Quentin Austin (born 383 IE) was a Compact Navy pilot and flag officer. For fifteen years, he was married to Tessa Dasarius.
Childhood or Early Background
Quentin Austin was born on Demeter, in the Helios System, in 383. Like many Demetrians, he came from a family of mostly fishers. In 401, he entered Baikonur Academy. Despite a life-long fear of heights, he trained as a pilot and, in fact, became a very good one. Once commissioned, he used the call sign “Reaper.”
In 412, he had an encounter with Tessa Dasarius, CEO of Dasarius Interstellar. They conceived JT Austin and promptly married. For all their differences near the end of the marriage, Tessa always made clear she saw the pregnancy as a gift. She also fought very hard to keep over-protective Dasarius executives from exerting undue influence on Quentin’s career. The couple fathered three sons in all before Tessa hired a breeder to impregnate her with a daughter, whom Quentin considered his own. As such, they ended their marriage amicably in the late 420s.
Austin initially served aboard the carrier Nimitz as a pilot during the Polygamy Wars. He saw quite a bit of action on Goshen itself, flying Interceptor fighters. In 418, he was shot down and lost his left hand. A Falcon pilot named Suicide rescued him, beginning a lifelong friendship between the two. Suicide would later admit a crush on Reaper when she learned of his divorce, telling his son JT she would not have minded becoming his stepmother.
With hand regenerated and rehabilitated, Austin transferred to the Hancock under then-Force Admiral Eileen Burke, replacing Cui Jiao-long (Suicide’s father) as flight commander. Austin would finish the Polygamy Wars aboard the Hancock.
After the conflict ended, Austin rose to the rank of captain and took command of the Valles Marineris. A few years later, he would receive his first star, becoming a force admiral and assuming command of the Navy’s main base on Luna. Rather than stay on his wife’s estate in Seattle and commute, Quentin lived on Luna.
Unfortunately, the faltering of their marriage contributed to their two oldest sons acting out. Of the two, JT was expected to become CEO of Dasarius on his fiftieth birthday. The boy, who looked older than his fifteen years, had a habit of chasing women, drinking, and throwing his mother’s name around to quell the consequences. Quentin had him arrested and planned to send him to Virginia Military Institute in Dixie, North American Zone, Earth. JT balked, attempted to run away to Tian, and instead ended up on Amargosa. Quentin and Tessa agreed to leave him there.
Shortly before the Gelt Incursion, Quentin traveled to Amargosa and found Suicide. Although pleased JT had ended up in the custody of John Parker, an ex-Marine the pair knew from their Hancock days, Quentin received a disturbing report that another ex-Marine from that time, Lucius Kray, planned to take custody of JT himself. Quentin asked Suicide to travel down to Parker’s farm after harvest and bring the boy back with her. Pleased he intended to stay on Amargosa until he turned eighteen (adult age on Earth), then go to school, he wanted JT as far from Kray as he could manage. Suicide agreed, but never got the chance.
Gelt Incursion and Amargosa
In 429, two colonies–a Martian terraforming project named Farigha and a new farming colony of Metis called Gilead—went silent. Mars all but ignored the loss of Farigha and seemed to block Metis’s calls for Navy intervention on Gilead. When Amargosa, also a Martian colony, went silent, Mars sounded alarms. Given Metis had been a newer world and likely not well-defended by an invader, Austin pressed to liberate it and use it as a staging ground to save Amargosa. Instead, Fleet Admiral Tran put Austin in command of a flotilla, anchored by his old ship, the Valles Marineris. Badly planned and underpowered, the mission failed, resulting in the deaths of 9000 spacers and Marines and the loss of several ships, including the Woodrow Wilson-class Ban Ki-moon. Austin faced a hearing before the Compact Security Council, but instead found himself on The Caliphate, then Bromdar, looking into Juno. It did not help matters learning that Juno’s parent company was itself owned by Dasarius, his wife’s company. However, some political arm-twisting by Dasarius CFO Tol Germanicus let Austin and Eileen Burke, now a vice admiral, to prevent a fourth colony, the Etruscan world Anacreon, from falling to a race now known as the Gelt. His actions in stopping further planet-snatching resulted in a promotion to rear admiral and command of the Navy’s Warp Project program.
When warp specialists Hideki Okada and Peter Lancaster returned to the program, the Navy assigned them to deliver dirty fission bombs to a preselected Gelt colony. Covertly, Austin and Burke supplied information bringing the mission into question. Technically, they committed treason, but they also knew the mission was illegal under Compact law and the code of interstellar conduct. Okada and Lancaster delivered kinetic weapons instead, using only two fission weapons on orbital targets. At Jovian Federation, Burke asserted more control over the program, which allowed Austin and, by extension, Okada and Lancaster more autonomy.
Metis, tired of Mars’s intransigence over Gilead (and continued pressure for an Amargosa first policy), sent Assistant Compact Attorney Athena Jovann to Hanar to meet with Tishla, First Citizen of the new world. Aboard the Challenger, Austin and Burke traveled. During their first audience with Tishla, Austin reunited with JT and Suicide. He was surprised to learn his son had married and been widowed despite being gone for nearly eight months.
At first, Quentin tried to send his son back to Earth, both expecting the same immature teen who ran away and to keep his oldest son out of harm’s way. Tishla intervened, granting him asylum on Hanar if he wanted it. Suicide convinced Quentin to let him train. The admiral then put his effort into helping assemble the task force to retake Amargosa. Fleet Admiral Tran assigned him the Valles Marineris as its surviving and returning crew wanted payback for the failure of the first attempt.
