- Take a gander at the screen, Piercey. I figured it out on the mountaintop...we're goin' home.
- -- Nick Fury
Appearing in "The Ascension Call"
- Madame Hydra
- Roxxon Corporation
- Several corporations' CEOs (Only appearance)
- John Allen Adams (Mentioned) (Deceased)
- Pail (Mentioned) (Deceased)
- Weng (Mentioned) (Deceased)
- James Woo (Mentioned)
- Clay Quartermain (Mentioned)
- Jasper Sitwell (Mentioned)
- Jack Rollins (Mentioned)
- A.I.M. (Mentioned)
- Hydra (Mentioned)
- Laura Brown (Mentioned)
- Clay Quartermain (Only in flashback)
- Lord (Yahweh) (Invoked)
- Nazi Germany (Mentioned)
Races and Species:
- Earth (Main story and flashback)
- United States of America (Main story and flashback)
- Earth Orbit
- United Kingdom (Cameo)
- Hong Kong, China (Mentioned)
- Hydra Base (Mentioned)
- Japan (Cameo)
- Australia (Cameo)
- Heaven (Invoked)
Synopsis for "The Ascension Call"
Industry leaders from around the world are invited to Roxxon for a business deal that turns out to be a trap to claim them all for Delta, thus allowing Delta to control the world economy.
Having escaped the rocket launch in Hong Kong with Madame Hydra's directions, Fury, Pierce, and MacKenzie continue to follow her into the Himalayas on a promise that it will lead them to a way to get the power core. Fury has also figured out by now that Delta wants to trap him to use the Infinity Formula in his body to counter their impostors' premature aging, but he knows he has little choice but to play along with their game until the end.
At SHIELD Central, the Deltite SHIELD commanders monitor the training of the Deltite Quartermain. He's still unaware of his resurrected nature, but has an unexpected level of recall of his death and encoding, leading Sitwell, Woo, and Rollins to wonder if even the Council is aware of what they created with him. Otherwise, they're envious of his level of humanity, something the other Deltites gradually lose after repeated generations. On the one hand, the fifth generation Woo is impassive, having lost many of his original memories and emotions, while the aging first generation Rollins rages and despairs that the salvation from Fury's blood won't come soon enough to spare him a similar fate.
At Roxxon, Fury's friends do their best to get to the answers with what they have, as Val enters the womb of Delta as per her assignment hoping to investigate it under cover, while Gabe and Dum Dum explore the perimiter for a more direct way in. However they don't escape the Encoders' watch and Gabe and Dum Dum are left fighting to stay alive against their own organization's security systems. Inside, Val isn't able to do much but spectate Delta's unstoppable plan. She meets Neville, who's distressed by the sensation of her mind being in two places at once while her replacement is encoded with her identity.
On SHIELD's space station, the General Director starts the Ascension Call, sending spacefaring orbs down to every SHIELD location to pick up the elite Deltites. While that's happening, the Director confers with personality tapes representing his progenitors, the several psyches he had been encoded with, including several high-ranking SHIELD agents as well as Baron Strucker. Despite the cacophony of their clashing opinions, he credits their perspectives on leading them all to the near completion of the grand plan, though his lover worries that he may be losing perspective after all.
In the Himalayas, Fury's group is taken in at the secret Delta base with AIM's massive airship. Madame Hydra is as bewildered as anyone else, wondering why the Supreme Hydra is not there to give her her reward. Instead, all they find is the hooded Encoders, treating Delta as a cult and worshipping Fury as their savior. The Encoders prepare them to join the transport to SHIELD's space station as the Ascension Call nears completion. Once all the elite Deltites and the candidates are space bound, the soulless Encoders are left to be "excommunicated" by self-destruct, though in their devotion they blissfully welcome their ultimate fates.
In the heart of the Himalayas, Nick and Madame Hydra delve deeper into the mystery of the Delta Equation and the corruption that's been eating away at S.H.I.E.L.D.! Meanwhile, S.H.I.E.L.D.'s robotic Life Model Decoys are heading into space. Why are they going? And more importantly, can Nick stop them?
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