[I'll put my initial response at the end, what immediately follows was supposed to be an attempt to get them in the same place a the same time, and in order to do that I went with Snarky Bella, master of time and space, because she has a time machine which really seems the only way to get everyone together. Unfortunately it all got bogged down in boring exposition.]
[Plus I'm not sure exactly what to do because Tsukasa takes about six months to get going, where JC Denton is the sort of person who saves the world in a week. Though he did take 6 months of training between the intro and the start of the game, so I figured one could have the incident start concurrent with the intro, and thus have Tsukasa approach readiness at the same time JC was ready for his first mission. But then that means that the story has to last six months. So... who knows? Not I. Boring exposition to follow:]
My brain hurt, as it often has a tendency to do. I couldn't decide if it felt like a, 'You've let yourself get dehydrated to the point of physical pain again,' headache, or more of a, 'God hates you today,' headache. I was sure that it hurt. I managed to move passed that little tidbit and get in touch with other parts of my body. It became clear that I was on a hard surface. Metal, paint, rust.
I groaned. It seemed the thing to do.
“How are you feeling?” someone asked. I didn't recognize her voice.
I opened my eyes, the room I was in was a very weathered red, looked as if it had somehow been left outside for a few decades. I pushed myself off the floor and twisted to face whoever had spoken. It took me a while to process what I was seeing. She seemed familiar, but the connection didn't come, then I asked, “Kristen Stewart?”
“Please, I have emotions.”
I pushed passed the feeling I might be going insane and asked, “Bella Swan?”
“Yeah. How are you?”
“My head hurts and I think I'm going nuts.” I looked around, a cavernous room, Irregular apparently useless spires obsured the shape, but in the center was an unmistakable hexagonal console, which appeared to be adorned with controls from the early 1950s. “Is this your truck?”
“It is.” She helped me to my feet.
“When are we?”
“That is an interesting question. I was on my way back to two thousand five when I sort of smashed into this weird link between twenty ten Japan and and twenty fifty two Nevada. I tried to power through it an ended up in, I think, twenty fifty oneish New York and the Santa Clara facebook servers from two thousand twelve or so. I'm pretty sure you got sucked in from the serverside.”
I thought that over for a moment, concluded it was six kinds of impossible, and said, “That is, hands down, the worst exposition I've ever heard.”
“I blame you.” She gestured for me to come to the console.
“Fair enough.” I followed her to the console, which seemed to predate color television but had a very nice laptop hooked into it via a tangled mass of wires sliced together and eventually ending in a USB cable. I looked over the laptop, discovered it seemed to be full of all kinds of information none of which made sense to me, and finally asked Bella what I was supposed to be looking at.
“Do you want more exposition?” She asked, and I was forced to admit that, yes, I did want more exposition, however bad it seemed to be at the moment. The story simply couldn't continue until we got passed it and my headache wasn't helping me in my attempts to figure it out on my own.
She punched a few keys and said, “As you can see, MJ12 made several attempts to hack into a-”
I interrupted, “Actually, I can't see.”
She pointed to the screen, “How can you not see?”
I looked at the screen, there were numbers, and letters, and more letters, arranged in a way that seemed to have some sort of structure but no discernible meaning, “That means nothing to me.”
“You're from seven years in my future, how can you not know this?”
“I just don't.”
She made a guttural sound of frustration and then said, “Fine,” somewhat angrily. She took a moment to compose herself. Calmer, she said, “Sit down. I'll tell you a story.” She sat crosslegged on the floor, I did the same. “Once upon a time there was a conspiracy called the Illuminati, but they got to big and complacent so they were killed off by MJ12. MJ12 wanted to control everything, but the internet proved too difficult to deal with as the volume of informaton exceeded their abilities to analyze so they tried to build an AI to do the work for them.”
“Called, 'Daedalus'. I know this story.”
“Yes, and after Daedalus escaped and began to work against them they worked on projects to contain and combat him.”
“Icarus,” I said.
“Not just Icarus.” That I did not know. “In their labs in Area 51 they searched for a way to combat Daedalus.”
“See, I would have guessed Hong Kong.”
“You're ruining the story.” She seemed like she was going to go back to it, but then said, “No. Hong Kong is where they're experimenting on Edward in an attempt to make vampirism into a viable form of human augmentation for their brainwashed agents. At this point in time,” She looked up at the console, but apparently couldn't see what she was looking for and gave up, “depending on when exactly we've landed, they've probably already removed the sparkling, though they'll never quite manage to get rid of the albinism.”
“Edward is being experimented on?”
“For a few years now.”
“Are you going to rescue him?”
“It's not high on my list of things to do.” She stared off into space, at first I thought she was looking at something behind me, but when I turned there was nothing there. Whatever she was thinking about seemed to amuse her somewhat. “Are you ready to return to the story?”
She resumed, “Scientists from Area 51 discovered that a powerful AI had been involved in some shenanigans revolving around an online game in Japan in 2010, and believed that it could be used to defeat Daedalus. So they... I'm bored. Are you bored? I'm bored.”
I was somewhat bored. I said so.
“Then lets just skip the rest of this. I'll give you some excerpts: The AI wasn't actually in the code. Discussion of metaphysics. Platonic ideals, yada yada, yada, an accidental bridge between the platonic ideal of the 2010 internet and the real world of the 2050s, so on so forth, some game called Dead Rising 2, da da da, now there are zombies.”
“Zombies?” I did not see that coming.
“Zombies. Would you like a sword?”
“Where did the sword come from?”
“The game that they were trying to hack into wasn't the zombie game. It was a sword and sorcery MMO.”
“It has sorcery and the best you can offer me is a sword?”
“I also have a teleportation flute,” she held out an instrument whose shame reminded vaguely of a raygun from a very old movie. I took the teleportation flute. “Come on, I'll show you the zombies.” She led me from the room.
[Continues with Part 2: First Encounter]
[Continues with Part 2: First Encounter]
[My original response:]
JC Denton (Deus Ex), Tsukasa (.hack//Sign), Bella Swan (Twilight). Bella will date the
enemy, Tsukasa will slowly overcome depression with the help of his friends eventually reaching the point where he can stand up to the god of whatever world we happen to be in, JC Denton will save the world in less than a week.
Even with Bella I think it'll be fine.
Actually, if Bella learns from Tsukasa (they start in very similar places in terms of mental health) she could be a capable ally as well. And if we're going with Snarky Twilight Bella then it probably ends up a race between her and JC to see who can save the world first.-
[Other things on this topic:]
[Some general thoughts on getting everyone together]
[A timeline of events]