovery of the Recorder virus being a precursor to the Descolada, and about the intentions of the Makers of the Recorder. Jane also mentioned that the Folk had invited the Lusitanians to a banquet that night, and they hypothesized that it was a trap. Peter II and Wang-mu refused to go with them, citing that Dog had given them a hint that they would be harmed by the Folk and that Wang-mu was pregnant. Mazer 'Boss' Delphiki mentioned that they should come up with a name for instantaneous travel, and Petra 'Little Mum' Delphiki suggested that they name it Detouring. Jane asked for a show of hands of who would go meet the Folk, and everybody except for Peter and Wang-mu volunteered. Sergeant suggested they bring armaments but Ender discouraged it, and Jane said that the instant conflict occured they would leave. Sprout asked why there were no Formics or Pequeninos at the meeting, and Jane explained that the Fathertrees and Hive Queens banned their children from going to Nest. Ela explained that they would address the Folk by explaining that they planned to leave Nest for good after the banquet, with the assurance that they would not add their world to any database or atlas. Sprout suggested that they bring breeding pairs of Keas and Ravens, and the rest said that if they wanted to come they could take them to the Lusitanian Colonies. Peter then demanded that they leave Sergeant behind due to his hostile nature, fearing an incident with the Folk, however Jane and the rest saw no reason to leave him. The group also noted Thulium was not present, and Jane expected to find her on Nest.[1]

The group then Detoured to a spot near the ocean on Nest. The Kea Royal Son greeted them and explained that he and other Keas would guide them to the Folk. As they walked, Sprout asked Jane why Valentine did not come, and Jane explained that she would be viewed as their chief since she was the oldest. The group came to a doorway built into a recessed place in a rocky cliff, and the door opened automatically. They entered into a room that turned out to be an elevator, and it lowered them down a long time. The elevator opened into a large room. Sprout suddenly realized that the weapons of the Folk would likely be biological, and mouthed this to Jane. The Folk made introductions to the adults of the group but ignored the children. Far back in the room they saw several highly elaborate chairs in the middle, one of which was occupied by Thulium. One of the Folk said that Thulium had brought her friends as promised, and asked her to introduce them to the Folk. As she listed their names, a spotlight shone on each one as though the Folk knew their names. The group was invited to sit down, but Sprout snuck over to Thulium and noticed that they had her face thickly caked with makeup that looked chalky, but noticed some bumps Thulium usually did not have. Sprout scraped away the layer of white, which fell off and uncovered dozens of small blisters, and a clear fluid had burst out of them. Sprout called out to Jane and showed her the blisters. A few Folk moved to try to intercept Jane, and some of what looked to be the Folk's highest officers looked cheerful, as if they had already won a war that wasn't supposed to start. Jane Detoured everybody back to the Q-Bay. Sprout and Jane talked to Thulium and she explained that she had gone yesterday to the Folk, and the blisters appeared that morning when she woke up. They began to examine the microorganisms to find out how to cure it.[1]

As Peter talked with Jane through the jewel, he relayed to Jane that the Hive Queen wanted to see Thulium before she died. After the team inside the Q-Bay had not made much progress with solving what the disease was, she decided to take Thuluim out to the Queen, and Sprout joined her. When Jane brought Thulium over, the Queen left her city and walked out into the meadow, bringing Talker and two of the sluglike helpers that tended to the eggs in the hive house. The Queen lifted both slugs up onto Thulium's body, and they left small holes in Thulium's clothing, with the skin bleeding slightly under them, as a kind of Formic surgery. The Queen then pulled them off and attached them to her abdomen. She stood upright for a few moments, then bent and curled herself into a ball on the ground. Talker explained in her own words that the Queen was scanning the virus. The Queen created a substance in her body and put them into the slugs, but was exhausted and needed Jane and Sprout to carry the slugs onto Thulium. Once placed on her, the substance moved through Thulium's body killing or removing or disabling virus worms as they went. As dawn approached, Talker said that Thulium's state was very bad, and that if the Hive Queen had not helped, all the worms at once would have torn open every cell wall, becoming a pile of cellular garbage, and all the worms would dissolve into spores that would float away, ready to be inhaled by another host. The Queen said it was a deliberate creation, adapted from a lifeform found on Nest and changed into being lethal. The Queen, through Talker, said to bring the slugs to the Q-Bay to disinfect the others. Jane teleported the Queen and Talker back to the hive house. Jane then brought Thuluim, her, Sprout, and the slugs back to the Q-Bay.[1]

When they returned, Thulium apolgized for her actions and Jane explained the cure to those in the room. Sprout was treated first and it was done in half an hour. Jane sent people out of the building as soon as their cure was complete.[1]

