In 1990 S.H.I.E.L.D. agent John Garrett stepped on an IED in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. The blast left him in a mortally-wounded state, and his calls for extraction were met with excuses. Realizing that he was more loyal to S.H.I.E.L.D. than S.H.I.E.L.D. was to him, Garrett swore that if he survived he would treat S.H.I.E.L.D. in the same manner in which they treated him. Garrett moved his intestines back into place, duct-taped his wounds shut and made his own way to safety.
Garrett survived those wounds, and would soon be recruited into HYDRA, while maintaining his cover as a loyal S.H.I.E.L.D. agent. With the help of the Cybertek corporation, he became the first test subject in Project Deathlok, a project carried out by Garrett's new allies in HYDRA and Cybertek to build a super soldier via cybernetic prostheses. Decades later, Garrett's organs would start failing, and his biomechanical parts would be the only thing that kept him alive.
As a member of HYDRA, Garrett became the mastermind behind the Centipede Project, a science group dedicated to the creation of Super-Soldiers. Garrett, however, saw it as a means of finding a way to reverse his failing health. Garrett recruited Edison Po into Centipede, and for a time, Po was the project's only means of contact with Garrett, even while Po was in Havenworth Federal Penitentiary. Garrett also recruited billionaire Ian Quinn to his cause.
Using his access to personal files, psych evaluations and other classified information, Garrett almost seemed to be able to read minds and foretell the future. Using this seeming ability, Garrett took on the alias of "The Clairvoyant" to those within Centipede.
The project's scientists created the Centipede Serum, derived from a variation of the Super Soldier Serum, mixed with Gamma Radiation and the newly-discovered Extremis formula, as a means of granting powers to their subjects, but their initial results were highly unstable with explosive results.
When Garrett's old friend Agent Phil Coulson, was slain before the Battle of New York and restored to life days later through means unknown, Garrett felt discovering the truth about Coulson's return was the key to both the Centipede Project and to restoring his increasingly failing health. The details of Coulson's resurrection were classified Clearance Level 10 by Nick Fury. In an attempt to uncover this secret, Garrett planted Grant Ward on Coulson's Team.
The Project first came to the attention of S.H.I.E.L.D. in 2013. Phil Coulson and his team were investigating the incident surrounding the explosion and the unknown Hooded Hero in Los Angeles. To gather more information about the subject, Coulson and agent Grant Ward kidnapped Rising Tide member Skye and took her to the Bus for interrogation. After being questioned in the Cage of the Bus, Skye agreed to help them. Skye told the team about the Centipede Project, a unknown subject for the team, and gave the identity of Mike Peterson. Coulson sends agents Melinda May, Leo Fitz and Jemma Simmons to investigate the scene of the explosion. They find out that Centipede is a combination of alien technology, Gamma Radiation, the Super Soldier Serum, and Extremis. The serum was highly unstable, causing Mike Peterson could explode at any moment.
Phil Coulson and Grant Ward arrived at Union Station, and Coulson tried to convince Michael Peterson to surrender himself. Peterson punched the door off of Skye's Van and tried to escape with Skye and Ace Peterson into the building. Skye was able to distract him by attacking a group of men and making a run for him. Ace was moved aside by his father to protect him, who easily defeated the men attacking him thanks to his strength.
Coulson found Ace and had a police officer to take him outside. Ward attacked Peterson from behind, but Peterson easily defeated the S.H.I.E.L.D. agent and followed Skye. Debbie sent an assassin disguised as a policeman to kill Peterson, and the assassin started to shoot him on sight. Coulson ordered Ward to only shoot Peterson if absolutely needed.
On the second floor balcony, Skye tried to convince Peterson that S.H.I.E.L.D. could help him, but the assassin approached for behind and shoot Peterson with a shotgun and make him fall to the ground floor of the station. May arrived and defeated the assassin before he could kill Skye. Coulson approached Peterson, with evident signs of the Extremis side effects, and they discussed the possible outcome of the situation. Peterson assured that being a good person should matter in the outcome, and Coulson reminded him of his son Ace needed him. Peterson replied that his son was another thing that had been taken from him, just like his wife, his house or his job.
Coulson was able to convince Peterson to surrender by saying he was counting on him becoming a hero just before Peterson was hit by a bullet. Jemma Simmons ran in to check on Peterson, as Ward shot him with the newly developed Night-Night Gun that Leo Fitz brought to him. Simmons smiled as a sign that their plan worked, and Peterson's explosion had been prevented without harming him.
After Phil Coulson's team find Thomas Nash, who they think is the Clairvoyant, Grant Ward killed Nash in cold blood. Soon after, Skye learns that the clairvoyant is actually still alive and is a High Level S.H.I.E.L.D Agent. Shortly after this discovery, they get tractor beamed to the Hub. On the way there, they learn that the Clairvoyant and Project Centipede is actually run by HYDRA and that HYDRA was also running S.H.I.E.L.D. After reaching the Hub they learned that the Clairvoyant was actually John Garrett; this sparked the beginning of the fall of S.H.I.E.L.D.
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 1.21: Ragtag
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 1.19: The Only Light in the Darkness
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 1.05: Girl in the Flower Dress
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 1.12: Seeds
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 1.01: Pilot
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 1.17: Turn, Turn, Turn
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 1.16: End of the Beginning