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Daybreak Squad

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Daybreak Squad (曙光小队) was Tactical Doll special operations force from the United States[1] active during World War Three. Created as part of the Next Generation Autonomous Doll (NGAD) Project to test the Dog Tag System and push Doll development to its limits, its members gained a legendary status before its fall during Operation Couatl in 2051.

In late 2064, the two surviving members, Aliana and Amaris, met again and dueled in Berlin before respectively joining Griffin & Kryuger and the Stasi.

The event Eclipses & Saros is dedicated to the story of Daybreak Squad.

History[edit]

Formation[edit]

Daybreak Squad was created by the Next Generation Autonomous Doll (NGAD) Project[2] to investigate the limits of Dolls and potentially solve the performance ceiling plaguing Tactical Dolls during World War Three. Despite being an secret research project, Daybreak ended up having no incidence on the development of Doll technology, and even its core feature, the Dog Tag System, was abandoned. Essentially an early version of the Neural Cloud system, it enabled the recovery of the minds of fallen Dolls in the form of virtual dog tags. This was to prevent their capture by the enemy,[3] but also to enable a Doll to absorb the core data of fallen comrades and increase her own performance.[4][5] The system was created by former Relic Agency member Martha Meitner and would influence the Evangel Axis later developed by Paradeus.[6] The structure of Daybreak's minds were so unique that Dandelion couldn't hack into them without analyzing them from inside first.[7]

The first member of Daybreak was the team leader, Aliana. As “a ray of daylight that illuminates the night [of World War],” she was named after Aeliana, the feminine form of Greek Aelianus, meaning “of the sun.” Having the best parameters of the squad, she was deemed its only non-expendable member and received first rights regarding the acquisition of dog tags.[5] Her name was chosen by Meitner herself.[6]

After Aliana, the next members of Daybreak were named Samantha, Morea, Olivia, Eula, Nicole, Callisto and Laura[4] (sometimes translated as Laurel).[8] The youngest member of Daybreak was Amaris[9] (from a folk etymology of the name, meaning “child of the Moon”) who was designed as a safety against Aliana, a ”moon” able to eclipse the “sun”. While Aliana would receive the most useful functions and the neural cloud cores of fallen squad members in the form of dog tags, Amaris would receive the functions deemed uninteresting such as a developed emotional module, and would inherit the heavy amount of data related to personality and memory of fallen teammates. However, she could then use these data to weaken Aliana and take the dog tags for herself.[8]

Members of Daybreak used weapons fitted for 5.56 NATO cartridges.[7] The team was connected to the Daybreak System, which might be a precursor to the Zener Network and enabled the members to see each other's status and location as well as communicate.

Operations[edit]

Picture of Daybreak squad, showing Amaris second from the left in front, then Eula and Aliana, along with her dogs Uncle and Samo. The other three Dolls and three soldiers in the background are unidentified. The team is equipped with night vision goggles resembling the GPNVG-18.

Operating under the Army Special Warfare Command's (陆军特种作战指挥部)[2] Rangers (游骑兵), a branch that would later disappear,[10] Daybreak led many missions during World War Three. Aliana attained the rank of Sergeant (中士)[7] while Amaris remained a Private First Class (一等兵).[9] All members of the squad had a great respect and awe for Aliana despite her complete lack of interpersonal skills, with the exception of Amaris, who simply acknowledged her strength. Conversely, Aliana was harshly critical of Amaris' subdued personality and role as a sniper.[5]

On 1st December 2050, Daybreak intervened with other military units during the Berlin Metropolitan School kidnapping incident, which targeted the child of a politically prominent family. During the operation, one member of Daybreak (suspected to be Eula[7]) took care of Cheryl, a child who was suffering temporary blindness after receiving a blow to the head. Using the nickname “Big Sis” to conceal her identity, she distracted Cheryl while waiting for the operation to end by talking about her job as a special ops soldier. “Big Sis” gave Cheryl a spent ammo casing to remember her by.[11][12]

In 2051, Daybreak was deployed along with a Rangers contingent for a decapitation operation in an island group of the Pacific Southwest containing a Red Zone called the “Dead Sea”,[13][14] which hid a structure very similar to Avernus.[2][11] Their target was their own creator, Martha Meitner, under the codename “Capita”.[2] The mission was compromised after Daybreak met heavy resistance, and satellite navigation and communications were impeded, but Aliana insisted to push forward to the room where Capita was hidden.[11] During this last push, the operation commander diverted in urgency the fighter planes covering Daybreak to protect the government, and ordered Aliana to initiate dog tag acquisition procedure to ensure Couatl would be a success despite the lack of support. Aliana refused the order, considering it unnecessary yet, but the commander used the procedure to force her to comply.[5] Aliana first killed the already injured Eula, then Olivia[7] and Samantha. In the end, only Amaris survived under unclear circumstances.[15]

