Follow TV Tropes


Fanfic / Fallout: Equestria - Murky Number Seven

Go To

"Dare to dream..."

Murky Number Seven is a completed Recursive Fanfiction of Fallout: Equestria, written by Fuzzy.

The story follows the trials and tribulations of a slave named Murky Number Seven. For young Murky, the life of the labourer and servant is all he has ever known, raised without knowledge of freedom or the concept of choice. But when the brutality of his newest masters in Fillydelphia becomes all too much and the heroic escape of a certain little mare takes place before his eyes, Murky finally discovers a life worth fighting for.

His own.

Broken from the indoctrination, Murky sets out to reclaim the freedom that has been denied to him throughout his entire life. Against abusive slavers, a fatal illness wracking his body and the attentions of ponies that often cannot be trusted, Murky sets out to achieve the impossible: to escape Fillydelphia.


But... can a pony with a set of shackles as a cutie mark ever truly be free at all?

Between its unique premise, its epic length, and its infuriating habit of stringing together constant sequences of Hope Spots and Despair Event Horizons in such a way that readers must find out what happens next, Murky Number Seven is often considered one of the best of all of the Fallout: Equestria side-stories. The Tumblr page containing more information about the story can be found here.


This fan fic provides examples of:

  • Action Mom / Mama Bear: Coral Eve. Anyone that threatens her, her friends, or any foal in her presence tends to get Blown Across the Room by a wave of telekinetic force.
  • Air-Vent Passageway: Murky can crawl through vents due to his small stature.
    • A feral ghoul shows him he isn't the only one.
  • Ambiguously Evil / Anti-Villain:
    • Protégé, one of Murky's masters. He tries to avoid unnecessary cruelty, and is genuinely concerned about Murky's well-being. He is, however, a slaver who willingly works in the Fillydelphia system.
    • The same can be said for some of the less cruel slavers, mainly Old Grizzly and List Seeker.
  • Anything but That!: Murky's default response to most any kind of aggression, by virtue of being a slave all his life.
  • Anything That Moves: Glimmerlight.
  • The Atoner: Brimstone Blitz. Glimmerlight could possibly count as well.
  • Ax-Crazy: Wildcard. Cheerful and happy one moment, tossing machetes at you the next.
  • Awful Truth: Contrary to what Weathervane believes, his son Sundial never made it to safety when the bombs fell. Murky doesn't have the heart to tell him. Decides to when Weathervane nearly goes feral.
  • Beautiful Slave Pony: Murky sees Unity as this.
  • Because Destiny Says So: Discussed. Murky's cutie mark is a set of shackles, while Shackles' mark is a loop of chain. Shackles asserts that this means that they were meant for one another; born master and born slave, father and son. Murky eventually has an epiphany: the shackles on his flank are open, turning their supposed meaning on its head.
  • Beleaguered Bureaucrat: Wicked Slit is what happens when you combine this with an Ax-Crazy Psycho Knife Nut. Even other slavers are wary of disrupting her factory's schedule.
  • Blood from the Mouth: Murky suffers from this when his radsickness becomes particularly severe.
  • Bold Inflation: Often used in dialogue. Wicked Slit magically amplifies her voice for this effect, while Shackles does it all the time.
  • Boom, Headshot!: Several characters die this way.
    • Caduceus gets killed this way during the Six-shooter Surprise.
    • Sooty Morass is shot through the head by Glimmerlight when he tries to capture Murky.
    • Murky shoots Chainlink dead in the final chapter using Protégé's gun, blasting off his cutie mark in the process.
  • Born into Slavery: Murky was born a slave and it is all he has ever known.
  • Break the Cutie: Life in Fillydelphia is harsh, but particularly for Murky. He pretty much is broken at the start of the story, but Chainlink Shackles strives to completely crush his spirit and sense of individuality.
  • Breather Episode: Chapter 19, during Red Eye's "Rest Day". Murky has a birthday party and even manages to get hammered drunk.
    • There's also a scene in Chapter 12 when Murky gets "geared up", finally getting his battle saddle, to the tune of the song Find A Pet.
  • Broken Angel:
    • Wicked Slit and Coral Eve, both unicorns whose damaged horns give them difficulty in using magic.
