Gabriel Nowak was a former Rainbow field operative turned traitor, associated with Irena Morales and the Cabrero Brothers. Gabriel joined Rainbow sometime around 2005 and began his training under Bishop's leadership. Nowak was assigned to Bravo Team with fellow recruit Logan Keller, where he demonstrated immense skill in training.
In 2005, Rainbow Bravo Team, (consisting of Bishop, Knight, Logan Keller and Nowak) was sent alongside Alpha Team to resolve a hostage crisis in France. Bravo Team was tasked with taking the terrorists by surprise and wiping them out. As Bravo arrived in position first, a nervous Nowak fired prematurely on the terrorist, prompting the enemy to return fire. At the end of the fighting, all the terrorists were killed and the hostage were safe, but the Rainbow negotiator, Lt. Monroe, had been killed by collateral gunfire. The team proceeded to track down the rest of the terrorist, and went on to disarm a bomb, a task Gabriel was assigned to by Bishop.
However, just as he disarmed the bomb, the remains of the terrorists counterattacks, injuring Gabriel and pinning down Bishop and Logan. Pouring out the doors, Alpha Team arrived and cleared the room, giving Gabriel first aid.
Five years later, Gabriel had been placed on Alpha Team, now led by Logan Keller. With Kan Akahashi as its automatic rifleman, Alpha Team was sent in to Reno capture Irena Morales. During the mission, Gabriel and Kan were taken hostage. A few hours later, Keller comes with Bravo Team to rescue Kan and Gabriel. Kan is killed and Gabriel accompanied Bravo Team to the Nevada Dam on their helicopter. Keller confronts and kills Morales and they manage to stop the terrorists from destroying the dam.
With the mission accomplished, Gabriel kicked Intel officer Joanna Torres and coordinator Brody Lukin out of the chopper, revealing himself to have been a mole for Morales. As he flies away, Gabriel contacts Keller to inform him of his treachery before escape. Gabriel later fakes his death by crashing the helicopter in Lake Mead.
Gabriel later posed as an NSA agent and gave Bishop's Bravo Team false information that led the team's intel officer/coordinator Sharon Judd to be shot by a sniper (though she survived), Echo Team to be obliterated by a bomb and Bravo to be ambushed numerous times, though they survived each time. Discussing with Alvarez Cabrero as Bishop and Knight sneaks in, he executes his associate and orders his men to attack them. Both are knocked unconscious but saved by their team's pilot, Gary Kenyon.
With his cover blown up, his treachery revealed, and most of his minions killed, Nowak retreats to his villa in Costa Rica. There, he prepares to sell information on all Rainbow operatives away, to give Rainbow-classified documents to anyone willing to buy and to trade nuclear warheads at low cost. His efforts are stopped when Bravo, Charlie, and Delta Teams arrive and storm the house. Bishop attempts to confront Gabriel, but an attack helicopter comes and Gabriel hides away. After the helicopter is destroyed, Bishop confronts Gabriel again, who reveals why he betrayed Rainbow: he thought Bishop never had confidence in Gabriel and that Bishop was always protecting him, never letting him assuming his mistakes and accepting responsibility. Gabriel raises his gun and Bishop is forced to kill him in self-defense.
Personality and Traits
Nowak has an inferiority complex which leads him overcompensate aggressively and demonstrate multiple problems while working with Rainbow. During the prologue of Vegas 2, he frequently remarks that he could have either done a maneuver better than another team member, or is upset when reprimanded. It’s hard to tell if he truly believes he is the best member of Rainbow, (arrogance) or if he is overcompensating, (due to the inferiority complex.) For one example, after one room breach, he indignantly remarks, “I did it perfectly!” after Bishop tells him they can always do things better. Another example during the prologue is during a room clearing; he sounds like he is disappointed in the fact that he didn't get his way. Since revenge on Six, Bishop, Keller, and the rest of Rainbow was such a personal venture during Vegas and Vegas 2, it’s possible to surmise that it was indeed the inferiority complex driving him. It wasn’t enough to ‘beat’ Rainbow, he had to make sure they knew it was him behind it all and make them suffer for not recognizing how great he thought he was.
