"Rapture. Is it utopia, or is it a nightmare? I can't really tell you. On the one hand, I find myself with the power to do whatever I goddamn want. On the other... it made me a freak..."
-Nikolai in his memoirs, BioShock: Awakening.
Nikolai Androv Dronohov (1950-?) was a citizen of Rapture during the regime of Sofia Lamb. An open critic of the Rapture Family, Nikolai formed his own gathering, The Collective. He is the primary protagonist of Bioshock: Awakening.
"You are a tool, Nikolai, a blunt object of crude labor. That is all you are, all you ever will be."
"Careful, suka. Tools can be turned against their wielders."
-Sofia Lamb and Nikolai after the latter's capture.
Nikolai was one of the "Trinity Children", the other two being Jack and Eleanor Lamb. His blood father, Gregor Dronohov, was the CEO of Rapture's security contractor, Scantronn. Nikolai was an illegitimate son, so Gregor sold him at birth to Fontaine Futuristics for ADAM and gene testing.
Nikolai proved to be one of the rare few males who could successfully ingest and maintain an ADAM slug in him, making him a rare Little Brother. After 12 years of harvesting ADAM, Nikolai, as with anyother Little Sister or Brother, began to become more and more aggressive. Interestingly, Nikolai retained control of his sanity, while the others degraded into subserviant drones. Knowing the value of a "fully" sentient Big Brother, Sophia Lamb cured Nikolai of his mental conditioning, but still had him train with the other Big Brothers.
In the time of BioShock 2, Nikolai had learned through Brigid Tenembaum of Lamb's corrupt nature. Furious and betrayed, he sought out his father, Gregor, who had degenerated into a Spider Splicer. Though he recognized his blood, Gregor cruelly denounced his son, calling him "an unholy, murderous freak."
Lost in grief, Nikolai hit rock bottom, but his anger never subsided. Joining a gang of splicers and humans together, Nikolai founded The Collective, an underground movement aimed at dismantling the Rapture Family. After leading his group for five years, Stanley Poole, who sought to redeem himself for the flooding of Dionysus Park, handed Nikolai over to Sophia's authorities in exchange for pardon. Once again, Nikolai found himself inside Fontaine Futuristics where Eleanor, his only childhood friend, was held. Sophia had discovered Nikolai's betrayal and deemed him worthy of punishment. Sophia had him overloaded with Plasmids, forcing dozens of high adrenaline cocktails into his veins, causing him unimaginable pain. Throughout the whole while, Sophia forced her daughter to watch, hoping that Nikolai would snap and attack in rage, thus proving the "truth about humanity". Instead, her daughter only redoubled her efforts to contact Subject Delta so as to save her and her friend. After failing to break him, Sophia demanded to know where his strength was, but the answer was obvious to her; he was in love with Eleanor, and couldn't bring himself to hurt her. He also appeared to have a connection to Subject Delta, calling him "step-father."
Upon his release, a grateful Nikolai donned his Big Brother armor once more, prepared to unleash his lethal wrath on the populace of Rapture for what they had done to him and his love.
After fleeing Rapture with Subject Delta and Eleanor, they struck out to find their place in this world. Because the Cold War was in full swing, the two (technically three) were ill recieved upon their arrival in Savannah, Georgia, nor did it help matters that Nikolai was of Russian descent. Held up by the US Marines and Coast Guard, Nikolai prepared to eliminate the threat, but Eleanor advised otherwise, saying that Delta was appealing to the soldiers ignorance; why wouldn't they apprehend them this way, looking like they did in their armor? Nikolai reluctantly agrees, on the grounds that Eleanor "takes care of herself."
Imprisoned and in solitary isolation, Nikolai was constantly interrogated by the CIA, looking for any connection to the Soviet regime. Because he had spent his whole life submerged, Nikolai was woefully off guard of how precarious of a situation his Russian heritage would present. When the government discovered Eleanor's and his superpowers, President Johnson himself authorized and oversaw the extraction of ADAM from them. Eleanor was first.
Knowing that harvesting Eleanor would kill her, Nikolai pleaded for a chance to negotiate, to work for them, to be first in the lab, anything. Finally, the US government rescinded when Nikolai told them there was more, in Rapture. In exchange for Eleanor's life, Nikolai would return to Rapture to collect fourteen canisters of raw, untapped ADAM and EVE and sixteen forms of Plasmids. Around this time, the Russians learned that the Americans were creating bio-genetic experiments, and accelerated their own program. To make matters worse, they too had discovered Rapture's location via a Splicer they had found and captured. The race was on.
Nikolai returns to Rapture in the midst of a fierce naval fight between the USS Franklin and two Russian destroyers with drop pods. In Rapture, Nikolai was back in his element of bloodshed, but now instead of just Splicers and Big Sisters, Nikolai found himself at odds with Spetznaz divers and supersoldiers under the command of Colonel Radek. After obtaining five cans of ADAM and EVE and collecting eight Plasmids, Nikolai is contacted by Grace Holloway, telling him that the "invaders are looking for something else." Nikolai is confused by this, as there is nothing else of real value down here except the gene technology. Throughout his time, Eleanor is in contact with Nikolai via their bond with Delta, encouraging him and guiding him.
After some time, Radek tells Nikolai what the Russians are truly after; they were looking for the conditioning program for the Little Sisters. By using the program, the Russians would be able to reverse enginneer the system into creating a mass brainwashing effect, enslaving everyone who hears it. Nikolai refutes this, saying it only works on Little Sisters and Brothers who have an ADAM slug in them. Radek then revealed to Nikolai that the Russians already have ADAM in vast stores, and have been poisoning America's water supply with it: with ADAM already in their system, the Russians would then fly propaganda drones over America, causing the American people to over throw the Capitalist government and set up a Communist regime.
