The yearly inter-school track meet has become a favourite local tradition, bringing together the most prestigious schools in the area for friendly competition.
It’s one of the biggest events in the school year, and few students ever want to miss it just in case it’s someone from their school who can out-perform the athletes from the military academy. The bragging rights to that alone are worth showing up, and the highlights will be all that anyone talks about for weeks anyway; until the yearbooks are out and the event gets revived over at least two pages, that is. Might as well be there when they happen.
The consequences of putting the student bodies of several rival schools could be worse, but this is a long-standing friendly competition and the students are encouraged to be respectful of each other. It works, to a point, but in a competitive environment like this, people will always find an excuse to start something.
Case in point, a trio of students have cornered a teen who doesn’t actually look like he belongs to any of the assembled schools in a quiet, mostly deserted area away from the athletic tracks. He’s tall, but thin and dressed in what must be a school uniform, except it doesn’t match the ones worn by any of the local private school students, and he’s been knocked to the ground at least once, if the dirt streaks on his button down shirt, face and hands are anything to go by. He’s staying on his knees, looking up at his tormentors with his hands half raised, ready to defend himself or placate the other students.
They’re not having it, of course, and lash out at random to keep him off guard, laughing at his distress.
"Just say it properly. Come on, say it!" One of them says, laughing and holding out a camera tauntingly. "You can have this back if you do. All you have to do is say please.”