1980s Original Art
United Arab Emirates/Hero
Don "Major Deej" Finger
1979 (as Nevada); 31 Oct 2009
Sharif Shukr (Father, deceased)
Roha Shukr (Mother, deceased)
Shakira Amul (Fiancee')
Casildo Shukr was born of rich parents in the city of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). When Casildo was still a toddler, the Soltan Star Empire Invaded Earth. The city was nearly destroyed in the invasion. Resistance cells sprang up where they could. One of those cells was led by both of Casildo's parents, Sharif and Roha Shukr. Together, they coordinated with dozens of other resistance groups and neighboring nations during the invasion, obtaining the first effective weapons in the Middle East to take out the Soltan troops (obtained through folks who would later become leaders in the international peacekeeping force eventually known as G.U.A.R.D.). By August of that year, the Soltans fled Earth and a severely damaged city of Dubai began to rebuild.
Thanks to their family's enormous wealth, the Shukr family helped fund nearly 40% of the rebuilding of Dubai. Casildo, who's first name meant 'boy with a lance', survived the invasion, but rarely saw or knew his parents due to their time as resistance leaders and now rebuilding Dubai. His mother, at that time, found out she was pregnant with her second child, Casildo's next brother or sister. Although happiness rang through the mansion that was their home of the wonderful news, a band of thieves instead destroyed what was to be.
Dawid, the leader of a notorious Arabic criminal gang called the "40 Thieves", walked into the home of the Shukr family posing as contractors. Instead Dawid and his '40 Thieves' (actually only 25 of them) killed the compound's guards, chased out all the help and held the Shukr family at gunpoint, demanding the combination to the vault in the basement believed to hold millions in the local currency known as UAE dirham. Casildo's father, Sharif, attempted to bargain to get his wife and son to safety, but instead, Dawid shot Sharif's wife dead and pointed the gun at Casildo's head next. Sharif gave Dawid the combination, stating that he would 'not like what he finds in there'. As such, when Dawid opened the vault, it barely had 7,000 UAE dirham in it...not even enough to cover the cost it took Dawid to pull off this heist. Dawid was livid.
Dawid stormed into the main hall demanding where the money was. Sharif knew they'd kill him and his son regardless, as such, he told him to take their son in the next room, out of earshot, and he'd tell them where the famous "Shukr Treasure" was actually hidden. Dawid did as he asked. Three of the thieves guarded Casildo, who was now aged five at this time, while Dawid angrily demanded to be told the secret. Sharif broke out of his bonds, cursing Dawid, slicing Dawid across the face and eye therafter stabbing Dawid twice in the chest. Sharif then made a bee-line run to go rescue his son...only to be shot in the back, dead, by a wounded Dawid.
Dawid arose, bloody and wounded, and went to Sharif's body and shot it several more times. He then staggered to the next room where Casildo was kept. He raised his weapon, shot once at Casildo to kill the child...and missed. When Casildo tried to fire again, his gun was empty and instead just 'clicked' each time he pulled the trigger...which was several more times. As one of his fellow thieves handed Dawid one of their guns, little Casildo did something unexpected and surprising...he started turning into sand. Casildo's whole body seemed to change texture, with parts of little Casildo's body falling away as granules of sand, all the while Casildo was lightly crying.
Overwhelmed at what he was witnessing, Dawid pulled the trigger, launching a bullet through Casildo's head, causing Casildo's sandy body to drop into a pile of sand...sand that was moving about in the pile that was once Casildo's body. Dawid, unsure what to do, and knowing that security forces were well on their way (and he was also loosing blood from SHarif's attack on him person), Dawid ordered his men to 'scoop up' all of the sand (even use a hand vacuum if necessary, he stated) and quickly bring it all along and exit through one of their four escape routes to freedom. With no time to get the few UAE dirham in the vault, the home invasion, murder and robbery was fruitless...except maybe that which may be little Casildo, whom Dawid believed to be 'super-powered' and not knowing it yet.
