Pursued by Accelerator, Misaka tries to shoot him, but he’s able to stop all of the bullets and redirect them back at her, wounding her in the shoulder. Her electricity also has no effect on him, and he reveals that he has the ability to change the vectors of things like momentum, heat, and electrical charge. With Misaka down, Accelerator touches the open wound on her shoulder, giving him access to the flow of her blood and allowing him to reverse it. Touma meanwhile emerges from the bookstore to find Misaka gone, but the cat is still there. After picking it up, Touma’s attention is drawn to the dark alley across the street, and he follows it all the way to Misaka’s dead body. Seeing all the blood causes him to throw up, and he eventually calls the police. He leads them to where the body should be, but to his surprise, it’s no longer there. The cat seems to notice something, so Touma proceeds further down the alley by himself and, after a bit of running, finds Misaka carrying a large bag.
Misaka apologizes because her plan was to return to Touma once she was done with her work, and Touma is relieved that she’s not dead. The Misaka standing in front of him, however, reveals that Misaka did die, and Touma finally realizes that the bag she’s carrying is a body bag. After she confirms that he’s not connected to what she calls an experiment, more Misakas appear, all of them identical. They reveal that the Misaka that he’s been in contact with has the serial number 10032, and their brain waves are all linked together through their ability to manipulate electricity, meaning they all share 10032’s memories. As for who they are, they reveal that they’re mass-produced military-use somatic cell clones of Misaka Mikoto and are called the Sisters. They can tell Touma that this was an experiment, but everything else is confidential. After apologizing for getting him involved, they leave the cat in his care and all walk off. Remembering how Mikoto had treated Misaka earlier, Touma realizes that Mikoto had known about all this.
Neglecting the fact that Index is at home starving, Touma heads to Mikoto’s dorm and gets buzzed in by Kuroko who happens to share a room with her. Mikoto isn’t there, so Kuroko suggests waiting. She and Touma get into a discussion about how she’s lying on Mikoto’s bed and how she’s in a lower grade than Mikoto yet managed to be roommates. She notes that Mikoto has a lot of enemies, so she couldn’t let Mikoto sleep in the same room as a traitor. Kuroko also thinks that Touma might be the person who argues with Mikoto all the time and had wanted to see the face of the person who became Mikoto’s support. Their conversation is interrupted by the patrol of the dorm master, so Kuroko tries to teleport Touma out, but since that fails due to his right hand, she hides him under the bed instead. Touma finds a teddy bear down there with a certain report stuffed inside, and after the dorm master calls Kuroko away to dinner, Touma reads it.
The paper is about using the Sisters to evolve Accelerator to Level 6, and it reveals that – based on a forecast by Tree Diagram – only one person can attain that level. Thus, specific battlefields are prepared, and the idea is to stimulate growth in combat. Included with all this is a map with several red Xs marked, so Touma heads out to investigate. Although he doesn’t initially find anything, he notices that several wind turbines in the distance are turning despite there not being any wind. Since using electricity can cause the turbines to turn and since electromagnetic waves are always being emitted from Mikoto’s body, Touma figures out that he needs to follow the line of powered wind turbines.
This arc is turning out a lot more entertaining to watch than the previous ones, even without Index in the mix (in retrospect, that might be one of the reasons). The pacing is generally faster – at least it was this episode – and there haven’t been tons of exposition bogging the story down at every point. Granted, that conveniently placed piece of paper inside the teddy bear did a lot of the explaining of what was going on, but I’m certainly not complaining. They also did a good job making the scene of Touma discovering Misaka’s dead body creepy, though it made me think that the images would be much more gruesome than they actually were.
As for what’s actually going on, I wasn’t too surprised that the Misakas were clones or that there were a lot of them (I remember seeing almost this exact shot from the promo for this series back before it started airing). However, I’m confused as to why they chose – in light of how unstable he seems – Accelerator to be the one who gets to reach Level 6 and why Misaka was the one who was cloned. And who got to decide all that in the first place? It looks like from the preview might at least explain the Misaka part of things, though it’s not clear if next week is the end of the arc or if there’s more.