The climax of this story is fast approaching. Years of writing and this monstrosity of a story is slowly reaching the ending. Some stuff has been removed that was originally planned, new stuff has been added. When I first started this story, I didn't expect something this long to come out. I wanted to make a long, engaging story, but not quite this long. It literally wrote itself most of the time. Part of me actually feels a little depressed now that the ending is near. At the same time, it's the end of an era for me. That I actually finished something I set out to do and not leave it half finished. Either way, this was a wild ride from the beginning. I'm sure you know the drill by now, so let's do quick comments then onto the story.

D N Works: Too many characters. Got to thin them out.

KHVSFF: Everyone Touma meets changes for the better.

MrQuestionMark: I had to decide not to do something stuff I was originally planning to do. Looking at it, I had to realize I could not do it justice due to my own feelings. So some stuff was removed from the future, which actually puts the ending closer. I always tell people don't write stuff you don't like. It's either going to be a chore or bad. So I'm adjusting to what I enjoy writing. We all know your love for Uiharu suffering lol.

Vietnamese guy: I tried not to do it. I'm changing things to focus on the stuff I do like.

Aminadab Brulle: Temporary drama devices are fun, or introduce a new character.

xellos540: With the ending approaching, there's a lot less chances for slice of life. As for Saiai, she's focused on someone else. I used the first names to be consistent, though I know some people don't like it. What happens if I try to use some last names and some first names is I'll mix them up a lot. Yeah, a lot of people told me they doubted Uiharu dying. I had ideas for both ways but the story dictated what would come next. The ending scares me too, but I actually have it PLANNED out. Honestly, I kind of wish I could dive in so much more stuff, but there's plans to show a lot of the questions you have. (As for Lessar, she'll try to just slip into the harem most likely.)

Mr. X: 1) Oh well. People die when they are killed. 2) Emotions are not logical.

Sigmundr Rumare: There are things I want GT to explain, so I'm waiting for that. That means a lot how much you like it. I know my early writing was really bad. I was finding my writing style.

Justin Sewell1: No one believes I offed a main character. I really enjoyed writing the Hamazura part. I'm pretty sure I told you that you could use my OC, but if I didn't, you can. Anyone can use any of my OCs they want. It's very flattering. I meant to check out your story, but then I forgot to go back and check it. I'll try to look at it soon.

xaxiel1572: Because, too much bad information at once won't lead to any good outcomes.

Disclaimer: Random people do not own Toaru Majutsu no Index or any of the characters. Reading this story may cause you to burst out in laughter or start yelling at fictional characters. This may cause nearby people to assume you have gone crazy. Please read responsibly.


Kazari reacted instantly, a combination of her training and fear making her body move before she could generate a conscious thought. In all honesty, there was no way she was going to survive. If by some miracle she dodged the bullets that were heading her way, she would still be gunned down afterward. It wasn't like she had an amazing ability to stop gunfire. But she knew she couldn't give up. The girl's knees buckled as she fell to the ground, the gunfire sailing over her head. It was then things seemed to go in slow motion.

The Matrix Effect, also known as Tachypsychia, was a neurological condition resulting in time distortion. During brief moments of high stress and danger, the body's brain releases high levels of chemicals into the brain, including epinephrine. Epinephrine rapidly increases brain activity, making it seem that time slows down as the brain takes in all of its surroundings. Time does not actually slow down or speed up but is simply the way the brain processes information.

She saw the glass from the window shatter in her heightened perceptive state as she dove under the desk. Slowly, the glass pieces fell. Yet they did not burst outwards away from the building. It should have done so if the bullets from within pierced it. No, the glass hadn't been broken by the gunfire.

Something had smashed the glass from the outside.

Glass flew over Kazari's head toward the armed military troops. The bullets that had been fired seemed to have been propelled by an invisible force mixed with the wind. The bullets slowed down then stopped, before flying backwards unnaturally. It wasn't like with Accelerator, who would just reflect the shots back instantly without losing speed or force. This time, they were simply pushed aside.

Something blocked the light from the sun outside, casting a shadow over her downed body.

"J-Jason?!"

The word escaped the young girl's mouth instinctively as she spun around on the floor behind the desk. Because of the shadow cast by the individual moving through the broken window, her boyfriend's name was the first thing she called out. Now that she managed to actually observe the individual, the brief moment of happiness faded slightly as she saw who it was. It wasn't someone she expected to see, even if it was a person who had saved her once before.

"Dark Matter!" The woman gasped in shock as she stopped right at the door leading to the elevator. "Why are you here?!"

Teitoku Kakine floated into the room, sporting his signature maroon suit and annoyed facial expression. Multiple white angel-like wings jettisoned from his back, yet none flapped or moved in any motion that would create lift. The boy was just drifting effortlessly through the air before he landed lightly on the floor. His eyes traveled from the men holding up their rifles, to the scientist and finally to Kazari huddling on the floor..

"K-Kakine-san?" Kazari choked out. "H-How…?"

"Are you hurt?" Teitoku asked. He didn't even bother to acknowledge her question.

"N-No…" Kazari shook her head, her moment of brief shock quickly dissipating as she realized the boy before her could help stop the thieves. "That scientist stole Jason's research! You have to stop her!"

Teitoku looked over at the woman, who was backing away behind the guards.

"This doesn't have anything to do with you!" The female scientist spat out as the men around her raised their guns at the boy. "This is purely between the employees of Academy City."

"Normally, you would be right." Teitoku agreed, stepping forward with an unconcerned expression. "But it seems you forgot one simple fact. I'm a member of LOCK-DOWN, and with our commander gone, I'm now in charge. And too bad. My authority exceeds yours in this matter. Lay down your weapons and give me that data. Comply and no one gets hurt."

