The world is changing. Security Chief Adam Jensen and Dr Megan Reed tour Sarif Industries on the eve of an announcement that will make physical augmentation available to everyone.
Moments later the facility is attacked, the scientists are murdered, the labs are burned, and the research is destroyed. Megan lies dead. Jensen's body is broken almost beyond repair. Roll credits.
Six months later Jensen returns to Sarif Industries, and like the building itself he's still under construction. Recalled ahead of time to deal with a hostage crisis at Sarif's nearby manufacturing facility, his augmented eyes are malfunctioning. His first assignment then, is a visit to tech man Pritchard's office for a tune-up.
He'll have to be quick about it, warns Sarif; lives are on the line. With his vision tuned Jensen can stick around for an argument with Pritchard - a personality clash made worse by Jensen's unexpected return to Sarif Industries - or choose to ignore his attempts at a fight. Snooping around the other offices you'll find Pritchard has been acting as temporary chief of security in Jensen's absence, and is halfway towards uncovering a series of Neuropozine thefts from the laboratory's lockers.
Augmentations have allowed the blind to see, the legless to walk, and paralysed people to live active lives but sooner or later everybody rejects the implants. Neuropozine is the answer - invented by David Sarif's mentor Hugh Darrow, Nu-Poz is exclusively manufactured by Versalife and of course is sold at an astronomical price, making augmentations a rich man's treat. Megan's announcement would have meant an end for the Nu-Poz monopoly; her supposed death kept the status quo intact. Sarif is waiting , so we'll have to investigate those thefts later.
Reporting to Sarif's helipad, Jensen meets pilot Faridah Malik and accompanies David Sarif on the flight to the Milwaukee Junction plant. He's given a choice - lethal or non-lethal equipment. He goes non-lethal , receives a tranquiliser rifle, and is unceremoniously dropped on the roof of a building next to the plant.
The target, Jensen is informed, is the Typhoon system - a 360 degree bomb launcher mounted behind the user's shoulders and intended for the military. The hostages? They're disposable. His secondary target is Zeke Sanders - the leader of the Purity First anti-augmentation group and the man now in charge at the factory.
Jensen heads in via a back alley, dispatching a guard and stacking boxes to get access to a vent on the plant's roof. The vent leads into the factory's warehouse, which in turn leads to the staff locker room - complete with some forty lockers Jensen spends a minute or two rooting through - and from there onto the production line. He's remained completely undetected all the way to the hostages - sneaking past over a dozen armed activists.
The crying, panicking hostages beg Jensen not to enter via the door but it's too late. Stumbling in, the doors lock down and the gas bomb in the centre of the room starts ticking. A quick hack job is required and Jensen gets to work, but only after casing his own escape route - there's a vent in the corner which looks good, but the hostages are bound and he'll never free them in time.
Quickly capturing nodes on the timebomb's network, Jensen shuts down the bomb with .68 of a second on the clock. Too close, roboman. The hostages thank him and one - Greg Thorpe - begs Jensen to help his wife, the plant's manager.