Weeks later, the sand pile that was Casildo finally reformed one night. The Casildo sand pile was in a locked room with no windows, but did contain large, heavy doors with towels stuffed under the base of the doors and the floor. When Casildo came back to his human state, he immediately called out for his parents. Dawid, who was still recovering from his wounds and wearing an eye patch over his newly lost eye, went to Casildo's prison-like room, this time, however, wearing a business suit and not garbed in thieves clothes with a mask as he and his fellow thieves were dressed during the Shukr murder/robbery. Dawid opened the door to Casildo's room and introduced himself as "Dawid", a man of great stature and prominence in his business. He stated that he 'came across' Casildo, abandoned and left alone by his parents on the street. As a man of 'honor', he stated to Casildo that he decided to 'take in' Casildo off the street and now intended to make Casildo the son Dawid never had. Although Dawid's story seemed plausible (and Casildo definitely didn't recognize Dawid from earlier), Casildo was still sad and mournful for weeks to come. Dawid's patience with the boy paid off when Casildo finally acknowledged that Dawid was to be his new 'father'. With that, Dawid now owned, in his opinion, the greatest weapon a thief could ever have - Casildo.
Dawid told Casildo that, in order to garner his place in Dawid's 'family', Casildo had to earn his new family ('40 Thieves' gang) name. To earn this new name, Casildo had to learn to 'perfectly perform' dozens of difficult tasks using Casildo's sand powers. These tasks included altering the shape of his sand body, morphing into different shapes, elongating his body and using these incredible powers to move, steal, spy and escape hundreds of various tests, all maliciously created by Dawid. The tasks were grueling, forcing Casildo to learn to use his powers far earlier than Casildo could mentally grasp. This led to many 'fits of anger' by Casildo, only to be punished by being blasted with pressurized water hoses, causing Casildo to discorprate for dozens of hours until he could get the sand elements of his body to reform once again. As such, Casildo quickly learned who was in charge and not to cross this new father.
In the final trial to 'earn his family name', Casildo was tasked with entering one of the largest gold exchanges in Abu Dhabi and stealing all of the gold in the place and not be detected. After four hours of harrowing thievery, Casildo pulled off what was considered to be one of the greatest 'gold heists' in all of the UAE's history, all the while using his powers to get past alarms and sensors. As such, Casildo, who'd only been called "boy" up to this point, was now awarded the 40 Thieves gang family name of "Mansur", meaning "the one who is victorious".
Over the next few years, "Mansur" happily performed hundreds of thefts, robberies and pillaging. Since there was never a need to 'kill' anyone in these actions, Mansur would just simply knock out anyone that got in his way in the form of sand. As such, reports of 'living sand' attacking and robbing people and businesses began to abound, only for the authorities to not only quell such statements, but also ridicule those telling these 'tall tales' (and usually, instead, indicting those who were robbed as 'robbing themselves' for profit...usually resulting in jail time or other means of Islamic justice). With each new theft and robbery, Mansur became more and more confident. He considered himself a 'master thief' and spy and boasted quite well of it. Dawid allowed the boasting and seemed to actually care for this 'son' he believed he'd now raised; a son he intended to turn over leadership of the '40 Thieves' gang to when it was time for Dawid to retire...eventually.
Finally, the time came when Dawid decided it was time to retire and to pass along the leadership of the '40 Thieves' gang to Mansur. Before this could happen, he intended to pull off another great heist, this time, using the sea pirates known as the "Maritime Marauders" as his go-between. He intended to 'steal' an American warship and sell it the neighboring warring factions of the neighboring ex-Yemeni nations, all for the tidy sum of $500 million US dollars. Of that amount, $300 million was agreed upon to go to the Maritime Marauders for their services, however, Dawid instead secretly decided to use Mansur at the end of the deal to solidify Mansur's position of leadership in the 40 Thieves and have Mansur 'kill' the Maritime Marauders. As such, Dawid/40 Thieves would keep the $300 million instead. As far as Dawid was concerned, this would also place Mansur in an unprecedented position of power above all the other thieves guilds and also demand respect to the 40 Thieves, making other gangs provide money as 'tribute', all of which would go to the retiring Dawid's protected and hidden bank accounts.
Dawid explained the secret battle-plan to his faithful Lieutenants, but left out the part of the double-cross against the Maritime Marauders to Mansur. Instead, the other Lieutenants were tasked with 'evoking' Mansur to kill the Marauders based on a false claim at the end of the deal that the Marauders were attempting to murder Dawid back at his compound, thus making Mansur want to violently kill the Marauders (at least, that was the intended plan).
After all was planned and set into motion, Mansur went off and did a little standard secret ritual he always did before he went out on a mission; he went out away from the compound outside the fence line and the noise of the compound in his sand state formed into nothing more than a pile of sand amist the desert sand and prayed to Allah for his support and strength in the mission to come. That day, however, while doing his secretive prayers, a handful of the other Lieutenants came across to that same patch of sand...and told a story that changed Mansur forever forward.
