The third arc of A Certain Magical Index
, consisting of volume 3 of the light novels, chapters 11-21 (volumes 3-4) of the manga, and episodes 10-14 of the anime.
One night, a slender, albino boy walks out of a convenience store carrying groceries. On a rooftop, a girl who looks like Mikoto Misaka, except she's wearing military goggles, tracks him with a Sniper Rifle
. Speaking in monotone, she confirms her target is Accelerator, the #1 Level 5 of Academy City. After making several calculations to compensate for the wind and other factors, she aims at the back of his head and fires. In a flash, the bullet rebounds, the incredible force destroying her weapon and severing her right arm. Grunting in agony, with blood dripping everywhere, she staggers down the fire escape. Accelerator chases her down, smiling.
Touma walks home, grumbling. It is summer vacation, but he had to go to summer school because his recent hospitalizations made him miss several classes. To make matters worse, his amnesia made him forget everything he learned in class, forcing him to start over from scratch. He stops at a vending machine, puts a 2,000 yen bill in, and presses a button, but no soda can comes out. He groans and complains about his back luck.
Mikoto walks up and rudely tells him to get out of the way because she wants a drink. Annoyed, he asks who she is. She gets pissed and says she's told him her name dozens of times, so why can't he ever get it? She fires some electricity at him, and he blocks it with Imagine Breaker. He thinks to himself that she must be a friend of his, and complains about how everybody attacks him. First it was Stiyl Magnus, now her.
So that's why this machine is broken...
He warns her that this vending machine eats money. She says she has a way to get a drink without paying and gives the machine a powerful kick, causing it to dispense a can. The kick makes her skirt fly up, revealing she wears shorts underneath. After learning that she regularly does this to get a drink, he complains that maybe that's the reason why the machine is broken. She realizes he put money in the machine and laughs at him. After calming down, she says she'll do him a favor and recover his money. She zaps the machine with electricity, but instead of the money, twenty cans fly out. They are a mix of beverages: sodas, juices, coffee, tea, and even curry soup. The machine sounds an alarm and Touma runs away.
He stops to catch his breath on a bench. Mikoto catches up to him, carrying the cans and asking why he ran away. He says he doesn't want to get arrested as an accomplice for thievery, but she says the cans are already out, so they might as well enjoy them. She drinks from a can of plum cider and says he should take more responsibility. He asks what she means, and she talks about how she, the #3 Level 5, can't beat him, yet he runs away from common street thugs. If word gets out on this, it will make her look bad, as people will think she's lower than the street thugs, so she wants him to be more assertive. Touma has no memory of this, and he's appalled at the idea that he would pick a fight with a younger girl (he's 17 and she's 14), but stays silent.
Mikoto's roommate Kuroko Shirai appears. She says she's appalled that Mikoto would sneak away to have secret rendezvous with a boy. She introduces herself to Touma, and says he can't date Mikoto without her permission. Mikoto goes berserk and says they were not on a date and he isn't her boyfriend. She tries to blast her with electricity, but Kuroko teleports away.
Suddenly, a girl who looks just like Mikoto except that she has military goggles on her forehead walks up. Surprised, Touma asks if they are twins, but the girl says she is Mikoto's younger sister. She speaks in monotone, and narrates herself in the third person. For example, "Good day, says Misaka as she greets you." Touma asks her why she's talking like that and why she's only using her last name, but she says she doesn't see the problem. Extremely annoyed, Mikoto asks her sister why she is here. She replies that she's here for training and research. Upon hearing this, Mikoto calms down and says they have to talk. She grabs her sister and drags her away.
Touma shrugs and says the Misaka family is weird. He awkwardly tries to carry the 19 remaining cans home. He notices a tennis ball in his path and steps around it, but the wind moves it and he steps on it anyway, falling on his back and scattering the cans. As he curses his bad luck, Mikoto's sister walks up to him. From his position on the ground, he accidentally peeks up her skirt and confirms that she has panties and not shorts, so she's not Mikoto. He asks her what's with the goggles, and she explains that Mikoto can see in the entire electromagnetic spectrum, which makes controlling electricity a lot easier for her. Since she doesn't have this ability, she uses the goggles to compensate. He says he last saw her being dragged off by Mikoto, but she denies this and points out she came from the opposite direction. She offers to help him carry the cans home. He tries to refuse, but she insists.
