They were meant as fail-safes, as a means to right any wrongs that the universe, or its inhabitants, had created.
They were hidden, their creators had hoped that they would never need to be uncovered. No one was supposed to know about them, their existences was only to comfort and please the elders. But no plan is completely fail-proof. In a matter of time, be it seconds or centuries, every plan goes awry. Even one crafted by the makers of the universe.
And a single gauntlet, crafted with the strongest materials, to bring the stones together as one indestructible force.
They were never supposed to fall into the wrong hands; but then again...nothing is ever supposed to fall into the wrong hands. And yet evil always manages to turn its grotesque head around at the worst times.
A mad king, bent on ruling the universe, has set his eyes on the stones. Though the Elders have done everything in their power to hide the artifacts, it is already certain; Thanos WILL find all six of the stones. Nothing can stop that! And so, a second plan was made, a plan to correct the original. To ensure that no one knew of the plan before it was ready, it was sent to Earth; where it currently resides, in the safekeeping of a remarkable Earth family.
Act I: Coulson Estate!
Date: May 20, 1973
Location: Manitowoc, Wisconsin.
In a normal suburban neighborhood lies an ordinary house, in which lives the extraordinary Coulson family. Robert Coulson, an intelligent, infatuated with history; some might say obsessed with it. He fascinated his students with the amazing moments of the past, and how all those moments happened in order to give them a better future. When he wasn't training minds, he was training the high-school football team, the Manitowoc Oultaws. In fact, he was headed to a practice session today.
"Dear, won't you take Philip with you this time?" asked his wife, the loving Julie Coulson, taking a break from washing the dishes. Julie was the "mother of the neighborhood", or such was the name she was given. She always hosted the get-togethers, and her baked goods brought in a large crowd whenever she made them. She made it a priority to know every thing about everyone in her lovely suburbia. She was nosy, but ambitious, with a smile that could light up the night sky more than the moon ever could.
"I told you Julie, he's too young to be hanging around teenagers."
"Don't you have faith in your team Robert?" she cheekily asked her husband.
"Of course, but they're teenage boys. I was one of those once, remember? They'll get to rough housing and Philip could get hurt."
"It's okay mom, I don't even want to go," yelled a voice from the top of the stairs. The voice belonged to a young boy, nearly nine years of age, but not quite yet. This boy was Phillip J. Coulson, Robert and Julie's only child.
"Philip, you haven't spent anytime with your father, or anyone," his mother nagged him. He rolled his eyes and walked down the stairs. "All you do all day is watch television and play with your little cards." He crossed his arms and huffed at his mother.
"They're not just cards mom! They're limited edition 'Captain America and the Howling Commandos' collectibles. And you don't play with them, you collect them." His father chuckled and took a sip of his coffee. "Leave the boy alone Julie. At his age, it's healthy to have hobbies."
"It's also healthy to go outside," she mumbled.
"Alright, alright. I'll take him with me. But don't you start yelling at me if he comes home with a scraped knee." Julie had a look of relief and worry on her face, two expressions so different, that it was incredibly perplexing how she could display both at once.
"Come on now son, we don't want to keep the team waiting," his father motioned for him to follow him outside. Philip, knowing he had no say in the matter, followed his father. On the way out, he grabbed his favorite Captain America baseball cap, ironically titled the 'Cap Cap'.
Phil and his father walked to the high-school, keeping on a straight path. Halfway through the journey, his father took notice of him fiddling with his cap. Robert smiled and tried to spark up a conversation with his quiet son.
"So, Captain America huh?" Philip rolled his eyes, before they fixated on his old man. "Yeah dad," he said, "He's a superhero. He fought in the war and stuff." Robert laughed and rubbed his son's head. "I'm aware of who he is son. Your old man may be old, but he's not clueless. I ever tell you about the time I got to shake Cap's hand?" That caught Phil's full attention. He stared at his father in disbelief, believing this to be some lie his dad was telling to try and be hip. "No way dad."
