Dust Devil II
Cassidy Collins is the second Dust Devil, dead man walking and the newest guardian of the Magic Mesa. Far from the first to protect the legendary location, his protectorate has expanded beyond just the immediate area around the Mesa. Still finding his feet in his new role, Cassidy feels a drive like never before as he learns just what it means to guard the Magic Mesa, both the power and responsibility that comes with his new role.
Cassidy thought long and hard about it. It had seemed like such a good idea at the time. Go on a road trip with crazy uncle Ben, do some work and get paid. Get some cash to get a gift for his little brother's birthday. Maybe that gaming console he had seen William looking at a few times. Or help mum and dad a bit with their rent. It was a great idea, wasn't it?
He had always been a slacker, the black sheep of his family, even before his brother was born. Now, he dearly loved William, but his parents were both hardworking, and they had not approved. He had done his best in the last many years, but he just couldn't hold down a job, try as he might. He just didn't have the drive. He got enough to get by, what more did he need, if not to make William happy?
So this was a great idea. Easy money. A great idea.
At least until they had driven way out in the desert. Cassidy wasn't exactly sure where they were. He hadn't really cared to find out. He was just there to do some heavy lifting, help uncle Ben set up, then get out of his hair. Had gone great so far. Cassidy got to goof off, then he got his cut when uncle Ben was done. Easy money, a road trip, spending time with his uncle. And William was gonna get so happy when he got that gift, whatever it would end up being.
Of course, the trip way out in the desert had been different, hadn't it? There wasn't really anything to see or do out here, and Cassidy had gotten bored while waiting in the car. Why did it had to be that far out in the desert, anyway? The other places had been remote, sure, but not that remote. There had been stuff to do. So he got out of the car. Wandered around a little bit, staying in sight of the car. There was nothing there. Some big Mesa in the distance, but nothing he was gonna try to get to. Too much work. Instead, he returned.
He just had to go looking for some water, and accidentally opening the wrong crate. Oh so very wrong. He knew that uncle Ben was shady. But he never really knew how much. The case was filled with alien weaponry. The kind he had seen back at the Terminus Invasion, just a few weeks ago. It had been horrible, so many hurt and dead, and now uncle Ben was selling the leftovers?
It had been a good idea at the time. Easy work. Earn some money. Make his parents happy. Get William a birthday gift.
And now Cassidy was staring at his uncle, a gun in Ben's hand. Ben explained how it wasn't personal, how he had always liked Cassidy, but this was business, and business always had to be more important than family. He apologized. Then Cassidy heard three shots being fired, felt three bullets breaking through his chest.
He fell over in the desert. The sand was warm at first, growing warmer as it was soaked with his blood. Uncle Ben and his buyers left soon efter, leaving Cassidy behind.
He did not die quickly. It took hours. Hours of agony, as he slowly felt his life draining from him. Draining into the sand, as he struggled to rise, struggled to leave the desert. All he could see was the Mesa in the distance. He struggled, he fought with a drive that he never believed that he had. He stumbled, he fell. He rose, grasping his blood soaked chest. It was all the he had. His parents, his brother. They would never know what had happened. He would die here, alone.
And before he even reached the Mesa, Cassidy died, face down in the sand.
He heard voices. Only they weren't voices, were they?
He saw sights. Only, they were not true sights, were they?
He felt things. Only, they were not true feelings, were they?
After all, how could they be? He was dead. And the dead could not hear, see or feel.
He heard voices that spoke of guardians and of justice. Of destroyers and of vengeance. Of innocence and sin. Of power.
He saw warriors that fought to protect the innocent. He saw them fall and rise again. He saw them fall, and another rise in their place. He saw their quest. He saw their lineage. He saw their legacy.
He felt it all. He felt the anger at what had been done to him. He felt longing for his family. He wanted revenge, and yet, what was more, he wanted to make things right.
And the Magic Mesa made him an offer.
Cassidy Collins died in the desert that day.
And the new Dust Devil rose in his place.
Costume and Appearance
Cassidy has average features, the only somewhat outstanding part of his look being his full beard, which is black, the same as his short hair. He is 5'10'' and has an athletic, somewhat muscular build. He prefers simply clothing, mostly jeans and t-shirts, maybe putting a denim jacket on top.
The Dust Devil is dressed primarily in grey shades, with some black and white. Black shoes, grey, somewhat loose pants and a black belt. A darker grey shirt with a number of white patterns: White shoulders with a white line that connects at Cassidy's solar plexus, a small white stripe on either side of his neck, three small white stripes on his ribs, and a white M-shape on the outside of his lower arm. He wears dark gloves on his hands, tied with straps. Finally, Cassidy wears a dark grey bandana to hide his identity.
Cassidy's power is sand. Anything he can do comes from having been revived as a being made of magic sand by the Magic Mesa. Already a dead man walking, he cannot truly die, reviving the next day if someone manages to stop him. He does not need sleep or sustenance, he is not affected by the environment and does not appear to breathe anymore, or be affected by diseases, poison or even age. More versatile than his predecessor, Cassidy is able to switch his body between being as hard as rock or simply loose sand, depending on his wishes. He can form the sand of his body into weapons, such as swords or a revolver that can shoot bullets made out of sand. Magically enhanced, he posses incredible strength, and can manipulate the sand in his body to allow flight or create localized sandstorms. Cassidy has been known to use his sand form in other ways, including bursts of sand that ripped even stone to shreds, and he might be able to pull off even greater tricks.
All of Cassidy's power comes from the Magic Mesa. As a rather mysterious location that spans time and space, it is unknown what exact limits Cassidy's powers have, and how they will grow as he begins to master them.
- John Collins: Cassidy's father, grocery store manager at the Cowboy's Hideout grocery store.
- Pearl Collins née Hart: Cassidy's mother, teaches at Swingin' Joe's Dance Studio.
- William 'Billy' Collins: Cassidy's 16 years younger brother, currently in school.
- August 16th: Cassidy is killed by his uncle, Benjamin Collins, near the Magic Mesa. Hours later, he is revived by the Magic Mesa as the new Dust Devil. He returns hom
- August 29th: Cassidy debuts as the Dust Devil in Southside, Freedom City, stopping a group of thugs that has been assaulting random people in Southside for the past month.
- August 29th -> October 5th: The Dust Devil begins making a name for himself in Southside, righting wrongs, protecting people, stopping drug dealers and the like.
- October 5th: Wrong Groceries -> Dust, Sand and Smoke -> Sting in the Tail: Wrongfully sent groceries leads Cassidy on a time and space spanning adventure to destroy an addictive leaf that opens the user's mind to influence of ancient gods. Along the way, he teams up with Venomax and punches several Lemurians.
- January 4th: Sand and Water: A lead into uncle Ben's location leads to a team up with Tsunami.
Concept & Design Notes
Successor to the official Dust Devil from the Freedom City setting books, containing some of the same elements (killed near the Magic Mesa, sand based powers), but with a different powerset from the original Dust Devil.
While Cassidy's predecessor was not the first guardian of the Magic Mesa, he was the first to be called the Dust Devil, the others having taken other names, thus Cassidy is Dust Devil II and not Dust Devil XIII, or some other number.
The fate of the first Dust Devil will eventually be revealed.
The Cowboy's Hideout has a cowboy riding a tomato soup can as their logo.