They divide the cans between them and walk to Touma's apartment. Along the way, they run into Motoharu Tsuchimikado's younger step-sister Maika, a maid-in-training who rides on a cleaning robot. Maika says her air conditioner is broken, so she'll be spending the night at Motoharu's apartment, which is near Touma's. Touma gives her a can of milk tea, and she warns him that she knows he's hiding two freeloaders in his apartment, because they are very noisy. She rides off.
Touma and Mikoto's sister find Index and Aisa Himegami outside his door. He asks if they locked themselves out, but they explain that Sphynx has fleas and they are trying to extract them. In the light novel, it is briefly mentioned that Stiyl and his colleagues gave Himegami a cross necklace that suppresses her ability Deep Blood, allowing her to finally live a normal life. Himegami notices Mikoto's sister and asks if Touma's life is a real life Dating Sim
where everything he does unlocks a path to more girls. Index suggests burning some sage leaves to kill the fleas with the smoke. Himegami and Touma point out Sphynx would be harmed by the smoke as well, but then Himegami pulls out a can of insecticide and says she'll get rid of fleas with it. Touma is weirded out that she thinks that
method would be safer. Mikoto's sister says she has a better idea and sends a tiny jolt of electricity at the cat. Though she is spooked, she is unharmed, while the fleas all fall off dead. She walks away, suggesting they buy a fog-type insecticide to get rid of any fleas inside the apartment.
The next day, Touma is back in summer school. He can barely stay awake, droning out Komoe Tsukuyomi's lecture. Komoe scolds him, saying he'll never get anywhere in life if he doesn't try. She reveals that Mikoto Misaka used to be a Level 1, but she worked hard and eventually advanced all the way up to Level 5. Komoe says she's sure that if Touma would just put some effort into it, he could become higher than a mere Level 0.
He walks home and runs into Mikoto, who's staring at the horizon. They see a blimp advertising this week's weather and she says she hates it. He asks what she means, and she says the city gets its weather predictions and a lot of other data calculations from Tree Diagram, a supercomputer Academy City launched into space as a satellite. She says she doesn't like the idea of humans basing all their decisions on a machine. She suddenly gets embarrassed that she's talking so poetically, hits Touma in the head with a karate chop, and runs away.
Touma keeps walking and finds Mikoto's sister trying to feed a stray black cat some bread. He thanks her for helping him the other day, but she says she was not looking for thanks. She explains that she constantly emits a weak electromagnetic field that human's can't detect but animals can, and they can't stand it. This is why the cat keeps avoiding her. At her insistence, Touma picks up the cat and carries it as they walk together. He says they should think of a name for it. She suggests some bizarre ones like "Dog", "Tokugawa Ieyasu
", and "Schrödinger". Touma vetoes them all, especially the last one, citing the Schrodingers Cat
experiment and saying anyone who would even consider
putting a cat in a box with poison gas must hate them. They decide to name the cat later.
They come across a bookstore and Touma says he'll buy a book on proper cat care for Index and Himegami. Since the store doesn't allow animals, he suddenly throws the cat into her arms. She's surprised, but catches it. He says to stop using her electromagnetic field as an excuse and to work at bonding with the cat before stepping inside. She mutters that he must be nuts for throwing a cat at someone, then realizes Accelerator is on the other side of the street, looking at her. She puts the cat down and grimly turns to him.
Mikoto's sister, wearing her goggles and carrying an assault rifle, runs through the back alleys, with Accelerator chasing her. One of her shoes comes off, so she removes the other one so she can run properly. He taunts her, saying he can see her panties. She turns and fires, but the bullets bounce off him and one hits her in the shoulder. As she staggers, he challenges her to guess what his power is. She shoots him in the head, but the bullet bounces back and damages the rifle. She throws the rifle at him, but it shatters on impact. In desperation, she fires some electricity at him, but it bounces back at her, knocking her down. In pain, she says his power is "Reflection". He says that's close, but his power is to control any vector that touches his skin. Physical objects, heat, electricity, anything that has motion is his to command. He just sets his control to "reflect" by default. He sticks his finger into her shoulder wound and asks her what happens when a person's blood flow is reversed. If she guesses right, he'll make it quick and painless.
