• Published 22nd Nov 2022
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Fallout Equestria: Sisterhood - Crowseph Crowstar



A wayward soul will find that the greatest company one can keep is the company of the mare in the mirror.

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Chapter1: Oh Sister, Where Art Thou

Pain. Everything hurts. With each bounce of the boat over a coming swell my body hit the aluminum boat's floor with a small but agonizing thud. As our journey moved forward down south, I risked a peak at the fellow scavenger I’d befriended on the ill equipped venture. Her, the mare who saved my life and helped when I needed it most.

The mare who shared my face, my name, my everything. Me!

My clone. Still didn’t understand what that even was, but it was a word used to label the poor creature who found herself pushed from her own life’s story and into some new, terrifying existence. She too was staring at me with a single eye, though not because hers was swollen shut after a nasty beat down. I winced hard as she viewed my many facial injuries and cringed. I’d do the same as I spied her wounded forelegs covered in bruises, though she favored one leg more when trying to make the pain go away.

Yeah, the leg I broke yesterday after the fall. I hurt too much to ask if that was the case, but as the boat bounced again I struggled to even breathe through bruised ribs.

Everything hurts…

Eventually my thoughts swam to other things to try and escape the constant throbbing from my face and chest. Home. Point Wayward. A little slice of heaven located in the armpit of Equestria. North of Canterlot, but south of the Hoofington valley. Neighagra falls is a little ways south of Wayward and where the Centennial gets its start. Fillydelphia was way out east, but rumors managed to reach us despite the fact that the only outlanders that show up here are ones that managed to get a boat functional.

Something about a slave empire taking root there. Didn’t need to tell us twice about not visiting.

I wanted to ask about any rumors that might be new or interesting, if only to pass the time and ease the pain, but the moment I looked at the two trappers focusing on steering the boat my ambitions died in my throat. Conversation was over and it wasn’t going to get started anytime soon. Maybe this was why I didn’t have any friends or remember who anypony was. My ability to socialize was non-existent and I had no motivation to change that.

“Luna I’m pathetic…” my voice rang through my ears barely audible over the crashing waves and constant screeching from those horrifying dolphins. I wasn’t the one to speak the words, however. I opened my eye and cracked a smile.

My clone was in the same boat as me in a metaphorical and literal sense. “I’m glad our brains are in sync. Makes it really easy to tell what’s going on with you.” I said with a whisper. She responded immediately with a soft hoof punch to my muzzle.

“If I guess what you’re thinking, can I have a pair of goggles back?” You little rodent…game on! I nodded gently and moved closer to listen in. “You suck at talking to ponies, so you sit there and wait until somepony talks to you because you suck ass at starting things with others besides your family…”

I didn’t even bother responding. All I did was slide off another pair of precious goggles and hoof them over. The only thing I was happy about was that my other self didn’t seem smug about being right like I normally would. Instead, defeat was written on her features probably like it was written on mine. I certainly felt defeated.

“…..y-you can always talk to me…us? Yourself?” I can’t believe this was even happening. I lost two pairs of goggles, multiple healing potions and got an ass beating for this adventure and all I managed to gain was a mid-life crisis at the age of sixteen and a sister. She spoke again, this time with some actual worry. “It’s not talking to yourself if you’re talking to me is it…?”

Finally, I opened my mouth and responded “I’m not doing this with you until we get back. I’m….”

“ALRIGHTY KIDS!!! WAKE UP YA’LL!” Panic shot through me and right behind it was pain as the jolt shook me to my core. That fucking mule. What was her name again? “We’re bout here. As promised and to honor our agreement, we have delivered you to Wayward. I do hope the jostle wasn’t too harsh.” The journey was coming to an end. Of course another one was coming up almost immediately after we arrived with the X shaped overpasses of Point Wayward coming into view. I wasn’t even aware we’d entered the tributary leading here, but that was in the past. Home was finally in reach.

I snorted and my clone laughed at me for doing so. A couple of peas in a pod. “Well my dear sister, the first thing I’m doing when we get home is paying a visit to a zebra. Crimes may be involved…” my turn to start a conversation. Weird, I didn’t have nearly as much trouble talking to myself as I did with other ponies.

“That should give us enough time to think of a way to explain…our situation…to mom and dad!” A look in her eye, oh yes that look. The one I had whenever I got into the mood for pointless theatrics to entertain myself! Together we turned to our saviors, and almost murderers, and spoke in unison.

“Thank you for bringing us home!” The stallion who went by Crab, or at least I thought that was his name, lost his perpetual smile. Something I took pride in was finally getting this photogenic stallion to get rid of that creepy grin. Of course, the mare he was with wasn’t the most pleased, but who cares?

