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Maliksi is a tikbalang and the son of Señor Armanaz. A longtime ally of Alexandra Trese, he also operates as a vigilante under the alias Maverick Rider.

Character history[]

Early life[]

He was trained from an early age by the finest tikbalang warriors, learning to fight in the midst of the strongest typhoon.[1]

Drag racing[]

He ran away from his herd and participated in the drag racing scene along C-5, glamoured as a human driving a black car, to prove his speed and power. Switching models of cars constantly in order to disguise himself, he would astound the racers by consistently winning against the victor of the previous race that night.[2]

His races would reach dangerous levels of speed, pushing drivers past their comfort zone, which often resulted in fatal crashes. After the third accident involving Albert Morales, Captain Guerrero enlisted the help of Alexandra Trese to track the unknown culprit. After his name was given up by Señor Armanaz, Alexandra tracked him down and personally challenged him to a race.[2]

Feeling confident, he took her up on her offer and put three wishes on the line in exchange for him getting to "have lots of fun" with her. Alexandra accepted and began the race with her in the lead. Maliksi sped up, and she saw through his glamour as he flipped her off. Immediately after that, she called Hannah and Ammie to push her car to victory. Frustrated at his loss, he pounded her car's hood in contempt. She claimed her three earned wishes, which Maliksi regrettably agreed to. She used two of them to heal Albert and bring Katya back and kept the third one for later.[2]

Talagbusao's return[]

Alexandra returned to Señor Armanaz to enlist their help against Talagbusao, using her third wish from defeating Maliksi. In response, the tikbalang sent Maliksi and Iglap, who met her in the outpost outside New Bilibid Prison. Sancho Santamaria, possesed by Talagbusao, broke out of the prison with the inmates under his control.[3]

As Sancho confronted General Ramon Lanares, he revealed that he had the military under control as well. Alexandra intervened, having Maliksi and Iglap use their speed to seize the military's weapons. Bagyon Lektro joined Talagbusao's side and struck Iglap down. Maliksi attempted firing arrows at him, specifically aiming at his eyes after Alexandra asked him to, but got struck down as well.[3]

Ultimately, Talagbusao was defeated and Maliksi recovered from his injuries sometime after.

At some point in his life, Maliksi dated a pusakal segben.[4]

Maverick Rider[]

Maliksi, seeking to find a sense of thrill and action in the city, acted as a masked vigilante that went by the name Maverick Rider. He would go after supernatural criminals while using glamour to make himself appear as a masked motorcycle rider. Early in his stint as Maverick Rider, he helped Alexandra and the Kambal take down an ebwa, calag and wirwir that stole bodies from the Manila City Morgue.

He continued in his hero work as Maverick Rider, stopping bank robberies, rescuing kidnap victims and even going after a new aswang clan by the port area. The media's coverage of his acts made his public reputation steadily grow. His fame even earned him a fan club, and he once let a girl film him doing motorcycle stunts.

This eventually drew Alexandra's attention, who figured out his real identity through magical means. While playing a monthly football match against the higante, Alexandra outed Maliksi's persona to his father, Señor Armanaz, reminding him of the potential dangers of tikbalang interacting with human business. Recalling the Bukidnon Massacre and convinced further by Datu Gantes, Señor Armanaz reprimanded Maliksi and barred him from continuing his acts.

The following night, Maliksi ignored his father's orders and continued being the Maverick. Following a tip from a duwende in the narcotics division, he takes down a drug smugglers den, overpowering well armed criminals all by himself. He easily overpowered the gun-wielding criminals but was interrupted by the appearance of The Judge, blindfolded and wielding a giant sledgehammer, that busted a hole through the building's wall and knocked everyone down.

The being ruled the criminals guilty of drug smuggling, speaking with the formal language of a judge, and proceeded to kill them. Maliksi dropped his glamour to use his full tikbalang form against the unknown vigilante, assuming that he is a subject of Datu Gantes sent to steal his glory as the Maverick Rider. The unknown vigilante proceeded to rule him as guilty of avarice and greed, knocking him prone and bashing his head onto the ground.

The being ruled the criminals guilty of drug smuggling, speaking with the formal language of a judge, and proceeded to kill them. Maliksi dropped his glamour to use his full tikbalang form against the unknown vigilante, assuming that he is a subject of Datu Gantes sent to steal his glory as the Maverick Rider. The unknown vigilante proceeded to rule him as guilty of avarice and greed, knocking him prone and bashing his head onto the ground.