"Oh yeah? Why's that? He's got hands doesn't he? I'm sure he shook a lot of hands back in his day. In fact, I know it, because my hand was one of them."
"When did YOU shake Captain America's hand dad?" Philip asked, intrigued to hear the answer, but distrusting of his father's words. Robert looked straight ahead, as if he were about to experience a flashback. "It was 1940."
"The United States had been at war for a year. Of course, this wasn't the first time we'd gone to war, but it was certainly the first of this scale; our second World War, it was larger and more catastrophic than the first. I was 20 years old, a young drafted soldier with dreams of going back home." Philip listened on, getting more intrigued by the second. "We had just come back from a huge battle, we were shaken, and lesser in numbers. We had lost a lot of good men that day, many of them my friends. The General told us that the something was coming to lighten our spirits, and motivate us to keep fighting. I didn't think there was such a thing. Then, he arrived."
"Steve Rogers, or Captain America as he was known worldwide. In the states, he was a hero; to the countries opposing us, he was a powerful threat! I had never seen him before, not in person. To me, he was just a legend. There was even a rumor going around a few weeks earlier that he was simply a folk tale, used to motivate the country.
I was understandably intimidated. He had a smile on his face as he greeted us all. It was an odd sight, as his posters always had him sportin' a tough expression as he knocked the living lights out of a Nazi.
"So when did you shake his hand?" an anxious Phil asked his father. "Haha, hold on son. I'm getting to that." Robert once again patted his son on the head, before continuing his story. "So Cap was greeting every soldier, shaking their hands and patting their backs. I was still nervous, so I didn't walk up to him. How could I? This guy was a living legend after all.
Anyway, I was waiting for him to come to me. Just as it looked like he was walking in my direction, and I would finally get my chance to meet the man who took out Red Skull, some nurses and doctors grabbed me and dragged me to the infirmary. Apparently I had a serious bullet wound in my chest. I kept insisting I was fine, but they weren't having it. Couple of hours later, I was on a hospital bed; and from the quietness of the camp, it looked like I had missed my chance to meet Captain America."
"But then, just before visiting hours were over, ol' Cap peered his chiseled face into my tent. He told me he was just about to leave when he was informed that there was one soldier he hadn't greeted yet. He shook my hand and patted me on the back, even got me a glass of whiskey, and told me about his adventures out there in the frontier. It was an amazing experience. Before he left, Cap even gave me something to remember him by"
Philip was staring at his father, large-eyed and mouth agape. It was clear to Robert that he had finally made a connection with his son.
Act II: Bonds
Date: July 5, 1973
"Why are we in the garage dad?" a blindfolded Philip Coulson asked his father. Robert was an intelligent and athletic man. He was an esteemed History professor at Manitowoc High, and the football team's coach. They hadn't lost a single game this season thanks to his outstanding strategies, and tough training regimen. Yet, despite these accomplishments, he had one setback; he was forced to walk every where he went. It wasn't that bad if he was being honest. Manitowoc was a small town, with everything you need not too far away. He walked to the high-school, to the grocery store, to just about anywhere he needed to be; and he loved the exercise. But still, he felt like he could complete a much larger amount of tasks, if he were to own a vehicle.
Well today, he was finally going to kickstart his dream. "How did you know we were in the garage?" Robert asked his son. "You're not peeking are ya?"
Phil cocked his head to the side and crossed his arms. "No," he said, "It just smells like working tools and dirt in here."
"Haha, smart kid. Just like your mother. Speaking of, don't tell her about this just yet. I want to surprise her when it's all fixed."
"When what's all fixed?"
Robert took off Phil's blindfold. Phil was shocked at what he saw. In front of him and his father was a busted up 1962 Chevrolet Corvette. "Whoa!" he exclaimed. "Dad! Where did you get this?"
"I know a guy at the junk yard. Says this was sold in for parts, said I could have it if I could fix it myself."
