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- Rory Swann(src)
According to Swann, he married "more than once."
"I feel ya'. Man's got a duty to stand up and be counted sometimes."
"Ah hell, we were stupid. Havin' right on your side ain't no match for gauss guns and combat walkers. Lotta' folks died for nothin'. If you hadn't shown up when you did..."
"Hey, your people bought their own freedom - paid for it in blood. Me and Matt, we were just glad to help."
Rory Swann came from a family of tech-savvy miners. His own understanding of technology was even deeper than theirs, however. Instead of leaving and becoming an engineer, he remained in the mining industry.
He opened a mining operation on Meinhoff at considerable cost, but he enjoyed initial success. However, his operation was soon being crushed by ever-rising taxes. Other operations, secretly under the control of Tavish Kerr, didn't face this burden. Kerr was bribing officials to put rival claims out of business through excessive taxes. Swann tried lodging a complaint against Kerr to Kel-Morian Combine officials, but all those involved with Meinhoff had been bribed. Kerr had no interest in sharing profits with him either.
Swann started a miner's revolt, claiming independence from the Combine. However, Combine forces arrived and mercilessly crushed the revolt. Swann himself lost an arm, along with many friends, and was only saved because Raynor's Raiders responded to their distress signal. Swann had nothing left, so he joined the Raiders, becoming the chief engineer of Commander Jim Raynor's ship, Hyperion.
Swann worked to keep the Raiders' spirits up during dark times, remembering his debt to Raynor. He often pushed Raynor to fight the Dominion. He came to establish an armory bowling team during his time on the ship and encouraged people to sign up. When freshly-defected Kel-Morian Milo Kachinsky joined the Raiders, Swann, still remembering his failed revolt against the Kel-Morians, argued with Raynor about Kachinsky's membership. Swann eventually grew to respect Kachinsky and placed him in charge of the robotics wing of Hyperion's weapons research. After Hyperion had been through a particularly nasty engagement, the Raider's SceeVee Special Engineering Corps pitched in to help Swann's engineers repair the ship and Swann worked with Bill Bousquette (the corps' leader), becoming good friends.
Wings of Liberty
With the onset of the Second Great War, Swann aided Raynor in his activities. Mostly this involved procuring weapons and technology, along with providing upgrades for both. At other times he took a more direct role, providing support/reinforcements via special ops dropship. During the conflict, Swann had to deal with unwanted individuals – Agrian colonists wandering around in his armory and "pirate" Gabriel Tosh, prompting an inventory check.
On Monlyth, Swann procured marauders for Raynor's Raiders and picked up the artifact, and on Xil, Swann reinforced the Raiders with siege tanks. He also acquired banshees for the mission on Typhon XI.
When Raynor's Raiders came to rescue the colonists of Agria, Swann was able to procure firebats for them. On Meinhoff, Swann was able to procure the hellion schematics, and on Haven, Swann called in a few favors to get the viking schematics.
After finding abandoned diamondbacks on Tarsonis, Swann got their schematics so that the Raiders could produce them. When the Raiders attacked Valhalla, Swann reinforced them with Wraiths. After the Raiders stole the Odin from Valhalla, Swann reverse engineered the thor schematics from examining it, and made it less expensive to produce.
The Powder Keg
- Swann defends Raynor's actions(src)
When Raynor allied with Crown Prince Valerian Mengsk in an effort to retrieve xel'naga artifacts that could make Sarah Kerrigan human again, Swann was concerned, knowing that Hyperion's crew was composed of individuals who lost family and friends to the Dominion, hated it, and would not look kindly upon an alliance. However, Raynor didn't care, and promptly justified his decision. Such concerns were well founded and Swann found himself defending Raynor against Kachinsky's outburst. In the case of Tychus Findlay, the convict and armorer came to blows. Swann was no match for a CMC-clad convict; he was thrown easily onto Kachinsky. Raynor intervened however and put the crew at ease, helping Swann to his feet.
