Swain Zander is a Marine Officer who was recently promoted to the rank of Commodore following several years of dedicated service. His primary claim to infamy is his streak of dismantling Pirates as they enter the New World. For that reason Zander has gotten the epithet "The Gatekeeper". It was this exemplary service, which served to significantly quell the number of new arrivals in the New World and helped properly establish the marines foothold that earned him this promotion. While the mantle of a Commodore is a heavy one to bear, Swain is determined to bear it well and accept all responsibilities that it endows upon him.
Recently awarded with the powers of a Logia, Zander has set out to impose his own brand of Absolute Justice on all pirates and prove himself worthy of the faith placed in him by the World Government. Vowing to always uphold its ideals and use the powers of neon to cleanse the New World of its filth, one by one. He's considering a rising star within the marines, and rumors abound that he might be able to become an Admiral in the distant future.
When pirates and civilians alike imagine a Commodore, their minds should produce a vastly different image than that of Swain Zander. For despite the requirements imposed by the World Government in regards to dress code for its officers, this man abides by his own personal rules when it comes to clothing.
Everything about the Commodore screams informal, his appearance makes this abundantly clear to those who meet him for the first time. Where one might reasonably expect to see a finely-pressed and immaculately maintained marine uniform of white and blue is instead a shocking pink summer shirt left open to expose a generous part of Zander's muscled chest and abs. There are at least some who find him attractive, for he was featured in an issue of the Marine Magazine under the title of "Swain Zander. The Hottest Commodore?".
Dramatically flared pants in leather add further flair to the man's appearance. Making his overall outfit more reminescent of a stag party than the outfit of a high-ranking official of the Marines. His millitary marine coat is usually draped over his shoulders atop the otherwise colorful attire, leaving no doubts about his station.
At a glance, Swain appears like an easy-going and laid back man, who happily pursues his romantic interests and uses his position as a marine officer to boss people around and lead a comfortable lifestyle. His relaxed and nonchalant ways to lead his troops during peacetime certainly give some credence to this belief, often allowing them to make light of their own duties and drown their sorrows in beer and other forms of entertainment. It might surprise people then, that Swain does not ever make light of his duties, but simply pursues different ways of fulfilling his obligation as a Marine Officer, with the man's work ethic being no less stringent than his colleagues.
Put simply, Swain's extraordinary circumstances as a Commodore stationed in the New World has seen him pursue different methods to pursue his own view of justice. Swain concerns himself with executing any pirates he encounters personally, lurking close to the red line and Fishman Island for the precise purpose of intercepting new arrivals to that final sea. Many such hopefuls lack the requisite skills to even survive in the New World in the first place, unprepared for the immense hardships that lie in wait for them, and in that manner, Swain and his men have annihilated dozens of anticipative pirate crews over the years.
For to the surprise and horror of opposing pirates, Swain is a staunch and immoveable adherent to the ideal of Absolute Justice. Any pirate he encounters can expect to meet a brutal end, and the same goes for anyone who harbors, shields or protects them. Zander's ears are to deaf to dissidents of this philosophy and no mercy is shown to any marine who permits a pirate to roam freely or even worse, allows them to go unscathed when they had the chance to catch them. Association with pirates is a mark for death in Swain's eyes, with him even having killed merchants and peddlers who simply happened to do business with them. His hatred of pirates is so intense and all-consuming that he openly permits and even encourages the atrocities perpetrated by the G-5 marines in his employ. Torture, murder and worse are all permissable against pirates in Swain's eyes, claiming that by becoming pirates, they have renounced their very humanity and may be treated however one wishes.
