Hale's supermechs take Coulson to a room, Hale comes in and says that his questions will be answered in the morning. Coulson figures that it's not an Air Force operation, and Hale admits that it's Hydra. She says that when she tells Coulson her story, he'll know that it's time for S.H.I.E.L.D. and Hydra to unite.
28 Years Ago
A young Hale wakes up to a voice on the intercom telling her to rise and seize the future. She gets up, glances over at her pet dog, puts on her academy uniform, and then goes out to join the other students. Hale meets Sitwell in the cafeteria and says that she's going places while he'll be stuck in middle management. the bell rings and hale goes to a class. Professor Steger tells them that there will be a final examination and introduces Daniel Whitehall to talk about post-grad opportunities. Whitehall says that they're the future of their organization, and talks about Hydra's failed attempts to create a super-soldier. He tells them that they're close to creating the most powerful man on Earth, and shows them the plans for a particle infusion chamber that can force human cells to take on the properties of a raw material.
Hale takes notes as Whitehall says that the possibilities are endless. Von Strucker suggests that they use Red Skull's tesseract, and Hale says that they couldn't take it from S.H.I.E.L.D. without blowing their cover. Whitehall asks what she has in mind, and Hale says that they could look to outer space to find similar material. Everyone laughs except Whitehall, who congratulates her on her forward thinking.
Later in the gym, Hale is lifting weights. Strucker and his friends put more weights on the end, and Hale just manages to toss the barbell to the side. She goes over to von Strucker and chuckles, and then beats him to the floor. The other students finally pull her off.
The next morning, Hale looks at the empty pillow where her dog slept. She goes in and glares briefly at Van Strucker, and then sits with Sitwell. he shows her his placement papers which show that he's going to S.H.I.E.L.D.'s admin division. Sitwell warns that she screwed her chances of good placement when she punched Von Strucker in the face. Steger calls Hale to see Whitehall, who is waiting in the classroom. He points out that she completed her final test, and Hale gives him her dog's collar. Whitehall says that they must eliminate any weakness, and telsl her that they see the future of Hydra in her. He's selected her for his program, and says that Von Strucker will work on the chamber. Whitehall explains that they're impressed by Hale's chamber, and want her to engineer the perfect candidate for the chamber. He explains that they want her to be artificially inseminated so she can give birth to their new leader. Hale wonders about her future, and Whitehall says that she'll be placed deep undercover in the Air orce. The young girl says that she's flattered but asks if she can utilize her talents elsewhere. Whiethall telsl her that she always has the choice of whether to comply, and Hale says "Hail Hydra".
2 Years Ago
A young Ruby wakes up to a voice on the intercom telling her to rise and seize the future. She gets up, glances over at her pet dog, puts on her academy uniform, and then goes out to join the other students. Ruby goes through the classes, and Hale and Steger watch. Hale wonders what they have in mind for Ruby. Later, Hale meets Ruby in the cafeteria and mind for Ruby after graduation, and Fischer says that Whitehall is dead.
Hale meets Ruby in the cafeteria and Hale talks about how she hoped to become an astronaut. She admits that she wouldn't have had Ruby if she had become an astronaut. Hale gets a text calling her away, and excuses herself. She goes to an office and finds Fischer going through his files. Fischer says that S.H.I.E.L.D. captured Gideon and they have to move fast, and tells her that she's now overseeing communications. Hale demands an explanation, and Fischer says that they made contact with an alien race known as the Confederacy. Before he can explain, Talbot and his men arrive and put Fischer under arrest. Talbo tells Hale to step away and she does so. Fischer takes a cyanide pill and the soldiers take him to medical. Hale says that she thought they saw the last of Hydra, and Talbot tells her that she'll never have to see one of them again.
When Hale returns to the academy, she finds Ruby and Steger arguing over whether she should kill the dog. She says that obeying Steger is weakness, but he insists that it's a rite of passage. Hale shoots him dead and tells Ruby that they're the last two.
6 Months Ago
Talbot is in the hospital and Dr. Ford tells him that his family is there to see him. he talks to his son George and performs mental exercises. Meanwhile, Ford and Hale tell Carla that they're going to relocate him to help him recover his mental facilities. Talbot snaps at George and Ford gives him a sedative.he passes out and Hale promises Carla and George that they'll take good care of Talbot.
Later, Talbot wakes up in a Hydra cell, dresses, and goes out through the open door. He walks through he abandoned halls and finds the empty cafeteria. There's food on the table, and as he grabs some cereal, Ruby comes in. She's wearing her earbuds and ignores Talbot asking her what they're doing there. Ruby goes to the gym and Talbot goes after her, demanding that she answer him. When he reaches for the earbuds, Ruby grabs his hand and twists it. Hale comes in and says that Ruby is his daughter, and Talbot demands to know where he is. He orders her to tell him what's going on, and Ruby holds her chakram to his throat. Hale says that his life in the Air Force is over and his lack of impulse control is a threat to himself and others. Ruby releases Talbot, and Hale says that she thinks the two of them can help each other. She offers to show him what she's working on.
