Pensacola is a city in the state of Florida.
In 2010, the Roxxon Corporation oil tanker Norco spilled a million gallons of crude oil off the coast of Pensacola. Matthew Ellis used his political influence to avoid that the Roxxon executives were judged and imprisoned for the event. Later, Aldrich Killian acquired the Norco to use it as an excuse to kill Ellis and make it seems like a terrorist act for political reasons due to Ellis' role in the aftermath of the oil slick.
Arrival of Matthew Ellis
Aldrich Killian arrived at the Norco and checked Pepper Potts, who had been injected with Extremis and was held prisoner inside the ship, and revealed that she was taken captive not just to motivate Tony Stark into stabilizing Extremis, but actually as Killian's personal trophy.
Killian then greeted Matthew Ellis as he was taken to the ship inside the Iron Patriot Armor, who recognized the ship as the Roxxon Norco. Killian told his motives to retain Ellis in the ship, as he didn't want to negotiate for Ellis' life, he intended to kill him masquerading as a Mandarin terrorist attack in order to let Rodriguez replace Ellis as the President.
Arrival of the Iron Legion
Tony Stark and James Rhodes were able to board the ship, but were outnumbered as the tanker was guarded by a large squad of Extremis Soldiers. Rhodes located Matthew Ellis, tied inside Rhodes' Iron Patriot Armor waiting for his public execution.
Stark and Rhodes were spotted by the soldiers and forced to take cover while starting to be surrounded by the soldiers. Stark grew confident as a humming noise was heard approaching, and Rhodes asked if it was what he believed it was. A whole legion of Iron Man Armors surrounded the ship, as the much-needed backup for Rhodes and Stark.
Stark ordered J.A.R.V.I.S. to target the soldiers due to their unique heat signatures, and ordered to neutralize them with the maximum prejudice. The armors started battling the soldiers, gaining the upper hand through some of the armors were destroyed during the fight. Stark also defined some of the battle strategies for the armors, such as ordering the Mark XXXVIII to stabilize the structure of the oil tanker.
Stark donned one of his armors to battle himself but didn't let Rhodes wear one as they were explicitly coded for Stark. An armor controlled by J.A.R.V.I.S. carried Rhodes, but they were attacked by a soldier and forced to jump to one of the footbridges. A pair of Extremis soldiers attacked him, but Stark's armors easily defeated them before they could harm Rhodes.
Iron Man went on to rescue Pepper Potts, still tied inside the tanker, but she was hit by one of the explosions and was trapped under a large amount of debris, but Killian himself attacked Stark and disabled the Arc Reactor of the armor using his advanced Extremis abilities, and taunted Stark due to his inability to defeat him in front of Potts, but Stark waited until the last moment and cut Killian's arm. The arm started to melt the ship due to its high temperature, and make Potts fall through the open hull.
Rhodes went to save Ellis and defeated a pair of Extremis Soldiers, tricking them into falling from the container they ambushed him. Rhodes liberated Ellis and recovered his armor, taking him outside the ship. Meanwhile, Stark rushed to save Potts. He tried to convince her to let go as Stark will catch her and prevent her falling, but the debris moved and Potts fell to her seeming death, leaving Stark devastated. Killian recovered his arm and taunted Stark again for letting Potts die. Stark angrily confronted Killian, using different armors that were destroyed by Killian, and avoiding a fatal blow in a scenario parallelized by Killian to the roof in Bern where they never met.
Stark waited as the Mark XLII armor approached, but it crashed against an obstacle and disassembled into pieces. Killian prepared to kill Stark, taunted him for what he thought it would be the last time, but Stark answered him in order to buy some time, telling Killian that it was right that Stark didn't deserve Potts, but there was no need to improve her, as she was already perfect. Stark ordered the Mark XLII to be worn by Killian, and asked J.A.R.V.I.S. to trigger the self-destruction of the armor to kill Killian.
Aldrich Killian survived the explosion and reappeared in front of Tony Stark, claiming that he was the Mandarin, but was confronted by Potts, who also survived her fall. One of the armors approached, intending to attack Potts recognizing her Extremis heat signature, but she angrily destroyed it with a single punch, tearing apart the repulsor gauntlet and using it to detonate a missile that he launched to Killian, finally killing him.
Stark and Potts, relieved by the end of the battle, discussed what they would do after that, as Potts finally understood Stark's obsession with the armors. Potts was worried to hurt Stark due to Extremis, and promised her to help her without distractions, as he ordered J.A.R.V.I.S. to destroy all his remaining armors.
