Nikita was born in Novosibirsk to his parents Ivan Smirnov and Natalia Smirnov. His father was a high ranking officer in the Soviet Army so this meant he was not at home often and his mother Natalia would be the one to raise him.
Nikita only grew to be 1 year old before his family was resettled in the Chernarussian SSR due to his father being rebased in that region. Nikita has no memory of living in Russia and because of this classes himself as a Chernarussian before anything else.
Nikita remembers his early childhood fondly. He can always remember just before going to bed his father would return from the barracks and tell him stories about the military. This made Nikita interested in the military from a young age and the idea of fighting for his motherland was a great dream of his. Although he didn't see his father often he idolised him, he always dreamt of being just like him. His mother would try to sway him from this dream of becoming a soldier as no mother wants to see her child on the battlefield but his mind was set and its all he could see himself doing.
During his school years Nikita had good friends and managed to start seeing his father more often. The ability to see his father more now fuelled the dream of joining the military even more and he had started to take an interest in politics too.
As he grew older and older he started to specifically take an interest in the leadership of Stalin. This worried his parents to an extent as by this point it was well known that Stalin had done many bad things and created a cult of personality around him. His father for the first real time was extremely stern with him regarding this telling him that saying such things in public could land him in trouble. Along with this Nikita started to adopt more extreme opinions regarding things like religion and foreign culture, he started to view heavily religious people as lesser than him and he took a large disliking to Islam due to the conflicts it had with the socialist ideology and due to the war in Afghanistan that had been going on.
He tried to keep quiet about his views but did sometimes end up talking about Stalinism with his friends, this didn't cause too many issues but did see him conflicting with his friends over political disagreements from time to time.
When collapse of the USSR happened Nikita was somewhat of a target due to his father being a high ranking officer in the Soviet Army. He physically attacked a teen at his school after he and his father were insulted. He beat the teen badly and ended up breaking his arm. Nikita as a result of this was arrested but due to him being only 17 at the time no real trouble was caused by it however he was now on the radar of the the authorities and it was discovered he had radical views putting him on a watch-list.
By this point Nikita's father had retired and urged Nikita to no longer express his political views as no good would come from it. For the rest of his school life he didn't get into much trouble, not many people insulted him or made fun of him after that but the odd comment would be made in his direction.
Something had changed in Nikita, his dreams were now shattered and he had no idea what he wanted to do with his life, one day after being out on a walk for quiet some time he stumbled across an old decommissioned Soviet base. He couldn't resist and snuck into the facility. Everything had just been abandoned, there was still papers and old "relics" of the Soviet times.
This is what sparked is stalking career and gave light to his unkown hobby.
Many years had past and Nikita was a seasoned "stalker" but he had yet to visit the BIG ONE. His next stalking target was Pripyat, Chernobyl. He headed to Ukraine to go on his guided tour with a few others. He was taken around the site under strict eyes but this mere tour wouldn't be enough for him. This tour was just a tester, so he could map the place out. After his tour was over he mapped out what he could in his hotel room and put on his NBC suit and got his equipment ready. He was going sneak into the site. This was very dangerous as he already had a record for being a political extremist and getting caught by the Ukrainian Security Forces would probably see him put in prison.
He managed to sneak by the security perimeter in the dead of night and he headed towards the town of Pripyat. He managed to set up a camp in the forest near by and slept until first light. When the day had come he headed into the town with his Geiger counter and camera in hand. He was fascinated and feeling nostalgic seeing all the Soviet posters, signs and logos. It was like he was in a time capsule and he never wanted to leave. He explored the apartments, the school, the swimming pool, he just loved everything about it and was so fascinated by how everything was just as it was all those years ago. Standing still throughout time.
After he was done with the town he headed to a nearby military base which was where his artefact collecting would begin. Once he arrived he eagerly began exploring the facility quickly discovering it was a air force base with medium range missiles once being place there. He found maps of US airbases and nuclear targets as well as other things like military gear and military documents. He took what he could before wrapping up his expedition and heading out of the zone.
