|We do not look around. We do not look inside. We do not sleep. Our god is not a smiling god, and we are ready for this war.|
Tamika Flynn is a nineteen-year-old resident of Night Vale, a renowned destroyer of librarians, and the leader of Night Vale's anti-StrexCorp resistance movement. She is 5'1" tall, with dark hair, dark eyes and a stocky build, and she commands the loyalty of an army of child soldiers, who follow her for her sophisticated reading comprehension and extremes of berserker violence.
Night Vale Community Radio host Cecil Palmer considers Tamika to be a hero and a shining example of extreme civic pride, and subversively voices his support for her rebellion in whatever ways he can. She has spent a lot of time on the run from StrexCorp agents, appearing in public only to conduct guerrilla warfare operations and to broadcast messages of resistance to the people of Night Vale. On Parade Day, she and her army led a revolt, but were defeated, arrested, and sent to the Juvenile Detention Center. Tamika escaped and continued to lead the resistance.
Triumph over the Summer Reading Program of 2013
Tamika Flynn first caught the public eye when she was among the children abducted by Night Vale's vicious librarians to participate in the Summer Reading Program of 2013, held in defiance of Night Vale's City Council, who had banned the event thirty years earlier. All attempts by the Sheriff's Secret Police to rescue the children were thwarted, as all of the library's doors and windows mysteriously disappeared.
Fortunately, later that day, the doors and windows reappeared, and a pack of wild-eyed, feral children began to emerge from the library. Tamika Flynn, then only twelve years old, stood at the head of the pack, the children's chosen leader, "her mouth clenched in a blood-crusted snarl, and carrying the severed head of a librarian in one hand, and a gore-streaked sticker chart in the other." Her sticker chart revealed that she had finished reading Cry, the Beloved Country, which, as Cecil pointed out, was "very impressive for her reading level."
Anti-StrexCorp resistance movement
By November 2013, the survivors of Summer Reading Day had formed an organized militia, composed of hundreds of child soldiers, under Tamika Flynn's leadership. They had taken to conducting drills in the Sand Wastes, where a reporter for Night Vale Community Radio reached Tamika for a comment. Tamika, wearing the detached hand of a librarian around her neck, answered with a defiant inversion of StrexCorp's motto, and then challenged the reporter to a hundred days of hand-to-hand combat.
On December 1, 2013, StrexCorp issued a Missing Child Alert for Tamika Flynn, and urged anyone with knowledge of her whereabouts to contact StrexCorp Headquarters, and not the Sheriff's Secret Police. However, later that day, Tamika appeared in front of the Night Vale Post Office, carrying a canvas tote bag full of heavy stones over her left shoulder, a worn-out copy of Willa Cather's Death Comes for the Archbishop in her right rear pants pocket, and still holding the severed head of the librarian she had defeated during the Summer Reading Program. Standing before a gathering crowd, she proclaimed, "I am found! I am found! I am found! Stop looking for me, and find yourself!" Just as StrexCorp agents piled out of their trademark yellow helicopters to apprehend Tamika, she disappeared in plain sight.
Later that day, Tamika Flynn and her comrades brought down a StrexCorp helicopter with nothing but rocks and slings. The Sheriff's Secret Police, investing the scene of the helicopter crash, found some rocks and slings that matched, in size and shape, the dents on the helicopter's engine casing, along with a worn-out copy of Death Comes for the Archbishop. The book was bookmarked on page 267, where the phrase, "I shall not die of a cold, my son. I shall die of having lived," was underlined. Tamika had also written a note on the bookmark which read, "Your pilot is fine. She is ours now. She will return when she is ready, but she will return better. T.F."
In the following weeks, Tamika Flynn's army ramped up their attacks on StrexCorp's yellow helicopters and abductions of their pilots, eventually coming to destroy the helicopters faster than StrexCorp could supply them. In addition, Tamika initiated a coordinated campaign of sabotage against all of the StrexCorp-owned businesses in Night Vale. For example, she was seen marching her army through the local Ralphs, proclaiming, "We are the beating heart! We are the breathing lungs! We are the lips that chant!" Then, in defiance of StrexCorp regulations, Tamika proceeded to erect a bloodstone circle in the produce section.
As of April 1, 2014, Tamika Flynn and her comrades were still at large and still being actively hunted by StrexCorp personnel. Cecil's StrexCorp manager Lauren Mallard expressed her desire to "hunt down" the "young ladies who are good at helicopter piloting," indicating that Tamika Flynn's army had moved on from simply destroying StrexCorp helicopters, and had instead begun piloting captured helicopters in a campaign of strategic, asymmetrical warfare.
On May 1, 2014, she and Cecil teamed up in stage a revolution against StrexCorp's rule through passive-aggressive statements, Morse code, and subsequently pro-rebellion statements on the radio. Ultimately, the people of Night Vale did not join the revolution, and so they failed. Tamika said before she was led off by the police, "Sad is not the land that has no hero. Sad is the land that needs a hero."