"So you're gonna fix that piece of junk all by yourself?" Phil was a smart kid. He picked up on things almost immediately. For example, he knew his parents were fighting. He knew it was because of his fathers low salary. He knew that they were trying hard to stay positive in front of him, and he kept the illusion that he didn't know; for their sake. So immediately after asking his father that question, he realized what he had just gotten in to. his face practically shrunk when his father handed him a wrench. "Nope! WE are!"
Robert wondered why his son had such a strange look on his face, it didn't look like a face of excitement at all. "What's the matter son? You don't look very ecstatic."
"That's because I'm not."
"Oh come now, spending some quality time with your old man can't sound too bad can it?"
"But dad, I want to play with my friends this summer. Not spend all of it working in a dinghy old bucket." Robert gasped and pointed at the vehicle. "That dinghy old bucket is going to be our ticket to everywhere once it's finished! Just think, no more walking to school. I can drop you off at elementary school in ten seconds flat, and still have time to get some coffee before I have to go to Manitowoc High. And that's not all! We could finally take that family road trip we've been talking about!"
"You and mom have been talking about it, not me," Phil mumbled quietly, to the point that his father could barely make out what he said. Robert sighed and kneeled in front of Phil, so they were face to face. "C'mon son, it'll be fun. We can get ice cream after every working day. How does that sound?" Phil crossed his arms once more and, with a pouting expression, muttered "Fine."
Robert and Phil worked on the car every day that summer, even on Phil's birthday; something he didn't appreciate. He allowed it though, as his father gave an awesome birthday present; a set of Captain America action figures featuring the likes of Cap himself, his sidekick Bucky and the Howling Commandos. Julie would rather Phil went outside and played with his friends, as she'd been trying to get him to be more active for the longest time.
She was overjoyed when she heard Phil's plans to play outside every day this summer, so you can imagine her anger at Robert when he insisted that Phil help him work on that "stupid car". It was likely for the best however, as Phil's actual outside plans included him and his friends trading cards and playing with action figures; rather than playing football or soccer.
Date: September 22, 1973
To Phil, Summer had gone as quick as it had came. He and his father had finished the car last month. Phil had learned to love the car, and he mentally thanked his father for forcing him to work on it all summer (though he'd never say that to him aloud). Just as the car was completed, things were looking like they were shaping up for the Coulson family. Robert was given a raise, and his team had won the championship.
Julie became the leader of the Neighborhood Committee, and the Neighborhood Watch. And with such titles, she was given the ability to practically run the town; a duty she gracefully accepted. Phil himself was admitted into Manitowoc High, making him the first nine year old in Manitowoc history to be admitted into the 9th grade. His parents couldn't be prouder, they always knew Phil was an extremely intelligent young individual. But poor Phil, as perceptive and intelligent as he was, couldn't see past the brightness that is the present, into the darkness that was his future.
On a rainy September eve, Phil was waiting for his father to pick him up from school. After about 30 minutes, he realized no one was coming, and so he walked back home. He arrived 10 minutes later, soaking wet from the rain, to the loud and violent ramblings of his mother and father. He found them in the living room, yelling at each other. Phil was used to this behavior, or at least he used. Recently, his parents had no reason to argue. Everything was going right in their lives...right?
"He's going to find out Robert!" Julie screamed at her husband. "I know Julie, but he'll understand!" Robert put his hands up, open palmed and in defense to try and calm down his fuming wife. Julie was about to say something else, most likely a hurtful rebuttal, but then she glanced over at Phil. She looked back at Robert and pointed a finger at the young Phil. "Well, here's your chance. Go ahead!" Robert looked at his son, with eyes full of both sorrow and anger. But the anger seemed to be directed more towards himself than anyone else. "Dad," Phil shakily spoke, a bit fearful about what is was that made his mother so mad at his father, and his father look so sad. "What's going on?"
