Once he reached his destination, Ward could see that the fight was going badly. Kat was lying on the floor but had just fired an ICER and taken out one of the Lorelei soldiers. She looked to be out of ammunition as another soldier moved towards her. Skye was trying to keep a soldier from getting to Jemma who was unpacking something from her backpack.
May and Akela were battling another eight soldiers and Ward was impressed by their prowess. The two looked like whirling dervishes in action but they were no match for the groups of controlled men converging on them. The other Lorelei soldier was protecting a Hydra agent in a white lab coat. Ward figured that this was the lead scientist and ran to engage her.
As he ran past the two SHIELD operatives, he used his ICER to take out two soldiers, one from each group moving toward May and Akela. “That should help narrow the odds,” he thought. He used his two remaining bullets from one ICER to take out the soldier moving toward Kat and the one fighting with Skye. He then started fighting the soldier guarding the scientist.
The first thing the Lorelei soldier did was kick away Ward’s remaining ICER. “Smart,” he thought grudgingly. However, Ward soon gained the upper hand (the soldiers may have been controlled but that didn’t make them great fighters). The soldier had just hit the floor when Ward felt the sting of a hypodermic needle in his arm and a burning sensation shoot up his shoulder, neck and head. He whipped his head around to stare at the scientist. “What did you do to me?”
“I injected you with the serum, of course,” she said in a flat tone. “The effects should be almost instantaneous.” She scientist paused, watching him closely for a few seconds. Ward felt a moment of panic as he remembered what had happened the last time he had been controlled. However, the panic was quickly overtaken by the familiar feeling of calm purpose. The scientist saw his expression change, smiled slightly and said firmly, “You will eliminate the SHIELD scientist over there.”
Once again, Ward felt the knowledge that this was wrong while his body moved to obey. His stomach clenched painfully but he started walking towards Jemma. He started arguing with himself. “I can’t do this again!” was followed quickly by “What does it matter? You’ll always be weak.” He kept walking but slowly, his emotions in turmoil.
May and Akela were still fighting soldiers although they looked like they were winning. They didn’t notice Ward’s transition. Kat was clearly injured but yelled out, “Grant, don’t! Fight it!” Skye looked up from the computer she was accessing and ran to get in front of Ward. Jemma paid him no attention but kept working feverishly on something.
“Grant!” Skye said desperately as Ward tried to walk around her. “Look at me! This isn’t you; this is the Lorelei Liquid. You can fight it! I know you can because you’ve done it before.”
“I don’t want to hurt you,” Ward said as he pushed her gently aside. “You’re not my mission.”
“Eliminate anyone who gets in your way!” the Hydra scientist yelled.
Skye refused to move. “Grant! I trust you! I know you can fight this!” she yelled.
“Kill her!” howled the Hydra scientist.
Skye heard the bang of an ICER at the same time she felt herself being shoved aside. She fell to the floor and skidded under a table. She quickly got out from underneath it to see that Kat had managed to crawl over to Ward’s other ICER and shoot the Hydra scientist. Skye had just enough time to think, “Good!” when she turned her head to see Ward lifting Jemma up by her shoulders.
Skye had just scrambled to her feet when she heard Jemma scream, “Skye, stay down!” and she realized that it hadn’t been Ward who had shoved her; it had been Jemma.
“Don’t do this, Agent Ward! You know that you don’t want to do this!” Jemma said to Ward. “Please don’t hurt me again!”
Ward was sweating profusely and looked like he was about to be sick. “I don’t want to do this, Jemma, but I can’t stop myself. Help me! Use the anti-serum.”
“But it hasn’t been tested properly. I have no idea what it will do to you! It could kill you!”
“I don’t care! Use it! I can’t keep myself from hurting you much longer!” he said through gritted teeth. “Just do it. Please.”
Hearing Ward’s desperate Please, Jemma’s face took on a determined expression and she plunged the hypodermic needle she had in her hand into his arm.
Ward dropped Jemma and staggered backwards. He turned to face Skye and took one step towards her before falling on the ground and lying on his side. He looked into her eyes and whispered, “Skye” before he started convulsing.
Skye started crying as she remembered when almost the same thing had happened. Back then, Ward’s resurrection had been within her control but this time there was nothing she could do. Skye put her hand on Ward’s shoulder. Jemma rushed to her side and grabbed her other hand. “It will be all right, Skye. Agent Ward is strong!”
Kat pulled herself over to stare helplessly at Ward’s shuddering body, her expression filled with pain, terror and sorrow. Suddenly May and Akela were there too, all five women just looking at Ward, hoping against hope that he would be okay.
Ward stopped convulsing and was still.
Skye stopped crying and leaned her forehead on his shoulder. “Come back to me,” she whispered.
Phil, Trip and Fitz ran in, skidding to an abrupt halt when they reached Ward and the circle of women.
The silence was deafening. The room was eerily still. No one said a word.
The quiet was so intense that Grant’s huge gulp of air sounded like the whistle of a freight train cutting through the tranquility of midnight. He coughed a few times and sat up looking around at the worried faces of the people he loved. “Is everyone all right?” he asked looking confused.
Skye touched his face gently. “Are you?”
Grant looked thoughtful for a moment and then smiled slowly. “Yeah, I think I am.”