Another week another commander post. This one's a bit more fun, since I love getting into minor characters, exasperated a bit by the fact
the website where Blizzard housed the majority of Swann's backstory was removed and they've refused to comment as to why. So I'm bitter, but there are workarounds.
Anyway, let's dig into to the master of practical engineering and terran mechanical know-how, the chief engineer Rory Swann.
CHARATER BIO: RORY SWANN
Rory Swann was born to a family of miners, and from an early age was a natural prodigy in his understanding of machinery. The hardship of the mining life gave him the skills to make broken down machines go the extra mile to make sure his family could make ends meat. Rather than go into tech though, Swann decided to follow his family's passion and go into mining for himself.
Scavenging every credit he could, Swann and his friends created a mining outfit based off of the fringe world of Meinhoff, a planet controlled by the nation-corporation the Kel-Morian Combine. As time went on, however, the KMC began to heavily tax most mining operations on the planet, making it next to impossible for operations like Swann's to function. However, Swann soon discovered the taxes were being levied unfairly, as they were intentionally avoiding operations run by a wealthy KMC merchant's son Tavish Kerr. Kerr had bought out the administration on Meinhoff, and was attempting to run out all competition on the planet.
After complaints through the proper channels failed, Swann and his comrades decided they had enough, and declared themselves independent of Kel-Morian control. They prepared for a fight against the Kel-Morians, and bunkered themselves in the land they had fought to tame. The KMC sent a military contingent to stop this rebellion.
The miners were slaughtered.
Swann, whose arm was blown off in the fighting, sent a distress signal that was received by otherwise-ally of the KMC, Jim Raynor and his Raynor's Raiders. They rescued Swann and what miners survived the battle. Swann, indebted to Raynor and with nowhere else to go, took over engineering aboard the Hyperion. He kept the ship aloft and oversaw vast improvements to the Behemoth-class battlecruiser, making sure it was a step ahead of the Terran Dominion that Raynor sought to overthrow.
Swann at first took a while to adapt to many of Raynor's recruits, especially rubbing shoulders with Milo Kachinsky, the brother of a prominent Kel-Morian war hero, but soon Swann overcame his hatred of the KMC to see him as a close friend. Swann also helped found the SceeVee Special Engineering Corps under Bill “Pearly” Bousquette, a team of engineers and SCV pilots formed from the practical, hands-on engineers and scientists of the sector, giving Raynor's engineering corps an edge over the academic-focused engineers of the Terran Dominion.
Swann was a deeply loyal ally of Raynor and his moral compass as the Second Great War broke out, trying to be a shoulder for the commander as he spiraled into alcoholism and depression. Yet Swann continued to oversee the Raiders as they rebuilt their forces against the zerg, Tal'darim and Dominion, utilizing the money the Raiders were getting from the Moebius Foundation to improve their armaments. While Swann distrusted Raynor's judgment helping Valerian Mengsk, he was with Raynor during his assault on Char to deinfest Sarah Kerrigan, going so far as to personally go along with him to raid the tunnels of Char, detonating nuclear devices in their nydus network.
Though the Raiders were victorious on Char and freed Kerrigan, Arcturus Mengsk assaulted their forces, forcing them to flee. While the crew was distrustful of the deinfested Sarah Kerrigan, Swann kept his opinion to himself, until Kerrigan's unrestrained psionics killed one of his engineers and close friends, Annabelle. Swann's emotional reaction when he confronted Raynor, who was against Kerrigan being tested in a lab, was key in convincing Raynor to hand her over to the Umojan Protectorate scientists allied with Valerian for study.
Swann kept running the Hyperion even after Raynor was captured by the Dominion, and kept it running when Matt Horner and Valerian attacked mercenary Mira Han's space station to find a decryption expert to hunt down Raynor. Soon the Raiders, allied with Kerrigan and Valerian, deposed and killed Arcturus Mengsk, installing a new, fairer regime in the Dominion.
Swann himself took the role of a key engineer in Valerian's Dominion, leading parts of their research and engineering division. Yet, he also remained on the Hyperion, now the flagship of the Dominion Navy, ensuring the old battlecruiser remained under the tender care of an expert. But this new Dominion is about to be tried with the return of the alien god Amon and his protoss/zerg hybrid. With the galaxy aflame, he now leads divisions of engineered war machines to ensure humanity's survival in the final war, combating ancient alien knowledge with practical down home terran gumption.