On his way back he started to get odd feelings in his hands, almost like pins and needles and experienced minor headaches. He started to pick up the pace going back and eventually managed to get out undetected but now he suspected he had been exposed to a lot of radiation for overspending his time in the area. Out of fear of being caught he decided not to seek medical help thinking it would just pass on its own. Over the next few days he felt pretty ill but did eventually start to feel better however something wasn't the same. It was like he was compelled to go back to the zone, it was calling to him. He just couldn't get enough of it.
After being home in Chernarus for sometime he would still try and get out stalking whenever he wasn't working his job. Stalking for him was like a drug addiction, it was relaxing and interesting. He would explore military bases, nuclear fallout shelters and whatever else he could get to. He would even just go to old fallout shelters just to sit and read, he just loved being in these old soviet facilities, something about it greatly interested him and made him feel comfortable and it was one of the only places he couldn't be watched by the authorities.
During the civil war he didn't take a side in the conflict as he didn't see either side of being worthy of it, he had little interest in serving his home country as he felt they had sold out and were merely an extension of the NATO interests and expansionism but he also had no interest in joining the communist forces as he had many political disagreements with them. During the civil war one night a mob of "nationalists" were out in the streets harassing people demanding to know where the communists where despite the fact there was none. The mod neared Nikita's parents home as they started yelling at them, calling Ivan a communist dog before hurling Molotov at the house and randomly shooting small calibre pistols at the building. During this incident Nikita was out exploring again but once he heard he rushed to his parents house only to find it half burned down and his mother in the back of an ambulance. His father cried that they just wanted to live in peace as he held Natalia's hand. They both went off to hospital while Nikita stayed behind promising his father he would stay out of trouble and get what he could from the house but he did anything but this. He took the the streets trying to blend in looking for the group of people that were responsible, eventually finding them however there was far too many for him to do anything about it. They all relocated into a local bar so he followed. He sat pretending to me a normal patron and listened as they talked about his family and how the "showed them". Nikita continued to listen and eventually heard two of the men mention that they were going to go and collect something from their house and would be back shortly, brothers he presumed. With this Nikita got up and followed from a distance, waiting to see what house they entered. Once he located the house he waited for them to leave and broke in. He sat in that house until the early hours of the morning waiting for the men to return. Eventually he heard the door click, two men were heard laughing as the entered. The time was now, from what he could tell one of them had went to the living room while the other said he was going to the bathroom. He waited for the man to go into the bathroom and when he did Nikita stood in front of the bathroom door, dressed in his NBC suit and gas mask, waiting for the door to open. It felt like an eternity but when it did he saw the terrified expression on the mans face and within a second he thrashed his arm forward, stabbing the man right through the throat with a mosin bayonet. He couldn't scream or talk. All he could do was struggle for breathe as he looked into the hallow eye pieces of the mask. After a few seconds he pulled the bayonet out and let the man thud to the floor. He walked behind the bathroom door and waited as he heard the second man yelling for his brother, asking if he was ok. After he got no reply he could be heard slowly creeping towards the bathroom, still gently calling out. He arrived and looked down in horror but before he could react Nikita grabbed him and put him in a tight choke hold, knocking him out.
He dragged his body outside along with his dead brother and put them back of their car and drove them to a back alley with a hatch located behind a dumpster. This was one of the emergency fallout shelters Nikita had discovered. He discreetly managed to get both the men into the bunker and positioned the dead brother before the alive one, he waited for him to wake up, he wanted the brothers last memory to be of his dead loved one before him. When he woke up he gazed at his dead brother and screamed, seconds later Nikita pointed a pistol to the back of his head and shot him once, leaving them both there.
Nikita quickly left the scene and headed back to his half burnt family house the next day only to find his father alone sobbing. Ivan told him that Natalia didn't make it as he wept. After speaking with his father he said he would go and make Ivan some tea, the last thing he said was "sorry" before Nikita left the room to go make tea. Moments later a single gunshot was heard from the room and he rushed back in only to find his father had taken his life.
Something in Nikita snapped, like nothing was actually real and the life he was living wasn't even happening. He couldn't even process a reaction. He just left not understanding what was going on. He left for Berezino, only taking his NBC gear and equipment. When he arrived he located an old fallout shelter and sealed himself in it, going into hiding.
He only decided to emerge from hiding when he started to hear things over the radio and realising that something wasn't right...