I11 I: You of the nameless masses! Hear me! We are the Individual Eleven, separate minds gathered as one to reform the world little by little. The current system under which this country functions is rapidly approaching its demise. Suicide bombings by refugees. An untrustworthy government. Friction with countries worldwide. This land now finds itself in dire straits, individuals joining to form a complex will save it. You, who are among the nameless, awaken! Awaken and become part of the new order!


Announcer: Hey! Is the 7 o'clock news picking up any audio on this? They are? Good, we'll feed you the video!

Pilot: Sugi, look at that!

Announcer: Hm? Augh!

I11 I: And today, we are gathered here to execute one final act! The hour has come, to take up our cause!

Kuze: Wait!

I11 A: No more talk!

Announcer: Aaaugh! Their heads! They just chopped off each other's heads! Each of them, they, they killed each other. What an unbelievable sight! These men who appeared on the roof have murdered one another with...

Aramaki: Enough. This footage taken of the Individual Eleven suddenly appeared on NHTV 7 network evening news broadcast yesterday.

Batou: They surface finally, just so they can throw themselves a suicide party?

Motoko: It's reminiscent of the profile we worked up based on the info I got from Goda's virtual persona. The creation of mediators who will trigger a reaction, that of a Stand Alone Complex.

Ishikawa: "The birth of a hero-martyr is fully realized at the instant of his death." They were definitely dedicated their actions must follow Patrick Sylvestre's writing on the Cuban revolution to the letter.

Togusa: And talk about thorough, the man thought through enough to fabricate a phantom essay titled "The Individual Eleven," a device he drummed up to skillfully camouflage the fact that it's a virus. Besides that reporter I went to see, I'll bet you anything there's a slew of people all over the country who recently tried to kill themselves under suspicious circumstances.

Borma: Yeah, I suppose I had a pretty close call, too.

Matsui: We can draw one obvious conclusion: each and every one of the victims infected by the virus was programmed to ultimately end his own life.

Aramaki: Refugees are already leaping into action with these infernal suicide bombings. And one can only guess how many copycats will crop up as a result of this recent news report, but the majority of the populace, who had been in the dark about the refugee problem, is now suddenly, acutely aware of its existence, and that it's erupted into a powderkeg issue.

Motoko: Then I assume in order to prevent another outbreak of symptoms, we're gonna need a vaccine.

Aramaki: More than likely, Goda's plan has only gotten as far as phase one. And while I'm worried about public and copycat reaction to this broadcast, Section 9 doesn't have the manpower to deal with it. We've done all that we can. Therefore, we'll focus our efforts on the Cabinet Intelligence Service.

Togusa: All right. Let me guess. To do that, we'll have to take him into custody.

Aramaki: Exactly.

Batou: Okay, but who the hell is he? Do we know? And why was he the only one who didn't off himself, huh?

Matsui: It will be impossible to determine the answer to that question with any certainty without first analyzing the person's cyberbrain. In the crime lab, we use the term for people such as this; namely, those whose behavior is outside the norm even though they're infected by the same virus, we refer to them as spontaneous mutations.

Motoko: So, after looking at this footage, have you been able to extract any new information about our mutant from it?

Matsui: Of course. Here. For openers, take a look at this. In this footage from the attack on the Prime Minister, I noticed something that bothered me: the man doesn't move his mouth when he speaks. Right here.

Kuze: Die! /Die! /Die!...

Matsui: At the time, I figured he had cut the connection to his neural net, he might have done that in order to boost his prosthetic body's performance. But after seeing the same phenomenon in this latest incident, I've made a somewhat different deduction.

Kuze: Wait!

I11 A: No more talk!

Matsui: From what I observed, It's likely that he is hardly using any of the micromachines that comprise the neural net of his facial muscles.

Batou: What do you mean that his mouth never moves?

Matsui: No, his mouth will move, all right. But it's difficult for him; he can barely do it.

Togusa: And armed with that knowledge, how would it help us track him down?

Matsui: Please be patient. I also want you to closely examine his face. It's quite handsome, wouldn't you say?

Batou: Just what the hell does that have to do with anything?

Matsui: You people are so impatient. Listen to me now. There is a very critical point that I'm trying to get across to you which is this: why would he have such a human-looking face without the muscles needed for facial expression?

Motoko: It was created by a skilled face sculptor?

Matsui: Correct. I knew you'd catch on, Major. His face was probably made by a topnotch sculptor who specializes in that particular field. I get the impression that its creator was an artist, someone unaffiliated with a large company. In which case, that narrows our search. There are only two artists so that caliber in the entire country.

Togusa: I had no idea that a face sculptor was such a rarity.

Batou: The Japanese are known to be masterful artists, but true-to-life rendering was really never their strong suit. I don't doubt that some of them are able to make generic faces, but there sure aren't many with the talent to create those that are one-of-a-kind.

Togusa: Make sense... Uh... Hey.

Batou: Huh?

Batou: Section 9. Tell me what happened here.

