|Nikita Ruslanovitch Sokolov|
For as long as he Nikita could remember, there was always the show. He and his twin brother Fedor were born to parents Ruslan and Nadya Sokolov, who were already making a modest name for themselves in the mid eighties as stage magicians of note. Nikita was born four minutes before Fedor, and never let his brother forget who was the older and who was the younger. Their early life was one of constant travel, and though he was too young then to remember it, there was no physical home that his family returned to, save for the stage - a stage that varied from town to town, from city to city. At that time, the journies were limited to the cities and towns of Mother Russia, but as the Iron Curtain began to chip away and ultimately fall in the late eighties and early nineties, passage to the land of opportunity - America - was available and the Sokolovs took it. The four family members were on American soil when the fifth member of their troupe, younger sister Jelena, was born.
Though he was no Henning or Copperfield, Ruslan - or Ruslan the Remarkable as he billed himself - was a skilled enough magician and his wife a pretty enough assistant that the pair's dream of an act in Las Vegas was soon realized. Sure, it wasn't a headlining act - the pair often opened for much bigger names or worked as a filler show in venues well off the Strip - but it was steady work and gave a stable environment to raise their children. Not surprisingly, both Nikita and his twin Fedor were trained in basic sleight of hand and escapism tricks almost before they could walk, and by the time they were in elementary school they were working nights to help their parents with their show, often back stage assisting with things ranging from costume changes and lightboards, to rigging cage locks, triggering trap doors and wrangling doves. They were also fixtures around the casino and knew most of the headlining acts well enough to be familiar with them, much to the chagrin of their parents. They got into as much trouble as two young twin boys could be expected to, though nothing serious. Well, usually nothing serious, and anything that counted otherwise was typically Fedor's fault. Especially the one time that the casino's power went out for ten minutes. All Fedor's fault.
Despite the fact that their parents wanted all three of their children to follow in their footsteps and become stage magicians with them, Nikita and Fedor had a slightly different direction they wished to follow. Looking back, Nikita would realize that it was always his idea first that he sold to Fedor, though at the time Fedor tried to claim the idea as his. The plan? To become precision knife throwers. They were just entering their teens when they started to practice, combining juggling with knife throwing, seeing how many knives they could toss between themselves before aiming them at bullseyes across the stage. Their parents may have been more reluctant to induldge in the twin's performance desire, were they not so good. Both of them seemed to have a knack for it, and their training came easily - perhaps the previous sleight of hand and co-ordination training helped, perhaps they just had an innate talent for it. Regardless, they combined the showmanship of their father and mother and despite their young age were mapping out what acts they could introduce to accompany their parent's show. When their younger sister Jelena also wanted in, however, what began as a standard tag-a-long desire of a younger sibling quickly transfomed the twins' knife-throwing and juggling act into the realm of 'impalement arts', wherein the knives were thrown impossibly close to a living target, but aimed not to hit them. That target? Their sister, of course.
This time, their parents did throw much more of a fuss. But the twins' aim was precise and the first act that they worked out with their sister - where the twins stood about ten feet on either side of her and juggled knives back and forth past her, before she joined in the act and caught the knives one by one to end the act - was too undeniably good for Ruslan or Nadya to deny their children the opportunity to add the act to the magic show. Soon, 'Ruslan the Remarkable' morphed into 'The Death-Defying Sokolovs' and while Ruslan performed such acts as apparently sawing his wife in half or escaping from shackles while submerged in a tank of water, his children played with knives on stage in a most apparently dangerous manner. Some would have accused Ruslan and Nadya of being terrible parents, but Nikita could not have imagined a better childhood. As he and Fedor and Jelena continued to practice, their act became even more dangerous and, to some, horribly irresponsible. After all, you had two high-school aged kids whistling razor-sharp knives past their middle-school aged sister. But the notoriety of the act helped to garner enough interest and publicity in the Sokolovs that soon their opening act became a headlining one and for a couple of years they were actually one of the primary draws at the Circus Circus casino on the Vegas Strip. When Nikita graduated high school, he and his twin were living the high life and the Sokolovs were enjoying a small slice of celebrity.