Operation Couatl eventually failed even after Aliana absorbed seven of the eight available dog tags.[16] Daybreak was considered wiped out and Couatl was their last mission.[2] The forced order lingered in Aliana's neural cloud for over a decade in the form of undeletable data.[3] Amaris inherited the memories of her seven fallen teammates, but they became jumbled and she lost her sense of identity. The supplementary memories also drastically increased her power consumption and rendered her easily lethargic.[12]

Survivors[edit]

Aliana and Amaris vow to kill the other in Berlin.

It is unclear how Aliana and Amaris survived and were recovered from Couatl, but it is possible that they were recovered by the Neo-Soviet troops who were observing Operation Couatl.

During the troubled times after World War Three, Amaris was smuggled out of Statesec's purview by a corrupt agent codenamed “Elmo”, and eventually found her way to the German black market.[2] The Stasi considered her a Neo-Soviet Doll despite her previous affiliation.[17] In late 2064, she escaped by taking the place of a Doll to be shipped to Cheryl, unconsciously recognizing her name. Inspired by the 2050 incident, Cheryl had become a thrillers author.[11] Amaris used the name "Samo" (from Samoyed hound),[18] and protected Cheryl during an attack on the Berlin central railway station.[19]

At the time of Operation Aeneas in 2064, Statesec sent Aliana to the Commander of Griffin & Kryuger to bolster their troops in preparation for storming Avernus.[10] The Commander suspected Statesec hoped she could complete Couatl and eliminate Capita after 13 years.[11] While her body had been upgraded with an Imprint and modern Doll technology,[20] Aliana had remained deactivated ever since Couatl and when she was activated again in the Berlin Griffin base, she took down Persica and attacked the Commander, who fortunately knew the OPS code for Couatl from the files and officially declared the mission failed. Unaware of the ongoing forced dog tag retrieval mission still running in Aliana's base layer, the Commander put her in charge of a Griffin team and deployed her in the field.[10] Aliana recognized the visual similarities of Eula's and AR SCRThumb button.pngSCR 's models and unconsciously chose her for her team despite SCR's lack of experience and confidence.[4]

During the operation in the Berlin station to recover objectives "Poludnitsa" and "Meteorite", Amaris' signal appeared on the Daybreak System, and Aliana deferred operational command to SCR to chase after her. Using empty shell casings to spoof her signal, Amaris drew Aliana to a crowded avenue so she couldn't attack while they met. Aliana vowed to complete the dog tags retrieval mission by killing the “deserter” Amaris, while Amaris vowed to kill Aliana as a traitor.[21] Aliana received permission from the Commander to pursue her objective before fully committing to Griffin, though she did not reveal the specifics of her mission.

Cheryl recognized the type of ammo used by Amaris and believed she had been reunited with her “Big Sis”,[11] but Amaris explained that the situation of her neural cloud made it impossible to determine who had saved her that day. Cheryl outfitted her with a new battery before Amaris left as to not involve Cheryl in her duel.[12][7] Meeting Cheryl eventually enabled Amaris to differentiate between the identities in her neural cloud and reclaim her own name and role. As she was preparing for the battle, Amaris was found by the Stasi,[15] who were searching for her on behalf of Statesec.[22] Amaris agreed to come with them if they upgraded her body and let her fight Aliana first, and she requested a long-battery-life SST-762 frame.[15]

Aliana and Amaris fought at night in the abandoned third branch building of Galatea Corporation. Aliana gave Amaris the necessary gear and prep time to fight on equal footing, to prove she was worthy to become the sole bearer of the title “Daybreak”. When Aliana cornered Amaris, the latter jumped through a window, prompting Aliana to catch her to stop her fall. Amaris then launched an electronic attack on Aliana's neural cloud[5] and took the dog tags back, but ultimately decided not to kill her like Aliana had killed the rest of the Daybreak.[8] Weakened by the loss of the dog tags, Aliana returned to Griffin and pledged loyalty to the Commander,[16] while Amaris joined the Stasi's new Doll team.[23]

Trivia[edit]

  • A PMC also named Daybreak (“曙光”私人安全集团) existed after World War Three, of which Python was a member.[24]

References[edit]