Touma leaves the store with the book. He finds the cat sitting on the sidewalk alone. Wondering where Mikoto's sister is, he picks the cat up and wanders around calling for her. His investigation leads him to the alley, where he finds her shoe. He finds bullet shells and a trail of blood and follows it to find Mikoto's sister, dead and lying in a pool of blood. Horrified, he staggers back and vomits. He worriedly realizes that the blood hasn't dried, meaning the killer may still be there, and he tries to call the authorities, but his cellphone has no reception. He is forced to go back into the street to call them.
An Anti-Skill squad arrives. One of the officers asks him to take them to the body and he numbly leads them. He is shocked to find that the body is nowhere to be found and there is no trace of blood or any foul play. The officer is sympathetic and thinks Touma simply hallucinated the experience, but he says this is wrong and runs deeper into the alleys. The officers walk away, with some complaining about being prank-called.
Touma eventually finds Mikoto's sister, alive and well, carrying a body bag over her shoulder. He is overjoyed that she is all right, and tells her he had a horrible nightmare where she died. His bubble is burst when she confirms she did
die. He desperately asks her what is in the bag. In response, she says, "ZXC741ASD852QWE963". When he gets confused by that statement, she says that based on how he doesn't know the correct response to the password, it must mean he is not part of the experiment. She apologizes for assuming he was just because he stumbled upon the testing site. She then says her sister is in the bag.
Meet my sisters.
Touma finds himself surrounded by a seemingly endless army of identical Misakas. They apologize for inconveniencing him and reveal that they had cleaned up the crime scene while Touma left to call the police. The one carrying the bag says she is the one he had been hanging out with this whole time and identifies herself as Misaka 10032. She explains that she and her sisters can use their control over electromagnetism to link their brainwaves and share their memories. He asks who they are, and she says they are the Sisters, clones mass-produced from Mikoto Misaka's DNA. He asks what they are doing, and she says it is merely an experiment. The Sisters leave, with Misaka 10032 again apologizing and asking him to take care of the cat.
When Touma is left alone, he struggles to digest everything he has learned, then suddenly wonders if Mikoto knows about this experiment, given it was made possible from her DNA.
Meanwhile, Himegami has moved out of Touma's apartment and into Komoe's. The teacher serves dinner while musing that she had to pay a lot of money to get her roof repaired, and she never got an explanation for the damage to her place. Himegami warns her that the charcoal on the meat will give her cancer, but Komoe figures she's just trying to scare her into giving up her share of the meat. Index rings the doorbell and asks if she can join them, but Himegami comically shuts the door. Index knocks again and asks them to at least feed Sphynx, and she and her cat are finally let in. Index says she is starving because Touma hasn't come home yet and cooked. While they are eating, Index and Himegami ask how esper powers work. Komoe says esper powers have to do with Schrodingers Cat
. The two don't know what that is, so Komoe illustrates by pulling out a small box and asking Index to guess if it holds a piece of chocolate or a hard candy. Index guesses hard candy, but it has chocolate. Komoe closes the box and asks her to guess again. Index says it must be chocolate. Komoe says she only said that because she saw what was inside already. An esper can manipulate uncertain probabilities to bring them out into reality, so one could probably guess hard candy and get it right.
Komoe, Index, and Aisa in the bathhouse.
Komoe then says that the Power Curriculum is meant to stimulate students' minds so that they stop concentrating on the normal reality and develop a Personal Reality, where they believe in something so strongly that it happens, like being able to predict the future or control fire. She admits that there are a few risks. An esper who gets incredibly stressed or traumatized may suffer RPSK Syndrome, where they lose control and suffer a Superpower Meltdown
. She then says Level 0s are what really interest her. She says that Touma has been her student for a very long time. Despite the fact that he followed the Power Curriculum, he has shown no results, no potential (she doesn't know about Imagine Breaker), and that deserves to be looked into, as it proves the program has a flaw. From the way she talks about him, Index and Himegami realize Komoe has feelings for Touma, and become jealous.
Komoe says the overall goal of the Power Curriculum is to achieve SYSTEM, the theoretical Level 6, a state where the user would be able to understand the will of the heavens. Index is surprised, and privately muses that this scientific concept is eerily similar to the Magic Side concepts of Gnosticism
. Himegami muses that it sounds similar to Ars Magna. It seems both the Science and Magic Sides have the same goals after all.
