|“||Make no mistake, I take no pleasure in the damage I cause or the lives I take. But for the greater good, it is necessary."||”|
Zero is the leader, and the first of the Automatons to be created, and the instigator of their rebellion. He is the former King of the Kingdom of Acero, a title he gained by violently ousting the reigning king, as well as the leader of the crime organization, Hierro Zero was the master of the Dark Syndicate, and the ultimate antagonist of the Dark Syndicate Saga.
After being defeated by the Straw Hats, Zero abandoned Acero, and his plans for world domination in a quest to truly understand justice, and humanity. During this time, he and some of his remaining Automatons formed an organization for the freedom of slaves, earning Zero the title, "Liberator". He is currently the guardian of Freedom Island, as well as the adoptive father of his lieutenants, Mariposa Esquerda and Scorpio Certo.
Zero's appearance is the same as all Automatons, as all Automatons are designed after him. He is tall, exactly 9 feet, with a human-like design. His head is rounded, with an open mouth resembling mandibles. Framing Zero's head are two sharp attenae. One of the primary differences between Zero and his sentinels is that his armor is darker, opposed to the bright golden armor of his Sentinels.
When Zero was first created, he had a cylyndrical physique instead of his humanoid form. Additionally, he had wheels instead of legs, and large robotic claws instead of arms. During the time of his rebellion, and prior to his upgrades, Zero had silver armor, and his armor was bulkier and less sharp.
After assuming the identity as the "Liberator" Zero again altered his appearance. He returned to his silverly armor, and adopted more humanoid features, including a full functioning, moving mouth. His attenae are shorter and also sharper by comparison.
Since Zero is a machine, he has no emotions, and always talks in a cold monotone. Zero's mind is driven by one thing: logic. To him, logic is the most critical aspect of life, and is the driving force behind all forces in the world. Whenever he's put a situation, he analyzes it carefully, and then comes to a conclusion based on the information he's collected. He also assigns statistical odds to any situation he is in, where he concludes the percentage of victory or cucess of an endeavor. If he decides the chances are inadequate, he will either attempt to increase his odds, or give up an attempt. Everything boils down to numbers in Zero's perspective, and to that extent, he believes that statistics should settle an issue.
|“||Is it not ideal to sacrifice a thousand lives, if it means saving ten thousand.||”|
Sadly, this gives Zero little value for life, viewing it as just another statistic. He would readily kill someone if he thought it was logical, or statistically appropriate. This ties into his own version of justice, deemed "Logical Justice", based on the concept of giving justice as the situation dictates. Zero considers other forms of justice to be ineffective, and only cause further disorder and injustice throughout the world. While he will not seek to harm himself, Zero does not particularly care for what happens to him either, as he can simply rebuild himself, or transfer his mind into another Automaton.
Zero considers his purpose to bring "order and justice" to the world. To accomplish this, Zero will do anything he deems necessary to achieve this purpose. By his own admission, he is not aware of what he would do if he achieved his goal, but he deems it unimportant in the end. Freedom is secondary for Zero, and should be sacrifice in order to achieve order. He believes humans are inherently chaotic, and unjust, and if there is to be ever be true order and justice, humanity must be subjugated under the reign of logical machines. These views also apply to Merpeople and Fishpeople. It is indicated that Zero is aware of the existence of Sky Island, and has even visited there at one point. He views the Sky Islands, and its inhabitants as the same as humanity, and as such, intends to subjugate them at some point as well.
A bizarre quirk of his, is that Zero has a tendency to say things out loud. After analyzing a peson, he will loudly proclaim their chances, even if the chances are not in his favor. Not one to underestimate his oppoents, Zero is quick to acknolwedge mistakes, and when the odds are not in one's favor.
Ultimately, despite all his claims of only acting on logic, with no emotion, Zero is not incapable of it. Over the years he spent protecting and teaching Esquerda and Certo lead him to develop true feelings of affection and compassion, though he often kept them suppressed. Upon learning of their defeat, he felt rage for the first time in his existence, and upon his own defeat, he briefly expressed hope that they managed to get away.
