Summary: AU. Misaka Mikoto dies and everyone is devastated. Touma meets a Misaka doppelganger and decided to train her to become the new Misaka Mikoto.
—this is Touma’s narration of things—
this is current Touma’s thoughts
HOW TO TRAIN A CERTAIN SCIENTIFIC RAILGUN
CHAPTER 04: A CERTAIN MOVE THAT CALLS DÉJÀ VU
Touma had to make sure to be twice as careful as before. If Saten was able to discover his secret before even sending Imouto to play her part, then there’s a risk he will be made before his scheme even starts. He was giving Imouto another round of helping Imouto familiarize herself with the places in Academy City. Especially the places where he knew Misaka is mostly seen in.
“So you’re wearing the shorts I bought you?” He asked when finally they decided to rest.
They were taking a cup of coffee on one of the places Misaka usually hangs out. The bench in a park where the trees stand tall and gives shade.
“Okay good. You need to get used to that from now on.” Touma instructs and the girl nodded.
“‘MISAKA however wants to know what kind of humor the original wants to say by wearing shorts.’ MISAKA speaks out the thought that’s been bothering her.”
“Beats me. Like heck would I know.” He shrugged and finished his coffee.
Imouto just nodded and copied Touma, also finishing her drink.
“‘What is the next lesson?’ MISAKA asks, wanting to speed the lessons and meet new friends.”
To be honest, I’m not sure myself.
He didn’t gave an answer and took his time thinking, letting the silence fill the air for a while. It was then that his eyes reverted to the vending machine he’s been seeing in his peripheral.
“Ah. Roundhousing the vending machine!” He exclaimed and immediately pulls her by the hand towards the machine. “As far as I’ve known, Biribiri would always roundhouse these machines to get a drink.”
He said as he stared at the machine with a smile. The certain vending machine holds a memory that he missed.
“‘Touma wants MISAKA to attack this unmoving matter to get herself a drink?’ MISAKA wanted to clarify his intentions.”
“Yep. That’s the way she does it.” He nods. “She doesn’t play nice with them. Add that to the rulebook, okay?”
“‘New rule added. Bling!’ Says MISAKA as she tried to mimic a bell sound.”
“You don’t have to do that.” Touma mumbled. But that act gave him a new lesson in mind. “Oh. I almost forgot. You can’t speak as the third person because that would really be suspicious.”
“‘MISAKA will take note of it.'”
“And no, you don’t have to say your name all the time. That’s just ridiculous.” He added.
“‘Understood.’ Says MISAKA as she- I, salute Touma.”
Oh for crying out loud!
“You don’t have to tell me specifically what you have and will do. I can see that.” He tried to be very patient as he try and teach her the basics of being ‘normal’.
“‘Then MISAKA- I will stop.'”
“We’ll work on that.” He chuckled at Imouto’s attempts to change her manner of speaking.
But as always, while the day is seemingly perfect already, something will always pop up and get in the way. In this day, Touma’s phone.
Its ringing had filled the silence and almost startled Touma.
“Yes?” He answered but he was surprised to be greeted by an angry sister.
“Touma! I’m dying already where’s the food stock you were bragging about?!” Index yelled on the othet end.
“E- Erm.. Index..”
“You forgot didn’t you?” Index caught him, raising a brow on him.
-I’m sure I resupplied it.. unless a gluttonous sister ate everything.-
“I- I’m actually on my way to buy some food!” He lied. Index knew that because his voice was shaky snd nervous.
“I want to come with you.” She suggested.
“No, no! I can handle the groceries myself!” He rejects. The last things he needs is Index chewing on his head.
“I can help too Touma! And I want to try doing groceries with you!” She pressed.
With a sigh from the young man, Imouto noticed that he had such an unfortunate life.
“Alright. I’ll come pick you up in ten. Get ready and don’t go anywhere until I arrive.” He ordered, knowing Index would run off somewhere if he comes late.
“How will I know you won’t come after you do the groceries?” The young sister inquired, having doubts that Touma really plans on picking her up.
“I will, okay? Just wait there.” He said and ended the call before she shouts at him. He pinched the bridge of his nose before slipping his phone in his pocket.
“‘No lessons today?'”
“You get to have half a day of break. Continue familiarizing yourself with the places and hangouts around here. When I get back, I’ll give you a test, alright?” He gave his ‘homework’ to her to keep her productive for the day. “And please wear the disguise I bought you.”
“‘MISAKA does not want to wear artificial hair when she’s already an artificial crea-‘”
“I get it. But while you’re in training it’s best to start thinking you’re a real human being and that soon you’ll be known as the Railgun. Okay?”
Imouto nodded and it made Touma feel at ease even for just a bit.
When he was gone, Imouto did as she was told and walked down the familiar streets she and Touma were familiarize earlier that morning.
But as she does her work, she sees a Judgment armband lying down on the ground. She turned to the people walking around but none seemed to care.
“‘So you’ve been abandoned.’ MISAKA tells the armband as she picked it up.” But after saying so, she halted her movements and realized how quickly she disregarded Touma’s lessons. “‘His request is oppresive.'” She mumbled and finally continued to pick up the armband.