By the time that Jelena also graduated high school a couple of years later, the children were already the main draw of the Sokolov act and parents Ruslan and Nadya were able to retire. Nikita, Fedor and Jelena continued to perform at Circus Circus, remaining one of the main draws at the Big Top and Midway there as their act grew more and more death-defying and dangerous. The pair adopted a 'sibling rivalry' act as part of the show, each trying to outdo the other in near-misses towards their sister, who continued to play the part of the impalement 'target'. Unfortunately, however, as their fame rose, Nikita and Jelena began to notice erratic behavior in their brother Fedor, as the notoriety and celebrity began to bring out less than desirable traits in him. Chief amongst these was the fact that he had begun a slow descent into drugs and addiction, which not only was draining Fedor's bank account and changing his personality, but was also causing him to become unreliable and even dangerous in regards to the siblings' show. Nikita and Jelena attempted to intervene with their brother, but when he refused to acknowledge his problem, Nikita was forced to make the hard choice of dropping Fedor from the show. After all, he was a risk to Jelena, to Nikita, and to himself.
Incorporating additional traditional 'magic act' feats of sleight of hand and escapology - including a death trap which required Nikita to free himself from a straightjacket and then throw knives through a set of spinning wheels in order to cut a series of ropes to free himself from being crushed to death - the Sokolovs kept their status as a draw in Vegas, big enough to be a destination show for many who came to Sin City but never quite reaching a level of fame that warranted TV shows or specials. It was a good period and both Nikita and Jelena attempted to put the drama of their brother's separation behind them. Unfortunately, they were not able to do so - Fedor's life on the wrong side of the law came to haunt both Nikita and Jelena with a vengeance when a rival mafia faction attempted to extract vengeance on Fedor by attacking Nikita in a horrible case of mistaken identity.
With a combination of ineptitude and maliciousness, Fedor's enemies believed that they had tracked down Fedor... but had instead targeted Nikita. Ambushing both Nikita and Jelena while they were rehearsing for a new stunt, a group of mafia thugs had set a number of explosives around the set and stage which killed Jelena and electrocuted Nikita. He should have died as well from the attack, but instead discovered that the electrocution and explosions had imbued him with a strange ability to disrupt electricity and other energy patterns. At the time, however, the new power was of little consequence to him compared to the death of his sister. Learning of the reason behind the attack, Nikita was relentless in tracking down the mafia faction responsible - using all of his considerable skills to bear in their pursuit and intent on bringing the villains to justice. He wasn't the only one on that hunt, however - discovering just as he arrived where the thugs had holed up that his twin Fedor was hunting them down as well. And rather than intending to apprehend them, Fedor was out for blood. Nikita was a hair too late to stop him - and Fedor killed the thugs with extreme prejudice. Confronting each other for the first time since Fedor had been ousted from the show, the two had it out with each other - nearly coming to lethal blows before reigning back in due to the memory of Jelena. With nothing truly reconciled or settled between the two, Nikita and Fedor went their separate ways.
With his sister dead and his brother still estranged, Nikita closed the Vegas show and made his farewells to his parents, needing a change of scenery and a change of pace. He aligned himself with a travelling circus, becoming a performer there as the troupe made stop after stop across the country. The group was pretty low-tech and steeped in old-world traditions, giving Nikita a good environment to also adjust to his new abilities, which he quickly learned were in many ways more of a curse than a blessing. Ultimately, the circus arrived in Atlantic City, where they began preparations to turn around an journey back west again, and it was at this time that Nikita decided to say his farewells. Not only was he looking to put down roots again, but an interaction that the troupe had with one of the local Atlantic City crime families made Nikita realize that there were more bad guys in the world than those who had corrupted Fedor and killed Jelena - and not only was Atlantic City rife with them, Nikita was also someone who was able to perhaps do something about it.
Starting out waiting tables at the Tropicana, Nikia befriended a few of the regular performers and staff there and it wasn't long before he was asked to fill in for one of the magic acts who had to cancel due to emergency. He parlayed that performance into a full-time gig at Harrah's casino, where shortly after his arrival he helped the pit boss there expose a theft ring and conspiracy amongst many of the floor dealers - a conspiracy that had been part of the organized crime syndicates in Atlantic City. Of course, there were many flavors of organized crime in the city, and this event was also key in helping Nikita to begin mapping out what casinos were aligned with which families and how the power structure was laid out - at least, from the ground level. He started to acclimate himself to the city, lending aid and help to those who needed it and making a small name for himself as a solo performer at Harrah's while doing so.