"Go ahead, tell him," Julie once again urged Robert to come clean. "Sigh, son, I'm sorry. The bills were due, I know you don't understand much about them, but you know we need to pay them to live here right? To have all the stuff we have?" Phil nodded his head but didn't speak. "Well they're higher now, and even with my raise I...Son, I had to sell the car, and a few of the things in the attic."
For a moment, Phil stood there with a blank face. What was in the attic? He had wondered. When suddenly, it dawned on him. The attic is where he kept his treasured 'Cap Collection', after it got too large to keep in his tiny room. Tears swelled down his face as he realized his father was telling him that he had sold his collection to pay their bills. "Wh-Why would you...?" Phil could barely make out any words. He was crushed that his father would do this. Robert knew how much of a Captain America fan he was! He had a large amount of his young life collecting those cards, toys and memorabilia.
Robert walked towards his son, trying to embrace him. Phil dodged his efforts and ran upstairs. "Son wait!" his father called after him. Robert sighed and sat down on a dining room chair. He looked over at the dining room table. Resting upon it was Phil's favorite, and now only piece of Captain America merch; his baseball cap.
Robert stared at the cap for moment, before picking it up and heading to the door. He opened the door, determined to step outside, only to be halted in his endeavors by a rather large man blocking his path. The man was over six feet tall, dressed in a green and yellow suit, and sporting a mask with red eye windows. His mouth was left unmasked, so that Robert and Julie could clearly see the sickly grin that he was displaying. "Where are you going in such a hurry Coulson?" the man said. Suddenly, 10 to 15 more men dressed in the same gear entered the house; they crashed through the windows and busted down the doors. Robert backed away from the tall man and stood by his frightened wife. "R-Robert, what's happening?" Julie shakily asked.
"Do not worry Mrs. Coulson," said a voice behind the tall man. "Your troubles are nearly over." The tall man moved to the side of the door, allowing another figure to enter. This figure was a woman, a very attractive one too. She wore a suit similar to the other foot soldiers, but it was different in such a way that you knew that she was the boss; or at least, a much bigger threat than the drones taking orders from her. "Hello Herr Robert. How have you been?" Robert didn't say a word. He simply stared at the figure, his frightened expression slowly becoming an angry scowl. "Do you remember me Robert? Please tell me you haven't forgotten out lovely escapades together."
"Madame Hydra" Robert muttered between gritted teeth.
"Robert, who is this woman? Who are these people?!" Julie's frantic state pleased Madame Hydra. "You had better comfort your wife Robert. She seems shaken." Madame Hydra smirked and snapped her fingers. Suddenly, two Hydra operatives came down the stairs. One was carrying a frightened Phil on his shoulders. "Leave them out of this Ophelia!" Robert exclaimed. Madame's smirk disappeared.
The next number of events were a blur to Phil. He heard a deafening sound, one he'd never heard before, but still familiar enough for him to know what it was; a gunshot. He saw his father fall; almost immediately afterwards, Phil felt a sharp blow to the back of the head, followed by his vision obstructing, and the sounds of his mother's screams slowly fading.
Closing Act: Looking Up
Date: January 15, 1987
Location: Unknown, S.H.I.E.L.D Training Facility
"Coulson! Stand up straight!" The head of S.H.I.E.L.D's training facility was no P.E coach. He'd put you through hell, and pull you right back out, just so he can put you through it again. "Yes sir!" said Phil Coulson, one of S.H.I.E.L.D's brightest agents-in-training. Phil, along with the rest of the agents-in-training were in their final week of training. Next week, a small amount of them would be official agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Phile was one of 250 carefully selected operatives, only he and 10 others remained. The a-i-t's were on their twentieth (out of one hundred) lap, when they took notice of a black carrier landing on the dock outside. The coach blew his whistle and yelled at the recruits. "Nothing for you to see here maggots! Get back to your training!" Phil wanted to punch this guys so bad. A man stepped out of the black carrier, he was smoking a cigar and carrying a very large rifle; but his most defining feature, was his trademark eye patch.
