- "Our plane is in Los Angeles. Finally, some good news."
- ―Phil Coulson
Los Angeles is a city in the state of California.
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Recruitment of Howard Stark
Howard Stark, founder and CEO of Stark Industries, hosted a demonstration of his latest technology at Ciro's, a famous local nightclub. Stark presented Vibranium, a rare metal discovered by Stark Industries researchers in deepest Africa, that supposedly absorbed vibrations and kinetic energy naturally.
Donna, one of Stark's hostesses, was asked to fire a machine gun against Stark, holding a Vibranium shield. Stark was knocked down by the shot, as it appeared he grabbed the steel prototype by accident. However, he managed to get an ovation from the assistants with a little joke.
Colonel Chester Phillips attended the presentation and showed him footage obtained by Agent 13 of the British Intelligence, planted deep within HYDRA, Germany's advanced weapons program. The footage showed the truth about the destruction of the town of Guernica in Spain during the Spanish Civil War. At the time, it was believed the Luftwaffe was responsible, but actually it served as a field test for HYDRA technologies, such as the HYDRA Armored Personnel Carrier or the HYDRA Exo-skeleton, which Stark watched horrified.
Travelling through Los Angeles, Phillips informed that President Franklin D. Roosevelt requested the creation of the Strategic Scientific Reserve, a group that collected the greatest minds of the country, asking personally for Stark to join. Stark tried to decline, but in that same moment, they were attacked by members of HYDRA.
Phillips tried to shoot the agents, but Stark revealed that his car, besides being bulletproof, was equipped with a rocket launcher, asking him to push a button that fired three missiles to the HYDRA members, killing them.
This incident changed Stark's mind about joining the Strategic Scientific Reserve, agreeing as he qualified this whole ordeal as the most fun he had had in ages.
Deportation of Anton Vanko
Howard Stark had to assist to the arrest of his Russian colleague Anton Vanko, co-developer of of the Arc Reactor technology as part of 'The Unity Project'. Stark was visibly disappointed that while he hoped to change the future of humanity with this technology, Vanko only wanted to use the research to make money. Over time, Vanko sold these technology and other secrets to the Russian government, prompting his deportation.
National Security Threats
Agent Phil Coulson of the Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division arranged a meeting with Obadiah Stane right after the Kidnapping of Tony Stark, to assess which kind of threats to National Security could pose the information Stark knew.
Coulson met Stane at Stark Industries Headquarters under orders of Director Nick Fury. During the meeting, Stane made it clear that Stark knew very little of Homeland Security topics, as he was very focused with technology development, and trusted the uses of that technology to James Rhodes and Stane himself.
Return of Tony Stark
Tony Stark returned to Los Angeles upon escaping from his kidnapping in Afghanistan and asked his assistant Pepper Potts to call for a press conference at Stark Industries Headquarters, where he was greeted by his bussiness partner Obadiah Stane. During the press conference, S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Phil Coulson asked Potts to arrange an appointment with Stark to discuss the circumstances of his escape.
Stark declared to the press that his company would no longer manufacture weapons after watching soldiers die with the weapons built to protect them with his own eyes. Stark went to Arc Reactor powering the Headquarters, and tried to propose this technology as a new field of investigation to Stante, realizing that he already knew about the Miniaturized arc reactor in his chest.
Stark attended the third annual benefit for the Firefighters Family Fund at Los Angeles's Walt Disney Concert Hall as his first public appearance since the press conference the day he returned to the United States. During the event, Stark met Coulson for the first time and agreed to attend him while distracted by a dazzling Pepper Potts. Christine Everhart showed Stark pictures of Stark Industries weapons in the hands of terrorist groups, including the Jericho missiles he refused to build during his kidnapping, and confronted Stane about the fact, discovering that it was him who has been supplying weapons to the terrorists, as well as being the one to shut Stark out of the board while he recovers.
Obadiah Stane recovered the armor prototype used by Stark to escape from the Ten Rings, and moved it to Los Angeles, closing Sector-16 of Stark Industries Headquarters in order to reverse-engineer his own version.
Stark sent Pepper Potts to find the shipping records of Stark Industries, so he can track down the illicit shipments and destroy them. While hacking into the system, she discovered that it was Obadiah Stane who hired the Ten Rings to kill Stark, and his plans for developing a new armor prototype.
Terrified for her discovery, Potts ran into Agent Coulson, and asked for S.H.I.E.L.D.'s assistance in stopping Stane, who tried to accelerate his plans of activating his armor. Stane found that his team of scientists could not create a miniature Arc Reactor to power the new suit, so he resolved to steal Stark's own reactor.
Potts accompanied Coulson and a team of agents to arrest Stane, but he easily defeated the agents using his new armor. Stane pursued Potts until Stark arrived in his own armor to battle Stane. Although Stane's armor had superior strength and was more heavily weaponized than Stark's, Stark managed to resist and save various civilians endangered by Stane's attempts to kill him. Stark tried to fly away out of Stane's range, only to realize that the heavier armor had also flying capabilites. Stark then devised a quick plan, reaching the Atmospheric freezing level to make Stane's armor freeze and crash into the ground.
Running out of power and with Stane still trying to kill him, Stark instructed Pepper Potts to overload the full-sized Arc Reactor, creating a huge pillar of blue light over the sky of Los Angeles that electrocuted Stane inside his armor, and causing a huge explosion when falling over the reactor.