With his collection complete, Nikolai makes a quick escape through the Little Sister's ventilation system, but Radek floods it, then takes Nikolai's pack of canisters. Through his connection, he hears Eleanor saying that several of the men are starting to act strangely, attacking their superiors. Nikolai concludes the brainwashing effect is starting but is not complete because the Russians do not have the full program. Racing to the Little Sisters Orphanage, Nikolai manages to find and destroy the Russian relaying device just before the order to kill the president is given.
Retrieving his pack of Plasmids from a Baron Supersoldier, Nikolai is about to leave Rapture when Radek appears, a Fiend Splicer. It is revealed that Radek was the Splicer that the Russians found and that the brainwashing effect was not just in America; it was world wide, and when completed it would set him up as a god-king. Nikolai responds saying he has already destroyed the relayer, but Radek shrugs it off, saying it was only "a tiny knot in the string of fate." Whether or not the president is killed immediately is unimportant to him, eventually, enough people will rise up and his goal will be complete. In the ensuing fight, Delta takes control of Nikolai's body and guides him in his fight against the more lethal enemy. Finally, Nikolai and Delta are able to kill Radek in a compression chamber, crushing him to death and severing his mindcontrol bond over the infected individuals. Eleanor screams in Nikolai's head, pleading for him to respond and that she loves him, while Nikolai blacks out due to lack of air.
When Nikolai awakes, he is onboard the USS Enterprise air craft carrier, saved by Navy SEAL divers. Upon his return to America, President Johnson, having seen first hand the power of Rapture, decides it is "best left in the hands of those who know how to use it." Eleanor and Nikolai then depart Savannah, moving inland.
In the Epilogue, Nikolai and Eleanor are married, and expecting their first child. When Eleanor asks him what happened to the pack of canisters, Nikolai says they are "secure" while reading an article of a new Military installation being built called "Area 51."
Nikolai, as a Big Brother, was a serious force to be reckoned with. Because of his cruel gene therapy sessions with Dr. Lamb, Nikolai's powers surpassed even Eleanor's, though it was often more difficult to control.
- Superhuman Strength, Speed and Endurance Nikolai was more than capable of shattering rock with his bare hands, and lifting and throwing debris (and enemies) astounding distances. He can also run at Mach 1 and can take direct hits from a Brute Splicer relatively unfazed.
- Hellfire An attack that physically manifests Nikolai's anger. Hellfire enshrouds Nikolai in a blanket of fire, which he can manipulate to his sadistic liking. Depending on usage, deals minimum to heavy damage.
- Repulse An advance form of Telekinesis that produces a shockwave, blasting everything close to Nikolai away with great force. Deals medium damage.
- Brother's Call Nikolai possess the unique ability to summon other Big Brothers, sometimes Big Sisters, to his cause.
- Death's Hand Nikolai grabs a victim's throat, then unleashes a deluge of combined Plasmids into a single, all out blast. Deals extreme damage, but cannot be used twice within five minutes.
- Fire wall Nikolai puts down a defensive wall of fire. Deals medium to high damage if touched.
- "YOU...YOU DID THIS TO ME!!"
- "HAHAHAHA... You're all so weak!"
- "Superior genetics, my friend, superior genetics."
- "FEEL THE WRATH OF SATAN!" when charging Hellfire
- "Come at me, motherfucker... and best of luck fighting with your ass on fire."
- "Do svidaniya, cretins."
- "Anything you move towards Eleanor or step-father...you WILL lose it..."
- "You're next, Sofia... time to see if you really have a heart!"
- "LEAVE... ELEANOR... ALONE!!!"
- "I'm coming for you."
- "Angry?...You haven't even seen me angry."
- "You, you're Delta aren't you? Slava Bogu, you've come."
- "You saved me, and that means something to me."
- "I have no one left in this rotting carcass of a city, my father is a degenerate suka, and Lamb is...not a friend. Eleanor calls you father... makes sense, since your the only one left who cares for her *laughs* except perhaps me."
- "Anyone who is a friend of Eleanor is a friend of mine. And if she is your father, then I adopt you... Step-father..."
- If Delta spared Holloway and Poole: "Step-father, Eleanor is not the only one who learned. You taught me that sometimes, you need to turn the other cheek, no matter how much it stings. True courage is not knowing when to take a life, but when to spare it."
- If Delta killed Holloway or Poole: "Step-father, Eleanor isn't the only one who learned something today. I found out just how rewarding revenge is. Oh, yes Delta, I have been strapped to that proklyal table for days now. I thirst for my chance to punish these fools. Let's do it together..."
- Good ending: "As for myself, the page is only turning. Stepfather taught me that my anger, though just, should never control me. It would undoubably mean it would destroy me. I'll never forget your lesson, Step-father, and when ever I feel wronged... I will think of you..."
- Neutral ending: "As for myself, there is little to say. Step father was no angel, but he wasn't the devil Lamb portrayed him to be. Still, we must take the bad with the good, for if we are blind to one, then how can we accept and mature? Perhaps... someday, I too, will understand."
- Neutral bad and Evil ending: "As for myself, what is left to say? Eleanor and I are gods in this world, and they will accept us, or be cast out. I feel a rising in my chest, an uncontrollable rage. Heh, I guess those svloches weren't enough to sedate it. Now...I need a target..."