Tommy was the first of the twins to be born, only minutes before his brother Billy. Born to Anya Lehnsherr, who tragically passed away during childbirth, the twins were put up for adoption due to the circumstances in which she had arrived at the hospital, believing she had no next of kin. However, due to some error in the system, the twins were separated, raised in different families with no knowledge of the other. Tommy was adopted into the Shepherd family, and was raised as an only child to the work obsessed couple.
Right from the beginning it was clear that the Shepherds didn’t have time to raise a kid. More often than not, Tommy was in the care of a babysitter or nanny while his parents worked late, or were gone on business trips out of state.
By the time Tommy reached age four, his parents divorced and he ended up living with his father. Nothing much changed from this, he still spent his early years with caretakers, and saw very little of his dad.
Problems began to arise almost as soon as school started. Being use to getting his own way, neither of his parents having done all that much in terms of discipline, Tommy had a hard time listening to the teachers. Combined with his inability to sit still and not distract the other kids, and Tommy ended up spending more time outside or in the principal’s office than in class. This of course did nothing to curb his attitude towards school. His parents didn’t seem to care when he told them what he did, nor did they show any interest in their son’s work or achievements. This only began Tommy’s long history of slacking off, if they didn’t care, why should he? He also found a great disappointment in his parents. Weren’t they suppose to ask how his day was? What he had done? How his friends were?
Tommy soon learned that getting into trouble brought him some of the attention he wanted, even if it was only momentary. Phone calls home from school, as much as some kids feared it, Tommy almost craved. A call home meant his parents would have to pay attention to him, but again, he was sorely disappointed time and time again. A slap on the hand, and a stern ‘don’t do it again’ was all he ever got, and it didn’t matter if he did the exact same thing the next time, the results were the same.
This was also when Tommy’s frequent trips in and out of juvenile detention centers began. When things got a little more rowdy at school, when fights were fought in the schoolyard, and tempers flared, juvie seemed like the right choice.
His attitudes didn’t change once he reached high school, in fact, they seemed to get worse. It started off with minor things, skipping classes, staying out a little later than usual, but soon turned to more ‘deviant’ behaviour. Parties were a common place for the teen to be, drinking, experimenting with drugs (though this never stuck), brief flings with both genders...but still, nothing more than a harsh talking to when he finally came through the door. It became even more convenient when his dad began picking up longer hours, leaving on more business trips, leaving Tommy home alone for extended periods of time. Of course when news got out, he wasn’t going to say no to some fun. His stunts continued to get him tossed into detention centres, doing nothing to correct his behaviour, but allowing Tommy to foster his ‘I don’t care’ attitude to any and all authority.
It wasn’t until grade 11 math that Tommy’s abilities first manifested. Nothing out of the ordinary, he had been anxious to leave, to be free when this pent up feeling reached new heights and was released, causing extensive damage to the room he was in, as well as to the halls outside, and a few other rooms within the vicinity. Stunned, Tommy hadn’t said much of anything as the police were called in and he was taken into custody until they could figure out what to do with the teen who had somehow managed to ‘vaporize his school’. Still too in shock, Tommy made little protest when it was decided under court order to place him in a high-powered facility equipped with advanced offensive, and defensive technology.
No one came to visit him, or even tried to fight the sentencing, not even his parents. As far as Tommy was concerned, he was alone. Once within the facility, Tommy immediately tried to escape once the initial shock of what he had done wore off. Several attempts were made, each more rash than the last as Tommy’s irritation and frustration grew. He hated his parents. He hated the guards. He hated the people who had put him here. He hated everyone.
His many escape attempts, some with the use of his powers as he slowly learned how to use them, caught the attention of a few scientists within the facility. It wasn’t long before the young speedster was being locked in heavily armed, solitary confinement where tests and procedures could be run with minimal interference. There goal, to make Tommy into a living weapon.
He was in the facility for a year, enduring the tests administered, while retaining his harsh feelings towards those around him. Escape never left Tommy’s mind, but upon learning what it felt like to be tazed unconscious, any attempts following that were few and far between. When he turned eighteen, he was released from the facility, surprisingly, though from what he overheard it had something to do with him not having had control of his abilities at the time, or some other half-assed reason.
Of course, there was a catch. He was required to report to a worker ever so often so they could make sure he wasn’t causing problems, but otherwise, he was free! He was encouraged to attend college, which he had absolutely no interest in doing, but it was the only way to get some breathing room around these people. So, Tommy started an undergrad degree, changed what he was studying a week in, and changed it at least four more times in the short time he was there before dropping out entirely. School just wasn’t for him. It hadn’t been when he was younger, why would that have changed now? Alongside his inability to finish the degree, finding and keeping a job of any sort was also a challenge. His record was three weeks before he quit, and began the hunt again, either getting fired from what he found, or quitting for his own reasons -- usually just boredom.
After a few months of doing this, feeling just as trapped as he had while in the detention centers, Tommy took a year just to travel. Thanks to his speed he could get anywhere he wanted and back before anyone really noticed. It was like this that the speedster spent the year running to various countries, returning to New York, making up whatever reasons came to mind as to why he had missed his last check in. It was a nice change from what he had grown used to all his life.
When the SVRA went through, Tommy was made aware of everything this included, but being a civilian, he wasn’t forced to register. Of course, half of what was said went in one ear and out the other, as often happened at these meetings. He got that he didn’t need to register so long as he didn’t try to play hero or villain, and that was all he needed to know. He kept his time spent outside of the country to himself though, not wanting another lecture on that as well.
So long as he could continue what he was doing with minimal interference, things would be just fine.