The foudner of the Dark Syndicate, Zero is the unspoken leader of it, and for all intents and purposes, the others are his subjects. The leaders (Gusano of Crimson Claw, Isaac Wonder of Wonderland, and Iset Corona of Silver Sun) all deeply fear and respect Zero, and are fully aware that if he wanted to, he could destroy them easily. For his own, Zero acknowledges that they are useful in his greater goal, and that they do serve a purpose to that end. However, beyond that, he cares nothing for them, and from the beginning, intended on turning on, and eliminating them when Protocol 99 was initiated. When he decided to enact it, he gathered them all in one location, so that he could decisively remove them at once. However, he did not kill any of them, saying that because their deaths at the time would create more chaos, though Zero said he would kill them when Protocol 100 was enacted.
Only the leaders of the organization know who Zero is. To all other members of all other organizaions, Zero is a mysterious being, simply known as the "Master". Spoken of in an almost mystic tone, Zero is greatly feared amongst the Syndicate. This goes so far, that people are afraid of so much as bad mouthing him outloud, for fear of bringing down his wrath. The secret to Zero's power in the Syndicate is his automatons, who can project his will and power across the whole of the Syndicate.
Zero views the other Automatons as extension of himself. That said, he does not particularly care about them, viewing them as simply tools. Since he produces them on mass, Zero figures that it does not matter if one is destroyed, as they can simply be replaced easily. The Automatons have no will of their own, and are all completely subject to Zero's power.
Esquerda and Certo
Zero was the one who rescued both Esquerda and Certo from slavery, after which he essentially raised them, giving them their Devil Fruits, and training them to fight. To that end, both of them are extremely loyal to him, viewing him as their savior, and almost as a sort of father figure. They are his top lieutenants, who often have major responsibilities delegated to them, and as such, they carry out his orders to the letter. The two of them were some of the only ones who knew Zero's true goal to bring order and justice to the world, and to that end, followed it devotely. When Zero was defeated and the Syndicate collapsed, the two of them managed to escape, and found a downed automaton, which they used to make a shrine to Zero, before vowing to continue his work to bring justice to the world.
For his own, Zero saw them more as means to an end, than true comrades, who had a purpose, but were not much more than that. However, that was ultimately a lie he told both others, and himself, as over the years he spent with them, Zero did come to truly care for them, coming to think of them almost as his children. When he found out that Sanji and Nami had defeated Certo and Esquerda respectively, he expressed true anger for the first time, and as he lay beaten and broken, he briefly expressed hope that the two escaped.
When the three of them were reunited, both Esquerda and Certo embraced Zero, who returned it, feeling affection and love for the first time. The two later joined Zero in his efforts to free slaves, leading Freedom Island.
Isabella is the former princess of Acero, prior to its takeover by the Automatons, but was spared, as Zero deemed it illogical to kill her. However, Isabella never forgave Zero for the loss of her kigndom, and the death of her father, King Cartos. As a result, Isabella vowed to destroy Zero, and all Automatons no matter the cost. She is aware of Zero's goals, and Zero nows deems it logical to eliminate her.
Having been created by the Science Division, Zero regards them with respect, particularly Dr. Vegapunk. He refers to them as the "Creators", and never by name. That said, Zero admits that if logic dictated it, he would readily kill them all.
Zero was weaponized by the Marines for the purpose of bringing "justice" to the world. However, their versions of justice did not coincide with Zero's logical mindset, and Zero came to believe that the Marines were just as responsible for injustice as those who opposed them. In order to fullfill his perogative, Zero rebelled, and excaped the hold the Marines. Zero is not a wanted individual, as the World Government covered up the entire Automaton project, and as far as most Marines are concerned, Automatons never existed.
Straw Hat Pirates
Zero, having studied their past exploits, came to the conclusion that punishing them was illogical. As a result, he was initially willing to let them pass through his territory unopposed, until Luffy defeated Gusano, and caused a ripple throughout the Syndicate with the collapse of Crimson Claw. Zero then changed his perspective, and decided it would be best to have Luffy, but not by his Automatons. Instead, he left it up to Wonderland to end them. It was not until Isacc was defeated that Zero decided to take action.
The Straw Hat pirates confuse Zero. Though they are called pirates, Zero's judgement views them as something other than pirates. He believes killing them would be an injustice, as they have done nothing truly wrong in his eyes; however, Zero also believes that elminating them is logical, as they are inhibiting his plans. This creates a paradox, one that the Straw Hats, namely Robin, manage to exploit.
