• Member Since 13th May, 2012
  • offline last seen Yesterday


I like stuff. I dislike other stuff. I frequently dislike stuff other people like, and vice-versa. I'm not a troll; I'm a contrarian. I also write stuff, sometimes. It's not very good.


Twilight Sparkle’s own body has betrayed her. Her life hangs by a thread, and her only hope of survival is a vital organ transplant. But when the sole possible donor turns out to be a young, healthy, and honourable pony, Celestia proves just how far she is willing to go to save her student.

In the decision to trade one life for another, the most serious casualty may be everypony’s ethics.

Chapters (1)
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Comments ( 201 )

You are a cruel person, for posting this. Because now I have to read it. :raritydespair:




Well, I guess I have a really weird view of ethics, because once I understood that Celestia didn't just brainwash Shiny, I don't see the problem here.

Yeah same here, I would have done the same without looking back.

You know what, even I can't recommend this story. Feel free to pass.


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So, no moral objections to creating a sentient being for the express purpose of killing them in order to harvest their organs? Okie-dokie lokie. :pinkiehappy:

Woah... heavy stuff right there.:pinkiesad2:

Still, I like it. Well done.

Not when you're copying yourself, and (if I read it right) both instances of you would have consented to being the donor themselves, no. Shiny was prepared to sacrifice himself before duplicating himself, and the fact that one instance of him can now live didn't change that, so (assuming they didn't play the old "no, take him!" game) there's no moral dilemma here. The only thing that makes this weird is that they both know who the original was, but the copy apparently didn't have a problem with that, so no problem.

I can say only a few thing now.





~Skeeter The Lurker

What a twist!

great job good sire!

2519103 Why, thank you, ma'am. :twilightsmile:

2519149 Mirror pool duplicates are not exact copies. They lack all the memories of the original. Clone!Shiny was "born" knowing almost nothing except for the fact that he was supposed to save Twilight (and this was probably more a deep-seated instinct than a conscious thought). The entire situation had to be explained to him. So the "yourself" bit is questionable at best. The key is that they created a pony with his own mind and a personality similar, but not indentical, to Shining Armor's. It muddles things a bit.

For the record, though, I do think it was the correct decision under the circumstances.

Twilight, though, will be absolutely pissed at the idea that anypony died to save her.

2519237 2519322 Glad you liked it! :pinkiehappy:

Wow! That was apologetically cruel. I would interested in reading an epilogue. Nice twist too. For the greater good, indeed.

This was despicably excellent. :pinkiehappy: I can see where everyone was coming from on both sides, but yeah, even though Twilight hasn't actually lost her brother, she'll be pretty pissed when she comes out of surgery knowing another sentient being copied from her brother died to save her life.

Maybe I'm actually a guy...:rainbowderp:

Seventh Wave - Devin Townsend

Here's hoping they can keep Twilight from banishing a vital organ back to the mirror pool. :twilightoops:


I think she'll be too busy dealing with the guilt of the hundred or so Pinkie clones she casually murdered now that its definitively proven (in this story) that Mirror Pool copies ARE alive.

Every question of morality and righteousness went out the window in this story. The fact is, someone was going to die. Better it be a clone, than a Bearer of an Element.


Excellent twist. Maybe it's just my cold, analytical heart, but there was nay a feel to be seen. Ensure the elements keep on ticking for a few more years, potentially saving Equestria and the world on countless more occasions? Logically, there isn't really even a choice. It's that cut and dry.

A true gut punch would have been to have the real Shining Armor die, and then reveal at the end that Dash/one of the other elements had died moments earlier doing something stupid, thus completely negating Shining's sacrifice.

Her words had no effect. With no warning, he swung, taking out a chunk of wall with his bare hoof. “Dammit! I should’ve just gone through with it myself! Why in blazes did I let you talk me out of it?!” A few pants escaped his muzzle. “I’m a coward,” he concluded.

This part makes that I don't see any problem with their decision. Since he was willing to sacrifice himself, but had a responsibility to his unborn foal, I totally agree with what he did, and I would probably do the same.

Also, whether clones have the same memories or not, they do have the same personalities and ideals (all pinkie copies were hyper, liked fun, and broke the laws of physics) so since they didn't force the copy to sacrifice himself, he was more or less giving his life to protect his nation, although in a strange way

Anyway, this story is great (it's so delicious and moist)
have a :moustache:

Well. At first, I was like
Then, when we find out the twist, I was like
Now, after the ending, all I can say is

That alt ending...oh my god. I don't think I could've taken that.

