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I live for Kane, and I die for Kane. The difference is trivial.
- Anton Slavik

Anton Slavik was a notorious and high-ranking battle commander of the Brotherhood of Nod, who rose to prominence during the Second Tiberium War and amid the Firestorm Crisis in particular. The feared leader of the Black Hand, Slavik's strategic genius and his unflinching loyalty to Kane made him ascend to Nod's Inner Circle at a remarkably young age. During the Firestorm Crisis, he assumed command over the entirety of the Brotherhood as its supreme general in Kane's absence. In so doing, Slavik ensured Nod's survival against CABAL, and he indirectly set the world stage for the Third Tiberium War against GDI.

Personality

Slavik believes in no peace that wasn't imposed by the Brotherhood of Nod, as he never experienced it as a child. He grew up in the war-torn Balkans during the First Tiberium War's final stages, and saw firsthand how Global Defense Initiative forces crushed the Serbian Yugoslavs and Bosnians who had aligned themselves with Nod. The childhood trauma resulted in a deeply rooted hatred of the West, which in his adulthood manifested as an implacable devotion to Kane and the Brotherhood.[1]

Slavik in the hour of Kane's victory (Nod campaign ending of Tiberian Sun)

To Anton Slavik, Nod's strength is right and the world is wrong. As such, it must be changed, and change only comes through pain and fire. Quite likely, his struggle against GDI is also a way for him to come to terms with his devastated childhood.[1]

Slavik demands supremacy for the Brotherhood and the downtrodden, oppressed people they claim to represent. In his fervor, he is well known to stop at nothing to achieve this aim. Secretly, Slavik views himself as the greatest of Nod's military leaders as well as Kane's own successor; a vision he would accomplish on both counts with the Brotherhood's triumph over CABAL during the Firestorm Crisis.[1]

History

Early life

A Bosnian Serb by birth, Anton Slavik was orphaned at an early age and grew up during the last stages of GDI's campaign in Europe, witnessing how United Nations backed military forces crushed the fighting Serbs. His experience created an enduring resentment towards the GDI; further nurtured by him so that his Serbian "us against the world" mentality became converted into a zealous commitment to Kane's goals.[1]

While Slavik claims he was raised into the Black Hand from birth, this is most likely untrue. One possibility is that he was born to Nod parents but became orphaned as a child, and that Slavik's association with the Brotherhood's elite cadre so early on was due to his tactical brilliance and unquestioned loyalty.[2] With most Nod elites exhibiting either one trait or the other, but rarely both, this rendered Slavik a highly prized asset to Kane from the beginning.[2]

Serbian freedom fighter

Slavik within his mobile command center, the "Montauk"

Before formally becoming a Nod battle commander, Anton Slavik was the gifted leader of a Serbian paramilitary resistance group, where he first earned himself the nickname "The Serbian Wolf" over his lethality and ruthlessness.[3] It is some time during this period that his excellence was noted and he became a member of the Brotherhood proper, soon being accepted into the upper ranks of the Black Hand itself.

Early Nod membership

Slavik initially was part of a Nod cult linked to Kane's private guard from the era of the First Tiberium War, who had been driven underground after the Brotherhood's first defeat at Sarajevo​​​​​​. During the interbella period leading to the Second Tiberium War, his public profile mainly revolved around administrating Nod medical colonies in regions heavily affected by Tiberium infestation.

During this time, a mutant female named Umagon escaped from a refugee camp under Slavik's supervision. Despite having an opportunity to kill her, Slavik uncharacteristically refrained from doing so. Later in the war, he twice prevented Oxanna Kristos from murdering Umagon, and he ordered his men to intervene when she appeared to try and commit suicide.[4] Further, Slavik became passionate upon discovering the mutant woman had turned away from Kane and the Brotherhood, and Umagon was the sole person to ever speak ill of Slavik's prophet without promptly being executed.[4]

The reasons behind Slavik's remarkable leniency towards Umagon are unexplained, but he once referred to her as 'strong' before a disgruntled Oxanna.[4] Umagon did become a thorn in Slavik's side after the mutants started to align themselves with GDI, one the Serbian Wolf hoped to be able to pull out in the near future.[1]

Ascension

By the time Anton Slavik ascended to becoming the prelate of the Black Hand, the Brotherhood of Nod had fractured into a collection of opposing factions. However, Slavik commanded a great deal of admiration, fear and respect among many of the Brotherhood's followers, and he steadily kept gaining in support throughout these splinter groups, becoming a growing threat to the Global Defense Initiative and their puppet leader Hassan—the head of the largest Nod faction.

