Disclaimer: I do not own Ghost in the Shell. It is owned by Shirow Masamune. I enjoy the story, and write for the non-profit fun of entertaining others. Please enjoy.

Chapter 1: New Beginnings

"Talking"
Thinking
(Cyberspeaking)
(Figure it out)

I don't know which saying I hate the most. The one about it being better to have love and lost, or the one about setting someone free hoping for the eventual return. They were both written by people who understood shit about the human heart. Three months ago, the Major disappeared; or better to say, her body was destroyed and they never recovered the brain box. Section 9 was disbanded after the tragedy due to political unrest and rumors of high-level espionage that resulted in the disappearance of a top-level agent, a cyborg no less.

(Batou)

(Chief?)

(The same. If I told you Section 9 was being reinstated, would you be interested?)

(But…without the Major…)

(She handpicked each member, and you were her top pick. Do you not think the team could find someone to fill the space she left?)

(NEVER!)

(I see. How about you filling her spot and we find a replacement for your position?)

(I am unfit for this responsibility. There can never be a replacement for Motoko.)

(I disagree about you being unfit, but I will investigate our options.)

(Options?)

(Be at my office 07:00. We will discuss it.)

The link ended. I was again sitting alone in my apartment, drinking Kirin, and looking out the windows at Tokyo. Where are you Motoko?

07:00, I'm standing in front of Aramaki's office. Suddenly the door opens and Ishikawa walks out. "Morning."

"Morning." He's shaking his head.

"You okay?"

"Yeah, just some ringing in my ears, a side effect of the last skirmish we had in the old city. You know, the one in which I saved your ass. It'll go away in a while." He headed down the hall to his next destination.

"Come in Batou." The gruff voice of Chief Aramaki echoed in his office. "Close the door behind you, we're not running a peep show here."

"Is Section 9 really gearing back up?"

"Yes." He turned and looked out the window. "With one slight modification." He reached into his drawer and pulled out a chip.

"What the hell is that?"

Aramaki looked at it with interest. "It's a tracking device, completely invasive and electronically invisible. It can be switched on in the event contact is lost with you. It will allow us to at least make a ghost retrieval."

"You're thinking of the Major aren't you? How her head was crushed and they were never able to find her brain box." Aramaki turned and looked out over downtown.

"Yes. She was an immeasurable loss to me both professionally and personally."

The chief had a personal relationship with Motoko? Aramaki turned and immediately read my face. His laugh was rough, unused sounding.

"Batou, you are so predictable in some ways." He sat down behind his desk. "The Major and I were friends, nothing more. I miss her friendship." He tented his fingers and glared through me. "Now, get down to hardware and have that chip implanted so we can go back to work. Dismissed." He watched as I stood and walked out the door.

Dr. Akai was waiting for me in the hardware room. "Hello Batou, have a present for me?" I handed him the chip. "Very good."

"Is this going to take long?"

"No. It will be quick and painless." The doctor turned back to Ishikawa to finish his work.

"What, you have a hot date tonight?"

I looked over at Ishikawa, still strapped in and laughing at my face. "Your sister said not to call after 9pm, she hates being interrupted."

Ishikawa blinked then threw me a bird. The doctor unhooked his cyber connections after the routine check, and Ishikawa came over and smacked me on the back. "I'll have to remember that one, Batou. See you in the ready room." The doors swished behind him, but I was already being powered down to receive my chip.

ssssss

(Batou) (Batou) (Wake up!)

"Motoko." I suddenly heard whispering around me. I blinked open eyes and saw two red fuzzy blurs and a short white-headed blur. "Chief. What happened to me? Everything is out of focus."

The white head turned to the left red blob. "Fix him NOW!" Pretty impressive for a Japanese leprechan. Suddenly my sight was dead on.

"I'd say it was good to see you, but WHAT THE HELL JUST HAPPENED?" I looked over at him in confusion.

"We don't know. One minute you're getting the chip inserted and the program uploaded, the next you're laid out on the table, fried."

"Am I okay, was anything essential damaged?" I was running internal checks, paranoid I'd lost some critical function.

"Nothing was damaged. The team will be assembling in the ready room at 09:00."

"Including Togusa?"

"No, everyone except Togusa, he's still in a coma."

"Well, one could hope."

Aramaki turned, but I clearly heard his parting words. "And one does."

A/N: Welcome to another Twiknham tale, I will repeat a couple of suggested recommendations. I ask you to refrain from using curse words in the reviews. Only because reviews are not rated. I cuss in my stories, cussing does not bother me, I just ask you to be considerate of others. Flames do not bother me, unless they have lots of cussing. I learn from both good reviews and bad reviews. Feedback is the ONLY way I know if this story is good/bad/pathetic. Lastly, I ask you refrain from adding spoilers in your reviews, this is based solely on the movies, and only barely touches on things from the series.

As with the other stories (Diary isn't a story, it's a series of random entries), this is complete. It will be updated on a weekly basis, irregardless of any hounding I receive. I make no promises when I will update. I'm currently updating another one on Wed/Thur, so it will probably NOT be on the same night.

And as always, I am DELIGHTED that you're taking time to read my tale. I hope I wove a good one. -TK