The Illuminae Files Wikia

Kerenza IV.png
"Am I not merciful?"
This article contains plot details and potential spoilers for the The ILLUMINAE Files series! If you have not begun reading the books or are not too far into the story, please refrain from reading or proceed with caution.

Niklas Malikov is a member of the House of Knives, a notorious crime family based in New Petersburg.


This section is a work in progress.

Nik appears in both Gemina and Obsidio.


We first see Nik via whisperNET when Hanna Donnelly asks him for ten grams of dust for the Terra Day celebration. He bugs her about it for a while before she explains it's for her friends as well. Later on, he receives a message from the hacked whisperNET of Sam Wheaton, asking him to smuggle something on board. When Nik refuses, "Sam" blackmails him into agreeing, and he ends up unknowingly smuggling on board the BeiTech acquisitions team.

At the celebration, he gives Hanna a palmpad to privately chat (and deal) on, the dust she paid for, as well as a corsage of jasmines, her favorite flower. When BeiTech attacks the Heimdall, they split up to gather info on what happened.

The next time we see Nik, he's smoking in Bay 17, where the House of Knives crew were killed by the BeiTech team. Before this, Nik peformed what might have been a House of Knives ceremony, laying each slain member on the ground with their arms crossed over their chests and placing chips from Heimdall casino over their eyes. Soon Sara "Mona Lisa" Laurent and Lucas "Link" Castro enter the bay to unload the explosives they were smuggled in with. Nik hides behind an AAL suit and waits for them to leave, but he's discovered when Mona Lisa notices the fresh cigarette butts he left littered on the floor. While the BeiTech soliders begin to search for him in the bay, he suits up in one of the AALs, managing to injure both Link (Breaking multiple ribs) and Mona Lisa (WIP), which slows down the rest of Charlie Squad and gives him the time he needs to make his getaway into the vents.

After his escape from Bay 17, he's summoned by Ella Malikova and (virtually) reunited with Hanna. Ella leaves the chat, leaving Nik and Hanna alone to talk. They tell each other about what happened during their respective run-ins with the BeiTech squads, among other things, then log off to get some rest. Four hours later, they log back on to check in on each other. They talk for a while, Hanna's emotions about her father starting to show. Nik comforts her by telling her the story of how his babushka, Nika, killed his grandpa, reciting her famous quote: "Patience and Silence had one beautiful daughter. And her name was Vengeance." He tells Hanna that sometimes, revenge just has to wait, and that it's better for her to wait rather than rush revenge and die in the process. They then go offline again, Hanna resting while Nik crawls around in the vents for three hours, finding food. He tells Hanna about his discovery, and they proceed to assess their current situation. Ella enters the chat with news, reporting that she found a file with the email Leanne Frobisher sent to Travis Falk, which contained the plans she had for the Heimdall as well as the news that the Kennedy assault fleet is en route to the jump station.

The three are shocked to discover that the WUC was running an illegal hermium mining op on Kerenza IV. Hanna feels betrayed that her father was a part of it, but confesses that the evidence adds up. They start making a plan to delay BeiTech by shutting down the wormhole long enough that they fail in their mission to destroy Heimdall, and ultimately, saving the Hypatia. Ella names it Operation Thermopylae after the Greek battle during the Persian War.

After the conversation ends, we see Nik in one of the bathrooms, covered in dirt from crawling in the vents for so long. He washes himself off, then takes a moment of quiet to himself. When he hears footsteps, he hides in one of the stalls, just as Kai "Juggler" Saprykin enters, talking into his earpiece. Juggler notices the jacket Nik was wearing left on the sink, and starts kicking down stalls. He moves to kick down a third stall, but Nik shoots him the eye before he does, killing his first man. He escapes into the vents once more.

He logs on to his palmpad in search for Ella, but Hanna is the one that answers him instead. She notices that he seems off, and asks him what's wrong. Instead of answering directly, he tells her the story of when his father told him to kill his dog, Billy. She says she doesn't like his father very much, and he agrees with her. When he finishes the story, he finally confesses to killing Juggler. Hanna comforts him, and he thanks her, then says he has to leave to wash the blood off of himself.