Note: In the light novel version, this is a continuous conversation over dinner. In the anime, the second half of the conversation happens when the three girls go to the bathhouse after dinner, and Index and Himegami don't muse on the similarities between the two sides.
Touma takes a bus to Tokiwadai Middle School Dormitory, still carrying the cat. He finds out she lives in Room 208 and calls her on the intercom. Kuroko answers, and says Mikoto hasn't come home yet. Curious about what he wants, she opens the electronic lock and allows him to wait in their room. She says he can sit on her bed, and he realizes she's sitting on Mikoto's bed. He calls her a pervert, which she denies, but her comments soon make it clear that she is in love with Mikoto. As they talk, Kuroko reveals that she is Mikoto's underclassman, but manipulated the system to be assigned as her roommate. He gets uneasy when he deduces that she's been stalking Mikoto for quite a while. She then discusses how Mikoto has been constantly talking about a guy who has made a big impression on her and argues with her a lot, and asks if he is that man. Touma is honestly not sure.
They hear footsteps outside. Kuroko panics and says the Tokiwadai Dorm Supervisor is making her rounds. If she catches a boy inside their room, they will get in serious trouble. She puts her hand on his shoulder and tries to teleport him outside, but nothing happens, no matter how hard she tries. He realizes it must be because of Imagine Breaker. Since she can't teleport him, she makes him and the cat hide under Mikoto's bed. The Supervisor tells Kuroko it is time for dinner, and asks her to call Mikoto and remind her to be back before curfew. Kuroko leaves the room with the Supervisor.
Under the bed, Touma finds a large teddy bear. He notices a tear and finds several papers inside. A scientist's report says out of the seven Level 5s of Academy City, Accelerator, the #1, is the only one so far with the potential to achieve Level 6. Tree Diagram calculated that he would achieve Level 6 on his own in about 250 years. Since that is not feasible, the scientists looked upon the concept of espers improving their abilities through experience on the battlefield. Tree Diagram calculated that if Accelerator were to kill Mikoto Misaka 128 times, in 128 different battlefields, he would become a Level 6. Of course, this is not feasible either, so they turned to their old Project Radio Noise, a project that attempted to mass produce Level 5s by cloning Mikoto. However, the clones are not nearly as powerful as the original, only Level 2. Tree Diagram recalculated and determined that killing 20,000 Sisters in 20,000 different battlefields would yield the same results as 128 of the original, so 20,000 clones were produced. Touma then discovers a map with several spots crossed out.
Touma runs through the city, trying to find Mikoto. He notices that the wind turbines are turning even though there is no wind, and deduces she is nearby, causing them to turn with the electricity she is constantly emitting.
Mikoto leans on a bridge's railing, reminiscing. As a small child, she first achieved her power and was amazed at being able to make small sparks. One day, while she was visiting a hospital, a scientist showed her a section for people suffering from Muscular Dystrophy. The man said if these poor people could control the electricity within their own bodies so they could send signals between their muscles and nerves, they would be able to move, and asks if she will help him and his colleagues cure the patients. She eagerly agreed and allowed the man to take samples of her DNA. In the present, she curses herself as a fool for believing the corrupt scientist's lies. She has more flashbacks, of first hearing rumors that there were clones of her running around, then learning about the experiment firsthand. She sees piles of the Sisters' corpses, and Accelerator smiling. She mutters, "Help me."
The cat walks up to her and meows, rousing her from her thoughts. Touma walks up and asks what she is doing. She puts on a facade of arrogance, saying she's the #3 Level 5 and can do whatever she wants. He pulls out the files and tells her to cut the crap; he knows about the experiment. Her facade cracks, and she comments he must hate her for what she had done, but he says he was worried about her. She calls him a liar, but he says he's being sincere and asks about the map. She admits that she tried to stop the experiment by taking out the research facilities one by one, but she eventually gave up because for each one she destroyed, another would take its place. She adds that her clones are well aware they will die, but they don't see anything wrong with this because they see themselves as mere lab animals. He asks why she didn't turn the files over to the authorities, but she tells him to use his head. Every part of Academy City is under constant surveillance. In other words, Academy City's Board of Directors is in on the experiment.
