Bean was the smallest student at the Battle School, but he became Ender Wiggin's right hand. Since then he has grown to be a power on Earth. He served the Hegemon as strategist and general in the terrible wars that followed Ender's defeat of the alien empire attacking Earth. Now he and his wife Petra yearn for a safe place to build a family - something he has never known - but there is nowhere on Earth that does not harbor his enemies - old enemies from the days in Ender's Jeesh, new enemies from the wars on Earth. To find security, Bean and Petra must once again follow in Ender's footsteps. They must leave Earth behind, in the control of the Hegemon, and look to the stars.
Two of Bean and Petra Arkanian's embryos were implanted by Volescu into other women. One of these had been found, and it was revealed that another was with a woman who believed the child to be Achilles de Flandres'.
Meanwhile in conquered China, a belief was spreading that the current government had lost the Mandate of Heaven. Seizing upon this and with some very discreet aid from Mazer Rackham and the International Fleet, Han Tzu took control of China, installing himself as its new Emperor.
Peter Wiggin and Petra Arkanian came to visit Alai, the Caliph of the Muslim League. Eventually, the two helped Alai realize that he was little more than a glorified prisoner, and that others had been ruling Islam in his stead. After uncovering a conspiracy against him, Alai resolved to take a more firm control of his nation, and to treat the peoples he wrested away from China as actual people, and not as animals as they were being treated before.
Afterward, Peter Wiggin worked to create a world government free of war in his Free People of Earth, while Caliph Alai and Virlomi, now the "goddess" of India, had other plans for uniting the world. Against this backdrop of world political machinations by former Battle School children, Bean found himself running out of time before he died from the genetic manipulation of Anton's Key, struggling to find his and Petra's missing children.
After months of searching, Bean and Petra found eight of their children, with the ninth implanted in a woman who believed Achilles to be a great man and thought that her child was his, Randi Firth. Randi decided to leave Earth to live in a colony planet where she could raise her child.
Bean took the children who had Anton's Key (3 of 9) and began a relativistic journey on the starship Herodotus provided by the International Fleet in order to stay alive long enough to find a cure, leaving Petra on Earth. After a heartbreaking goodbye, Petra found out that Peter loved her, and so married him so that her children would have a father. They had five more children together.