Anton Slavik's failed assassination

Prior to Kane's reappearance in 2030, Slavik was captured by members of general Hassan's personal guard and charged with being a spy for the Global Defense Initiative. In reality, it was Hassan himself who was GDI's mole, as he framed Slavik under direct orders from general James Solomon.[5] Slavik was scheduled to be executed on battleday 123271 by lethal injection; the terminating substance was reportedly only toxins and no sedatives. As the public event was proceeding he was rescued by Oxanna Kristos and other Black Hand operatives. Upon returning to the Montauk, Slavik instantly murdered the man who had betrayed him to Hassan.[6]

Second Tiberium War

"It is more important for us to employ intelligent combined-arms tactics than it is for GDI because it is the Pen that is mightier than the Sword. And we are both the Pen and the Sword when skilled modern armies are commanded by intelligent strategies brought upon by a true military strategist."
- Anton Slavik

Having evaded the pursuit of Hassan's elite guard and thereby surviving GDI's attempt on his life, the leader of the Black Hand set out to reunite the factions of the Brotherhood of Nod, seemingly under his own command. These efforts included the capture of a major television station used to broadcast Nod propaganda across much of the globe,[5] and freeing another prominent battle commander of the Brotherhood that Hassan had imprisoned at GDI's behest.[7] 

Command_&_Conquer_Tiberian_Sun_--_Nod_4-1

Command & Conquer Tiberian Sun -- Nod 4-1

Hassan's public execution by Slavik. This event marked Kane's return and the beginning of the Second Tiberium War

Slavik's campaign against Hassan culminated in a direct assault on the treacherous general's stronghold in Cairo, Egypt, and Hassan being arrested by the Black Hand. Before a live worldwide audience, Kane then reappeared for the first time since the end of the First Tiberium War,[8] upon which Slavik publicly executed GDI's puppet leader; with this fully reuniting the Brotherhood of Nod and commencing the Second Tiberium War against the Global Defense Initiative.

As one of the few among the Brotherhood's leadership to have remained completely loyal to Kane during his absence, Anton Slavik was made the Nod prophet's right hand man and the supreme general of the Brotherhood in spite of his relatively young age. Slavik's skills and devotion were such that Kane, somewhat uncharacteristically, forgave both him and Oxanna after they briefly were captured by GDI's commander Michael McNeil later on in the conflict.[9]

Alternate History

CNCTW Nod Emblem.jpg The following is based on the Nod campaign for Tiberian Sun and some details might contradict canon.
Peaceful, isn't it?
- Anton Slavik to a broken Michael McNeil

McNeil tortured by Anton Slavik, moments before Nod destroys the GDSS Philadelphia

GDI leaked intel about their supposed progress on Tiberium reduction technology, and Kane sent Anton Slavik to destroy their main research facility, to ensure no GDI technology would exist that could hinder the Brotherhood's goal of Divination. However, the operation was a carefully laid trap: Slavik and Oxanna Kristos were captured by Michael McNeil and Umagon, and shipped to a maximum security prison near GDI's Hammerfest base. McNeil gloated to Slavik at having outmaneuvered him, and from there on the infamous Nod commander bore a deadly grudge against his GDI counterpart.[10]

Sure enough, at the conclusion of Tiberian Sun's Nod campaign, Anton Slavik exacted a brutal vengeance on McNeil. He and Oxanna "persuaded" Jake McNeil, Mack's younger brother, to defect to the Brotherhood and help them take the strategically vital Hammerfest base in Norway, ensuring Nod's victory over GDI in the Second Tiberium War. Michael McNeil was captured alive by the Black Hand and brought before Slavik. Slavik tortured McNeil ruthlessly, and then forced the man to witness the destruction of the GDSS Philadelphia with his own eyes—crushing him in body and spirit.[11]