In some respects, Nikita is a study in contrasts - he's a private person, but one who enjoys the stage and the thrill of performing before a live crowd. He desires stability, habit and routine but delights in danger and the unpredictable which drives his adrenaline. He has made family out of friends, but has left his own family behind as he makes his own way in the world.
Still, there is much within Nikita that are central tenets of who he is and what he stands for. Chief amongst these are Nikita's feelings of guilt as to what happened to his brother and his sister, and his inability to truly save either of them. He carries this guilt with him as a pledge to be proactive in aiding others whom are under the thumb of organized crime and are not able to extricate themselves from that pit without help. While he one day hopes to cripple those organizations directly, for now he finds worth and reward in aiding those that are harmed by them. Of course, Nikita has also found purpose in using his abilities and skills in aiding others affected by evil and crime, regardless of the source, though he has made no secret to himself about the mafia being his 'thing'.
It's not a mission that he allows to consume his life, however. He still revels in the resort and casino atmosphere of Atlantic City, much the same type of town that Vegas was only without any of the bad memories that he left there. He is very much an individual that loves life and is not afraid to embrace it. Though he feels guilt and remorse at the passing of his sister, her loss also was a reminder to him that life is a gift and is meant to be enjoyed - which he makes a point to do, as often as he can.
Nikita's body continually emits a field of electromagnetic energy that is dynamically responsive to other energy types that come he comes into direct contact with, automatically altering phase and frequency to effectively cancel or disrupt that energy. As a result, any strong energy signals or electromagnetic impulses that Nikita comes into contact with are rendered inert and harmless. This includes such things as electrical charges, radio waves, lasers, magnetic fields and other electromagnetic radiations, as well as any other energy which primarily propogates in wave form (telepathic/psionic energy, gravity, cosmic energy). Such energy which comes into contact with Nikita's disruption field is dispersed harmlessly as it is matched with energy waves of exactly offsetting phase, frequency and modulation.
Depending on the energy type that is disrupted, varying effects may result. Store electricity (such as in batteries) is dispersed with no visual effect, as the batteries are simply drained. Active electricity and visual energy types such as lasers and many types of cosmic energy appear to break up around Nikita's body, almost like minature ocean waves cresting, before the energy dissipates completely. The effect is very similar to the carbonation of a soda that foams and then just disappears. Radio waves and telepathic waves are muted completely, and information that is stored magneticially or digitally (such as tapes, floppy disks, flash drives or smart cards) is erased.
Normally, the energy field that Nikita generates extends roughly one inch from his body, though with concentration and effort he is able to draw the field inwarts for a short period of time, though the effort is akin to holding his breath and he is only able to perform this feat for a few minutes at a time before letting the field free. He is not able to perform this feat on select portions of his body - for example, drawing the field in just around his hands or ears - and can only affect the entire field at the same time.
The energy field that he emits is also normally operating at such a level that it will counter any significant or 'strong' energy waves, but will not disrupt normal energy patterns such as regular light and sound. Thus, when it is at its default state, Nikita has no difficulties being seen or heard, or seeing or hearing the world around him.
While Nikita is able to draw the field inwards for short periods of time, he is not able to extend it further than the normal range of one inch from his body. Thus, the energy disruption is not able to be extended to other individuals or objects and the effects of the energy disruption are limited to Nikita's direct person and do not reach past any areas beyond that when he directly touches or makes physical contact with. Thus, for example, taking ahold of a person's left wrist would affect the battery-powered watch on that wrist but would not have any effect on the smart-phone in their left pocket or thumb drive in their right pocket.
Nikita is not able to consciously control the energy types that this field disrupts, as the field is dynamically responsive to any energy types that he comes into contact with. Thus, he is not able to 'filter' one type of energy to allow it normal interaction with his person while still disrupting all others. He is also not able to pro-actively emit or generate energy waves without an existing energy type that this disruption field is reacting to. The field only operates to disrupt or cancel energy that comes into contact with it, Nikita cannot 'pretend' that there is an incoming energy type to emit a similar energy that would be able to act upon the world around him.
Finally, while Nikita is not able to extend the field beyond the default range of one inch, he is able to strengthen the field intensity for a short duration, causing the disruption to effect more pervasive electromagnetic and wave-form energy such as light and sound. Again, he is not able to discriminate against energy types, so when he amplifies the strength of his field in this manner all electromagnetic and wave-form energy types are affected universally. As with other control limitations, he is also not able to amplify select portions of the field and must strengthen the field intensity around his entire body, though this amplification does allow him a couple of separate power stunts - Shadow Blending and Intermediate-Term Memory Wipe.