After the fight, James Rhodes tried to get Stark into an ambulance to be checked for internal injuries. Unbeknownst to them, the ambulance was a cover S.H.I.E.L.D. vehicle sent to by Phil Coulson in order to analyze his fighting strategy against Stane. Coulson also explained S.H.I.E.L.D.'s interest in Stark and offered to train him and prepare an alibi for the events surrounding the battle.
Stark checked press headlines dubbing his alter ego as "Iron Man" while preparing a press conference to explain the alibi provided by Agent Phil Coulson, in which Iron Man is announced as one of Stark's personal bodyguards. However, Stark instead announced his actual identity is Iron Man.
Agent Hendricks' First Mission
Phil Coulson received a phone call from Director Nick Fury while he supervised the arrest of a rogue airman. Fury assigned Coulson to supervise a rookie agent during his first field operation, though he offered Coulson some rest and recuperation time in case he needed it.
Coulson assured Fury that he was good, and that he understood the value of such an assignment, so he asked the file of the new agent to prepare for his first mission.
Agent Hendricks was taken blindfolded to an alley, where Coulson introduced himself, and told him that if he expected some kind of ceremony to mark the occasion after years of training, S.H.I.E.L.D. did not do those kind of things.
Coulson explained he would supervise Hendricks' first assignment, a standard surveillance operation. Coulson, knowing Hendricks' specialties, explained the importance of gathering intel, so that Hendricks would not think the mission was beneath his capacities.
Before the mission could start, Coulson received a call alerting him from the presence of Ten Rings operatives in his vicinity, so they had to postpone the mission to intercept the terrorist cell. Coulson and Hendricks used two S.H.I.E.L.D. Motorcycles to catch the terrorist.
A van ambushed both agents, and one of the men inside shot and seemingly killed Coulson, who fell off his motorcycle. Hendricks managed to avoid their shots and jumped to the van, defeating the two men inside while the driver escaped. Hendricks went to check Coulson, but was shocked to see that Coulson's body was nowhere to be found.
Coulson re-appeared, alive, and congratulated Hendricks for efficiently solving the situation, despite having let the driver escape. Hendricks realized the whole chase mission had been staged, and Coulson pointed that one of the most important orders of field work was not to believe everything he saw.
Coulson explained that those manufactured scenarios were the only way to know how someone would react under real fire, but he acknowledged that Hendricks did it very well, and welcomed him to S.H.I.E.L.D. as Agent Hendricks.
Iron Man located two shipments of Stark Industries-produced weapons scheduled to be decommissioned, that had been illegally diverted from a destination where they would have been destroyed. Stark contacted Pepper Potts at Stark Industries Headquarters in Los Angeles tasking her and one of Stark's I.T. Department workers, Jesse to trace the IP address of the responsible of hacking the shipping routes.
However, Jesse was deceived by an e-mail she thought came from his aunt, to let a malicious software sent by Cordo Gaines to invade Stark Industries mainframe.
Two days later, Jesse apologized to Stark and Potts, as it her fault that Gaines obtained access to all information about Stark and his company. Potts discovered that there was Stark's outlays began to be redirected to front organizations with untraceable sources, forcing him to freeze all his assets until the crime is resolved, in order to calm his stockholders.
A few hours later, Potts received a phonecall from Stark, who informed her he managed to arrest the culprits, and invited her to come to Genoa, telling her that he was incarcerated for property damage so that she couldn't refuse to attend to a party there.
Tony Stark's reveal of his identity as Iron Man brought an unexpected turn to the lives of the people close to him. For instance, Stark's assistant Pepper Potts had to deal with the responsibles of the Veterans Health Administration while Stark was busy flying with the Blue Angels demonstration squadron near Los Angeles. Stark excused himself saying that he had to save one of the pilots when his plane malfunctioned.
On the party held after the demonstration, Potts expressed her unesiness by ignoring him and speaking to him in a very formal way. However, she was unable to hide a smile when Stark tried to apologize in his own way.
A few days later, Stark was sent to Afghanistan to launch a Magna-Drone to clean several square miles of a Land mine-infested desert. Meanwhile, Potts had to apologize in his behalf for his absence during a board meeting at Stark Industries Headquarters.
Pepper Potts, from the CEO office at Stark Industries Headquarters in Los Angeles, phonecalled Tony Stark to check his business meeting with the representatives of Gorani Insurance in Germany, a company which backed most of his foreign factories.
Potts spoke to Stark, worried about his continuous delays. While on his way to the meeting, Stark found and captured a group of art thieves, calling Potts about one hour after his confrontation against the thieves to inform her of the situation. Potts lectured him about how these actions wouldn't help him to make to the meeting on time, without knowing that the capture of the thieves saved Gorani Insurance over one hundred million dollars.
S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Natasha Romanoff, during a mission to hijack an operation of the Ten Rings, was assigned by Nick Fury to infiltrate Stark Industries under the guise of Natalie Rushman in order to get close to Tony Stark.
For that purpose, she was interviewed by Bambi Arbogast and was hired as a notary public working in Stark Industries Headquarters in Los Angeles. Romanoff spent some days undercover at Stark Industries, getting to know her environment and waiting for the opportunity to approach Tony Stark.