Fortunately, Maliksi dodged enough to deflect the impact to the side in a way that let him barely survive the attack. He was found by Captain Guerrero, who reported the incident to Alexandra. Word got to Señor Armanaz, and he and his tikbalang fetched Maliksi's body and brought it back to Armanaz Tower. The tikbalang healers strived to heal Maliksi's injuries to no avail, but Alexandra used a powerful healing spell to bring him back to life, healing the tikbalang's wounds at the cost of her own exhaustion.

Some time later, he regains consciousness and his cousin Iglap brings Alexandra to Armanaz Tower to talk to him. He attempts to flirt with Alexandra, but she ignores all his advances, insisting that he describe his assailant first. Maliksi tells her of the person's capabilities, being the size of a higante but faster. He also describes the battle staff the higante was using, similar in nature to the enkanto in the North. He tried exerting effort to shapeshift back into his human form, despite Alexandra's advice not to, and immediately faints from the strain.

Maliksi was present as the Madame tried to convince Señor Armanaz to enact a stampede to kill The Judge for his actions against Maliksi as well as a contingency where the tikbalang will be revealed to the world should The Judge target their familiars in his pursuit of justice. With this, the Señor is persuaded and takes the Madame's tip that The Judge would pursue Governor Sunny Romualdez in his residence in Calamba. Though the Señor was initially worried of civilian casualties, the Madame assured him that the governor was the only person in the subdivision anyway.

They enacted the stampede, bringing with them a hundred tikbalang warriors, and successfully killed the three lawyers that were The Judge's alter egos. Maliksi went with his fellow tikbalang in the stampede, stepping aside to personally rescue Alexandra from dying in the chaos of the battle.

After the battle, the tikbalang collectively left Armanaz Tower, leaving Maliksi behind. Alexandra went to Armanaz Tower to confront Señor Armanaz, deeming his vengeful decision to be unnecessary since no tikbalang technically died. Maliksi explained his father and the tikbalang's absence as them going on a vacation. She warned Maliksi that she would eventually return to ask for an explanation. After denying Maliksi's attempts at flirting, she left.

Barangay Pacifica[]

Maliksi was spending some time in Urbanite Bar, prepared to meet multiple girls by wearing two different perfumes. His stay was cut short by Alexandra, who called for his help as she was being attacked by aswang in Casa Victoria. Immediately disguising himself as Maverick Rider, he made his way through traffic and got to Casa Victoria as fast as possible. He barged into the house, crashing his motorcycle into an aswang that was pinning Alexandra down. She warned him of the aswang's heightened speed from taking Shift Pills, but Maliksi outmaneuvered their hasty attacks. Forced by the aswang's numbers, he then transformed into his true tikbalang form and took advantage of the aswang's inexperience in using supernatural speed, quickly taking down most of the aswang. One last aswang tried to sneak up on him from behind, but Alexandra yanked them back and knocked them out.[5]

Alexandra and the Kambal thanked him for his help and asked him to bring his cousin Saglit with him. Saglit had been in an intoxicated state for several days, indulging his vices in Casa Victoria. Alexandra also called Maliksi out on having a date with several women. Maliksi tried to deny it, but Alexandra could tell the different perfumes he wore.[5]

Some time later, Alexandra asked for Maliksi's help in taking down Rakuda, the leader of a taga-dagat clan, She asked him to meet her at Barangay Pacifica, to which Maliksi promptly responded as Maverick Rider. However, he did not immediately find her when he arrived, instead finding the barangay to be flooded and in a state of invasion from a lot of taga-dagat. He saved a cat and a few survivors trapped on a roof from taga-dagat, asking them where Alexandra is. They didn't know however, and Maliksi chose to spend his time saving survivors in the barangay instead.[6]

While he was scouting for survivors, he runs into Seepul. Initially asking if she needed a ride, Maliksi realized that they were both trying to help the residents. Together, they helped the survivors get to a small platform where Carlos Trese, Hank Sparrow, Metalero, Dolph, Ting and the rest of the survivors Seepul rescued were stranded. Maliksi recognized Hank and asked him where Alexandra was, but Hank was too busy trying to fend off the taga-dagat to answer. Eventually, the roof was collpased by taga-dagat, stranding them in the flood surrounded by taga-dagat.[6]

