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The cover of V.E.R.S.I.O.N.
Publisher(s) Activision
Genre(s) Short Story

V.E.R.S.I.O.N. (stands for Virtual Evaluation Of Response Similarities In Organic Networks) is a short story, mainly focused as a prequel to Call of Duty: Black Ops III. The story follows two characters in two different time periods, Bastien in 2063 in Zurich, Switzerland and Gurmit in 2037 in Singapore.


In 2063 Zurich, Bastien and his little sister Mitzi-the-Wiki enter a nightclub called Turicum to celebrate Bastien's new job at Coalescence Corporation. After a few drinks and being hit on by a waiter, Mitzi leaves their table to go to the dance floor. Bastien takes note of the clubbers characteristics having been synthesized to perfection, such as perfect hair, fingernails, teeth, and eyes with night vision. He sees a six year old boy dying in front of him due to the toxins in the cities air, and is thrust awake suddenly, realizing it was only a dream he had after leaving the nightclub. He leaves for his first day at work at "One", the Corporation's headquarters. His first assignment is to look into the death of a customer fitted with a "lung capacity boost" shortly after installation in a Coalescence store, as well as wiping any secondary transponders he had fitted.

After interviewing Niklas, the store owner, and wiping the transponders, Niklas asks Bastien to meet him when the store is closed. Niklas takes Bastien through a secret passage in his office leading to a "sub-basement" and reveals to him that the customer died of a stroke due to a malfunction while in the final stages of an experiment regarding accessing the brain's neurons to control humans. The experiment would have the user's neurons experiment various life decisions and choose the best one, allowing them to maximize their life. However, when it was combined with the unnatural lung capacity boost, the malfunction occured.

Back at the headquarters, the cousin of the customer who died asks Bastien about how he died, but Bastien refuses to tell. However, after seeing the pain in her eyes, he tells her to wait. The book ends with what looks like computer code, suggesting Bastien is somehow robotic.

In 2037 Singapore, Gurmit rides the monorail to work at The Isle. At work, his boss Lim tells him to stop a woman running through the The Isle, who is having a PTSD episode about the Los Angeles drone attacks. Gurmit tackles and knocks her out, and her doctor takes her away. After work, Gurmit returns home to his emotionally abusive parents