Policeman: Sir. Looks like there was a murder. Male victim.

Batou: Major, we just got here. Things are already dicey.

Motoko: What's up?

Batou: I've got a hunch that our target's been whacked.

Motoko: He beat you to the artist?

Batou: I don't know for sure, but the studio's cordoned off as a murder scene.

Motoko: I'll send over Paz and Saito. Don't let the local cops disturb the crime area.

Batou: I'll try, but it might be too late.

Batou: We're Section 9. Would you guys mind taking a hike for a minute?

Detective: Hm? Now why would Section 9 wanna poke its nose into a run-of-the-mill murder case?

Togusa: Is the victim a face sculptor?

Detective: That's right.

Togusa: It just so happens he was a material witness in a case we're working.

Detective: Gee, sorry to hear that. But this one's no-brainer, we'll wrap it up in no time. Just as soon as we nab the perp, we'll hand our files over to you. So be good boys and go home.

Batou: What do you mean by that?

Detective: Take a look. You don't have to work in a crime lab to tell you can pull a set of prints off that handle. Plus, the victim and the perp knew each other. The two were having a friendly drink together up until the murder. To top it off, that security camera got a clear shot of the killer's face. It's as plain as day. So I don't see any need to connect the dots for you guys.

Batou: Well, let us take a look at that footage, then.

Detective: No can do.

Batou: Say what? Listen, if we have to, we can strip you of your authority here in a blink.

Detective: You can shove that strong-arm crap. This is our case.

Batou: Bastard!

Togusa: C'mon, Batou.

Paz: Hey, can't we all get along?

Detective: Hm?... That's the guy who was... Who are you?

Motoko: Yeah, that's Paz, all right. No two ways about it.

Aramaki: What about the fingerprints on the evidence?

Togusa: Cops say they're a match.

Batou: The same thing goes for the lip prints on the glass. The cops were itching to jump on Paz and arrest him, getting them to back off was anything but easy.

Motoko: The local police have to understand that this footage isn't conclusive proof, but with those finger and lip prints, it makes the situation a lot more complicated.

Togusa: Yeah, but isn't it possible to create duplicates of either one?

Motoko: Sure, if you steal DNA data too that's recorded in the person's prosthetic body.

Batou: What if pretty boy with a stiff-kisser is the killer, you think he'd go all this trouble?

Motoko: It's hard for me to believe that. Don't discount the fact that this could be totally unrelated. Paz, any suspects in mind?

Paz: Not offhand.

Motoko: Okay. Ishikawa and Borma, go over the data we retrieved and see if there's any record of our prosthetic man in them. Batou, Saito and Togusa, coordinate with local police and work the face sculptor murder angle. Paz, you're gonna have to stay put and lay low until you're cleared. Report any and all information you can think of that might relate to this matter. There's got to be a reason for what's going on.

Paz: Roger that.

Batou: All right, tell the truth. You really know something, don't you?

Paz: No. Not a thing.

Batou: Well, if you can't talk to the Major about it, I'm always here. You can come to me if you remember anything.

Paz: I'll do that.

Bartender: A matched set of death masks. It's a new pastime the manager's taken up, I guess. What can I get you?

Detective: I'll have what he's having.

Paz: You want something?

Detective: I thought about tailing you, but you probably would've spotted me right off, so here I am. I honestly don't think it was you who killed that guy. After all, it's not like there's any shortage of people in this town with prosthetic faces. But it's not just that the murderer has the same face as yours. He's your exact copy. After watching that security camera footage, I got a distinct feeling that that guy's got the some kind of obsession with you. He definitely connects to you somehow. I'm gonna keep a close eye on you. I just came here to give you a heads-up.

Paz: Fine.

Manager: This is a first. I've never seen you here with a man before. Usually, you're either alone or have a different woman in your arm each time.

Paz: I don't know who that guy was.

Manager: I see.

Paz: Got a new hobby, huh?

Manager: Oh, do you mean those? I met the most wonderful master face sculptor recently. A true artist.

Paz: A face sculptor?

Manager: I decided to commission him to make a new face for me after I saw samples of his art work, but when we did the first fitting of the face he made, it's struck me all of a sudden. I realized that your Ghost might not actually be within your braincase, but rather in your skin, especially in the lines and wrinkles that are etched into your face. The sculptor told me something interesting. Apparently, he used to make new faces for soldiers who were badly disfigured during the course of battle. He said that one day, he happened to notice that the severity of the soldiers' psychological wounds invariably reflected the severity of their facial wounds.

Detective: Ah?... Oh, it's just you. What're you doing? Uh, the other guy?!...

Ishikawa: I'll be damned. It's him. I found our man, Major. His name's Hideo Kuze. The guy's body is full prosthetic. Judging from the specs in the file, it's pretty safe to assume that it's a PKF-use prosthetic body. As for the face, it doesn't have too much in the way of neural nets, which is just what the guys in the crime lab hypothesized. Looks like the creases and what little facial expressiveness he has are solely the result of the sculptor's talent. Needless to say, it's a one-off. It's made of a nanocarbon, biosynthetic skin hybrid that's got a regeneration program incorporated into it.

