"August 22" (八月二十二日 Hachi-gatsu Hachi-gatsu Ni-jū-ni-nichi?) is the 39th chapter of the Toaru Kagaku no Railgun manga series.
A bit startled by Touma waking up, Mikoto decides to go straight to the point and hands over the expensive cookies she bought before heading to visit him. Touma, however, prefers handmade cookies instead, expecting anyone would do the same thing. Mikoto flies into a rage, causing sparks to fly around Touma's hospital room.
After that rather frightening development, Touma mentions to Mikoto that one of her "sisters" had visited him the night before, and relays the news about the cancellation of the Level 6 Shift Project. Although Mikoto has caught wind of this news, she still puts herself to blame for everything that had happened. Touma points out that it was Mikoto who was responsible for the existence of her clones, but he considers it a good thing, as their existence allowed them to experience things a human being feels. For that reason, Touma tells Mikoto that her sisters wouldn't like it if they see her down because of it.
After the visit to Touma's hospital room, Mikoto heads to the courtyard where she stumbles upon Misaka 10032, who is reunited with her cat and is bandaged due to her injuries. Fortunately, Misaka 10032's wounds were not as serious as that of Touma's, as 10032 claims herself. At that moment, Mikoto thought that the reason why her clones thought of themselves as guinea pigs is because they were called as such by the people around her. However, she thinks that people can eventually change how these clones think of themselves if they start treating them like human beings too.
Mikoto seems interested in taking this first step. However, seeing 10032 get lost over the most trivial things like playing on a swing set on a nearby playground would make things difficult for her. To make things worse for Mikoto, she was mistaken for 10032's younger sister just because she owns Gekota merchandise. 10032 seems interested in making fun of Mikoto in front of the two children they saw in the playground, but she actually means good things for Mikoto, who just risked her life to saving her younger sister.
As the children continue playing on the swing, Mikoto and 10032 spend some time in the shade. Misaka 10032 feels that this moment seemed surreal, knowing that she should have been dead during the experiment held the night before. Then, she recalls on their reason for existence: to be killed in experiments alongside 10,031 of her fallen "sisters" — a reason now lost due to the efforts of the Original herself, Misaka Mikoto, and Kamijou Touma. Right now, they face the problems any person faces, particularly the need of a reason to exist.
Misaka 10032 pleads to Mikoto to stay by her side and help her find the reason to exist, admitting her request was selfish of her.
Mikoto quickly agrees.
In order of appearance:
- Misaka Mikoto
- Kamijou Touma
- Misaka 10032
- Misaka 10032's Cat
- Kusakabe Yumi (flashback)
- Index Librorum Prohibitorum (cameo)
No abilities were used in this chapter.