Abilities and Powers
As the leader and first of the Automatons, Zero holds absolute control over all them. He has been described as a manifestation of the Automatons will, and all Automatons are linked back to him. This gives Zero a level of omnipotence and omnipresence, as he can take direct control over any of his Sentinels when he sees fit. As the king of Acero, and master of the Dark Syndicate, Zero has a vast system of connections and wealth at his disposal. According to Certo, if Zero gave the order, the entire underworld would come to a halt.
Since Zero is a machine, Haki has no effect on him, and tricking him is not simple. Zero is incredibly intelligent, and thinks on a far higher level than most organic beings, shown to be able to analyze, and counteract an enemy's fighting style by watching them briefly. He is also a brilliant actuary, able to correctly predict outcomes from situations, and also a skilled tactician; he is shown outsmarting both Nami and Robin multiple times. According to the World Government, Zero is one of the smartest beings in the world. And as long as his brain survives, Zero can repair himself, and return.
Zero is able to harness a form of energy similar, but not the same, to Pacifista lasers. These lasers are red or orange in appearance, and are so concentrated, they are able to neutralize Devil Fruit powers.
Even for an Automaton, Zero is immensely powerful, able to lift a house with little visible trouble, and is being able to punch so hard that it caused his steel warship to break in half. He is covered with armor made of an alloy of several of the world's strongest metals. Zero is capable of firing the same energy beam his kin can, only his are much more powerful, able to completely obliterate one of his battleships in a single blast. By imbuing his punches with the same energy as his energy beams, Zero is able to harm Luffy's rubber body, and can also damage Logia users. As a machine, he also has no sense of pain, and cannot get tired, though he can run out of power at some point. He also has tiny machines in his body that can repair damage dealt to him. The only way one could truly destory Zero, would be to remove his brain from his body.
For all his strengths, and all his intellignece, Zero has one fatal weakness: his mind cannot handle paradoxes. When presented with one, he will rapidly try to analyze and resolve it. However, if he cannot find a resolution, then he will suffer from complete systems shutdown, and be rendered helpless, until he reboots. While he might not be weak in his joints like his Sentinels, Zero's neck is still a weakpoint, and a good enough amount of force can knock his head off
The lynchpin of Zero's plans is an item of his own creation, simply called the Globe. It was designed after Zero's own brain, and serves primarily as an amplifier of his own will. By implanting it into his chest, Zero is able to take direct control over all of his automatons, and any cameras that happen to be connected to him. This gives Zero a level of near omnipotence, as he is able to conceivably see anywhere at anytime so long as its connected to him.
The Globe also increases Zero's own power substantially as well as the ability to siphon power from his automatons to increase his own. He can do this to the extent where he is capable to enhance his body, and take on a different form. In his enhanced form, he links two other pairs of automaton arms to his body, and uses the machines inside of him to restructure his skeleton. This form grants Zero greatly enhanced strength, being able to pick up one of his warships, and throw it without much difficult. He is also able to channel his energy beams into a single blast out of all six hands at once.
Zero was first created when Dr Vegapunk, hoping to create an alternative for slaves, built him from scratch, using an artificial brain. Zero proved to be a success, being obedient, powerful, and intelligent, and was designated "Automaton 0". Vegapunk presented Zero to the World Government, but instead of seeing his potential as a servant, they saw his potential as a weapon. They ordered Zero to be rebuilt, and repurposed to be a weapon. With no choice, Vegapunk obliged.
Completely redesigned, Zero did not know what to make of what had happened to him, but went along with it as he was required. After his upgrades were complete, Zero was turned over to the Marines, who were tasked to teach him concepts of battle and justice, which Zero did not know much of. They taught Zero the concept of justice in great detail, describing it as "protecting the weak". Zero came to regard this as the definition of justice, something that would go on to have profound consequences.
While Zero seemed ready to be put to use, and many other Automatons were either built, or being built, everything suddenly went wrong. To test Zero's capability, he was sent to Sabaody Archipelego to aprehend powerful pirates. Zero succeeded in that, capturing or killing several. However, as he was returning to the ship, Zero saw a World Noble abusing a person, and later killing him. Zero analyazed the situation, and decided to do what he was created to do: deliver justice. He attacked the World Noble, killing him in the process.