Just as what a good citizen would do, she will return the armband to its owner, if she couldn’t find it.. she’ll have to go to Judgment.
But on that morning, Konori Mii, Shirai and Uiharu’s senpai in Judgment, was waiting for the new recruit all morning. And coincidentally, Imouto was the one who walked up to her carrying the Judgment armband.
“‘Excuse me. MI- I think I’m lost. I’m looking for the Judgment Branch in this district so that I-‘”
“Well you found the right place!” Konori said, an expression of relief forming in her face. “I’m glad you showed up at last!”
“Hurry up and wear that already! We’ve got a lot to cover!” Konori said in a hurry and helped Imouto pin the armband on her shirt.
“‘You’re giving it?'” The confused Imouto asked as she watched Konori pin it in the sleeve of her shirt.
“It’s yours the moment you got it.” The senior replied and grinned. “Didn’t they brief you about the basics?”
“‘Oh the basics. Yes, I’ve been briefed shortly. There’s been an emergency of some sort so I had to study everything by myself.'” She replied without mentioning any names.
–It would’ve been easy to figure out it was the wrong person if her response wasn’t as closely related to what that Judgment member had in mind.-
“I see. Well let’s get started and I’ll give you a tour!” Konori offered and led her to Seventh Mist to start their little tour.
–It would also be very easy to actually say it was a misunderstanding if Imouto had a little bit of sense of direction. Wouldn’t she know that the Judgment member dragging her isn’t part of my scheme?–
They walked and walked as Konori points out every nook and cranny of the place. As Judgment member, Konori seems to have memorized the shortcuts and roads to anywhere she wants to go. Like a walking navigation map.
Imouto was able to keep up to her yapping and was also able to take note of places she didn’t hear from Touma earlier. Helpful and resourceful about her ‘homework’, Imouto was able to blend in just fine.
“I guess we’ve covered a lot already. Want to try real Judgment work now?”
“‘I’m supposed to take the test now?'” Imouto asked. Konori didn’t quite catch up to it but tried to give meaning to what the rookie was saying.
“Nah, just gonna introduce you to the stuff you’ll do in the future.” She says. “Oh by the way, you never told me your name.”
The girl pauses to come up with a fake name fast. She knew Touma would yell at her if ever she was near to compromise again.
As soon as her artificial brain had processed the name, she had to say before she gains suspicion. “‘Akasi Otoki.'”
“Akasi Otoki?” Konori repeated, incredulous about the name.
“‘Yes. I just moved here and I came from a far away province.'” Only now did she realize how hard it was to come up with a selling excuse.
“Hmm.” Thoughtful about her vague background and hometown, the ignorant senpai decided to let it slip. “Since you’re our only recruit this year, I’ll wait until you’re ready to really tell the truth.”
The observant female looked into the eyes of her senior, trying to figure out what emotions lie behind her smile.
“‘Say, Konori-senpai.. are you.. are you somehow related to the Railgun?'” She asked without considering that she may be compromised.
“No. She’s.. she’s too cool to be related to someone like me.” The older girl replied and finally the mask came off. Imouto however didn’t show any victorious smirk. She remained emotionless as she carefully studied the complicated facial expression of the older female.
“‘According to your reaction, you knew the Railgun. Is she a close friend?'” Imouto continued to press further into the topic.
“W- Well..” turning away from Imouto, Konori struggled to construct the right words. But then she was reminded she’s not required to answer. “..ah look at the time! It’s getting late!”
Imouto didn’t take it in a negative way and just let it go. It wasn’t mandatory that she replies anyway.
She followed Konori to lead her to a store and treated her some food for lunch. Imouto requested a warm black tea- milk tea afterwards.
After killing time, Konori led her to explore more of Academy City and sharing her own discovery of certain restaurants, shops and even shortcuts that not everyone knows about. Imouto noticed that she’s completely dodging out of the topic regarding the Railgun but she knew Konori had questions about it.
“So now we’ll go with the real deal.” Konori announced and snaps Imouto out of her train of thought.
“We’re going to sweep this place clean.” Konori grabs a broom after they arrived in the place where they’re tasked to clean.
“Yeah. Look at this place,” Konori spreads her arms to show Imouto the trash scattered everywhere, “its a mess.”
“‘Aren’t the cleaning robots created to clean?'” Imouto wondered.
“Yes but this requires manual labor.” Konori threw a broom at her so that they could start cleaning. Imouto caught it.
“‘MISAKA doesn’t understand the reason but MISAKA will do her best to clean.'” After saying so, Konori turned around in curiosity but the girl just started sweeping off the trash.
Little did Konori know, the girl was baiting her to talk about the Railgun.
Wanting to ask what Akasi Otoki was trying to depict, the older girl stopped herself. Still not ready to open up about the topic.
–If it wasn’t for the disguise I bought, Imouto wouldn’t be able to act this out.–
Silence was the friend of awkwardness. The friend of a gloomy atmosphere and a situation that doesn’t want to talk about things.
