JT Austin (born 413 IE) was a resistance fighter in the Laral Occupation of Amargosa. The son of Dasarius Interstellar CEO Tessa Dasarius and Admiral Quentin Austin, as a teenager, Austin looked mature for his age and used this to get into bars and casinos and seduce older women, who believed him to be roughly twenty. In one such incident in 429, he took a woman seeking employment with Dasarius to an orbital resort in low-Earth orbit for a one-night stand. Before he could proceed, however, a detective arrested him for use of a fraudulent identity and lying to an adult to obtain sex. Admiral Austin himself went along to retrieve his son.
When Tessa and the admiral informed him he would be sent to military school, he fled to a nearby spaceport and had a friend sneak him aboard a freighter bound for what he thought was Tian. During his stowing away aboard the Ralan Underhill, he discovered the severity of his wormhole sickness and vomited all over the boots of the crew member who found him hiding.
JT found himself in custody in Lansdorp, Amargosa’s capital. Governor Anton Croix informed him that the Valles Marineris would retrieve him in four month’s time. While he waited, he would be placed into custody with John Parker, a farmer and constable of Harlan Township. After his first day on the farm, Parker learned of his hacking skills and put him to work as a “bot wrangler” to manage the tractbots.
JT attempted to escape custody on tractbot, but it refused to leave the Parker farm. Parker’s daughter Lizzy retrieved him and said she would not tell her parents if he walked her home. She informed him he could consider that their first date. However, while they headed back to the house, they noticed smoke rising from a farm that lay to the north in Dagar Township.
John Parker took JT with him to watch as he investigated the fire with Constable Kray. Parker put him on clean-up detail, where JT found a magazine from a KR-27 assault rifle. JT recognized the name from a weapon his father kept mounted over his mantle. However, the magazine lacked the logo of Taiyang Huo, which made the KR-27, marking the magazine as a counterfeit. He would later stumble onto a practice range used by Kray’s militia and escape when his pursuers were distracted by a gosalope.
On the day before her sixteenth birthday, Lizzy Parker lured JT into a stand of bushes and began kissing him, pressing him to do something more intimate. Aware of how he had treated women in the past, he tried to discourage her advances, but she insisted she would like her first time with a man “to be with an Earth man.”
After JT had been on Amargosa six months, he accepted John Parker’s offer to remain in his custody until his eighteenth birthday, pending his parents approval. He also earned a degree of respect from Quan when Marcus Leitman responded angrily to the boy’s presence.
On his sixteenth birthday, after a large steak dinner from Sarah Parker and a playful video message from Lizzy, he took a mandatory day off from the farm to spend at a nearby reservoir. He intended to read and swim, glad to be away from noise. Lizzy found him skinny dipping, hid his clothes, and joined him over his protests. However, she convinced him that it was time they gave in to their desires. They went ashore and made love for the first time.
Afterward, JT told Lizzy he would consider staying on Amargosa with her. When night fell, he pointed out Sol in Amargosa’s sky and explained how stories of Earth being a polluted cesspool were exaggerated. Their evening came to an abrupt halt when the destruction of Amargosa’s hypergate lit up the sky.
JT and Lizzy fled back to the farm. Quan drove them into the townshp’s settlement so they could ride out the crisis in a shelter. When Lizzy changed her mind and ran back to the farm to defend it, JT followed. He found himself drafted into service, a soldier handing him a portable railgun. His first attempt at using one destroyed a Gelt battle wagon and its heat ray weapon, but he failed to kneel when firing. The recoil sent him backward into a tree. Regaining consciousness, he barely survived a fight to the death with a Gelt soldier.
He found the Parker farm wrecked and killed two invaders upon his arrival. He killed a third he found attempting to rape Lizzy. They rummaged the main house for supplies and killed the last member of the battle wagon crew with his own heat dish. They took a field wagon loaded with supplies and headed north to Walden. While en route there, they saw the mushroom cloud from the fusion blast that destroyed Lansdorp. They also witnessed the destruction of Arcanum several hundred kilometers to the east of them.
