Austin stands at 180 centimeters tall with a thinning crop of black hair, which is like his father who is now bald. He sustained an injury during hand-to-hand combat training which broke his nose. The nose did not heal properly so he now has a bulge to constantly remind him of that event. 
Austin is a Lieutenant Junior Grade in the First Cossack Lancers, the governor's personal body guard. He wanted to stay with the unit to help settle the unrest that is growing due to financial issues affecting the planet because of the collapse of the HPG network. Unfortunately, his father who has become a firm believer in diplomacy, has denied his son's request to stay with the unit. He instead was forced to resign his position once the transfer of the FCL to the planetary defense force has been completed. Austin has been reassigned as one of the aides to the governor, just like his brother Dale Ortega.
When his brother's love was killed in a tragic accident, Dale believed that it was murder because of what she knew. Austin believed that he was delusional from losing the only lady that he actually cared for. However, when Dale was killed in a tragic military game when live ammunition was used instead of paint rounds, Austin began to wonder if Dale was right and Hanna was murdered because of something, and that information was the exact same reason that Dale himself was killed.
With his brother dead, Austin became the next in line to become governor of Mirach. Though he is reluctant of this, because he never wanted the role, it was always his brother's role to fill. With his new amount of workload that was given to him by his father, he became the information handler between the government and MBA to make sure that the interplanetary communication network becomes operational on time to help alleviate the financial woes on the planet.
On of these tours of the plants, he was awestruck with some completed MiningMechs and was curious if Marta Kinsolving would allow him to take a completed one out for a test run. Through some haggling and promises, she relented and allowed him to take it out onto the training ground for a few minutes. It was during this time, that a modified AgroMech also came onto the grounds and started shooting at Austin. Through a combined effort of Austin using the digger and Marta ramming the 'mech with a truck, they were able to knock out the assassin's 'mech saving Austin's life. Unfortunately, the assassin was able to get away before he was captured.
Once Elora Rimonova began her coup to secure the planet for a hopeful invasion by the Steel Wolves, she locked Sergio inside of the palace. Austin, was able to sneak his way through the palace in order to meet up with his father. Unfortunately for Austin, Sergio rather preferred to stay in the palace because he had a plan that he would not let Austin in. Austin, about to get captured by the guards of the palace, ran into the museum of the planet which housed Sergio's 'mech, Sergeant Death. Once inside the cockpit, Austin was able to reprogram the 'mech to allow himself to be pilot and for it to follow all of his orders. He was also able to obtain some ammunition from the ground's armory which he planned to break into the palace and rescue his father.
His plan had to change once the coup began to start bombarding the palace with the governor still inside. This is when Austin, powering up the Centurion, smashed his way through the museum to intercept the tanks in order to save his father from being crushed. His plan began to fall apart once the tanks and infantry began to start targeting Austin in order take down their opponent the way the planetary defense force was trained. He was only saved from certain death by timely reinforcements from MBA. However, the rebellion was still going on in the city and the Centurion was destroyed, unable to make it to the city to stop the bloodshed.
A VTOL came and picked up Austin from the palace grounds to take him to the city. From here, he was able to coordinate the MBA forces to destroy a jamming tower to free up communications so Ortega could talk to the planetary defense forces to beg for them to lay down their arms and stop the insurrection that was being orchestrated by Elora and not by the planetary legate. Quickly the defense forces halted combat operations due to the realization that they are being ordered around by someone not within the military structure.
The only time that Austin has piloted a BattleMech was during the coup against his father. He piloted his father's Centurion Sergeant Death to help defend the royal palace where it was ultimately destroyed by both enemy fire and lack of maintenance. He also used this same 'mech in every simulator battle that he has partaken in.
He was able to pilot an IndustrialMech right off of the assembly floor onto the MBA's training ground. This is also where he was able to partake in an actual 'mech on 'mech combat when he had to fight off an assassination attempt on his life.
- The Ruins of Power pp. 12-13
- The Ruins of Power p. 26
- The Ruins of Power p. 105
- The Ruins of Power pp. 109-112
- The Ruins of Power pp. 141-146
- The Ruins of Power pp. 281-285