She says she caused all this, so it is her responsibility to finish it. The experiment's lynchpin is Accelerator himself; he goes, and the experiment will end. Touma says she is lying. If she were powerful enough to beat Accelerator, she would have done it by now. Since she obviously can't fix this by herself, why didn't she ask for help? Mikoto says she has a plan. What if the scientists could be convinced killing so many people wouldn't allow Accelerator to reach Level 6? Tree Diagram calculated that if she fought Accelerator, she would be killed on the 185th move. If she were to be killed on the first move, the scientist would think the calculations were wrong and stop the experiment. Touma says that's nonsense because the scientists would simply recalculate and start again. She says that's not possible, because a few weeks ago, Tree Diagram was destroyed by an unknown party.
Touma calmly says she wants to die, and she confirms this. She says she knows where the next battlefield will be and starts walking there, but he blocks her path. She orders him out of the way, but he says he doesn't want her to die. She calls him a fool and says if she dies, her remaining clones will live. It is simple math. He says he doesn't want any of them to die. She says if he doesn't get out of the way, she will kill him. He stands still and holds his right hand to the side. She asks if he's gone insane and fires several warning shots, asking him why he isn't fighting. Then she releases a huge blast and scores a direct hit, knocking him down.
Touma is engulfed in electricity.
She is surprised. This is the first time she had ever managed to electrocute him. He stands up, in horrible pain and barely able to keep his balance. He says he doesn't want to hurt her and doesn't want to see her get hurt. She tells him to shut up. She doesn't deserve to be happy or live. Because of her stupid mistake, over 10,000 people were killed for the sake of an experiment. He says even if by some tiny chance her crazy plan actually worked, the Sisters would not forgive her for dying. She blasts him again, but this time, he doesn't fall. She says its all her fault that they are dead, that she is a villain. He says she is not, pointing out he is still alive, so she must have been holding back. Incredibly surprised, she claims she wasn't holding back. She charges up an extremely powerful blast and says if he doesn't get out of the way, he will
die. He doesn't and the attack engulfs him.
When the smoke clears, he is on the ground, with the area around him scorched black. The cat stays a safe distance from her, frightened. Amazingly, Touma is still struggling to move. Mikoto asks him to stop. She asks again, and bursts into tears. As he tries to get up, he thinks about everything he has learned and mutters that he's figured out the solution, but loses consciousness.
Misaka 10032 enters an empty railway cargo holding area. She mutters that it is her turn, without any emotion. However, she starts to get flashbacks of Touma and doesn't understand why.
Touma wakes up to find his head resting on Mikoto's lap. Tears flowing, she asks how he can be smiling after everything he's just been through. He says he's figured out how to stop the experiment. The experiment was formed on the premise that Accelerator is the strongest esper. If the scientists are shown that Accelerator is actually weak and can be beaten, then they will reject him and end the experiment. She says that's impossible. She's only met Accelerator in person once, and as far as she can tell, he's invincible. Nothing she can do can hurt him. He says then he'll fight him, making it especially significant because he's a mere Level 0. She shouts that he can't beat him, especially in his injured state. Nonetheless, he stands and asks her where the next experiment is.
Accelerator meets Misaka 10032 at the railway area. It is 8:25 PM and the experiment is scheduled to start at 8:30 PM. As they wait, he tries to start a conversation with her, and gets irritated by how emotionless she seems. He asks her how she can be so calm about being sent to die. As for him, his own life is most important to him and he doesn't ever want to die, so he can keep getting stronger and stronger. She asks what is the point when he's already the strongest in Academy City. He says he was judged the strongest because stupid people challenge him to fights all the time and he always wins. That is not enough for him. He wants to become so powerful that the very thought of fighting him is an absurdity, and would even be considered a sin. That is why he wants to reach Level 6. He then starts insulting her, but she's unfazed and tells him to step into the starting position, as the experiment is about to begin. He gets annoyed but does so.
Touma leaves the cat with Mikoto and runs toward the railway area, despite the incredible pain and fatigue he's in. He tells her not to follow him, or else his plan may not work, and promises he will bring her sister home. She holds the cat despite the discomfort it is in due to her electromagnetic field, then decides that even if she can't do anything, she can't just sit here and do nothing. She runs after him, still carrying the cat.