Upon arriving at Walden, JT informed Lizzy that he would have accepted John Parker’s custody of him until his eighteenth birthday if he had known he and Lizzy could stay at the cabin despite the primitive conditions. Lizzy revealed her intention to take him up there herself had the invasion not occurred. They were unable to find any broadcasts or data feeds beyond amateur operators in search of news when they looked for updates on the invasion. They eventually did, however, pick up Major Furlong‘s broadcasts out of Susskind. They spent their first night at the cabin making love in a vain attempt to forget about the day’s horrors. Fearing they would be dead any day, JT proposed marriage to her. She accepted once he promised to help her rebuild her family farm.
The next morning, soldiers seized Walden. They turned out to be the beginnings of a resistance led by Quan, who promptly swore them into the Colonial Guard. At the time, a wound JT received while fighting the Gelt developed sepsis.
Quan objected to his marriage proposal, but Lizzy defended him, saying they were adults. She then made him take a blood oath as was the custom of women on Elysium, her mother’s native world.
After the ritual, JT went out on a patrol with an ex-Marine named Ramirez and a native Amargosan named Arushi. They gave him antibiotics as the moved into the Townships in search of supplies and survivors. They also encountered an incursion capsule, which they investigated in an attempt to understand the Gelt better. They blew it up along with a battle wagon crew that happened by.
After rescuing a shopkeeper and the veterinarian Dr. Lucius Kray‘s insurgents disguised in Gelt armor. Only one of the attackers survived, a former Colonial Guardsman named Farset, whom they took prisoner. Unconscious, JT broke his leg to immobilize him while Ran fixed it. Farset referred to the refugees and settlers killed by the insurgents as “collateral damage,” for which JT allowed the shopkeeper to punch him., the patrol headed back to Walden. Along the way, they were attacked by another battle wagon, this one hijacked by
Once back at camp, Ran recognized JT’s infection as marvo, a bacterial parasite native to Amargosa. Marvo did not do damage until the skin healed over it. He prescribed a horse medicine that would kill it but make a human sick. He balked at taking it, but Lizzy believed Farset could get them to Tian. She wanted to marry him before they left. When JT agreed to take the medication, she told a chaplain in camp she wanted to wed JT as soon as possible. JT, however, had to swear he would help her rebuild if Amargosa could be freed.
JT and Lizzy witnessed the interrogation of a captured Gelt. He was able to confirm that the hole in the prisoner’s tongue meant it was male. Lizzy also confirmed this by explaining how one tried to rape her the day before. The Gelt could not speak Humanic when captured. During the interrogation, JT fainted from his marvo infection. Dr. Ran gave him the horse medication and ordered him to rest. Lizzy spent the night with him, sleeping next to him to keep him comfortable.
The next morning, JT questioned Farset, who taunted him. When the prisoner refused to cooperate, JT took advantage of the nausea caused by his medicine and vomited on Farcet’s shoes. He then informed Farcet that he would die the next day at noon unless he told JT everything about the hidden ships. While Farcet explained what he knew, the Gelt prisoner began shouting in Humanic. He revealed his name as Wolzac Evart, apparently the appointed governor of “Cyal,” the Gelt name for Amargosa. When Quan threatened to torture him, Wolzac bit down on a false tooth that release a bio-toxin into his bloodstream, killing him in seconds. Evart then exploded and liquefied.
That evening, JT married Lizzy in a Harvest Faith ceremony. Lizzy’s mother Sarah was of the Harvest Faith, but like her mother, she took JT’s last name.
Later, on their wedding night, actually in the early hours of the next morning, he and Lizzy sprung Farset to go looking for the pilot the prisoner had mentioned. Farset, however, tricked them into surrendering to Lucius Kray. The insurgents taunted JT and Lizzy, saying his mother was responsible for the war. Kray, however, intervened and assigned two insurgents to accompany them to find a former Navy pilot named Cui Yun, better known as Suicide.
Saja proved a physically abusive captor, hitting him with her pistol. However, this only served to make JT more sarcastic. She forced him to take a side path to a Tesla coil to recharge the runabout they used to find Suicide. When JT threatened to kill Saja at the earliest opportunity, she pistol whipped Lizzy. They found Suicide shortly thereafter only to have the mysterious pilot shoot Saja and her escort both in the head. Suicide voiced displeasure at Farset’s presence. Suicide led them on a trip intended for the Misty Mountains. A Gelt battle wagon interrupted them. During the battle with the crew, Farset was stabbed to death and a heat ray incinerated Lizzy as she prevented another Gelt from stabbing him. Enraged, JT found a portable railgun and shot at the heat dish. When the last alien still survived, he beat it to death with a railgun charge. Hysterical, he refused to leave the battlefield until he gathered up Lizzy’s ashes. Suicide helped him, promising to teach him to make a bullet locket.
