Agents of STRIKE
The 20th Century
The 20th Century saw very significant changes to the world as we know it. It is within the living memory of nearly any Agent reading this document, and was the period in which SHIELD was created and subsequently became aware of the existence of extra-terrestrial life, leading to SWORD’s creation.
This section does not summarize the entirety of 20th century events as they pertain to extranormal phenomenon. Cross-reference with the regular SHIELD World Factbook for more information. This document specifically deals with this century as it pertains to extra-terrestrial events within SWORD’s mandate.
The Tunguska Event (1908)
On June 30th, 1908, a Skrull ship was exploring our star system. We have later learned that it ran afoul of cloaked orbital defense systems that were left behind by Kree Accusers ten thousand years ago when they purged the world in order to prevent the Skrulls from returning.
The orbital defense system blasted the ship, and it crash landed in Tunguska, Siberia. The survivors, who are unknown in number, quickly either concealed or scuttled their ship because no physical evidence was left behind of the crash when authorities and scientists arrived. To this day, the Tunguska Event is publicly known as a bit of a mystery, with the accepted public explanation being something akin to a meteorite that airburst.
These crash-landed Skrulls, which we have code-named the 1908 Group, quickly infiltrated Russian society and the Russian military.
Leviathan, the Shifting Serpent (1917-1922)
The truth about Leviathan is that it is run by the Skrulls from the 1908 Group, and it always has been. When the Bolshevik Revolution overthrew the Russian government and the USSR was established thereafter, Leviathan entrenched itself in the NKVD and later the KGB. The Skrulls were careful never to actually try to take control of the Russian government directly, only its intelligence apparatus. This has been their pattern through-out history; they avoid trying to take power directly from a people, instead leaving them blind and deaf and helpless to being manipulated by those with the power of influence.
The HYDRA Cult (1925)
HYDRA is actually much older than 1925, but it definitely went public in this year when it found itself allies in the Nazi Party and was suddenly in vogue among Nazi occultists. The truth is, HYDRA’s beliefs and values barely have anything to do with Nazism and only vaguely are aligned. They do believe in some race politics, but they’re all about Inhuman race politics. Baron Wolfgang Von Strucker was a deep believer in the HYDRA homeland of Thule and the genetic destiny of the Inhuman race, which actually put him at odds with many Aryan purists.
The Teleos Conference (1942)
A fact that is not disclosed to Level 7 and below members of SHIELD is that what was actually discussed at the Teleos Conference was the truth about the Inhuman genome, and the fact that Herbert Wyndham had obtained a sample of John Steele’s blood that contained trace amounts of Terrigen crystal. He had shared a small amount with the men gathered there so that each could attempt to replicate the Terrigen and spread Inhumanity on their own. Wyndham believed that it is not only a net good for as many Inhumans to have their abilities to be activated as possible, but that if each country had their own Super-Soldiers it would essentially create a M.A.D. situation and end the war early.
None of the men he gave the sample to were able to replicate the crystals. Erskine extracted the crystals and used them to create a one-time Super-Soldier serum that he used on Steve Rogers. Zola tried to do the same, but used a flawed methodology and used it on Johann Shmidt to create the Red Skull. Shinski, himself an agent of Leviathan, never seemed to use the material at all and his later efforts with the Winter Soldier program seem to use an entirely different basis.
UPDATE: Recent intel obtained by STRIKE suggests that Herbert Wyndham has been able to synthesize Terrigen. More details will be updated as they are obtained.
The Battle of Los Angeles (1942)
While some historians believe that it was the Teleos Conference and the troubling intelligence about HYDRA that led to the creation of the SSR, it was actually the Battle of Los Angeles that really led to its creation.
A Kree scout ship was sent to investigate after receiving a signal from the orbital station that had shot down the Skrull vessel over Tunguska in 1908 (the transmission had taken some time to travel). While it was investigating, it was spotted by the US military in Los Angeles, already on high alert from fears of Japanese submarine attacks in the Pacific. Anti-aircraft fire went off, and the Kree ship was attacked and returned fire. There were a few military and civilian casualties, and the whole thing was covered up. The Kree ship was never recovered, although fragments were found.
The realization that the ship’s material and construction were impossibly alien inevitably led to the SSR’s creation, and down the line, SWORD.
The Roswell Incident (1947)
It was a weather balloon. That’s all. This entry exists so junior agents stop asking.
The Winter Soldiers (1959)
Supplemental to the entry on the Winter Soldiers, it is known by SWORD that Wladislav Shinski never utilized the Terrigen Crystals or utilized Inhumans in any way, either by choice or because he was unable to do so. Instead, the Winter Soldiers are advanced cyborgs created using Skrull technology, far exceeding anything we can possibly understand or replicate.
The original Winter Soldiers in the 1960s used cybernetics more advanced than the cybernetics we have now.
SWORD is Forged (1965)
SWORD is considered by the rest of SHIELD to be a fairly recent part of the agency, but we are actually SHIELD’s twin and were created at the same time as a division of SHAPE, and operate almost entirely independently. We are technically a division of SHIELD and Director Brand is technically subordinate to Director Fury, but in practice SWORD operates on their own and has done so for over 40 years.
The Black Widows (1972)
An element of the Black Widow program that the rest of SHIELD cannot be informed about is that they are actually Skrull-Human hybrids. Born and raised as humans, they don’t possess any Skrull abilities and their Skrull DNA is latent until after puberty, and has to be “activated” by a gene therapy treatment. Once that is done, however, they essentially have all the abilities of a full-blooded Skrull.
Natasha Romanov, known publicly as the Black Widow of the Avengers, is technically a half-Skrull although she left the program when she was a child and her genes were not expressed and is thus, functionally, human. She is aware of this fact, and does not like it being brought up. No reminders about SHIELD’s workplace sensitivity policies or Agent Romanov’s extreme lethality should be necessary.