As he stood up in the power position, one-by-one his classmates became aware of him. The thick kid from off-planet towered over his peers and while they hunched over their tests, scrawling answers that easily came out of their heads, he stood over them, a pencil seemingly piercing his brain, blood drenching his sleeve, now and dripping off his middle finger. “Teacher?” he said in the small voice that big body was burdened to bear. The teacher adjusted her glasses and made a mark on her notepad. “You have two minutes,” she said and (after a sigh) she turned away.
“There is no victory for you here,” he said, making his voice sound gravelly and worn. “You have done me a dishonor in my service and I will have to relieve you of your command.” Ben broke the pencil in two and stuck one half into each of his ears. He was smart enough not to put the right one in point-first, but dumb enough to forget that the broken end was sharp too. With blood streaming down the side of his face and his scalp scraped raw, Ben stood up and asked if he could go to the boys room.