“Kids, imma be honest with y’all…I said you two were sweet, but now you’re down right strange. Don’t ever do that again…” mission accomplished. The mare with the lobster trap helmet was definitely thinking less of us now.

With a curt nod we departed the boat. I wanted to ask why they decided to moore so far from the dock area we had, but the gentle woosh of the dolphins squirting water from their blowholes was a reminder of what these boats were. It didn’t take a sailor pony to figure the answer out. “Now you two best behave now. And uh, don’t be a couple of ‘tards and wander up in somepony’s camp like y’all did back there. I do say, I ain’t neva seen anything more dumb then that there!” I looked back to the Trapper with the thick accent as he waved us goodbye. Together we waved them farewell in return.

I may not remember them after today, but I’ll be damned if I ever forget that advice.

***

We were home, at long last the shit storm we endured was at an end. I’d never take the safety and lack of killer clones for granted ever again! However, before we returned to mom and dad, there was a certain zebra two Muddy Waters wanted to get even with. Sure enough his black and white striped wagon was where we last saw it.

“Alright…we’re going to get answers, starting with this fucker” I snarled as I unholstered my revolver and carefully gave it away to my newfound family member. As much as the adventure was a pain filled bust, I did gain a friend. A sister. A sister who gladly took the weapon since I was down a functioning eye after the dive into Stable 98.

“I like the way you think. Doesn’t even matter if he was right, there ain’t a thing called the Sight! This was a set up…I can feel it in my bruised legs and forehead.” With the revolver clamped between her teeth and tongue on the trigger, I motioned for her to step to the side and let me go first.

A few over eager knocks later…..a voice. This one belongs to a zebra with a dead giveaway accent only a zebra could have. “Who might be at my door? Is there something I can help you with?” The striped zebra in question opened the door with his eye peeking through the crack. When his eye landed on me, I grinned with a devilish anticipation. “Ah! You! You return at last, just as I predicted in the waning moments of the sight. Do tell, have you found your destiny yet? I am eager to hear the tale.” This time he opened the door in its entirety. Even through the goggles I wore and cargo coat it was obviously me so long as I kept my hat and bandana off my head.

What he didn’t expect was to turn his head and spot the other me resting against the side of the wagon with a revolver pointed at him. Quickly I checked to see if the guards were as useless today as they were yesterday. Sure enough, they didn’t give our being here a single glance. Bored as they were, excitement was brewing down the ramp from their guard posts without their notice. “Yeah…I found something like that. Why don’t we step inside and talk about destiny real quick.” His slack jaw and wide eyes didn’t stop me from shoving him into his own wagon with all the strength of an injured earth pony.

He stuttered wildly as his attempts to back away ended once he bumped into the wall of his wagon. “I-I-I can’t believe it. N-no! This-this can’t…b-but how…impossible…” by now my clone had entered and quickly shut the door behind us. Inside was as weird as the outside, with vials and strange talismans hanging from every wall. Surprisingly, there was a lot of swamp themed trinkets and souvenirs in here. Presumably, from wherever zebras come from.

“You are going to tell me everything and leave NOTHING out. Why did you send me to a fucking Stable? Why were there crazed duplicate ponies there? What was my ‘destiny’ even supposed to be?!” Now it was my clone's turn to start unleashing the verbal barrage.

“And what’s MY destiny huh? I deserve some answers since I didn’t ask to get made into a complete copy of the mare you sent on a suicide mission! Answer me ya fucking tribal!” She made her fury known which I was impressed by. I never talked like that to another person before, which to be honest I wish I could do more often.

But for the most part, the Zebra named Shazan simply shrunk down and tried his best to avoid setting off the fuse that was my newly found sister. “I swear! By the bearers of prophecy before me and those that come after, I had no knowledge of what might lie beyond the Sight. Nothing could have foreseen THIS!” His hooves motioned to the copy cat pony I’d come to appreciate in the small amount of time we’ve been together. I wanted to believe him, but how could I believe in something that sounded so…so stupid! So infuriating! My clone pushed on without me as I stood there, stunned and enraged.

“I got the shit kicked out of me! I had to murder things that looked like ponies, but weren’t! No, before you ask they weren’t ferals, but do you have any idea what we went through down there?!” The way he trembled under the hate filled gaze of my clone made me think that maybe, just maybe, he had some clue of the trauma we suffered down in the Stable.

I shook my head hard and placed a hoof over the shoulder of the mare. “Unclench the gun, Muddy. He’s got nothing. I don’t care anymore…”

Reluctantly, she complied and turned to slide the gun into the holster around my leg. Her outrage still poured from her glare like a raging river and there wasn’t anything I could do about that. She had a right to be pissed.