S.H.I.E.L.D Director Nick Fury, a man tougher than he looked, and he looked tough! He gave his cigar to the coach and walked toward the training room. No recruit dared to look him in the eye, or ask him about the other. He kept walking, until he reached the middle of the room. He stood straight and pulled out another cigar. Before lighting it, he extended his arm out, and pointed it at every recruit in the room. It was like he was choosing his target. He finally stopped when got to Phil Coulson, whom he motioned to follow him. Coulson gulped loudly and followed the intimidating man back to the black carrier. When they got there, Nick offered him a cigar. "No, thanks. I don't smoke," Phil politely declined the free cigar.
"Oh yeah, that's right," Nick said. "Always hated that about you." He smiled and gave Coulson a friendly pat on the back. "How've you been Phil?" Coulson replied to the pat with one of his own. "Pretty swell, you?"
"Opposite of that. Some...stuff is going down."
"What, did another country declare war on us or something?" Fury chuckled a bit. "Wish it was a country, it'd be a lot simpler if that were the case. No this is something a bit more...otherworldly." Phil was noticeably confused. "Don't worry about for now Phil. Listen, I got a son, he's about your age; he can take care of ya while I'm away."
"You're leaving? Where to? For how long?"
"Yep. Can't say. Don't know, probably indefinitely." Coulson sat down and took a drink of water. He swayed it back and forth in his hand. Nick sat down next to him, reaching for the beer instead. "This ain't goodbye kid." Phil stared at his glass. "Yeah it is," he replied. Fury grabbed his glass and put it on the desk. "I ever tell you how I found you?"
"Yeah, my father was shot Hydra operatives when they raided my town. He and some other people stood up to them and were killed."
"Well, that's not exactly the story."
"Your father was a S.H.I.E.L.D operative; a spy, tasked with infiltrating Hydra and learning their secrets. He was our greatest spy, with hundreds of achievements under his belt. S.H.I.E.L.D has always been about homeland security, and most of the time, that means protecting the world from evil on our own planet. But sometimes, danger can be found a bit higher."
Nick pointed upwards. "Word is, there's some prophecy about a mad space king, goes by the name Thanos. I know, sounds fake right? I wish it were. This Thanos guy, prophecy states that he's going to gather these things called the infinity stones. There's six of 'em, and they are all crazy dangerous."
"When he does, we needed to be ready. I thought about telling S.H.I.E.L.D, but I've been in this business long enough to know that that's a bad idea. All telling them would do is bring about a war, one that'd kill us all. So I got into contact with an alien race called the Kree, and don't ask how I have contact with other worlds, it's a long story that you're not ready to hear. Anyway, the Kree haven't exactly ever been chummy with us humans, but they've never really seen us as a threat; not as much as they saw Thanos as one at least. They agreed to give us the remains of one of their fallen soldiers, can't remember his weird ass name, we just called him 'GH-325'.
Phil looked on, unable to fully process what he was hearing.
"When you were born, you were in critical condition. Your mother, rest her soul, was certain you'd die. The Kree guy's DNA was transfused into your body, saving your life; and giving the universe a chance. Whatever's inside you son, is the ONLY thing that can stop that tyrant! We let you stay with Robert and Julie, thinking you'd be safe in a suburban neighborhood miles away from any city. But we were wrong. You'd be dead now, and so would Earth, if I didn't rescue you."
"So...I'm..and alien?" Coulson asked, confused. "No, you have the DNA of an alien coursing through your veins." If he wasn't already sitting, Phil might have fallen off his feet. "Why are you telling me this? Why now?" Fury went silent, he stood near the window, staring out. Phil realized what his silence meant. "Ah, this isn't the first time we've had this conversation..is it?."
"Smart kid, just like your parents."
"Well I had to get something from didn't I?"
