World War II
HYDRA seized control of a fortress in Austria following the occupation of the country by Nazi Germany. By 1945, the Fortress was under the command of HYDRA General Werner Reinhardt, who used it to conduct experiments on his prisoners.
Among the various experiments performed by Reinhardt and his lead scientist was studying the petrifying effects of the Obelisk. To this end, the occupants of the Hunan village who found the Kree artifact were imprisoned here to be test subjects.
During one session, Reinhardt taunted one of the prisoners with the beauty of the artifact while the whole session was being recorded. Reinhardt asked how the prisoner and his group managed to find the Obelisk, to which he fearfully answered that they heard a legend regarding to it.
Reinhardt politely asked the prisoner to hold the Obelisk, hiding his true intention of witnessing how the Obelisk petrified his body. However, as soon as the prisoner grabbed the artifact, his body turned to stone. The lead HYDRA Scientist remarked the speed this particular body was petrified, and Reinhardt deduced that gender and race where no factors in how the Obelisk reacted, being unable to find any pattern.
Reinhardt ordered to bring the next subject, a young woman, and again politely asked her to grab the Obelisk. Unlike the former prisoner, the woman tried to resist, but was ultimately forced to touch the item with her face, as Reinhardt claimed that discovery required experimentation. The reaction was very different as, instead of turning her into stone, the Obelisk glew displaying a series of symbols.
Reinhardt and the rest of HYDRA members and guards were extremely surprised about the outcome, and Reinhardt ordered to prepare the woman for surgery in order to examine what made her different.
An officer quickly arrived at the room to inform Reinhardt about the fall of Red Skull and how the Allied forces were approaching their location. Reinhardt regretted the loss of a great mind, and ordered to imprison the Chinese woman, as he and his troops went to evacuate to another facility.
Return of Werner Reinhardt
In 1989, Werner Reinhardt was released from the Rat under orders of S.H.I.E.L.D. Undersecretary Alexander Pierce and escorted back to his fortress by Agent Hauer. Hauer explained that the fortress had been under S.H.I.E.L.D. protection since the end of World War II, as HYDRA had infiltrated S.H.I.E.L.D. from its very beginning.
Agent Rivera presented Reinhardt with the elders from the Chinese village that he studied during the war. Among the elders was the woman that managed to touch the Obelisk without being harmed, who was looking exactly the same as in 1945.
Reinhardt was extremely surprised to see her, and, wanting to learn how she managed to do it, Reinhardt ordered to prepare her for experimentation, as he felt it was time to know what made her special. For a week, Reinhardt vivisected the woman, acquiring her blood and organs, and then he ordered to transplant all of them into himself.
The operation transformed Reinhardt back to a younger age, and as soon as he recovered, he ordered Agent Hauer to dispose of the woman's remains.