|Series Three Overhaul Project
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The Level 6 Shift Project (
- Main article: Sisters
According to Tree Diagram, only Accelerator can achieve Level 6, and with the implementation of the current curriculum, he can achieve Level 6 in 250 years. As it was unfeasible to have Accelerator remain active for 250 years, the researchers were led by Tree Diagram to a different method. Knowing that by training and combat scenarios, an esper such as pyrokinesis gain better accuracy, Tree Diagram calculated that by preparing special battlefields for Accelerator, he can achieve Level 6. The fastest way for Accelerator to achieve this is to do battle with another Level 5, namely Misaka Mikoto—the Railgun. Tree Diagram determined that Accelerator killing Mikoto 128 times would allow him to achieve Level 6, however, since 128 Railguns cannot be created, the experiment determined that the the failed Sisters Project be repurposed for clones of Misaka Mikoto. Since the clones are of a level below the original, it was determined that the killing of 20,000 Sister clones in 20,000 battlefields would be an apt substitute for Accelerator to achieve Level 6.
Kihara Gensei later comments that Accelerator is the only one who can achieve Level 6 and remain stable. As he explains to Shokuhou Misaki, his forced attempt to create a level 6 involves sending Misaka's powers out of control. At 53% of the theoretical limit, her mind would transform into something from a different dimension, and at 100% her mind and body would be destroyed having exceeded their limit. In the brief moment of reaching that transcended state, she would meltdown either like the compression of a white dwarf or an exploding supernova, the resulting effect, whatever it be, would completely annihilate Academy City.
It is unknown how long the experiments went on, however, seeing as Nunotaba Shinobu has talked to a clone wearing a winter uniform, and that Accelerator has killed the first clone who wore a summer uniform, one can assume that the experiments went for several months during the autumn, winter or spring seasons—at least the preparations of the clones—before being stopped. Furthermore, several experiments have been executed within the premises of research facilities until being moved during May of the contemporary year.
In Accelerator's case, tired of the incessant imbeciles trying to pick a fight with him. Accelerator accepted the offer given to him to achieve level 6, determined that being stronger that only then will people stop fighting him. Upon the first experiment with Misaka 1, Accelerator was reluctant at first to do battle with her, as he did not expect a clone of a level 5 to be so weak. Regardless, he put his doubts behind him as the researchers assured him that the clone will become stronger due to the Misaka network, as well as the fact that they are merely laboratory specimens. Despite this, Accelerator's subconscious lingered within him and tried to bring forth fear into the clones, trying to dissuade and communicate them throughout the experiments.
In May of the current year, the experiments moved to the outside and empty places. This is because of the requirements of the battlefield, as such experiments 1 to 9802 have been performed inside, while the remaining 10198 experiments would be dealt outside.
This precipitated Shinobu's plan in temporarily delaying the experiment with Bank cards in order for people uninvolved with the experiment to populate the places where the experiments would surely be held.
Known Participating Research Institutions
Because Level 6 is one of the main goals of Academy City, a large number of research institutes have invested in the project. After August 19th, the project was inherited by 183 institutions.
- Higuchi Pharmacies Seventh Medical Research Center
- Mizuho Organization Pathology Analysis Laboratory
- Ryuden Sports Human Engineering Development Center
- S-Processor Laboratories
- Kanasaki University Muscular Dystrophy Research Institution
- Shinasame University DNA Map Analysis Laboratory
- Geomagnetic Anomaly Research Lab
- Foreign Medicine Research Center
- Biomedical Genetic Research Facility
- Movement and Cognitive Research Institute
- Kaiou University
- Main article: Sisters Arc
Level 6 Shift is the focal point of the Sisters Arc, since the reason for the current production of the clones are for Accelerator to kill. Misaka Mikoto is entangled with the experiment in an attempt to save her clones from certain death in the hands of Accelerator. Every attempt by Mikoto to stop the experiments are thwarted with one reason or another, Mikoto concludes that she needs to die in her first move against Accelerator, which would make the calculations of Tree Diagram wrong.
The experiment is stopped by the intervention of Kamijou Touma, who determined that if Accelerator were to be defeated by a level 0 like him, then the assumption of Accelerator being the strongest in Academy City would be incorrect, and the experiment would be stopped since it was based on that assumption of Accelerator being the strongest. Touma faces-off against Accelerator, where he realizes that Accelerator is physically weak and does not know how to streetfight since he defeats his opponents in one hit.
Though Touma was able to hit Accelerator several times with his right hand, despite being injured, he later gets put into a disadvantageous situation when Accelerator discovers how to create plasma, and attacks Touma with it from afar. With the help of Mikoto who urges her clones to help protect Touma, he is able to beat Accelerator and end the experiment.
After the experiment the Sisters were later distributed all around the world for readjustments in their bodies, since they were not expected to live long. Though the Level 6 Shift was halted, it was planned by Aleister Crowley – General Superintendent of Academy City – to fail all along since its inception, though apparently, he was unaware that it would be Touma who would stop it.
The failure of the experiment gave Aleister an excuse to distribute the clones all around the world. This would create an antenna network for a basis of an AIM field umbrella that covers the globe. The resulting extended AIM field network could then be upgraded into an Artificial Heaven that encompasses the world, creating another plane of existence that would upset the balance of the current planes that all Magic is reliant on. Once the balance is broken, the rules of Magic would no longer apply and any magicians using magic while the Artificial Heaven is activated would die from a backlash, and all buildings that have magical protection like the Vatican would collapse.
For those who personally worked on the project, there were a few who didn't take the end result in stride. Kihara Gensei, who had backed all the Level 6 projects so far, was not happy to discover that the experiment only served to coverup Aleister's true purpose for the clones. In response, he planned for a new experiment that would use the newly created Misaka Network as a central element, partly to get back at Aleister's deception, and partly to continue his pursuit to achieve Level 6. Meanwhile, Amai Ao, a director of the experiment, had lost all the money he had invested into it, leaving him deeply in debt. Not only that, Academy City had pushed all liability for the project onto him. He would attempt to sabotage the remaining surviving Sisters by implanting a virus into Last Order, which would cause the Sisters to attack people, only to have his plans thwarted by Accelerator and Yoshikawa Kikyou, a fellow Level 6 Shift researcher.
The news of Accelerator's defeat at the hands of Kamijou Touma had quickly spread throughout Academy City. While there was a momentary period where espers had tried to hunt down Touma, as he temporarily gained the title as the strongest esper, this was later dismissed as a mere urban rumor thanks to the influence of Academy City's higher-ups. However, like Kihara Gensei, there are those within Academy City that are aware of how the battle had truly occurred; thus, they also later became aware of the existence of Imagine Breaker and its ability to negate supernatural powers. Kihara Gensei, as he reattempted the Level 6 Shift by using Misaka Mikoto, had implied that he researched and knew about how Imagine Breaker carried highly untapped potential; his assumptions were later proven to be correct as Touma used the power, that was beyond his right hand, to save both Academy City and Misaka Mikoto from oblivion. Thus both the first and second Level 6 Shift attempts resulted in failure due to Touma's intervention, which would likely discourage any future Level 6 Shift attempts as they can no longer gain aid from the now destroyed Tree Diagram.
Much later, in late December, after obtaining the position of Board Chairman, Accelerator initiated a plan to eliminate the Dark Side of Academy City, Operation Handcuffs, and as part of this plan, turned himself in to Anti-Skill for his past crimes, including those committed during the Level 6 Shift Project.
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