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"Punishing Blow" (痛撃 Tsūgeki?) is the 88th chapter of the Toaru Kagaku no Railgun manga series, released on August 27, 2016.

SynopsisEdit

Kuriba Ryouko explains to Misaka Mikoto and (a mind-controlled puppet of) Shokuhou Misaki that the doppelgänger's soul, if released from its body, could potentially possess anything and even swallow up the entire city. Misaki's puppet notes that physically destroying the doppelgänger would be dangerous, while Mikoto thinks that the situation is sounding occult. Ryouko then says that the lab didn't listen to her about this and that the doppelgänger has safety systems that prevent her from damaging herself. Mikoto asks if Ryouko was the person who spread Indian Poker. Ryouko admits that she was, explaining that her goal was to distribute her knowledge to others in the hopes of finding a solution for the doppelgänger. She then leaves, saying that she has work she needs to get back to. With Ryouko gone, Misaki comes out of her hiding place and sends her puppet away. Mikoto admits that she didn't like what Ryouko did and Misaki replies that everyone has their own circumstances.

In the Shinasame University DNA Map Analysis Laboratory, the members of Scavenger eat popsicles while discussing how to raise their team's status. They discover that the lab is empty and the doppelgänger has already left. Yakumaru blames Naru for wanting a popsicle, though Naru points out that everyone else also got one. Leader says that the doppelgänger can't escape her eyes.

Ryouko retrieves Miahilin (a drug for suppressing cyborg after-effects) from a locker. The doppelgänger approaches, explaining that she tracked her down through her ordering the drug. Ryouko runs but, being since she's unfit, the doppelgänger easily catches up to her. She nevertheless escapes by using a device that paralyses the doppelgänger. Although the doppelgänger pulls off and destroys the device, a truck is sent sliding towards it by Seike. The doppelgänger fights Seike on the wall of a building, eventually getting knocked back to the ground. Yakumaru attempts to trap the doppelgänger with an expanding foam chemical. The doppelgänger avoids getting trapped and attacks Yakumaru, only to end up attacking a decoy made of paper. Naru uses this opportunity to restrain the doppelgänger with paper.

With the doppelgänger captured, Leader tells Seike to investigate Ryouko in case the doppelgänger switched places with her. Leader then taunts the doppelgänger over trying to be human. However, the doppelgänger breaks from her restraints, grabs Leader's arm and squeezes it. Naru tries to stop her but has trouble controlling the paper. The doppelgänger eventually breaks Leader's arm. Angered, Naru hits the doppelgänger until she manages to seemingly destroy her, freeing Leader. The doppelgänger smiles, her goal achieved.

Meanwhile, Seike has caught up to Ryouko and injured her. He concludes that she's human since she's bleeding. Mikoto arrives, asking Seike what he's doing.

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