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General Harper Garvin was a human military commander and insurrectionist of the United Rebel Front. Garvin once served the UNSC Marine Corps as a major general, but defected to the United Rebel Front after a humble assignment to Corbulo Academy of Military Science. He soon rose to become a leader within the faction and was a member of the URF's High Command.
Career and desertion
Harper Garvin was an officer of the UNSC Marine Corps, reaching the rank of major general. In 2508, Garvin lectured on quelling planetary insurrections at the Academy at Mare Nubium on Luna. Upon receiving a two-year billet teaching logistics at the Corbulo Academy of Military Science on Circinius IV, Garvin deserted and affiliated himself with the United Rebel Front. Some speculated that he had joined the rebels to retaliate against his humble assignment.
Within the United Rebel Front, Garvin ascended to a leadership position and became a member of its High Command. He soon rose to become one of the highest-ranking officials of the rebel coalition, perhaps the second- or third-in-command of the United Rebel Front. The United Nations Space Command identified him as a suspected terrorist and the Office of Naval Intelligence designated him as an important target to capture and interrogate.
Through his spy within UNSC Fleet Command, Garvin learned of the Covenant threat to the Outer Colonies. Garvin hoped to unite the fragmented rebel cells into a coalition under the United Rebel Front. On March 12, 2526, Garvin had summoned the leaders and envoys of various rebel cells to convene in the Little Nelek Nebula in the Grenadi sector, hosted by Lyrenne Castilla aboard Bellicose. Garvin informed the rebels of the Covenant invasion and the empire's vastly superior technology. Over the course of the meeting, the envoys agreed to attempt a truce with the Covenant, providing the empire with intelligence on the UNSC in exchange for their worlds being spared. Garvin dispatched a messenger on Amasa to intercept Covenant scouts, providing them with a holographic message and the offer of an alliance; the message was received by Nizat 'Kvarosee, fleetmaster of the Fleet of Inexorable Obedience. Garvin warned the Covenant that the UNSC intended to use Spartan-IIs to wipe out 'Kvarosee's fleet at Biko, the colony the fleetmaster planned to attack next. He offered to provide the Covenant more information if they dispatched an envoy to an ice quarry on Seoba, the third moon of Biko. In response, 'Kvarosee had First Blade Tel 'Szatulai assemble a kai'd and meet Garvin at Seoba to learn more about the Spartans.
Garvin's plan did not go as anticipated, as the UNSC had also intended to use Seoba as a base of operations while they waited for the Covenant's arrival at Biko. With the Biko Independence Army attempting to wrest control of Biko, the UNSC's Task Force Yama launched Operation: ICE DANCE on March 18, 2526. The ODSTs of the 21st Space Assault Battalion, with help from the Spartans, defeated the rebel coalition and captured three hundred prisoner, including Garvin. Meanwhile, the flotilla led by 'Szatulai arrived in the system, forcing the UNSC to act quickly. As the captured rebels were being herded aboard the Banta-class transport Emmeline to be taken to Biko for trial, a group of them crowded around Garvin to hide his identity from their captors. This was noticed by Spartan-II supersoldier John-117, who ordered the line of prisoners to halt as he identified Garvin with his armor's onboard computer. After a failed attempt by the Gao insurrenctionist Petora Zoyas to stall for him, the general came forward. Now in the Spartan's custody, Garvin began to question how he had recognized him in the crowd, to which John lied in response, saying that he had attended one of his lectures at Luna OCS. Before he could continue, a blast rocked the chamber they were in. 'Szatulai's forces were firing on the quarry, and they managed to down a prowler. With securing the prowler and checking for survivors taking priority, John allowed Garvin to board Emmeline, though he feared the colonial authority may execute him before ONI could retrieve the general for interrogation.
As the Battle of Biko began, Emmeline was intercepted by 'Szatulai over Seoba. As 'Szatulai boarded the transport, Erland Booth of the Biko Independence Army activated a captured HAVOK nuke and threatened to destroy the ship unless 'Szatulai called off the attack. Instead, the first blade simply killed the human and allowed Garvin to deactivate the nuke. In order to tempt the Covenant into an alliance, he allowed the Silent Shadow operative to keep the nuclear weapon. He also offered the schematics on the MJOLNIR Mark IV, along with future advice needed to anticipate the next actions of the Spartans. Seeking further intelligence on the Spartans, 'Szatulai agreed to work with the rebels, taking Petora Zoyas with him to serve as a point of contact.
Personality and traits
Harper Garvin was a disciplined military officer and a well-trained soldier. After joining the Front, he found initial difficulty earning the respect of other rebel leaders, who viewed his discipline and soldierly manner with disdain. However, his intelligence and agents within the United Nations Space Command, as well as his competence, garnered him some respect. Garvin cared about those who served under him and, following his defeat at Seoba, willingly stepped forward for capture when the Spartan-IIs threatened to execute rebels interfering with his arrest. Despite this, Garvin was a prideful man, allegedly defecting from the UNSC Marine Corps after being assigned a humble billet at the Corbulo Academy of Military Science. After his defection, he grew to detest the UNSC, and was willing to ally with the Covenant to destroy the Unified Earth Government to protect the Outer Colonies, but he was unwilling to provide the Covenant the location of Earth and only agreed to do so if the Covenant could be trusted to allow the rebels to live.
Tall and lean, Garvin was grim-faced with salt-and-pepper closely trimmed hair, with gray, intelligent eyes. He had no facial hair, and was described as gaunt in appearance. Garvin's manner and dress made him come off as "half-UNSC". He wore pressed gray slacks and a cream bush shirt with matching tie. While he wore no stars on his collar tips, his formal and soldierly dress style undermined his prestige in the eyes of fellow insurgents, with Petora Zoyas comparing his attire with the Service B uniform of the Marine Corps.
Harper Garvin was created and written by Troy Denning for Halo: Silent Storm. Originally, Garvin's role in the novel was to be filled by Howard Graves, a general of the United Rebel Front introduced in Halo: Ghosts of Onyx. However, as Denning neared completion of the novel, Graves was removed when Denning decided that his appearance in Silent Storm would create continuity problems and Garvin was created as a substitute for Graves' role.
List of appearances