They turned the aliens’ battle wagon upright and commandeered it.. Soon, they happened on the maglev under attack by more Gelt. JT attempted to fire a railgun charge at one of the two battle wagons, but Suicide hit a rut, causing him to lose the weapon. He took out the battle wagon with a grenade. Once aboard the maglev, JT found the lavatory and locked himself inside. There, he broke down weeping and swore to his late wife that he would take back her family’s land.
He returned to Walden aboard the maglev. When Quan met him, he threatened him with a Section 11, but Suicide intervened, along with Davra Andraste, Ellie Nardino, and Connor Duffy. That evening at Walden, some of the Parkers’ former neighbors helped him put together a grave and headstone for Lizzy. Suicide walked him through making a bullet locket for her ashes, giving him a silver chain given her by her late wife. Suicide eulogized her at her funeral. He and Quan acknowledged each other’s love for Lizzy, but both men remained hostile to each other.
JT accompanied Suicide and the others on the maglev east, intending to reach resistance near the ruins of Arcanum. When the maglev stopped due to a destroyed bridge, they marched down into a ravine and found an abandoned village. The villagers, however had not abandoned the area but hid in the woods. They also killed the Gelt invaders sent to clean up, hanging them from a large tree.
In the village, JT taught Davra Andraste to drive and to hot rig vehicles. He then took over for Duffy to test a heat dish weapon he and Ellie Nardino had rigged to a runabout. It succeeded, incinerating a derelict barrow.
Suicide later escorted JT back to Walden to act as a liason to Quan, which the older man did not appreciate. However, JT also brought knowledge of how to rig a heat dish to a human vehicle and tested it on a stray lycanth that had been harassing the camp. The assault began at dawn the next morning.
JT began the attack working a heat dish mounted on a runabout. He killed several Gelt patrols in the process, but his driver was killed by Kray’s insurgents as they approached the Founders’ Mine. He joined Ramirez’s contingent as they entered the mine, but they were personally ambushed by Lucius Kray. Kray captured him and, despite surrender, shot Ramirez. Kray then attempted to convince the resistance troops that JT’s mother had arranged the invasion. He revealed, to JT’s shock, that Dasarius Interstellar owned JunoCorp, and that their employee, Marcus Leitman, conspired with the Gelt to seize at least three Compact colonies. Kray became physically abusive toward JT when he suggested Leitman had also conspired with Kray to create his militia.
When Kray found himself trapped between the combined forces led by Quan and Col. Diana Jovann and those led by Suicide, he used a camouflage grenade to escape and flee the mine. Later, as both received treatment for their injuries, Suicide cautioned JT not to speak about his past. The rumor about Dasarius Interstellar owning JunoCorp and arranging the invasion had served to recruit soldiers for Kray.
As the resistance settled into the Founders’ Mine, Austin and Eric Yuwono served as shooting instructors for civilian newcomers, a job neither one relished. When they were left out of the mission to make direct contact with survivors of the Ban Ki-moon, JT said he might try to go anyway to get to Nebraska Island, hoping one of the ships would let him keep his promise to Lizzy to get help and recover her family’s land. Yuwono hatched a plan for them to do despite orders. JT cautioned him not to tell Davra. However, he invited her along without telling him because Yuwono had a heavy crush on her. JT felt he would be overprotective.
On their first night out, they encountered a pack of lycanths that seemed intelligent. They camped out in the village where JT met Dr. Yaris Ran originally before following the maglev mainitenance road. Within sight of the , they were taken into custody by Tyler Wat and brought before Suicide. Suicide expressed anger at their disobeidience but did not send them back to the Founders’ Mine. Partly to get them out of her hair, and partly to make contact with any remaining resistance in Edoras, she ordered Yuwono and JT Austin to climb the stairs from the Transit Center to Edoras to make contact. Halfway up, they met armed resistance and surrendered. The soldiers took them up to Edoras to meet Lieutenant Tarak for questioning. When Tarak realized JT’s father was Quentin Austin, he expressed his admiration for the admiral giving the surviving task force cover while they escaped.