Chase of Deathlok
Phil Coulson and John Garrett devised a plan of investigating the candidates rejected from the Index as possible identities for the Clairvoyant, enlisting senior agents Victoria Hand, Jasper Sitwell and Felix Blake to assist them. During their mission, agents Blake and Melinda May were attacked by Deathlok while investigating one of the candidates, Thomas Nash, but Blake was able to shoot one of the Tag Rounds, that S.H.I.E.L.D. used to track Deathlok to Pensacola.
Coulson and Garrett led an operation including May, Grant Ward and multiple tactical teams, with Leo Fitz and Skye remotely assisting them, in order to capture Deathlok, who was hiding in an abandoned racetrack in Pensacola. Before entering, Ward assigned an agent to protect Skye, as the Clairvoyant had ordered her death before, and maybe he could order Deathlok to try it again.
Garrett acknowledged the agents involved that the use of stealth during the raid was futile, and warned them about Deathlok's cybernetic enhancement, and then entered the compound blasting the door. As the field agents cleared the first room, Fitz located Deathlok deploying his Golden Retrievers, an item that impressed Garrett. Skye watched an image of Deathlok caught by one of the retrievers, and as she switched the view to a multi-spectrum overlay, she saw what the Centipede Project did to Michael Peterson in order to transform him into Deathlok, implanting metallic prosthesis beneath his skin.
Deathlok destroyed the retriever that was filming him, and Coulson ordered Fitz to return to the tactical van as Deathlok knew they were there. The agents looked for him through the whole compound, and Deathlok managed to ambush a small team led by Ward, attacking them with his Forearm Rocket Launcher. Though two men were hit, Ward was able to take cover, avoiding the explosion, and managed to return the fire.
As May pursued Deathlok, he jumped to the bottom floor, and Coulson continued the pursuit to the sub-basement, asking Fitz if he could send a retriever to his location. Coulson advanced and came across Garrett, almost shooting at him. They both saw Deathlok behind them, and although they pursued him, Deathlok managed to escape them.
Phil Coulson and John Garrett found Thomas Nash in the basement of the racetrack in a vegetative state, connected to a heart rate monitor, a computer that synthesized his voice, and a series of screens. As Coulson and Garrett faced Nash, the computer said that he surrendered.
Ward and May also arrived at the room where Nash was found, and the agents started interrogating Nash, who seemed to be the Clairvoyant. Nash's computer spoke for him, making references to the quotes and data the agents had about him, such as paraphrasing Edison Po's quote about that he did not like to be touched, that marked the first time Coulson and his team heard about the Clairvoyant.
Before proceeding, Ward checked the room and though there could be explosives inside, and Coulson ordered them not to touch anything before checking if there was an explosive device. Nash assured that there were no traps in the room and that they met because they were destined to do it. As Garrett asked if Nash was the Clairvoyant, Nash's computer replied that he was Thomas Nash, but Po gave him that title, that he considered a bit dramatic.
Coulson warned the rest of the agent not to lower their guard, as Deathlok or another enemy could appear and attack them, though Nash assured that Deathlok was gone, having cut his feed so that nobody could find him. Coulson asked Nash the reason why he made Deathlok lead the agents to him, and his answer was that he wanted to see him with his own eyes, finally understanding why he could not see Coulson after his death, as if he became a broken man that did not know he was broken.
Garrett suggested to stop listening to Nash and take him to the Fridge, but Nash was not afraid of being imprisoned, as, in his vegetative state, he could not be confined more than he was in his chair. Nash continued teasing Coulson, saying that he would be able to see him wherever he went, like when he saw Coulson holding Skye when she almost died.
Coulson angrily told Nash that he would be kept in a small cell and nobody would hear him again. Nash did not cease teasing Coulson, saying that he had betrayed, and now feared what was going to happen, as something was coming for him and Skye, saying that she would die giving them what they wanted from her. Suddenly, as he continued with his threats, Ward shot and killed Nash in cold blood. Everyone was surprised by that reaction, and Ward was taken into custody for killing Nash.
John Garrett and Phil Coulson discussed Grant Ward's sudden reaction that led him to kill Thomas Nash, and how he was taken over by his emotions and killed him in cold blood. Ward was going to be escorted to the Hub, and Garrett asked Coulson if he wanted him to escort Ward. Coulson refused, as he wanted to talk to Ward before presenting him to the review board. Garrett then left, as he was still assigned to hunt Deathlok, and Coulson asked him to keep him updated of his progress.
Melinda May informed Coulson of a message received from S.H.I.E.L.D. Headquarters, that Nick Fury had returned and requested to see him at the Triskelion. May noticed how Coulson would finally be able to ask him about the multiple things that were bothering him.