Firestorm Crisis

General Slavik. You survived—and still command. Kane was correct about you.
- CABAL upon its reactivation in Tiberian Sun - Firestorm

Following Kane's second "demise" at the hands of GDI commander Michael McNeil in December 2030, Anton Slavik, the Black Hand's leader and an emphatic member of the Inner Circle, set out to "convince" Nod's surviving generals that they were to continue to follow Kane's decree: One Vision, One Purpose. His impassioned appeals were met with resistance however, as these generals, under the lead of a man named Marzaq, refused to acknowledge Slavik as Kane's chosen successor, and instead moved to concentrate power over the Brotherhood among themselves. Slavik consequently ordered his right hand commander to retrieve the three fragments of CABAL's disassembled core, deactivated by GDI at the end of the Second Tiberium War, considering the AI's reactivation as the best means to forcefully reunite the again fracturing Brotherhood of Nod.[12]

Tiberian_Sun_Firestorm_--_Nod_8-2

Tiberian Sun Firestorm -- Nod 8-2

The bitter confrontation between Slavik and GDI's General Cortez

However, this move would soon prove nearly fatal as the sinister CABAL went rogue without warning, and initiated a purging of the Inner Circle. This left Anton Slavik as the group's only surviving member, as he never used cyborgs as bodyguards but instead trusted solely in his own Black Hand forces for his security. Slavik's mobile command center, the Montauk, allowed him to escape the ensuing massacres unscathed. Undaunted even by CABAL's betrayal, Slavik immediately commandeered a fully functional EVA unit from a nearby GDI base, and reprogrammed it to substitute CABAL as the Brotherhood's primary tactical computer.[13]

Upon reestablishing his command over Nod's forces, Slavik launched a retaliatory strike at what the Brotherhood believed to be the new location of CABAL's central core, in a bid to decisively end the threat. Although the assault itself was a success, it proved to be a trap as CABAL launched missile strikes against all the assembled forces. Realizing that Nod was incapable of defeating the AI's growing cyborg armies in its present state, Slavik was bitterly compelled to approach the GDI with a ceasefire offer. General Cortez begrudgingly accepted, and the mortal enemies turned their attention to the common threat, locating CABAL's core and launching a coordinated operation against the AI. After overcoming its impressive defenses, this offensive seemingly succeeded in destroying CABAL completely.

Post-Firestorm

Slavik revealed himself publicly to be the Black Hand's prelate, reinforcing his image as Kane's successor and the true heir of Nod. However, the newly gained public profile caused dissension among the ranks of the cult, which quickly escalated to a series of impassioned public confrontations between Nod's new leader and the dissenters, who claimed him to be a traitor. Soon, a figure rose that could stand toe-to-toe with Slavik - an impassioned, popular preacher, known as Brother Marcion. What started as a doctrinal disagreement quickly escalated into a schism, threatening Nod itself.[2]

Despite the Inner Circle's attempts to calm the situation, it was not salvageable - Slavik was murdered by a fanatic under Marcion's order and the usurper exiled himself to the Australian Outback, taking much of the Black Hand with him.[14] According to intelligence reports, Slavik's death was orchestrated by a GDI agent, who infiltrated Marcion's coterie and inspired him to order his rival to be murdered. The agent was known only as Park.[15]

Behind the scenes

Kane mentioning Anton Slavik in Kane's Wrath

Slavik was portrayed by Frank Zagarino. The actor does not appear in the expansion pack of Command & Conquer 3: Kane's Wrath, but an image of him is shown briefly during one of its cutscenes. In it, Kane mentions Anton Slavik by name, and states that one of Marcion's fanatics had his successor assassinated over Slavik's unyielding loyalty to the Nod prophet.

