Chapter 0:


Code: Zero Defect

The winds coalesce, forming something like a smog that covers a majority of the skies above. A city of the most beautiful colors and lights so full of vibrancy, yet almost completely void of biological life. And the scent of undeterred industrialism riddles the atmosphere with filth.

Walking the streets lit by a plethora of neon lights were many humanoid figures going about their daily lives. Humans? Perhaps some, but not all. Humans are considered defects. The High Order doesn't allow for any defects. The denizens are always on the lookout despite how they appear, while the goal of perfection lies ever still.

The winds coalesce, but instead of carrying smog, they carry words—rumors and gossips of a silhouette taking inconvenient routes that aroused suspicion.

"The alleyway," said one.

"No, no, I saw someone jumping the rooftops!" claimed another.

Days passed, and just as the rumors were about to fade away completely, the first sighting was reported. A city guard's body was found in an empty street in the night, his body maimed and stripped of all the cybernetic implants that were obviously there before. Investigations were conducted, but the culprit was ever found.

The next day, two bodies. The day after, four bodies. It was noted that only the city guards were being targeted. With each passing day, the number of casualties increased exponentially until a state of emergency was called. While the rumors persisted, one thing was clear; a defect has arisen.

Plastered upon a brick wall along a packed road were many posters of the same kinds that have been there for years. First and foremost was one that exhibits a perfect depiction of one called, "Holiday," a defect that belongs to the now liquidated spec-ops squad, "Calypso." Even though the reward was the highest ever seen, they have not been caught to this day. Many drew the assumption that it might be them, but it was quickly dismissed. Why would Calypso come back if they're wanted by the High Order?

For days, the rumors continued and manifested into a larger whole as more and more people were claiming to have seen imperceptible figures lurking in the shadows of every corner in the city. A bump in the night, a ghost in the halls, the scent of blood. Even with the streets now crawling with guards, the murders wouldn't stop.

Talk amongst the people became commonplace as the murders would happen daily and without delay. Whoever it was, they were able to assassinate their targets flawlessly without even so much as making the faintest sound. This was no ordinary run-of-the-mill serial killer. This is a heavily experienced and trained killer.

Upon the eve of the year's end, the High Order fell apart with not a single bit of progress in catching the culprit. That is, until one of their surveillance cameras was forcibly altered. Not just that, every screen in the entire city locked onto a single channel that showed only static. The people fixed their watchful gazes while the High Order was scurrying about trying to lock down the source. However, as the clock struck the first hour of the year's end, they realized they didn't need to.

The screen altered once more, and the static faded, revealing the one who started it all. A girl in a red tactical outfit sat upon a ledge that overlooked the city below. A pair of goggles held the front of her long pink hair in place while the rest fell upon her back. Those soulless eyes of blue and yellow stared dangerously calm at the camera while a splatter of blood adorned the left side of her face.

"Sir... is that...?" one of the watchmen gasped.

"Heh... after all this time, she finally shows herself," the administrator chuckled, but he was not as ready as he thought he would be.

The many screens in the High Order control room began flickering, and one by one, they changed to different surveillance cameras scattered throughout the city—each revealing the rest of Spec-Ops Squad: Calypso standing among the bloodied bodies of the city guards.

"Missed us?" Loki smirked with a seductive wink. "Don't ask me if I missed you, though. Cuz I don't."

"Hey, hey! Is this thing on?!" Minerva shouted as if she were dying. "Can ya hear me? Don't leave me out, you guys!"

"... Shut up, Minerva," Astrid muttered with a slight hint of annoyance. "You're ruining our debut."

Zephyr merely looked at the camera for a single second before looking away with a visible sigh of unrelenting disappointment.

"High Order... prepare yourselves, for the entirety of the city is our witness," Holiday said with a murderous glare. "This new year... marks the beginning of our revolution. Calypso-1, out."