When Stark decided to claim Pepper Potts as his successor, Rushman overheard that her co-worker Samantha Carlisle would be tasked with delivering the legal documents for the transfer of power to Tony Stark's Mansion in Malibu.
Romanoff devised a plan to take Carlisle's place, using a trick learnt from a contact retired from the KGB, poisoning her beverage to make her feel sick. Her plan plan worked, and she was tasked with the delivery, meeting Stark and, eventually, been assigned as his new assistant replacing Pepper Potts.
Stark Industries New CEO
Tony Stark drove to Los Angeles to meet Pepper Potts at Stark Industries Headquarters, trying to make amends with her for his behaviour during his last birthday party, where he got drunk while donning the Iron Man Armor and confronted his friend James Rhodes.
Bambi Arbogast, announced Stark's arrival to Pepper Potts, now CEO of Stark Industries, who, at the moment, was dealing with the confiscation of the Mark II Armor by Lt. Colonel Rhodes. Potts was very mad at Stark for his behaviour, and eluding the responsibilities he assumed when he revealed to the world that he was Iron Man.
Potts prompted Stark to abandon the office, when Natasha Romanoff entered to confirm Potts' flight to New York City in order to attend the Stark Expo. Stark was amazed how Romanoff maintained her cover as Natalie Rushman in Stark Industries.
Reunion with Aldrich Killian
Happy Hogan, now head of security at Stark Industries Headquarters, went to brief Pepper Potts about a idea he had to increase security in the building, while reminding every employee that they have to wear their security badges. Hogan suggested to replace the entire janitorial staff with Tony Stark's unused Iron Man Armors, as Stark had them in the basement of his mansion wearing party hats, as he felt the human element of Human Resources was the biggest security point of vulnerability.
Potts, congratulated Hogan for his new position as Head of Security, but also revealed that the staff complaints rose a 300 percent since he was appointed. Hogan took the comment as a compliment, as he considered it a proof that there was something to hide.
Bambi Arbogast announced Potts that her four o'clock appointment had arrived, and as Hogan tried to interfere, Potts dismissed Hogan in order to deal with her appointment, Aldrich Killian, a former co-worker who flirted with her and made her feel uncomfortable.
Potts, surprised to see the former disabled Killian, asked what happened to him, and Killian lied to her saying it was just spending five years with physical therapists. Hogan asked Killian about his security badge, but Potts told Hogan he could left them alone. Hogan came across Eric Savin, and asked about his security badge, feeling something suspicious abot him.
Killian explained Potts one of his think-tank's project, Extremis, previously banned for being considerer immoral Bio-Tech research. Killian showed Potts a holographic image of the human brain, particularly his brain, and explained that the goal of Extremis was to harness human bioelectrical potential in order to upgrade the human brain and its entire DNA.
Hogan received a call from Tony Stark, who taunted him about his strictness as Head of Security, and Hogan replied saying that he quit being Iron Man's bodyguard due to the laughs it caused. Hogan briefed Stark about Potts' reunion with Killian, describing him as a rich and handsome scientist. Having run Killian's credentials, Hogan remembered that they met Killian at a 1999 science conference in Switzerland.
Hogan revealed the weirdness of Potts' reunion with Killian, as he was showing her his own brain, and adviced Stark to pay more attention to Potts, as she the best thing ever happened in his life. Hogan announced he was going to follow Savin, Killian's companion, as he looked very suspicious, and revealed he missed how things were with Stark before he mixed up with the Avengers.
Killian continued explaining the potential of Extremis, however, Potts also believed it could be easily transformed into weapons such as enhanced soldiers or private armies, something that Stark would not approve. Killian revealed that he invited Stark to join A.I.M., and he was waiting that now that Potts was the new CEO, he hoped she would help him, but Potts refused even though she would like him.
Potts accompanied Killian to the exit, who expressed his disappointment for the failed opportunity to cooperate, although he assured Potts they we would meet again, kissing her on the cheek. Hogan told Potts that her car was ready, but she had to return to her office to retrieve her belongings. Meanwhile, Hogan took a photograph of the plates of Killian's car to investigate it.
Explosion of the Chinese Theatre
Happy Hogan, suspecting Eric Savin had something to hide after his visit to Stark Industries Headquarters, where Savin went to accompany his boss Aldrich Killian, tracked Savin to the surroundings of the Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles, where Savin met Jack Taggart. Savin showed concern about Taggart's self-control regarding the use of Extremis, and handed him a briefcase containing injections to regulate himself
Hogan watched the encounter, and purposely collided with Taggart in order to check the briefcase. Hogan helped him to pick up the injectors, but witnessed the Extremis effects on Taggart's face. Hogan tried to flee the scene with one of the injectors, but Savin collided with him, recognizing his face.
Savin taunted Hogan, but Hogan revealed the injector thinking Savin was involved in drug-dealing crimes. When Savin tried to take the injector, Hogan punched his face and broke Savin's nose, that healed quickly due to the Extremis, and Savin violently threw Hogan across the square. Meanwhile, Taggart started to succumb to the effects of Extremis, and although he asked Savin for help, Taggart violently exploded and destroyed the Chinese Theatre, killing many people.
Hogan was able to hide behind a cart, and although he barely survived the blast, he used his remaining strength to point at Taggart's location during the explosion. Savin regenerated from the damage suffered during the explosion, and left the scene.