JT and Eric briefed Tarak, who in turn related his fall from orbit and his resistance effort. The lieutenant showed them where the resistance cell attacked Gelt settlements near the mountain. They helped him locate the entrance to the copper mind and found their way back down to the Transit Center.
Once underway, JT and Eric pulled guard duty while the team camped by day. They ambushed a Gelt vehicle traveling along the maintenance road, killing the two males up front. A female escaped. JT sensed the female wanted to protect someone and took her prisoner rather than killing her outright. She surrendered, offering her knife to him. Back in camp, he turned her over to Suicide. Duffy named the prisoner “Trixie” as she did not speak Humanic. The woman appeared not to appreciate the name. Eric later suggested shooting her, which both JT and Davra did not approve of. JT, however, treated Trixie roughly as the march continued, for which Davra rebuked him.
During a scouting mission, the strange lycanths appeared again, one tackling him. It seemed to talk to him, but Ellie Nardino got it off of him. However, the lycanth carried her off into the darkness. When the team concluded Ellie would not be retrieved that night, Davra joined him to hot rig two bat wagons, which the team rode to the maglev station over Lansdorp. During the trip, JT found a whiskey bottle, which he shared with Yuwono and Duffy. They managed to get Duffy buzzed.
When Davra Andraste killed Cannon, resulting in a Section 11 hearing for her and Hauser, JT had to assure Suicide he would vote his conscience, even if it meant she had to execute Davra. Instead, Davra went into exile while Hauser took a bullet to the head for his own crime in the incident. Afterward, however, he had to stop Eric Yuwono from beating Trixie. JT told her not to get used to his protection as his wife had died by Gelt heat ray. Despite this one mention of it, he would continue to blame Lucius Kray for Lizzy’s death.
Before the team got underway, JT released Trixie, still treating her roughly. She handed him a pair of binders either Hauser or Cannon had dropped. JT’s attitude softened, and he showed her the bullet locket containing Lizzy’s ashes. Once back on the march, JT had to fight Riley off again. Suicide ordered them separated and threatened to Section 11 Riley if his behavior continued. JT moved forward with his bound prisoner, walking with Yuwono and Duffy. Yuwono’s attitude had also softened.
As they entered the tunnel beneath Lansdorp, the site of dead humans and Gelt, who looked very similar when skeletonized, unsettled him, as did crawling through the disabled maglev train at the mouth of the tunnel. He also felt a little claustrophobia, though he attributed this to walking kilometers beneath ground zero of a fusion blast. He noticed the cracks in the tunnel grew more pronounced as they approached the city center and wondered if the tunnel had collapsed. However, they reached the tunnel.
It took hours to find a way inside. Duffy and Yuwono could not hack it, nor could Yuwono or Suicide invoke their military credentials. Once again, Riley tried picking a fight with JT over Trixie when JT fell into a wall, knocking a panel loose. It uncovered the entry panel, allowing Suicide to use her credentials to enter the bunker. Trixie followed him inside unbound, but the team stopped when confronted with a squad of Marines who had been in the bunker since the invasion. When the confrontation began to escalate, Trixie stepped in and revealed she could speak Humanic and her name was actually Tishla. She offered herself for examination to Governor Croix. However, she demanded that Suicide oversee the process. JT also was to watch, as Tishla said she owed him more than he suspected.
JT witnessed the examination, but cringed and looked away when some of the procedures became invasive. He told Suicide, who watched with him, that it was almost like watching Lizzy be vivisected. Suicide told him he was growing up fast.
Wat and Duffy broke him out of his locked room when Suicide implemented an escape plane. They liberated Tishla and went looking for ammo before escaping. While Duffy wanted explosives, the others searched for ammunition. As they escaped Tishla asked JT about Colonel Kray and why he hated the man so much.
