Gimme Shelter: JT Austin

Gimme Shelter coverAnd now we get into the Compact Universe proper with JT Austin. Who’s JT?

He’s a spoiled little rich kid whose daddy is an admiral. But he looks much older, with his father’s jawline, he does a good job convincing young women that he’s between 18 and 21. He also keeps getting caught before anything can happen. His parents’ solution? Military school. JT’s response?

Runaway to Tian, humanity’s richest and most culturally forward planet. Only instead of landing on the New York of the stars, he winds up on Amargosa, the interstellar equivalent of Amish country. It’s so remote that the Compact’s Navy sends a ship once every few months, and the last one just left before JT arrived.

His parents decide to leave him for three or four months on a planet with a spotty internet, cars that do not drive themselves, and a population that makes Iowa look like Beijing.

Worse, the colony falls under the authority of Mars, not Earth. Mars has different laws, which complicates JT’s stay on the planet. But the governor has a plan. He places JT with a local constable named Parker. Parker owns a farm and puts JT to work.

Wait a minute. He’s the son of an admiral and his mother is a wealthy CEO, like Koch Brothers rich without the Bond villain tendencies. What’s this manual labor stuff?

It is, apparently, what his parents need for their son: A purpose in life.

Now, if JT can just figure out the farmer’s daughter…

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