|“|| 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 amid the Second Tiberium War and during the Firestorm Crisis in particular. The feared leader of the Black Hand, Slavik's strategic genius and 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, Anton Slavik successfully ensured Nod's survival against CABAL, and would indirectly set the stage for the Third Tiberium War against GDI.
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.
To Slavik, the strength of Nod 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.
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 absolutely nothing to achieve that 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.
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.
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 brilliancy and unquestioned loyalty. 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.
Serbian freedom fighter
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. 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. 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.
The reasons behind Slavik's remarkable leniency towards Umagon are unexplained, but he once referred to her as 'strong' before a disgruntled Oxanna. 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.
By the time Anton Slavik ascended to becoming the prelate of the Black Hand, the Brotherhood had splintered into a collection of opposing factions. However, Slavik commanded a great deal of respect, admiration and fear among many Nod 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.
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 James Solomon. 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.
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 thus 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 capturing of a major TV station used to broadcast Nod propaganda across the globe, and freeing another prominent battle commander of the Brotherhood that Hassan had imprisoned.
Slavik's campaign culminated in a direct assault on the treacherous general's own stronghold within Cairo, and Hassan's arrest by the Black Hand. Before a live worldwide audience, Kane then publicly reappeared for the first time since the end of the First Tiberium War, upon which Slavik executed the GDI puppet; 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 faithful to Kane during the long period of his absence, Anton Slavik was made the Nod prophet's right hand 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 were briefly captured by GDI's commander Michael McNeil later in the conflict.
|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
GDI had leaked intel about their supposed progress on Tiberium reduction technologies, and Kane sent Anton Slavik to destroy their main research facility, in order to ensure no GDI technology could exist that was able to hinder the Brotherhood's goal of Divination. However, the operation was a trap: Slavik and Oxanna Kristos were captured by Michael McNeil and Umagon, and were shipped to a maximum security prison near GDI's Hammerfest base in Norway. McNeil gloated to Slavik at having outmaneuvered him, and from there on the infamous Nod commander bore a deadly grudge against his GDI counterpart.
Sure enough, at the conclusion of Tiberian Sun its Nod campaign, Anton Slavik would exact a brutal vengeance upon 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—ensuring Nod's victory over GDI in the Second Tiberium War. Michael McNeil was captured alive by the Black Hand and led before Slavik. Anton Slavik ruthlessly tortured the man, and then forced McNeil to watch the destruction of the GDSS Philadelphia with his own eyes—crushing him both in body and spirit.
|“|| Burn them all! Nod has enough problems with the GDI jackals digging through the ruins of Kane's temple, but now these new "Generals", more like fools, continue to bicker and vie for power. I cannot allow this infighting to continue. The inner circle is divided and I need to remind them that even though Kane is gone, his plans live on. I have not survived death time after time and stood at Kane's right hand this long to see everything crumble all around us. Our lack of communication and inaccurate information is a severe hindrance - without CABAL's presence, we are deaf and blind to the rest of the world. I cannot let anger distract me from my path. Kane's plan will become reality - I will see to that. The steps have been taken and the machine has been set in motion. I will not let Nod degenerate into chaos as it did in the past. We are stronger than that - I am stronger than that, but first things first. Tomorrow is going to be a busy day...|
- Anton Slavik, Firestorm manual entries
However, this move would prove almost fatal as the sinister AI suddenly went rogue without warning and purged the Inner Circle. This left Anton Slavik as the group's only surviving member, as he never used cyborgs as bodyguards, which all had fallen under CABAL's dominion, but instead trusted solely in his own Black Hand troops for security. Slavik's mobile command center, the Montauk, subsequently allowed him to escape the ensuing chaos. With the help of his right hand commander, Slavik acquired a GDI EVA unit and reprogrammed it to replace CABAL as Nod's main tactical AI.
Once command and control over the Brotherhood was reestablished, Slavik ordered a strike at what Nod thought was CABAL's central core. The attack appeared to succeed but turned out to be a trap, with CABAL launching a massive missile strike against Nod's forces. Realizing the Brotherhood was incapable of defeating CABAL in its current state, Slavik was bitterly compelled to offer the GDI a ceasefire. General Cortez accepted and the two mortal enemies turned their attentions to the common threat, locating CABAL's central core and launching a coordinated operation against it. After overcoming the AI's impressive defenses, the GDI/Nod offensive seemingly succeeded in destroying CABAL completely.
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.
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. 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.
Behind the scenes
Anton 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 which Kane mentions Slavik by name; and reveals that a fanatic of Marcion had his successor assassinated due to Slavik's unyielding loyalty to the Nod prophet.
|“||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
- Before details of his death surfaced, many speculated that an Inner Circle advisor seen in 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.