Assault on Char
"Crappy. How're you enjoying your little vacation dirtside?"
"Not much better. The beer's flat and the locals are ugly."
"Listen, cowboy I love you like a brother. I know you got all your hopes pinned on savin' Kerrigan...But just watch your back down there."
- Swann and Raynor during the assault(src)
Belly of the Beast
- Rory Swann regarding the mission to the tunnels(src)
During the invasion, Raynor took Swann into the tunnels to prevent the zerg from using the nydus network in the coming assault on the main hive. The engineer carried the seismic charges to flood the tunnels with lava, and an enhanced Perdition turret, "Flaming Betty." He felt uncomfortable on the battlefield, much to Raynor and Findlay's amusement.
Fight and Flight
Kerrigan was successfully de-infested, but the Raiders had to deal with the arrival of Arcturus Mengsk and the other half of the Dominion Fleet. Valerian refused to hand over Kerrigan, and a space battle ensued, with Valerian and Raynor leading their forces away from Char in retreat. Swann was assigned to bring Annabelle Thatcher and Earl onto Bucephalus to search for tracking devices, as Mengsk had easily been able to find them after their first warp jump. They started off in the ship's engineering section. They worked quickly, but Mengsk's fleet kept hounding the rebels, and Valerian was steadily losing ships with each engagement.
Swann was looped into a conversation between Valerian, Raynor and Horner as to where they could hide from Mengsk's fleet, the solution being Deadman's Port and Mira Han. Swann was aghast at seeking aid from "a dirty merc," but Han was settled on as their recourse. Swann gruffly returned to work.
The twin battlecruisers landed at the port. Under Swann's supervision, pieces of Bucephalus's hull were removed and welded with other pieces, to give the impression of it being a burnt out hulk. To heighten the illusion, debris was piled onboard both ships. Swann resented treating his ship that way. He was left in command of Hyperion while Raynor, Horner, and Valerian spoke with Mira Han. Both ships came under attack, or at least, the debris covering both of them did. He contacted Captain Everett Vaughn of Bucephalus, wanting to break free and counterattack. Vaughn, a career officer, pointed out that the attackers were trying to flush them out, and that he'd stay put as per Valerian's orders. Swann lost patience and cut off the transmission, ordering Marcus Cade to break cover and begin counterattacking the ships attacking them, and to notify Raynor and Horner. It was a decision that the bridge crew agreed with.
The ship broke out of the debris, though Thatcher warned Swann that repairs weren't finished. That, and they were under attack from a combination of Wraiths and Vikings—enough fighters to down a battlecruiser. Contact was made with Raynor and co., and Vaughn followed Swann's break from the surface. Swann ordered that power be transferred to the shields until Bucephalus was free, after which he gave the order to return fire. He ordered the ship's Yamato cannon target the mercenaries' battlecruiser, as while the Wraiths were the ships doing the damage, they'd be left helpless without a capital ship.
Space Station Prometheus
"Yeah, let's all remember this next time we're distributing some credits."
- Horner and Swann in light of the latter's shield work(src)
The ships escaped and headed for Space Station Prometheus, a Moebius Foundation base situated within the Kirkegaard Belt. While en route, Swann excused Thatcher from duty, as he'd seen her become infatuated with navigator Travis Rawlins, and therefore couldn't concentrate on her work. She appreciated the offer, but used the opportunity to talk to Swann about fitting weapons on the dropship Fanfare. Swann took up her idea.
The ships arrived at the space station, where Moebius repair teams were sent on board the battlecruisers while Raynor and Valerian boarded the station. Swann reported that they were "getting right down to brass tacks." On that note, Horner contacted Swann, asking if anything they were doing might be interfering with the ship's sensors. Swann promised to poke around. But he couldn't get round to that when Horner ordered all repair work to cease. The Moebius engineers didn't take it well, leading to a shouting match. As it turned out, Horner's instincts were correct—the engineers had been draining the ship's power cells, and blocking contact with other ships. And in the meantime, Mengsk's fleet had caught up to them again, bearing down on them while Moebius forces on the station revealed their true allegiance. Horner ordered Swann to transfer all power to the shields, allowing Hyperion to expand its shields to cover Bucephalus as well, along with its support vessels. Swann was also able to restore communications with Raynor.