By applying a minor amplification to the energy disruption field that he emits, Nikita is able to strengthen the field to the degree that it can disrupt brainwaves and electrical impulses of the mind with semi-prolonged exposure. By strengthening the disruption field, Nikita can then lay both hands overtop a person's head, directly touching them so that the inch-extension of his field is able to penetrate the individual's skull and affect their brain underneath. By keeping both of his hands over the individual's head in this manner for at least twenty seconds, he's able to disrupt the electrical impulses of their brain to erase the individual's recent intermediate-term memory, completely wiping any recollection of about the last five to ten minutes. The maximum span of memory that Nikita could erase in this method is the past two hours, though he would need to keep constant contact with the individual's head for a full five minutes without distraction, which would be difficult.
As Nikita is amplifying the strength of his disruption field when performing this stunt, his appearance turns blurry and dark, as the light waves around him begin to distort, and his voice is also garbled and broken, as if speaking through a static-filled radio. The amplification level that is required for this power stunt is about half as strong as is required for his Shadow Blending power stunt, though as is the case with any manipulation of his power field he must expend effort and concentration and is only able to maintain the amplification for about five minutes before he must allow his disruption field to revert back to its normal strength.
Nikita is not able to view or select any memories that he wipes in his manner - this is a wholesale intermediate-term memory wipe and is indescriminate, removing any recent memories within the last number of minutes. As the electrical impulses of the brain are disrupted and the signals that would transmit those memories to long-term memory storage are prevented from making those transmissions, re-constructing these memories through either hypnotic or telephatic means would be extremely difficult and even a high-order telepath would only be able to piece together tiny bits and fragments of the erased memories at best.
By increasing the strength of the energy disruption field that his body emits, Nikita is able to effect more pervasive electromagnetic and wave-form energy, including normal light and sound. Doing so causes both lightwaves and soundwaves that interact with his energy disruption field to disrupt and disperse, muting all sound that he makes and cloaking him in a field of complete darkness. While he is not able to turn truly invisible in this manner, he can effectively blend into existing shadows and mask himself from being heard. He also baffles other electromagnetic sensing while in this state, such as infrared detection, but can still be sensed via touch and smell.
This shadow-blending field, as with all effects of his energy disruption, is only limited to about an inch from his body. Thus, any clothing that he is wearing or objects that he is holding which extend more than an inch or so from his person would be visible and audible. Thus, throwing knives strapped to his chest would be within the range of the field, but the entirety of a baseball bat would not. Likewise, he would be able to mask the sound of his footsteps or his voice, but would not be able to disrupt the sound of a squeaky door that he opens.
As the field works on all wave-form and electromagnetic energy universally, when he is disrupting normal-level light and sound energy in this manner, Nikita has discovered that he also partially disrupts gravitic energy, reducing the effect of gravity on his body by about half. Thus, he's able to jump about twice as high as normal (about a three foot vertical) and falls back to the ground at roughly half the normal speed as well. His effective weight when his disruption field is activiated in this manner is also reduced by half, making him seem just over a hundred pounds instead of two hundred.
Amplifying his disruption field in this manner requires effort and concentration, and like drawing the field into himself to reduce its range, amplifying the field is something that Nikita can only perform for a limited duration - usually between six or seven minutes max. He typically will need to rest for about the same amount of time before amplifying the field again.
As both light and sound are affected when Nikita's field is augmented in this manner, he is only able to see the world around him in grainy black and white - similar to viewing a poor quality security camera - and sounds are likewise muted and garbled. He is able to see and hear well enough to navigate around without much difficulty, but fine details or soft noises are often difficult to distinguish.
As a performer on both the Vegas strip and now within the Atlantic City casino community, Nikita has established a reliable network of contacts within the entertainment and casino communities of both cities. He not only knows the lingo and rhythms of both the entertainment and casino worker sub-cultures, but he's also made direct contacts that he can lean on for specific information and assistance should he ask for it. Cheif amongst his significant contacts in those regards are Francisco Cortez, the pit boss at Harrah's casino who owes Nikita for exposing a theft ring of floor dealers and subsequently saving his job, Tadashi Fujita, a sous chef at Izakaya's at the Borgata, and Carmen LaSalle, a musician who has a regular gig at the Tropicana and who was one of Nikita's first friends upon moving to Atlantic City. He also still has connections back in Vegas, where the stage manager for Ceasar's Palace still owes him a couple of favors.
