Quentin Austin was a flag officer in the Compact Navy. As a teen, he did a Youth Corps program through Cybercommand. By 429 IE, he held the rank of force admiral, a one-star rank. He married Tessa Dasarius shortly after they conceived their son, JT, a partnership that continued even after their eventual parting.
Austin fought in the Polygamy Wars. At some point, he lost his left hand and had a new one grown. During the rescue from the mission where he lost his hand, he met Cui Yun, aka Suicide. The two immediately became friends.
In 429, after too many incidents of underage drinking, hookups with older women, and joyriding Tessa’s vehicles, Austin and his wife decided to send their oldest son to Virginia Military Institute in Dixie, a regional authority in the former United States. When the boy ran away and became stranded on Amargosa, Austin and his ex-wife agreed to leave the boy there until the next scheduled visit by a Navy vessel, scheduled for four months after JT’s arrival there. The couple decided to have him placed in the custody of John Parker, a former Marine, local constable, and farmer. Parker was to put the boy to work on his farm and deny him any of his usual privileges.
Austin agreed to let John Parker continue custody of his oldest son. However, through his ex-wife, he informed JT that, if the boy ever set foot on a Compact world other than Mars or Amargosa, he would be drafted as an enlistee into the Marines branded an incorrigible.
When Amargosa fell during the Gelt Incursion, Austin, then a force admiral, assumed command of the Valles Marineris. The Marineris, along with the Ban Ki-moon , would lead an armed task force to retake Amargosa. The task force attempted to shoot down a Gelt colony transport. However, the fleet soon found itself ambushed. Several Compact ships were destroyed, and Austin put his ship between the surviving vessels of his task force and the Gelt attackers. While he saved the rest of his fleet, 11,000 people died in the attack. The Ban Ki-moon also fell into the atmosphere out of reach of rescue.
Austin returned with his task force to the Zeus Shipyards. Once docked, he visited wounded at a hospital on Alcmene, a moon of Zeus. Many of the wounded expressed a desire to avenge those lost over Amargosa, but Austin found himself summoned to nearby Tian to meet with Rear Admiral Burke. She relieved him of duty and sent him back to Earth. During the trip, he contacted Tessa, who assured him she did not hold him responsible for not rescuing their son. She also promised to do everything in her power to help him. On Earth, he was diverted from Navy HQ on Bellingshausen Island to meet Major Liu in Antarctica, where the Navy maintained a secret spacecraft facility. Liu said he was there to save Austin’s career. Liu and Fleet Admiral Tran assigned Austin to investigate JunoCorp as they had sent a representative, now calling himself Marcus Leitman to all three colonies attacked in the Gelt Incursion. The investigation, which he took over from new Jefivan delegate Douglas Best was complicated by Leitman’s appointment as Earth’s new junior delgate to the Compact Assembly. It would meet further complication as JunoCorp turned out to be a minor investment by Dararius Interstellar, owned by Tessa Dasarius’s family.
The investigation led Austin to travel to JunoCorp headquarters on The Caliphate in Rashidun. He had an appointment to interview CEO Walter Pope about his company. However, he found Pope floating dead in the corporate swimming pool. Pope’s assistant, Sarai Gaddar later approached him for help. She revealed that JunoCorp might actually be a front for something else, its licensing revenues going somewhere not on the books. Austin agreed to help her break into JunoCorp’s headquarters to get inside information in exchange for taking Gaddar off world. The visit to JunoCorp revealed a convoluted and likely bogus org chart that had several executives listed as Gaddar’s direct reports. Also, it revealed confusing bios for former employee Leitman, listing him alternately as aged 170 and 37, with citizenships on Thule, Etrusca, Metis, and Earth. Most importantly, it revealed JunoCorp’s parent company to be an investment company on Bromdar called Hatch.
Austin took Sarai Gaddar with him to Bromdar to meet Hatch’s management. While settling into his hotel room, a visitor came and threatened his children. Austin responded with a gun, but did not shoot the visitor. Not long afterward, however, he was hit by a flitter as he shoved Sarai out of the way.
He suffered numerous fractures and head injuries. Doctors initiated a partial rejuve to allow him to recover quickly. While in recovery, Austin questioned Hatch’s CEO Alton Loft, who revealed that Hatch’s own parent company was Dasarius Interstellar.
