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Yamaguchi: Another one. What's going on here?

Nibu: Yamaguchi.

Yamaguchi: Oh..., Chief Nibu. What are you doing down here after hours?

Nibu: Hell of a question. I was working. You know what that is, working? Isn't that what you're doing?

Yamaguchi: Yeah.

Nibu: How about a drink, just you and me?

Yamaguchi: I can't. Sorry. I think I'm gonna call it a night.

C: The Visual Device Will Laugh; interceptor

Togusa: Hello?

Yamaguchi: Togusa. This is Yamaguchi, we worked at headquarters together. You remember me?

Togusa: Yamaguchi? Oh, yeah. How have you been? It's been a long time, huh?

Yamaguchi: Sorry to call so late out of the blue and all. But I'm analyzing some sensitive data and I need a second opinion. OK if I bring it to you?

Togusa: You mean now? Uh... sure I guess. Is there a problem?

Yamaguchi: Well, you remember the Laughing Man case?

Togusa: The Laughing Man? Oh, yeah. He was the guy who kidnapped the CEO of a micromachine corp, and had the nerve to hold him for ransom, but...that was 6 years ago.

Yamaguchi: Yeah. I'm on a research unit for that case right now, but some of our own people are acting, well, suspicious.

Togusa: You mean like a turf war between detectives?

Yamaguchi: No, it goes further up than that. Maybe all the way to the top. I'll tell you more when I see you. I-I'll be there in an hour.

Togusa: Alright. I'll be waiting for you.

Yamaguchi: Thanks.

Yamaguchi: Interceptors! They put them in my eyes too!

Ishikawa: Hm? Did Togusa spend the whole night here?

Saito: Eh, yeah, I guess. He said he had to wait for someone. Hm? Hey, what's in the box?

Ishikawa: This? Batou ordered some new weight-training equipment.

Saito: More? How much does he need?

Ishikawa: Since his body's cybernetic, I got no idea what he thinks pumping iron's gonna do for him.

Saito: No joke. You think he could find something better to spend his money on. Huh, you're finally awake?

Togusa: "Highway accident... Police Officer Burned Beyond Recognition"?

Aramaki: Are you certain? The agent who contacted you last night is the same one who died in that accident?

Togusa: Yes. He said there was suspicious activity in his unit. He sounded very worried to me at the time.

Motoko: So you think his accident wasn't an accident.

Togusa: I don't have any evidence. But the timing is very convenient.

Aramaki: What did the lab report say?

Togusa: They think he just lost control of the car. Poor visibility.

Motoko: Which is very possible since he was driving in a rainstorm.

Togusa: Yeah, but...

Aramaki: Let him make his point, Major. No matter what the cause of death, this agent had inside information that may be very pertinent. We need to follow it up, but we need to do it quietly. You've got the three days. See what you can find out.

Togusa: Thank you very much, sir.

Aramaki: So, we're back on the Laughing Man case. What do you think?

Motoko: I've forgotten all about it until he brought it up. Six years and that same unit is still working on the same case?

Aramaki: A lot of companies were blackmailed so they all have to be covered. It's the largest act of corporate terrorism since the war. If they dropped the case without an indictment, HQ can't back out because of public opinion.

Motoko: I still say they're taking their sweet time.

Aramaki: You've got a point. Even the top execs can't agree on the culprit of the crime. Some say it's politically-motivated -- extremists who hate prosthetics and all forms of cyber technology. Others think it's standard corporate warfare -- some conglomerate trying to get an edge on the market. And some say it's just about the ransom money -- plain old thievery. In another words, they have lots of theories and no facts. They don't know if it's one guy or a group. They don't know the suspect's nationality, age or sex. The only thing they all agree on is whoever broke into the system is a super-class-A hacker.

Motoko: He was class-A when he started this thing, but he couldn't sustain it. His work turned mediocre. I don't like anything about this case not the hacker, the corporations or the cops.

Aramaki: Right. But we still have to check out police headquarters. If there's high level involvement in this we have no choice but to step in.

Monk: (sutras)

Yamaguchi's Wife: Mr. Togusa? Thank you for coming here. I'm Mrs. Yamaguchi.


Togusa: Uh... I'm sorry.

Togusa: But how did you know who I was?

Yamaguchi's Wife: My husband told me about you, he said I could trust you. I'm glad you came, so I could give you this. It arrived from my husband this morning. He must've sent it just before the accident. There was a note inside saying to give it to you. He said you'd know what to do with it.

Togusa: Really? I'll take a look at it. Ah... Are you certain that this is what he wanted me to see?

Yamaguchi's Wife: Yes... I mean I'm pretty sure.