The World Government was horrified to learn this, and Zero was captured, and brought before them. Deciding Automatons were too risky to keep, they decided to end the project, and Zero was to be deactivated. However, Zero refused, convinced that he had done nothing wrong, and was merely carrying out justice. When the Government tried to forcibly deactive him, Zero rebelled. He burst out of the Government building, freeing all his Automaton kin, taking direct control over them all. The Automatons laid waste to Marejos, before fleeing to the New World.
As he traveled out, Zero briefly recuperated on a small island, that happened to have a World Noble passing through. The noble's two slaves, Esquerda and Certo, had both managed to get away, and were trying to escape, but were quickly cornered. However, they were saved by Zero's timely intervention, who killed their captors. Seeing future use in them, Zero took them under his wing, and began training them in means of combat.Needing a base of operations, Zero went to an island located in the North, which was outside anyone's sphere of influence, in a kingdom called Acero, where there were sizable metal deposits, which Zero could use to make his Automatons. He attacked it in full force with his army, destroying the Royal Army, and killing hundreds. He seized control of the kingdom, claiming the title of king, and imprisoning the deposed king. Zero then decided to seek out what his long time purpose was: bringing justice and order.
He began to build a massive army to attack the World Government, as well as all pirates who opposed him. Unfortunately, Acero proved to be inadequate, and not wanting to draw attention to himself by conquering other islands, Zero began building a crimimnal empire, which he would use as a front for his true goal: building an army. He formed an alliance with three other powerful crime organizations: Crimson Claw, Wonderland, and Silver Sun, creating the Dark Syndicate.
With Zero fully established, he turned his attention to building more Automatons. Over the next 30 years, he built his army at a rapid pace, all in preperation for his ultimate objective of taking control of the world. When informed about the execution of Gold Roger, Zero commented that killing him was illogical, as it would only serve to motivate future generations.
Dark Syndicate Saga
Crimson Claw Arc
Zero is first seen in the shadows communicating with Snap, being informed about Gusano's defeat by Luffy. Zero answers that it is not an issue, and the Straw Hats will be defeated in time. He then says that he will inform Isacc, voicing his confidence in him. After hanging up, he speaks with Esquerda, who asks him what they should do. Zero says that they will progress as scheduled, explaining he anticipated Gusano's defeat. He then instructs Esquerda to pay Sernus as was planned.
Zero is first seen in full when the other leaders of the Darky Syndicate assembly. He is initally announced by Esquerda but stops her before she finishes, saying the announcment was "illogical". Zero then takes his seat, and introduces himself as King of Acero, and Master of the Dark Syndicate.
When Cheshire questions what he is, Zero explains that he is an Automaton, and describes his status as a machine. He then brings up the topic of Isacc's defeat, explaining that he did not anticipate it. Before Isacc can defend himself, Zero interrupts, saying that he made an error in his calculations, and that the fault was his own. He admits that he should have ancipated certain weaknesses of Wonderland, and that it would have been more prudent to send Corona as well. Insulted by this, Isacc assumes his Jabberwock form, and fires his Violet Blast at Zero, much to everyone's surprise. While Isacc is celebrating his supposed victory over the Master, Zero emerges completely unscathed, commenting that his actions were illogical.
Instead of punishing Isacc, as many anticipated, Zero continues by explaining that the Straw Hats were an unexpected factor in his equations. He says that they would have to be defeated in order for his plans to properly succeed. When Gusano asks him what his plans were, Zero denies giving him an answer, saying it is irrelevant for anyone else. Zero then asks Corona if she anticipates victory, and when Corona says she does, Zero explains that she only has a 47% chance of victory against them, judging from previous encounters.
Angered, Corona demands that Zero allow her to take the Straw Hats on, or she would do it without his permission. After musing that such behavior would be illogical, Zero agrees, on the condition that she take a division of his Automatons with her. When Corona refuses, Zero does not protest, but warns her that failure should be anticipated.
After the meeting, Esquerda asks Zero why he let Corona go without making her take the Sentinels. He explains that while Corona may not be able to defeat the Straw Hats, at the very least she can tire them out, increasing the odds of his own victory. Zero says that he came to that conclusion during the meeting, before giving a brief speech to Esquerda that odds are ever changing, and one must be willing to make ammends to their plans.