Also contrary to team cohesion was his competitiveness. During the Vegas 2 prologue, he frequently brags that he could do or complete objectives quicker, that he has superior reaction time, or that his idea is the best for the situation. Bishop frequently checks in with Logan during these exercises, who usually urges caution, assessment, and the safety of the hostages, in sharp contrast to Nowak. Nowak during those moments appears to care little, (if not at all) about the hostages, and only about how good he looks during the evaluation.
Lastly, the ultimate example of Gabe’s troubles with the Rainbow unit was the death of Lt. Monroe. Before Six can get into position during the hostage situation, Nowak is heard cursing and prematurely fires, which results in the terrorists being killed, but also killing Monroe in the crossfires. To cover his mistake, (and possibly, as a narcissist, he may truly believe his recollection of events), he says the enemy fired first (which is completely untrue, and can be heard before the gunfire starts). Ding Chavez, the director of Rainbow, wanted Nowak fired and charged him with reckless endangerment, but Bishop defended Nowak and covered for his mistake. After a six weeks investigation by the internal affairs, there was not enough evidence to charged Nowak with any crime that Monroe was killed by collateral fire. It's unclear as to why a seasoned veteran as Bishop would go to such lengths to protect Gabe Nowak, but the gesture had no impact on Nowak's humility, which eventually resulted in the deaths of multiple Rainbow personnel.
After the incident Nowak seemed disappointed and angry that he wasn't chosen for the position of team leader, likely still believing he was the better operative over Logan Keller, despite nearly getting kicked out of Rainbow or being brought up on charges. 5 years after the prologue, Nowak is unable to resist partnering with Irena and faking his capture, partially to make Logan Keller look bad, and partly to enact his revenge on Rainbow. Feeding information to the Alvarez brothers and Irena, he consistently attempts to undermine Six, Bishop, and Keller as often as possible. To add insult to injury, he also makes an appearance on-site in the guise of an NSA agent, (with a visual nod to Splinter Cell’s Sam Fisher), unable to resist from pulling Bishop’s strings in person, and stages a rescue of himself with Logan's team to reveal his machinations face to face.
It should be noted that Gabriel Nowak was an expert liar. During the course of Vegas and Vegas 2, he plays both the Alvarez brothers/Irena against Rainbow, with neither side coming directly against him until he revealed his manipulations to Bishop and Keller. Had he opted to stay silent, he may have eventually been discovered, but his strong need to prove he was the best led him to exposing himself as a traitor… in essence, showing off to his former team that he had bested them.
In short, Gabriel had all the right skills but the completely wrong temperament for the work. He demonstrated the inability to work within Rainbow’s restrictions, work with the team members, show humility towards its leaders, or to remain loyal to his comrades. His bloodlust, ego, and inferiority complex ultimately turned a comrade into a villain.
- His signature weapon is a SCAR-H CQC.
- In Vegas, he has pale skin, whereas in Vegas 2, he has a tan.
- It is implied that Bishop initially planned to promote Gabriel as Alpha Team leader, but that following his actions in France Domingo wanted to fire him. Bishop took his defense but was forced to drop the idea of promoting him, placing Logan in command of Alpha instead.
- Novak means "new" in Slavic and is a common last name in the Czech Republic. This is a reference to his reckless nature.
- In Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory, another Tom Clancy game, there is a character named Milos Nowak. Gabriel's outfit in the oil fields resembles that of Splinter Cell's player character, Sam Fisher.
- Since nearly all Tom Clancy games are set in the same universe, it is very likely that Gabriel was pretending to be a Splinter Cell Agent, explaining the similarity with Fisher's equipment.
- After he kills Alvarez and when he walks away it is impossible to kill him before getting stunned by the explosion.