As part of his show - and his hobby - Nikita has a supply of weighted throwing knives that he is able to replenish at cost. The knives are suitable for throwing at distance and accuracy and are also easily concealed or manipulated via sleight of hand. Nikita also has access to standard juggling knives (which are much larger than regular knives or throwing knives), rubber-weighted throwing knives (which, instead of being balanced for throwing are weighted on the hilt with a rubber cap that can be used as an attacking weapon that will not seriously injure a living target), and a variety of small and concealable lockpicks.
Additionally, Nikita has flame-resistant yet breathable attire that is designed for performance and thus is both durable yet allows for excellent range of movement. He owns a rebuilt 1975 Jeep which has been retrofit with an extra-reinforced frame and various hidden compartments within the dash, under the seats and even under the hood - the majority of which hold his throwing knives. The Jeep is kept in fairly good condition but despite not getting good gas mileage or having a very comfortable ride, the biggest selling point for Nikita is the low-fi aspect of the car and the fact that it doesn't have any computerized components or overt electronics for his metahuman power to disrupt.
Trained by his father and honed on the stages of Las Vegas, Nikita is a skilled escape artist, able to perform feats ranging from extricating himself from a straitjacket in a matter of seconds, to freeing himself from being tied up in ropes, to escaping locked boxes, trunks or cages. While he often employs his lockpicking skill as a part of this escape artistry, this specific skill deals with being able to liberate himself from confinement or ensnarement, able to divine the limitations of a trap and figure out how to escape it in short order. He is able to perform minor acts of contortionism as a part of this skill (in order to get out of a straitjacket for example), and is familiar with many different types of knots and how to untie them with limited access or range of motion.
Nikita is an expert juggler, able to keep multiple objects in the air at once regardless of individual shape or weight. He's able to keep at least five such objects in motion with little difficulty, and is also versed in juggling with a partner - tossing objects back and forth in standard juggling pattern - as well as solo juggling. He is practiced enough that he is comfortable with juggling such dangerous objects as sharp knives without harm to himself, able to apply the appropriate amount of rotation to the knives so that he can easily catch the handles appropriately. In addition to standard juggling equipment, Nikita is versed in juggling non-standard and imperfectly balanced objects, including throwing knives rather than standard juggling knives. In fact, part of the show that Nikita performed with his brother involved the pair of them juggling knives together before precision aiming those same knives onto a moving target.
Nikita is a master knife thrower, proficient in both standard spinning release as well as the no-spin throw technique, which offers him a variety of options concerning range, power and accuracy. Typically, however, Nikita employs a spinning throw - that is, flinging the knife to tumble end over end as it passes through the air - and is practiced and experienced enough with his standard throwing knives that he is able to vary the power and spin of his throws to reliably and accurately 'stick' the knife point first or have it land hilt-first upon his preference, regardless of distance.
Using his preferred throwing knives, which are weighted and balanced appropriately, Nikita is able to throw at distances of approximately 150 feet with pinpoint accuracy, and can throw successive knives one after the other at speeds of less than five seconds per throw. The knives themselves travel at speeds approaching 60 miles per hour. Nikita is also able to use other hand-held objects as throwing weapons, though his distance and accuracy are lessened significantly the more irregularly the items are shaped or balanced. Accordingly, he is still able to throw items such as other (non-throwing) knives and common silverware at comparable distances and accuracy, though odd objects such as coffee mugs, cell phones or coins will have significantly less distance and accuracy. He's specialized in knives and accordingly, knives and other similarly shaped and weighted items are where he has the most proficiency.
Nikita is fluent in both English and Russian, able to speak, read and write both conversationally. Additionally, he knows a smattering of Japanese though is only partially fluent in the language and is not able to read it at all.
A staple skill of any stage magician, Nikita has learned lock-picking from his father and is able to use this ability on a varity of locks - from handcuffs, to padlocks, to standard door locks. He is able to pick most standard locks with tools as simple as bobby pins or paper clips, though is also familiar with the use of specially designed lockpicking tools, which allows him to pick locks with increased speed and proficiency. Typically, when using improvised equipment, Nikita is able to pick locks of standard difficulty in less than a minute, with higher grade locks able to be solved in less than a few minutes. As part of his training at the hands of his stage magician father, Nikita is not only able to pick locks the 'normal' way (using his hands with free range of motion) but can also manipulate a lock pick or improvised tool while his hands or arms are restrained (and thus needing to crook or invert his hands) or by using his mouth, making it easier for him to earn release from handcuffs or other bindings that make the use of his arms and hands difficult.