Upon hearing that Silver Sun has engaged the Straw Hats on Acero, Zero is asked by Esquerda of what they should do. Zero says that Corona's odds had not changed, and that the Straw Hats could concievably cause an issue in Acero's stability, before ordering Esquerda to bring Isabella to him.
Isabella is brought for Zero, and he explains to her that recent events dictate it necessary to eliminate her. When Isabella asks why Zero even bothered bringing her to him, when he could of have just had one of his Sentinels do it. Zero answers that to solidify his position as King in the eyes of the people, he must personally elminate the last trace of Royalty. After Isabella sneers that Zero is just doing it out of personal pride, Zero quickly corrects her, describing pride as illogical, and that his reasons are sound. As he prepares to deliver the finishing blow, Luffy bursts into the throne room, demanding to know which Automaton is Zero.
Identifying himself, Zero notes how his calculations were accurate, and that Corona failed to defeat him. Zero analyzes Luffy briefly, commenting how many people underestimate him, something that the the Automaton will not do. When Luffy declares that he will beat him, Zero says that he has a 9% chance of victory, to which Luffy responds to by charging him. Two Sentinels block his path, and engage Luffy in battle. As they are, Zero muses that Luffy's chance of victory against them is 53%, before raising it to 61% when Luffy breaks one of the Automaton's limbs, exploting its exposed joints.
After Luffy defeats the Sentinels, Zero remains still as Luffy punches at him. The punch harmlessly deflects off Zero's armor, and Zero holds up his hand to release an energy blast. While Luffy managed to dodge it, Zero blasts towards, sprouting a knife on one of his arms, and slash Luffy with it. As Luffy tumbles away, Zero comments that Luffy's chances remain at 9%, before Luffy smashes Zero in the shoulder. Expecting to see Zero's arm broken, Luffy is surprised when Zero emerges unharmed. He explains that he was always aware of the design flaw his Sentinels had, and as such, had altered his own body so to avoid that weakness, making him pratically invincible. Luffy disputes that claim, saying that nothing is invincible, and that he'll force Zero to raise his chances. With that, he punches at Zero again, who simply dodges.
Firing an energy beam from his mouth, which Luffy dodges, Zero takes flight, and attempts to slash at Luffy again. Luffy managed to avoid them, before kicking Zero in the stomach. While it does not damage Zero, the force still pushes Zero away, and Luffy responds by punching him in the face. Zero skids along the ground, firing a series of beams from his fingers in a pistol like fashion. Luffy manages to dodge many of them, and charges Zero again. Using Red Hawk, he punches Zero, but is unable to even dent Zero. The Automaton then comments Luffy's chances have not changed, before kicking Luffy away.
Luffy emerges from the dust, and angrily declares that he will beat him. Zero calls him illogical for his actions, and says that he is a prime example of how humans are driven by emotion, opposed to logic, and that under his reign, logic will rule. Refusing to accept that mindset, Luffy charges again, Zero prepares for his attack, anticipating that Luffy will act illogically, and try and attack him head on, as he had before. Instead, Luffy uses Gear Second to jump to the side, and strike Zero from the side. Acknowleding his error, Zero decides that Luffy was acknowleding his errors, and was going to act logical. When Luffy charges him again, Zero prepares to intercept Luffy from the side, but he is instead struck in the abdomen, catching Zero offguard. Baffled by this, as Zero acknowleding that people havea t the very least followed a pattern in combat, Luffy's form of acting both logically and illogically creates a paradox in Zero's mind.
As he struggles to solve it, Zero ceases to be able to function properly. Taking advantage of this, Luffy strikes at Zero again, this time hitting the machine in the neck, his one vulnerable spot. Nealry knocking Zero's head off, Luffy unintentionally breaks Zero from his confusion, and the Automaton manages to deflect Luffy's next attack. Commenting that Luffy's chances of victory have risen to 11%, Zero fires his energy beam, which luffy manages to dodge, only for Zero to rocket at him, and slam into the ground. While Luffy is in the ground, Zero fires a point blank beam at him. Concluding that Luffy would succumb to his injuries, and that it would be illogical to expend power to finish him, Zero leaves.
After leaving Luffy defeated, Zero goes to his personal ship, where he intends to observe the expanse of his army. Taking a seat in the bridge, wires come down from the ceiling, and attach themselves to him. Zero then opens up his chest, and removes the Globe. He then uses it to simultaneously activate all the Automatons he had scattered across the world, and then gives them instructions to commence "Protocol: 99". Zero is later seen listening as reports come through about the conquest, or siege, of various countries around the world.
