John Tybalt “JT” Austin (born 413 IE) was a resistance fighter during the occupation of Amargosa by the Laral Family, a farmer in that world’s Central Plains, independent pilot, and occasional Navy officer for the Compact of Humanity in Assembly. He arrived on Amargosa after running away from home in 429, but was taken into custody by the governor of the colony, who placed him with John Parker, a rural constable. During his stay, the Gelt invaded.
Childhood or Early Background
JT Austin was the son of then-Lieutenant Quentin Austin, a Navy pilot, and Tessa Dasarius, CEO of Dasarius Interstellar, the largest corporate entity in human history. He was born in Seattle, Cascadia, Earth, in 413. As Tessa’s oldest child, he would inherit the role of CEO on his fiftieth birthday. His entire life would be spent training for the role. However, JT found life at his mother’s estate confining and chafed at the expectations the company and family placed on him. He took to running away from home by joy-riding in his mother’s various personal vehicles.
After losing his virginity to a Laputan nanny, whom his mother deported, JT discovered women though he looked older. He would seduce (or be seduced) on his many outings. Only, in 429, his parents had had enough. They planned to send him to Virginia Military Institute. Instead, JT ran away, intending to go to Tian, humanity’s largest and most prosperous world. A prank, however, sent him to Amargosa.
Arrival on Amargosa
JT found himself in custody once more upon his arrival at Amargosa, an Earth-like world and colony of Mars. The governor placed him with John Parker, a farmer and the constable of Harlan Township. Parker put him to work on the farm under the supervision of his farm manager, Quan Jiang, an old Marine buddy. While JT and Quan had a contentious relationship, he also took to farm work well. He began developing a bond with Parker’s daughter, Lizzy Parker. They consummated the relationship the day the invasion began.
JT and Lizzy had spent a day together at a nearby reservoir. Just after sunset, a huge explosion lit up the sky. By the time they arrived, the Colonial Guard had been mobilized. Parker’s wife Sarah had them sent into the township’s main settlement. However, both left to join in the fighting.
When it became clear the planet had fallen to an unknown species, the couple fled to Walden, a cabin north of the Townships owned by Lizzy’s father. They planned to hide out until the liberation, but Quan arrived with a the remnants of Guard and Marine units. From there, JT and Lizzy became resistance fighters.
A human prisoner tricked them into looking for Suicide, a famous but reclusive pilot living alone in the Mining District. Instead, they fell into captivity by Lucius Kray, an aspiring warlord taking advantage of the invasion. With two of Kray’s people holding them hostage, they found Suicide. However, the pilot killed Kray’s people, and Suicide decided to take them to a Marine unit rumored to be hiding in the Misty Mountains.
During their escape, a Gelt battle wagon confronted them. JT and Suicide survived, but Lizzy died in the battle by heat ray. JT gathered up what ashes he could.
The Children of Amargosa
Suicide and JT came across a Gelt attack on the Transcontinental Maglev. Using the element of surprise, they foiled the attack. The resistance commander on the train died in the fight, so Suicide assumed command. There, JT met three of the four Children of Amargosa - Group, a title they would be given as a group after the war. They were Davra Andraste, Ellie Nardino, and Connor Duffy, who had fled Lansdorp when it was destroyed in a fusion blast. Under Suicide’s command, they gathered more resistance and put together an assault on the Founders' Mine, the colony’s first mine which had become Kray’s underground headquarters. Coordinating with Colonel Diana Jovann, they took over the Mine. JT worked with Quan’s unit from Walden and made a frontal assault. Kray escaped, but the main resistance now had a near-impenetrable underground fortress.
Hunt for the Ban Ki-moon
Against orders, JT, along with Eric Yuwono (the last of the Children of Amargosa until the liberation) and Davra, joined a mission to reach then fallen starship, the Ban Ki-moon. The Moon, as it was called, crashed in the ocean after a failed liberation attempt. During the trip, lycanths dragged Ellie Nardino off in the night, leaving her comrades believing she was dead. JT also took a Gelt woman prisoner who turned out to be named Tishla. She would prove instrumental in completing their mission. A confrontation further cost them two fighters, former war criminals who attempted to rape Tishla, and Davra. She and one of the fighters had a field trial for Section 11 execution. The fighter died, and Davra was sent away.
Upon reaching the Moon, they found Kray present. Tyler Wat, who brought his fellow war criminals with him on the trip, proposed he and most of the team defect as moles in Kray’s forces while Suicide took JT, Duffy, and Tishla off-world on one of the two projection-drive ships stowed on Nebraska Island.
