"Friends" (友達 Tomodachi?) is the 60th chapter of the Toaru Kagaku no Railgun manga series.
Shokuhou Misaki recalls her memories with Dolly, and how over a period of time, she began to become truly friends with her. However, all good things must come to an end, and her friend collapses. In her throes of her suffering, Dolly asks her name, and Misaki finally says her name to her instead of the name she pretended to be, finally becoming true friends with Dolly.
Shokuhou Misaki recalls her memories with Dolly, and how over a period of time, she began to become truly friends with her. Due to the suggestion of the researchers in the Exterior Project, Misaki brainwashes Dolly in order to make her think that Misaki is actually Mi-chan, her friend who had previously visited her, but who had stopped visiting after seeing the machines on Dolly's body. Dolly asks Misaki (who she believes to be Mi-chan) to use her powers on the large clear container(?) of what appears to be some liquid that she is holding.
Shokuhou says that she was told not to use her powers that much. Dolly is saddened. She asks Misaki about the world outside of the research facility and asks her if she can take her to see the ocean one day. Misaki says that she can in the future when she is free. Dolly is delighted at this. The two of them play some games for a period of time. Then Dolly drinks a glass of (some juice?), and tosses the empty bottle into the trash can. Misaki scolds Dolly for throwing her juice. She says that Dolly should have more class and remarks that it may be fine for Dolly to act the way she is acting within the research institute, but that for when she is outside of it, she needs to act with more class in order to impress the boys. Dolly playfully accuses Shokuhou of being unable to throw her own juice bottle into the trash bin. Misaki becomes indignant and exclaims that she can. She finishes her juice and attempts to throw the bottle into the trash bin. It suffices to say that she fails in her attempt to do so. She fails again and then finally scores the juice bottle in the bin after moving closer and closer and closer to it.
At this point, Dolly collapses and Misaki frantically calls for researchers to help her. The two researchers at hand discuss between themselves that they knew this would be happening to Dolly relatively soon. Dolly whispers something to Misaki and Misaki asks her what she said. Dolly asks Misaki for her name: revealing that Dolly figured out that Misaki was in fact not Mi-chan. Misaki hysterically (out of sadness and guilt) tells Dolly that her real name is Shokuhou Misaki. Dolly is carried away by the researchers. Soon after, Misaki asks if Dolly will be alright. One researcher explains to Misaki that Dolly's lifetime cannot be extended anymore even with the advanced technology of academy city and that Dolly already knew and was prepared for this. Misaki becomes somewhat withdrawn and behind on her curriculum after learning this sad news and a heavy rain beings to fall in academy city. Misaki is then told that Dolly had died. In this way, Misaki loses not Mi-chan's friend, but her own true friend that she had trusted.
At this point, Misaki is very saddened. The higher up researchers in the institute discuss Misaki's depression and contemplate the possibility of revealing to Shokuhou that Dolly is merely a clone, a creation, so that she is not emotionally burdened. They reveal that the higher ups (presumably of academy city) had already removed all physical traces and evidence of the project cloning and that no one would believe testimony from Shokuhou anyway because she was a mind-controlling esper. One of the researchers decides that they will reveal this fact to Shokuhou if her depression does not improve. Another researcher explains that the Dolly Clone workshop is not some project merely handed down from above, it is instead the crystallization of their greatest wishes and desires. The researchers worry that Misaki will eventually become too powerful for their mental guards to be effective against her brainwashing powers. One researcher eventually says that this is not a problem because as soon as Exterior is complete Misaki will be disposed of anyway. At this point, Misaki is shown holding a remote and she exclaims that she had expected that this was the case.
Misaki thinks to herself that she had used a lower level researcher during the experiments by wielding two remotes at once in order to mind control him. This lower level researcher then tampered with the other mental guards of the other researchers and eventually Shokuhou had brainwashed all of the researchers involved with the Exterior Project by the time she had entered Tokiwadai. She made sure to remove all memories of this project from the researchers and make it such that the researchers would not be able to reveal the details behind the project even when subjected to torture. The flashback ends and Shokuhou asks the question in the present: So then how did Gensei find out about Exterior?
The chapter finishes with a scene between Saten and Xochitl. Saten asks Xochitl about the details of what is happening. Just as Xochitl is about to reveal the details of the situation to Saten, Touma returns from the race and notices Saten. He heads in her direction and slowly climbs a fence to get to her and return the charm just as Xochitl is about to reveal the details.
In order of appearance:
- Shokuhou Misaki
- Saten Ruiko
- Kamijou Touma
- Kihara Gensei (referenced-only)
- Kouzaku Mitori (referenced-only)
No new characters were introduced during this chapter.
- Mental Out - Shokuhou Misaki, Level 5
This is the first time in the series that Shokuhou has used 2 remotes at once in conjunction.