    • Murky, who had his wings badly broken as a young colt. Ragini suffers the same treatment during the Six-shooter Surprise ordeal.
  • Broken Pedestal: Murky idolises Littlepip, having witnessed her escape in person. However, upon hearing about Arbu, then Bucklyn Cross, and followed by how Littlepip never really escaped Fillydelphia, Murky's faith is Littlepip is severely shaken. He gets over it when he learns the truth, as well as finding more self-reliance in the process.
  • Casting a Shadow: Barb and his Shades.
  • Character Blog: Murky and his friends answer questions at the Ask The Slaves tumblr.
  • Character Title
  • Cheshire Cat Grin: Barb tends to sport one. It's often all that's visible of him.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Many characters, but this trope applies most to Doctor Weathervane. Curse words are but the paint of his vocal art form.
    "Fuckbuttering dinglecunts, I've told you a dozen shitting times!"
    "For the glorious love of great fuck, will you shut the hell up in there and stop that endless fucking bullshittery?!"
    • A Running Gag is that Murky has never sworn before, and often chickens out when trying.
  • Co-Dragons: A senior slaver named Grindstone and the three former lieutenants of Brimstone's gang (Wildcard, Barb, Brutus) serve as these for Shackles. Each of them eventually takes the role of Arch-Enemy to their counterpart among the protagonists. True to the trope, each of the protagonists defeats their nemesis personally.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Barb is fond of this.
  • Condemned Contestant: Most of the fighters forced into the Pits have broken the rules in Fillydelphia, defied their Masters, or actually volunteered for the ring.
  • Cowardly Lion: Murky likes to remind the reader that he's a coward, but he's more than willing to attack a fully armored Steel Ranger with a metal ruler to help his friends.
  • Death by Genre Savviness: Wildcard knows about the special magic bullet that Glimmerlight set aside just for him, and dodges it with ease. Glimmer prepared for this and made two, so the second shot comes as a surprise.
  • Death by Irony: Barb, who thrives off his shadowy magic and stealth skills, is killed when Murky reverse pickpockets him.
  • Dented Iron: By the end of the story, Brimstone has definitely become this.
  • Diabolus ex Machina: As mentioned above, the story can switch between Hope Spot and Despair Event Horizon so fast it'll make your head spin.
  • Doomed by Canon: Red Eye and Stern.
  • Door Stopper: Now complete, Murky Number Seven clocks in just short of 1.1 million words. To compare, it's about equal to every book in the Harry Potter series combined.
  • Driven to Suicide: Murky tries this three times, though the second was played by Barb for his amusement.
  • Dr. Jerk: Doctor Weathervane, a very cranky ghoul doctor who specializes in pegasi, being the official medic for the Shadowbolts.
  • Dysfunction Junction:
    • Murky's a born slave who's still figuring out free will.
    • Glimmerlight is loose and lackadaisical because she wipes her own memories of traumatic events.
    • Brimstone Blitz is an atoning raider warlord with fifty years of rape, murder and pillaging on his hooves.
    • Coral Eve, introduced later on in the story, has an eternal grudge against Brimstone for leading the raiders that sacked her home village, and one towards Glim for enabling the raiders to find her village in the first place. Nevermind the fact that she's now sans her son as well.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Everyone, except Protégé, Mr. Peace, and Caduceus.
  • Ethical Slut: Glimmerlight's dialogue and attitude towards relationships reflect this as a viewpoint. When Coral calls Glimmer a slut (after catching her trying to have sex with another pony during wartime), Glimmer chews her out.
  • Evil Counterpart: Murky has a number of them.
    • Chainlink Shackles, the born slaver to Murky's born slave.
    • Barb, a sadistic raider who, like Murky, relies on sneaking and stealing.
    • Protégé, who, like Murky, was born as a slave before earning his freedom. He's not malicious, though.
    • Sooty Morass, another slave who, like Murky, has to rely on his wits. He is, however, completely ruthless and amoral, exploiting other slaves whenever he can, to the point where he eventually becomes a slaver himself.
  • Evil Old Folks: Grindstone.
  • Expy:
