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Missing Case: Nick Tatopoulos

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It was a rather rainy and dreary day in downtown New York, nothing out of the ordinary. Rain was pouring down and the wind was blowing out of control. The HEAT headquarters was facing the blunt of this classic New York storm. The windows of the building were sealed shut to keep out this horrible weather. The dreary and rainy day held no correlation with the activities of the residents of the building. Unlike the outside of the building, the inside contained our resident mutant hunters and researchers. The HEAT team was currently inside their headquarters going about their day.

Nick, the team’s unofficial leader, was spending his time furthering past research of his. Elise was sorting cleaning through old files in hope that she could find a certain file to help Nick come to a solid conclusion pertaining to his research. Monique was downstairs on her phone, most likely corresponding with someone from France. Mendel and Randy could be found arguing in front of the refrigerator.

“I told you to stop messing around, look what you’ve done!” Mendel Craven yelled. He was dressed down in tan slacks which reached over his ankles barely showing his black dress shoes. His yellow undershirt and lab coat seemed stained with some red substance.

“If you weren’t pushing me, I wouldn’t have spilled! It’s just fruit punch, it will come out after one wash” Randy replied. Randy was dressed in brownish green knee length shorts and dirtied white sneakers. He wore a white shirt with a stylish blue jacket. He seemed younger than he actually was, however, he definitely couldn’t be older than 25.

“It doesn’t matter that it's just fruit punch, now I have to go change,” Mendel complained while glaring at Randy.

“Loosen up Doc, you need a change of style anyway” Randy replied before turning around to refill his fruit punch.

“I’ll get you back for this Randy” Mendel stated ominously before stalking upstairs for a change of clothes.

“Sure you will” Randy laughed as he headed over to his backpack. He was craving a snack with his fruit punch. Luckily his backpack contained lots of snacks including: candy, chips, soda, and pretzels.

Randy hunched over his snacks and prepared to fight when a presence entered the makeshift kitchen.

“Calm down tiger, I don’t want your junk food” Elise quipped before hurrying to the refrigerator to grab a water bottle. Elise was dressed in her favorite green sweater and comfortable brown working pants. She also decided to wear a black headband to match her black shoes and to compliment her flaming red hair. She was a sarcastic person by nature and was surprisingly honest with people.

Randy continued to protect his snacks while Elise grabbed a water bottle. He watched her with wide eyes as she poured the bottle into a glass with ice. He waited patiently until she grabbed her drink and left. He gave a sigh of relief and finally dug into his snacks and fruit punch.

Elise chuckled to herself as she walked out of the kitchen. Randy was surprisingly good at making her laugh. Elise continued on her journey to stretch her legs. Her search and reorganization of HEATs files wasn’t going so well. The file Elise needed to find was probably buried somewhere at the bottom of their cabinets. Elsie continued to walk and eventually ran across Monique on her phone. Elise may or may not have tried to check what exactly Monique was doing on her phone. But even if she did, it’s no one's business but hers.

Monique noticed her presence rather quickly and set her phone down accordingly. Monique was dressed in slim black pants and black dress shoes. Monique was also wearing a purple undershirt and a black coat. Her black hair was cut short and styled in an undercut.

“Hello Dr. Chapman, is there something I can assist you with?” Monique asked, even though she was well aware of Elise’s snooping.

“Nope I’m just stretching my legs, thanks for asking though Frenchie” Elise replied before entering the room to sit down somewhat opposite of Monique.

“So, what are you doing anyway?” Elsie questioned.

“I’m just checking my notifications” Monique replied with her slightly accented English. It was an obvious deflection but Elise decided not to push the question in fear of angering Monique.

“What seems to be troubling you?” Monique asked to clear the room of any lingering awkward silence.

“It's Nick again, he’s obsessing over some research file he discarded years ago. I’m not sure what to make of it.”

“You could always be straightforward with him, tell him it's a waste of time” Monique weighed in on the problem.

“I would have but…” Elise paused in thought.

“But…?” Monique pressed.

