The hulking cyborg counterterrorist Batou doesn't have a family; his electronic brain never dreams. So why has he dreamt the other night, and dreamt that he has a son? It is 2032, and Batou, veteran of a hundred urban black ops in Public Security Section 9, lives deadly and miserable between the corner shops where he haggles with holograms over dog food, and the towering rubble of skyscrapers above, gutted in suicide bombings and never rebuilt.
Once Batou had a human love for his partner, the legendary Major Kusanagi, before he witnessed her transfiguration into something far beyond humanity. Now he has only his job and his beloved Basset hound, Gabriel - but when Batou experiences a brief virtual death in an arranged car accident, he returns home to find Gabriel has gone missing - missing, perhaps, to go look for his owner's lost soul. The desperate and increasingly delusional cop fears his poor dog has made a horrible mistake out of innocence, for Batou has taken a cold crystalline look inside himself and decided that he never truly had one...
By Masaki Yamada