|"A ghost from Adam Jensen's past rears his ugly, augmented head and it's open warfare! Even with a new ally, Adam has his hands full . . . but what's the connection between Adam's past and his current assignment?"|
|- Synopsis, DC Comics|
The issue begins in the instant that Ghost in the Machine leaves off, with bullets flying through the window, aimed at Adam Jensen and Katrina Sutherland. Jensen uses his Quicksilver Reflex Booster to tackle Katrina, protecting her from the barrage. Katrina jokes about Jensen invading her personal space, to which Jensen says that he's better than a bullet. The two make a plan to escape the immediate situation. They make a shooting run for the roof, taking out both snipers as they go by the shattered windows. The pair race up the stairwell, joking about the terrible service in the hotel. When they reach the roof, Jensen uses his augmented vision to check the door they're about to leave through. Two of the five mercenaries he sees through the walls are waiting on the other side of the door to flank them. Jensen shoots both of them through the wall, then bursts through the door, arm-mounted nano-blade at the ready. Using his reflex booster augmentation, he quickly disposes of the remaining guards. Just as he finishes with the mercenaries, a sixth, unknown enemy leaps at him from above and knocks him into a vent. The unknown assailant seems to know Jensen, saying that he's "not quite the man he used to be." Just as he's about to engage Jensen in hand-to-hand combat with this own arm-blade augmentations, he gets shot three times by Katrina. Jensen and Katrina think it's over, but the assailant gets back up. His face plate is smashed, and it is revealed to be Quincy Durant; Jensen's commander from his S.W.A.T. days.
Upon seeing the man, Jensen flashes back to a mission with him in 2020, hunting down an Iraq War veteran by the name of Tyrell Banks in a junkyard in Detroit. Banks murdered Keri Ryder, a call girl. The older officer mentions that he lost $700 on Banks's last fight, and that it's payback time. The pair begin discussing the current situation with augmentations, including a man who is suing for the right to have a functional limb amputated to have an augmented one installed. The older officer says that it's just the start, and that in a few years they'll start wanting to augment cops as well. The conversation is cut short as a stack of cars tips over on the pair. Jensen manages to leap free, calling out for his commander. Jensen hears an agonized scream from the wreckage. When he investigates, he finds only Quincy's severed arm. Following the trail further, Jensen finds Banks holding Quincy by the throat. When Jensen confronts him, Banks throws Quincy at him and uses the distraction to pounce at Jensen. Jensen rolls out of the way, using his combat rifle to shoot Banks multiple times in the chest and face. Jensen then calls for help and tends to Quincy's wounds.
Returning to present day, Katrina is still holding her gun on Durant, as the pair bring her up to speed on their previous friendship and falling out. Jensen asks Durant why he killed so many innocent people at the Humanity Front rally, saying that it was never his style, despite how "bad [he] became in the old days." Durant states simply that he is a force of evolution. Katrina tells him that he's being presumptuous, given that she has a gun trained on him, but Durant triggers his Typhoon Explosive System using a subvocal detonation signal, and Jensen grabs Katrina and lunges away. Although Jensen is not much worse for wear, Durant has him pinned on the ground with a pistol. Just as he's about to end Jensen for good, Faridah Malik arrives with her VTOL and opens up on Durant with the dual chin guns. At such short range and small target size, her fire is inaccurate enough for Durant to escape the barrage by leaping off the rooftop and in to the neighboring building. Malik asks if Jensen wants to go after him. Katrina says she's willing, but that it would be equally nice to call off the chase for now and regroup. Upon hearing Katrina's voice, Malik jokes that Jensen went in to find a computer nerd that looks like Pritchard, but came out with Lara Croft.
Jensen once again flashes back to 2020, this time some time after the operation at the junkyard. Quincy has been hospitalized with many severe injuries in addition to his severed arm, including a shattered spine, broken neck, fractured skull and loss of sight in one eye. The nurse says that his only hope of regaining a normal life is to agree to extensive augmentation. Jensen goes to see his friend in his hospital room. He is heavily bandaged all over his body. Jensen says that the whole team has been there, and that they're all down at Maggie's Bar at the moment. Quincy reflects on the attack, particularly the part where Banks ripped his arm off. He laments that humans are so easy to break. He asks Jensen what happens next, but Jensen doesn't know. He then tells Jensen that he should have just let him die.
Back in the present, Katrina has received repairs and upgrades from David Sarif, and is now discussing the matter at hand with he, Pritchard and Jensen. They recap the events of the past six months that all seem to indicate that Katrina is involved because of the stolen data stream that Pritchard traced to her hotel room. Katrina tells them that they were set up. She claims that the people she's pursuing hired a world-class hacker known as Windmill to cover their tracks and lead the Sarif team in circles. Sarif asks her who she's pursuing, so she explains that she's tracking a group of augmented mercenaries who have been conducting black ops over the world. The group has recently stolen a large amount of ordinance from the private military contractor Sharp Edge. Jensen is looking pensively out the window during the discussion. Sarif notices this, and asks him if he knows the leader. Jensen identifies him as Quincy Durant, his former S.W.A.T. commander and friend.
Jensen flashes back to 2021, where he is engaged in a shootout with a local gang. He requests reinforcements and gets Quincy Durant, now augmented. Durant ignores protocol and mows the entire group down in seconds, noting that Jensen isn't exactly happy to see him.
Back in the board room, Jensen explains the backstory to the group. He tells them that Durant was injured, then augmented, but went bad, taking control of the underworld by force. He tells the team that there was a shootout between Jensen's team and Durant's, in which Jensen had thought he'd killed Durant. But, as Katrina points out, Durant is very much alive.
It is not clear if the augmented black ops team that Katrina refers to are the Tyrants or not. The Tyrants would have two potential vacancies to fill at this time in 2027, with Ben Saxon defecting and Lawrence Barrett dead. It is unlikely that Quincy Durant is a member of the Tyrants, because acts of terror are not their style: they don't take credit, and they do only what is necessary to get the job done. Barrett's presence on the team provides evidence that they are not unwilling to hire a loose cannon, but they are unlikely to condone or allow acts such as the Humanity Front bombing.