Swann’s friends know him as a man who looks gruff and uneducated but also happens to be a brilliant mechanic with knowledge rivaling that of the sector’s top terran engineers…
But even his closest friends don’t know all the details of Rory Swann’s past.
He was born into a long line of tech-savvy miners, and even from a young age he displayed a much deeper understanding of machinery and technology than anyone else in his family’s history. Swann grew up in a mining community where making do with next to nothing was a fact of life. This hardship forced Swann to innovate continually, and over time he became adept at stripping down technology into component parts and building entirely new devices, just to scratch out a living.
With his gift, Swann could’ve left the harsh life of a miner behind and landed a job at any number of top engineering corporations. Instead he chose to follow in the footsteps of his family and pursue mining.
And so it was that, after saving every credit, borrowing, and pooling resources with his close friends, Swann fulfilled one of his lifelong dreams and began his own mining outfit on the fringe world of Meinhoff. Profits soared at first, but over time the Kel-Morian Combine, which controlled the mining interests on the planet, levied higher and higher taxes that made it nearly impossible to purchase necessities like food, water, and medicine.
Strangely, other outfits on Meinhoff were still prospering. As Swann learned, these operations were all under the control of Tavish Kerr, the son of an influential mineral merchant. Using his father’s vast fortune, he had bribed Kel-Morian officials into hefting exorbitant taxes on Swann’s operation to drive it off the planet and allow Tavish to take over its mineral-rich land. Swann and his comrades lodged a complaint with the Combine, but to no avail. Every official involved with Meinhoff seemed to have been bought off by Tavish. Making a deal with the merchant’s son was also out of the question: Tavish had no interest in sharing profits with Swann. He simply wanted full control.
Squeezed dry by taxes and unable to match the bribes Tavish was offering, Swann and his comrades declared their operation’s independence from Kel-Morian control. When the Combine responded by sending a military contingent to seize all assets owned by the rebellious community, Swann and his allies fought back. Their adversaries gave no quarter, however: the Kel-Morians crushed the revolt and began slaughtering the miners. If not for the arrival of freedom fighter Jim Raynor and his Raiders, who had received a distress signal sent out by the embattled community, all of the miners might have lost their lives.
Swann survived, but the revolt had taken its toll: the mining community was in ruins; Swann had lost an arm during the fighting; and many of his closest friends were dead. With nothing left for him on Meinhoff, Swann joined Raynor’s Raiders. Ever since, he has been the soul of the Hyperion, valued not only for the ingenious weapons he creates and his ability to keep the rebels’ aging ship running, but also for the sage advice he provides the crew.
Although the Raiders have fallen on hard times as of late, Swann’s optimism has been keeping the group’s spirits up. He hasn’t forgotten the debt he owes Raynor, and his loyalty to the rebel leader remains strong. If Swann’s experience as a miner has taught him anything, it’s that having faith in the people around you is vital to making it through life’s bleakest hours. And if Swann has taught the Raiders anything, it’s never to judge a moon by its surface.