The Prime Minister is alerted to the existence of "hub cyberbrains," while Ishikawa returns from the peninsula to report on what he found out about Kuze's past.
The Major heads to Taiwan to investigate a lead on Kuze, and ends up getting involved with local gangs and a troublesome kid.
While tensions rise in the Dejima refugee camp, the Major hacks the refugee cyberbrain hub to determine Kuze's location.
Chat! Chat! Chat!
Motoko enters into an online chat room devoted to the Laughing Man to see if she can find any new information on him. What she discovers is a spirited debate among the self-proclaimed "fans" of the Laughing Man, but very little hard evidence.
The CIA arrives in Japan with a request to help them hunt down a serial killer. The killer, a former CIA operative, has recently gone rogue and has turned up in Japan. He is an especially brutal killer, preferring to skin his victims alive in the pattern of a T-shirt. This sparks an odd reaction in Batou, and his normally laid-back demeanor is replaced with one of furious determination. What is the link between Batou and this man?
Togusa goes undercover at a hospital for patients with Closed Cyberbrain Syndrome, a hospital completely cut off from communication with the outside world. Disguised as a staff worker, he learns that the patients' unique conditions make them exceptional at programming and hacking defense barrier programs.
One of the Tachikomas decides to take a little stroll through the city. It meets a little girl, Miki, who is searching for her lost dog and it agrees to help her. On their journey, the Tachikoma finds a strange box. After the adventure with Miki is over and the Tachikoma returns home, the members of Section 9 discover the box, and find that within it is a movie theater that contains the Ghosts of all those who saw the movie. Will Motoko be the next victim?
In a briefing, Aramaki shows a photo of a girl who looks like Eka Tokura, the daughter of Tokura Electronics, who was kidnapped 16 years ago. But there's one problem--the photo was taken two days ago! When a team of special operatives was sent in, all contact was lost. Section 9 is assigned to go in and determine what's really going on.