As with any Vegas show, Nikita was required to quickly change costumes not just between acts, but during the acts themselves. This involved hastily shedding one outfit and adorning another in a matter of seconds, so as to not slow down the pace of the show that was still going live on the other side of the curtain. If Nikita is familiar with the outfits that he is changing out of and into, he's able to change clothes in a very rapid fashion, less than ten seconds, and if he's changing into an outfit that he's not worn before or is not familiar with, he's able to employ the quick-change in a timespan along the order of twenty to thirty seconds, provided that the outfit is not specifically designed to be problematic to wear.
Almost growing up on the stage, Nikita is well versed in the art of showmanship - knowing how to project his voice, alter his voice intonation for maximum interest and variety, how to play to an audience and perhaps most importantly, how to appropriately build up suspense. He's at home infront of a crowd or on a stage, is able to perform knife-throwing, juggling or escapology acts while keeping presentation of the act in mind, and is also cognizant of timing and pacing for such shows, knowing how to keep things moving to maintain maximum interest and engagement from an audience without moving too fast as to render observers confused or feeling left behind.
SLEIGHT OF HAND
Another skill learned from a young age from his father, Nikita is well versed in the art of sleight of hand - that is, emplying a high level of manual dexterity to palm small objects without others noticing, to change position of an object from one hand to another (or from hand to pocket or pocket to hand) and even to pick another's pocket or lift an item from another person or from a public presentation without notice. Not only does this skill rely on a high degree of manual dexterity and hand-eye co-ordination, but it also employs a certain amount of mis-direction (being able to direct an individual's attention elsewhere from the object that is being manipulated, so as to perform the object movement without notice).
While he is nowhere near the level of a master pickpocket, he can lift unattached objects (or place such objects) from an individual's coat or baggy pants pocket without notice, and is well versed in hiding or maneuvering objects on his own person, able to perform such stunts as concealing lock picks (and other small items), performing complicated card flourishes and making coins 'dance' along the backs of his fingers. Nikita has also crossed this skill over with his knife throwing, as he often is able to produce his throwing knives from seemingly nowhere - his hands open and empty one second and then bearing multiple knifes held between his knuckles the next, ready to be thrown with force and velocity.
Growing up and spending his formative years in Las Vegas, Nevada, Nikita couldn't help but become fascinated with the lore and the history of the place. He was fortunate enough to be a backstage presence for many notable acts over the past couple of decades, and has also been able to pick up many tidbits of information and trivia about acts that have gone before. From magicians such as Penn and Teller and David Copperfield, to acts such as the Tournament of Kings dinner and Cirque du Soleil, to musicians ranging from Donnie and Marie to Brittany Spears and from Elvis to Wayne Newton, Nikita has to confess that he's a storehouse of strange and often useless information regarding all that is the glamorous and glitzy side of Vegas - the world famous acts and shows.
Simply put, Nikita enjoys any opportunity that he can get to feel the signature rush of adrenaline that only dangerous activities can provide. Despite the fact that he's an expert knife-thrower and juggler, and that there's little danger to him these days given his skill, there's a reason why he was pulled to this specific type of performance rather than something like sleight of hand or illusioncraft. It's partially for this reason that he's also taken his knife-throwing skills to the streets, as using those skills away from the controlled environment of the stage is a great thrill to him. Aside from throwing around sharp and pointy things, Nikita looks for other opportunities to get his adrenaline pumping - everything from fast driving to death-trap escapology to trying new things like free climbing or white-water rafting. Needless to say, looking for the next adrenaline 'rush' can very easily get Nikita into trouble or put him in harms way as he may not realize that something is more dangerous than is worth the risk to pursue.