Taunting the Mandarin
Happy Hogan was hospitalized due to the injuries he suffered in the explosion of the Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles, and Tony Stark visited his friend at the hospital, asking one of the nurses to leave the TV on as Downton Abbey, Hogan's favourite TV series, was airing.
Stark asked the nurse to make sure everyone wore his security badge, as it is something Hogan would like, and the men Stark placed to protect him would not let anyone pass without the badge.
Stark exited the hospital, and a large number of reporters was waiting for him to give his reaction to the attack. At first, Stark wanted to leave without speaking, but the particular question of the men gathered at the hospital, when someone was going to kill the Mandarin, prompted a reaction.
Stark publicly threatened the Mandarin, leaving aside politics and the Pentagon, as he simply wanted revenge. Stark revealed his particular address to the media to taunt the Mandarin even more, and left after breaking the cellphone of the man who asked the question.
Awakening of Happy Hogan
Happy Hogan awoke from his coma following the death of Aldrich Killian, indirectly responsible of the explosion that injured him. Hogan awoke just in time to see his favourite TV series, Downton Abbey.
The Hooded Hero
The Centipede Project mounted a laboratory in Los Angeles, with the intention of creating a device capable of granting superpowers. The newly-created Centipede Device was tested in many subjects, despite the unstability derived from the Extremis component employed in the Centipede Serum.
Skye, member of the hacktivist group Rising Tide, discovered the location of the laboratory and was performing surveillance on it when one of the test subjects inside succumbed to the side effects of Extremis and exploded, effectively destroying the laboratory.
Michael Peterson, another test subject, was in the surroundings of the laboratory with his son Ace, trying to comfort him over the difficult situation they were having after Peterson lost his job, as despite Ace wanted the action figures of the Heroes of New York for his birthday, he told his father it was ok not to buy them.
During this conversation, Peterson witnessed how the laboratory exploded and rushed to see if someone got trapped inside. Using the strength derived from the Centipede Device, Peterson climbed the wall and rescued Debbie, the doctor in charge of the laboratory, safely landing at the street despite jumping from the top floor of the building.
Many pedestrians, including Skye, filmed Peterson's heroic rescue, and the TV news dubbed him as the Hooded Hero, for the hoodie he was wearing to conceal his identity.
Meeting Mike Peterson
Skye was able to locate Michael Peterson, the Hooded Hero she filmed rescuing a woman, and followed him to Ruthie's Skillet, a diner in Los Angeles. Peterson watched the TV news about the woman he rescued trying to contact him.
While Peterson was looking for employment, Skye sat with him, excited to finally meet a "superhero". Peterson tried to dismiss her, telling her she was mistaken, as he was just a factory worker, but Skye warned him about S.H.I.E.L.D., a government agency that would come after him, and that the solution for that was to come out as a hero, using an entirely new identity she could create for him.
Skye invited him to her office, which was actually her van to further discuss the need to confront this instead of hiding, but Peterson left the diner. However, Skye was able to pickpocket his driver license, learning his identity and address.
Rising Tide Transmissions
Skye, a member of the hacktivist group Rising Tide, began posting information about different events tried to be covered by S.H.I.E.L.D., such as evidences of Hulk's existance or footage from the Stark Expo attacks, from Los Angeles, where he lived in a van situated near Ruthie's Skillet.
Skye recorded one of her messages in her van, warning S.H.I.E.L.D. that now the public knew the existance of heroes and monsters despite their efforts to hide the truth, and now there were no more shadows to hide in.
Notice of Vacancy
Michael Peterson received a notice of vacancy to abandon his house, so he is forced to contact one of the doctors that outfitted him with the Centipede Device that gave him powers to try to convince him of coming out as a hero, as the device worked. However, Peterson was forced to remain discreet and not reveal his identity.
Agents Leo Fitz and Jemma Simmons approached the remains of the Centipede Project laboratory in Los Angeles, accompanied by agent Melinda May, in order to investigate the explosion that destroyed it. Simmons realized the building was a laboratory upon entering, but given that it had the latest technology in security systems and its own power sources, she theorized it was a secret laboratory, and that its relationship to a man with superpowers was not coincidence.
May adviced Fitz, impressed after sawing the burnt corpse of one of the victims, to be accustomed to get his hands dirty while doing field work, but Fitz replied that it was not necessary, as he had a set of drones in order to retrieve forensic data, each designed with its own capabilities.
May retrieved a burnt surveillance camera found by one of the D.W.A.R.F.s, but Fitz was confident to retrieve the data from the camera and the motion detectors of the laboratory in order. Simmons found the remains of a Centipede Device under the debris, recognizing it as alien technology.
Michael Peterson went to the factory where he worked before having a back injury to reapply for his former job. The supervisor of the factory, Gary, refused to give him a second chance, justifying his decission to fire him as he couldn't meet the quota, and he had already been replaced, and even there were many too applicants to consider Peterson again.
Peterson tried to reason with Gary, telling him that he was alone with his son now, but Gary replied that Peterson's injury was a simple complain. Peterson started to be affected by the Extremis in the Centipede Serum, and lost control, demonstrating his strength and then attacked Gary, trying to defend his former co-workers that didn't deserve to be treated as replaceable parts. Peterson continued his attacks, critically injuring Gary and damaging the factory.
Visiting the Doctor
Peterson noticed himself being surpassed with the whole situation, but Debbie, knowing that meant he was suffering the side effects of Extremis, told him that the former test subject went to the laboratory with a bomb, and that Peterson exposed the whole program, something her superiors would not like the whole situation.
