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"You can't just scratch the surface, Coulson. We have to dig deep. That's why I started carving bodies. It has to be deep."
"It's not two dimensional."
"No. The answer isn't on the surface. It's what lies beneath."
―Sebastian Derik and Phil Coulson[src]

Sebastian Derik is a former S.H.I.E.L.D. agent who had become the test subject of Project T.A.H.I.T.I.. After the harmful effects of GH.325 began to take hold, his memories were erased and he was given a new identity. Unlike his former colleagues, he managed to remember who he really was, suffering from the side effects of the serum. Seeking to understand the meaning of the Words, Derik started to hunt down other T.A.H.I.T.I. test subject until he was stopped by Phil Coulson.


Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Fatal Diagnosis

"Are you sure you're not from Iowa because you just sounded like it."
"Baltimore, born and raised."
Janice Robbins and Sebastian Derik[src]

Born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, Sebastian Derik worked as an assassin for S.H.I.E.L.D. for many years until he discovered that he was dying.[1]

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

"How long you gonna keep me with these lunatics, Coulson?"
―Sebastian Derik to Phil Coulson[src]

Sebastian Derik in Project T.A.H.I.T.I.

Derik, along with five other agents, was handpicked by Phil Coulson as a test subject for the Project T.A.H.I.T.I.. At first he had a successful recovery; however, Derik eventually began cutting the Words of Creation into his flesh. Despite his claims that he was fine, Coulson ordered for his memory to be erased with the Memory Overwriting Machine and Derik to be given a new identity. Derik continued to write the blueprints even after losing his memories, carving it on a wall[1] and then eventually tattooing it on his body.[2] Due to the pain, Derik eventually remembered who he was and who else was part of the T.A.H.I.T.I. Project.[1]

Seeking Answers

Visiting Tattoo Parlors

Derik visits yet another tattoo parlor

"The pain helps me remember."
―Sebastian Derik[src]

Sebastian Derik visited a tattoo parlor, and paid an artist who had previously worked on him. The artist suggested to him that he should wait, for the fresh tattoos had not yet healed, but Derik insisted. As Derik removed his shirt, the artist told him that the procedure would be painful. Derik, covered with the Words of Creation, told him that the pain helped him to remember.[2]

Killing the Patients

Derik finds and confronts Janice Robbins

"Pain made me remember. I found out after I started cutting myself. The more pain, the more I remembered. That's how I found the others you erased."
―Sebastian Derik to Phil Coulson[src]

Derik began to search for Phil Coulson, but all of his sources told him that he was dead.[1] In Miami, Florida, Derik found Lewis Seaver and killed him before burning down the church where he worked.[1] with a painting with the Words of Creation inscribed on its back remaining the only thing unscathed.[3] In Rhinebeck, New York, Derik went to a bar and met Janice Robbins and the two went to her apartment. Derik revealed that they did in fact know each other and he would help her remember. He removed his shirt, showing the Words tattooed on his body. Robbins asked Derik how he knew about the symbols; Derik began cutting her in an attempt to help her remember the past, eventually killing her.

Derik arrives at Hank Thompson's home

Derik killed two other former T.A.H.I.T.I. patients, because none of them could survive the pain of having the symbols carved into them. He would ask them if they knew about the symbols; if they did, Derik wanted an explanation as to why they were writing them. If they could not give one, Derik hoped that the pain of carving the symbols into their bodies would help them to recall. Eventually, Derik found Hank Thompson, another former T.A.H.I.T.I. Patient. Thompson told Derik that he knew nothing about the symbols; in reality, Thompson was making the symbols three-dimensionally in the model train tracks he and his son erected in the garage.

Derik with Hank Thompson and Phil Coulson

Derik was in Thompson's home when Coulson knocked on the door and began asking about the symbols. When Coulson realized that he was there, Derik knocked him unconscious. Knowing that Coulson was there to rescue Thompson, Derik restrained them both and also held Thompson's wife and son hostage. Derik removed his shirt, revealing the Words and explained his reasons for tracking down and murdering the other T.A.H.I.T.I. patients. Derik began to cut Coulson's skin, telling him that the pain of the torture would help him to remember and would allow them to finally learn what the symbols mean.

Derik is finally cured of his obsession

Thompson managed to escape and free Coulson from his noose. After a brief fight between Derik and Coulson, Derik spotted the last piece of the puzzle: a toy train track system that Thompson had built which created a 3D model of the symbols. At the revelation, Derik calmed, knowing the answer to the symbols: they were blueprints to a city. Derik was taken into custody by authorities for his murder spree and crimes he had committed before his quest began.[1]


Post-T.A.H.I.T.I., Derik was consumed by a monomania in trying to understand the Words of Creation. While not masochistic, he found pain helped him focus and remember better. Unfortunately he labored under the delusion that other T.AH.I.T.I. patients would wish to remember their past through the same method. As a result, Derik hunted them down one by one, and while they were curious about the Words, it hasn't dominated their minds like him; he cut them up, believing the pain would unlock memories he didn't know, resulting in their deaths and his own increasing anger. After Coulson forced him to see a 3D version created as a racetrack, Derik was finally freed from the GH.325 and was left stunned.


"He was an assassin from the dark side of S.H.I.E.L.D."
Phil Coulson[src]
  • Expert Assassin: Derik was trained by S.H.I.E.L.D. and became an expert assassin, skilled in guile and killing. Derik knew enough about human physiology to cut a person selectively without having that person die from the cuts; they would die from shock and trauma, but not the actual incisions. He was viewed as a valued asset by S.H.I.E.L.D., enough for Phil Coulson to recruit him for Project T.A.H.I.T.I. when it was discovered that he was dying.





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