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|Political and military information|
- "So, here's the deal. I'm short a Captain, so Lieutenant McKay is serving as my Executive Officer. So, if either one of us says 'crap', then I expect you to ask 'what color, how much, and where do you want it?' Do you read me?"
- — Silva, to John-117
Major Antonio Silva (service number 73809-39884-AS) was a Field Grade officer and an Orbital Drop Shock Trooper in the UNSC Marine Corps. He was the Commanding Officer of the ODST forces during the Battle of Installation 04 in September 2552.
Early military career
On April 22, to test the new SPARTAN-II physical augmentations, ONI enlisted four of Silva's men, one of which was Langston, to confront John-117 in the Atlas' gym. The ODSTs were no match for the Spartan, and two were killed while the other two were severely wounded. Silva viewed this as murder and was appalled when the SPARTAN was not punished. Silva held a deep grudge toward the SPARTAN-II program in general, and John-117 in particular, from that time forward.
Reach and Installation 04
Escape from Reach
In 2552, Major Silva was deployed with his ODST Battalion aboard the newly-refit UNSC Pillar of Autumn. Even before the mission began he came into conflict with the Spartans aboard the Autumn, complaining to Wellsley that "they don't have the run on every piece of kit on this ship" and warning that "if the Spartans keep pulling more gear from the armory - way more than they need - there'll be problems."
Pillar of Autumn
When the Covenant was assaulting the Autumn, the ships contingent of ODST was assigned to protect the experimental power plant. Silva and his Marines defended the ship's engine generators, where his leadership was demonstrated by the wall of Covenant corpses used by his soldiers for cover. Captain Jacob Keyes proceeded to order the contingent of ODST off the ship to the construct near the ship at the time. Silva then abandoned the Autumn in a Single Occupant Exoatmospheric Insertion Vehicle with his Executive Officer, First Lieutenant Melissa McKay, and the few hundred of his men that were revived from cryo in time, playing the Helljumpers' anthem on the way down.
Landing on Alpha Halo
As part of the UNSC Insertion Protocols, Wellsley was onboard Silva's drop pod. During the descent to Installation 04, Wellsley picked out a butte on the surface for Major Silva to act as an effective home base for the scattered UNSC forces on Halo. Wellsley then sent a message to the rest of the ODSTs about the location, and told Silva that the Covenant owned that location.
Silva rallied his men to capture a nearby butte that would become Alpha Base. With the capture of Captain Jacob Keyes by the Covenant Empire, Silva assumed command of the Autumn's surviving crew.
Confrontation with the Chief
Silva then encountered SPARTAN John-117, now a Master Chief Petty Officer, and blatantly told him that he and his Spartans were "freaks", and that they died because they were weak and could not adapt in battle. Silva continued to say that the veteran Spartan was the last of a "failed experiment" and a "dying breed", and that "real" humans, like Silva's ODSTs, would win the war, not Spartans.
Silva's beliefs regarding the Spartans had been completely unknown to anyone else at the time. First Lieutenant Melissa McKay disagreed with him but never vocalized her feelings. It is unknown how he knew that a Spartan had killed his men, much less that the Spartans had been abducted, since, at that time, the program remained top secret. However, in order to explain how his men were killed by a fourteen-year-old boy, it is likely that he was informed of the Spartans and their origins. (See List of Inconsistencies in Halo: The Flood).
He openly displayed disdain for the Spartans and their abilities, trying to convince Keyes (who had later been rescued by the Master Chief) that his men should be the ones going after the Control Room and not the Chief; his request was denied by Keyes, who thought highly of the Spartans. When the Master Chief disappeared, (having been teleported to the Library by the Monitor to get the Index), Silva told McKay that he felt that the Spartan was out playing games. McKay understood him to be frustrated, as he knew that John and Cortana were valuable assets despite his dislike for them. He did, however, express some admiration for the Chief's skills: after learning from Cortana the two's plan to destroy Halo, he said he had to admit the Spartan was "one hell of a soldier".
The Flood outbreak
Silva later ordered Lt. McKay to ferry supplies from the crashed Autumn to Alpha Base and hold the docking and supply bays until all further supplies have been taken. He then rallied his forces during a Covenant attack of the base, and again when the Flood appeared and tried to infest the base. Silva succeeded by interrogating the found PFC Wallace A. Jenkins, now a Flood Combat Form, and discovered the attack, plugging the holes underneath the base before the Flood could attack.
After the battle, Silva and his men came into contact with Cortana one last time and learned about the downed Covenant vessel Truth and Reconciliation. Silva also learned that Cortana and the Chief planned to destroy Halo by blowing up the Pillar of Autumn. Silva planned a rapid assault on the Truth and Reconcilation, and had impeccable timing, attacking just as the Covenant had destroyed the Flood aboard the ship, and defeating them easily. He also arrived likely shortly after the Master Chief had escaped the vessel again and further weakened the Covenant and Flood force on board.
Delusions of grandeur and death
It became increasingly clear that Silva wanted to be the hero of the Battle of Installation 04, and intended to take the vessel directly to Earth—violating the Cole Protocol and endangering Earth's population, as Silva had interrupted the process of sterilizing the ship, allowing some of the Flood to survive and hide on it. He also planned to meet John-117 and Cortana in the space around Alpha Halo so that Cortana could pilot the vessel back to Earth.
Adamant in his decision, Silva left Lieutenant McKay no choice but to destroy the fiber-optic bundle connecting the bridge to the engine, causing the ship to crash onto the surface of Installation 04. This killed not only Silva and herself, but every other life form on the ship. In spite of the massive loss of life and opportunities for humanity to turn the war around, that act prevented the Flood infestation from threatening Earth and the remaining colonies, and possibly saved billions of lives.
- Although UNSC Marine Corps battalions are usually commanded by a lieutenant colonel, Silva commands his own battalion while only a major. This may be indicative of a lack of senior officers following the Fall of Reach, further supported by the fact Melissa McKay, a First Lieutenant, served as his XO due to there being no available Captains or Majors (which this billet is filled by).
- His surname may be taken from Paul Silva of Bungie Studios.
- A trooper named Lieutenant Silva is a Mobile Infantry officer in Robert Heinlein's Starship Troopers, which greatly influenced Bungie's development of the ODSTs.
List of appearances
- Halo: The Flood (First appearance)
- Halo: First Strike (Mentioned only)
- Hunt the Truth (Mentioned only)
- Halo: Fireteam Raven
- Data Drop Six
- Halo: Combat Evolved, campaign level, Pillar of Autumn
- Hunt the Truth, Episode 03: CRITICAL CONDITION
- Halo: Helljumper, Issue 1
- Halo: The Flood, Chapter 5, page 134 (2003 paperback); page 149 (2010 paperback)
- Halo: The Fall of Reach, Chapter 7, pages 63-68 (2001 paperback); pages 81-86 (2010 paperback)
- Halo: The Flood, Chapter 1, page 33-36 (2003 paperback); page 36-40 (2010 paperback)
- Bungie.net, ODST Field Guide
- Halo: The Flood, Chapter 2, page 48-9 (2003 paperback); page 54-55 (2010 paperback)
- Halo: The Flood, pages 91-92
- Halo: The Flood, pages 275-276
- Halo: The Flood, page 300
- Halo: Contact Harvest, Chapter 7, page 111