Debbie announced that Mike Peterson would disappear, and Peterson, out of his mind, told her she was right, he was not Peterson anymore, he was something else, and the whole situation was just his origin story.
Abduction of Skye
Skye returned to her van in order to send the audio from the surveillance she was running on the Centipede laboratory before it exploded, that allowed Leo Fitz to reconstruct the images from the events that happened inside.
Showdown at Union Station
Peterson took Skye to Union Station in Los Angeles, forcing her to delete all information regarding his identity and his son's before leaving the city, something she had done before, but sending a signal to Coulson's Team at the Bus to let them know her location. Peterson tried to explain the situation to his son, that they were leaving the town to start a new life.
Phil Coulson and Grant Ward arrived at Union Station, and though Ward tried to convince Coulson to sacrifice Peterson in order to save civilians from the potential explosion derived from the Extremis in Peterson's blood, Coulson tried to convince Peterson to surrender himself.
Peterson attacked them and tried to escape with Skye and his son, but Skye soon was able to distract him attacking a group inside the station. Ace was moved aside by his father to protect him, who easily defeated the men attacking him thanks to his strength.
Coulson found Ace, asked a police officer to accompany him outside, and promised him he will find his father. Ward tried to subdue Ward, but easily defeated the S.H.I.E.L.D. agent to follow Skye. Debbie sent an assassin disguised as a policeman to kill Peterson, and the assassin started to shoot him on sight. Coulson gave orders to Ward and May, realizing that maybe a third party was involved trying to reach Peterson, stressing Ward that he should only shoot Peterson if absolutely needed.
Skye tried to convince Peterson that S.H.I.E.L.D. was able to help him, but the assassin was able to hit him with a shotgun and make him fall to the ground floor of the station. May arrived and defeated the assassin before he could kill Peterson or Skye to avoid leaving any witness.
Coulson found Peterson, with evident signs of the Extremis side effects, and they discussed the possible outcome of the situation. Peterson assured that being a good person should matter in the outcome, and Coulson reminded him that his son Ace needed him. Peterson replied that his son was another thing that had been taken from him, just like his wife, his house or his job.
Nothing that Coulson said was able to convince Peterson, thinking they needed to make an example out of him and society lied to everybody, specially now that beings above men had been revealed, and they had become the things they stepped on. Coulson, having died for having the privilege of being near those superior men, assured him that the only thing that mattered is what they chose to make with his gifts, and that Peterson was right, what really mattered is the type of person someone was. Peterson, touched by his words, regretted not having become a hero, but Coulson said he was counting on it just before Peterson was hit by a bullet.
Jemma Simmons run to check Peterson, as Ward shot him with the newly developed Night-Night Gun that Leo Fitz brought to him. Simmons smiled as a sign that their plan worked, and Peterson's explosion had been prevented without harming him.
Skye and Coulson left the station to accompany Ace Peterson to the house of his aunt Mindy Peterson, where Coulson asked her about his offer to join his team, having only the time it would take to reach the airfield in order to depart to their following mission, investigating an 0-8-4.
Arrest of Vanchat
International criminal Vanchat reunited with Emily Deville in Los Angeles in order to sell her a piece of Chitauri obtained from the equipment left behind during the Battle of New York. Deville was gladly surprised that Vanchat managed to obtain the metal, and asked him the price he wanted for it.
However, S.H.I.E.L.D. agents Grant Ward and Melinda May hijacked the transaction, sending a Flash Bomb to help them defeat Vanchat's and Deville's bodyguards. While May and Ward were busy, Vanchat seized the opportunity to escape, shooting at May while she was pursuing him. Vanchat found his way blocked by the D.W.A.R.F.s remotelly controlled by Leo Fitz and Jemma Simmons, forcing him to take a elevator that was easily hacked by Skye and setn to the rooftop of the building.
Vanchat exited the elevator trying to escape, but a full tactical team was waiting for him. May disarmed Vanchat and Victoria Hand, special agent in charge of the operation, revealed him that the purpose of his arrest was to help S.H.I.E.L.D. find the recently-kidnapped agent Phil Coulson.
Skye was relieved from helping with the investigation of the kidnapping of Phil Coulson by Victoria Hand, a decission supported by Melinda May. The rest of her team helped her to escape the days of debrief ordered by Hand, so that Skye could conduct her own investigation regarding Vanchat's financials to locate Centipede and Coulson.
Skye tried to hack into S.H.I.E.L.D. databases from a Internet café. However, the Tracking Bracelet she was wearing had restricted her access to technology, and all the computers in the café were blocked by S.H.I.E.L.D. She quickly found another way of investigating the financials through Lloyd Rathman, a senior executive of a company investigated by the Federal Government for tax-dodging.
Skye stole Rathman's car and faked an accident to figure out his address, and she was transported to Rathman's house, where she called to his office to know when he would return home, masquerading as a member of the Los Angeles Police Department with a report of his stolen car.
Skye investigated Rathman while waiting for him, and posed as Melinda May to make Rathman help her hack into the bank accounts by using his private corporate I.D. In order to gain his assistance, Skye told him that S.H.I.E.L.D. had evidence that his company had been siphoning funds into offshore accounts for some clients, and threatened him to freeze all of his assets. She offered him a false offer of retiring the charges if he helped her, otherwise he would spent the next five years in the Fridge.