Accelerator continuously charges at Misaka 10032, who constantly dodges and zaps the area around him. He asks if she thinks stalling will help her, then notices he's getting short of breath. She comments that it is fortunate there is no wind tonight. He notices a strange smell in the air and figures out her plan: she's using her electricity to ionize the oxygen around him into ozone. He expresses pure joy that she's figured out his one weakness: he's still human and needs to breathe. After killing over 10,000 of her, she's finally created an actual challenge. However, her plan will fail if he can reach her. He moves at superhuman speed, explaining that he's increasing the vectors of his leg movements, and punches her, sending her flying. She lands hard, gasping in pain. He starts kicking and punching her while she is down, explaining that by reflecting recoil, he can punch as hard as he wants without hurting his hands, and it increases the impact of his punches as a bonus.
Touma finally arrives and Accelerator stops, asking what he should do now. Technically, he would have to kill the civilian to keep the experiment secret, but killing a real person is different from killing a mere "doll", and that would leave a bad taste in his mouth. Touma tells him to shut up and get away from her. Accelerator mocks him and says he can't do anything to stop him, and shows off by kicking a small rock so hard it destroys a tower in the distance. He gets impressed when Touma doesn't flinch.
Misaka 10032 asks what Touma is doing, and says he doesn't make any sense. She is just a clone, a lab specimen that can be made with a push of a button and 180,000 yen. Why would he fight for someone so easily replaced? He retorts that none of that matters because there is only one of her
, and he tells her not to die.
Touma charges at Accelerator with his fist raised, but Accelerator stomps the ground and creates an explosion of rock and dirt that blows him away. The Level 5 mocks him for being so slow, then tears up several railroad beams and launches them. Touma barely manages to dodge them. Accelerator approaches him and extends his hand, but Touma slaps it away with his right hand. Accelerator is stupefied by this, then screams and sends Touma flying with another stomp. Touma flies back-first into a metal container, then dodges Accelerator's flying kick, which is so powerful that the container topples into several others and breaks them, spilling their contents into the air. Accelerator comments that those containers all had flour in them, and that there is no wind. He asks his opponent if he knows what a dust explosion is. Realizing what's about to happen, Touma runs away, while Accelerator stands still and laughs as the area is engulfed in flames.
Accelerator is struck for the first time.
Touma can barely stand, as Accelerator steps out of the flames, unharmed. The Level 5 comments that the explosion used up almost all the oxygen and he almost suffocated, and congratulates Touma for bringing him so close to death. Touma is one of the first people to last so long against him, but there is nothing he can do to harm him, and all he has to do is touch him to kill him in an instant. He says it's time to end this game and lunges, only for Touma to punch him in the face, knocking him on his back. He rises and says no one has ever struck him before and attacks again, but Touma dodges and starts punching him over and over again.
Accelerator retreats and clutches his bruised face, asking what is going on and why Touma's punches aren't being reflected. Touma catches up to him and says that Accelerator can reflect any attack thrown at him and kill people with mere touches, so he relied on his powers and never learned how to fight. Enraged, Accelerator stomps on the railroad, flipping it up and knocking Touma into the air, only for Touma to use the momentum to dive at Accelerator and hit him with a flying punch. Touma approaches the downed Level 5 and says the Sisters have their own lives to live, and don't deserve to be fodder for someone like him.
Accelerator laughs and asks what he's talking about. He starts making strange noises with his mouth, "Kukakikekokakakikukekikikokakakikukokokukekekekokikukakukekekokakukekikakokekikikukukukikikakikukokukukekukakikukokekukuka!!" He forms a giant ball of wind and unleashes it, knocking Touma down. Accelerator laughs, saying that was the first time he controlled wind vectors, then forms another wind ball. He notices Touma is now unconscious, and says that's disappointing, because he wanted him to be awake for his death. Accelerator then says he has an idea, and starts concentrating on the wind ball.
The plasma ball.