"Fire!"

The moment that word left the woman's mouth, an array of gunfire filled the room's interior. Kazari had to cover her ears as the rhythmic sound of bullets being fired pierced her eardrums. Still, she kept her eyes open to see what was happening. Part of her Judgment training was to avoid looking away from a threat. It was a surefire way to give the enemy an opportunity to attack when you couldn't see them.

The girl had seen Teitoku in action once before. And as she looked upon the scene, she was reminded of the Number Two's power.

The bullets never even reached him. Instead, they seemed to hit an invisible wall, dropping at his feet in great numbers. Dark Matter, Teitoku's nickname, could create thousands of types of matter and energy that didn't exist naturally in this world. Creating a wall of energy to absorb the force of assault rifle bullets was child's play. There was a reason he was considered the Number 2, only behind Accelerator.

Click, click, click.

The troops had run out of ammunition.

Smiling, Teitoku raised his hand and just swiped downwards. A gust of wind sent his opponents flying, crashing into walls and other desks before they even had time to reload. The scientist stepped back and quickly rushed toward the elevator at the end of the hallway, leaving the terror the boy was causing behind her.

Unfortunately for her, Tetoku caught up to her with ease.

"I'll take this." The boy plucked the hard drive out of her hand before heading back to Jason's office and to the stunned Kazari waiting there.

"You're making a mistake!" The woman yelled at him. "The city won't stand for it!"

"Then they can file a complaint." Teitoku rolled his eyes. "You're lucky, you know. Do you even realize how minute you are to me? How easy it would be to just end your life this instant?" He flicked his finger at her.

The metal door of the elevator she thought of as her safe haven distorted as if a sledgehammer had hit it, leaving a huge indentation and a loud gong-like bang. It made her teeth chatter, as the attack itself came from right behind her yet she saw nothing that could've done it. She slid down against the distorted metal, quivering in stunned silence as the boy ignored her after that.

"Kakine-san?" Kazari asked nervously, finding her words as he approached her. "Do you know what-…?"

"Not here," Teitoku told her gently, smiling kindly at her. "I'll explain everything somewhere else. There are eyes and ears everywhere."

"Where then-…EEP!"

Teitoku lifted her in his arms with one fluid motion, resting her small frame in a bridal carry as he walked toward the smashed window. She never even had a chance to consider resisting.

"What are…. AHHHH!"

Kazari's arms tightly wrapped around Teitoku's neck as he jumped out of the building and spread his wings. They didn't fall and instead began soaring over the city. The girl was shaking a bit from the shock at first, before she managed to open an eye as the wind blowing across her face suddenly changed direction. Slowly forcing both eyes open, she took in the sight of Academy City from above. A site she would normally never see except from a helicopter, which wouldn't be as smooth as Teitoku's unnatural flying.

The girl slowly relaxed when she felt how the boy's arms securely held her. Though even then, she never released the arms wrapped around his neck.

"How… how did you know I was there?" Kazari asked.

"Kagere."

"He's alive!?"

Kazari felt her heart leap in her chest as she looked up into Teitoku's expression.

"I don't know."

Those three words crashed the world around her in an instant.

"What do you mean you don't know?!" The girl came out more demanding than she intended. Even her close friends probably couldn't remember her ever sounding like that. "You work for him, and he told you I'll be snooping in his office! How do you not know?"

"Like most coworkers, we don't tell each other everything." Teitoku answered calmly. "He told me he was going to check on something that might cause him to disappear. If he does, Teitoku Kakine was supposed to watch over you and Kuruko Shirai in case you did something rash and stupid. Though, he mentioned Shirai would be the likely culprit."

"Huh, why are you referring to yourself in the third person?" Kazari caught onto that.

"Because I'm not the original Teitoku Kakine you know." Teitoku answered. "I'm a clone with similar wavelengths created by his ability." Kazari stared at him in silence, so he elaborated a bit more. "Kakine, or Dark Matter, has the ability to create his own matter and energy. Recently, he has been able to create clones of himself. I am one such clone. We aren't exact copies of him though. He programmed our artificial minds with certain differences when we were created. My task was to watch over and protect you. That's the reason behind my existence. He's the only individual in LOCK-DOWN who could be in multiple places at once. There is another clone secretly watching over your friend, Shirai."

Kazari was conflicted. She didn't like the fact they were being spied on. At the same time, Jason had known he was doing something that was dangerous and wanted to protect them. Her eyes were watering, and as she learned more and more, it seemed like he was indeed gone. If he wasn't, there wouldn't need to be all these contingency plans. Why else would some people be trying to steal the data he's been working on now?

"Those military personnel who tried to steal this data and kill me. Who were they?" The girl asked instead.

"Most likely one of the factions within Academy City that are trying to make their way to the top." The clone of Teitoku shrugged. "That's not information I was given, so either the original Kakine didn't know or decided that I didn't need to know. I know that many groups in Academy City sabotage and attempt to steal each other's information to improve their own prestige. If they knew Kagere vanished, they would try to acquire the information he had. Though his security is pretty top-notch, I'm surprised you knew the password to get it. Did he tell you to do so?"

"N-No…" Kazari's face grew hot. "I sort of… hacked his computer to discover what he was doing. He's my boyfriend, Kakine-san, and he just vanished. If there were any clues on what happened to him, I had to find out."

"Then take it." Teitoku set the drive on Kazari's lap. She let go of him with one hand to clutch the drive with it. She didn't want to risk it falling from how high they were. "I do not know what's on there, but I hope you find out what you're looking for."

"Thank you… this means a lot." The girl's grip remained steady as she pushed it against her chest. "You do know Jason, right? Do you really think he's dead? I was told he was by people I trust deeply, but Jason's always had contingency plans for what happens. There's a chance this was all some kind of deception to fool The Fallen."

