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Quote1 Captain, to build a better world, sometimes means tearing the old one down... And that makes enemies. Quote2
-- Alexander Pierce src
 

Early Years

Alexander Pierce was a Hydra agent who infiltrated S.H.I.E.L.D.. At some point, he declined the Nobel Peace Prize.[1]

In 1989, he secretly pardoned incarcerated Hydra scientist, Werner Reinhardt, who later took the name Daniel Whitehall.[2]

During a hostage situation in Bogota, he met S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Nick Fury, who successfully saved the hostages, including Pierce's daughter. Pierce was surprised by Fury's performance and gave him a promotion.

He was asked by Nick Fury to enter the World Security Council.[1]

Project Insight

Decades later, the influence of Hydra over S.H.I.E.L.D. had grown stronger, and a set of three heavily armed Helicarriers were built under "Project Insight". The Insight helicarriers were ostensibly designed to form a security network to protect the Earth, but Hydra actually desired to use them to target and kill approximately 20 million people selected by Zola's algorithm, any individual which would pose a thread for Hydra's new world order.

After discovering that the hijacking of the S.H.I.E.L.D. ship, the Lemurian Star, by Georges Batroc was actually planned by Fury in order to recover confidential files related to the Project Insight. When Fury couldn't decrypt the files, he attempted to request Pierce to delay the deployment of Project Insight. But after Fury had departed the Triskelion, Pierce deployed the Winter Soldier to kill him.

Following Fury's apparent demise, Pierce talked with Steve Rogers, and discovered that Rogers had withheld information from him. He deployed other corrupt S.H.I.E.L.D. agents to capture Rogers, but Rogers eluded Pierce's men when he went on the run with the Black Widow. Captain America and the Black Widow continued to elude their pursuers at every turn, although Pierce almost eliminated them when he personally ordered a missile strike on Camp Lehigh where the fugitives had uncovered more of the Hydra plot.

Pierce proceeded with his plan, inviting members of the World Security Council to witness the maiden flight of the Insight helicarriers, but the invitation was nothing more than a ruse to bring them into his control and prevent interference with the launch. When Captain America's voice over the Triskelion's public address system revealed the true extent of Hydra's influence and Pierce's own involvement, Pierce responded by bringing in his own men and took the councilmen hostage.

With Hydra's plan exposed, Pierce pressed on ahead with persuading the other councilmen of the merits of his plan, but Councilman Singh vehemently rejected his words. Pierce moved to shoot the councilman, and was caught completely by surprise when Councilwoman Hawley attacked and promptly defeated Pierce and his men, swiftly reversing the hostage situation. Revealing herself to be the Black Widow in disguise, she soon surprised Pierce a second time when she drew his attention to the arrival of Nicholas Fury, who had survived the earlier assassination attempt.

Pierce was forced to help Fury and Romanoff unlock all of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s secrets to allow Romanoff to upload them to the Internet. In a bid to make his escape, he demonstrated how the bio-security badges he had provided to the council were armed with super hot flare charges, killing the men and leaving only Romanoff alive as collateral. She turned the tables on him once more however, when she activated one of her shock weapons, knocking herself out, but also temporarily disabling the remaining badge on her blazer. Fury reacted swiftly and shot Pierce before he could rearm the device, and Pierce died looking up in the direction of his trio of Insight helicarriers suffering a similarly ignominious fate, muttering "Hail Hydra" with his last breath.[1]




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