While Mansur was still in his sand state as a pile of sand...in a large area of sand outside of the fence line of the compound, a handful of the Lieutenants, came across to Mansur's location, looking carefully that they weren't followed, to discuss the battle-plan and have a smoke. During this 'smoke', they revealed to the hidden Mansur, unwittingly, of Dawid's REAL plan to get Mansur to murder the Maritime Marauders under false pretense to collect the additional $300 million, some of which would be distributed to the Lieutenants for their sworn silence in the matter. Although unsettled in hearing this, Mansur wasn't mad about this secretive element in the plan, but he didn't like being manipulated as a pawn in a game. Sadly for Mansur, the 'enlightening' conversation became even more damaging. These same Lieutenants then talked about how 'stupid' Mansur was for being manipulated to do what Dawid forced him to do 'after Dawid killed Mansur's real parents practically in front of him while they were all robbing Mansur's home'. All at once, a million memories flooded back to Mansur/Casildo; images of his parents' faces, that day when they died...and the realization, upon the simultaneous utterance from the Lieutenants, that Dawid was the man who killed Mansur's/Casildo's parents in cold blood. He even remembered Dawid shooting Mansur/Casildo in the head...and then later waking up in that prison of a room only to be lied to by Dawid about his parent's death and being groomed to be Dawid's 'heir' to the '40 Thieves' guild.
After realizing the flood of memories coming back to him, Casildo was NOT happy. As Casildo was about to attack those 40 Thieves Lieutenants, they instead started walking back to the compound...only to be shadowed by a mysterious invisible man; an invisible man who was stepping on the very sand that made up Casildo's sandy body. From a hidden location behind a large plant, the invisible man re-materialized, appearing to be spying on the Lieutenants as they re-entered the compound. The man, now visible to Casildo, was wearing a dark blue uniform, naval officer's hat and a long black coat. That man (who he'd eventually learn the name of) was Captain Seawolf.
The spy radioed back what he'd overheard and what they were planning, making a statement to effect that he wished there was a way to tell Mansur what an [EXPLETIVE][EXPLETIVE] Dawid was and that sadly Mansur would most likely have get swept up in the lie and be tried for murder, which, according to the spy, Mansur only had thefts and robberies to his record. As Casildo was hearing all this, he realized that he was in a bad position all around. Either he followed through with Dawid's manipulative plan and murder some high-level pirates to gain leadership of the 40 Thieves or he'd most likely be caught in a sting operation that was definitively going to take down the 40 Thieves, the Maritime Marauders and himself by what he now believed to be the international peacekeeper powerhouse that was G.U.A.R.D.. In those quick moments, Casildo also realized there was another option; an option that actually felt like it'd lifted his soul just thinking about it; a plan he knew was the only right plan for him and everyone else around him deserving of their own fates.
Casildo was going to switch to the side of true justice in all of this.
His idea was to get even with Dawid for the murder of his parents by shutting down the only thing Dawid loved: his precious 40 Thieves guild. The added bonus of revenge was to have the authorities jail Dawid and ensure Dawid knew it was his son, Mansur, that was responsible for Dawid's and the 40 Thieves destruction. But first, he had to talk with this 'spy' to get all this to even hope to make any of this happen.
Casildo reformed into himself right behind the spy, Captain Seawolf. For a brief moment, the two fought, but Casildo gave up and stated that he wanted to make a deal with the spy that would shutdown the 40 Thieves, recapture a stolen US Warship, capture some of the Maritime Marauders and help with redistributing the stolen wealth and treasures back to their original owners. To make a long story shorter, over the next hour or two, all of what Casildo told Captain Seawolf was verified to be true, especially with fingerprint analysis of Casildo to verify who he actually was. As such, the Director of GUARD agreed to a deal with Casildo; a deal that would prevent jail time, but would also keep him serving under GUARD's supervision for the next 10 years as payment for his crimes. In an emergency call to the World Court, the deal was authorized for which Casildo agreed to the terms of the deal. Now, with mere hours left before the big heist, GUARD set themselves into motion, along with Casildo.
A few hours later, when the Maritime Marauders finally exchanged the stolen US warship for the money, GUARD descended on not only the site of the deal, but also on the lair of the 40 Thieves, the Maritime Marauders' escape sub and of course Dawid's hideaway. Everyone involved was caught and arrested. Dawid was sentenced by the World Court for multiple homicides, resulting in 10 life sentences in prison. Several super-powered Maritime Marauders were also incarcerated, as well as all lieutenants, thieves and henchmen.