While crossing a ravine via its cliffs, he almost fell to his death, only to be saved first by Tishla, then Duffy and Yuwono. He rebound her with hands in the front despite the ease with which she could strangle him. When she offered her life, or if he wanted, her body, he said he was above killing or raping prisoners. She asked him about Lizzy, and he revealed why he blamed Kray more than the Gelt for her death. During a pause in the march, Tishla found a dead body. They determined it was one of Kray’s. They found the remains of a militia camp and salvaged an abandoned bat wagon. Suicide sent Wat and JT to scout for a second vehicle. JT expressed his disgust with Wat as a former war criminal. Wat told him he wasn’t even a true believer. He just wanted to watch the world burn when he was JT’s age. He even suggested they were very much alike at the same age, though JT seemed destined to avoid a prison cell. They found a bat wagon near Lake Anaronda. Upon their return, Duffy found a way to get both wagons to charge simultaneously as one of them lost its solar wrap. Suicide had JT go with Wat in one, still responsible for Tishla. During the trip, Tishla explained how the heat rays, like the one that killed Lizzy, were primarily a favorite weapon of the Larals, who used unskilled transported criminals to be their first wave of troops, then more elite Warriors to consolidate their positions.
When the convoy came under fire, Tishla told JT to kill her if he thought they would be captured. When he balked, she told him she would rather he kill her to atone for Lizzy’s death than to slake Kray’s bloodlust or fall into Laral Umish’s hands. JT said he would blow them both up with a grenade if it came to that.
When the team repelled the insurgents, they found their way to a coastal fishing village. However, they also just caught Kray taking the only seaworthy boat. They found one salvageable boat. Suicide placed Tishla into the custody of Duffy and a Marine named Jiang so they could locate nanite paste and a controller to program it. This would allow them to patch a breach in the hull. In the meantime, she put JT to work with Wat to restart the boat’s reactor and get the systems back online.
Once the boat was repaired but before the team set out to sea, Tishla quietly informed him that he could take her life in exchange for Lizzy’s. Furthermore, if he felt the need to punish her, she would not resist physical abuse, though she also doubted that he had that kind of rage within him. JT replied that she wanted to kill Laral Umish, which made her him friend. He also explained that his father had taught him better than that. She revealed that Duffy explained his background as both an admiral’s son and as heir to a very powerful commercial entity, and that he had turned his back on all that. Despite her telling him she wished he were a Gelt Warrior, he bristled whenever someone called her his girlfriend.
At sea, JT realized he was prone to seasickness and relayed the story how Kray kicked him in the face with vacuum-rated boots. When they reached the Ban Ki-moon, they found Kray waiting. Suicide took him, Jiang, and Tishla with her aboard the ship. There, Acting Captain Boko kept Kray in check. He also shook JT’s hand as “the son of the Quentin Austin.” Boko allowed him and Suicide to witness Dr. Panadero‘s examination of Tishla. However, they soon evacuated back to the fishing boat as a crew member revealed something to Suicide.
She informed them that Kray was seizing the ship. JT, Duffy, and Suicide would liberate Tishla and head for Nebraska Island, which JT hoped to go for in the first place. The others would pretend to defect to Kray to infiltrate his militia. Aboard the Ban Ki-moon, Suicide and JT freed Tishla. They witnessed Kray stabbing Boko, and JT nearly killed Kray, severely beating him as he released Tishla. Suicide told him on the way out that she would not have stopped him killing Kray, implying it would not even be considered a Section 11 execution.
They fled aboard a combat shuttle from the Ban Ki-moon to Nebraska Island. On the beach, another shuttle seized by Kray’s insurgents fired on them, wounding Tishla and killing one of the crew members with them. He told Tishla he did not have a grenade to blow both of them up if capture became inevitable. She told him to kill her with his knife and save himself if it came to that. They found Amargosa Two, however, and boarded. There Tishla convinced Suicide it would be safer to go to Hanar and contact Athena Jovann on Metis.
JT’s piloting career began when Suicide had him power up the projection-drive reactor and handle countermeasures. As usual, he did not weather the wormhole very well, especially as this one was from low orbit with the windows still transparent. Still, he used his barf bag, which was more than he could say for Duffy, who spat out his breakfast in zero-G.
As they approached Hanar, Suicide sent a hyperdrone to Metis. There, Tishla revealed she was the First Citizen, promising to help setup the liberation effort for Amargosa. She also told JT that she would help her keep her promise to Lizzy.