The next time he and Hanna talk, it's after her radio encounter with Falk, where she sees Nik's criminal record and his confession to killing Dmitri and Oksana Balashova. She asks him what his angel tattoo at his throat means, and he asks her why she wants to know. She tells him to stop playing around and to just answer the question. He confesses that it represents when you kill someone for the HoK. She calls him a bastard, then leaves the chat. Nik is clearly upset with Hanna's response to her discovering he was responsible for two counts of murder.

When she starts talking to Nik again, it's to ask him if he has a envirosuit on to protect himself. He asks if she's finally talking to him now, and she repeats her question. He answers that he's looking for one, and she asks him if she knew that Jackson Merrick was a traitor, and he answers by saying Ella told him. She admits she wants to ask him something, but she's too afraid to ask. He tells her not to be afraid and to just ask. She asks if he lied to her, and he answers that he would never. He then confesses that he never killed Oksana and her father, then explains the story of how his younger brother, Erik, killed the Balashovs after their father was arrested. Nik knew Erik was too young and wouldn't survive jail, so he confessed to the murder, took the angel, and went to jail. Hanna asks how he get out so fast, as he had only been in juvie for three years. He admits that Erik sent a note and the bracelet he stole from Oksana's body to the police before committing suicide via drug overdose. His sentence was commuted and he was released. His father threw a celebratory party, but Nik was so angry at him that he broke his jaw. Ella's father took him in and as far away from Zakary as they could get, which is how Nik ended up on the Heimdall.

The next conversation we see is between Ella, Hanna, and Nik. They talk about sports for a while before Ella steers the conversation of their current situation. They start making plans on how to break the wormhole so they can fix it later with the help of Isaac Grant. The conversation ends with a bit of teasing, then cuts to cam footage.

In the footage, we can see Nik running and typing on his palmpad at the same time. He's talking with Ella so he knows what to do in the reactor. He follows her instructions carefully, then has to stop to wait for her to hack into the Betty Boop and unlock it for him. He starts complaining about how long it's taking, causing Ella to snap at him. He teases her for using all caps, which distracts her and triggers an alarm set up by the BT hackers. She alerts him that two BT goons are coming through the elevators. The goons are Ji-hun "Flipside" Park and Hans "Ragman" Tahirović. They threw concussion grenades before stepping in, but Nik was already hiding. Ella activates the fire extinguishers as a distraction, allowing Nik time to shoot them in the head. He hesitates long enough that Ragman turns around, right as he shoots Flipside in the ear. Ragman shoots at Nik's cover, but Nik empties his clip into Ragman's chest. He kneels by Flipside's body, only to discover Ragman is still alive. He aims his gun at Ragman's head, threatening him not to move. Ragman doesn't listen and raises his gun, but Nik shoots first, once again killing another BeiTech soldier. Ella pings him in reassurance, but he just gets in the Boop silently and takes off towards the reactor.

The next footage is transcribed from AIDAN and details Nik's trip to the reactor. AIDAN's footage cuts off to a small conversation between Nik and Hanna, where he asks her out to either "dinner. Or coffee. Or something." She replies with three dots and the beginning of an answer, but she's cut off when the wormhole is activated. This is when the Nik from universe B enters the main universe. Ella texts the group, asking what the **** that was, and Hanna asks if everyone was okay. Ella doesn't answer, instead saying that it was a power surge and that BT brought the wormhole back online. Nik enters the chat, and Hanna asks him to check in. He says he fine, just shaken up, and they spend more time discussing what happened. Ella then tells them that she managed to break through the lock on comms and transmit through the Kerenza waypoint. Hanna thanks her, while Nik teases her. They talk for a bit more, then Hanna plans a meeting with Nik in the reactor core, ending the conversation.

The next footage we see is Hanna sliding into the reactor through the vent. Nik docks the Boop a few moments later. He greets Hanna softly but tiredly. She starts crying, so he closes the space between them and hugs her. Eventually, he starts, crying, too. He breaks the silence, telling her BeiTech will just have to wait to kill them. He takes off both their helmets, wiping her tears away. She asks if he ended up eating the bacon he found earlier, and he jokes saying that something came up, referring to his run-in with Juggler in the bathroom. She replies saying she has to draw the line somewhere, confusing him. Instead of explaining what she meant, she kisses him. They eventually pull away, and she finally gives an answer to his offer on a date, saying that she doesn't drink coffee, so they'll just have to go to dinner (if they make it out alive). They hug for a while before he pulls away to give her the ruined jasmine corsage. She kisses him one more time before they seal themselves back into their envirosuits and begin working on the wormhole.

