Agents of STRIKE
Created in 1925 by the Prussian occultist Wolfgang von Strucker, HYDRA began as a secret society centered around racial purity, eugenics, and the pursuit of a mystical homeland of the master race known as Thule. Naturally, HYDRA’s beliefs proved to be extremely popular among the Nazi Party, especially among the occultists in the SS.
Eventually HYDRA separated itself from the Nazis, after Red Skull overthrew Von Strucker as leader of HYDRA and considered himself to be more important than the Fuhrer. After Red Skull died in Greenland pursuing some mad trail of Thule as Germany was losing the war, HYDRA was shattered into a cellular structure, becoming an international terrorist organization.
Modern HYDRA is still a cellular terrorist organization, but has shed any connection to its Nazi roots and for most of its adherents, has little resemblance to its occult origins. Only the upper echelons of the organization seem to fully understand its beliefs, and the lower cells only pursue power, wealth, and terror for their own sake.
Real name: Unknown
Documented extranormal capabilities: Unknown
Kraken is the codename for the current highest-ranking leadership figure in HYDRA that is known to SHIELD. It is not certain who they are, or where they are, or what, if any, abilities they have at their disposal. More details are needed at this time.
Real name: Brock Rumlow
Documented extranormal capabilities: Utilizes advanced power-armor and has lowered sensitivity to pain as a result of nerve damage.
Brock Rumlow is a former SHIELD agent that turned out to be a HYDRA mole. When he was discovered, he was nearly terminated, but escaped with severe injuries. Now he uses a powered exoskeleton to function, which makes him a formidable combatant. Use extreme caution if you encounter Crossbones, he is well aware of conventional SHIELD tactics and procedures.
Real names: Varies by current membership
Documented extranormal capabilities: Varies by current membership, tends to center around snake-inspired weaponry, armaments, and enhancements, usually by way of advanced combat suits or genetic modifications.
The Serpent Society was initially thought to be an independent terrorist organization when they first attacked New York in 2012. However, when they were defeated by the Avengers and the members apprehended there interrogated, it was discovered they are actually a cell of HYDRA, and that HYDRA supplies them with weaponry and genetic augmentations.
They are a very large and powerful group, recruiting people with the promise of granting them incredible wealth and power. They do tend to actually deliver on that promise, as their members usually have extranormal genetic enhancements and serpentine power-armor that grant them dangerous combat abilities.
The Serpent Society are a force to be reckoned with, and are one of the Avengers most dangerous foes. The earliest members are locked away in the Raft, but they’ve been replaced with a new generation of Serpents.
Real name: Fritz von Meyer (allegedly)
Documented extranormal capabilities: The individual identified as Swarm appears to be in control of (and possibly composed entirely of) aggressive, highly dangerous mutated bees, that he is able to direct and command at will.
There is historical record of a Nazi scientist in World War II named Fritz von Meyer, who was an accomplished apiarist (beekeeper) and was fascinated with the hive structure of bees. He believed bees had a gestalt psychic consciousness, and that it could be possible to study and tap into that consciousness. He conducted horrific experiments on human prisoners, trying to transfer their “consciousness” into the “hive gestalt” and basically just killing them in the process. Von Meyer evaded capture when Germany lost the war, possibly fleeing to Argentina as many Nazi war criminals did.
In the early 2000s, the individual known as Swarm began to be known to SHIELD. At first they were simply considered to be a bizarre extranormal terrorist, as they were performing random acts of murder and robbery in South America. But later, after HYDRA resurfaced, the individual (or possibly entity) began identifying itself as Fritz von Meyer, stating that it had successfully transferred its mind into the hive, having left its decaying body behind decades ago.
SHIELD MED is extremely skeptical of this story, but largely because the idea of an insane Nazi made of bees is too deeply unpleasant to believe is real.