Hale takes Talbot to a device and explains that the Confederacy uses it to move ships through the galaxy. She explains that the Confederacy gave it to them to travel to the stars and meet with them. She learned that the Confederacy has protected them from a war coming to Earth. Hale explains that Fischer gave her the project, and Talbot demands to know who she's really working with. She says that she was born into Hydra just like Talbot was raised under the stars and Stripes. Ruby watches and draws her chakram, but Hale motions to her to stand down. She points out that Talbot has stood by his country even after Daisy shot him. Talbot figures that it was one of Ivanov's LMDs, and Hale points out that S.H.I.E.L.D. created it. They're all humans and Hale needs Talbot to help them. Talbot says that he won't give them the Hydra weapon that she needs, and admits that he id it and he's not talking. Talbot asks him to let her help humanity, and the supermechs handcuff him to a wheelchair. Ruby wheels him away, and Talbot screams that Coulson is coming for him.
24 Hours Ago
Coulson wakes up in his cell and goes out into the near-empty base. He finds the cafeteria, and Ruby comes in with her earbuds on and gets some food. Coulson tries to get her attention but she ignores him. He takes some food, says that he'll be in his room, and walks off. as Coulson eats, Hale comes in and says that Ruby is his daughter. She takes Coulson to see the device and activates it, and then enters a set of coordinates. hale tells Coulson to touch the handle, and they're teleported to Quovas' chambers. Hale explains that Coulson considers himself humanity's S.H.I.E.L.D., and insists that he's the ally that they need. Quovas says that Earth will become a battleground and they will ensure humanity's survival. Coulson wonders what the price is, and Qovas puts a metal disk to coulson's head and feeds him images of the massive battleship that is coming.
Back on Earth, Coulson figures that the Confederacy wants Gravitonium and Inhumans in return for their help. Hydra wants Coulson's help to find the Inhumans, and he wonders why they're cooperating with the Confederacy. Hale says that she's always intended that, and that's why they need to work together. The general wants to present them with a significant display of force to show them that they're a galactic power. She explains that they want to find the particle infusion chamber and put Ruby into it. Coulson warns that Captain America was chosen for his hands, and Hale says that Ruby was optimized for particle infusion. However, she admits that Ruby doesn't have the temperament, and wonders if Daisy is a better fit. Hale wants to infuse Daisy with Gravitonium, giving her the power to level armies. It would make her worthy of the codename Whitehall came up with: Destroyer of Worlds.
Coulson says that they traveled to the future and saw Earth cracked apart because of Hale's actions. He tells her not to let anyone to enter the chamber, but Hale doesn't believe him. The supermechs take Coulson away as he yells that she's making a mistake.
later, Ruby enters Coulson's cell and asks if he traveled to the future. She wants Coulson to tell him how she failed, and Coulson tells her that Ruby wasn't the Destroyer of Worlds. Ruby realizes that it's Daisy and asks where she is, and Coulson warns that she can't beat Daisy. The girl puts the chakram to Coulson's throat, but he says that he's not talking. After a moment, Ruby opens the door and the supermechs drag in Talbot. Talbot is babbling to himself, and Coulson asks him what happened. Talbot stares at him in shock and admits that he told them everything when S.H.I.E.L.D. didn't arrive. The general begs for Coulson's forgiveness as the supermechs drag him away.
Daisy is sitting in the control room thinking things through, and she and Melinda wonder why Hale needed Coulson. When Daisy starts to panic, Melinda tells her to focus and remember her combat training. Daisy points out that they have nothing, and Melinda points out that they have a supervillain. Melinda goes to Fitz's chamber and reminds him that she was Hydra in the Framework and made decisions she regrets. Fitz says that he doesn't regret what he did, and Melinda asks him to embrace his other self.
Jemma prepares to attach the sedated Elena's new arms as Mack looks on. He says that Fitz was still a good guy in the Framework, and Jemma thanks him for trying to explain. Jemma then activates the arms and they move. Mack warns that Elena saw herself in the future and knows that she lives into the future, so she thinks that she can't be killed.
Melinda shows Fitz the files, and he figures that Hale is trying to build a weapon. He says that if they can determine Hale's target then they can infer Coulson's role. Fitz asks for a few hours of access to the lab and the computers, and he can't help locke dup in the cell. Daisy comes in and says that she's not going to let him out. Melinda points out that there's not much of a team, and Fitz says that he didn't have a choice. Daisy blasts him into the wall and points out that he cut into her, and Fitz says that in a few hours the town would have been affected. He offers to tell Daisy the other times that she turned on them, and Daisy refuses and storms out. Melinda goes after her and Daisy says that she's going to bring Robin out of hiding and use her precognition to locate Coulson.
Jemma brings Fitz tea and says that she's been thinking of the two of them. She knows that they get through it and shows Fitz his pocket tool... and then Deke's copy, that he got from his grandfather. Fitz realizes that Deke is their grandson, and Jemma says that his existence proves that they make it to the Lighthouse and live long enough to raise a daughter. It means that the two of them are invincible.
Written by Gadfly on Mar 31, 2018