Tamika escaped from the Juvenile Detention Center and continued to lead the resistance. She took over the radio signal Lauren and Kevin were using, chased both of them away, broadcast exhortations for Night Vale citizens to join the fight, and led a group of teenagers in driving everyone out of StrexCorp's headquarters.
Reading material and weaponry
Tamika Flynn's Book Club uses books as clubs and learns tactical skills by reading literature. They also employ nonliterary weapons, such as slingshots and rocks.
- Tamika read Alan Paton's 1948 novel, Cry, the Beloved Country during the Summer Reading Program.
- At the time she was arrested by Strex, she had read Willa Cather's 1927 novel, Death Comes for the Archbishop. Like Cry, the Beloved Country, this novel has a traveling preacher for the protagonist.
- Cecil implies that Tamika and her followers may have read or will one day read Elizabeth Barrett Browning's 1850 collection of poetry, Sonnets from the Portuguese, most famous for the opening of poem number 43, which reads, "How do I love thee? Let me count the ways." However, this may say more about Cecil's taste in literature than Tamika's.
- The militia used slingshots to take down StrexCorp helicopters.
- They learned to pilot the helicopters by reading Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities and a collection of Shirley Jackson short stories.
- Tamika was seen to wave a heavily notated copy of Bertolt Brecht's play Life of Galileo, and paraphrased him: "Sad is not the land that has no hero. Sad is the land that needs a hero."
- When Tamika escaped her cell at the Juvenile Detention Center, she left behind a paperback copy of Leonard Cohen's Book of Longing.
- When she attacked Lauren Mallard, she was wielding a slingshot and a heavy-looking edition of John Osborne's play Look Back in Anger. Lauren's slingshot and copy of the StrexCorp employee handbook proved an inadequate defense.
- Tamika learned how to use triangulation to locate a radio signal by reading an anthology of Emily Dickinson poems.
- During the battle against StrexCorp, she advised citizens, "Grab a slingshot and a book—say, an Aimee Bender short story collection, or Milorad Pavic's Dictionary of the Khazars. Or, if not a book, grab a rock. Or the throwing stars that come standard in most issues of McSweeney's." She also quoted Booker T. Washington: "In all things social, we can be as separate as fingers, yet one as the hand in all things essential to destroying a Smiling God!"
- The militia drove everyone out of StrexCorp headquarters by slingshotting copies of Stephen Covey's best selling self-help book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.
- Taking inspiration from Tamika, Cecil joined the fight with the tear gas canisters that came attached to his hardcover copy of Kate Chopin's 1899 novel The Awakening.
- Episode 28 "Summer Reading Program"
- Episode 35 "Lazy Day"
- Episode 36 "Missing"
- Episode 39 "The Woman from Italy"
- Episode 46 "Parade Day"
- Episode 47 "Company Picnic"
- Episode 49A "Old Oak Doors Part A" (vocal appearance)
- Episode 49B "Old Oak Doors Part B" (vocal appearance)
- Episode 54 "A Carnival Comes to Town"
- Episode 65 "Voicemail" (vocal appearance)
- Live show "The Librarian" (vocal appearance)
- Episode 66 "worms..."
- Episode 69 "Fashion Week"
- Live show "The Investigators" (vocal appearance)
- Episode 90 "Who's a Good Boy? Part 2"
- Episode 96 "Negotiations" (vocal appearance)
- Episode 99 "Michigan"
- Episode 100 "Toast" (voice)
- Live show "Ghost Stories" (vocal appearance)
- Episode 108 "Cal"
- Episode 110 "Matryoshka"
- Episode 111 "Summer 2017, Night Vale, USA"
- Episode 114 "Council Member Flynn, Part 1" (vocal appearance)
- Episode 115 "Council Member Flynn, Part 2"
- Episode 116 "Council Member Flynn, Part 3"
- Episode 127 "A Matter of Blood Part 1"
- Episode 130 "A Story About Us"
- Live show "All Hail" (vocal appearance)
- Episode 142 "UFO Sighting Reports"
- Episode 158 "The Battle for Time"
- Episode 159 "Cat Show"
- Live show "A Spy in the Desert" (vocal appearance)
- Episode 167 "Echo"
- Episode 185 "Fair" (vocal appearance)
- Tamika's birthday initially seemed to fall somewhere between November 16 and December 1, as Cecil called her a twelve-year-old in his November 15, 2013 broadcast and later called her a thirteen-year-old in his December 1, 2013 broadcast. However, in episode 96 (which aired on the 15th of October, 2016) Tamika confirms "today is my birthday".
- Unlike Dana, Tamika does not acknowledge the existence of angels, referring to them as "beings claiming to be angels."