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Aramaki has been released under his own recognizance, and meets with the head of the Ministry of Justice to explain the situation and ask for help in ensuring his team members' safety, but the Minister of Justice is powerless to affect the situation beyond the prosecution of Yakushima. Elsewhere, Saito and Ishikawa are caught in separate traps set by Umibozu teams, but not before successfully dispersing information seeds given to them by the Major. With Batou and Motoko as the only uncaptured members of Section 9, Batou undertakes a risky sortie to Motoko's apartment to recover her sentimentally-valued watch. Before he can escape, Umibozu commandos arrive and a firefight ensues. Batou successfully fends off the first wave of attacks, but is unexpectedly confronted with two armoured combat suits, the second of which proves to be more than he can handle. Just when it seems that Batou will be killed, help arrives from a most unlikely source: the Tachikomas. Having witnessed the attack on Section 9, the three remaining Tachikomas rendezvous at the remains of Section 9's headquarters, and after a time manage to find Batou at Kusanagi's apartment. The Tachikoma tanks resolve to protect Batou at any cost, but armed only with wires and a single shell it seems an impossible task and only succeed by sacrificing themselves. Meanwhile, Kusanagi arrives to evacuate a badly injured Batou. She evacuates him to her hideout where she stores her remote bodies. Batou returns Kusanagi's watch and she puts it on her wrist. After seeing to his wounds, both attempt to leave the city, but the Umibozu have other plans (on orders from the cabinet) to assassinate the Major. The Major's decapitated body is not wearing the watch.
Read More at Smoke of Gunpowder, Hail of Bullets – BARRAGE