Tishla convinced Suicide to head for the former colony of Gilead, now known as Hanar, which she claimed had become a human-Gelt world independent of the Compact and the Realm. Upon arrival, they learned she was that world’s “First Citizen,” its leader.
During his stay on Hanar, JT helped train Tishla’s burgeoning multi-species militia. His father arrives with Vice Admiral Eileen Burke and a representative from Metis, Gilead’s former parent world. Finding Tishla’s plans more practical than retaking the colony, they used the planet to stage a liberation operation. JT now trained with a Special Forces lieutenant named Mitsuko Yamato and a pilot from the CNV Challenger, Giddeus Modesto. Tishla attempted to convince him to fly for her, but his bond with Suicide decided his status. He flew in the first wave of the liberation, surviving a fusion blast as he landed with Mitsuko’s platoon.
During the liberation, he, Mitsuko, and Duffy coordinated with others in her platoon to infiltrate Kray’s read and force him to surrender. Kray himself had been distracted by the arrival of his ex-wife Brendie, Ellie Nardino (now leader of the Northern Resistance and a member of a Sapient Lycanth pack), and Tishla. He took a bullet to keep Kray from murdering Tishla. Kray died in a bizarre Section 11 execution, in which Ellie order Kray eaten alive by her lycanth friends.
JT moved to Walden permanently after the occupation. As Lizzy Parker’s widower, he signed over half the Parker farm to Quan and helped when he could. Suicide drew him into working with her for the Compact, Amargosa’s provisional government, and occasionally, Hanar. On one such mission, in 432, he and Suicide went in search of Jayne Best, wife of Amargosa’s provisional governor. They found her on the quarantined world Walton, where an organization called Juno held her, intending to reduce her to tissue samples. They spirited her off to Thule, the isolated planet above the galactic plane. Afterward, JT gave in to pressure from Suicide to join the Compact Navy despite Amargosa’s secession from the Compact. He served about a year until his ship, the Queen Maria Sophia, was boarded by hostile mechs, which turned out to be owned by Cubism. With help from Suicide, JT spirited Edward Windsor, now King Edward of Bonaparte, his party, and both Winsdor’s and the Gelt garrisons to Hanar. On the way to Amargosa, where Edward needed to recover from battle injuries, he learned Windsor’s sister Princess Elizabeth planned to assassinate her brother. The plot failed thanks to quick thinking by JT, his old war buddy Boone, and Queen Reiko, once a police officer who had no trouble concealing a Gelt stun grenade. The incident, however, convinced JT to resign his commission.
He returned as a civilian contractor to help Mitsuko track down and kill Gerard Kurz. During the operation, in which JT was wounded in the leg, they learned the radical Cubists were a front for Juno. Admiral Eileen Burke reactivated him as a lieutenant commander after King Edward knighted him, making him both a Bonapartan subject and citizen of the Compact once more.
In 435, JT joined a Cybercommand mission assisting Eric Yuwono in foiling a plot to pirate stolen resurrection technology by a man named Black. During the mission, Yuwono reluctantly staged a coup, but Black’s bio-weapons were destroyed. The resurrection technology also was destroyed, leaving the original in its inventors hands for planned distribution to the masses.
JT’s relationship with his mother soured after he ran away. She saw his departure as a betrayal and was horrified at his relationship with Tishla, an alien from a hostile species. JT, however, saw Amargosa as liberation even before the invasion turned him into a fighter and a pilot.
During the war, he and his father reconciled. JT often turned to his father for advice. Quentin Austin in turn expressed no opinion on his son leaving the Navy.
While JT’s sexual appetites needed contained while he still lived on Earth, he became a self-described serial monogamist after arriving on Amargosa. On Hanar, he availed himself to the attentions of curious young Gelt women. However, after the war, he become, as he informed Suicide, somewhat of a monk. Eventually, he began a series of friendships with benefits with local women, both sapiens and Gelt.
Lizzy Parker – JT and Lizzy’s mutual attraction began almost instantly. He found her beautiful and smart. She was fascinated by the “Earth Man.” On his sixteenth birthday, legal age under Martian law, they made love for the first time. As they fled the destruction in the Townships, JT asked Lizzy to marry her. She eventually accepted. With the resistance at Walden as witnesses, they married. However, Lizzy would die in battle less than twenty-four hours later. The incident would haunt him for the rest of this life.