“I am terribly sorry about what happened. I’ve forced you down a journey you can’t turn away from now. I was acting without thinking of the consequences. Lost in the excitement of clearer visions with no regards to consequences. I have forced a confrontation with destiny early…” his words echoed through my mind. There was no telling what he meant by that last part without some more context, but that was a luxury I couldn’t afford just yet. I’ll have to head scratch on that later.

“Hate to break it to you, but saying sorry isn’t going to change the fact I have a twin sister now and bruised bones. Your date with destiny was something you bargained for and now you got it” I huffed as I sat down and released the tension building in my back. Everything still hurt and no amount of used up bandages was going to fix me.

“We’d be a lot more forgiving if you offered us something other than scarily accurate drug fantasies.” She stood tall and continued. “My sister is exhausted. So am I. Maybe a few dozen caps to buy us breakfast? You owe us that at least…” to be honest I was surprised. Maybe her different experiences down in the Stable did something to her, changed her differently than it did me. I know I wouldn’t still be here trying to squeeze a frightened elder zebra for caps normally.

Caps that he actually provided in the end with a shaken smile and a spooked body posture that screamed ‘frightened kitten’ to me. Without further delay, I scooped up the clanky money and turned to leave. “I hope you’ll stick around. This isn’t over yet. I got this feeling it’s only just starting…” I spoke while collecting myself and the caps into a pocket.

“Hey what was your name again?” In typical Muddy Waters fashion, my sister forgot the name of the zebra already. She really was me, bad habits included! Well ain’t that a hole in the boat.

“My name is Shazan. It’s been a pleasure speaking with you, new acquaintance. I must inquire though, who are you? Are you truly one mare in two bodies, or will you split and forge your own identity?” It didn’t take a crystal ball and hallucinogenic flowers to see his words were resonating with my clone. She didn’t respond at first, so I took my chance to step in like she did for me.

“We are Muddy Waters. Unless things change, or by some miracle we get our cutie marks, I’ll happily share the name. We’re sisters, after all…especially after what happened in the Stable…” that got a semi bashful look from my new family member and a look of approval from Shazan. I was happy with both, proud even!

And he seemed proud of me too. “I am thankful that not all was misfortune and hurt. Perhaps this experience was something…I’m not sure…positive?”

I looked to my fellow Muddy Waters and she in turn looked at me. It was time to express how we truly felt. Together, we looked to Shazan and wore the deepest scowls we could muster. “Yeah no. It was pretty freaking awful. Don’t ever pull that shit again.” We spoke in unison for the second time today and much like the first time, it put a deep discomfort in our audience.

“…..p-please accept my apologies, Miss Waters.” With head held low, Shazan offered another hoof-ful of caps. Who would have guessed two heads are better than one~?

***

We ended up telling Shazan what happened, at least the semi-important bits. We left out where exactly we found the Stable or that there was someone living inside that didn’t scream the words ‘Jellybean’ at us before attacking. The more we talked about our near death experiences, the darker Shazan’s expression became. There was a feeling deep inside me that felt uneasy looking at the Zebra with such a dark tone written all over his face. Maybe it was the stripes…

“My friends, from what you have told me this sounds like a very familiar story I’ve heard once before. I have yet to hear of a tale from a pony Stable that has ended pleasantly. Had the Sight told me it was a Stable that held your destiny, I would have told you to abandon hope.” I didn’t know enough about the pre-war stuff to argue with him, so I had no choice but to take what he said at face value and hope it wasn’t bullshit. Could have sworn I’d heard a story or two about Stables, but they didn’t seem like the scary campfire story that Shazan made them out to be.

I raised my hoof to stop him there. It was going to take some time to process this. “Okay, so what you’re saying is Stables are bad news, I can understand that part after yesterday. What I don’t understand is why? What the hell is a bunch of fake ponies doing in a Stable and where are the actual Stable ponies?” Shazan for his part just shook his head and frowned.

“Looks can be very deceptive, young ones. Take that advice into your hearts as you step into the future. Speaking of which, I believe you two have someplace to be.” I wanted to hear more about the Stables! He just told us about stories, so why was he so quick to get us to leave before sharing em’?

My clone butted in now that she was done counting caps and stuffing a bag full of our prize. “Did the Sight tell you about another journey we gotta pursue? Heh heh…”. Shazan looked at her and smiled warmly as he walked past her towards the door and opened it. As I watched him, I noticed a sheet of paper pinned to the door frame. He must have noticed, because he took the sheet in his mouth and ripped it down before depositing it at our hooves.