Fury smirked for a second, before his expression disappeared. "You can't be allowed to know about your true origins yet, not until it's necessary. I've had this conversation with you a total of twelve times before. It's something we call 'memory triggering'. When Thanos attacks, your memory will be re-activated. But in order to make sure that happens only when it needs to, I need to keep the memories alive, while simultaneously causing you repress them. I'm sorry." Fury pulled out a tiny pen, aiming it at Phil. "Wait!" Phil yelled. Fury didn't usually listen to the complaints of others, but he made an exception for his friend. "Can you erase my mother and father? From my memory?" Phil looked at him with pleading eyes. Nick felt sympathy for Coulson, something no other person could boast about. But Fury didn't let sympathy guide him.
"Yours, is that Hydra stole your life from you."
Coulson sighed. "They did." The pen is Fury's hand made a buzzing sound, before flashing and blasting Coulson in the forehead, leaving a tiny mark in its place. "So go take theirs kid." That was the last time anyone ever saw or heard from Nick Fury Sr.
A few minutes later, Phil woke up; thanks in large part to the obnoxious spit-yelling of his coach. "Wake up maggot!" Coulson stood up. Upon inspection of himself, he noticed a tag hanging around his neck. "That's an official S.H.I.E.L.D agent ID Coulson! Do you know what that means?!"
Coulson smirked. "Well I know it means that I now represent the lovely agency of S.H.I.E.L.D, and all of my actions from here on out are a direct representation of the agency." He fiddled with the name tag necktie. "It also means, that I can do this," Phil said as he sucker punched the coach, causing him to fall to the floor. Phil grabbed his drink of water and stood in front of the taken aback S.H.I.E.L.D coach. Smiling, he held his hand out. "On your feet."
"Coulson!" Maria Hill, S.H.I.E.L.D operative and current loudmouth. She and Phil were standing in an empty parking lot. "You okay? You kind of spaced out for a second. I was asking you why we were at a pawn shop?"
"Huh? Oh yeah?" Coulson ceased his day dreaming and looked at Hill. "A guy here has some things of mine, I'd like to get them back."
"Riiight," Maria said. "You sure you're okay?"
"What are you kidding? After my trip to Tahiti, I've never felt better! Just had a bad dream last night is all."
"What was it about?" Maria asked. "Uh, a lady,, dressed in green. And some weird, glove thingy—eh, it doesn't matter anymore. It was just a weird dream, probably nothing. Anyway, let's go." Phil and Maria entered the pawn shop, where an elderly man was preparing to close up shop. "Sorry we're closed for—" he stopped speaking when he saw the agents, sporting "men in black" type suits and sunglasses. "Today.."
"Hi, my name is Philip Coulson." Maria held back her chuckles upon hearing him say "Philip". "You have a car, a 1962 Chevy Corvette, and a large trunk full of Captain America memorabilia. I'd like to buy it from you."
"Sorry," the man said, "Stuff ain't for sale. Now get lost before I call the cops!" Coulson smiled and backed away from the desk. "No need for that. I understand it isn't for sale." He pulled his badge out of his shirt pocket. "So I'll just apprehend it from you. The man was dumbfounded when five other S.H.I.E.L.D agents stormed in and grabbed the memorabilia trunk.
"C-Car's out in the back." the managed to say. Coulson reached into his pocket, taking out a large bundle of cash. Smirking, he handed the money to the store owner. "Thank you for your cooperation." Coulson looked in the trunk before it was taken to the S.H.I.E.L.D Helicarrier. He noticed a piece of paper poking out. He grabbed it, and upon further inspection, saw that it was an old Captain America trading card. It was funny, Coulson thought, as he didn't remember ever owning this one.
Thanks for reading guys! I realize this was super long story but I tried my best to condense it. Hope you liked it and if you have any comments or feedback, please leave them in the comments section below!
Again, thanks for reading! And if you have your own ideas for Coulson's or any other fictional character's origins, now's the time to write about it, as Moviepilot is holding a contest for the best origin story! So if you have an idea, share it with the world today!