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"T.A.H.I.T.I. was designed to revive a fallen Avenger. That's how it got started."
"Uh, Captain America, Iron Man – those Avengers?"
"Those are the ones."
Skye and Alphonso Mackenzie[src]

Project T.A.H.I.T.I. (Terrestrialized Alien Host Integrative Tissue I.) was a S.H.I.E.L.D. Level 9 project ordered by Nick Fury and overseen by Phil Coulson, who came to object to the project on the basis that it had unacceptable side-effects. It involved the harvesting of an alien corpse for medicinal purposes. The tangible results were only to be used if an Avenger had died. Since Fury considered Coulson just as important, he put the project in action after Coulson was killed by Loki during the Attack on the Helicarrier.


The Beginning

"I understand you started the program to potentially save a mortally wounded Avenger, but the side effects are too extreme. We had initial success with the regenerative properties of the guest-host tissue, but after the initial physical recovery, the subject began to deteriorate mentally, displaying hypergraphia, aphasia, catatonia, or just complete psychosis."
Phil Coulson[src]

The corpse of a deceased Kree

Project T.A.H.I.T.I. started in 2009, with the goal of creating a medicine that could save a mortally wounded Avenger. The head of the project was Phil Coulson.[1]

Project T.A.H.I.T.I. was located within the Guest House, guarded by Alpha and Beta. Inside the Guest House was a room labeled T.A.H.I.T.I. that contained a decaying Kree corpse being drained of its bodily fluids into multiple vials; each vial was labeled with different numbers for several serums but all with GH as the prefix, including GH.211, GH.289, GH.317, GH.319, GH.324 and GH.325. GH.325 has the effect of completely regenerating cellular tissue and implanting fragments of cellular memory of the host to the receiver.

T.A.H.I.T.I. Patients

Doctor Goodman erasing Cameron Klein's memories

"We need to shut down the program."
"This isn't a failure, Agent Coulson. It's the first step. We rejuvenated life."
Phil Coulson and Goodman[src]

Six S.H.I.E.L.D. agents with terminal illnesses were chosen by Phil Coulson to be the test subjects in the project. After each was injected with GH.325, their ailments ceased. However, before Coulson could sign-off their release, the patients began showing signs of insanity which included writing in symbols.

Coulson conferred with Doctor Goodman, suggesting ending the program and destroying the alien specimen. Goodman adamantly disagreed; she suggested that the genetic memory of the alien was implanting itself onto the patients, so the Memory Overwriting Machine could be used to scrub the brains and give the patients new lives. Coulson reluctantly agreed. The sixth patient, Sebastian Derik, feigned health and told Coulson that he did not want his memories erased. Coulson knew that he was carving the symbols into himself and gave him the procedure anyway. Phil Coulson regretted using the machine when he heard the screams that each person gave as they were kept conscious, with their skull caps removed, as their memories were changed.

Each person was released with no memory of the previous life as agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and their personal backgrounds were documented with the deaths of their pasts; Rebecca Stevens became known as Janice Robbins and had the history to match. The name of "Rebecca Stevens" was written to have died of cancer.[2]

Phil Coulson

J. Streiten and Goodman erasing Phil Coulson's memories

"Good morning, Director Fury. I regret to inform you that I'm handing in my resignation. I know you brought me on to Project T.A.H.I.T.I. because you trusted my judgment, and it's that judgment that's telling me I can no longer, in my good conscience, let the testing continue."
Phil Coulson to Nick Fury[src]

However, the side effects on test subjects were too extreme, and Phil Coulson resigned from his position and recommended the project's shutdown. However, that didn't stop the project.[1] When Nick Fury decided to resurrect Coulson after the Battle of New York, he allowed Project T.A.H.I.T.I. to do it. As part of the recommended process, Coulson's memory of his resurrection was wiped; in addition, his memories of leading Project T.A.H.I.T.I. were also wiped. Fury then had Coulson's recommendation tape buried inside his "grave".[1]

The End

"Why bring me back to life in the first place? Clearly, I didn't think it was the best idea. I warned you about people losing their minds."
"Agent May was on top of the situation. She says you're fine. Aren't you? It was a 'break glass in case of emergency' situation."
"Yes, but that emergency was supposed to be the fall of an Avenger."
"Exactly. And I'm damn glad I did it, too."
Phil Coulson and Nick Fury[src]