I felt a shiver go up my spine when I read the words, ‘Missing Pony Update: Muddy Waters’. I looked at Shazan, nervous. “No. I did not need the power of the Sight to guide me. This bulletin in town was more than sufficient” he said slowly. Why did I feel like he was one upping me for something my sister said?

Speaking of, she responded in kind. “Woah! Okay, so why didn’t you let us know we were missing earlier? That would have been REALLY nice to know!” Her anger was reflected by my own, as the two of us demanded answers. Only I let her talk for the both of us. So far, she was good about saying what I was thinking and vice versa.

“...I do believe…I had a very pressing concern with my life being threatened. By you. Do you remember?” Fuck! Yeah we remember, and this was mostly our fault. A bad attitude cost us that information when we collectively decided to point a revolver at an innocent zebra and force our way into his wagon.

Ears drooped low as our time came to leave. We’d overstayed our unwelcome. “...I’m…I’m sorry Mister Shazan…I think we ought to go home and try to explain this to our parents.” For all the harm we did by threatening him, he was collected about the ordeal and let us walk out the door unopposed. As we made our way up the overpass leading to Wayward, I turned back to look at the wagon and waved at the zebra goodbye. He returned the gesture with a smile and shut the door, disappearing behind it.

“I…hope he forgives us. I feel kind of bad now…” Muddy Waters whispered into my ear as I raised my green bandana over my muzzle and equipped my goggles. Together, with my faded red hat I was concealed from view. I had to tuck my long hair into my coat too, just so nopony got the idea that it was me underneath this scavver’s attire.

I looked at her and spoke with as cool a voice as I could manage, despite my nervousness getting worse. “Let's focus on getting home without telling the entire town there’s two of us now. I’m not looking forward to telling the family, let alone letting all of Wayward know…” I bit my lip underneath my mask and prayed this wouldn’t end in disaster. By the lack of response I got from my sister, I had enough evidence to suggest she was feeling the same way. “Right now…you gotta be Muddy Waters. If two of us show up in town, it won’t end well. Ain't no way we're going to get away with something like this, and I highly doubt we’re going to be able to convince the entire town we were a pair of twins all along.”

Nopony was that dumb. Still no response from her, which worried me. She looked ready enough, so I pressed on and began the march back home through the streets of Wayward. I spared a glance behind me and sure enough, she wordlessly followed. Good.

This was going to suck even with her cooperation. I didn’t want to imagine having to do this by myself.

***

Worry. I couldn’t escape it. I walked down the cramped streets of Wayward between shops and taverns as I followed the mare who was me, and yet not me. Hell, I wasn’t even me today and not just in the metaphorical sense. I was disguised for a reason and that reason filled my shaky soul with so much worry. Guards would occasionally stop my clone to let her know she’d been declared missing and should go home immediately. In our small town I probably should have known who these ponies were, but for the life of me I never bothered to learn their faces, or names. Now that I was pretending to be somepony else, I stopped to look at them all. I was at a loss for just how many ponies I didn’t recognize that were obviously locals judging by how they dressed and smelt.

Dad always says to walk a mile in somepony’s horseshoes, but I didn’t understand what he was trying to say until now.

Muddy turned to me and waved me closer as the central market was upon us. The stairs leading to the residents pass was right there and beyond it, home. It took no time at all to work our way through the even more crowded buildings to find which one belonged to the Waters family. I stood besides the tarp that acted as our door with Muddy preparing to go in, but I hoof on her back stopped her. “Shhh, hold up…”

She waited and together we listened. Crying, hiccupping, the whole nine yards of grief could be heard coming from our home. It sounded like mom was besides herself after hearing we’d been lost for who knows how long. That left a feeling of hurt inside my chest knowing I caused this, though I wasn’t alone.

Through hushed whispers, clone Muddy spoke, “I’ll go in first. Get her settled down, then you come in and explain what's what…alright?” Even through the concern she had for our family, determination shined through her. I felt it too and nodded grimly at what we were about to do. I expected someone to faint from shock after the reveal in all honesty…

“Alright…for the family…” I responded. After that, she pushed her way through the tarp covering and went inside while I peeked through the crack between the tarp and the rest of the doorframe. Hopefully, this would end better than the rest of our day. “Go get ‘em sis” I whispered to nopony in particular.

Seconds past as the crying stopped. I expected shock, but what I didn’t expect was the entire family to be there. Dad, both of my brothers and of course, the terrified mom who was wrapped in the hooves of everypony as she wept for her lost child. When her eyes rested on my sister, she flung herself from the comforting embrace of her family and rushed to tackle hug the clone she thought was her daughter. Then the tears flowed once more as the shock vanished, replaced by sweet relief instead. “My baby!!! You silly silly filly, what in the world happened to you?! You look like you fell off a building you blasted child…” It didn’t take an invitation for everypony else to join in on the group hug. I could have sworn even dad was crying, though he hid it well behind his gruff exterior. That brown stallion with the darker blue mane and similarly colored scruffy beard was obviously holding back emotions, but the events of a missing child hit him just as hard as it did mom.