Quotes

I live for Kane, and I die for Kane. The difference is trivial.
Your thoughts are my actions.
Let's go! No man or structure stays standing!
Brotherhood! We are whole again! The sickness has been cut out!
If Vega's lucky... He'll die in the crash.
Locate that Tacitus, soldier. Or I will bury your team in that hole.
Be careful of the next words you say, Marzaq. It would 'sadden' me to lose your 'support'.
You will find I need to bite only once—and I always aim for the throat.
McNeil will pay.
You have gained much from the Technology of Peace, mutant. Why betray your Brotherhood?!
CABAL... You serve Nod. I am Nod!
Commander, we are the Black Hand of Nod. WE are the salvation of Nod! CABAL betrayed not just you and I, but he betrayed the Brotherhood. He betrayed Kane! And there is only way price for betrayal—destroy CABAL!
Like the phoenix, we'll rise out of the ashes reborn!
Today, we have defeated the single greatest threat to the survival of the Brotherhood—IN TRIUMPH! Today, the madness of CABAL was put to an end and a new era has begun! We are strong! We are invincible! We are the future of the survival of mankind! Nod remains a unified force with one vision and one purpose! We will continue to uphold the ideals of Kane—peace through power! When Kane returns, we will truly be unstoppable! In the name of Kane! Kane lives in death!
- Slavik's victory speech to the Brotherhood after the fall of CABAL

Trivia

  • Before details of his death surfaced, many speculated that the mysterious Inner Circle Advisor seen in Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars was an elderly Anton Slavik, due to the actor's perceived resemblance to Frank Zagarino.
  • His name is misspelled as "Slavick" in his Tiberian Sun in-game unit.
  • Slavik is a rare surname among ex-Yugoslav nations, possibly originating from central Bosnia. It is also possible that Slavik is a misspelled version of "Slavić" (pronounced SLUH-vitsh), a surname more common in Croatia and somewhat rare in Serbia and Montenegro, as surnames ending with "-ić" are commonly typed as "-ic" in English, and "-ic" and "-ik" are pronounced the same in English.
  • In the Command & Conquer Bible, he is mistakenly noted as Victor Slavik.
  • Most players do not know that Slavik is actually a reference to Gavrilo Princip, the assassin of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, whose assasination was the direct cause of World War I. Princip was a member of Young Bosnia (Млада Босна, Mlada Bosna), a society closely tied to the Serbian Unification or Death (Уједињење или смрт, Ujedinjenje ili smrt), unoficially known as the Black Hand (Црна рука, Crna ruka). Slavik is the leader of a Nod subfaction with the aformentioned name. Both Princip and Slavik are also Bosnian Serbs. Additionally, Slavik's execution of Hassan preceded a new world war, similar to the assasination of Franz Ferdinand.

Gallery

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Selinske, Joe. Command & Conquer Bible: A Definitive Guide To The Command & Conquer Universe. Las Vegas, Nevada: Westwood Studios, 1999.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Electronic Arts Los Angeles, Command & Conquer 3: Kane's Wrath. Nod Background, "Black Hand - Origins".
  3. Westwood Studios, Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun: Firestorm. Nod mission 8: "NOD 08: Harvester Hunting".
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Westwood Studios, Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun. Nod mission 7: Capture Umagon (New Detroit)".
  5. 5.0 5.1 Westwood Studios, Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun. Nod mission 2: "Retaliation".
  6. Westwood Studios, Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun. Nod mission 1: "The Messiah Returns".
  7. Westwood Studios, Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun. Nod mission 3b: "Free Rebel Commander".
  8. Westwood Studios, Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun. Nod mission 3a: "Destroy Hassan's Temple".
  9. Westwood Studios, Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun. Nod mission 9a: "Establish Nod Presence".
  10. Westwood Studios, Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun. Nod mission 8: "Villainess in Distress".
  11. Westwood Studios, Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun. Nod mission 12a: "A New Beginning".
  12. Westwood Studios, Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun: Firestorm. Nod mission 1: "NOD 01:Operation Reboot".
  13. Westwood Studios, Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun: Firestorm. Nod mission 6: "NOD 06: The Needs of the Many!".
  14. Electronic Arts Los Angeles, Command & Conquer 3: Kane's Wrath. Nod mission 1: "The Rio Insurrection".
  15. Electronic Arts Los Angeles, Command & Conquer 3: Kane's Wrath. Nod Rumors, "The Corruption of Brother Marcion".
Tiberian Sun Characters
CNC3 Nod Logo.png Prominent members of the Brotherhood of Nod CNC3 Nod Logo.png
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