"Do you honestly believe that, or is that what you want to believe?"

Kazari's words were caught in her throat and no answer came forth.

"All I can tell you is he didn't return and I was created to watch over you." Teitoku continued. "Though, if I learn anything, I can let you know."

"If you're only here to protect me, why do that?" Kazari couldn't resist asking.

"Because it became obvious you would do something stupid if no one was helping you out."

Cheeks puffing out in indignation, the girl didn't respond. Deep down, she knew she would. Teitoku didn't seem to have a girlfriend or someone he cared about deeply, or he would have understood why she had to do what she did. If someone you cared about was in trouble, you would want to help. Kazari was investigating any lead she could and now she had one in her hand. Arguing with Teitoku wouldn't do anything. He also saved her life, twice now, so she should show him some respect.

Soon enough, they began to descend from the sky slowly until they landed in the parking lot behind a large building.

"The office building here is closed on the weekends, so no one should have seen us." Teitoku explained. "I recommend you keep a low profile for a bit."

"I can't though!" Kazari stomped her foot. "I need to show this information to someone." She clutched the external drive against her chest. "I can go through it, but I doubt I'll be able to understand it all." Taking a deep breath, the young girl tried to control her emotions. Her face became more passive, but her hands were still shaking. "There's only a few people who would be able to understand this. And fewer we can trust. Misaka-san is one of them, but I can't go to her. After I yelled at Kamijou-san, she's probably upset with me. That would leave Accelerator-san. Bayloupe-san who also lives with him should know anything relating to magic. She'll be able to help… it would be better to ask them and they could pass the information on… yeah, it wouldn't be so awkward."

Kazari was rattling on a bit as she mumbled her thoughts out loud.

"Have you made a decision?" Teitoku had waited a few minutes before interjecting and causing her to snap back to reality. "It doesn't make much of a difference to me, but the longer you delay, the more information may become unavailable." If he had been the real Kakine, he wouldn't have been nearly as polite. To achieve his purpose, the girl needed to be coddled a bit.

"Y-You're… right." Kazari took a deep breath. "I need to go to Accelerator's apartment. I know the general area, but I really haven't been there."

"I know where it is." Teitoku slowly nodded. "I'll lead the way, but I really can't accompany you inside."

"Huh, why?" Kazari tilted her head in confusion. "You saved me twice, even saved Kuroko, so why can't you?"

"The original Dark Matter was placed under Kagere's command as punishment for fighting other level 5s, specifically Accelerator and Meltdowner. The fights got heated and could have resulted in deaths if they weren't stopped. I doubt he would appreciate seeing me, even if I'm just a clone."

The girl froze at this. The level 5s were fighting like that with each other? But Mikoto and Accelerator were friends, sort of. They argued a lot, but physically fighting each other? That seemed unlikely. The information she read about the level 6 shift then flashed through her mind. If Mikoto learned about that, she might have fought him to protect them to the end. What could have made the others fight each other? A question for another day. Right now, she had something else to focus on.

Everyday, more questions arose.

"Er… do you need to stay near me then?" Kazari asked hesitantly.

"I can sit outside his building like this." His body glowed for a moment and then shrunk before her very eyes. Taking a step back, the girl rubbed her eyes as a white beetle the size of her hand sat on the ground.

"Kakine-san?" Kazari knelt down and whispered, unsure if he could understand her. "Can you still talk?"

"Yes, as I told you, I'm not actually human. I'm made of different materials that I can change."

"Oh, okay. Can you lead me to Accelerator's house?"

"We are a good distance away, you'll want to catch a bus."

This was a very awkward trip for the poor girl. Teitoku hid in her pocket as Kazari grabbed a bus out of downtown Academy City. There were warnings and sirens in the distance dealing with rioters, but Judgment was told to stay out of it at this point. Something which Kazari was now perfectly happy doing. There were more important tasks at hand for her. As she rode the bus, she kept looking around, half expecting something to happen. Like security forces chasing her down, or men barging in with weapons. It made her a little paranoid and she got a few questioning looks from others as she kept fidgeting.

Nothing happened though and she got off at her stop without issue.

"A couple streets down." Teitoku directed. "Once you reach the apartment, I'm going to fly up and watch from the roof. Do not mention me to anyone. It will only cause more questions and problems right now."

"I don't like keeping secrets, but I understand." Kazari whispered, barely moving her lips. "I won't mention you unless I absolutely have to. I'm not… great at lying."

"Maybe that's why Kagere liked you."

"He had his secrets, yeah." Kazari sighed, looking up at the sky and tried to stay calm. "But he was a good person deep down. I know it."

"Whatever you say, you know him better than I do."

It didn't take long to get to the inconspicuous apartment. On the outside, the building was completely normal. Kazari had a little trouble imagining Accelerator living here. She heard about it from Ruiko when they had swapped bodies due to Eve's magic, but it didn't really process back then. Taking a deep breath, the flower headed girl walked up and rang the doorbell. The thundering sound of footsteps raced toward the door. When the door was thrown open, the face greeting her wasn't Accelerator or Bayloupe.

"Lessar?" Kazari gasped.

"Oh, it's… umm… Uihara?" Lessar tried to remember.

"Uiharu."

"Right, so why are you here?" The young magician stuck her head out as if expecting more people. "No one else?"

"I'm here on my own," Kazari confirmed. "I'm here to see Accelerator and possibly Bayloupe."

"Eh, sure, come in." Lessar shrugged and stepped back. "They are kind of in the middle of something your boyfriend left behind in his apartment. Seems he was working on something big that could be for or against us."