Not just relegated to soap opera plots from the mid 1980's, Nikita actually has an evil twin brother - or, at least, a severly misunderstood one. Fedor is just a few minutes younger than Nikita but looks nearly exactly the same, enough so that even their family has had a hard time telling the pair apart when they've put their mind to duplicating one another. This similarity has caused Nikita many problems, however, as later in life a series of poor choices put Fedor down a path which resulted in a case of mistaken identity that nearly cost Nikita his life - and actually did result in the death of their sister, Jelena. The two have spoken little since their last meeting, over the bodies of the assassins that killed Jelena. Nikita wished to bring the murderers to justice, but Fedor killed them before Nikita had the chance to apprehend them. Nikita has found it difficult to forgive Fedor for this - or the death of their sister - while Fedor equally blames Nikita for Jelena's death. While they went their separate ways, Nikita knows it is only a matter of time before Fedor will cause him trouble again - either by coming for Nikita directly, or deliberately using their identical appearance to throw any possible enemies towards Nikita to save his own skin.
POWER ALWAYS ON
Nikita's power is always on - while he can pull it inwards for very short periods, he can never truly turn it off. The energy disruption field that his body generates is always being emitted, whether he wants it to be or not. While there are benefits to this, there are also drawbacks. Air travel is problematic, as scanners and imaging devices are not able to read him properly, causing suspicion and nearly always resulting in a pat-down or worse. Medical examinations using x-rays or MRIs are not able to be performed. Beneficial effects of other meta-human powers (telepathic links or personal forcefields for example) do not apply to him. And despite the fact that the nature of his power will disrupt any scanning equipment that may be designed to detect metahuman genetics or powers, that disruption itself will always flag him as someone out of the ordinary.
Nikita has a very pronounced Russian accent - despite the fact that he was raised in America and is an American citizen, his parents were from Russia and Russian was spoken almost nearly as much as English (if not moreso) when he was growing up. Thus, he's never really lost the heavily Slavic influence on his English and the Russian accent is thick and noticeable. Even for those who do not judge about such things, the thick accent can sometimes make him difficult to understand, especially if he is excited or distracted and forgets to enunciate properly. However, there is also the very real fact that many in America harbor distrust, fear and even animosity to Russia and the 'Red Menace', and those smaller minded individuals do not give Nikita any benefit of the doubt when they hear his accent.
Nikita has taken it upon himself to wage a war against the corrupt institution known, among other names, as Organized Crime. Fully realizing that there are many Mob families, Nikita nonetheless has a grudge against all of them, as it was a Mafia family in Vegas that was ultimately responsible for both the downward spiral of his brother Fedor, as well as the death of his sister Jelena. Though he has not yet 'graduated' to the level of systematically planning out assaults against Mafia businesses or the like, if there is proof of Mafia involvement in a situation or Nikita is aware that a given individual is a member of the Mob or Mob affiliate, he will focus on that individual or the Mob's involvement to the unhealthy exclusion of other leads or pursuits. This can cause a host of problems, not the least of which is the likelihood of following the wrong lead on a case or becoming unduly distracted due to the Mob's arrival or presence.
Though this disadvantage is really a part of the fact that his power his Always On, it is so pervasive in the environment of modern society that it deserves specific attention. Simply put, Nikita is not able to take advantage of most of today's most beneficial technological advancements, as his energy disruption field all but renders them useless. Watches, smart phones, Bluetooth, FitBits - pretty much anything that is classified as 'personal electronics' are items that at best, are dull and lifeless in Nikita's hands. At worst, they short-circuit or any operating systems or memory cards are wiped clean. Even land-line based rotary phones are problematic to use, without concentrating to reign in his field.
Because he's not been able to use devices of this nature for the past few years, this also has an unfortunate pair of byproducts. First, Nikita has not bothered keeping up on the latest developments with handheld technology, 'wearables', or similar tech advancements - so, he can sometimes seem a bit clueless when the latest and greatest may be the topic at hand. Secondly, the fact that he doesn't have a smartphone or even a battery-powered watch or other tech can cause some to view him as a Luddite or, at the very least, a bit peculiar. Who doesn't have a cell phone these days? As explaining why is also difficult, Nikita must sometimes suffer head-shaking or alienation due to his problems.
Because Nikita's energy disruption field only extends approximately one inch from his body, it is essentially only able to be used at the range of touch. He's not able to extend that field to offer protection to someone next to him, cannot disrupt energy waves that are shielded or hidden behind a physical barrier thicker than an inch, and cannot at all affect energy patterns at range. He needs to be able to actually be able to touch the energy field itself. If he's looking to be somewhat pro-active in the use of his ability with an attempt to disrupt an energy emission at its source, he would need to get up close and personal to do so, putting himself at greater risk of physical threats in the attempt.
Nik also knows all the lyrics to every Britney Spears song. All of them.