When Peter and Wang-mu came back from Nest, they brought 2 dead Keas with them, as it seemed that hundreds had died. Those in the Q-Bay investigated the cause but nothing turned up, it seemed as though the birds just died. Miro said that they should return, but in a Box for any birds to escape into. They filled it with roosts and sent it to Nest. Peter and Wang-Mu walked toward the Council trees, where Ruqyaq emerged, and he asked if they could take Keas and Ravens to escape. Ruqyaq explained that the weapon was a combination of ultrasound and infrasound, that he had designed for riot control twenty years ago. Ruqyaq took them to an area with some Keas and Ravens still alive, and Sprout invited them into the Box. Jane sent the Box full with birds back and forth dozens of times. Eventually there was no birds left except for a few that hovered off in the distance, apparently with no wish to go even under threat of death. Then the Yachachi emerged from the trees, and Jane teleported them away, and the group Detoured back to the Q-Bay.[1]

The group then went to the meadow on Lusitania to sort the birds. Jane told them to divide themselves into their breeding populations, then instructed the Keas to form a group who wanted to be alone and a group that wished to be with the Ravens, as they could not be trusted with humans. One by one the patches of birds disappeared as Jane sent them to the colonies. The Yachachi sat on the edge, and Ruqyaq asked Jane if they could stay on Lusitania, but she said no as the only trees on Lusitania were the sacred Fathertrees. Jane also instructed them to make clothes for themselves, so they asked to stay for a few more days.[1]

Sergeant went to Jane and explained that he did not want to stay on Lusitania, and would prefer to return to the Herodotus. He said that the twins would come with him as they were too immature for anybody else to want them, but he also demanded Thuluim come with him too. Jane refused, because Thulium was "extremely important" and also had the ability to teleport wherever she pleased, so she could not be kept on the ship. Their conversation was later quoted by Plikt in Leguminidae. After this, Jane, Ela, Quara, and Thulium discussed the Recorder. Quara proposed that the Folk had weaponized the Recorder deliberately, and insisted that they continue to look for the source. However, the rest of the group thought that they had all the data they needed and simply needed to conduct tests.[1]

As they began experiments, some could only be performed in computer simulations, as the descolada was too virulent and too intelligent for experiments with the actual virus to be safe. They were able to confirm that each break would result in Descolada-like behaviors, but only when both were broken did the Recorder become Descolada. It was looking like the Recorder was deliberately turned into a bioweapon. Blue proposed that they put the Recorder in a vacuum chamber to test if it could survive in space. After the test, it seemed that in a vacuum, the Recorder would fold itself repeatedly like a fan. Instead of the break points in the Descolada being two among billions of genes, they were two among 88 genes exposed and weakened at the fold points. Thus, the group reasoned that the Descolada was due to radiation damage, and not a bioweapon.[1]

Everyone agreed that they needed to send a paper demonstrating the differences between Recorder and Descolada, how the Descolada on Lusitania was neutralized, and describing the behavior of Recorder in a vacuum. They put the names of the entire research team, including those of the Pequeninos who had worked with them. The Formics who had been part of the project had no names, and they could not reveal the existence of Formics anyway. Ela's name came first, as head of the team. Jane also asked Plikt and Valentine to write monographs that included accounts of the work of the Ribeira family and the Leguminids. Jane was never mentioned; nor was Detouring; and no account mentioned Nest. Jane declared the Descolada project to be at an end, as they had disseminated a course of action for any world that ran across a mutated Recorder virus.[1]

When Plikt asked Jane to supply her with information from her 3 thousand years of history and memories for her to write The Life of Ender, a proposed book that would stand parallel with The Life of Human, The Hegemon, and The Hive Queen, Jane refused as she believed Plikt was not qualified. A few days later, Jane took Thulium, Wang-mu, Peter, and their son Fei-Tzu Wiggin to a continent on one of the colonies that had Keas.[1]



"She was small, sitting on a stool, leaning against a holographic wall. She was not beautiful. Not ugly, either. Her face had character. Her eyes were haunting, innocent, sad. Her mouth delicate, about to smile, about to weep. Her clothing seemed veil-like, insubstantial, and yet instead of being provocative, it revealed a sort of innocence, a girlish, small-breasted body, the hands clasped lightly in her lap, her legs childishly parted with the toes pointing inward. She could have been sitting on a teeter-totter in a playground. Or on the edge of her lover's bed."
Speaker for the Dead, Chapter 18
"But I have eyes. And ears. I see everything in all the Hundred Worlds. I watch the sky through a thousand telescopes. I overhear a trillion conversations every day." She giggled a little. "I'm the best gossip in the universe.""
Speaker for the Dead, Chapter 18


  • Along with Han Qing-jao, Jane is the only non-Ender's Game character to be depicted by a live-action actor. She is portrayed by an unknown woman on the cover of the January 1991 issue of Analog Science Fiction and Fact, as art for the short story "Gloriously Bright".[7]