"Jason's on our side." Kazari's words were cold and stern. Lessar wasn't a complete idiot and caught on, so she didn't say anything else but led the way to the living room. "Umm…"

Kazari wasn't sure what to say. Spread out on the floor were hundreds of diagrams on countless sheets of papers. A whiteboard seemed to have some other runics and symbols on it, which Itsuwa and Bayloupe were currently working on. Leivinia Birdway was on her hands and knees, checking some details on the main design, while Accelerator was sitting at a laptop, rubbing his head and looking pissed. Though that wasn't an unusual sight for him. When she entered, they all looked up at the girl.

"She's here to see Accelerator and Bayloupe." Lessar offered, since Kazari seemed to have her words stuck in her throat.

"About?" Accelerator's eyes narrowed. "Since you're here, I take it the damn hero told you what happened."

"He told me… about Jason… yes." The girl shrank under their gazes. Accelerator and Leivinia had a way of making people feel small. Itsuwa eyed her with compassion, knowing what she was going through. Bayloupe had the most neutral expression, waiting to hear what she had to say. "I didn't really believe it-...that he's… gone."

"It happened, living in denial isn't going to solve anything." Leivinia interjected.

"Birdway!" Itsuwa hissed indignantly. "Don't say things so harshly."

"Yeah, as far as we know, it did." Accelerator growled. "And we discovered a lot of other shit Kagere was involved with when we checked out his place."

"That's why I came to see you," Kazari admitted. "After Kamijou-san and Misaka-san told me and Shirai-san, I couldn't accept that. You know him as well as I do. He's the type of person who is always several steps ahead of others. This could be some elaborate plan of his to go undercover."

"Wishful thinking!" Leivinia called over and Bayloupe was the one who cut her off this time.

"Enough, Birdway, can you go over this part again. Index can't help us with this new branch until we have a better understanding." The silver-haired girl then turned to Kazari. "Yes, we all know that. However, the evidence seems unusually strong that one of two things happened. Stiyl was tricked into attacking him, or there was a double agent. We have evidence indicating both ways, along with some magical diagrams. That's what we're doing right now. Trying to piece together what he left behind."

Kazari really wanted to argue some more but her words wouldn't change minds today. She was a grieving girlfriend. They had mentioned a couple times Jason was suspicious, but Kazari refused to consider that. At least Bayloupe worded it that someone else could be a double agent. No, the evidence she stole would have to clear things up. Good or for bad, there had to be closure. Her boyfriend had to be alive.

"Then it's a good thing I decided to chance coming here," The girl pulled out the harddrive. "I went to Jason's workplace and downloaded the files off his computer. A lot of information was about Accelerator and the other level 5s, but I didn't get a chance to go through it all… before security arrived and I had to slip away. I was thinking there might be some hidden information in here only he knew about."

The room suddenly went deathly quiet as everyone stared at her.

The girl looked toward each other person in turn, from Accelerator, to Bayloupe, to Itsuwa, to Lessar, and lastly Leivinia. All of them wore expressions as if they had never seen her in this light. Sweat formed on Kazari's brow as she waited for some kind of explanation. When none came, she spoke again.

"Well… I thought it would be helpful… it's mostly Academy City experiment information from what I saw, but it might be useful."

"Damn right, now hand it over." Without warning, Accelerator reached over and snatched it from her hand, before turning toward the computer and plugging it in. "Maybe we can finally figure out these missing pieces."

"Is there anything I can do to help?" Kazari asked.

"Do you know how to decipher runes from various languages?" Leivinia asked.

"Er… no?"

"Do you know the structure of divine hierarchies and their positions in the Kabbalah tree or anything similar?"

"No." Kazari hung her head.

"Can you cast spells that will let us identify disorientations in the fabric of reality?" Lessar asked.

"Okay, I realize I can't help with this." The girl muttered.

"Lessar was making up the last one, but the point still stands." Leivinia huffed. indicating Kazari's lack of knowledge. "This is outside your field of expertise, so just don't get in our way and that's enough."

"As Kagere-san uses information from the magic and science side, we might have some questions about certain things regarding Academy City's technology or data," Itsuwa said reasonably. "Accelerator's been mainly helping with that."

"Ah… I probably won't have more information than him." Kazari had to admit. "Sorry."

Accelerator's eyes were narrowed at the titles of the documents he was examining, but a part of him figured a small compliment wasn't unwarranted. Kazari had never really bothered him like most of the others. She usually left him alone, just the way he liked it. The girl also did manage to get this information without being caught, which is a pretty impressive feat in Academy City without having a strong power to back her up.

"This will take some time going through, but it looks like there is some stuff that might be useful." Accelerator stated, without turning around. He could feel the other's eyeing him curiously. "Good job bringing this to me. Would be wasted on anyone else."

"Awww, he does care!" Lessar cooed.

Accelerator replied with his middle finger in the air.

"Ignore Lessar for now." Bayloupe suggested, patting Kazari's shoulder and lowering her voice as she gently led the girl away from the others. "She's been stuck here doing this with us for longer than she's used to. The girl doesn't like to sit still. As much as the others were saying you can't help, we've kind of been getting stuck in dead ends."

"But… you're all talented magicians!" Kazari was shocked. "Accelerator is one of the smartest people on earth. How are you having trouble?"

Bayloupe let out a small laugh and gave a small amused smile.

"Every religion has their own beliefs and traditions," The older girl explained. "We are knowledgeable in our own areas. Birdway is probably the most well rounded out of all of us, not counting Index. Though, she can't help us without us narrowing down the possibilities for now. There's no books she could have read to help us with this problem."

"I can't even do that," Kazari let out a long sigh. "But I can't just do nothing and head back home until you guys find something. Leaving… I don't know if my chest can take it, knowing this is where everything will be revealed. I also… said some stuff to Kamijou-san and Misaka-san when they told me what happened." The girl grabbed her shaking arm with the other. "I'm a little embarrassed to go back right now."

