Bean started out his life with no name, no home, and nobody. He survived on the streets of Rotterdam, a harsh and unforgiving city full of bigger, stronger, equally desperate children. The only good source of food was the soup kitchens, however they were ruled by "Bullies" (more independant, older kids) and smaller children were often pushed out of line by a bully. The conditions of the streets were grim, especially for the smallest child out there. However by watching and waiting, bean eventually devised a plan to get himself out of the grip of starvation and into the security of a crew, and a bully. Bean found a gang of younger kids led by a girl names Poke, a group that stuck together on the streets and looked out for each other, however at first they had no interest in him, once he told them of his plan to get into the soup kitchens and past the bullies, they were more compliant to look after him. Bean's plan was to beat a bully down into submission and then give him and offer he couldnt refuse. The target that Bean had chosen was a bully named Achilles. Achilles had a bad leg, and wasnt the roughest, toughest of the bullies, and that made him easier to take down. The children of the group used large rocks to attack Achilles down to near death. Achilles was beggining to see things their way, however Bean noticed signs of danger in Achilles actions and told Poke that it would be best to kill Achilles and use a different bully. Poke was not one to take orders, and had decided that Achilles was the one. Bean's plan was to use a bully to protect the family from other bullies and in return, the family would give the bully an extra portion of food after they got into the soup kitchen. The plan was in motion, and as a larger bully prepared to push the children out of the way, Achilles interviened and made an example of what happens to the people who messes with his family. Everything was working marvelously, not only did the children get into the kitchen and get food, they also got in first from that day on. Eventually the street life in Rotterdam began to change as the other children and bullies followed suit with family's of their own. However all was not well...and Bean was waiting for the revenge that would come from Achilles, his defeat at the hands of Poke and the other children would not go unpunished.
Meanwhile, a Nun named Sister Carlotta had been assigned to the Rotterdam area on an important search, The search to find genious children to send to battle school. One day she got a call from the soup kitchen that Bean and his family had been visiting, and heard a miraculous story of how the homeless urchins of the city had blossomed into civilization amongst themselves. Sister Carlotta went to the soup kitchen herself to witness it, and the owner pointed out Achilles as the one responsible. She later talks to Achilles about his relationship with his "family" and decides he should be recommended. Achilles refuses, claiming his family was more important. As a compromise, Sister Caqrlotta offers to give Achilles and his family private lessons and teach them as if they were at a school. At that moment she looked into Beans eyes and saw a fire, the spark of intelligence, and she knew that this child knew how to read, she felt as though he was the one she was sent here to find...but she disregarded it, rashionalizing that she didnt come here for the smallest member. Everyone loved the idea of learning and regular classes were held.
Bean had learned much about the world, and himself from Sister Carlotta, and she had grown to care for him. He owed her his life, and as a final gesture of kindness, he returned the hug he knew she wanted. He was led to the vehicle that would take him to the shuttle, the shuttle that would deliver him off the streets, and into The Battle School.
On the shuttle, Bean had been singled out by the instructor for being one of the smartest and yet smallest to enter the battle school. Pointing out that the only reason his scores were not #1 is because of his physical limitations. This made Bean mad, because it would only create resentment for him from the other kids.
(To Be Continued...)