This is something I never actually thought I'd write. Both of my beta readers on this one suggested I not post this on my main handle, so of course I did it regardless. Not racist lesbian Empire 88 Taylor, enjoy the utter insanity.
When Tammi's parents had pulled up stakes and left Brockton Bay, and in turn the Empire she had felt conflicted. Her parents really didn't do the whole 'parenting' thing all that well to begin with, so when she was forced to leave all sense of stability and belonging behind for reasons her parents didn't bother explaining, she rebelled a bit.
She had run back to Brockton, back to the Empire, and upon her return Tammi had been treated like a queen. It was nice, feeling appreciated and wanted, to be acknowledged for her loyalty to their cause - not that she really felt that strongly about it one way or another.
Really, she just wanted to feel like she belonged to something, something bigger. Bigger than herself at least, and with the Empire, she did; she was a part of a family that looked after each other, much better than her parents ever did anyway, and she loved it.
It felt amazing to be given the authority and responsibility that she held in the Empire, and while she liked to think it hadn't gone to her head she was realistic enough to recognize it probably had. Though in truth, she honestly didn't care.
Them's the breaks, oh well.
Still her ego was sufficiently squashed down when she had been given her newest assignment, namely the recruitment of willing soldiers in her age group. While that sounded like a worthy purpose, it entailed one little caveat that made her cringe down to her very soul.
The bell behind her rang, and she grabbed her bag as she made her way to the door without giving that idiot Gladly a second glance while her classmates began chattering around her.
Why...why did she have to go back to fucking highschool?
Juvie had been bad, and somehow this place was worse. It was only her third day back in the soul-crushing machine that was highschool and she was ready to light this dump on fire without taking a second glance over her shoulder, letting it burn to the ground without any sense of remorse.
The fact most of the students and faculty would likely thank her for her act of arson really didn't help matters all that much.
Exiting the classroom she walked down the hallway praying to whatever uncaring gods - that may or may not exist - that she would not have to deal with any drama today. Then she was promptly let down at said prayers' effectiveness as she noticed the drama unfolding before her in the middle of the hall. A group of girls had surrounded a hunched over figure dressed in baggy jeans and a hoodie, the only indication of their gender being the cascade of wavy black hair concealing their face, that and the half-assed insults.
"God she is so ugly I don't know who would actually want to even touch her much less date her."
"She's so useless that I bet even her parents are embarrassed that she is even alive."
"I hear she'll spread her legs for anyone just so she can pretend that someone actually cares about her."
"She really should just kill herself at this point, it'd be a favor to everyone."
What the fuck?
This Heathers and Mean Girls shit actually happened in the real world?
That was when she saw the hooded figures' hands clenched into fists, her entire frame shaking in barely suppressed rage. Tammi had to bite her tongue to keep from laughing. This was not some beaten down dog, this was someone who was a half step away from snapping, and these idiotic sows kept poking at the proverbial beast. If there was one thing that being in the Empire had taught her, it was who to stay away from. Brad put it best, there was always a bigger fish, make sure you know who that is because either you need to find a way to kill 'em, or bring them to your side.
Regardless even if the said fish wanted to bide its time for a bit, or refused to rise to the provocations, Tammi had never understood the people on the other end of these things. Why the hell are you going out of your way to ruin other people's lives when it was a proven fact that everyone was one bad day away from potentially becoming the next Hookwolf or Lung?
The girl shuddered as she took yet another insult, and then Tammi saw the glinting object at her neck, she smirked slightly and walked forward while pulling a cigarette out of her pocket.
She could work with this.
Sticking the cigarette into her mouth she was unsurprised that one of the brutes the boss had escorting her offered a lit lighter. Being the favorite was nice. Letting out a breath of smoke she approached the group of bullies and drawled out, "Which is it, she's so ugly no one would ever want to touch her, or she's such a needy little whore that she'd fuck anyone who gave her the time of day? If you're going to spread baseless gossip you should really have some sort of consistency, else you just sound like a slack jawed yokel trying to make up for six generations of incest and beastiality."