Upon his return to Earth, he was diverted to his meeting with the Joint Chiefs of Staff by Tol Germanicus, who demanded to know why he was talking to Hatch. Austin revealed what he knew about Hatch and JunoCorp. Germanicus revealed a GMO they were working on that was already causing problems on the new Jefivan colonies. Germanicus also managed to find an intinerary for Leitman’s replacement at JunoCorp. Dasarius had learned the new rep was setting up the Etruscan colony of Anacreon.
Austin relayed this information to Fleet Admiral Tran, who authorized an operation under Vice Admiral Burke. Austin would participate as an 0bserver. Before departing, he returned to the Dasarius estate to see his children and ex-wife. There, he learned Tessa was dating Marcus Leitman.
At Anacreon, once the Realm fleet called a cease-fire, Austin met with Laral Farad and dictated terms of surrender. He let the Gelt leave, but told Laral that, if his son on Amargosa were killed under their occupation, he would personally kill their Sovereign.
Shortly thereafter, the Etruscan delegate to the Compact Security Council and the Secretary-General recommended the investigation into Austin’s failure at Amargosa be closed. He then rose in rank to rear admiral and assumed command of the Navy’s warp project. While Austin was grateful to be exonerated and given the new post, he felt he was promoted out of the way. He also believed he lost his best chance to rescue his son.
Austin joined the Challenger at Luna and traveled to Earth. In a meeting attended by Hideki Okada and Peter Lancaster, he insisted on more testing for the ship before putting it into play. Fleet Admiral Tran and Major Liu overruled them, briefing them on the alien species known as the Gelt. Austin then accompanied the ship to Nereid to prepare for the mission, the bombing of a Gelt colony with fission-triggered fusion bombs. He had the unhappy task of telling Lancaster he had been drafted and could not quit the Navy.
Austin, along with Burke, sent the Challenger encrypted holographic messages, asking Okada, Weiss, and Lancaster to travel to Amargosa and, if the damage convinced them the mission was wrong, to sabotage it. When the ship returned to Nereid for repairs, the admirals debriefed the trio in secret, revealing they had essentially committed treason to prevent an inexcusable genocide. The three were then assigned permanently to the Warp Project.
Because of his new position, Austin had to hand off the investigation to Douglas Best. In 430, he traveled with Burke aboard the Challenger to Hanar. There, he met Lattus Tishla, who stunned him by revealing how his son, JT, treated her as a prisoner of war. The admiral had a hard time reconciling the rebellious teenage son who ran away months before with the hardened battle veteran before him. Tishla informed him that, if the admiral attempted to take him off the planet against his will, she would simply treat him as a citizen of Hanar and allow him to stay as long as he liked. Austin backed off after learning that he and Suicide had been training with Hanar’s fledgling military.
Austin and Burke went under armed escort to speak to human separatists who claimed they would only speak with the Compact. The insurgents abducted them, but were persuaded to release them by Suicide. Austin heard how JT found and retrieved Modesto and Yamato. He asked Modesto to extend JT’s pilot training and Yamato to formalize his combat skills. He reconsidered when JT nearly beat an insurgent to death after the latter killed a Marine and maimed a Hanarian Warrior. However, Suicide and Admiral Burke felt confident he could be trained. As the liberation invasion began, he met one last time with JT, wished him well, and told him it was war. No one was ever ready for it.
Austin oversaw the Liberation of Amargosa with Burke aboard the Valles Marineris, Force Admiral Howard Wiehe in command. of the ship. When Austin learned of his son’s crash during the Riverside blast, he went down with a Marine escort. Burke went with him, copiloting the shuttle. They found the wreckage of JT’s Falcon and put down near it. He was surprised to run across his son leading a guerilla assault on Kray’s rear using Gelt stun grenades. JT informed him that they survived the crash because Suicide and Giddeus Modesto taught him well. He and Burke joined the assault. They covered JT and Yuwono when they closed in on Kray while the warlord faced down his ex-wife, Chapaan, and Lattus Tishla. He and Burke had to assure Chapaan that, as Ellie Nardino, she would not face war crimes charges in either the Compact or the Realm.
Austin, along with Burke, stood with Fleet Admiral Tran in the medal ceremony at Walden arranged by Tishla. They presented Suicide and the Children of Amargosa with the Compact Medal of Honor. Austin teased JT when Tishla called him forward using his full name, saying, “I thought that girl liked you.”