|“||For the last eighteen months the CIA and the State Department have been investigating Drevin, and we've discovered that he isn't quite what he seems. I'm talking about organized crime, Alex. And all roads lead straight to him. To put it in a nutshell, we think he's just about the biggest criminal in the world.||„|
|~ Joe Byrne of the CIA revealing Drevin's true evil nature to Alex|
Nikolei Validimir Drevin is the main antagonist in the Alex Rider novel Ark Angel.
Nikolei Drevin was a financial banker of the Russian Mafiya and he was in charge of their bonds. Nikolei was from a time in the Soviet Union when oil was expensive and Nikolei decided to become invested in oil. He stole the oil from the Russians and took it as his, and then he became successful overnight, and his first ever business was selling gardening equipment. Soon he looked for a new way of making money, and found that money was easy to make in the criminal underworld of Mafiya, and the Triads, and then, to top things off, the Yakuza joined the team. Drevin became financial backer of all three big shots in the criminal underworld.
Nikolei Drevin mantained an honourable and elegant visage to public, at the same time orchestrating mass murder against all who investigated him, even police, he had them all shot. When someone even spoke to Drevin, he would send a man round to their door with a gun.
The CIA became interested in Drevin's criminal ventures and slowly built up a file against him in the Pentagon. Drevin got irritated by this.
Because his position as a millionaire meant he was respectable and charming in the world's Media, Drevin was asked by Tony Blair, who was unaware of his true agenda, of joining the British in space tourism. Drevin agreed, and together, the Chinese, Russians and British built Ark Angel, a space hotel, which would function for a long time. Drevin was pleased with this and considered it his biggest hit yet.
However, one day he became annoyed that Ark Angel was overexpensive, leaking and overall a failure to fix. Drevin seriously considered paying someone to blow it up, but then he had an idea. What if, he himself was attacked by a group of madmen named Force Three, claiming to be eco-terrorists, and hating Drevin? But what if Drevin had actually created Force Three as cover and scapegoats, so no one would suspect Drevin had anything to do with it?
This seemed perfect, so Drevin picked out four hitmen and trained them under the leadership of Kaspar, aka Magnus Payne, a madman. Drevin and Kaspar used Force Three to kill "enemies" and then say that they deserved to die because of their greed.
At the same time, Drevin decided to destroy the CIA, the Pentagon and all the evidence against him, with the space hotel Ark Angel, bringing it crashing down to Earth and smashing into Washington, killing all the officials investigating him. Drevin and Kaspar both believed this to be a brilliant plan and Drevin would begin again with a clean record after the Pentagon's destruction.
Nikolei had married sometime and had a son, Paul Drevin, who would inherit all his wealth and his position, and whom he barely loved. But his mother had loved him, but Nikolei had split up with her, in some fight. Paul was in hospital once for appendicitis and he met Alex Rider, who was next door to him, having been shot by SCORPIA. Alex Rider befriended Paul, seeing he was lonely, and miserable. But one night, Force Three broke into kidnap Paul, but Alex, who couldn't sleep, saw the killers murder the night guard, and run to Paul's room. Alex got himself kidnapped deliberately, but then said he was not Paul when the men wanted to cut his finger off.
Kaspar spoke to Nikolei who said not to kill Alex but let him go, but one of Force Three disobeyed the rule and almost killed Alex. Alex got out and recovered, meeting Nikolei himself, in his London flat, which was a luxurious apartment. They heard Nikolei talk about space and met his assistant, Tamara, who seemed rude and obnoxious.
Nikolei seemed immensely grateful to Alex and thanked him for saving Paul, and welcomed him to his estate in Wiltshire. He said Jack, Alex's guardian, could come, but she said she was going to Washington to see her parents. Alex went to Wiltshire to Nikolei's house, Neverglade Palace, but saw to his disbelief that Force Three must've known Nikolei because they had chosen one of his apartments, which Alex saw in a picture.
Nikolei chose to race against Alex in go karts, almost murdering him (deliberately) when Nikolei smashed Alex off track. Paul warned Alex not to make Nikolei his enemy. The next day there was football between Nikolei's own team, and Chelsea.
Tamara, Nikolei and Alex watched football, and Nikolei seemed angry at his lead player. Nikolei later arranged the assassination of his lead player when he let him down and failed his team. Nikolei then had Force Three in the crowd. One of them targeted Alex and kidnapped him, but Alex got out by being rude to a skinhead in order to escape by distracting the killer with the skinhead.
Nikolei then took Alex to New York, but the CIA abducted Alex under pretence of having his passport being bad. They told Alex of Nikolei's true agenda, but said they thought he would run away. Alex was given gadgets and Nikolei found them immediately by having Kaspar search his luggage. At the Caribbean, Nikolei tried to have Alex killed by abandoning him on a sunken wreck, but he was saved by Tamara, who revealed herself as CIA.
Force Three came to the island, and Nikolei captured Alex and Tamara, then bored Alex to death with a long story about his life. But he woke Alex up by saying that Washington would be blown up by Ark Angel. Nikolei betrayed Force Three by having Kaspar kill them all in cold blood and reveal himself as Magnus. He put Alex in jail but Alex broke out and was found by CIA. Then Nikolei launched his own rocket, and sent his bomb to Ark Angel.
Alex and CIA returned to the island but had a battle break out with Drevin's men. Nikolei Drevin met Alex, who said that fate must've bought them together, and soon he would kill Alex and have his vengeance on the CIA. Alex said the world was too small for Nikolei to hide, but Nikolei said "We'll see" and shot Alex, but Alex ducked and rolled under the house, and, in a terrible twist, Nikolei shot his own son, Paul, in the chest when Paul came out because he'd heard his father. Nikolei went mad with anger, and grief, and shot again at Alex, but then gave up Paul for dead, (when in fact Paul was still just alive) and Nikolei ran off to the plane, the one with machine guns, and flew it at Alex, trying to gun him, but Alex had attached canoes to the plane's rudders. The canoes caught in trees, and the plane was stuck, and the fuselage got struck, blowing up the plane and killing Nikolei Drevin.
Nikolei Drevin was unique among the Alex Rider villains, despite his fearmongering and mass murder he seemed the most human, he honestly loved his son, and was distraught over his supposed death. He is very similar to Denethor.
He had a bad habit of showing his emotions - whenever he was agitated or irritated (which he often got pretty easily) he got into a habit of twisting his ring. He would also go as far as to threaten violence to those who annoyed him. This made one wonder how he ever got ahead in business, which recommends its members to be emotionless all times. However, as Drevin used his business nature as a front, its unsurprising that he would have done any real business work at all.
Drevin was very greedy, never satisfied with what wealth he had, he wanted more. This is shown when he says "I can walk into a shop to buy a suit but decide instead to buy the shop." He also had many different houses around the world, and would leap at the idea of being at the forefront of a potentially profitable venture, such as when the British government asked him to help with the Ark Angel space hotel. However, he would not hesitate to twist these opportunities into his own evil advantages, such as when he manipulates the government into using Ark Angel as a bomb, however this is done without MI6's knowledge.