"Farce" (茶番 Chaban?) is the 86th chapter of the Toaru Kagaku no Railgun manga series, released on May 26, 2016.
Shokuhou Misaki asks Misaka Mikoto to infiltrate and investigate the facility where the human experiments involving Kuriba Ryouko were carried out. She tells Mikoto that, if such experiments were proved valuable, they might be subjected on more people, such as Child Errors or even clones. She further proposes a deal - she offers to use her Mental Out ability to facilitate the socialization of the Sisters, in exchange for Mikoto fulfilling her request; with her promise, Mikoto leaves. Then Kouzaku Mitori approaches Misaki in the form of liquid shadow puppet; she points out that actually without the deal, Mikoto will launch investigations on such abnormal experiments out of her own will, and Misaki will care about the Sisters; she comments that both Mikoto and Misaki are so tsundere that they cover their own wills with the form of that "deal". Mitori then informs Misaki that Keitz Nokleben has found out Ryouko's whereabouts.
In another scene, Mikoto starts to infiltrate the facility that carried out the experiments in question, located on the high floors of a skyscraper. In that facility, unbeknownst to Mikoto, a figure with the appearance of Kuriba Ryouko is being subjected to a physical examination, and the researchers report it's fine. "Ryouko" asks for activities outside the facility, stating that the re-assemble of her body has been completed for one month, and is rejected by the researchers. "Ryouko" returns to her room, passing by a Cleaning robot, which she perceives as a maid. In her room, she accidentally breaks a mug. "Ryouko" recalls that the mug was her mother's gift when she entered the Academy City; but she then finds out she cannot recall other things about mother, and further, she has no memory of many things before; she can only recall the experiences during and after those experiments. It is then shown that her actual surroundings are different from what she perceives. "Ryouko" further doubts whether herself is Ryouko, and even doubts whether herself is human. And it is then revealed that this "Ryouko" is actually the artificial one - the product of the re-assembling of the two artificial halves from Ryouko's human experiments.
Outside the facility building, Mikoto is approaching the facility (climbing up along the outer wall of the skyscraper, using her Electromaster ability). Suddenly, an outburst occurs above her, and a figure with the appearance of Ryouko falls down past her. Mikoto turns back to track the falling figure, and manipulates two advertisement banners to try to catch it; but when she reaches the ground, the figure is nowhere to be found, leaving Mikoto puzzled.
- Guided by Shokuhou Misaki's information, Misaka Mikoto sets about investigating the human experiment involving Kuriba Ryouko and the "creation of soul".
- The existence of the artifical "Ryouko" is confirmed; it is also revealed that "she" has the personality and consciousness of the human Ryouko, but with defected memories.
- Shokuhou Misaki
- Misaka Mikoto
- Kouzaku Mitori (as liquid shadow puppet)
- Kuriba Ryouko (Doppelganger)
- Mental Out - Shokuhou Misaki, Level 5 (referenced)
- Liquid Shadow - Kouzaku Mitori , Level 4
- Electromaster - Misaka Mikoto, Level 5
No new locations were introduced this chapter.
- The facts that the artificial "Ryouko" resembles an android as well as that there is a large hole in her back are likely nods to Rensa from Shinyaku Toaru Majutsu no Index Light Novel Volume 07.
- Mikoto's concern about her clones was mentioned, and was made use of by Misaki in motivating her to launch new infiltrations.
- Mikoto's attacks on the facilities in Sisters Arc (roughly Railgun Manga Chapter 25 to Chapter 30 ) are recalled. Her dressing styles during those attacks are reused. It is also revealed that when those attacks were reported, she was mistaken for a male electromaster, providing a possible explanation for why those actions did not result in negative consequences for her.
- Is the falling figure that Mikoto witnesses the artificial "Ryouko" (or the human Ryouko, or other existence)? And where does "she" go after the falling?