On Hanar, he and Suicide trained with the planet’s fledgling military. When a Compact delegation arrived, Tishla summoned him to explain to Admirals Burke and Austin, as well as Athena Jovann, the events since the invasion of Amargosa, how he interacted with Tishla when he took her prisoner, and how he now was a pilot. He also stunned his father revealing that he had been married and widowed in a matter of days because of the war. Tishla offered him citizenship if the admirals attempted to forcibly remove him from the planet.
He accompanied a special forces team led by Mitsuko Yamato escorting his father and Admiral Burke to negotiate with human separatists. A faction led by ambushed the team, scattered them, and kidnapped the admirals. He regrouped with the Navy team along with their Hanarian backups and found missing team members. This led to an embarrassing encounter with Yamato and Giddeus Modesto in which they had spent a night together and were not in uniform. However, he led them back to the team in time to see Suicide call in a strafing run to convince the separatists to release their hostages. The separatists, minus Katsumato, came to the negotiating table.
It unsettled JT to meet Lizzy’s cousin Michelle Parker among the separatists. Michelle could have been Lizzy’s twin. After he returned from the mission, his father assigned Yamato and Modesto to take over his combat and pilot training respectively. He had to explain to Yamato why they trained with paint balls, as Amargosan rebels and settlers did not have swords or smart bullets. He also told the story of how Lizzy die, which prompted Yamato to give him a hug and tell him she’d train him for his late wife.
He nearly derailed his training after helping a Marine and a Warrior train Hanarian volunteers. Nobu Katsumato maimed the Warrior and killed the Marine. Mitsuko took him with her to hunt the renegade down. However, JT nearly killed him after he was captured, resulting in his own arrest. As a Hanarian prisoner, he was released by Tishla and dressed down by Suicide. He also avoided getting sent back to Earth by his father.
Modesto and Yamato assumed training for him as a pilot and in ground combat respectively. Additionally, Suicide asked Yamato to become a personal mentor for him. Modesto neglected to prep the Falcon for his first solo flight. JT covered by saying Modesto wanted him to do it but JT never got the request. He also told Modesto that he needed to learn how to treat Mitsuko better.
Upon the arrival of Gel Lansdorp, Tol Germanicus and his wife, and Fleet Admiral Tran Vu, JT was summoned back to the Residence to recount his experiences on Amargosa and holding Tishla prisoner. Tishla also related how she offered to let JT do anything he wanted as pennance for the death of his wife. As JT did none of those things, she called him the most noble man she knew of any species. However, the following morning, she summoned him back for a private chat. She discovered his fetish for Gelt women who looked like her. She understood, but she felt violated. In addition, “Ten of me would not add up to Lizzy.” He felt an enormous amount of guilt after that.
As Tishla had requested him to fly for her during the liberation, Mitsuko Yamato, Connor Duffy, and Mitsuko’s Special Forces team offered to defect to Hanar and fly with him if he went into Tishla’s service.
Additionally, in the run up to the coming liberation effort, JT trained within swordplay. He eventually learned to defeat Bornag while sparring. Bornag respected his talents. When the Gelt voiced disgust at how humans reproduced, he pointed out the similarities to the Gelt system and said if sex did not feel good, most primates would find it gross and not do it.
During this time, Suicide asked JT for a shirt to burn for a bullet locket. JT was touched by this, and he would later consider it the beginning of their mother-son relationship. During this time, JT began a habit of sleeping with Gelt women who resembled Tishla, which Suicide called him out over. He bunked with Duffy and took on starship training with Linda Havak and Patty Friese about the Challenger.
Tishla, however, relented and asked him back to the Residence. After asking for his decision on who to fly for, which he left open, she put aside her role as First Citizen and offered herself as his servant for the night, feeding him, bathing him, and putting him in her bed while she slept in the servant’s nook. A nightmare about Lizzy jolted him from sleep. Tishla had him shower while she changed the sweaty sheets, then lay with him to comfort him. When he revealed his pain and how, even if by proxy, sleeping with her stopped the nightmares, Tishla made love to him. The next morning, she arranged a breakfast for him with Admiral Burke, Mitsuko, and Duffy. They would be permitted to make their case for JT flying with the Compact. However, JT said he needed his “mother’s” blessing. His mother, he declared, was Suicide. Touched, Suicide said she wanted her “son” flying alongside her in the coming battle. From that point on, Suicide and JT referred to each other as mother and son.
Mitsuko flew with JT during the liberation of Amargosa.