LGBT Plus Ultra
The child of two cops, Cassie's childhood was defined by absence, arguments, and reflected stress. As soon as she was old enough to navigate Skyway's concrete jungle by herself, she spent as little time at home as possible, finding her own fun in the few green spaces left in the city.
The crunch point arrived when she came out to her parents at age 15. After the yelling ended, she was given an ultimatum: get back in the closet, or get out of their house.
She spent a full year bottling up her identity - and then she had her first kiss. There was no closing the stable door after that, especially since the strong emotions had triggered her latent mutant powers and she was suddenly shining like a walking pride flag. The same night, she packed her bags and left, never to return.
She hasn’t spoken to them once since then, even though they still live in Skyway. She tries to avoid it, with the excuse of it being outside of her usual patrol route.
Nowadays she makes her home in King’s Row, renting out a shitty square box of an apartment in the old Garment Works, and it’s there that she conducts the majority of her hero work.
Cassie does not deliberately keep her civilian and cape identities separate, but it tends to work out that way. Perhaps people struggle to connect the dots between the perpetually-exhausted Cassie Knowles and the mega-flashy LGBT Plus Ultra. Nobody’s looking at the half-dead cashier and thinking “oh, yeah, that sure is somebody who’ll dress up in rainbow tights in her spare time”.
There's no shortage of things occupying her schedule. Regular shifts at Mighty Mart just about keep the landlord at bay; on evenings she hires out a room to run a youth group for queer kids in King's Row, which eats the rest of her paycheck. What little leisure time she has left between patrols is spent serving the bar at Pocket D (whether "working another job" really qualifies as leisure time is a question she studiously avoids asking herself). She used to play in a nameless little band, but she had to pawn her sax for rent one month when the tips were particularly bad.
Oh, and occasionally she even gets some sleep.
Cassie's powers are best described as "emotion-powered rainbow blasts". Her body produces prismatic energy according to her mood; when she's experiencing powerful emotions like happiness, love or pride, she glows like a kaleidoscope and can generate blasts with enough force to punch through steel doors. When depressed or drained, the glow fades and her power along with it.
With enough practice, she's also worked out how to direct her blasts downward to launch herself through the air in glittering arcs (which led to more than one twisted ankle before she could pony up for proper shock-absorbing soles from Icon).
As more of a street-level hero, most of her patrol takes place in a radius around her place in the Garment Works, leading to frequent clashes with the Skulls, Lost, and Circle of Thorns. Most of her interactions with the latter involve blasting; she has no magical expertise whatsoever, other than being able to recognise when something should probably be handed in to MAGI.