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"I can't imagine he'll succeed... again."
"His serum is the Allies only defense against this power we now possess. If we take it away from them, then our victory is assured."
"I shall give the order."
"It has been given."
Arnim Zola and Johann Schmidt[src]

The Assassination of Abraham Erskine was a HYDRA elimination mission planned by Johann Schmidt and carried out by Heinz Kruger in order to murder Abraham Erskine.

Background

"The serum amplifies everything that is inside; good becomes great, bad becomes worse. This is why you were chosen."
Abraham Erskine to Steve Rogers[src]

Johann Schmidt had been searching for Abraham Erskine since Erskine was rescued from Schmidt's custody by Peggy Carter and taken to the United States.[3] After locating Erskine in New York City, Schmidt ordered Heinz Kruger to kill him and obtain the Super Soldier Serum.

Erskine was impressed by Steve Rogers whom Erskine had interviewed to join the Strategic Scientific Reserve and to train to be a subject in Project Rebirth. Erskine admitted that Rogers was a good man and was willing to lay down his life for the Allied cause. Rogers had passed all of Erskine's tests at Camp Lehigh and Carter escorted him to the underground laboratory beneath an antique store, guarded by an undercover agent where the experiment was to be held.

Kruger-CATFA

Brandt meets Heinz Kruger

The United States invested money in Project Rebirth, employing its top scientists to the cause, including Howard Stark. Senator Brandt brought journalists and other guests to the secret underground laboratory to witness the project. Kruger, under the alias Fred Clemson, was among the guests.[2]

Assassination

Kruger shoots

Heinz Kruger shoots Abraham Erskine

"Who the hell are you?"
"The first of many. Cut off one head, two more shall take its place. Hail HYDRA."
Steve Rogers and Heinz Kruger[src]

Project Rebirth was a success; Steve Rogers was now a super soldier. As everyone shook hands and patted backs, Abraham Erskine looked into the observation booth to see Heinz Kruger. An explosion occurred that surprised all; that was only a distraction as Kruger shot Erskine in the chest and grabbed the last vial of Super Soldier Serum. As Rogers knelt over the dying scientist, Erskine pointed to Rogers' heart, reminding him of the discussion they had the night before. Rogers left to give chase to Kruger.

Meanwhile, Kruger headed for the exit and was shot in the arm by Peggy Carter, but it did not stop him. Carter gave chase and Kruger entered the Antique Store and killed the owner. Kruger's Driver picked him up and attempted to escape, but the driver was killed by Carter's sharpshooting. Kruger exited the car and stole a cab, trying to run over Carter as she fired upon him, only for her to be saved by Rogers.

Kruger

Heinz Kruger takes a Cyanide Pill

Rogers chased the cab, taking alleys and uncrowded streets while Kruger battled traffic, giving the super soldier time to jump aboard the taxi. Kruger shot at Rogers through the roof until he lost control of the taxi and flipped it. Rogers grabbed the taxi door and used it to shield himself from Kruger's bullets. Kruger took a young boy hostage and attempted to fire at Rogers again but was out of ammunition. Kruger tossed the boy into the river and entered the Fieser Dorsch. After checking on the boy, who could swim, Rogers dove into the river and ripped the canopy off the sub, pulling Kruger out and throwing him onto the dock. Kruger tried to stab Rogers, but he avoided it and knocked Kruger down, breaking the last vial of serum. Rogers tried to question Kruger, but Kruger crushed a Cyanide Pill concealed in his false tooth and committed suicide.[2]

Aftermath

SRogers-RecruitedByBrandt

Steve Rogers is recruited by Senator Brandt

"Any hope of reproducing a program is locked in your genetic code. But without Dr. Erskine, it could take years."
"He deserved more than this."
"If it could only work once, he'd be proud it was you."
Peggy Carter and Steve Rogers[src]

Project Rebirth was terminated due to the death of Abraham Erskine and the destruction of the remaining Super Soldier Serum. Steve Rogers went to work for Senator Brandt, selling war bonds for the USO. Peggy Carter explained that only Erskine knew the ingredients of the serum, so blood samples were taken from Rogers. Rogers was not pleased with his position for he wanted to do more; Chester Phillips, in a demeaning way, explained to him that he was unique, thus too valuable for actual fighting in World War II.[2]

References

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