Two years later Agent Phil Coulson ordered his team to find the location of the drug, Jemma Simmons and Leo Fitz traced down communications are locations visited by S.H.I.E.L.D. Agents before the Battle of New York in order to find the location, they identified the location as the guest house. The team, along with Phil Coulson and John Garrett came to the Guest House in order to heal Skye after she was fatally shot by Ian Quinn, he unwittingly brought the Clairvoyant there who was interested in how Coulson was alive after being fatally stabbed by Loki in the Attack on the Helicarrier

Leo Fitz grabbed the vial labeled GH.325, because of research into Level 10 files he had conducted earlier. While Coulson was stunned at discovering that his life was owed to an alien, Garrett took other vials from the room. The Guest House was destroyed by a self-destruct bomb that was planted in case of infiltration.[3]

Coulson learned from Melinda May, who was ordered by Director Fury to watch Coulson for signs of deterioration or corruption,[4] that Fury was not the head of Project T.A.H.I.T.I., as Coulson had assumed.[5] Soon after, Melinda May found out that Agent Coulson himself was the head of Project T.A.H.I.T.I., and showed him a video of himself recommending its shutdown.[1] Coulson finally got to talk to Fury after the defeat of the Centipede Project. Fury, May, and he talked and Fury said that he resurrected him because he needed him and considered him as important as an Avenger.[6]


The Clairvoyant

John Garrett did experiments on corpses with the other GH vials hoping to use it in what was dubbed "Phase 3" of the Centipede Project. The results did not duplicate the results of GH.325, so he freed Raina for that effort.[5] After Agent Grant Ward, with the help of Deathlok, decrypted Skye's Hard Drive, Raina was able to recreate GH.325, which was used to save Garrett after Fitz shorted out Garrett's biomechanics with an EMP.[7]

Words of Creation

"In the history of bad ideas, this is light years ahead of everything."
"No, trying to bring dead agents back to life using alien blood blows everything else away."
"They buried those memories for a reason, Coulson. They were driving people insane. And now you want to uncover it when you've been getting worse. May would never–"
"May's not the director. This is my call. I was put in charge of the T.A.H.I.T.I. project so those people are my responsibility. If going back in this machine saves even one life, then it's worth the risk."
Skye and Phil Coulson[src]

Phil Coulson chose to use the Theta Brain-Wave Frequency Machine to recall Project T.A.H.I.T.I. when the body of Janice Robbins was found with the carving on it. Coulson knew she was involved but could not remember how. Ultimately, he relearned, with the help of Skye and Jemma Simmons, all about the project he once supervised and how six S.H.I.E.L.D. agents with terminal illnesses volunteered for the procedure. All of these volunteers were killed by Sebastian Derik except Hank Thompson; Thompson would help Coulson subdue Derik and discover what the Words of Creation really were: blueprints to a Kree City.[2]

T.A.H.I.T.I. Protocol

Phil Coulson used the knowledge of the project to implant false memories on people, calling it the T.A.H.I.T.I. Protocol. This protocol is based on the mind erasing part of the project, without injecting any serum derived from the G.H. so the patients did not go as insane. During the War on HYDRA, Coulson wanted to make a deal with Grant Ward, offering him an opportunity for the T.A.H.I.T.I. Protocol to erase all painful memories from his life, in exchange for getting him inside HYDRA. Ward accepted the offer and joined Coulson, together with Kara Palamas, however, he disappeared soon after the mission.[8]

After the War Against the Inhumans, Calvin Zabo, the father of Skye, went through the protocol, becoming Doctor Winslow. [9]


Known Test Subjects

Rebecca Stevens' file

Project T.A.H.I.T.I.

  1. Rebecca Stevens - 2009
  2. Lewis Seaver - 2009
  3. Cameron Klein - 2009
  4. Patient 4 - 2009
  5. Patient 5 - 2009
  6. Sebastian Derik - 2009
  7. Phil Coulson - 2012

T.A.H.I.T.I. Protocol

  1. Calvin Zabo - 2015


Appearances for Project T.A.H.I.T.I.