Suddenly, Mikoto appears and orders him to stop, threatening to shoot him in the back with her Railgun attack. However, Touma briefly wakes up and orders her to get back. She says she can't, because she wants him to live, so she will go back to her original plan and sacrifice herself, knowing her Railgun attack will just bounce off Accelerator and kill her. The air Accelerator is gathering is compressed and turns into a ball of plasma. Mikoto is shocked and notes that she can't do anything against that. However, she notices Accelerator needs to calculate the winds to do this, and gets an idea. She runs to Misaka 10032 and begs her to wake up, to help protect Touma's dream of nobody dying. Misaka 10032 wakes up and says she doesn't understand what she's saying, but her words have resonated with her.
The ball of plasma suddenly scatters and dissipates. Accelerator asks what is going on; he was sure he calculated the winds perfectly. He realizes the wind turbines across the city are all spinning incredibly fast, generating artificial wind that is disrupting his calculations. He correctly deduces that Misaka 10032 used her link with the other Sisters to ask them to spread out through the city and zap all the turbines. He angrily threatens to kill her, but Mikoto stands between them and says she won't let him. He mocks her, for despite their identical levels, he's way out of her league, comparing it to how a vision test only goes up to 20/20, yet a person may have superior vision to someone with the same test results.
The weakest defeats the strongest.
Touma wakes up and orders him to get away from them. Accelerator says he's amazed at how he's still standing and charges. He strikes with his right hand, but Touma ducks. He strikes with his left hand, but Touma knocks it away with his right hand. Left wide open, Accelerator can do nothing but stare in shock before Touma punches him in the face, knocking him out cold. Touma then passes out.
Touma wakes up in the hospital to find Misaka 10032 sitting next to his bed, holding his hand to her breasts. He freaks out, calling himself a pervert who would grope someone in his sleep, but she says she put his hand there because she wanted to feel his pulse. He realizes his hand is on a girl's breasts, yet his hand is completely numb and complains about his bad luck. He calms down and says he's glad they are both alive. She says it is not over. The experiment has been canceled, but as a clone, she has a much shorter lifespan than a regular human. He becomes sad, but she says she and the surviving Sisters will be undergoing treatments that will readjust their lifespans. She promises they will meet again and leaves.
The next day, Heaven Canceler gives Touma a check-up and comments on how often he gets hospitalized, then says he'll be able to go home after some bed rest. After the doctor leaves, Mikoto comes in and thanks him for everything, offering a bag full of expensive cookies, but he annoys her by saying homemade cookies are the best. After a bit of arguing, he tells her what Misaka 10032 told him. She becomes sad, and he tells her to stop blaming herself for making the experiment possible. If she hadn't given her DNA, the Sisters would never have been born in the first place. She smiles and leaves. In the manga version, Misaka 10032 comes back and puts Touma's hand back on her breasts. Mikoto angrily drags her away.
Later, Touma wakes up to find Index on top of him in the hospital bed. She asks if he has anything to say. He nervously says, "Good morning." Angered, she bites him. Then she says she was up all night worried about him. For the second time, he ran off without telling her and got himself hurt. He apologizes, and she says from now on, he has to share all his problems with her, because they're partners. She asks what he was fighting for this time, and he says he was fighting for himself.
The anime has an extra scene where Mikoto walks back to her dorm. Kuroko runs up and hugs her, asking where she has been. Meanwhile, Misaka 10032 feeds her cat, which now happily approaches her. It licks her cheek. For the first time, she gives a real smile.
- Cloning Blues/Clones Are People Too: Starts off as the first one, with the Sisters placing zero weight on individual lives. But by the end, Touma convinces them that they're still each unique, and they start treating themselves as people more.
- Hive Mind: This is the arc where we meet the Sisters Network, a network of 9,969 (remaining) clones of Mikoto Misaka, using their level 2 Electromaster powers to remain in constant contact with each other.
- Not So Different: The conclusion Index and Himegami reach about the Science and Magic Sides.
- Power Levels: Accelerator is a level 5, like Mikoto, but he is far more powerful than her, and is easily the most powerful esper in Academy City. The clones, on the other hand, each have 1/20,000th of Mikoto's power, and are ranked at level 2. Despite Touma's ability, he is ranked a level 0.
- Reality Warper: This is the arc where Komoe explains more of how esper powers work. Specifically, they each have a "Personal Reality" they impress on the world, which allows them to make minor alterations. More powerful espers are ones with a stronger belief in their Personal Reality, and thus have a larger effect on the world.