“He seems really excited, he thinks we could make a breakthrough to better understand what exactly is going through Godzilla’s mind. The breakdown of how Godzilla sees things. The infrastructure of his mind to put it lightly.”

“That could be very beneficial for us,” Monique stated.

“Yes, it would be. However, Nick doesn’t have the proper research instruments to perform such an experiment. I’m not sure the current technology even exists. Any theory that he develops will have no proof as to whether it is true or not” Elise huffed and crossed her arms.

“I know science and research is not my strong suit but you and the others have overcome this problem in the past.”

“That is true, but this might even be out of Nick’s reach.”

Nick wouldn’t exactly call this an obsession. Yes, he was dedicated and refused to stop until he was successful, but that doesn’t mean he is obsessing over anything. Well, whatever it was, it was taking a toll on his mind. Nick ran his fingers through his brown hair, it had gotten longer because he had continually put off getting a haircut. Nothing had felt right ever since Audrey had- Nick shook his head to dismiss that line of thought. He smoothed down his collared shirt. He was currently dressed in brown slacks and a red shirt. Additionally he had a blue collar, which in his opinion that he would never admit, brought out his blue eyes.

Nick continued to rush through files, determined completely to find the file concerning information about Godzilla that could be vital to his research. This research was private and in order for someone to gain access they would need to go through Nick himself.

This particular file wasn’t special but paired with the correct theory, Nick could use it as stone cold solid evidence. In short, Nick wanted to prove his theory concerning the infrastructure of Godzilla’s mind. He wanted to better understand how Godzilla processed information and how the giant titan separated needs from wants from likes.

 

Nick searched for what had felt like hours. That file had to be somewhere here. Nick spared a glance at the clock on the wall. It was past 2am, everyone had definitely left by now. Nick sighed and rubbed his forehead in frustration. Where had the time gone?

Nick began cleaning and reorganizing the misplaced files. He will finish tomorrow. He placed the finished and checked files to the left side of the unchecked ones. He did NOT want to check any files twice. In his tired state, Nick failed to pay attention to his surroundings. He didn’t hear or perhaps didn’t care to listen to the floorboards creaking outside his lab’s door. He also failed to notice the sound the lab’s door opened. However, he didn’t fail to hear the door slamming into the outside wall.

With great speed, Nick turned around to an open lab door. He could feel goosebumps forming. He assumed it was the wind, but in his paranoia Nick grabbed the scissors from his desk.

“Hello? Is somewhere there? Randy, if that's you, this isn’t funny” Nick spoke to the seemingly empty and dark hallway.

“I’m armed” Nick lied through his teeth.

Nick was met with a lasting silence. After what seemed like 10 minutes, Nick relaxed and put down the scissors. He hadn’t been sleeping and his head was pounding. He is creating scenarios in his deliriously tired brain. Nick sat down in his chair and spun back to his desk. He reached to grab for keys in the bottom drawer when there was an impact to the back of his head.

The impact was so strong he was thrown onto his desk. His head slammed forward onto it and his arm twisted in the process. His vision was fogging but he could piece together what was happening. He was being attacked. Nick refused to go down without a fight. He turned his aching body and used his good hand to swing at his attacker.

The man, or woman, was wearing a mask but that was the only thing Nick would bring himself to notice in the middle of this altercation. He ended up striking his attacker but was completely unprepared for the continuous blows that his mysterious attacker assaulted him with. He was struck in the face and on his presumably broken arm. Nick could feel his adrenaline leaving him. He knew he was losing and he tried to accept it.

What could this person even want? Nick thought desperately before his vision went white and finally black.

 

“Do you have him?” A highly altered voice spoke from a phone.

“Yea, he’s completely out cold” The attackers distinctively female voice responded.

“You better not have permanently injured him” The voice spoke again.

“The mutant-freak doctor is fine, I give you my word” Nick's attacker spoke.

“Good, you may proceed to the location I have sent to your device”

“I will be there with your dear Doctor Nick Tatopoulos.”