DISCLAIMER: DC Comics is not owned by me. Any canon characters used in this story are the property of DC Comics. This story is mainly about original characters, though it occurs in the DC universe.

Author's Note: The characters Morana, Echo, Zero, Nano, Sta, Tic (pronounced "tech"), and StaTec (the fused form of Sta and Tic) are the propety of me, of course. As is their group, Covert Action Team Zeta (C.A.T.Z.). The cameo character, Dr. Celia Williams, DantesClover, and is used with his permission. If you want to know about those two characters, check out his stories Hidden Agenda and Against the World.

Covert Action Team Zeta

The Beginning

Seven swords lay before her. Not one of them was the same length. And yet Morana, named after the Slavic goddess of death, was able to wield all of them with equal skill. After all, that's why she'd been made. To be a killer, a monster, an embodiment of death and chaos. Her life had been marked with death, was still marked with death, and would forever be marked with death. And while surrounded by life, she would always be alone. Except for maybe one person.

Seated in the middle of the living room of the apartment she was currently, Morana stared at her blades. Each one was unique, with a story all its own, yet each one had been made for the same purpose: to kill. Her body was covered in scars, many of which came from her own blades; she believed that if a sword was drawn, it must draw blood. So if she drew her blades, blood would be spilled. Which was why she always cleaned and honed her weapons naked. Not many people would think the bald, skinny, unkempt-looking girl would be any threat to anything. A lot of those who did were already dead; either 40 years ago, when she was first created, or two years ago, when she was thawed out of cryogenic suspension. She remembered everything from her past. Especially what she went through before DeathTech managed to freeze her.

Reaching down, she picked up the katana and carefully began honing its sharp blade.

Erika Morgan stood staring at the climbing wall in front of her. Behind her, her friends were urging her on, trying to get her to climb it. It was the first day of summer break, and the first week after graduation. She didn't know where she'd go to college at, or even if she really wanted to go. She cracked her knuckles, which accidentally let out a little sonic vibration that made the metal of her climbing harness tingle. Sighing, she reached up and began climbing the wall.

As she climbed, intending to reach the top, she began thinking about her life.

When she was thirteen, she suddenly discovered she had the ability to manipulate sonic waves. In a surprising variety of ways. Her parents, of course, knew she was a metahuman - she'd accidentally shattered the all of the tvs in the house when her abilities appeared - but still loved her. They did tell her, though, that she should keep her powers to herself. She did, out of respect and love for her parents, but that didn't stop her from practicing in hidden places. Now she could do a lot of different things; she could shatter solid rock, vibrate glass without breaking it, mimic anyone's voice, and even fly by emitting sonic waves in specific directions and frequencies.

She wanted to be a super hero.

There were a lot of them out there, and a surprising number were kids - like the Teen Titans. A year ago, she'd seen a report on the news about the Teen Titans and a bunch of other people stopping an assault on the White House. After that, she really began training in her powers, and had even chosen a super identity for herself: Echo. With a start, Erika realized she'd reached the top of the climbing wall.

Letting out a breath for a count of five, the shadowed figure glanced through the scope once again. No movement from the target yet. The bald, but still fit old man was still talking, still giving his speech. It didn't matter to the assassin what was being said; the assassin was merely a weapon. Ideals, agendas, philosophies, none of it had any meaning to the assassin. Only the job. When the assassin took a job, only the job mattered. Nothing else. Another five-count breath in, five-count breath out. It was nearly the time the assassin's employer had stated for the target to be eliminated. Ejecting the clip from the modified M107 LRSR .50-cal. sniper rifle, the assassin checked the round in it. Hand-made, hand-loaded, the round looked similar to an armor-piercing round - but it wasn't. The round would shred itself in flight, eventually leaving only a single lead bead to penetrate the target's body. A single beep sounded from the watch on the assassin's right wrist. Looking back through the scope, the assassin took a single breath, let half of it out, then released the rest as the trigger's slack was taken up. A single cough came from the gun, followed a couple of minutes later by the sound of glass breaking - and then the faint screams of people as the old man died. Pulling back from the edge of the roof that was far from the target's location, the assassin began disassembling the rifle and placing it lovingly within a foam-filled case that had spots for each of the rifle's components cut into it. Snapping the case shut, the assassin stood and walked to the roof-access door. Stopping, the assassin reached for a bag situated just inside the door and stripped off the broken-patterned black-and-gray commando suit, revealing the naked body of a young woman. Reaching into the bag, she pulled out panties, bra, pantyhose, and a women's business suit. Dressing in it, the woman pulled out a make-up kit, a wig, and a pair of sunglasses. Putting them on, she put the commando suit into the bag, along with the make-up kit - and a grenade minus the spoon and pin. Then she calmly walked down the steps until she reached the floor below - at the same time the grenade went off. Opening the door, she walked into the office building and headed to the elevators - her attitude telling anyone who looked at her that she was important and to not fuck with her.