"Ah… I can understand that." Out of all of them, Bayloupe probably was the best one to do so. She had to raise the rest of New Light, especially Lessar. Sometimes, when situations were tense, people said things they regretted. They also can't just abandon people they care about and fret over news. She couldn't ask Kazari to leave, knowing the girl wouldn't just go home and wait patiently. "I won't say you have to leave, but maybe you could help us in a… non magical way. Help keep your mind occupied."

"Like what?" Kazari looked up into warm eyes.

"Last Order, Index, and Worst are hanging out at the end of the hall playing video games," Bayloupe explained. "Accelerator bribed them with a new one to keep them occupied. Yet when Worst and Last Order are left alone for too long, they can… be rambunctious. Index will be able to help us later once we finish the initial investigation. I just dont think she will be a good mediator if they fight. Do you think you could watch them? The moment we find anything, you'll be the first to know since you're here. It will also help us work faster without having to worry about them."

The logic was flawless, at the same time, she was reassuring Kazari that her feelings were valid. They both knew that Kazari couldn't help. Maybe in the future there might be an errand she could do, but without intense magical knowledge, the current situation was beyond her skillset. Being a motherly figure along with being a big sister was always a challenge, but rewarding in its own ways. Kazari seemed upset still, which was understandable, but also there was some determination.

"I… thank you." Kazari bowed. "I'll keep them entertained, but please, promise me. You'll let me know. I think Jason may have left clues in his work on his whereabouts if he's… still… with us…"

Bayloupe had another idea in mind what any clues would point to, but she wisely kept her mouth shut. She wasn't gifted with the horn of wisdom for nothing.

"I will keep you updated on what we discover," Bayloupe promised instead. "Even if the others don't want me to. If there's a sign he might be alive, you'll be the first person I tell. But… I want to be honest with you." The woman rubbed the bridge of her nose. "The odds are… not good."

Kazari's mouth grew dry.

"I… am prepared… No. No, I'm not." The girl wiped her eyes with her sleeve. "I probably won't be okay, but I have to know. You understand, don't you?" It was hard to put her feelings into words.

"More than you know." Bayloupe patted the girl on the shoulder and glanced behind her. The others had gone back to work and weren't eavesdropping. With Lessar in the same house, she had to be wary sometimes. "I've lost people I was close to when I was young and would lash out. It's not easy and we tend to act rashly. I know it's a painful feeling and you'll hear people say time helps. It's kind of true, but scars still stay. The thing you have to consider is, what would he want you to do? I find that helps more."

"He would want me to go on," Kazari mumbled. "Not to dwell on him, and maybe prank Shirai-san."

"There you go," Bayloupe gave her a small smile. "There's a chance things will work out. Hope is important and lets us keep going forward when times are tough. Things may suck now, but will eventually get better."

"Your… hic… good at pep talks." Kazari wiped her eyes.

"Comes with the territory," Bayloupe assured her. "Try to keep your mind occupied. It helps prevent you from wallowing in self pity, which doesn't help anyone. Especially you."

"No promises." Kazari took a deep breath and patted her cheeks. "Can't act sad in front of others. I'll try to keep Last Order and Worst occupied."

The girl left the magician to deal with the important task at hand as she made her way down the hall to the backroom. The door was closed, but she heard some arguing. Being polite, Kazari knocked first rather than barging in.

"Come in, MISAKA says as MISAKA stops playing to check on the door."

"Hello!" Kazari tried to sound cheerful. "Mind if I join you?" Last Order and Worst were sitting on the edge of the bed playing video games, while Index was watching interestedly, a family size bag of chips in her hands..

"Sure! MISAKA replied happily. It's more fun to play with others. But Worst here cheats, MISAKA warns as MISAKA glares at the evil one." True to her words, the small girl glared at the older one.

"If the game lets Misaka do it, it's not cheating." Worst countered. "You're just bad at the game." She stuck out her tongue, which seemed to upset the younger girl. Last Order waved her hands angrily and started complaining. Kazari could already feel a small headache come on.

No wonder the others needed them out of the way while they worked.

"You messed up the last combo," Index pointed out between handfuls of chips. "You went Up, Up, Down, Down, left, right, B, A, B, B. You should have gone, Up, Up, Down, Down, right, left, B, A, B, B." Her perfect memory wouldn't miss something like that.

"Do you want to play? MISAKA asks nicely." Last Order held out the remote.

"Er, okay." Kazari took the remote and smiled. "I'm not very good and I don't know the game."

"Don't worry, MISAKA assures you. MISAKA will make sure to teach you everything MISAKA knows. MISAKA promises as MISAKA puffs out her chest while eager to be the teacher."

"So ten minutes at most." Worst chuckled, leading to another tantrum and Last Order waving her hands in the air indignantly. Kazari knew this was going to be tiring, so she tried to go into it with her spirits high.

Meanwhile, Accelerator was combing through the files the girl brought over.

"Any luck?" Bayloupe asked, leaning over his shoulder.

"So much information on me and the other level 5s," The albino huffed, his eyes never leaving the screen. "We knew he would have this, as he works for the city and managed to get the higher ups off our backs by saying he would watch us. This much information is obvious." He saw the different experiments dealing with ascending to the fabled level 6 and a bad taste formed in his mouth. "He wanted this information, so it was a perfect cover for himself."

"Does that file have the missing information you two need?" Leivinia asked, stopping her work and glancing over at them.

Accelerator didn't respond, but the document was open to the answer and Bayloupe read it out loud.

"Due to the interference of Subject REDACTED, the experiment had been canceled. The possibility to achieve Level 6 has increased with Subject REDACTED interference in recent events." The file belonged to Accelerator, so there was no doubt who the report was talking about. "Interference. You mentioned Kamijou did that."