Rathman tried to gain some time until his private security agents appeared, as he activated a silent alarm, asking to see Skye's badge, as letting her enter into a Swiss bank account with his private corporate I.D. was a crime. Skye lock Rathman's phone using her Tracking Bracelet and revealed some data she obtained to make her identity even more believable, such as her knowledge of his gambling addiction and his divorces, his account in the Cayman Islands
Skye easily disarmed the two private security agents, and Rathman started to cooperate. However, it soon became apparent that he had no idea of how to navigate through the bank accounts, as his assistant usually did that for him. One of the security agents had to act under Skye's guidance to obtain the information, managing to backtrack the large payments into Vanchat's accounts to the buyer's account, using it to track him down.
Return of Michael Peterson
Michael Peterson returned to Los Angeles outfitted with a Backscatter X-Ray Eye Implant and a Cybertek Prosthetic Leg replacing his missing eye and leg from an explosion in Long Beach, now acting as an unwilling Centipede operative.
Visibly scarred from the burnings he sustained in the explosion, Peterson hid in one of the bushes of a park, and asked his handler if he could see his son, Ace Peterson. However, his handler's only answer was that "Not Yet".
Hiring Maria Hill
Maria Hill went to Los Angeles in order to join Stark Industries following the reveal of the HYDRA infiltration within S.H.I.E.L.D.. Hill was submitted to a series of polygraph tests at the Human Resources division.
She later revealed her motivations to do it were to protect herself from being incarcerated in the aftermath of the dissolution of S.H.I.E.L.D., using Tony Stark's army of lawyers to remain active and join Stark into his plan of privatizing global security.
Kidnapping of Skye
Grant Ward took Skye to Los Angeles in order to make him decrypt the hard drive containing the research made by their team, without knowing that Skye had discovered his true allegiance as a HYDRA operative.
Skye told Ward that the encryption of the hard drive was attached to a specific location, Ruthie's Skillet in Los Angeles, the diner where she had her van stationed before joining S.H.I.E.L.D., that she never changed from her encryption. Besides, she felt it was a fitting place, as it was the place where she met Michael Peterson and her interaction with S.H.I.E.L.D. started. It even was a tactically logical place, as it was a public place with lots of people and multiple exits.
Skye seemed hesitant to enter the diner, as it had been a long time since she last went to a restaurant, wondering if she could get pie for dessert. Ward, that acknowledged that it seemed they only visited tubes and tunnels, and ate plane food, thought the decryption could have been done by the time he finished a coffee.
Skye started to speak with technical language to confuse Ward and make it appear the decryption would be slower than he thought, saying that if she managed to do it in an hour, it would be a miracle. Though Ward tried to pressure saying that Phil Coulson needed it to be done as soon as possible, she said that she couldn't do it any faster, so Ward guessed they would end up having dessert.
Skye spent quite some time using her laptop and making Ward believe that she was decrypting the hard drive, and often Skye told him he was uncomfortably staring at her. Skye showed Ward a screen frame that looked like a decryption information from the hard drive, and Ward calmed himself a little, saying that she was mistaking his admiration for impatience, though Skye said it was impatience.
Ward apologized for stressing Skye, and she suggested him to get outside of the diner, calling their team with the sat-phone, but Ward refused, saying they would stay together and proceed according to the plan, as the sooner she decrypted the hard drive, the sooner they would rendezvous with the team, something Skye had already heard him many times.
The computer showed a message saying that the location of decryption was invalid, and Skye looked nervous for a moment, something that Ward realized, analyzing her behaviour, as, for example she was staying unnaturally still to keep from fidgeting, and maintaining eye contact to give the impression of confidence. Skye excused herself saying that the last time she was there, she was with Michael Peterson, who was a good man then but now he was a murderer, and they were ones of the FBI's most wanted. Skye felt that at any moment something could go wrong.
Ward told her to relax, as she was doing great, but she said that hiding what she though and felt was not as easy for her as it was for him. Ward simply said that it all came with experience, while he noticed two cops entering the diner.
Skye continued with the rush, with Ward starting to become more and more impatient, with Skye even mocking him that he was the one who told her to relax, but Ward was worried that the cops were watching them. Skye dismissed his theory, saying they were just looking at the waitress, because they did not know he was not the one he was pretending to be, her impatient boyfriend.
Skye began a conversation about Ward's previous missions, and he revealed his longest undercover mission was a 16 month assignment to pose as a Russian attaché at the embassy in Warsaw, five years after leaving the S.H.I.E.L.D. Academy. Skye commented the difficulty of living a double life, and how someone must get close to people, only to turn on them, and wondered how John Garrett was able to deceive anyone, specially Ward, spending years as his Supervising Officer, knowing him just to betray him.
Ward, still trying to maintain his cover, said it was difficult to accept, but now it was over as he managed to kill him, but was uncomfortable with having that conversation in a public place, realizing more and more policemen kept passing near the place. Skye insisted, wanting to know what would have he said to Garrett if he had a moment before killing, and wondered if he would say he was a "disgusting, backstabbing traitor", or he would have sent him to rot in hell.
Ward asked what the true intention of that was, and Skye said she was trying to have an honest conversation for once. The cops inside the diner started to ask the customers to get out of the establishment, and Ward, realizing without doubt they had discovered them, told Skye they should go too, though she insisted to stay, because the cops hadn't discovered them, it was she who alerted them, finally revealing she knew Ward's true allegiance.