Seeking to expedite his offering to Bagyon Yente, Rakuda ordered the taga-dagat to take a dosage of Shift Pills, transmogrificating them into powerful versions of themselves. Maliksi helped fend off the taga-dagat, but he was surprised at how the creatures handled their newly found speed that exceeded his own. Some time later, Alexandra arrived with the Kambal and Amang Paso, who commanded Boyet to serve as a temporary entrance to the duwende tunnels.[6]

After Carlos and Alexandra injured Rakuda using the Sinag, Rakuda instructed the taga-dagat to take another dosage of Shift Pills, gravitating their bodies towards him to form a gigantic sea creature that started attacking Boyet. After Amang Paso's own laman lupa failed to stop Rakuda, Carlos took initiative and led the others against an assault on the gigantic creature. He asked Maliksi to serve as a distraction from the front while Seepul and the Kambal attacked Rakuda from behind. Though initially hesitant, Maliksi gave in to Carlos' insistence. As he considered distracting Rakuda with his charms instead, the gigantic creature separated tentacles from it's body, grappling Maliksi. This forced him to use his true tikbalang form to break free from it's grip, putting him in free fall.[6]

He managed to land on a taga-dagat who was attacking a disoriented Bantay, crushing it with his hooves, and met Alexandra for the first time during the battle. Alexandra confronted Maliksi on him not managing to take down Rakuda before all of this escalated, but he passively complained on her being ungrateful for his help. He then threw her upwards, managing to get her high enough to grip Rakuda's body and cast a spell to freeze him in place. Alexandra fell back to the ground, but Maliksi jumped to meet her mid-air and carry her safely to the ground.[6]

Taking the opportunity, Carlos used a Dragon's Gate and killed the frozen Rakuda by cleaving his head from above. At this point, Bagyon Yente revealed herself and her intentions to collect the 400 dead taga-dagat as an offering, done with permission from Datu Karagatan and the Madame. After the battle, Alexandra healed their injuries and helped them recover.[6]

After the battle, Metalero was invited by Hank to have a meal with everyone at The Diabolical. During the meal, Alexandra warned them of the impending danger of the Madame and how the city would need their help once again, to which Carlos gave them a hearty toast being honored to fight by their side once again. While Alexandra stepped aside to talk to Bantay in the kitchen, Carlos received a call than told him of a shipment of Middle Eastern artifacts being stolen by the Cult of Lagim under the orders of a holding company owned by the Madame.[6]

He immediately relayed this information to Alexandra, interrupting her conversation with Bantay. Before Maliksi left with Alexandra, Bantay confronted him on his ladies' man behavior, smelling the scents of multiple women and reprehensible acts on him. He warned Maliksi to not hurt Alexandra, threatening to track him to wherever he is on Earth or the Underworld. Eventually, he accompanied Alexandra in a car ride to address the actions of the Cult of Lagim.[6]

Abilities[]

As a tikbalang, he can run at extreme speeds rivaling racing cars. Due to his previous training, he is a capable fighter as well as a proficient archer in his own right.

His glamour allows him to drastically alter his normal equine-like appearance, the changes ranging from a human form he uses to mingle with others, to vehicles that disguise his superhuman speed along the road. He also uses this ability to transform into his alter-ego Maverick Rider, disguising his face with a helmet.

Outside of combat, he is shown to be a very capable football player.

Personality[]

He is initially depicted as very competitive and prideful, taking his races and trophies very seriously. He finds it hard to accept defeat, shown throwing a fit after he loses to Alexandra in a race.

In his recent appearances, he is less serious and more aloof. He often makes quips whenever he can, even when in battle. He is also shown to have good and valiant intentions through his heroic acts as Maverick Rider, though he revels in the popularity that comes with it. Still, he does not hesitate to dive into battle whenever Alexandra is in danger or calls for his help. He also has a good rapport with other people, being generous enough to gift the Kambal with motorcycles when he found out they wanted them.

Maliksi has a complicated romantic life, enjoying his time at bars with a playboy persona as well as having been stated to date multiple women. However, he is adamant in pursuing Alexandra as often as he can, even though all his effort and flirtations aimed at her are constantly rebuffed.

Trivia[]

  • Maliksi directly translates to "agile" in Filipino.
  • In early notes for Rules of the Race, the unnamed tikbalang prince had a racing history with the wind girls, still named Habagat and Amihan.[7]
  • Earlier drafts also gave him a longer backstory, having outran multiple powerful beings in races.[8]
  • When in his tikbalang form, Maliksi's speech bubbles use white lettering on a black background, an inversion of his normal speech bubbles.

References[]

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