Austin and Burke arrived aboard the Marineris, nominally under command of Force Admiral Howard Wiehe. When Austin learned JT went down near the fusion blast that leveled Riverside, Austin rashly went to the surface to search for him. Burke went with him. They ended up part of JT and Mitsuko Yamato‘s effort to infiltrate the rear guard of warlord Lucius Kray’s encampment.
After the occupation ended, Austin and Burke remained on Amargosa to get the rebuilding process started. Ellie Nardino attempted to turn herself in for war crimes, but Austin told her no such charges would be filed.
After the liberation, Austin devoted his time to building up the Navy’s warp fleet.
Quentin Austin slept with Tessa Dasarius, not realizing who she was or that she had turned fertility off. When Tessa revealed her pregnancy and her identity, she proposed to him. He accepted despite being forty years her junior.
He came from a fishing family on Demeter. Despite growing up in the cold climate, he made no secret he preferred the warmer climates available on Ares and Tian.
Tessa Dasarius: Quentin picked up a young-looking woman in a San Francisco bar in 412 and fell into a short fling with her. The woman became pregnant, told him so, and told him she expected nothing from him. She also said she felt connected to him and would welcome his presence since the child would be his. When Quentin said he would do whatever she asked of him, she revealed herself to be Tessa Dasarius, CEO of the enormous Dasarius Interstellar corporation.
Tessa worked hard to allow Quentin independence in his own career. She bore him three sons: JT, William (or “Wills”), and Carl. When Tessa wanted a daughter, she hired a breeder, someone genetically capable of producing only one sex. Quentin treated the child, Shaneese, as his own since he and Tessa were married, though he was not happy Tessa slept with the breeder to attain the desired result.
Both Tessa’s and Quentin’s careers estranged them. Eventually, they divorced, or rather, stopped renewing matrimonial contracts. However, Quentin stayed involved and took the lead in disciplining JT and William before the former ran away to Amargosa. Tessa made it known she did not blame him and applied pressure to keep him from unnecessary consequences.
Eileen Burke: Austin reported to Eileen Burke in one capacity or another for most of his career after his original posting to the Hancock. Burke, because of her age, became a mother figure to many of the pilots and officers beneath her. She took a special interest in Austin after naming him Cui Jiao-long’s replacement as flight commander.
Upon his promotion to flag officer, Burke began to treat Austin as an equal even if he did not initially see it. She ran interference to the best of her ability when some tried to pin the first Amargosan liberation’s failure on him. Once he took over the warp program, he frequently acted as her partner, almost as a first officer, or as close as one admiral could be to another.
Suicide: Cui Yun, better known as Suicide, rescued Austin after his Interceptor went down on Goshen. The two become friends quickly, and she was pleased when Burke brought him to the Hancock as flight commander. Though a relationship never blossomed between the two, Suicide did develop a crush on Austin in the months leading up to the Gelt Incursion. However, she never told him but did admit to his son that she would have loved to have been his stepmother. So deep was the trust between the two that Austin asked her to take custody of his son from John Parker (a mutual friend) to keep the boy away from the scheming Lucius Kray. Suicide reciprocated by telling him to make it an order as she would obey it without question.
JT Austin: John Tybalt Austin, named for Austin’s father and Tessa Dasarius’s favorite uncle, had a contentious relationship with his father during his days on Earth. The younger Austin chafed at life in the gilded cage with a life completely planned out. While Quentin would have preferred JT chart his own path, he knew the consequences of fathering a child with Tessa Dasarius. When JT ran away, however, he showed incredible restraint when he tried to pressure Fleet Admiral Tran into an operation against Gilead instead of Amargosa, where JT remained trapped.
On Hanar, it took Quentin weeks to realize his oldest son had grown up in the months since he’d left home. He had trouble accepting his son had not only married but been widowed, and that Suicide had taught him to be a soldier and a pilot. However, he also included him in the liberation operation, insisting he fly with Suicide’s squadron. His patience snapped, however, when a fusion blast also disabled JT’s Falcon. Irrationally, he went to the surface to search for him, Burke tagging along to keep Quentin out of trouble. The pair wound up essentially taking orders from JT and a Special Forces lieutenant, Mitsuko Yamato, as they infiltrated Lucius Kray’s rear guard.
Austin voiced pride in the man JT had become once the liberation concluded.
Tishla: Austin traveled to Hanar with Burke when the Metisian government reached out to Tishla. He found her an impossibly young but formidable woman. She instantly earned his respect, especially when she explained how JT had taken her prisoner. Ultimately, the attraction between the two made Quentin wonder if the Gelt woman was his future daughter-in-law.
Sarai Gaddar: Austin met Sarai Gaddar on The Caliphate while investigating her employer, Juno. She stuck by him when Juno fired her and they escaped the company’s headquarters. Traveling with him to Bromdar, she remained with him after a murder attempt sent him to the hospital for nearly a month. The investigation led to Sarai going to work for Tol Germanicus, who wanted to know how Juno ended up a Dasarius property without anyone being aware of it. Though not explicitly written, a relationship between Quentin and Sarai grew over time.
Species: Human (Sapiens)
Birth Year: 383
Birth Place: Demeter
Homeworld: Earth, Tian
Service: Compact Navy
Spouse: Tessa Dasarius (412-427)
Gimme Shelter, Beyond Amargosa, The Amortals, Storming Amargosa