"You were right," Accelerator spat out bitterly. "Kagere was planning to use the damn hero as the focal point."

"Okay, but why would Lover Boy cause you all to become stable?" Lessar asked the right question "His hand negates your power, sure. But does it mentally affect you somehow?"

"Based on what I've heard, it's more of his personality." Bayloupe admitted. "He's the kind of guy that if you tell him there's two options, he'll discover a third one and take that." She glanced at Accelerator, who went silent.

"I saw a bit of that, especially in Australia and with a certain snake." Leivinia chuckled.

"Still doesn't make sense why stability would affect your abilities," Itsuwa interjected. "Unless he helps you mentally."

"In a way, he does." Accelerator really hated saying that, but deep down, as much as he hated admitting when he was weak, Touma Kamijou had saved him in a way. "The first time we fought… fuck it. Here. Read this. It explains the entire fucking experiment."

The boy didn't want to talk about it. Just thinking about what he did made his stomach churn and skin crawl. It was a part of his life he wanted to forget. At the same time, it shaped who he was now a lot. Especially when the damn hero showed up and stopped him from continuing. If it wasn't for him, he wouldn't have the family he had now. Including his girlfriend, which before meeting him, would never have been possible. By pulling up the experiment details on the computer and backing away, Itsuwa, Lessar, and Leivinia could read it on their own.

They had mixed reactions.

"Oh my…" Itsuwa covered her mouth.

"Wow, i thought the magic side was fucked up." Lessar muttered.

"Wow, that's ingenious, I'm impressed."

"Birdway!" Itsuwa hissed.

"What? It's true." The young cabal leader shrugged. "They literally couldn't make perfect copies of the electrical girl, so they found another way with resources they did have. Making weaker clones with a hivemind to improve their skills… hmm… that has potential." The girl seemed lost in her thoughts as the possible applications ran through her mind.. "Wonder if I can steal the computer that predicted this."

"It was a mistake to tell her." Bayloupe crossed her arms and glared at Leivinia.

"Computer's destroyed, not sure how, but it's gone." Accelerator shrugged. "I personally destroyed the last remnants of it." He remembered stopping a certain teleporter long ago and destroying the remains in a briefcase so something like that experiment would never happen again.

"I can't believe you let something so valuable go to waste." Leivinia stamped her foot and scowled.

"It's probably for the best." Itsuwa rubbed her temple.

"Not sure why you all are acting all high and mighty," Leivinia scoffed. "It's not like our side didn't do these kinds of experiments. The Catholic Church, countless cabals, Russian Orthadox, all of them have experimented on children over the years. Sometimes, progress requires sacrifice."

"We stopped doing those kinds of experiments a long time ago because they are inhumane." Itsuwa shot back.

"Did they?" Leivinia crossed her arms and smirked at them.

Before an argument could break out, Bayloupe stepped in.

"Officially, yes, those experiments are outlawed," The older girl stated firmly. "At the same time, we know some groups still do them and that's why people like Stiyl Magnus exist. They hunt down those that abuse magic. I take it it's the same thing here. The laws say they shouldn't be doing these types of experiments and most of the people here believed that. Some groups are willing to do anything for progress. Arguing over this isn't going to solve anything. Some of us would prefer to believe those experiments have been outlawed. Living through them…"

Bayloupe trailed off and Lessar looked uncomfortable. Accelerator raised an eyebrow, though he remained quiet. That was a story for another time and Bayloupe had told him a couple stories already about when New Light was younger. It brought up bad memories, something he knew all too well.

"Let's focus on the main issue at hand," Itsuwa suggested, reading the room. "Like how this ritual would succeed when Kamijou's hand negates magic and this stability effect with Accelerator and the others."

"If it's more than the hero's personality, it has to have something to deal with the Anti-AIM field Kagere discovered," Accelerator explained, leaning back in his chair as he thought about it. "Maybe when placed near someone with a strong enough AIM field, it might affect it in different ways if it can't fully negate it."

"If he designs certain magical circuits here and here." Leivinia eyed their chart while tracing it with her finger. "It would create a dome around him. Hmm, this might work. Lessar, check those runes there."

"On it!" Lessar got on the floor and verified the papers. "Seems right on this end."

"In order for this all to connect, it would take an incredibly powerful force at each point," Itsuwa looked over Lessar to the design. "This spell isn't designed to be in a small room. You would need to be spread out across a city. That's why, each angel replacement would need to be leagues above a normal person. Kagere was planning to use the Level 5s of Academy City to solve this problem most likely. But, from what I heard, there are seven level 5s. There might be some interference."

"Which is why he needs them to be above the others with their transformations!" Bayloupe interjected.

"Let's see." Sarcasm oozed from Leivinia's words. "Jason Kagere has full access to information on these Level 5s, has full knowledge of magical rituals, has been working with Eve's faction, has been involved in all the transformations of said Level 5s, and has been examining the Imagine Breaker extensively. Why did you think he was on your side again?"

"Shut it, bitch!" Lessar spot.

"Wow, fantastic response, thot."

"Enough!" Bayloupe cut them off before the arguing could continue any longer. Her head was always pounding. "RIght now, we need to finish crafting this spell in case it's needed. Hopefully we won't have to use it, but…"

"It's better than risking everyone's life by ignoring it." Itsuwa finished. "I'm just worried about using everyone as the focal points. It could backfire. Could we use something else to represent them?"

"No."

The new voice made them all jump as Index stood there. Everyone had been too preoccupied to notice her.

"Sorry for eavesdropping," The nun apologized. "I was just going to grab some more chips and I stopped to listen."