The ships were able to escape and Raynor, Kerrigan, and Valerian rescued. However, among the casualties was Thatcher, who'd rescued them in Fanfare, only for Kerrigan to accidentally kill her with a psionic attack. Valerian, Swann, and Horner confronted Raynor and Kerrigan, stating that Kerrigan had to undergo examination. Swann agreed with his companions, as Thatcher's death had cut deep into him. Raynor agreed to their demands, and the rebels headed for the Umojan Protectorate.
With Friends Like These...
When Hyperion moved against Mira Han to retrieve Colonel Orlan, Swann provided tactical advice as they navigated their way through the asteroid field that surrounded her base. He also used salvaged material to upgrade the ship itself.
Legacy of the Void
Brothers in Arms
- Swann, while conversing with Artanis(src)
Swann was present with Raynor when Moebius Corps sieged Korhal. After the battle, he organized and transferred all data on Narud and the Keystone to Karax, and debriefed Hierarch Artanis personally. This was the first time he had ever spoken to a protoss.
Swann commanded terran forces alongside fellow commanders during the End War.
Service to the New Dominion
When feral zerg attacked Borea, Swann helped manage the gear of Agent Nova Terra, and sent her a jump pack to help her navigate the rough terrain. When his research base and weapons lab came under attack by the zerg, Swann asked Nova to save his crews at the base in return for whatever weapons were inside.
Wings of Liberty
In the story mode space of Wings of Liberty, Swann is usually stationed in Hyperion's armory and oversees researching upgrades.
He has a melee attack, made with his cybernetic arm, in addition to the standard ranged attack.
Rory Swann can deploy a Flaming Betty.
Personality and Traits
Swann is "a big fun guy" who speaks with a New York accent, and has been described as the "soul of the ship." His main task is keeping Hyperion together in the years since it was stolen from the Terran Dominion and is constantly working on new technology. Swann is usually genial, but he has a temper, and his crew know better than "to poke the bear" when he is in one of his moods. He dislikes being in command, preferring to work with tools and a select group of people. Swann liked to do most things in a "big, round way," and had an expansive quality that made him the life of any conversation.
Swann has extensive knowledge of technology and units and is quite opinionated on some of them. He has a very favorable view of the diamondback. On the other hand, in disagreement with Raynor, he derides the vulture as poorly designed. Swann has nicknames for many of the individuals he encounters. He often addressed Raynor as "cowboy" and "hotshot," and sometimes "chief," though was still a close friend, thinking of him as a brother of sorts. Other nicknames include "scooter" (for Valerian Mengsk), "ace" (for Nova Terra) and "skippy" (for Artanis).
Though temperamental opposites, Swann gets along well and is good friends with Bill "Pearly" Bousquette, the sergeant in charge of the Raider's SceeVee Special Engineering Corps. They roughly have the same rank and the same expertise, but as a rule their duties never overlap, and so they can gripe to each other with total impunity and not risk ruffled feathers. They often drink together in the Cantina. During his time in the Raiders, Swann served as an impromptu "third-in-command," being given command over Hyperion when both Raynor and Horner were off of the ship.
- Swann's portrait is available on battle.net for players who complete the Master Mechanic achievement.
- Swann's overall look and body build is very similar to that of a dwarf from the Warcraft universe. Much like most dwarves, he has a mining and engineering background.
- Swann's cybernetics, appearance, and tech skills also seem to be adapted to Torbjörn's character development from Blizzard's Overwatch universe. This includes the ability to deploy turrets.
- Swann works in Bay 12. This is likely a reference to the cult civilization management game, Dwarf Fortress developed by Bay 12 Games.