"Am I optimistic? Feh. I've come too far along in life to start spouting promises I know I can't keep. But now that you've made me think about it, the future does look rather bright. All I can hope for myself, for Elena, Tokarev, Marilova, for my unborn child, for that poor bastard I bereaved back on Scatach, for Riva and Nathan, for everyone, is that it stays that way."
Victor Golovkin is a Colonel in the Mecharussian Armed Forces and the commanding officer of the Special Purpose Guard Brigade's Alfa Group. A former skinhead hailing from Nizhniy Novgorod, he is also notable for being the love interest of General Elena Trotskaya and her Spetsnaz second-in-command.
Golovkin spent much of his early life in Nizhniy Novgorod, close to the capital territories of the Mechanocracy. He never saw much of his father, Ivan, who was away almost constantly with a secret state research project, leaving him in the care of his mother, Ekaterina. As she was a travelling populist, the young Golovkin would be surrounded by ideological propaganda throughout his childhood. His earliest memory of his mother is of her reading Chernyshevsky's What Is to Be Done? to him at bedtime, aged three. He would also frequent the countryside while Ekaterina preached to the settlements outside of the cities about the Mechanocratic ideology, becoming familiar with the ways of the wastes - and most importantly, with how to defend himself from mutants.
Acquiring his very first augmentation, an optical enhancement, at thirteen years old, the young Golovkin would be drawn to leading a skinhead gang when he returned to Novgorod. Like other skinheads and especially those of his age, he grew to despise people who consigned themselves to the local Organic Ghetto, believing that they were actively rejecting the gifts offered by the Machine Race and insisted on being racially-inferior wastrels. He and his group would frequent the Ghetto to attack and rob hapless organics unable to defend themselves against a group of angry cyborgs.
Golovkin's worldview, however, would change sharply following his experience of the violent Red Monday pogrom in 2137, when he was fifteen. Horrified by the sight of the supposedly-noble Machine Race beating down, raping and torture-murdering women and even children (the harassment, let alone killing, of children being a taboo in skinhead culture) in addition to his experiences of it, he would become deeply disillusioned toward the Mechanocratic ideology. Upon revealing his concern to his mother, the two had a ferociously-heated argument, which resulted in his ejection out of the house by his mother in a fit of rage. As his father was killed in 2133 by the traitorous general Anton Goremykin and his gang having disbanded after internal disagreement, he had little recourse but to join up with the Mecharussian Armed Forces. Using his experience in leadership and weapons skills to sign up for an officer course, he would excel at the course and become a fully-fledged Lieutenant by 2141.
Deployed along with his regiment to fight in the Trail of Bones campaign in the Second Russo-European War, his first taste of proper combat against Federation troops was the battle of Kosice - where he would, for the first time outside of propaganda, watch the legendary Red Tigress in action. He would eventually meet her in the fierce battle of Vienna, where she would rescue his squad after they were trapped in the city centre. Unbeknownst to him, his father had mentored her in the Chthonia Programme, and so Trotskaya would take him under his wing, the two fighting together side-by-side during the Charge over the Grosser Priel. Golovkin also became notorious among his regiment for inventing a game out of using spider-bombs to destroy Federal Schlachtross heavy tanks - because the tanks' ammunition storage was located at the bottom of the hull, they were known to fly very high if the ammo rack was exploded.
After the war, Golovkin learned that his father was responsible for mentoring Trotskaya from the woman herself, and of his death at Goremykin's hands. It was his own initiative to remain at the General's side as her loyal second-in-command, initially to learn how to be as strong a fighter as her. The purpose of this was so that he would never allow himself to succumb to the peer pressures that forced him to kill in Red Monday again. However, he and Trotskaya grew a strong emotional attachment to each other - he finally regained a purpose in life (to serve and help her any way he could in repayment for the compassion she showed him in the war), and she had someone with whom she was able to confide her innermost thoughts. Even so, they were able to keep their relationship platonic until 2151, where they finally professed their love for each other (though obviously under vastly-different circumstances for each canon).
Golovkin has a personal moral code that he abides by to the best of his ability, the most important tenet of this being that everyone deserves a second chance. It is for this reason, and his bitter teenage experiences, that he shies away from needlessly harming and killing anyone, even going as far as to disobey orders if he believes that someone's death or injury will only cause more harm than good. In addition, he is fiercely defensive towards his allies, more than willing to sacrifice himself if their survival can be guaranteed. However, his moral code is not an easy one for him to abide by. He has demonstrated a capacity for recklessness with the potential to hamper his ability to reason, a trait that makes itself most apparent when he is under pressure. It is also observed that he is unnerved by being around organics and particularly Frenks, this most likely being a relic from his skinhead years (and one for which he is quick to apologise should it manifest).
Golovkin also performs medicine as a hobby, having been fascinated by cybernetics in particular since he was with his mother. He is so proficient at his art that his peers often comment that he would make a better doctor than a soldier - to which Golovkin's usual reply is 'why can't I be both?' - with many of the advanced augmentations in his own body being personally designed and implemented (with help from a Caretaker bot) by himself. On one occasion, he was able to jury-rig the arm-piece of a suit of 6B45 powered armour to use as a temporary replacement for a lost limb, and even constructed a functioning prosthetic leg from junk that was lying about.
Golovkin's raven-black hair closely resembles a mullet, largely thanks to the brace holding his goggles in position keeping his hair tied. He has a deep claw scar on his back, acquired from a warg attack when he was in his early teens (coincidentally, that attack was his first experience of inflicting death).
Golovkin is generally well-built, with a strongly-defined musculature coming from his augmentation and extensive physical exercise. However, he has a tendency to be modest about his physique, even self-deprecating: he writes in his memoirs, comparing himself to Trotskaya, that his body "wasn't nearly as magnificent and graceful to behold as hers ... I had nothing that a professional bodybuilder was incapable of matching if not superseding".
Golovkin is described as talking with a grizzled, gravelly voice, but is generally rather gentle in his manner of speaking.
- The prototype of Golovkin first appears as a deuteragonist in To Struggle in the Way of Allah, assisting Trotskaya with Operation Cerberus. After augmenting Mendoza and Radio, he returns to fight with the joint Frenco-Spetsnaz task force in the Battle of Tora Bora.
- Golovkin and Alfa Group make a brief appearance in PTFS In Chaos, where they are responsible for the capture of Synkomese technology for Mecharussian use.
- He is the Mecharussian protagonist in Access Violation, participating in Operation Darkhammer - where he leads the rescue of the missing Space Marines after the destruction of the MSS Vladimir Lenin dreadnought. He reprises the lead role in its sequels, A Blood Debt and Flight of the Polunochnaya.
- He has much in common with Roy Mustang from Fullmetal Alchemist: in addition to sharing a military rank, they are both good-natured, somewhat-reckless characters who are burdened by regret for past atrocities. Golovkin also names the soldiers of Alfa Group after playing cards, referencing Mustang's titling his own close subordinates after chess pieces. He also shares a strong interest in mechanical prosthetics with Winry Rockbell from the same anime/manga.
- As he had his right arm reconstructed by the Sidh doctor Heinrich Krauss after he lost it during Operation Darkhammer, he (along with Tokarev, who lost his leg) technically possessed the most advanced augmentation in the entire Frencoverse at one point.