"What do you mean no?" Accelerator asked, eyes narrowing. "Doesn't this magic shit use substitutes and things to represent other stuff all the time?"

"That works on pre established traditions," Index explained, walking forward. "What Jason is trying to do is overwrite the current system. Normally, a single person would be unable to do so. However, if the lynchpin, God, is removed, the current order will be disruptive." Her eyes darted to all the work the other female magicians put together. "This would allow him to slip his own system in, using the foundation left behind."

"I still wish we knew how he was using the Imagine Breaker in this." Leivinia mumbled, glancing down at the work too.

"Most likely, it will be a stable area in the center of a vortex of magical distortion." Index replied, her eyes glazing over as she accessed the 103,000 grimores inside her head. "Touma's hand can only negate so much, but there are things he can't negate, like natural ley lines. If Jason could lay down the foundation, Touma's hand couldn't negate it as it would be natural in the new foundation."

"What would happen to him?" Lessar asked, concern on her face as her dragon tail flickered nervously behind her. "With an entirely new system crashing down on him."

"And what about Accelerator and the others?" Bayloupe asked. "What would happen to them being part of the spell itself?"

"I do not think Touma would be hurt," Index admitted slowly. "The two most likely scenarios would be he would become the lynchpin, becoming the new god of the world or at least a stand in. The other situation would be he could remember this world, while everyone else would be affected by the next one."

"Huh?" Accelerator and Lessar said in unison.

"If the world changes, history and memories would be changed," Leivinia explained. "There's no way of counting how many times the world's been changed by stuff like this. Magic on a world wide scale could easily change what we know to be true."

"That didn't answer my question." Bayloupe pointed out.

"I… it really depends." Index bit her lip and looked away.

"Depends on what?" Accelerator crossed his arm and gazed down at her. He had to keep a stern gaze like he did with Last Order or she would try to change the subject. "I'm not a brat. Tell us the truth."

"It's based around your transformation," Index looked back up at him with resolve in her eyes. "I don't fully understand how they work, but I believe it comes down to this. Is it strong enough to survive the spell? Are the transformations complete? Can your mind and bodies withstand the strain of the world being warped through you? That's what I don't know. If you are not strong enough, this spell might forcefully push you to a higher level to act as makeshift angels. Your body and mind might break apart under that strain."

There was silence following this pronouncement.

"What would happen if they did break down?" Bayloupe asked the tough question.

"It depends when that happened," Index didn't look happy, but continued. "During the spell, the circle might keep their bodies together until the casting is complete. If that's the case, the moment the spell finishes, their bodies would shatter and vanish. They might not even be alive if their minds broke down before that. There's also a chance that if their bodies break down during the spell, the entire thing could go out of control, especially if some of them manage to remain intact while others break."

"Would throw the spell out of control." Lessar muttered. "One side fails and the mana just gets thrown off wherever."

"This fits with why Eve and her forces were testing you," Leivinia spun around and faced Accelerator. "You told us that they seemed to be pushing you, rather than trying to kill you outright."

"Because Kagere needed them at a certain level to withstand the spell," Itsuwa gasped. "He's working or worked with Eve to push you guys further through combat. One of the best training methods, but in a way we had no choice but to take it seriously."

"Exactly." Accelerator spat out. "This information filled in gaps of what we assumed already. The bastard probably had his own reasons for working with that bitch, but it doesn't change anything. He USED us."

"Who's going to tell Uiharu?" Lessar asked, jabbing her thumb over her shoulder at the door with Kazari, Last Order, and Worst playing games.

"Eh, don't tell her," Leivinia yawned. "Let her live in ignorance for a little while." The room went silent as everyone stared at her. "What?"

"That's… unusually kind of you." Itsuwa said what they were all thinking.

"Hah!" Leivinia let out a short laugh. "It's not kindness. I just don't want to listen to her whining about her dead boyfriend being a good guy. It's obvious he was a piece of shit."

"That sounds more like you." Lessar rolled her eyes and plopped down on the couch.

"It's probably best she isn't told right now," Bayloupe agreed. "She's not in the right state of mind. It takes time to process the loss of someone close to you."

"Eh, she'll get used to it." Leivinia scoffed.

"She shouldn't HAVE to." Itsuwa growled. "You really need to have some compassion."

"That's the church's job, not mine."

"Index," Accelerator cut them off, not caring about their views on the subject. Yes, it sucked for her and the flower girl would have to learn the world wasn't all sunshine and daffodils, but they didn't need to waste time drilling that lesson in today. They had more important things to do. "Think you can help them finish this quickly? We probably need time to set this up and…" The boy let out a loud groan. "... will have to let the others know about their part."

"Yeah, you're almost done, just a few corrections and minor changes here and here… there… over there… that part is messy."

"Is she… I swear she's sassing us!" Lesser complained.


Meanwhile, a duo was standing on the roof of a building a couple streets away, but within sight of Accelerator's apartment. Two people Accelerator and the others would hate to see. So much, violence would most likely be the outcome of their meeting. The sun was beginning to set and casting shadows over many of the smaller buildings around them. The students had been working all day on the spell and had no idea they were being watched the entire time.

"It's almost time." Eve giggled. "I wonder what the expression on his face will be when he realizes what's happening."

"He shouldn't be underestimated," The man was sitting in a shaded location next to the door leading down in the building. His hoodie covered his head and only his glowing red eyes were visible in the shadows. "His transformation exceeded our expectations."

"Exceeded yours." Eve corrected. "He expected that much or they would have been considered failures. Kind of cruel if you think about it, but progress rarely is. Human's have been doing what's needed to keep their societies going since the dawn of time. Or at least what they think is needed. Genocide in the name of clensing, exiling those that go against the group's beliefs, and enslaving those they deem inferior to boost their own lives."