Much like a now deceased man formerly part of the notorious Straw Hat Pirates, Zander is a highly amorous man who showers attractive people with his boundless affection. Around such people he becomes easily distracted, and expresses himself vocally and dramatically. However, unlike Sanji, Swain's tastes run more towards the opposite direction. His nature as a hopeless romantic is the reason why most of his techniques and equipment have been named after various old flames from his past, and is a well-known trait among his subordinates and superiours alike. Who often refer to him as being an incorrigible flirt. Besides this unusual behaviour, Swain is also known for his anability to sit properly in chair, arranging his body in bizarre and weird ways such as leaning his back on the table with both legs rest on the back of the chair, to sitting at it backwards, with his current position in a change always being at least a little different from how it was last time. This habit is so ingrained in him that he even does it in official meetings with other marines, to the chagrin but begrudging acceptance of most of his superiours.
Rarely does Zander share anything about his past, with most who ask being brushed aside in a rather rude fashion. It is after all none of their business, however much they might want to know. Attempts pressing him for information are ill-advised, and many a drunkard has received a beating for such a thing.
However, like anyone and everyone else. Swain has a background, someone he used to be before he became the Marine he is today, and the very reason that he dedicated himself to the ideals of Absolute Justice.
Born to IdealistsEdit
Throughout the world there are countless marines who abide by the ruthless and some would argue inhuman ideals that pertain to the idea of Absolute Justice. According to the World Government they are a neccessity, and one can hardly argue their efficiency, although it in the eyes of many makes the marines just as bad as the pirates they've sworn to fight against.
Whether by a stroke of luck or otherwise, Zander was born the only son to a proud lineage of marines and followers of true justice, the Swain family. Far different from most of their compatriots and colleagues, the Swains had long held that pirates were misguided and needed to be punished humanely so that they might eventually rejoin society as honest citizens. It was an ideal that all marines who lived in the North Blue port town of Rownsmeet aspired to, it gave them hope and perspective that pirates were people just like them, and made them less monstrous. Their methods worked splendidly and many reformed criminals joined the marines in turn, inspired by the kindness shown to them.
Zander was a child full of joy and love, the ideals of his parents burning brightly in his heart. He was taught to have empathy for those in trying circumstances, for the Swains had an estate of their own and was a wealthy family, even if they made a point not to flaunt it needlessly. Their privilege was something they understood, were grateful for, and used as a platform to help others.
For years their actions ensured a peaceful existence in the port town, and the marines under the command of the two Captains that were Zander's parents acted their part dutifully and humanely. Ever concious of the fact that if circumstances had been different, they might've become outlaws themselves. Everything worked out, until one day when Swain was ten, they no longer did.
Nicholas & Rudolph: To bring down the forces of evil, whether they be pirates, corrupt marines or simply dissidents against the World Government, Swain Zander brandishes a pair of seastone tipped Tonfa. These weapons are significantly heavier than typical tonfa, allowing them to deal lethal damage to even the physical monstrosities that roam the New World. Designed for use specifically by those who possess superhuman amounts of physical strength, and cannot be used effectively by most other marines for that very reason. Given the fact that Zander is a hopeless romantic, he named his Tonfa after two men of interest that rejected his advances, by his own admission in order to always keep them close regardless.
Powers & AbilitiesEdit
As a Commodore, Swain has authority over all lower-ranked marine soldiers, able to issue commands to them and lead them in battle against pirates. Rising in infany through his brutal view of Absolute Justice and a record of ruthlessly bringing many a criminal to justice, Swain is a man of much potential who is expected to one day become a backbone of the naval future.
In terms of personal power and overall combat prowess, his abilities are considered high enough that he's permitted to travel around the New World mostly as he deems fit, and rarely requires assistance in dealing with pirates on that sea. With most of his superiours expressing nothing but confidence in his abilities.
As expected of someone who made a name for himself crushing the dreams of new entrants into the New World, and cleansing the seas of pirate scum. Swain proved himself a highly accomplished fighter even without the powers of his Devil Fruit, confidently clashing with Draco D. Damon even before he'd consumed the Neo Neo no Mi, a man who'd previously fought against Mengis and lived.