UNITS AND UPGRADES
SCV: The T-280 Space Construction Vehicle was initially created by the Terran Confederacy in construction of the orbital platforms of its capital of Tarsonis, and since then has become the premier mining rig for terran space, both for civilian prospecting and for military operations. Swann led an advanced group of SCVs under Raynor's Raiders named the SceeVee Special Engineering Corps, led by practical engineers from all over the sector, older men overlooked by the Dominion. Their real world experience gives Swann's SCVs an edge over other, more well funded terran powers.
Hellion/Hellbat: An answer to the vulture, the hellion is a flexible, four wheel buggy designed for fast strikes, utilizing their infernal flamethrowers to strike against lightly armored weak positions and to speed out before the enemy can retaliate. They are famous for how flexible they are, some hellions able to burn strong whiskey for fuel. Near the end of the Second Great War, the Dominion developed the ability for hellions to transform into a bipedal walker named the hellbat, that focused its armor in the front of the machine, and shortened it flamethrower into a frontal cone, shortening its range but giving the flamethrowers a wider spread.
- Infernal Pre-Igniter: The pre-igniter is the answer to the unreliability of the ignition system of the hellion's infernal flamethrowers. Sometimes, drivers would have to use lighters or cigarettes to ensure the flamethrower ignited, a dangerous prospect. The pre-igniter circumvents this issue. In addition, this upgrade adds thermite to the napalm solution of the hellion, causing it to burn at a much hotter temperature, giving its flame a distinctive blue color.
- Infernal Plating: The plating on the hellion is light but durable, sealing the pilot in from the elements but allowing to the hellion to keep its speed. When the hellbat was developed, Dominion engineers used an experimental paristeel and bonded carbonite weave for the machines to protect the machine from the high temperatures of its flamethrower at such close range.
Goliath: A key combat walker for the terrans, the Goliath was developed by LarsCorp Technologies for use by the Kel-Morian Combine, and its effectiveness saw its design replicated by all terran powers of the Koprulu Sector, getting a name for itself for its urban combat abilities the Guild Wars. It is armed with twin autocannons for ground combat, and an array of hellfire missiles that can track and destroy air target. While largely replaced by the flexibility of the Viking, the Goliath remained a core mechanical unit for the Dominion even years after the End War.
- Ares-Class Targeting System: An advancement on the Charron Booster developed by the United Earth Directorate, the Ares-Class Targeting System allows the Goliath's missile targeting systems to lock on to more distant targets. This targeting system also has an AI that can better predict the movements of ground targets, allowing its autocannons to hit at a greater distance.
Multi-Lock Weapons Systems: An overhaul to the Goliath's base systems, this new loadout allows the Goliath to fire at both air and ground targets simultaneously instead of locking onto one.
Siege Tank: Developed as a “final defense” cannon for the Terran Confederacy, the siege tank functions both as a long range artillery piece and a frontline armored tank. This siege tank is the Curcio siege tank, an advancement on the old Great War era Arclite, which had improved capabilities while on the move. The Crucio is armed twin 90mm plasma cannons while on the move, and a brutal 180mm Shock Cannon when deployed into its stationary siege mode. This Shock Cannon fires superheated tungsten that can level a target area.
- Maelstrom Rounds: A variant on the shells fired by the Crucio's Shock Cannon, the Maelstrom Round have an armor piercing tip that inflicts heavy damage on the primary target.
Cyclone: A recent invention of the Terran Dominion, the cyclone is a speedy mechanical buggy armed with an array of typhoon missiles, which can lock onto targets and fire while pursuing them. Initially the cyclone was designed with an advanced AI controller, but the unorthodox tactics of human drivers made it so that it was more efficient to redesign them as manned vehicles.
- Mag-Field Accelerator: Not much is known about this upgrade, other than it seems to increase the capabilities of the typhoon missile pods, increasing the speed of which they're able to bombard a target.
- Targeting Optics: The most advanced feature of the cyclone is its ability to lock onto a single target and concentrate fire. While initially integrated into an AI, these features have been retained in the move to a human driver.
Thor: A giant, bipedal walker designed to be the ultimate siege walker, the thor was an offshoot of the Odin Project, which designed a larger (yet completely inefficient) walker named the Odin. These machines utilize two “Thor's Hammer” particle beams to dispatch ground targets, as well as an array of javelin missiles and strike cannons to take down air targets. While Swann will take credit for inventing the thor, the thor had been in the Dominion's arsenal since 2502
because nobody double checked Richard A. Knaak's comic, with Swann only making a more efficient design.
- 330mm Cannons: Created during the Second Great War, the 330mm Barrage Cannon is the final word in siege walker technology. These were designed to lay down a sustained barrage that could pulverize most defenses and ground target in a set area.