A simply marvellous and emotional read! I thoroughly enjoyed every word of it.
Hats off to you, good sir/madam. :pinkiesmile: :twilightsmile: :moustache:

2519601 Really, I don't know what I'd put in an epilogue. Twi waking up and raging? Celestia trying to cover up her plans? Cadance divorcing SA? (No, I wouldn't do that. Cady will get over it.)

2519781 You know what? I give up. I thought you said that you were female, but I just checked and you only complained about everyone assuming you were male, which I guess isn't the same thing.

I'll just combine "Sir" and "Ma'am" and call you "Sam". :trollestia:

2520094 I only hinted at it in the story, but there's another thing that made this plan morally questionable. There were a lot of assumptions being made, and there was a possibility that clone!Shiny would just dissolve into magic mist or something when he died, making the entire exercise futile.

2520311 Twilight "sent them back". Is that different from "killed"? I dunno. Might be something for Twi to think about.
Clone!Shiny is definitely dead as a doornail, though. :twilightoops:

2520374 2520436 We seem to have a lot of consequentalists commenting. I was hoping to hear from at least one deontologist.

2520627 The Pinkie clones resembled real!Pinkie on a surface level, but they lacked her concern and empathy, being rather selfish and obsessed with "fun".

I don't know how well it came across, but clone!Shiny was pretty much the exact opposite. He was all about self-sacrifice (for Twilight) and thought of his own needs (if any) as completely irrelevant.

My headcanon is that the mirror pool captures the mental state of the pony at the moment of duplication, so you get interesting effects depending on what's on the pony's mind when they clone themselves.

2520403 Whew. Good. I was dropping hints early on, and was worried I was being too obvious.

2520766 I DON'T KNOW! :raritydespair:

2520847 Glad you liked it! :pinkiehappy: Oh, and you can call me Sam.

Well yeah. But I thought those hints were typos...

If it helps, this story further convinces me that following you was a good idea. :ajsmug:

Yeap. Those were some mighty strange typos now that I think about it...

2520952 I know you can't really argue on head-canon, but in mine they lacked empathy and concern because of their lack of memories. It's not that the pinkie-clones didn't care about pinkie's friends but by not remembering them, they didn't understand their feelings, thus seeming non-empathic.

Also, forgot this in my last post but

She gave an incredulous look. “Not going to argue? Admitting you screwed up? That explains it. You’re not really my brother, are you?”

A chuckle. “Nope. I just look and sound exactly like him.”



Absolutely positively love love loved this!:twilightsmile:

Why would twilight be upset over this? Didn't she do basically the same thing to like 50 pinkies?

Can i call you Bounty Soft?:trollestia:

2520966 Man, what do I have to do to convince people I really don't know what I'm doing with this "writing" business?

2521049 The mirror pool is never fully explained, so we'll probably never get a definite answer. I honestly expect even a memory-wiped Pinkie to be a bit more considerate than her clones were, and their single-minded obsession with "fun" was downright creepy. It told me they weren't quite the same as the original. It's all up to interpretation, though. :twilightsmile:

2521188 Thank you so much! :heart:

2521296 Well, "sending them back to where they came from" and "frying their brain and chopping up their body" aren't necessarily the same thing. :unsuresweetie:

2521322 Sure thing, Sam.

Man, what do I have to do to convince people I really don't know what I'm doing with this "writing" business?


This story was so confusing. Two Shining Armors? Was the one talking to Twilight and Celestia the real Shining Armor?

2522760 Shining Armor, on Celestia's advice, cloned himself using the mirror pool (from "Too Many Pinkie Pies"). This story follows the last moments of the clone until he kills himself in order to save Twilight's life. The real Shining Armor only arrives at the very end of the story, after the clone has already died.

The clone is aware that he is not the real Shining Armor, but he loves Twilight as much as the original and is willing to die for her, so he is fine with this arrangement.

2522806 Then why is Cadence mad and why do they assume Twilight will be too? Why did Princess Celestia and Twilight spoke to him as if he was the original, not just a clone?

Twilight doesn't know about the whole cloning business. Why? Because she would openly refuse to have another pony - clone or not - die for her, and both Celestia and Shining Armor know this. Thus, they keep her in the dark until after her surgery.

Celestia does not speak to him as if he were the real Shining Armor. She does speak to him as a pony she has grown to respect.

Cadance is mad because:
(1) Shining Armor and Celestia created a sentient being for the sole purpose of having him die. (The clone was willing, but this was the best possible outcome. The whole thing was a huge gamble in many ways.)
(2) This plan goes against what Twilight would want, and Cadance is the only one who respects that. (Celestia is thinking strategically of Equestria's well-being; Shining Armor is blinded by his love for Twilight.)

