|“||We can't kill that thing on our own. The sooner we all work together, the sooner we can end this.||„|
|~ Mei Ling, in response to The Unutterable Lurker|
The Tokyo Response Team are a team of elite problem-solvers in the Funcom M.M.O. The Secret World. The team is made up of high-flying agents from each of the main factions in The Secret World: the Templars, the Illuminati, the Dragon and the Council of Venice - and one unaligned. Introduced in a series of trailers prior to the release of the game, the first in-game encounter with the team occurs in the flashback to the incident which gave the team its name; after this, the team makes brief cameos throughout the game, usually whenever a major threat needs to be dealt with.
A dedicated Templar operative, Rose White is the firearms enthusiast of the group, favoring pistols and shotguns as her weapons and magical conduits of choice. Rose is one of the New Templars cultivated by Richard Sonnac, a subgroup built outside of the centuries-old bloodlines that had composed the Templars' membership until comparatively recently. Despite being only a first generation member, Rose is an exemplar of some of the most time-honored values of the Templars, namely conviction and integrity. Rose is prone to wistful contemplation privately, but while working with her allies, she maintains single-minded focus on eliminating her targets.
Mage, chain-smoker and proud member of the the Illuminati. Alex has committed himself entirely to the use of magic in battle, honing his powers of elemental and chaos magic to disorient and destroy his targets. Alex is a shameless hedonist but remains in a perpetually sour mood despite many a night rave, partly out of being forced to cooperate with Rose, mostly out of sheer personal cynicism. He tends to take a more pessimistic view of the world than most of the team, and In contrast to the more contemplative members, he prefers to deal with his disappointments in humanity with a good stiff drink - having concocted his own "Illuminati cocktail" to this end: two fingers of 64-year-old Highland scotch, two cubes of Antarctic ice, and one drop of counteragent. As an Illuminati agent, Alex has next to no hang-ups about dealing with demons, witches or monsters - but if such creatures live-up to their stereotypes, Alex will quickly and impersonally put them down before they can pose a threat. Alex prioritizes cover-ups of any and all elicit activities he or the other team members become involved in, for the sake of the public: as far as he's concerned, as long as people are given an excuse to ignore the supernatural, it's what they want.
An agent of the Dragon, Mei Ling uses a katana and iron knuckles as focuses for her magic, often of an extremely fiery character; in combat, she prefers to emphasis speed over brute strength, overtaking her opponents before they can act from a more advantageous position. Mei Ling is one of the more idealistic followers of the the Dragon, believing that understanding the secrets of the universe - the technical goal of the Dragon's order-through-chaos methods - is a philosophy more than worthy of her focus: she embraces abstract ideas head-on and tries to seek enlightenment with her eyes opened to the various magical wonders all around her - all in an attempt to make sense of the chaos and find purpose in life. Both Rose and Alex consider her the wide-eyed optimist of the group, as she is far more philosophical than the former and far more optimistic than the latter.
An outsider to the factions and a neutral in most respects, he is a shaman who uses the raw power of anima (the life force of the universe) to cast spells and create wards. Revering Gaia and her stability above all else, Zuberi primarily focuses on healing, empowering and purifying, and can frequently be found meditating even in times of dire emergency - though Alex sarcastically refers to this habit as "sleeping in the park." Little is known about Zuberi's background but he is prepared to take the fight to The Filth directly. Though he can not cure it, he can halt it's progress and purify the ground tainted by it, preventing it from infecting others. Introduced in the only trailer to feature the first three members of the group together, he is the only man on the scene able to keep the three opposing agents from killing each other - indicating that, as a neutral, he plays the part of a peacemaker.
An operative of the Council of Venice, Sarah is one of the few members of the team with her backstory more-or-less explained in detail: having grown up on the streets of Cairo, she spent most of her time smuggling books for black-marketers throughout the city. Though strictly forbidden from reading any of these contraband books, her curiosity eventually drove her to ignore these commands and a hunger for knowledge that inspired her to continue doing so; it was likely from these books that Sarah learned about magic and the affinity she had for it. Eventually making enough money to leave Cairo, she settled in New York, where she spent most of her time dodging the Illuminati headhunters and hiding in the sewers. It was here that she met Alex McCall while exorcising the ghost of an albino sewer gator; taking a liking to the brash Illuminati operative, she befriended him - and through his connections to the Secret World, met up with Rose White and Mei Ling, befriending them as well. Though all of them offered her positions within their factions, Sarah chose to join the Council of Venice - immediately falling in love with the Sunken Library and its many ancient books; there, senior council member Arturo Castiglione took her under his wing as a protege - though Arturo came to see her as a daughter more than anything else.
In the present, Sarah uses a shotgun and powerful chaos magic in battle; she also has some mild psychic abilities as a conduit and transmitter, allowing her to tap into other psychic communications and telepathically convey her experiences into the minds of others. It is through this power that players are first exposed to the events of the Tokyo disaster: whether through a prophecy from a street preacher, a post-hypnotic training session from a mad scientist, or a bout of mind-altering sex with a mysterious woman in red, players find themselves experiencing the events in Tokyo through her eyes, playing as her for a time and learning combat controls through her. This tutorial ends with Sarah being separated from the rest of the Tokyo Response Team by a cave-in, and witnessing the rift torn in dimensions nearby. The rest of the team still don't know what has become of her.
However, Issue #9 reveals that Sarah is still alive in the subway network; worse still, it becomes clear that allowing so many minds into hers is slowly beginning to overwhelm her memories and identity, driving her to the brink of insanity. Her encounter with the rift in the subways has warped her abilities, keeping her from shutting down her conduit powers and expanding her abilities into the realms of telekinesis; it is this ability that allows her to usher the player through the cave in. Though tormented by the experience of reliving her own memories at the behest of others, she remains behind, knowing that this is the only way new players can prepare for the chaos to come.