Wraith: The CF/A-17G Wraith was a fighter craft created by the Terran Confederacy as a successor to their obsolete Avenger fighter, designed for ship-to-ship combat. Outfitted with an advanced cloaking system, the Wraith fighter also featured a burst laser to attack ground targets. However, its niche role was outdone by the more specialized Vikings and Banshees, so the Wraith largely fell into disuse in the Second Great War, though still remained a common sight around the Dominion, though as many marines remark, “only during Dominion Day parades.”
- Cloaking Field: A revolutionary technology when it was introduced, the Wraith's cloaking field draws from a powerful Apollo Reactor, a high yield uranium reactor. This allows the Wraith to disguise itself from all but the most powerful sensors.
- Displacement Field: Developed by the technology firm ATVX during the Second Great War, the displacement field improves the cloaking field to radically alter the course of incoming projectiles, causing many shots to veer off from the Wraith.
- Pulse Amplifier: The Wraith utilizes a powerful 25mm burst laser, which it used to target key ground units on strafing runs. While initially considered to be ineffective on many targets during the Great War, improvements have been made to their design.
Science Vessel: The Explorer-class science vessel was initially designed as mobile research stations, that could house scientists on the fringe hoping to do research far away from any terran world. However, after two alien races blindsided the Terran Confederacy, it was necessary to conscript these vessels into military service in order to understand and combat the enemies of humanity. Its advanced sensor arrays were key in locating cloaked enemies, as well as support abilities such as creating defensive matrices and launching EMP pulses. However, their large size made them vulnerable targets, and since then they have largely been replaced by the smaller raven. However, many groups still utilize these vessels with more advanced capabilities.
- Nano-Repair: This innovation to the science vessel was created by Egon Stetmann of Raynor's Raiders after studying protoss crystal matrices, when the structure he was studying enhanced a nan- fabricator he was working on. It launches a stream of nanites that can do repairs on vehicles from far above the battlefield.
- Defensive Matrix: One of the early attempts for the old Terran Confederacy to make stable, long term forcefields, the Defensive Matrix was a stopgap in such technology. This temporary energy matrix can take significant function before failing.
- Irradiate: A byproduct of the research on the vessels, science vessels can saturate an enemy target with a high-energy stream of radioactive particles. This irradiated target will damage itself over time as well as those around it, but is only effective against biological targets.
- Hercules: The Hercules is a commercial cargo transport, usually simply used for freight and shipping. Swann struggled to make them useful to Raynor's Raiders, until Egon Stetmann discovered a dense but flexible material in zerg biomatter that could reinforce the structure of the Hercules, increasing its durability for combat situations. These upgraded Hercules had a massive hold, and if it suffered critical damage, the machine could release drop pods to send its crew safely to the ground.
Perdition Turret: Invented by Egon Stetmann during the Second Great War, the perdition turret was designed off of zerg's ability to vibrate and burrow into the ground. This turret utilizes two firebat perdition flamethrowers against enemies, and can burrow beneath the ground until enemies get close, then surprise them in a flurry of napalm.
- Flaming Betty: Known as “Swann's BFF,” Swann named this turret and brought it with him when he persoanlly helped destroy the nydus worm tunnels of Char. This turret is cheaper than the traditional perdition turret, and much easier to deploy.
Devastation Turret: There isn't much lore to these turrets. They are heavy defensive turrets that utilize the marauder's concussive grenades to hold back heavy armor.
- Blaster Billy: Keeping with Swann's theme of naming “Betty and the Gang,” Blaster Billy utilizes the gravity distortion of the marauder's punisher grenades to show targets moving toward them
Missile Turret: A long time anti-air defensive structure utilized by the Confederacy and then the Dominion. The missile turret is equipped with heavy Longbolt Missiles that can devastate air targets. Missile turrets can be operated with and without an operator, though an operator improves their accuracy. Some missile turrets can operate without any repairs for 40 years (such as the ruined turret on Bhekar Ro that shot down an observer after not being activated for that long), but many marines insist they break down every few months.
- Spinning Dizzy: The last member of “Betty and the Gang,” Spinning Dizzy is equipped with Hellstorm Batteries. These are an additional weapon array that fires a second set of smaller missiles, allowing missile turrets to blast enemies in a small area, warding away massed fliers.
Hi-Sec Auto Tracking: A more advanced AI designed for missile turrets and planetary fortresses, Hi-Sec Auto Tracking allows automated terran weapons to strike from greater range.
Structure Armor: Neosteel is a durable terran armor that makes up the basis of most of their technology, and forms the backbone of almost all terran armed forces in the sector. Many advancements are made to reinforce neosteel, in order to make it more durable against the many means the zerg and protoss have to break through it.