Suicide – Suicide, legal name Cui Yun, took JT under her wing when she met him and Lizzy. As the resistance coalesced, she became very protective of him to the point of leaving him behind to reach the Ban Ki-moon. Although infuriated when he disobeyed orders to join the mission, she came to depend on him. On the way to Hanar, she began training him both as a soldier and a pilot. When asked why she had to decide whom he would fly for in the liberation, he called her his “real mother.” From that point onward, they would define their relationship as mother-son, much to Tessa Dasarius’s chagrin.
When JT learned Suicide was a Cubist, they endured a year-long rift that ended only when Gerard Kurz abducted her on Aphrodite. From that point forward, they worked as business partners, flying the second ship named Goldeneyeas a freighter and on contracts for both the Metisian Republic and the Compact.
Lattus Tishla – JT met Tishla when he took her prisoner. Initially, she feigned any ability to speak Humanic. He treated her fairly but did not hide his hostility toward her as a Gelt. When she revealed she could speak Humanic, she then made an effort to befriend him. Eventually, she asked JT to kill her if they were taken hostage. He told her he’d detonate a grenade between them, the beginning of their bond.
During his first stay on Hanar, he developed a crush on Tishla to the point where he would have trysts with young Gelt women who looked like her. Tishla took offense, but also wanted to thank him for treating her honorably on Amargosa. She lowered herself to servant to him for a night and gave him her bed. When he awoke with a nightmare, she made love to him, telling him it was one time only and they both needed to be intimate.
After the war, Tishla frequently visited JT’s cabin, often appointing herself housekeeper, landscaper, and occasionally carpenter. The combination of manual labor and security by obscurity allowed her to forget her responsibilities. During her stay after JT quit the Navy, she revealed she would “bring you my gift” if he made the first move. He insisted she had to make it. During the conversation, she suggested he should open himself to the possibility of a relationship with Ellie Nardino.
Stephanie Mercado – During his time on the Queen Maria Sophia, he had a casual relationship with a pilot named Stephanie Mercado, call sign “Midnight Angel.” JT hoped he would finally move on from Lizzy. However, Mercado died while attempting to escape the seize Sophie.
Elizabeth Windsor – When King Edward voiced his suspicions about his sister Elizabeth, he pointed out to JT her crush on him. He all but ordered him to take advantage of it. Reluctantly, JT attempted to seduce her, realizing she was doing the same. When Elizabeth turned out to be a traitor and responsible for the destruction of the Marcus Aurelius and the seizure of the Sophie, he developed a deep resentment against both Elizabeth and Cubists in general. The incident drove a wedge between him and Suicide for nearly a year.
Ellie Nardino – With nudges from Tishla, JT and Ellie Nardino began a winter-long affair that both would remember fondly later on. It began when JT took her to the same reservoir he and Lizzy made love near, and treated her, as he said, like a teenager. Over time, they began thinking about marriage. When JT finally proposed, she said she would accept only if she could have Tishla’s blessing and he patched up things with Suicide. Their relationship cooled to one with benefits and, eventually, close platonic friendship.
Mitsuko Yamato – From the moment they met, Mitsuko Yamato took JT under her wing as a sort of protégé. In a relationship at the time with Giddeus Modesto, she never moved their relationship with JT beyond the platonic. However, during his time in the Navy, the pair bunked together and became close confidants. The grand-niece of Bonaparte’s King Yanuhito,she understood JT’s chaffing against his one-time role as heir to the Dasarius business empire. One time during an argument, she took JT’s side over that of her fiancé, King Edward. However, she and Edward would recruit him in the quest to take down Gerard Kurz.
Birth Year: 413 IE
Birth Place: Seattle, Cascadia, Earth, Sol, Compact
Service or Occupation: Compact Navy, Metisian Navy, Foundation Navy, all as reservist after 433 IE.
Call Sign: “Little Wing” (until 433), “Mad Hermit”
Mother: Tessa Dasarius
Father: Quentin Austin
Siblings: William “Wills” Austin (born 415), Carl Austin (born 417), Shaneese Dasarius (born 421)
Spouse: Elizabeth “Lizzy” Parker (died 429)
Gimme Shelter, The Children of Amargosa, Second Wave, Among Wolves, Flight Blade, Storming Amargosa, Suicide Run, Checkmate, Winter Games, Royal Orders, Another Way to Die