After leaving the building, she pulled out a cellphone and pressed a single key.

"Report," said a mechanical voice on the other end of the line.

"This is Zero," the assassin said. "Objective completed."

"Payment has been transferred." Then the line went dead. Zero shut the phone and tossed it into a trash bin as she walked by.

This is the headline, with variations, that ran in nearly 100% of the newspapers in the United States:


"I want to go out," Sta said, laying on her bed flipping through a magazine.

"Not interested in going," her 'sister,' Tic (pronounced "tech") replied.

"Then I'll order a pizza!" Sta replied brightly, bouncing off the bed.

"You can go out if you want," Tic told her. She was on her own bed, eyes closed as she mediated.

"But I don't want to go if you don't want to go," the onyx-haired nineteen-year-old said, pulling out a phone and dialing the number of a nearby pizza place.

"You're an idiot," her snow-haired twin replied gloomily.

"I'll touch you," Sta warned.

"Do that, and I'll kick your ass the next day."

"So what do you want on your pizza?"

"Cyanide, ammonia, with an extra amount of puffer poison thrown in."

"So the meat-lover's special, then?"

"Go fuck yourself."

"Not my style."

The door to Morana's apartment opened, and Nano - a young-looking woman from a race of sentient humanoid robots - walked into it the living room to find her roommate with blood dripping down her arms and the seventh of her swords being sheathed.

"You did it again, didn't you?" the cyber-woman asked rhetorically.

"It's my belief, you know," the killer replied. The alien woman sighed, shook her head, and headed towards the kitchen with her groceries.

"Has our benefactor been by yet?" she asked. Morana walked into the kitchen, carrying her swords.

"Not yet," the naked woman replied, continuing on her way to her bedroom. "But that doesn't mean anything. You know how she is."

"She saved you, you know," Nano told her roommate's back.

"She gave me a life, you know," Morana called back, setting her swords in key places around her bed. Then she slipped into a pair of shorts and a t-shirt that said "Always Have A Failsafe," then walked back into the kitchen. "I owe her everything."

"What do you think she wants? She was rather urgent in her comm message."

"Who knows? Maybe she was having issues at work or something."

About an hour later, Dr. Celia Williams walked into the apartment she'd bought and given her two 'girls.'

"Hello, dears," she said warmly and happily. Morana waked over and gave the much older woman a warm and love-filled hug.

"Hey, Mom," she said, a rare smile on her face.

"It's good to see you again, too, Morana," Dr. Williams replied.

"Hello, Doctor Williams," Nano called from the kitchen. "Just finishing up supper."

"Thank you, Nano. I'm still surprised that a being such as yourself knows how to cook food for organics."

"Thank cook books and online recipes, Doctor Williams," the alien girl replied.

"I do, but there's something we need to talk about."

"What is it, Mom?" Morana asked, a little concerned.

"Yeah," Nano agreed, coming into the living room.

"You know that my motives concerning you two aren't entirely altruistic," Williams started out saying.

"You told me as much when you took me in, Mom," Morana said. Nano added, "That goes for both of us, but we still appreciate what you've done for us anyway."

"Thank you, Nano," she replied. "Well, I need your help now. Someone very dangerous and very strong is on the loose in Jump City. I petitioned our current president to let me began preparing facilities and equipment for a special team that would, in addition to finding and stopping this dangerous man, would be available to stop super humans across the world - if they're threatening the interests of the United States, that is."

"And we're going to be on this team?" Nano asked.

"You're going to be this team - at least right now," Dr. Williams corrected gently. "I know of a few other candidates who will be needed, but it'll just be the two of you to start."

"So what's this team called, Mom?" Morana asked.

"I'm going to calling the Covert Action Team Zeta," she said.

End Note: That's it. If any of you want to know what happens to C.A.T.Z., and who this 'very dangerous and very strong' man is, then review and let me know, since this was intended as an introductory one-shot.