Jacob “Jabe” Austin was born in one of the worst slums of the Blue to a Mixed couple. His mother and father were both Mastiff Mixeds, and the marker genes were barely diluted at all in their two children, so Jabe closely resembles a first generation Mixed although he was not one of the lab-created ones
Jabe’s parents were both killed during the terrible rioting during the Succession, and Jabe was raised by his five years older sister Aubrie and a friend of the family, an old goat-Mixed. As Jabe grew older, he joined one of the street gangs and by the time he was twelve had a reputation as a fierce fighter. He regularly competed in rounds of illegal street fights to earn money, since the winners took part of the betting pool. These kinds of fights would be broken up by Patrols and the participants arrested if caught, but Jabe was street-smart enough to always avoid the Patrol routes and helped his gang organize fights in areas they wouldn’t be caught.
Jabe started fighting as a way to earn food money, lying to Aubrie and telling her he was working at one of the larger poultry farms in the Blue and if he came home with wounds he couldn’t hide or torn clothes would excuse it by saying he got it dealing with troublesome animals. As time went on and he became more skilled and more capable in fights, he began to enjoy the actual thrill of the challenge itself. At thirteen, he was taking on Mixeds eighteen and older and winning because of a combination of strategy, genetic predispositions, and enthusiasm. In a large competition, he managed to beat everyone he fought against including a twenty-one year old tiger-Mixed who had been the terror of their slum quarter for four years.
Aubrie continued to believe he was going to work when he left the house, until she heard friends talking about a young Mastiff boy who had bested the reigning tiger champion of their block. She confronted him about it and he had to admit the truth since he had injuries that couldn’t be explained any other way. Aubrie insisted there were better ways to raise money than having other’s blood on his hands, and she began forcibly taking him to school each day, staying outside and catching him if he attempted to leave. Her own work of taking in seamstress jobs suffered as a result. Because she refused to let Jabe slip back into a dangerous life of street crime, she began hiring herself out as an Escort because it was something she could do at night and paid better for shorter times than seamstressing.
Jabe, already frustrated with her insistence on his education, was angry when he found out what Aubrie was doing. She argued that if he would stay in his classes it wouldn’t be necessary. By that time, however, she was making more money than she had ever made in her life, and the two were able to have an apartment of their own. Even though Jabe promised to stop running away, Aubrie continued as an Escort. Years of scraping for everything they had left her impressed with even the meagerly greater amount she was collecting, and she couldn’t face going back to a life of such abject poverty. In order to attract even more and better paying customers, she began bringing them home with her during the hours Jabe was at school. Several times classes were released early because of a teacher’s illness or rioting in the school’s area, and Jabe came home to find his sister with one of her clients. This further estranged the two.
It was during one of these times that Aubrie was murdered, and Jabe was close enough to overhear although he had no idea what was happening until afterward. Now alone and with nothing left to lose, he became determined to become a Patrol and save people like Aubrie from those who took advantage of them. He continued to attend school faithfully and at night worked as a street protector. His reputation as the kid who could beat all comers was still intact and was a valuable asset for that job. He worked breaking up mostly assaults on Escorts and also occasionally stopping street fights that were getting out of hand or petty thefts.
He entered the Academy and was the first Mixed to graduate the Academy with full honors. His first post was working fence guarding at Reconditioning, since the Reconditioning department was at the time very small and was composed only of the psychologists and scientists working inside the facility, while Law Enforcement supplied guards. After two years there, Jabe requested a transfer, as he couldn’t bear seeing the Mixed coming in and then hearing stories from the all human staff guards from the inside. He requested to either be moved or to resign, and he was moved to the Blue, near his old neighborhood. The posting in a bad part of town was supposed to be a sort of snub for giving up a post most Mixed officers would love to have because of the ease of the job. Jabe thrived there, because of his old contacts and his continued reputation as a cop no one wanted to mess with. Seeing friends be injured or killed did wear on him, but he continued to try to improve that neighborhood and tried to help young Mixed getting involved in prostitution, theft or fight gangs find ways out. He worked as a Patrol in the Blue for ten years and was then promoted to the White.
Jabe met Tess in 2088 when she became separated from her family in the market. Since his route for patrols also included her neighborhood, he saw her often on the way to school and they became friends. When she started sneaking into the Blue and he found out about it, he tried to convince her to at least wait until she was older, warning her about the dangers he’d seen growing up there. When she stopped going, he was glad, but always wondered what happened because she never told him. He assumed that whatever it was was very bad, and never asked.
As a Mastiff Mixed, Jabe appears intimidating but is actually quite gentle. He cares deeply about the people he protects as a patrol, and has a special soft spot for children. He considers the ones he helps, like Tess and Rae, to basically be the family he doesn’t have. Once he sees someone as part of his family, he will protect them with his life. Jabe may be gentle, but if someone threatens the people he cares about, he can be a ferocious fighter and incredibly dangerous. His years of street fighting have honed the side of his nature that was developed when mastiffs were used in bull and bear baiting, and he is both cunning and strong.