Tank is a member of a local gang. Deep down, he knows that many things he does with the gang are wrong, but hey, everybody is doing them. Tank wants to fit in. He wants acceptance, money, power, girls and even fame—all the things he sees on TV.
Justin is a member of his school football team. Deep down, he knows that cheating is wrong, but hey, everybody cheats a little. Justin wants to excel. He wants acceptance, money, power, girls and fame—all the things he sees the TV athletes get.
Tank doesn't really want to hurt anyone, but he wants respect. After all, no true man lets anyone "dis" him without making them pay a price. He's thinking about getting a gun. A gun brings prestige. A gun commands respect that he wouldn't otherwise get. He's a bit unsure about getting a gun, but pretends it doesn't bother him. Of course, he won't really use it—it's just there to scare people.
Justin doesn't really want to hurt anyone, but he wants to get a college scholarship. After all, you don't have a chance at the big money unless a major college recruits you. He's thinking about taking steroids. Steroids bring prestige. Steroids would allow him to excel where otherwise he would not. He's a bit unsure about what the latest round of "Super Steroids" is going to do to his body, but pretends it doesn't bother him. Of course, he's potentially hurting only himself; no one else suffers.
Tank revels in his newfound success. The word is out that he's "packing" these days. If anyone messes with him, he acts a little crazy and talks about shooting people. Everyone runs scared. People can't do enough to please him. Buying the gun was the best thing he's ever done.
Justin revels in his newfound success. The word is out that he's got the fastest time in the 40 in the state. Other players try to hit him head-on and he lays them out. He feels like a locomotive. Recruiters promise him everything! The "Super Steroids" were the smartest thing he's ever done.
Tank has a problem. Someone new moved to school. The new guy is a member of a rival gang and is quick to point out that he "packs" as well. He's dissed Tank's gang and Tank. All of the members of Tank's gang are ready for a showdown to shut up the new kid. Tank is worried about needing to use his gun.
Justin has a problem. One of his "friends" ratted about him using steroids. Justin's supplier denied that he had ever given him steroids and told Justin that he should deny it as well. So Justin lied about using and ridiculed the kid who ratted—just like his supplier told him. He has to be much more secretive now about getting juiced.
It's the night of the big showdown. Tank and his gang arrive. Tank has already decided that he will not use his gun. All is going well until he sees two of his friends getting beaten to death with a spiked bat. Anger flows. He shoots. One boy is injured, another killed.
It is the night of the big game. Justin knows that there are many college scouts in the crowd. He is ready to showcase his stuff. He breaks a tackle and only one defender—a safety—is in his way. The safety is small and Justin lowers his helmet to blast through him, literally lifting him off the ground with the hit. The crowd roars. Of course, he gets the touchdown. Afterwards, the boy is still on the ground. The ambulance comes. The boy, a mere half Justin's size, is dead.
Tank is in court. His lawyer tells him that unfortunately, the state is trying him as an adult, and that he will probably get 20 years in prison. But hey, if he keeps his nose clean, he'll be out before he turns forty!
Justin is in court. His lawyer tells him that the boy's parents and the state are charging him with murder, because he was taking illegal substances that made him stronger than he should have been. They believe that if he hadn't been on steroids, the boy would still be alive. Unfortunately, the state is trying this case as if he were an adult. It sounds like he will probably get 20 years in prison. But hey, if he keeps his nose clean, he'll be out before he turns forty!
There is another kid from his school, someone named Tank, who is going to prison as well. Justin never knew him; Justin never hung around with the law breaking crowd.