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Representatives from the American Empire have arrived in Japan to discuss a new security treaty, and Section 9 plays a part in securing the building where the talks are taking place.

In their off-time, members of the different security-teams strike up a poker game, but so far Saito has won every hand. Intrigued by this, the Tachikomas assigned to the security truck shift their discussion from the reason for the new security treaty to the reason that Saito is consistently winning a game of chance. For a raise in the game, Saito offers to share the story of how he acquired his poker face and why it's helping him win.

In 2020, the American Empire invaded Central America in an effort to stop the drug trade. Tired of Japan's uninvolvement in the war, Saito decided to hire himself out as a mercenary, and was picked up by a group fighting to keep Mexico's provisional government in place. One day Saito caught wind of a Special Forces team, who happens to be UN Peacekeepers, with a tactical nuclear weapon that would be passing through the remains of a destroyed town (Monterrey) that Saito was in.

Saito decided to engage the group, and managed to kill a total of three people before the spec ops team determined his location.

Headed by Major Kusanagi, the remaining members of the team stormed the hospital Saito was using, but not before he managed to kill two more men.

The Major, reaching the rooftop where Saito was camped & equipped with a full-sensing semiautomatic rifle, snuck up and fired three rounds at his jamming gear, destroying it. She then stood unmoving, rifle trained on Saito's position behind a column.

Saito foresaw that he could not survive this shoot out, and surmised that he would die. Until he remembered the three fired rounds and concluded that The Major did not have mid-range fire control software, and was in fact downloading it through the now available satellite.

Saito tried to "get their first" she could complete the download, only to learn that she in fact already had the software and had intentionally fired unnecessary rounds as a bluff.

His bullet grazed her cheek, hers took his eye as he tried to duck back behind the column.

Impressed with his skill as a marksman, The Major spared his life and ordered him to work for her in Section 9.

As the episode comes to a close, the possibility arises that the story which Saito just told was itself a bluff, based on the plot of an old movie. Saito says as much and walks away from the table an all-in hand, only for the Tachikomas to discover he would have won it, leading them to wonder if he may have been telling the truth after all.

Notable Dialogue

Ishikawa: The key to survival on the battlefield isn't courage or weapons, it's caution.
Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex 2nd GIG Episodes

1: Reactivation | 2: Well-Fed Me | 3: Saturday Night and Sunday Morning |
4: Natural Enemy | 5: Those Who Have the Motive | 6: Latent Heat Source |
7: The Rhapsodic Melody of a Bygone Nation | 8: Vegetarian Dinner |
9: The Hope Named Despair | 10: One Angry Man | 11: Kusanagi's Labyrinth |
12: To Those Without Even a Name... | 13: Face | 14: Beware the Left Eye |
15: Afternoon of the Machines | 16: The Fact of Being There | 17: Mother and Child |
18: Angel's Poem | 19: Chain Reaction of Symmetry | 20: Confusion at the North End |
21: Escape in Defeat | 22: Abandoned City | 23: The Day the Bridge Falls |
24: Aerial Bombing of Dejima | 25: To the Other Side of Paradise | 26: Return to Patriotism