|Position||Member of the Dust|
Rusty grew up as a Markless orphan. Although the Markless took pity on him and fed him when they could, Rusty wandered from huddle to huddle on Slog Row by himself. As a result of this haphazard upbringing, Rusty did not speak until he was five or six years old. His parents are most likely dead, and their identities are unknown. So, as a matter of fact, is Rusty’s. Failing in his repeated attempts to learn the little boy’s name, Blake began calling him Rusty, after his hair color. Rusty often visited the Dust during mealtimes, sharing bits of their food and listening to them talk.
“Okay, Rusty. Come on, now. Time to go.” —Blake
Rusty’s first appearance in Swipe is the morning after the failed playground meeting. He comes to the Fulmart, as he often does, and eats a bag of chips with Blake, Eddie, and Tyler. Eddie tries to ask him whether he has anyone to care for him, but Rusty does not seem to understand the question.Blake, coming to warn the Markless of the impending DOME raid, finds Rusty hiding in a closet with his only possession--a towel that seems to double as a teddy bear. He puts Rusty’s towel over both their heads and slips out the back door. Logan, watching with Mr. Arbitor, recognizes Blake, but Rusty’s presence causes him to remain silent. Blake makes Rusty a member of the Dust, and the little boy appears, holding Blake’s hand, at Logan’s meeting with Peck.
Rusty accompanies the Dust from the Hayes’s farm to Beacon City. He remains safely underground during the two Acheron break-ins.
Rusty has learned to speak, although he does so infrequently. He has also begun taking part in the Dust’s missions, accompanying Joanne when the Dust splits up to confuse the IMPS after Tyler’s mustache escapade. When the Arbitors take the Dust to their apartment, Rusty enjoys playing in the fort Tyler builds in the living room. He comes along on the Dust’s sweep of DOME headquarters, helping to collect protein samples.
Three years after the Markless protests ended, Rusty is still living in Beacon City in the care of the Dust.
Rusty is about nine years old. He has bright red hair and freckles (which are initially invisible because he is so filthy). As a younger child he used to suck his thumb, but he has presumably stopped.
Rusty has a quiet personality, which is compounded by his initial inability to speak. Rusty is generally well-behaved—for a little boy, that is.
Rusty is a fast runner, able to keep up with Jo as they race ahead of the IMPS.