"And what of the one I'm enslaving?"

"Don't worry, I checked." Eve reached down and pulled out a metal circular device that seemed to resemble a headband. "We use this and while there will be some discomfort, she won't die."

"There's not much time," The man stepped out and pulled down his hood to show his face. It was none other than the original vampire, Cain. The one who supposedly had been killed by Accelerator but was verified to have lived thanks to Shizuri. "We need it tonight or you'll have to wait a week."

"Sunday, a time most of the religious followers flock to churches," Eve let out a short laugh. "Little do they know it's actually the time Heaven's defenses are at its lowest. It's the day God rested after all. What better time for Lucifer to stage an assault?"

"If he's truly mastered his power, I won't be able to stop him for long."

"It feels weird to hear you out of all people to say that." Eve looked over at him. "I have to say, these abilities of Aleister are quite a problem. Once we're finished, it won't matter. We'll be free and the people of this world can work on their own problems. We failed in ours and I still hate the fact we have to continue to mess with theirs." The girl sighed. "It's not like we have a choice."

"It will all end tomorrow." Cain nodded in confirmation. Taking a deep breath he raised his hand. "The sun has set enough for this."

"Do it," Eve ordered. "If Accelerator shows up, you'll have back up." She turned around and walked over to the corner of the roof where she had put down an ornate vase. "Let's release what was sealed." Reaching into the vase, Eve grasped the item within and pulled it out.

It was a blue dress with white polka dots, sized for a child.

"Such a simple thing."

"Indeed, sealing is much harder than releasing." Cain agreed. "It should take place instantaneously."

"Call her," Eve ordered, her playful tone vanishing. The sun has just finished setting, though the sky was still lit up in hues of red and orange. "It's time."

Cain nodded and reached out even further with his hand.

"Come to me."

The air seemed to tremble with his command as a gust blew by. The wind whipped through the streets and wrapped around Accelerator's apartment. Unknown to them, on top of the roof was a white beetle. Sensing the change, its wings began to beat rapidly before taking into the sky. The magic in the air was so faint, it didn't even trigger the wards Bayloupe put up.

After all, all Cain was doing was calling this thrall.


"Haha, MISAKA wins, MISAKA gloats as MISAKA does her victory dance!"

Last Order was dancing on the bed as the screen showed she won the race.

"Only because Misaka let you," Worst huffed. "Misaka won the last 22 games."

"You're both so much better than I am," Kazari told them. "I can't even beat the computer."

"You should avoid the obstacles, MISAKA says as MISAKA tries to be helpful."

"Yes, it's reacting in time." Kazari giggled. "But it's also not good to be a sore winner."

"She's a sore winner, MISAKA protests." Last Order pointed at Worst.

"Nah, Misaka is a great winner, just a sore loser." Worst stuck out her tongue.

"Rivalry's can be beneficial and help you both improve, but you shouldn't take them too far and remember your sisters." It took some getting used to knowing these two were part of the Level 6 experiment. Though they didn't seem to be exact clones of Mikoto. Were they defective and Accelerator was watching them to make sure they weren't disposed of? If he was, it showed that deep down, he was a good person. "You should still cherish each other."

Both of them turned to each other and stuck out their tongues, causing the flower girl to sigh.

"It was worth a shot…"

"Huh?" Last Order blinked and shook her head. "Misaka feels… Misaka… I have to go."

Instantly, her change of speech alerted Worst.

"The admin is disconnecting from the network." Worst stood up.

"Huh?"Kazari had no idea what they were talking about and she turned to see Last Order standing up, the control laying on the bed next to her. The young girl was walking to the window. "Last Order?"

"Get down!" Worst growled, knocking Kazari over as Last Order punched the window.

The glass shattered as if an explosion went off.

The small girl leaped out of the second story window, landing on all fours like an animal, before standing up and darting away.

"Last Order!" Kazari screamed after her. "Come back!"

The door to the room slammed open as Accelerator and Bayloupe entered.

"What's happening!" Accelerator demanded.

"Last Order was acting weird!" Kazari explained. "She said she had to go… then just knocked out the window."

"Something's wrong." Bayloupe had rushed toward the window. "There's traces of magic… of Cain's magic… Mugino was telling the truth."

"Fuck!" Accelerator flipped the switch on his collar. "I'm going after her!" The wind whipped around him as he shot out of the window.

"Lessar, Itsuwa!" Bayloupe yelled, pulling out her Steel Glove. "It's as we feared. Cain's still alive! I'm going with Accelerator. Keep finishing the spell with Index. Birdway… Eve may be nearby to stop us."

"Yeah, yeah, I'll play defense this time, only because it's late and I don't feel like running around tonight." Came the drawl voice of Leivinia.

When Shizuri told them Cain was still alive, they didn't fully believe her. Looks like it was true that Eve could create puppets that mirror the first vampire. But that didn't explain why Last Order rushed away. She wasn't under his control, was she? How did he bypass their defenses? The girl was cured… by the urn… that had been in Jason's possession…

"We messed up!" Bayloupe put the pieces together. "Eve released Last Order's vampirism from the urn and now Cain has control of her."

"What?!" Kazari gasped. "We have to warn the others."

"Call them." Bayloupe grabbed the broken window frame as she prepared to leap out. "I'm going after her and Accelerator. We'll probably need backup. Eve's making a move tonight." Without another word, the silver haired girl jumped out and raced into the darkening streets.


Feel free to leave a review, comment, suggestions, or ideas, I love reading them. If you have a question you wish to ask and would like a quick answer, feel free to message me directly. I try to respond to those within a day or two. Comments, I tend to respond to in the next chapter.

And the urn came back into play. Ever since it was introduced early in the story, its main purpose has been revealed.