I... I was really hoping most of this would be clear. :unsuresweetie:

2522872 Oh! I get it now. Sorry I didn`t understand, but I was totally lost when Shining Armor began talking to Cadence. I sort of guessed it when you mentioned the mirror pool, but because Twilight, Celestia and Cadence acted differently than I thought that they would with a clone I was confused.


That pretty much sums up my reactions. I really don't know how to feel about this.
Like on one hand, it makes sense; but on the other, it's ethically murky, so I...
I really don't know.

Thought-provoking at least.

Well, my one criticism is that there are a few spots where it seems that you need either a Horizontal Line, or a better transition. That said...

Below is my review, there are spoilers. Read at your own risk!
I liked this. I honestly saluted clone Shining Armor, before I realized what was going on. Personally, I fail to see the ethical issue here. Assuming that Shining Armor was willing to go through with it, until Celestia brought up the alternative, and that the clone was in a similar mindset... Nope. Nothing. I tell you what though, the second it was revealed that was his clone, the tears ceased. I still salute the brave soul, but there are no more tears, now that I know both Cadence and Twi will still have Shining Armor around... After all, I would give my life in a heartbeat for my brother.
So, TL;DR; The Clone aspect killed the ethical conundrum, almost entirely for me. :applejackunsure:

Did you get the whole, 'clone that exist for the sole purpose of being an organ doner to powerful individuals that are dying', from the book "House of the Scorpion"? Because if you did,

2524771 "Ethically murky" is exactly what I was going for. So, thank you. :twilightsmile:
I'm actually a just teeny-tiny bit disappointed at how many people have said "Nope, no ethical dilemma here."

2524862 Fun fact: this story almost came out divided into three chapters (called "Twilight Sparkle", "Celestia", and "Shining Armor" - I'll leave you to figure out where the chapter breaks were, though I think you already did). Yea or neigh on this idea?

Interesting reaction with the "tears ceased". It hits the major question: Was the clone's life really worth less than Shining Armor's own? And why? It worth determined by one's uniqueness (What about natural twins, then)? One's past? One's relationships? Were your tears for Shining Armor himself, or for the ponies around him who you thought would have to deal with his being gone?

2524945 Sorry to disappoint. I've never read that book. I'm sure the idea isn't all that original and has been done quite a few times, but my inspiration came from the godawful series "Star Trek: Enterprise", specifically the godawful episode "Similitude".

Possibly because the clone isn't thought of as "real".

this is no different than all the parents that have a kid for as perfect match as possible to save another of their children. usually its for marrow or something like that and not something a little more vital but

I thought of this book too, actually.


Sounds a lot like The Island

He was real enough that, in the matter of the few days that he lived, Celestia developed a healthy respect for him and Shining Armor started to think of him as a brother. I tried to present him as having a real personality, similar to but distinct from Shining's.

Um... what? Care to finish your sentence? :unsuresweetie:

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Yep, the idea's been done before. I never claimed to be original.

Oh, nothing's original anymore. The point is to make it enjoyable, and it was. In a 'holy crap I really hope I never have to make this kind of choice' kind of way.

I am... angry. On the one hand, Twilight brings up very good points about how Shining is needed alive; however... Shining is certainly understandable in his want to save his sister, even at the expense of himself... but not his clone. Would it have been better for Shining to kill himself instead of creating a sentient clone? Or would it have been better to do nothing, letting Twi die, and everypony moves on? I don't know, but either way would have been better than this! The clone is the most morally unambiguous character (thanks to the magic of the Pool giving him a one-track mind--a horrible implication all by itself), yet all would have been much better off (ethically) if he was never created in the first place... I could barely keep reading when Celestia mentioned it was "necessary"--personally, I believe that anything that isn't right, by definition, cannot be necessary. Putting "life"--continued existence--even if it's not one's own, above moral integrity is shortsighted and selfish. Lastly, it's almost difficult to believe that Cele would do such a thing that's not only against Twilight's wishes, but, obviously, against her morals as well... From a certain point of view, it could be argued Cele never cared about Twilight as a pony at all, but only "cares" about her as a person would care for a handgun (which they only use for self-defense).

Ugh. I disagree with almost every character (and what seems to be a majority of commenters), yet I must leave a thumbs up because (unfortunately) the characters' actions are believable from certain (canon-supported) interpretations of their personalities...

Oh, and it's well-written, of course.

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