The cops approached Ward and Skye trying to arrest them, and Skye warned them that Ward was armed. However, Ward easily fought and knocked out the policemen, while Skye seized the opportunity to escape, approaching a group of cops in the outside to make them arrest her. They first hesitated, but then she attacked the cops to force her arrest.
Ward exited the diner and shot the two policemen arresting her, so she ran to steal the police car and escape from Ward, who started to run behind the vehicle saying she did not understant what was happening. However, she could not escape, as Deathlok was waiting for her down the street, jumping to her vehicle and capturing Skye to take her back to the Bus.
Phil Coulson boarded the Bus with the intention of rescuing Skye and taking out Grant Ward to retake the plane. However, he wasn't aware that Deathlok was inside the plane too, and he was forced to escape with Skye, jumping outside of the plane inside his car, Lola.
Lola was damaged in a gunfight, where Coulson used its weapons to fire at Deathlok while Ward retaliated fire from above. Coulson pulled back the car to evade one of Deathlok's rockets, though Coulson managed to activate the thrusters in time in front of the Nokia Plaza in the L.A. Live entertainment complex in Los Angeles.
Night at the Motel
Coulson started to plan their moves against John Garrett, requesting a base of operations, weapons and tactical backup from Hill, asking what operatives where still working for Hill, but she told him to wait, there were no more hidden bunkers despite Coulson knew Nick Fury had many others, but she told him they were not reconstructing S.H.I.E.L.D., and though Coulson said that S.H.I.E.L.D. was not going to be officially reconstructed, Hill denied his intentions.
Hill acknowledged that Coulson needed to stop Ward and Garrett, but he could not act as it was an officially sanctioned mission, it was just a personal vendetta, and he should move on with his life after that.
Coulson sarcastically asked what the options where for him and his team, to turn themselves to the military and make a deal with them, or to work in the private sector, something that Hill knew would work for Coulson, as Tony Stark would be very pleased to hire him, but Coulson said that was not his style.
Hill said she needed to go, but that Coulson would know where to find her if he needed her. Coulson told her to say hello to Stark for him, before realizing that Stark still believed he was dead.
Outside the rooms, Leo Fitz and Jemma Simmons discussed Ward's treason, as Fitz still believed Ward could be redeemed and looked for an explanation, theorizing that maybe Ward was brainwashed. Simmons, being more practical, simply said that some people were just evil, but she though they would better at realizing things like that.
Fitz asked Simmons to tell him she was not a member of HYDRA, already knowing the answer, but needing the comfort of hearing out loud. Simmons agreed, and said she was not HYDRA, to which Fitz answered he was not either and he did not know what he would do if she ever betrayed him like Ward did.
Skye chatted with Antoine Triplett, who afforded to eat junk food as he considered himself on vacation until Coulson told him it was time to work. Coulson, who exited the room at that moment, told him to live a little that night, and Triplett went to share his food with Fitz and Simmons.
Coulson started a conversation with Skye, who told her that he had never been homeless before, something that, in her experience, was not fun, but at least that time they had a pool. Coulson went to assure Skye that they would capture Ward, and she revealed that she left something in the hard drive when she decrypted the it for Ward, relaxing a little after all they went through that day.
Melinda May's Return
Coulson tried to reveal Grant Ward's true allegiance, but she already knew, as Maria Hill informed her about it. May revealed what she discovered about the person behind Project T.A.H.I.T.I., showing him the footage she retrieved from Coulson's empty tomb.
The footage from the project's supervisor showed Coulson himself giving his final report about the project to Director Nick Fury, handing his resignation because he could not allow the testing to continue, given the regenerative properties of the guest-host tissue also caused in the subjects a mental deterioration with symptoms such as hypergraphia, aphasia, catatonia, or psychosis.
In the report, Coulson continued by saying that the reasons of the deterioration were not clear, as it could have been the biology used in the project or just the awareness of the process. The only course of action to reduce the side effects was to replace the memories of the process, completely erasing it from the subject's memory; but nevertheless, Coulson recommended the complete termination of Project T.A.H.I.T.I., without administering its procedures or drugs to anyone ever, given that their cost was far too great.
Coulson was left speechless by all the reveals the footage brought to him.
Leo Fitz, Jemma Simmons and Skye watched the news reporting how Deathlok killed Alejandro Castillo, one of Colombia's most important drug lords, having managed to obtain an image of Deathlok and speculating about his nature.
Fitz wondered what was Deathlok doing in Bogotá, while Simmons was more concerned about why he killed a drug lord with known ties to HYDRA, and Skye realized that maybe the Bus was not even in American airspace, so she had to expand the search.
Phil Coulson called the three to the next room, where he and Melinda May had planned their next movement. They had drawn a diagram tying everything their investigation had came across: HYDRA, the Clairvoyant, Ward & Garrett, Ian Quinn, Deathlok, Centipede Serum, GH.325, Hard Drive and The Bus, with Cybertek at its centre.
Analyzing their past encounters, they realized that John Garrett had been developing the Centipede Serum and wanted GH.325 to stabilize and regenerate the Centipede Soldiers, sending Grant Ward to retrieve the hard drive that contained Simmons' research about the drug.