We then see Nik telling Ella about how the lamina hatched from the cows, but they don't have much time to talk about it because she alerts him about BT goons heading their way. Nik asks for more info on them, but she's unable to answer because one of the lamina attacked her.


Ella Malikova[]


Ella and Nik are shown to constantly tease each other. When BeiTech invades Heimdall and kills her father, Mike Malikov, Nik is there to comfort her and cheer her up. When he watches her die in the alternate universe, he's devastated, showing us how close he is to his cousin.

Erik Malikov[]


Erik is the reason Nik went to jail. When Erik killed Dimitri and Oksana Balashova and returned home, terrified, Nik took the blame to protect his brother, though it was all for nothing. Erik committed suicide via drug overdose and sent a confession to the police about the double homicide to free Nik.

Mikhail Malikov[]


Mikhail (or Mike) took Nik to the Heimdall, away from Nik's father, after he was released from jail. They're shown to occasionally tease each other before Mike is killed by the BT acquisitions team.

Zakary Malikov[]


Nik obviously does not have positive feelings for his father, in fact, is on the Heimdall to be as far from his father as possible. In Gemina it is said that his father threw a party when Nik was released from juvie after his brother Erik commits suicide, leaving behind a note declaring that Nik was not responsible for the double homocide. When Nik arrived at said party, his father was glad to see his son, but Nik punched him, angry, and broke his jaw. He also has said to Hanna that he felt more freedom in juvie than with his father. Eventually Mikhail Malikov, his uncle brought Nik to Heimdall so he wouldn't be by his father.

Hanna Donnelly[]


It's shown from early on that Nik has feelings for Hanna, though she doesn't return the sentiment at first. She broke his arm when he attempted to flirt with her, though they grow closer when the jump station is attacked. She kisses the alternate version of him and watches him die in her arms, though she later realizes it wasn't her Nik. He kisses the other version of her as well, and again when the alternate Kali shoots her. They kiss in Obsidio before the final battle and she makes him swear to (try to) not die. They're both shown to be equally devastated when the alternate version of the other dies in Gemina.


Nik's a goofy character—making the best in every situation and getting through difficult situations with humor/sarcasm. He's the comic relief in a heavy book brewing with war and death. Nik also has been shown to handle dangerous situations well, and has a caring, romantic side, mainly displayed when he is around Hanna.


Nik has dark brown hair, dark brown eyes, and dimples. He is of Russian descent, as his family is based in New Petersburg and his last name is Russian. In Gemina, he describes himself as being lean and good-looking, with "great abs from working out in prison". According to Jay Kristoff, he resembles Bob Morley.[7]

Nik also has numerous tattoos. At the beginning of Gemina they are noted as being: a sleeve of blades noting his full membership in the HoK, a single chain around his waist to denote time in juvie, and black angel wings inked across his throat to denote his supposed murder in the name of the HoK.

Skills & Abilities[]

  • Firearms: It is shown several times throughout the series that Nik is skilled at handling firearms, being a talented shooter. In Obsidio, it is stated that he now carries a gun around with him.
  • Drugs: Nik is knowledgeable when it comes to the production and sale of dust, and was Hanna Donnelly's dealer.
  • Combat skills: Although he never received a proper education in combat like Hanna did, he still possesses basic combat skills.
  • Smoker: Nik is a heavy smoker.



  1. GEMINA: The ILLUMINAE Files_02, Page 8
  2. GEMINA: The ILLUMINAE Files_01, Page 14
  3. GEMINA: The ILLUMINAE Files_02, Page 84
  4. 4.0 4.1 GEMINA: The ILLUMINAE Files_02, Page 296
  5. GEMINA: The ILLUMINAE Files_01, Page 25
  6. GEMINA: The ILLUMINAE Files_02, Page 2