“Muddy Waters! You scared us all to death, in my case almost literally. I damn near had a heart attack out there when I heard you’d disappeared!” Partially scolding, somewhat joking, that was the Deep Water’s way of dealing with the emotional turmoil, I guessed. For some reason, while inspecting the bandages around my clone's head, mom was suddenly busy giving my clone a sniff. I wasn’t the only one to notice what was going on, since Rough Waters and my little brother Clear Waters gave mom strange looks.

Little bro was first to speak up, to my surprise. “I-uh….mom…whatcha doing? You’re being spontaneous again…” his meek voice gave rise to my older brother’s suspicions. He took the chance to chime in where the youngest Waters left off.

“Yeah mom, you….you doing okay there? I know Muddy smells worse than a wet dog most days, and you get on to her about it, but maybe now isn’t the time?” What a back-hoofed way of showing concern for your little sister, Rough! Even though I felt betrayed by that, he was right in both my lack of hygiene, and my mother being strange.

For her part, she ignored her son's words and buried her head in her daughter’s mane for a brief moment before recoiling in what I assumed was shock. That wasn’t right though, what could she have noticed that I didn’t? Something wasn’t right, but the first one to put that coming fact to light wasn’t me, it was Vivid Grove. “You…you aren’t Muddy…”

No fucking way… she couldn’t.

But she did. Everyone stopped the family reunion when mom jumped back in a defensive stance and glared daggers at my other self. “You are not my daughter! Who are you?!”

“Sweetheart, what’s wrong? What are you saying?” Dad tried to understand what was happening, but this came too fast for him to process and stumbled trying to figure out what was going on before him. His attempts at defusing his wife were fruitless.

“My baby smells like sweat and cable grease on a good day. Muddy washes once a week when she doesn’t lie! She thinks I don’t know, but I do…and you!” She pointed a hoof at my clone with venomous intent. “You smell like the day you were born…your mane feels washed, not greasy at all. So before I throw your hide into the river, you best tell me where my daughter is. Now!”

No! My mom could tell the difference, and despite the shame filling my shaky body, I was more concerned with my clone. Her body was shaking too, and probably for similar reasons. As fear flowed through me I was damn sure it was going through her in spades. It was scary seeing mom so angry, but for me it was scary how quickly she noticed the deception. Of course I found out the same way when I confronted my clone down in the Stables. That pony with my face just didn’t have my musk, or my apparently bad body odor according to mom…

After a tense moment, the other Muddy responded. “Look, I can explain! I’m Muddy Waters, I promise. There was an accident….and a S-Stable! A-and….and….and for f-fucks sake. Can you lend a hoof already, Muddy! Luna above, get off your ass and get in here.” Her words fueled by anger pushed me forward in a way I didn’t know possible. Before I could blink, I was standing in the door and removing my bandana and hat.

“……..”

“…….”

Nopony was saying anything. The only message I got from my family was pure and utter bafflement judging by all the slack jaws and wide eyes. You’d think they saw a ghost or something.

“S-so uh….I can totally explain, but I think mom has her own ex….explanation to…to do! Like when…when were you gonna tell us, or me, that I had a twin sister! Huh? Bet ya didn’t e-expect…that?” My poorly spoken attempt at humor to break the ice that had grown in our home yielded mixed results. Expected, of course. It was when dad looked at Vivid with a shocked expression that I felt something I said didn’t land the way I wanted it to. She looked at him with an equally shocked expression, then proceeded to pass out with a thud as she crumpled to the floor.

“WHAT THE HELL MUDDY?!?!”

My entire family shrieked as they rushed to help mom from her collapsed state. Even my own clone, my literal flesh and blood, screamed at me as she joined in on the bandwagon. I had a small fantasy that she'd betray me and make me look like the fake Muddy to my own family, but I didn’t expect her to betray me like this!

Oh no….what have I done?

***

Dad and Rough ended up carrying mom to my parents bed in the leftmost room. We only had three rooms in this house and one doubled as a kitchen/ living room combo. The other belonged to the kids which now included two Muddy Waters. Thankfully, dad and my brothers were oddly calm at the surprise twin reveal. So no one ended up in the river yet. Which was good!