But Skye also planted a Trojan horse in the hard drive, slowly mapping all the systems where it had been uploaded it, but she did not have enough time to properly build it, and they needed to upload another component into one of their computers to activate it.
May proposed using one of Cybertek's systems, as Garrett and Cybertek had been working together for years, having developed the idea of infiltrating one of their offices. However, Coulson reminded that they had no authority to do it, as S.H.I.E.L.D. did not exist anymore. Fitz said they were vigilantes, though Coulson considered they were doing it because it was the right thing, both because he was not going to let Garrett and Ward escape, and because he wanted to claim back his plane.
Howling Commando Gear
Leo Fitz was concerned about the idea of handing their designs to Cybertek, though Coulson said that would not give them anything; they would only need to enter and plug Skye's flash drive into a computer to complete the trojan horse she planted in her hard drive and that had infested all the systems where it had been uploaded.
Fitz continued to worry about Grant Ward, refusing to believe he was simply a traitor, and continue to theorize why did he betrayed them, guessing he maybe was outfitted with a Backscatter X-Ray Eye Implant to control him. On the other hand, Skye simply believed he was evil; though people were not born evil according to Fitz, something must have happened to Ward.
Antoine Triplett arrived with a suitcase containing his grandfather's Howling Commando Gear, spy technology used in S.H.I.E.L.D.'s early years. Coulson explained to the rest of the team that they should take an inventory of every item, but then he realized one of them was a Hand-held Hypno Beam, and become amazed by how Triplett explained its details, bonding with him after the distrust of their earlier relationships, as Coulson was a collector of vintage items related to espionage.
Skye was surprised by the innocent look of most items, activating an EMP Joy Buzzer before Triplett had a chance to explain it would produce an electromagnetic pulse in a 10-foot radius. Fitz explained the reason of these appearances; most S.H.I.E.L.D. vintage items were designed to look innocent in case a spy was caught, activating a Cigarette Laser to prove its true nature.
Coulson thanked Triplett for letting them use the items, which gave them a chance to defeat John Garrett and his subordinates. The smoking alarm interrupted Coulson, as Fitz inadvertently set the drapes on fire with the Cigarette Laser, which he hurried to deactivate. This blunder prompted Melinda May to sarcastically warn HYDRA of their impeding retaliation.
Phil Coulson and his team reviewed the files about Project Deathlok they managed to obtain from Cybertek Corporate Headquarters, and realized that John Garrett started the whole project in 1990, and his goal was not to obtain the GH.325 to stabilize the Centipede Soldiers; he wanted it for himself, with creating the soldiers being just a mean instead of a goal.
Leo Fitz continued to be unable to accept the idea that Grant Ward was simply a traitor, and maybe he was programmed like other Centipede Soldiers. Jemma Simmons asked him to stop thinking Ward was a victim and not a perpetrator; something that Fitz said he would do when he saw something to prove it with his own eyes.
Skye tried to convince him with a crude fact, that Ward was a murderer, and thought out loud that she should have let Michael Peterson kill him, but she was stupid and weak. Coulson disagreed, saying that what she showed was not weakness, but compassion, something harder to attain.
New Supervising Officer
Melinda May visited Skye in her room, as she had not exited since the argument about Grant Ward's guilt she had with Leo Fitz, and tried to comfort her by saying that Fitz could not process the truth about Ward yet, and he needed to believe in his innocence.
Skye asked May if she thought that Ward was controlled, something both of them thought was false, and Skye ended up praising May's ability to control her feelings; even though she and Ward had a relationship, she did not show any kind of external feelings about it. May confessed that she was indeed furious, but she was very sure not to waste that wrath in a tantrum; she would save it until she confronted Ward, to use all of it to defeat him and take him down.
Skye was impressed and said she wished to know how to do something like that, and May offered to teach her, saying she got up most mornings at five to train.
Phil Coulson interrupted them, announcing that Antoine Triplett managed to identify many Cybertek shipments that traveled around the world to different countries but all of them ended up in the city of Havana, where S.H.I.E.L.D. had a base. The whole team left Los Angeles and traveled to Cuba in their S.H.I.E.L.D. Jump Jet.
This section requires expansion
- Arena Club
- Auerbach Theatrical Agency
- Canelo's Auto and Body
- Echo Park
- Los Angeles County Coroner Building
- Ruthie's Skillet
- Santa Anita Park
- Stark Industries Headquarters
- Union Station
- Walt Disney Concert Hall
- Los Angeles translates into "The Angels" in Spanish.
- ↑ Midtown Tech High Logo
- ↑ Captain America: First Vengeance
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Iron Man 2: Public Identity
- ↑ Iron Man: Security Measures
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 Iron Man
- ↑ Iron Man: Fast Friends
- ↑ Iron Man 2: Phil Coulson: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.
- ↑ Iron Man: Will Online Evils Prevail?
- ↑ Iron Man 2: Fist of Iron
- ↑ Iron Man 2: Black Widow: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.
- ↑ Iron Man 2
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 Iron Man 3
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 13.5 13.6 13.7 13.8 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 1.01: Pilot
- ↑ 14.0 14.1 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 1.11: The Magical Place
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 1.13: T.R.A.C.K.S.
- ↑ Captain America: The Winter Soldier
- ↑ 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 17.4 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 1.20: Nothing Personal
- ↑ 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 1.21: Ragtag