During that very battle, Swain proved himself a master of the Rokushiki, employing Tekkai at a high enough level that he wasn't only capable of nullifying the attacks made by Damon against him, but maintain the increased level of defense while moving about and attacking as normal. Its defense was such that it managed to hold even when the Fishman Apu landed a direct strike to the middle of Swain's spine while he was preoccupied fighting the pirate, although he remarked that under such duress, he experienced a certain soreness.
He also displayed great proficieny with Soru as well, utilizing it almost as a reflex. His ability to use his speed in conjunction with his unusually heavy dual tonfa, reveals high competency in high-speed combat. Perhaps most impressive is the fact that Zander can blend in Soru with various other parts of the Six Techniques, and even use to increase his striking speed significantly.
Rather than wield the six techniques as solitary talents to use one by one, Swain also demonstrated the knowledge and skill to blend several of them together at once, namely Shigan, Geppo and Soru, in order to create a hail of concussive vacuum pockets that tore apart a floating house with deadly certainty simply by puncturing the air with a storm of haki-imbued strikes.
It is a well-known fact that the Rokushiki requires levels of strength, speed and precision which is simply impossible for most humans to achieve, and the very fact that he has mastered it to the extent that he has is perhaps the greatest example of Swain's raw physical prowess. Which has brought countless hopeful pirates to their knees, turning their dreams and wants to dust under his heel.
The World Government have long maintained control over various Devil Fruits of great power, seeking to monopolize and secure especially potent abilities for their own exclusive use. Logia-type fruits are especially subjected to this practise, for the leadership believes that any such fruit has the potential to allow even regular marines to turn into powerful fighters. Historically, they've kept a close watch on the Magu Magu no Mi, Hie Hie no Mi and the Pika Pika no Mi; all Logias of exceptional might and power. And all unfortunately were lost to the rest of the world during the chaos and upheaval of Monkey D. Luffy so many decades ago.
In the years since, the Marines managed to get ahold of several other powerful Devil Fruits, the Neo Neo no Mi was among these, and during the earlier stages of the events unfolding at Bedina, Swain received it from Captain Sanzo on behalf of the World Government. The Captain remarked that whomever gave him such a Devil Fruit would trust his persona. Correctly deduced, the Devil Fruit was in fact awarded for services rendered, his ironclad ideals of Absolute Justice impressing leading figures within the World Government enough to see him bequeathed with its power.
The Neo Neo allows its user to manipulate, transform into and generate limitless amounts of the element of neon, and proved to be a very powerful Devil Fruit, devastating Swain's surroundings on Bedina whilst destroying nearby buildings and even threatening his teammates due to its proximity alone, owing to its ionizing particles and displacement of oxygen..
Swain appears to have significant prowess and proficiency with Busoshoku Haki, being capable of not only employing it in combat, but merge its various properties with aspects of the Rokushiki in order to create an extremely concentrated offensive technique. Showing both precision and ingenuity.
Genjo Sanzo: Swain didn't have much of a first impression on Captain Sanzo. Although his opinion changed when he witnessed the lower-ranked officers special abilities, which he correctly deduced would be able to enhance his own force-based techniques. Despite this, Zander seems to have gotten a fairly negative impression from the other marine officer, largely owing to his negligence of his duties as a marine in terms of fighting pirates.
Apu: Zander evidently held the fishman in low regard, casually referring to him as a frog. Nevertheless he was willing to let him go with a warning if the fishman remained neutral in the fight against Damon. Given how Apu not only violated that condition, but fled the scene with Damon in tow. Swain now considers him a sworn enemy of the World Government and is unlikely to extend any such kindness in the future.
Draco D. Damon: Even before arriving on Bedina, Swain had made the decision to hunt and execute Damon, and upon encountering him in person he made his hostile intentions easily known. Although the Commodore was momentarily dazed by Damon's good looks, he quickly steeled his resolve and engaged in a brief battle with designs on ending the other mans life. His zeal noteworthy enough that he in a momentary breach of character was willing to let Apu go free if he left him at Swain's mercy.