What wasn’t good was the absolute scolding me and my twin got from dad once mom regained consciousness. “Muddy Waters! How….good Celestia above, how in tarnation did you manage this? What…..I-I can’t even begin to wrap my head around this young lady!” I learned a new word today from Rough and Clear, flabbergasted. That was a very accurate description of my dad, who paced back and forth as my mother and brothers watched. “You disappear for TWO DAYS….two days, Muddy! A crew had to come out to the falls to pass this information along to me. And when I return home to form a party to search for you, you’re nowhere to be found.” He began another round of pacing before starting up again once he’d caught his breath. “Then out of the blue, you return home…with a twin sister. Where in Luna’s dead Equestria did you go that could result in a…I don’t even know what this is! And where did you get those injuries, more importantly…?”

Me and my twin sat in the far corner, heads held low in shame as our father interrogated us. I was glad we went to Shazan first, because the practice we got by telling him would prove invaluable for getting things straight in our heads.

So we told the family as they sat quietly and listened. We spoke of finding the Stable after the fog forced our course change, conveniently leaving out Shazan as his whole ordeal would never be believed anyway, and continued until we got to the part where we told our separate stories. Clear sat next to my clone as she spoke of waking up alone and confused, eventually having to murder something that looked like a pony with a pencil. It wasn’t difficult to figure the experience wasn’t pleasant and Clear was quick to offer emotional support to her with soft back rubs. Clear Waters was always a kind soul, if a bit shy around most ponies. Somehow, he did better than me at being social which I envied a tad.

When I told the story of waking up in a clinic of sorts before being attacked by the same attacker, all eyes were on me. I took over from there, telling of the deaths I caused, the eventual descent into the Stable and the events after meeting my new sister. Mom let out a shaky laugh when I told her how I determined who was the real Muddy Waters. Rough moved to sit beside me when I got the part about the elevator and our ass beating we received before putting down the last berserk clone pony and escaping. I even told them about the voice asking for my assistance which I denied, but left the possibility of a change of heart in the air.

That part got a look from dad, who was put off by the whole thing. “Muddy, I’m glad you’re safe, but this story….this is insane. Had you not brought home a…clone? Had you not brought her back I might never have believed you. I have a whole roster of questions I want answered, but let’s discuss the mud dragon in the room.”

The worst part that was yet to come had finally arrived. Talking about the experiences was one thing, but what to do about them was another. Namely, what to do with my clone. All eyes were on her now and she wilted under the weight of our gazes. Now I know how Shazan must have felt when we did what we did to him. “Look, guys, can’t we just….” A loud clop sound silenced me. Mom had tapped her hooves together to shut me down before I even got started.

“Muddy, you don’t need to say anything. I want to see her up close, so come here please. Let me see you.” Mom waved over my clone who obeyed silently. I felt terrible that she was being subjected to this. Had I woken up one day to realize I’m not who I thought I was, I doubt I would have lasted as strongly as she did. We had each other though, and I wasn’t about to change that. “What’s your name, child?” Mom asked.

The clone responded in kind. “I…I don’t know. I was Muddy Waters when I woke up for the first time…” sorrow filled every word from her lips and it rang in my heart to hear myself sound so…depressed.

Seeing this unfold before her, Vivid placed a hoof on the clone's chest and sighed deeply. “You look like my daughter, and act like my daughter, but how can I know you are what you say you are? I can’t tell what you say is true…so, with that in mind, why don’t you tell me something only Muddy would know. If she knows it, then I probably know it too. Hehe~.” Pleading eyes turned to me. Those jade green puppy dog eyes bore a hole through me I didn’t want to acknowledge.

I coughed… “What? Do you want my permission or something?” Clone Muddy upped her game with the pleading look. Rough found it oddly amusing, probably because he wasn’t on the receiving end for once. “What do you want from me? Validation? A point in the right direction?”

“I want to tell mom about her secret we know about, but never told anypony. Ya know, the one about her and dad’s…” As my clone spoke, I moved to shut her up by clamping my hooves around her muzzle. Dad seemed eager to hear while mom was just confused. Good, they didn’t need to hear what we know.

My one good eye started into her clamped face. “We aren’t going to speak of that, I promised myself never to tell. Understand…?”

She pushed me aside and stood tall. She wanted to say it, but I wouldn’t allow it! It was too embarrassing an experience and it would embarrass mom and dad too. Despite this, she pressed on. “Yes, but it’s the only way…mom, dad…” I cringed as she turned to face them and spoke again. “I know….I know that you two go down the river, sometimes, and pay a visit to a Homesteader who lives in a beached boat. You ask to use his shed some nights because…” I’d never gotten the chance to see dad in action before now, but the way he moved like a flash flood to stuff a hoof into my clone's mouth was awe inspiring. The act alone me and mom were grateful for.