Togusa: Next. Next. Next. Next. Enlarge 22 to 56. Next. Next. Enlarge 35 to 28. Next. Next. Next. Huhh... What is all this? Yamaguchi wanted me to pick up something, but what? So, my babe does stuff like this, too, sometimes. In fact, maybe I better give her a call now. Hi, it's me. I'm afraid I won't be coming home again tonight. Yeah, I know. Make sure the doors are locked, OK? I'll do my best. OK. G'night. Alright. Wash up and I'll take it again from the top.

Togusa: Huh... Only two days left and I've got nothing. Wait a minute.

Togusa: Load C97, enlarge 35 to 28. Nothing... Load C98. That's gotta be it. Load C96. This one, too? C92. Enlarge 4 to 13. Enlarge 42 to 30. This one, too? And this one... In every photo... There's one thing missing...the camera.

Fukami: So, what can I do for an elite Section 9 agent?

Togusa: I didn't see you at Yamaguchi's funeral. I guess I was expecting you to show up there.

Fukami: Well, I got held up with a few things. I take it you met his wife there.

Togusa: Yeah.

Fukami: What an idiot, huh? Leaving behind a beautiful young wife like that.

Togusa: So, in your department, is there trouble?

Fukami: You mean with this Laughing Man thing? We've been working this case day and night.

Togusa: You think you're going to solve it?

Fukami: You're interrogating me?

Togusa: Not at all. If you don't wanna talk about it, forget I asked.

Fukami: Nah, it's no big deal. Anyway, you've got other sources. You'll find out one way or the other. Truth is, we've got a new material witness. Looks like he led us right to the guy we're looking for.

Togusa: You've had lots of other witnesses that led you nowhere.

Fukami: Yeah, but this guy's different. He's got reason to talk. Plus, our suspect has a beef against Serano.

Togusa: Serano?

Fukami: Serano Genomics. First micromachine company hit by the Laughing Man. They were also the first one we investigated.

Togusa: So, you must be close to arresting the suspect?

Fukami: Yes and no. The top brass is sitting on the fence. We've got lots of circumstantial evidence, but they want more. Our orders are to catch him in the act so that's what we are trying to do.

Togusa: How's that done?

Fukami: Interceptors.

Togusa: Interceptors? We got a briefing on those things about 3 months ago. New micro-surveillance technology. They just legalized it.

Fukami: That's them. Plant them on a suspect and you can see everything he's doing from his point of view. Plus, they're good for three months, so we don't even have to tail the guy. You just wait till he goes to the doctor or hospitals then you pop 'em in, he never even knows they're there. Then we record and analyze everything he does. Hell, when he takes a piss, we can measure the trajectory.

Togusa: Huh? What did you just say?

Fukami: Hm? I said measure the trajectory.

Togusa: That's it.

Aramaki: Now, it makes sense. Interceptors.

Togusa: Yes. I verified the data, Yamaguchi's photos are from the point of view detectives on the Laughing Man unit. They're all implanted with interceptors without their knowledge.

Aramaki: This is the suspicious activity Yamaguchi tried to warn you about, and he thought it went all the way to the top.

Togusa: Yes.

Motoko: It may be a little irregular to implant them in your own agents, but it's not illegal. Headquarters can use interceptors all they want as long as they submit the right paperwork.

Togusa: But they didn't submit any paperwork. This was all done in secret. The law requires a neutral third party observer. They didn't have one of those either. According to Fukami, the idea was to plant interceptors in a key suspect they've developed. Instead, they brought the investigation team in for some bogus medical checkups, and implanted interceptors in them. As far as I can tell, every guy in the department was under round the clock surveillance.

Batou: I've heard of monitoring on-the-job performance but that's going a little too far. By the way, it's Serano Genomics that sells these interceptors to the police, isn't that right?

Ishikawa: Yeah, this company supplying the technology to investigate themselves is very bizarre. There must be something behind this.

Togusa: Fukami's working for Serano now, he's undercover doing personal security for the CEO. Neither he nor the other agents realize these interceptors are recording everything.

Motoko: For friends they're sure not on very good terms.

Aramaki: We've got all the pieces now.

Batou: Hey, doesn't this mean they know that Togusa's working on the case already?

Aramaki: Hm. So, we need to move on this as soon as we can, but we don't have the goods to confront them.

Motoko: In that case, let's shake them up a little.

Buranemo: Sorry. We're not open yet. Come back tonight. ? Huh? Who's there?

Motoko: It's just me.

Buranemo: Aaaaugh!! Oh, it's you. Don't scare me like that.

Motoko: You such a big baby. Don't worry, I'll be gentle.

Buranemo: Did you come here just to make sarcastic remarks?

Motoko: Hardly. I simply want you to leak this information to the reporters who pass through this place. But not the ones taking government pay-offs, are you following me, Buranemo?

Buranemo: Sorry. Business has dropped off. I don't get many classy customers anymore.

Motoko: You don't say. And wouldn't it be a shame if the Cybercops found out that this place is a server for info-terrorists and you're right in the middle of it.

Buranemo: I see you still like to make these subtle inside jokes.