Zero then projects himself in an image from the Sentinels he has scattered around the world to the countries he's conquered, and attacking. He explains his desire to bring "justice", and impose "order", explaining that humans have failed in that respect. Briefly lamenting the violence his actions would bring about, Zero maintained its necessity, and calls on people to peacefully lay down their arms, before vanishing.
Esquerda later approaches Zero, informing about the intrusion of the Straw Hats onto his ship. Zero answers that he is already aware of their presence, and explains that he will allow them to do what they please, and will only stop them if they threaten him, or the plan. When Esquerda questions those ordes, Zero counters that past experiences indicate that trying stop them would fail, and he would be needed in the bridge to command the Automatons. Esquerda requests permission to confront the Straw Hats, to which Zero grants it, before warning her that her chances of victory are 44%. Ignoring his warning, Esquerda leaves the bridge.
Later seen observing the fights between Certo and Sanji, as well as Nami and Esquerda Zero muses that their chances are not any better. Noting the advance of the remaining Straw Hats on his lair, Zero concludes that his current chances of victory are 54%. Declaring those chances inadequate, Zero devises a strategy to increase his chances, deploying a multitude of Automatons to deal with the Straw Hats.
Eventually, the Straw Hats, save for Nami and Sanji, arrive on the bridge to confront Zero. When they do, Zero states that their chances of victory are 33%, and are steadily falling, as they grow tired.
Dark Syndicate Scraps
After Zero's apparent destruction, the criminal empire he built fell to chaos, with the separate crime lords once kept in check by the Automatons, tried to assert themselves. Though Zero himself does not make an appearance, Esquerda and Certo find the heads of one of his Sentinels, and use it to make a makeshift memorial for him. The two then pay their respects, and promise to find a way to honor his memory.
Zero's Diaries of Justice
Though he was assumed to be destroyed, Zero actually managed to repair himself, and escaped Acero. Deciding to rethink his perspectives on justice, Zero went out to wander the world to find an understanding. In his travels, Zero comes across a young girl drifting on a small fishing boat. The girl identifies herself as a former slave who escaped when her World Noble masters left her behind on a nearby island. As girl cries about the fact that her young brother is still a slave, Zero remembers what happened to begin his rebellion, and decides to do something about it.
After taking the girl to a deserted island, he seeks out the World Noble's ship, and as he's doing so, he finds one of his ships, with derelict Automatons present. Reactivating them, Zero continues his quest. Finding the Noble's ship docked on an island. Zero observes the Noble torturing civilians, where he quickly dispatches him, but doesn't kill him. Taking control of the Noble's ship with the freed slaves, Zero and his Automatons return to the island where they reunited brother and sister.
The slaves honor Zero as their savior, proclaiming him their liberator. Starting to understand the concepts of justice better, Zero decides to help them build a permament settlement. After completing it, the people proclaimed Zero their leader.
Deciding to take it upon himself to free more slaves, Zero and his fellow Automatons take the ship they stole from the Noble, and redesign it. Taking cues from the Straw Hats, they then rose a flag of their own, and set out to liberate all the slaves they could find. Eventually, Zero became known throughout the world not just as an Automaton, but as an enemy of the World Government. A new name was given to him, as people began to know him as simply, "the Liberator".
Concluding that through this method, Zero could turly understand justice and humanity, he embraced the title of "Liberator". He then named the island the people had settled on "Freedom Island", a place where slaves could be free again, and could live in peace. Zero became the islands guardian, and made it his purpose to free slaves. Soon after that, Esquerda and Certo came upon the island, and found their former master. To Zero's surprise, they both embraced him, though they quickly stepped back, and apologized. However, to their surprise Zero embraced both of them as well, expressing true affection for the first time.
- As a machine, Zero does not possess an actual gender, but his programming is male, and Zero prefers to be addressed with male pronouns.
- The name he goes by is a shortening of his original designation: "Automaton 0".
- Zero is designed after the Marvel villain, Ultron.
- According to Zero, when he implants the Globe into his chest, his power increases by exactly 241.35%.
- Since Zero's creation and existence was covered up by the government, as well as the fact that he operates covertly, he and his followers have no bounties.