|“||My wife says my people skills are like my cooking skills: quick and tasteless.||„|
|~ Nicholas Kudrow|
Lieutenant Colonel Nicholas 'Nick' Kudrow is the main antagonist in the 1998 film Mercury Rising.
Kudrow holds the military rank of lieutenant colonel and serves as the commander of the NSA department known as Division. He is also the head of the MERCURY project, the world's most advanced encryption code. When Kudrow learns that a nine-year-old autistic boy named Simon Lynch has deciphered the code (after one of his associates put the code in a puzzle magazine to tempt readers to try and crack it), he sees this as a major liability and orders his second-in-command, Peter Burrell, to kill Simon. Burrell shoots the boy's parents but is unable to find Simon, but he is later found by FBI Special Agent Art Jeffries who takes it upon himself to protect Simon, though he is able to frame Jeffries for kidnapping the boy. Later, Kudrow orders Burrell to kill two of his associates Dean Crandell and Leo Pedranski when Crandell of them reveals the MERCURY code's existence to Jeffries and Pedranski later writes a private letter on a typewriter to him and the Senate Oversight Committee.
However, while Burrell succeeds in snatching the letters, the carbon paper used to type the letters that was thrown in the trash was recovered by Pedranski's girlfriend NSA analyst Emily Lang and was taken to the F.B.I. where Jeffries' friend and fellow agent Tommy Jordan (who is aware that Jeffries is innocent) discreetly has her meet with Jeffries and shows them both the carbon paper allowing them to gather evidence on Kudrow and his illegal activities as it has Pendranski's fingerprints on it. Following a personal encounter with Jeffries at his home who demands Kudrow lay off Simon, he taps into a phone call between Jeffries and Jordan about Jordan following Jeffries advice towards getting Simon into Witness Protection. Kudrow then poses as a U.S. Marshal with Witness Protection and takes over custody of Simon at the GEX Skydeck of the IBM Building after talking with FBI Special Agent in Charge Joe Lomax and an angry Jordan. However unknown to him, after he left Jordan showed the evidence to Lomax and states he ran it through the lab confirming to Lomax that Leo Pedranski's fingerprints were on it and officially verifying the evidence against Kudrow.
After taking over protection of Simon from Stacey Siebring, the woman Jeffries left in charge of him, as Kudrow, Burrell and Simon are about to board a helicopter, Lomax viewing this in the IBM Building's security room, gives his approval and an FBI task force led by Jordan charges in with Kudrow leaving Burrell to hold them back. Jeffries then appears from the helicopter and fights Kudrow on the helipad. Kudrow attempts to shoot Simon but Jeffries tackles him to the ground and he drops his gun. As he and Jeffries fight, Simon retrieves the gun and hands it to Jeffries. Just as Jordan and the F.B.I. team move in after killing Burrell, Kudrow makes one last attempt on Simon's life by preparing to throw him off the edge of the building, but Jeffries shoots Kudrow in the chest, mortally wounding him. Jeffies then retrieves Simon just before Kudrow plummets from the top of the building and crashes through the glass roof of the lobby, to his death.