As for Casildo, a special tribunal was held at the World Court. Due to the circumstances of Casildo's childhood abduction and manipulation by Dawid, and the fact that Casildo never killed anyone, the court decreed the aforementioned 10 year service agreement with GUARD as the terms for justice for Casildo. Casildo was not only overjoyed at this, but was sincerely thankful to Captain Seawolf for 'taking a chance' on him. With that, Casildo visited his parents' grave site and his prior home. Sadly, due to national law, all the family's assets, if not challenged within the first year of collection, was taken by the government...all of which again was found to be only the sum of several thousand in local currency and the value of the estate and businesses; none of which Casildo would ever be able to receive himself.
As for the other convicted criminals, within months of being placed in captivity, the imprisoned Maritime Maruaders broke out of prison and escaped; months after that, the same happened to Dawid, who escaped from his cell with the aid of a teleporter known as Sally Port, who was working at that time for the Gold Syndicate. The 40 Thieves guild, however, was shutdown hard and all their stolen money and merchandise was collected and within the next year, as stated before, was redistributed back to those stolen from.
Although broke, Casildo took on his new role in helping GUARD with a lifted spirit, feeling that Allah had blessed his soul for doing 'the right thing' in all of this. As such, Casildo requested to work with Captain Seawolf and Seaguard (and ensuingly its hero group, the Seaguardians) in whatever way he could. Casildo was then trained to become one of their super-powered heroes of GUARD, code-named "Sandlance" (in correlation to his 'boy with a lance' translated first name in Arabic). Although the first couple years were difficult for Casildo and his new teammates, he quickly earned their trust and became a valued member of the team. He even learned that his powers actually worked 'better' in and around water (able to hold his body's sand cohesion better).
Today, Sandlance continues his duties with the Seagaurdians. After already serving six years of his mandatory court agreement, he's in now hurry to leave the team. He's still arrogant and brash, yet a great team player and a totally trustworthy man. He is still a devout follower of Islam, but does not believe in its radical groups based on violence and death. Instead, he is currently courting an Arabic woman in the United States; an educated, free woman that will definitely be a challenge to be with, even though they are both madly in love with each other.
On a final note, CIA intelligence has recently reported incidents involving a revitalized '40 Thieves' gang/guild; a guild that seems to have new super-powered thieves in their ranks, and is also believed to be once again led by the notorious Dawid once again. It seems Dawid may be rebuilding his criminal empire.
Can change from normal human to silicon-based sand body (remarkable material).
Can only manipulate the sand that is his body (aprox. 250 lbs of sand); can't control any other sand/dirt.
While in his sand state, he can stretch, elongate, form around items and even morph into a pile of sand, all to great of an area/distance of 10 feet in any direction.
In his sand form, he can move under doors, through cracks in walls or even travel on the wind or across the ground as flows of sand
In his sand state, he has the equivocal of excellent protection against physical attacks (see NOTE below), amazing protection against energy and temperate attacks, as well as unearthly protection against radiation and toxic/toxin attacks.
NOTE: When exposed to a slightly humid/moist environment, the sand cohesion is greater, increasing his physical protection to remarkable levels
Enhanced Capabilities in Sand State
Strength is increased from typical to remarkable; endurance increased from good to amazing levels
Even though he can't control sand to 'add' to his size and bulk, he can, however,, fill his sandy body with other materials (rocks, cars, mailboxes, etc) to make himself 'larger'.
For every 100 lbs of mass he adds, he increases his physical damage and protection levels by a factor of 1.
Can only amass no more than 400 lbs of extra mass before it starts 'falling out of him'
LIMITATION: Sand Vision
His eyes slightly glow when in his sand state and also have a wide-lense and flared-lense effects on Casildo's vision. As such, he wears special polarized and adjusted sunglasses (see Equipment below) to retain normal vision and hide the eye glow, otherwise his unaided vision is considered poor in his sand state.
LIMITATION: Extreme Heat
When spectacular levels or higher of heat are applied to Sandlance's sand state body parts, the sand can and will turn into typical level glass. Once formed into glass, it cannot reform into sand again and when changed back to human state, the glass will remain 'glass'.
Allows for Sandlance, in his Sand State, to have normal vision (See Limitation in Powers above)
Communications encrypted transceiver for 250 mile range; 600 feet water depth (pending thermal layers)
Carries a variety of equipment in four or five pouches, usually his cell phone, personal items and at least one emergency beacon.
Sand Form Manipulation/Contortion Control (Professional)
Black Market (Professional)
Arabic Lifestyle (Professional)
Party Life (Proficient)
Martial Arts: Dodge/Evade (Professional)
Martial Arts: + Initiative