Motoko: It makes sense.

Ishikawa: I don't know if we can establish a direct connection, but apparently the murdered sculptor catered to a specific clientele; he only made faces for retired servicemen. I bet old gorgeous here caught wind of those rumors and had the sculptor create a whole new look for him, too.

Motoko: Hideo Kuze, huh? They've erased all the records from back then. I guess we'll have to track him down the old fashioned way. Ishikawa, get ready to take a trip to the peninsula.

Ishikawa: I'm too old to go gallivanting around like that.

Motoko: You're the one with the most connections over there.

Borma: You know maybe this Kuze guy has absolutely nothing to do with the murder.

Motoko: Probably not.

Borma: But the murderer masquerades as Paz, so there must be some sorta link between him.

Motoko: Mhm.

Ishikawa: You know this might actually be female-related.

Batou: Major, I've got some bad news.

Motoko: What is it?

Batou: A local police detective has been killed.

Togusa: And witnesses saw him meet with Paz before he was shot to death.

Motoko: Is Paz with you?

Togusa: Yeah.

Batou: Major, it's pretty obvious that somebody's trying to frame him. Based on the shell casing on the ground, the bullet was a type of ammo that's only used in a Seburo M5.

Motoko: That's a little too convenient. Paz, you still can't think of anybody who has it in for you?

Paz: I can think of too many. That's the thing. Major, I wanna see that face sculptor's client data. Show me everything you have, starting with the most recent one. Maybe that will ring some bells.

Motoko: Understood. Borma.

Paz: Hm? Major, I wanna ask a favor. Let me work this case solo from here on in. If it looks like I'm gonna cause trouble for the unit, go ahead and cut me loose if you have to. Seems this is shaping up to be a personal matter. Very personal.

Motoko: All right. Play it your way.

Paz: Thanks, Major.

Detective: Hey! Where are you going?

Batou: You're after the wrong guy. You're not seriously trying to tell me that Paz here is a suspect?

Detective: Circumstantial evidence says he is.

Batou: He's innocent, regardless.

Detective: Yeah, well, we need to check him out anyway.

Batou: That won't be necessary. If there was any chance it was him, we would've already done it ourselves.

Paz: Batou, I wanted to let you know that I uploaded the address of where I'm going into your external memory. In case if something happens and I don't come back, you can try looking for me there.

Batou: Hm, understood. Sure you wanna do this alone?

Paz: Yes, I am.

Woman: What kept you? Just as I thought, you really had forgotten all about me. It's only been five years since I last lived here.

Paz: And when did you jack that woman's prosthetic body?

Woman: About three months ago, I suppose. I happened to catch sight of you at the bar one night. You didn't notice me at all, did you?

Paz: Where's the lady's braincase?

Woman: I have no idea. Probably at the Yumenoshima landfill by now.

Paz: I guess you got my fingerprints at the bar, too.

Woman: That's right.

Paz: So, why are you trying to be me?

Woman: Why? Because I simply couldn't understand the reason why you left me. It wasn't as if you'd found another woman. And it wasn't because you hated me, either. You told me not ask any questions about yourself, so I didn't. I did everything you wanted, but still you left me. When we first met, you said something to me. Do you remember? You stated, "I never sleep with the same woman twice." Is this man serious? But when we did sleep together second time, I knew I was in love. I'm sure you felt the same way. You're a heartless man. I was so riddled with hatred I thought I'd go insane. Yet in spite of that I couldn't stop myself from wondering why it was that you left me.

Paz: So you took my face?

Woman: Yes.

Paz: And what did you learn about me?

Woman: The depth... of your love... for me. You and I were living in two completely different worlds, weren't we? I realize now that you left me to keep me from seeing the world that you live in. You were just trying to protect me.

Paz: I don't deserve credit.

Woman: You do. That's the kind of man you are. But none of that matters anymore. You don't have to worry about this lady. Now that I have your Ghost inside me. Therefore, I no longer need the real you.

Batou: Uh...!

Woman: If you have any love left for me, then... die here.

Paz: Think I'll pass on that. But I won't mind losing my life if... you're my killer.

Batou: Let's go!

Tachikoma: Roger!

Batou: So you did it?

Batou: The details are just like I reported.

Motoko: It's Paz, so I'm not surprised.

Batou: I guess. Still, do you think that he should've figured out who the killer was sooner.

Motoko: I'm not sure. I've got a feeling there're lots of women around who'd love to see him dead.

Batou: What? Are you serious?

Motoko: No, I didn't verify it or anything, but when I went to meet Paz for the first time to scout him, he said something like, "I'm the kind of guy who doesn't sleep with the same woman twice."

Batou: Huh? Oh, brother...

Motoko: The real question is, do you believe that Paz is the genuine article?

Batou: Probably.

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