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Nat Atrella

Nathaniel Atrella (a.k.a. Nat)

Nathaniel "Nat" Atrella is widely known in Esterholt to be an eccentric man, a shade gregarious with a talent for forcing people to "exit stage left, pursued by a bear". His Biotechnology master's and the fact that he has been the science teacher for decades at the local middle school cause him primarily to be known as the resident "Science Guy", with a penchant for helping kids with Science Fair projects and other object lessons in the nature of basic physics and chemistry. He once took the fall for a kid with the local police when a volcano experiment went haywire, and is noted to have helped Ta'zhen, then Kayla, interview a host of the town's residents to test the effectiveness of the polygraph system. Every so often he still comments that she could have gone to state if not for her disappearance following a rumored, but never proven, attack with a stapler by her mother.   Following her disappearance, propelled by the repulsive rumors of an alien slave trade and other horrible things, he began to investigate for himself. This drove him into the depths of UFOlogy, and all the things they believe without evidence (such as "age regression and time regression", or alien hybrids). He began to systematically sort through all of them, finding most of them to be bunk for a host of reasons (and taking particular issue with biological claims). Though he eventually published a book collecting what he has found, for the better part of a decade he had made precious little progress in pulling fact and fiction apart for one of the great mysteries of Esterholt.

Mental characteristics

Personal history

Nathaniel "Nat" Atrella was a science teacher in Esterholt, Ohio until shortly after Ta'zhen's disappearance, in 2492. Due to the preponderance of rumors circulating about the circumstances of the case, and their sheer outlandishness, his initial decision to take it upon himself to sort fact from fiction for a girl who, in his eyes, had no one else to do so pulled him into the vast and tangled world of UFOlogy. He pulled apart cases from the Hill Abduction to the Travis Walton abduction to the collection of "ancient astronaut hypotheses", earning for himself a reputation as a "skeptic" shilling for the government to hide the truth. He himself states that he does not want to hide the truth, but to find it under layers and layers of sensationalism and wild speculation. For Atrella, it's always been a way to do right by one of his best students.   Ta'zhen's return in early 2499, shortly after T'zim-Sha's Leadership Challenge in Sheffield, England, had come just after the publication of his book Debunked, which covered all the big cases where Atrella had been able to demonstrate where the holes were. By then he had become friends with UFO skeptics across the country, and enemies with UFO proponents (sometimes he uses the word "believer", especially for people on the fringes) almost globally. All of these considerations were secondary to him, however, compared to the missing student. In all his searching through records and documents, he had only found allusions to cases like hers. Notes of a man in a hexagonal-patterned mask here, missing persons there. Until he could talk to her, he would never be able to put these pieces together.   Ta'zhen's return also presented its own fascinating opportunity. She claimed, and had evidence for in the form of her Medical Gel Arm, not that she had been abducted, but had run away with the aliens. Subsequently they trained her and (reluctantly) allowed her to become a citizen. Thanks to a defective Universal Translator she had been able to learn their language and two others. And, she had returned with actual, bona fide alien T'zim-Sha (a different individual than the one she ran off with, but of the same species). Ta'zhen's willingness to give an interview and samples of the gel for study (taken on camera) allowed him to ultimately develop a book he thought he would never get to write.   When it would hit shelves in 2501, it was named after the first sensationalist headlines: The Girl Who Ran Away With ET.


He has obtained a Master's of Science in Biochemistry and his teaching certificate from Ohio State University (and his credentials through the state of Ohio). Informally he has studied a wide array of whatever interests him, leading him through literature, Shakespearean play, wind instruments, and most recently, UFOs.


For almost four decades Atrella worked at the Esterholt Middle School as the general science teacher, passing up promotions in favor of attempting to help kids learn when most of them would rather be doing anything else with their time. Over the years he has learned an individualized approach to students to get the most out of them, and was highly regarded by most of them. Following Ta'zhen's disappearance, just before she was set to enter the ninth grade, he first began devoting side time to investigating the case. When the police came up empty, he began to seriously consider the testimony of witnesses about a tall, muscular individual who typically wore a hexagonally patterned mask over a blue face with the teeth of various creatures embedded within, and who spoke a strange language and periodically struggled with English. The description of this obviously alien individual ultimately steered him down the path of UFOs, abduction, and alien contact, but most of what he found was sorely lacking in anything resembling concrete proof. He eventually compiled what he learned and published the first of his books, Debunked.

Personality Characteristics


Nat Atrella has always been motivated by a desire to help people help themselves, so he has always focused on giving his students the tools they need to think critically about the world and the practice it would take to learn to use them routinely. He also believes one should never stop learning, and has applied this well to his personal life. Related to this, one should apply what they have learned, rather than just reading a bunch of books to kill time. This has manifested in everything from his adaptations of Shakespeare for the theater program to his current study of Ta'zhen's disappearance (and more broadly, UFOs and aliens).


William Randall


Towards Nat Atrella



Nat Atrella


Towards William Randall




Atrella first reached out to Randall upon reading several of his books on the subject of UFOs, in his personal quest for the truth. In the letter he had relayed the basic facts of Kayla's disappearance and noted that Kayla's sister Erin was amassing a collection of evidence "as we speak". Randall replied several days later asking to set up a meeting and visit Esterholt for himself, where he formed his own opinion of the relevant facts. He and Atrella have kept in touch ever since, and Randall taught Atrella everything he knows on the subject of UFOs and associated woo.

Commonalities & Shared Interests

They both share a sense of scientific curiosity (although Atrella is also personally motivated), and a disinclination toward accepting any and all woo at face value.

Current Location
Year of Birth
2433 66 Years old
Current Residence
Esterholt, Ohio, Planet Earth
salt and pepper

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