According to Camilla Reyes, after WWII ended and HYDRA fell from power, many Nazi and HYDRA scientists fled to South America. The Peruvian government commissioned these scientist to build them a weapon they could use to crush a rebel uprising that was brewing. However, the weapon was lost in the jungle after a fight between the government and the rebels.
When the team was called upon to investigate the 0-8-4, they found it in an old Inca pyramid. According to the archeologist it had been there for at least thousand years longer than the temple itself. While Fitz, Simmons, and Skye investigated it with Coulson supervising, May and Ward stood guard outside the entrance. During that, they get ambushed by Peruvian soldiers under the command of Camilla Reyes. Coulson and she have a short conversation but are interrupted by a rebel attack. The team is forced to evacuate and, under loud protest of Fitz, Ward pulls the 0-8-4 out of the wall.
As they reach the Bus and take off, Reyes asks if there is any chance that they might keep the weapon and Coulson replies that it will be sorted out in a respectful way. Somewhere during the flight to the Slingshot, the remaining Peruvian soldiers and Reyes take over the plane in an effort to take the capture the weapon. At some point during the flight after that, S.H.I.E.L.D. calls in for Coulson to verify the change of course. Reyes threatens to kill his team unless he tells S.H.I.E.L.D. everything is fine. During this time, the rest of the team breaks free and just after Coulson verifies the change of course. Fitz uses one of his Quadcopters to activate the 0-8-4 to blow a hole in the side of the plane. This causes all the doors to unlock, because of the drop in pressure. A fight breaks out and in the end the team comes out on top.
After finally reaching the Slingshot, the team watches as the 0-8-4 is supposedly shot into space (while in reality it was being stored in the Fridge). It was later recovered by John Garrett who used it to free the inmates of the Fridge during the rise of HYDRA. The plasma particle beam is one of the more powerful items stored in the Fridge and 'liberated' by Garrett and Ward. Garrett calls it "a gold card", and employs it as the universal key to open every holding cell in the place, it seems.
In the Season 1 finale, Coulson uses the weapon to finally kill Garrett.
- The weapon is very similar to the weapons made by HYDRA and seems to be powered by the Tesseract in the same way.