“Okay okay! You’re definitely Muddy Waters without a shadow of a doubt, so please do NOT say another word. I believe you.” Mom looked ready to pass out again. Her face was flushed red as she stood up and walked over to me and my clone. There, she wrapped us both in a warm embrace and hummed softly.

“Let’s agree that you aren’t lying and call it good. I may not have given birth to ya, but that doesn’t make you any less my daughter. You got her heart and her passion, and that’s enough for me.” Eyes widened after hearing those words. I pulled away to see my clone with tears filling her eyes again upon hearing our mother’s words.

Trying to not cry again, clone Muddy whimpered as she went in for another hug. “M-mom…I’m sorry. I was so scared you…that you…might..." As mothers do, Vivid pulled the clone into a tight embrace and gently rubbed her back as she broke down in our mothers hooves. The scene was so heartwarming I felt tears coming on as well. Frankly, I was just happy that she was accepted at all, but this was a good outcome I could get behind.

“Shhhh, you’re gonna be okay. It’s okay, mommas got you. I would never abandon my children. If you’re Muddy Waters then you belong to me, ya hear?” The clone didn’t respond, only sputtered and wept after hearing the tender words offered by our mom.

A hoof was placed on my shoulder. Looking back I saw Rough staring down at me. “So does this mean we have a new sister? Like for real? I’m okay with it if everypony else is. She’s practically a twin, so not much is gonna be different.”

Dad and Clear nodded in agreement, they were on board with it. I’m sure Clear could get behind having another sister to spend time with and Rough was eager to gain another employee. Mom and dad we’re probably just glad everypony was safe and sound. All in all I found myself smiling, unable to complain. “We are the same. We risked our lives helping each other and we aren’t going to separate now! Plus, I’ve always wanted a sister. I think this is a good thing.”

A bright and cheery smile found its home on my face as the mood was at an all time high. Nothing could sour this for us and I was glad things turned out for the best. When dad asked a question, I almost didn’t hear it over how fast my thoughts were racing. “So Muddy…how exactly did you two get home with all those injuries?”

Cheerfully I replied, “Oh, yeah. We fucked up and wandered too close to a Trapper camp. They were nice though and let us ride with them back to Wayward. Why do you ask?” When I looked back the cheery mood had vanished. Mom was practically strangling my newfound sister as worries struck her hard. Dad and Rough alike looked ready to scream at me again. “Uh, what’s the problem?”

Dad responded quickly, and with barely disguised hate filling his words. “Muddy, don’t you ever…EVER…speak with Trappers. Those ponies are no good mongrels. You could have been killed! I’m surprised they didn’t take a leg off you two for bringing you back. Good goddesses above!” Dad was pacing again, not a good sign. Maybe I shouldn’t tell him they freely admitted to wanting to butcher and eat us. Rough just sucked air through his teeth and looked away, not wanting to get involved. Enough had been said already that he didn’t have anything to offer other than stern words, I’m sure.

“We’re sorry dad. It was an accident…I didn’t know…and that means she didn’t know either…” my new sister explained quickly. Yikes, should have kept that part of the story to myself, maybe told a little fib to soften the impact a bit. Either way, lesson learned as if it hadn’t been learned already.

“That’s okay, but please don’t deal with those ponies again. They’re bad news, sweetheart.” Dad was over his speech already. If he wanted to say something more profound, he didn’t bother with it. What was done was done. “Do we have an understanding? They aren’t to be trusted, believe me..." he spoke up once more.

A pair of nodding heads was his only response. He was happy with it at least and left to enter the living room without us. Probably to remove the worry from his mind and calm down. Clear just smiled and nuzzled against his new sister before following dad out. Rough seemed to have other ideas before leaving just yet.

He trotted to my sister and smiled, holding a hoof for her. Within his grasp was a bottle of Sparkle-Cola Cherry, as promised. “Welcome to the company, little sis. If you maintain this level of hygiene and promise to wash at least once every couple of days, I’ll give you a bonus in pay. Work begins whenever you two heal up! And uh, don’t be late you two. Just because you’re a copy of my sister doesn’t mean you have to act like her. You could be even better, who knows? Heh...”

The clone just smiled, laughed at his joke and eagerly swiped the soda pop to take a swig of the 200 year old, peculiarly preserved soda-pop. A part of me wanted to scream at losing out, but another bigger part was just happy a crisis and emotional shipwreck was avoided. I was happy for my sister and her well earned reward.

I chimed in finally, “Okay okay let’s not make fun of me while I’m still here. I have pride to maintain.”

