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After 15 days of fierce fighting, the Umibozu complete their operation to dismantle Section 9 by assassinating Kusanagi and capturing Batou. The dismantling of Section 9, spun by the media as a JSDF preemptive strike against a radical security unit, provides the prime minister with the public support his party needs to win the lower house elections. Three months pass, during which Togusa tries to come to terms with all that has happened with Section 9.
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.
Having learned the entire truth behind the Laughing Man incident from The Laughing Man himself, and having confirmed the information with Mr. Serano, Section 9 is finally ready to make their move against the man behind the corporate terrorism: Standing Secretary General Yakushima. Unfortunately, Yakushima has learned of Section 9's planned move, and has leaked the existence of the group to the press in an effort to cast the organization in a bad light.