HA! Thanks Brad, you were absolutely right about taking the time to think up insults before you needed them! These bitches had absolutely no idea what to say to her at the moment as they stared like a cow caught on the tracks of an oncoming train.
It was glorious.
The pretty ginger heading the pack got defensive as she spat out, "What?"
Tammi took another drag off her cigarette, blew the result in Red's face, and grinned as she winced away from the acrid smoke, "Ok gonna use small words and hand motions here to help you understand. You're calling whatsherface here a whore that'll fuck anyone, and ugly and disgusting enough that no wants to touch her, and it's fairly obvious, to me at least, she is resisting every urge in her body not to cut your eyes out of your head with that knife up her sleeve."
This caused the entire group of bitches to freeze up as they glanced back at hoodie girl, Tammi was honestly curious at this point, so quickly shot out, "Hey, hoodie, why haven't you gone Carrie on these cunts yet?"
The hunched over figure was silent for a time, then the girl said, "She was my sister...once…before she betrayed me..."
Tammi glanced at Red who looked confused, ashamed, then contrite, like she hadn't been expecting that answer, then she glanced back at hoodie, "That matters how?"
Standing to her full height, which was actually impressive for a girl their age, she swept her hair aside and Tammi was taken aback by the clear-as-day rage storming in her green eyes as she glared at the black chick standing by the ginger, then she met Tammi's gaze while shrugging lightly.
"Are you a fan of classic literature?"
The non sequitor hit Tammi as hard as it did the gaggle of idiotic girls standing around them, getting no response hoodie turned around and walked away while shaking her head slowly.
"According to Dante, the Ninth and lowest circle of hell is reserved for traitors, and while Emma might be content to spend an eternity of perdition in the presence of Judas and Brutus, I have no intention of wasting my time in hell with her."
With that, she walked away.
The girls group broke up in uncomfortable silence, and eventually one of the thugs assigned as her protective detail asked, "Boss...what the hell was all that about? I mean it was just the nigger and race traitor fucking with the kike? Who gives a shit?"
Tammi took in a deep breath, counted to ten, let it out, then turned to the idiot while growling out, "That 'kike' was wearing a crucifix you fucking retard."
He blinked in confusion, then muttered, "Huh?"
"Just...nevermind…" If the dumb prick didn't understand that she was clearly not Jewish, then he didn't deserve an intelligent response.
Storming away Tammi ran a hand down in her face in exasperation, suddenly fully understanding why Kaiser had sent her to this shithole of a highschool.
Shaking her head slowly she could only mutter, "So...this was what it felt like to be the only sane person on a sinking ship...huzzah…"
As school eventually, mercifully ended, Tammi exited the gates and walked down the cracked and splintered sidewalk, then paused as she noticed a figure beside her.
Turning she saw that said figure was leaning against the wall where the sheared open chain link fence ended at a bent post, and met her gaze evenly.
Hoodie girl stared at her for a few moments, then nodded, "Thanks, for earlier. It won't matter in the long term, but it was appreciated."
Tammi was silent a few moments, then offered her hand, "Tammi."
Hoodie remained silent for a time, then took her hand shaking it lightly, "Taylor."
Releasing each others grip the girls stood in uncomfortable silence for a time, then Tammi figured, 'fuck it', it was Kaiser's money after all.
"Wanna grab something to eat? I don't know anything about this shithole city other than the fact that it fucking sucks so any advice from a townie would be welcome."
Hoodie...Taylor scoffed at that, shook her head, kicked off the wall and gestured towards the boardwalk, "So are we talking meals or shakes?"
Tammi hummed, then shrugged, "I could eat."
Taylor smiled at that then nodded. "Okay, Fuglies it is then…"
Tammi couldn't help smiling too, even if she didn't find a recruit from all of this, she might have, at the very least, made a friend.