Both girls just swept the mess that they didn’t make until a familiar scene happened. The phone ringing.
“Yes?” Konori picked up.
“Ah Konori-senpai, I’m glad you picked up! I’ve been trying to reach Shirai-san earlier.” Uiharu said in the phone.
“Shirai? Is this an emergency?”
“Not particularly. Just some lost items that needs to be found.”
“Sure, I’ll take care of it. Just send me the list.” Konori said and she could hear the sigh of relief from the stressed co-member.
“Thank you very much Konori-senpai!”
When the call had ended, it didn’t take long that she received a message about the details of the missing items.
“‘Judgment also look for lost things?'” Imouto asked, taking a step towards Konori.
“There are a lot of things that Judgment does. For now you can start with cleaning and helping me find the lost items.” Konori said, still ignoring the fact that the suspicious person with a suspicious background is standing in front of her and somehow spoke in a third person view of Misaka.
It could be any other Misaka out there but remembering the girl asked about the Railgun earlier makes it unlikely true.
Imouto didn’t bring it up either and played along. It wasn’t hard since the items are already found and people were just waiting for the owner to pick it up.
While walking towards their last target venue, Konori had crossed out to items from about the last one.
“Man, nothing new here.” The senior mumbled, finding it troublesome that they had to do the work of picking up the lost item and give it to the owner.
Imouto remained silent and observed her. She was confused why she was different from Touma and Saten.
“Excuse me,” an elder called out to them, “I’m a visitor here and I was on my way to visit a family member when I found myself walking in circles. Could you please guide me to Tokiwadai?”
“Ah of course!” Said the helpful Judgment member.
While she gave directions to the elder, Imouto had a thought that will help her ease her confusion. The elder left after recognizing the landmarks Konori mentioned and said he now remembered the way back.
It was the time for Imouto to make her move.
“‘Konori-senpai.. I know a shortcut back to our office branch.'” She spoke and caused Konori to look up at the sky then her watch.
“Time flies fast when you do patrols and mappings.” She muttered then turns to Imouto. “Sure, lead the way.”
They went to a dark alley where they felt shivers down their spine. Like it was filled with a gruesome atmosphere of some sort.
Imouto stopped walking after reaching a dead end.
“Er, Otoki-san, there’s no way there. They blocked it weeks ago.” Konori informed.
“‘MISAKA is aware. Which is why MISAKA led you to go here where no one will disturb this conversation.’ Says MISAKA, feeling relieved that her plan had succeeded.”
“What are you saying? And stop talking like that.”
“‘This MISAKA’S serial number is 10032. MISAKA is created for the purpose of dying for someone’s benefit. But the project was shut down and now MISAKA’S mission is to find all the original’s friends and help them smile again.’ Says MISAKA, wanting to clarify the situation.”
The senior member trembled at the shocking truth that the clone had imparted.
“Why.. are you telling me all this..?”
“‘MISAKA had analyzed your worth and responsibility to handle the truth and finds you certifiable for the task.’ Explains MISAKA.”
“W- What task?” Konori asked as she tried to keep her composure up.
“‘MISAKA wants Konori to be her means of contact to the involvement of crimes in Academy City. Judgment may not have access to everything but MISAKA believes it’s enough to acquire information needed for the project.’ MISAKA further explains. ‘Also, this project is confidential even for you. Not until MISAKA has also confirmed your loyalty to keeping this secret.’ Adds MISAKA.”
With too much information and the request of the clone, Konori wasn’t able to move nor think anymore. As if everything happening at the moment was too much to comprehend.
When the stunned senior wasn’t able to reply, Imouto continued.
“‘Once Konori think she’s ready to fully get herself involved with MISAKA’S selfish request, Konori will have to speak with MISAKA and ask for the passcode response for ZXC741ASD852QWE963. MISAKA will not rush your decision nor persuade you to agree. But MISAKA will be waiting for your agreement or disagreement.'” Imouto takes a step towards the exit way of the alley but stops after passing by Konori who was still left frozen at the revelation. “‘Also, MISAKA would be grateful if none of this spreads by tomorrow.'”
As soon as Imouto left those words to let Konori think about her request, Imouto also left her, remembering that anytime soon Touma will be back from his grocery trip with Index.
“Hey.” Touma greets when he finds her sitting in the same seat from earlier. “Ready for the test?”
“‘How did the grocery go?’ Asks MISAKA.”
Instead of replying to her question, he raised a brow on her. “And you quickly got brainwashed while I left you.” He states and crossed his arms. “Anything happened while I was gone?”
“‘Define ‘anything’, requests MISAKA.”
“Like anything that will bring you close to compromise?” He said and Imouto shrugged.
“‘Nothing like that. MISAKA simply did as she’s told and famaliarized herself with the place.'”
She acted normal and Touma didn’t have a clue what she did.
“Alright, let’s go take that test.”
However at the end of the day, there’s something that Touma kept thinking about.. how was Imouto able to know places he didn’t teach? Not even places that he knows or a mere citizen.