The Centipede Project caught the attention of S.H.I.E.L.D. after an explosion that hospitalized a woman named Debbie. Agent Phil Coulson was permitted to put together a team to investigate the incident and learned the explosion was from the Centipede Device, a mixture of different superpower-giving agents worn by individuals who desired powers.
Chan Ho Yin, a minor performance magician, was discovered to have abilities to harness fire and placed on the Index, S.H.I.E.L.D.'s method of categorizing and tracking individuals outside the ordinary. His case agent, Quan Chen, advised Chan not to display his powers; this disagreed with the fame seeker. When his shows did not go well, Chan would use his powers to improve the performance. Raina attended one such show and convinced Chan to take her to his apartment. Ultimately, Chan was abducted by the Project.
Rising Tide member Skye was given the position of Consultant by S.H.I.E.L.D. since she helped in various cases. Unknown to her new teammates, she was still reporting to the Rising Tide, especially her boyfriend Miles Lydon, who sold information to the Centipede Project about Chan for a million dollars. The relationship between Lydon and Skye was discovered, causing distrust for Skye among Coulson's team, but Skye did not know about Lydon's indiscretion.
Raina used her persuasive skills to convince Chan to cooperate with the Group who wanted samples of his blood. Debbie, the Project's scientist, discovered that Chan's blood had platelets that disallowed the explosive properties of Extremis; it was decided to drain Chan, codenamed Scorch by Raina, dry. He then rebelled.
Chan, who was tied and heavily burned, grew tired of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s control and, now calling himself Scorch, injected himself with another dose of Centipede Serum and killed Agent Quan. Despite Coulson and May's attempts to talk him down first and subdue him, Scorch used his powers to protect himself and attack them.
Grant Ward and Skye infiltrated the building to hack the security system and open the security doors that were automatically closed, and Miles Lydon was uncuffed under Coulson's orders to help them remotely control the building's computers.
Scorch confronted Debbie and Raina. Raina escaped leaving Debbie behind, who was burned alive by Scorch. Coulson then confronted Scorch again to distract him while May injected a large dose of Centipede Serum to make him explode, making Lydon direct the blast to the roof by controlling the ventilation systems.
Skye revealed to Phil Coulson that she accepted the invitation to work for S.H.I.E.L.D. so that she could do better research into the identities of her parents. Sympathetic, Coulson decided to help her learn who they were, although Skye and her now ex-boyfriend Miles Lydon had to wear Tracking Bracelets.
Though Scorch died, the Project had enough of his blood to create Centipede Soldiers who would not explode. With the death of Debbie, Raina quickly rose in the ranks of the Centipede Project. After salvaging data from their Hong Kong branch, the Centipede Project equipped three soldiers, including Brian Hayward, with the Centipede Device and had them free Edison Po from Havenworth Federal Penitentiary.