For some reason, that got a larger laugh out of Rough and mom than I would have liked, but the bruise on my ego was nothing compared to the bruises I sustained from the Stable. When my sister noticed what was going on, she paused her consumption of my favorite drink and gave the last half of the cola to me. Something I was eternally grateful for.

Another item added to the list of things I’m eternally grateful for.

“Here. I know we wanted this before the Stable crap went down…I’m willing to bet I still want it after the fact, huh?” My sweet lovable sister who I could relate to unironically. Where have you and the Stable full of wacky science been all my life? I won’t lie, I chugged the shit out of the cherry flavored drink, to which my mom tossed her disapproving stare my way shortly after.

Even so, my grin couldn’t contain itself. “It’s great to be me~. Oh mom, you should have seen the stuff down there. Straight out of a comic or somethin’. It’s gotta be some kind of megaspell magic or PipBuck technology that made all those clone things.”

With the four of us still in my parents bedroom and emotions weren’t at an all time high, I wanted to shift focus to the Stable. Mom was interested in it, but Rough was deeply invested in the possibilities. His merchant mind was probably thinking about all the things we could sell to afford some place else to live. What was that tower called with all the rich ponies in it?

Mom was her usual calm self again, but smiled at my mention of the cause of our collective traumas. “Muddy, maybe we should give this Stable some room for now. Let it sit while you two troublemakers collect yourselves.” She seemed exhausted mentally from the events of today.

I felt her pain, but felt this needed to be discussed. “Mom, whatever was down there created a twin sister, it made an army of a pony who can only say the word Jellybean. If we got enough muscle we could take it for ourselves, become top dogs! Pay off some of our debts and even get dad a new boat…or at least repair the current one.” I thought that was fairly reasonable. It was a shithole full of unknown dangers not including a particular stallion who loved saying jelly beans, but what if the voice could provide a substantial enough reward? “Rough. You’re with me on this, right?”

Big brother Rough Waters had his thinking face on. We all looked at him awaiting his response. Finally, he shook his head and huffed. “I don’t know. On one hoof, scary science that makes little sisters. On the other hoof, painful, uncalled for death and destruction.” Not the answer I was looking for…

“I thought you were super eager to get stuff to sell to those Steel Rangers. Whatever happened to that?” Sister Muddy chimed in too, equally eager to gain something from all this even if we had to try again.

Defeated, Rough looked down and away from us. “….they never turned up. My contacts must have been high or something. There weren't any sightings of powered armor ponies or their boats coming up or down the Centennial. Even if you did what I asked, which I’m glad you didn’t, we wouldn’t have anypony buying our shit. Must have had another way to get to Hoofington. Probably a coastal port, or somethin'..."

There was sympathy from mom at her son's lost business ventures, but that was only a small setback. I pressed on, “There’s gotta be something in the Stable. That voice offered me a job essentially, why not go back and take the chance?”

“If you two had such an amazing chance to gain something from this nightmare, why didn’t ya take it when you had the opportunity hoofed to ya?” Mom raised the question to which we only responded with confused looks at first. We didn’t have answers ourselves, so that was a loss for Muddy. One I would struggle to correct just to see all my pain be worth something.

“We uh….” I rubbed the back of my injured head, lost and confused about how to explain our fuck up. Luckily, the other Muddy had my back.

“We weren't in the right mood at the time. She was pissed, I was depressed, and together we just wanted to go home. It was a long day…err, two days apparently. Not sure how long we were out for…” yeah I was still confused about that. I remembered the drug and waking up in the Stable, but now long was I knocked out for? An entire day? Seemed nuts to me.

“How about this then.” Rough offered. “Come meet me back at the stand tomorrow and I’ll see if I can think of something in the meantime. This is bigger than any of us, so don’t get any ideas without my say so, okay?”

Mom didn’t approve. Judging by her look at all three of us, we didn’t have her backing at all. “Now listen here, I think I’ve heard enough. I speak for your father when I say we thought we lost our daughter today. I’m not going to stand by and lose my baby girl like that again. Especially now that I have two to look after. I love you both, but please listen to your brother. No funny ideas…plus, we’re going to have a long talk about privacy and how you shouldn’t follow ponies to their special get-togethers.” Her warm hug brought us together, me and my sister, but her cold glare stole the idea of venturing back to the Stable from us. Maybe it was for the best.

But the thought still lingered in my mind. What kind of Stable technology made ponies? And who was that voice in the speakers?

I had to know. We had to know…

Author's Note:

I have allot of inspiration for the setting and general atmosphere. Not to mention I work on a boat. I hope as you read you can spot some references. :)

Comments ( 3 )
Comment posted by Madmadmad123 deleted Dec 6th, 2022

Great chapter cant wait for more

thanks for the update!

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