Character Perspective: Rex
Riding in cars driven by Coach Dan and Double-J, the Bark Bay fencing team travels to the Academy on a Saturday morning for a scrimmage tournament. Stopping at a convenience store along the way, Rex enviously eyes a cooler filled with sandwiches; when a store clerk brusquely dismisses Rex, Annie rushes to his defense.
The team arrives at the Academy, and assembles outside one of the secondary gyms. Rex, Butch, and The Bird have never stepped foot on the campus before, and are overwhelmed by the visible signs of wealth they see all around them. Double-J mocks them for being impressed at what he calls a boarding school for spoiled children, a remark seconded by Rune. Annie, whose brother Sierra is a senior at the Academy, claims none of them know what the school is really about.
The Bark Bay fencers enter the gymnasium and meet the Academy fencing team. The Academy coach, Gavvy, greets Coach Dan, and teases him about his continued refusal to enter competitions. Two makeshift electrical fencing strips are quickly assembled, and Rex explains the basics of electrical fencing to Butch and The Bird.
The scrimmage tournament is then held, with the Bark Bay fencers performing remarkably well. In the final foil bout, Annie narrowly loses to Francis Pine, who maintains his undefeated streak against Bark Bay. Rex finishes third in epee, losing to Francis Pine, who surprises everyone by skipping the saber tournament, which is won by Double-J.
That evening, Rex returns to his trailer home. He flies into a rage when his sister tells him that they’d been visited that day from an official from the Department of Family Services. Recovering his composure, Rex helps his two sisters settle down for bed, then goes to the room he shares with his mother, currently bedridden from a recurring sickness. He falls asleep next to his mother, thinking about his successful day of fencing.
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