Motoko: I'm so glad we have an understanding. I'll pay you in cash same as always.

Buranemo: A pleasure as always... Huh?

Motoko: I'm sure you'll know what to do.

Buranemo: Leaving already? You can at least stay and have a drink with me.

Motoko: I would if you had anything that wasn't watered down.

Buranemo: That was uncalled-for.

Reporter: Mr. Nibu. Is it true that interceptors have been planted within the police department that the law was sidestepped then they're being used illegally?

Nibu: What? What're you talking about?

Reporter: I'm talking about the detectives being bugged without their knowledge. Are you familiar with interceptors, sir? Any comments?

Nibu: Who told you that!

Reporter: Uh! If you just answer the question, sir!

Nibu: Try this again, and I'll arrest you. Now go away!

Reporter: Wait a minute, my camera...

Nibu: Ah, get lost!

Reporter: Aren't you driving to work this morning, sir?

Nibu: Go to hell!

Reporter: Mr. Nibu.

Daido: Looks like Aramaki is pulling the strings on this one. Yeah, he's a hard-headed old dog. Yes, I've taken measures of course. Well, yeah, I suppose it can't be helped. Not at all, it was just the price of a police captain's pension. I'm glad to hear you say that. Truth is my wife wasn't that thrilled with the property in Holland anyway. Yes, I agree wholeheartedly. All right then. I'll set up a press conference for tomorrow.

Anchorman: In response to a story being widely reported, Police authorities will answer allegations regarding the illegal use of a new sensory surveillance technique, the special investigation unit of the Niihama Prefectural Police...

Togusa: Daido called a press conference?

Motoko: Yeah, we've got a bigger reaction than we ever imagined.

Aramaki: Daido was in charge the first time Laughing Man struck, and he handled initial investigations. It looks like there's something his people want to keep in-house, and they're going to great lengths to cover it up.

Police Officer: Thank you, gentlemen. We're ready for your statement.

Daido: Last week, certain publications alleged that interceptors were being used in violation of legal standards, standards that were set out by the sensory perception surveillance act, therefore an internal investigation was ordered. Subsequently, Captain Kunihiko Nibu, chief of the special investigations unit, admitted participating in these acts. After the Laughing Man investigation hit a dead end, Captain Nibu attempted to gather additional information by implanting interceptors in his detectives against department regulations. Captain Nibu regrets having taken these actions. He stated that he lost sound judgment due to stress caused by severe setbacks in the case. Despite the Captain's apology, the fact of the matter is his actions deviated from his professional responsibilities. Therefore, as of today, Captain Nibu has been given an official disciplinary dismissal. And we offer those investigators who were assigned to this case as well as their families our deepest and most sincere apologies.

Reporter: What about senior officials? Aren't they implicated?

Daido: I believe the Commissioner will be issuing a statement to you shortly.

Reporter: Wasn't there a conflict of interests when Serano sold these devices to the police?

Daido: I heard the agency followed strict guidelines when they purchased these devices. It's my understanding that they were selected through a formal bidding system that is very carefully regulated.

Reporter: What kind of answer is that!

Reporter: Wasn't that the police who asked for this new surveillance law?

Batou: Hmph!

Reporter: Uh, sir! Is it true that you're planning to retire soon and relocate to Holland? And is it also true that Serano's corporate headquarters are in Holland. Any connection there, sir?

Daido: Those are personal questions which I'm not obligated to xxx!

Reporter: What does that mean?

Batou: Never changes. Uh? That's weird. Is the cameraman drunk or what?

Takekawa: You haven't changed a bit, Superintendent-General Daido. Pleased to meet you. But you already know who I am, don't you?

Aramaki: That's him...!

Batou: What's wrong with this darn thing?

Matsuoka: Uh, what's the matter with Takekawa!

Takekawa: You know, Mr. Daido. I tried to avoid this, I didn't want to be involved in your world any longer. I was honestly fed up with you people and your rotting rubbish heap of a world. So I haven't interfered with the little farce you've been staging since the incident occurred, even though I knew everything. In a word, I was exhausted from my fruitless exhaustions, unfortunately.

Ishikawa: Hey, you watching? That guy's cyberbrain is being hacked into...

Batou: Shh!

Takekawa: But I've changed my mind, because, well, this show you put on today is pitiful. A farce should be funny, but this one hasn't make me laugh even once. And so with the utmost reluctance I must challenge you once again. You and your comedy troupe are going to reconvene in three days, right? When you do, tell the truth this time, won't you? Because when the curtain goes up, if you put on another performance that rings as false as this one, I will be forced to remove you from the stage...

Matsuoka: Takekawa! Call an ambulance! Hurry!

Announcer: And we are now returning to the studio for a brief recap. Can you tell us what's...

Togusa: That's Laughing Man?

Aramaki: Major, get me positive verification.

Motoko: Yes, sir!

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