Fire Suppression Systems: An all-in-one safety system, the fire suppression system utilizes robotic drones in order to prevent fire from breaking out on damaged structures. These drones can do very basic repairs, however the simplicity of the drones means they can only stabilize structures to half efficiency rather than fully repair them.
KMC Auto-Loaders: The Kel-Morian Combine (or KMC) is largely known for its scrappy technology, often scavenged from other terran powers. However, it utilizes these technologies to brutal efficiency. While Swann has a vendetta against the KMC for killing his mining crew, he utilizes this philosophy in his work.
Advanced Optics: There isn't too much story for this, other than this served as the special trait for Jim Raynor in Heroes of the Storm, before it was changed to “Give 'Em Some Pepper.”
Regenerative Bio-Steel: When studying zerg regeneration, Egon Stetmann discovered that zerg synthesize new cells from their dead cells, allowing them to constantly renew themselves. Applying this to metal, Stetmann developed a new material with internal nanobots that could slowly repair any damage done to vehicles, albeit not very quickly.
CALLDOWNS AND ABILITIES
Combat Drop: The ARES was a warbot developed by the Terran Dominion in conjunction with the protoss/zerg hybrid breeding program in their secret Castanar Instillation. These warbots can be outfitted with a number of different configurations, and were even able to stand up to the mighty zerg brutalisk. However, initially it was ineffective against the might of the hybrid when Raynor tried to send it against one. Swann seems to have enhanced this design, and utilizes them in conjunction with drop pods.
- Drakken Laser Drill: The mighty Drakken Laser Drill was designed for heavy excavation projects needing high power. The drill utilizes 174 gigawatts of power, enough to be a small, condensed sun. The Moebius Foundation utilized these in some of their xel'naga excavations, and Raynor's Raiders found it to be a useful weapon when they attempted to retrieve a piece of the Keystone from a xel'naga temple guarded by the Tal'darim.
- Concentrated Beam: The laser drill, when focused, can cut through most substances, even the xel'naga materials immune to most protoss weaponry. It would seem Swann has converted this ability into a focused beam.
- Pulse Cannon: This ability takes a page from the sister weapon to the drill, the Drakken Pulse Cannon. This weapon is utilized by the Dominion to take out incoming ships, and can do so with pinpoint and deadly accuracy. Korhal's defense network was made up of Drakken Pulse Cannons, which was so powerful that it proved a threat even to the combined might of the Zerg Swarm invading Korhal all at once.
Level 1: Vehicle Specialist: Swann himself is a master of technology, and has been so from an early age. Swann has run and maintained both the Hyperion and Raynor's massive arsenal against the Dominion.
Level 3: Betty and the Gang: Swann has an unnatural affection for his flame turret, which he named “Flaming Betty.” It proved key during Swann's operation to destroy the nydus worm tunnels on Char. Since Char, it seems he has expanded Betty's crew to enhanced missile turrets and devastation turrets.
Level 5: Vespene Harvester: These drones appear to be refitted fire suppression drones, that automatically harvest small amounts of vespene from structures, supplementing the regular income from SCVs.
Level 8: Advanced Construction: During the Second Great War, Swann had access to a revolutionary computer system that allowed multiple SCVs to work on the same project simultaneously. This system coordinated the SCV's efforts so that they could work in tandem without interfering with one another, allowing them to construct the prefab military structures terrans were known for faster.
Level 10: Tech Reactors: Near the midpoint of the Second Great War, studying the energy containment of protoss crystals and in protoss plasma shielding gave Egon Stetmann a breakthrough, which allowed him to fit the reactor and tech lab into a single add-on. This gave the advanced facilities of the tech lab while also the enhanced power capacity of a reactor.
Level 12: Immortality Protocol: During the Second Great War, ATVX developed an updated thor model, which after taking fatal damage could self-repair into working condition even after it has suffered critical shutdowns. This technology now has been applied to work on siege tanks as well, for a small gas cost.
Level 15: Mechanical Know-how: The core of Swann is his love and experience with technology and machines. Rather than the academic knowledge found in the Dominion or Umoja, Swann surrounds himself with the exemplars of hands-on experience, older workers who can work on real projects rather than simply know the theories of engineering. This has made his crew one of the most effective in tight, battlefield situations.
That is all for this week! Next week we'll go into Zagara, broodmother of the zerg, and all of her massed, suicidal units. Should be a fun ride. Let me know if you all still like this or want improvements to the style of these, and I'll see you all next week!
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