    • Protégé, particularly early on, comes across as the Twilight Sparkle to Red Eye's Princess Celestia. He even writes his master letters.
    • Carrying over from Fallout: Equestria, the city of Fillydelphia is based on Fallout 3's Pittsburgh DLC. Red Eye and Protégé both exhibit the Utopia Justifies the Means traits of Lord Ashur.
    • Glimmerlight has a number of attributes similar to Fallout: Equestria protagonists like Littlepip and Blackjack.
  • Fantastic Racism: Murky tends to suffer this from other ponies, due to being a pegasus.
  • Fate Worse than Death: For Murky, being set to become a sex slave. Fortunately it doesn't happen, but the prospect alone is enough to drive him to suicide. See Interrupted Suicide.
  • First-Episode Twist: Murky is a pegasus.
  • Fling a Light into the Future: Several examples. Sundial's messages on his PipBuck slowly reveal the backstory of the main plot.
    • A holographic, recorded message from Pinkie Pie contacts Murky on his birthday, revealing more crucial details related to Sundial.
  • Footnote Fever: As is typical for FO:E spinoffs.
  • Framing Device: Murky is recalling his story to a yet-unnamed friend or interviewer. It's later revealed to be Homage.
  • Gladiator Games: The Pit.
  • Great Escape: Naturally, Murky and his friends plan to attempt one.
  • Groin Attack: Murky's signature attack, which he's used against stallions, mares, slaves, slavers, raiders, his own subconscious and even a Steel Ranger... with predictable results.
  • Happiness in Slavery: Absolutely avoided in the story. Protégé tries to shape his two-year deal with Murky as this. The influence of the Nexus Orb causes ponies with a weak mind to turn into brainwashed slaves with a merry attitude, happy to serve others.
  • Hero of Another Story: Littlepip, following her own journey in Fallout Equestria. The events of her story, related to Fillydelphia, occur in concurrent with Murky's, often influencing his.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Grindstone, the merciless donkey slaver, is crushed within his own forcefield by Coral Eve's magic.
  • I Just Want to Be Free: Murky's modus operandi is to be free and escape the bonds of slavery.
  • If You Ever Do Anything to Hurt Her...: Brimstone is very protective of Glimmerlight, and doesn't hesitate to threaten or brutally kill anyone he thinks might be a danger to her. Later on, he begins taking the same attitude towards Murky.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Murky, courtesy of Wildcard and his machete.
  • Incompatible Orientation: A case of Dramatic Irony for those familiar with the original story. Murky has a huge crush on Littlepip. Unfortunately for him, Littlepip is a lesbian and has a girlfriend.
  • Incurable Cough of Death: Radsickness is not fun.
  • Interrupted Suicide: Murky jumps off a building after being set to become a sex slave. Brimstone smashes through a wall to catch him.
    • Much earlier, his Pipbuck beeping is the only thing preventing Murky from jumping off the control tower. Possibly courtesy of Pinkie Pie, who tampered with said Pipbuck.
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: How Brimstone Blitz finds out the password for the emergency exit in Chapter 1.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Weathervane.
  • Journey to the Center of the Mind: On the brink of death after being impaled by Wildcard, Murky spends the bulk of Chapter 18 facing down his own subconscious in order to cling to hope and life.
  • Karmic Death: Chainlink meets his long-awaited end in the final chapter, nearly hung by Murky, beaten up by his own slaves, before being shot through the head by Murky using Protégé's gun.
  • Kick the Dog: By the time Chainlink Shackles does this (literally) he's already firmly established himself as a monster.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Glimmerlight inflicts this upon herself as a coping method.
    • Murky and Unity are revealed to have done this to themselves, having been lovers and plotted to escape together. When they were caught and faced having to fight each other in the Pit, they used Aurora Star's memory machine to erase their relationship to avoid the trauma.
  • Lightning Bruiser: They don't call him Brimstone Blitz for nothing.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Chainlink Shackles claims he's this to Murky. Though Shackles may just saying it to torment him.
  • Made a Slave: Most of the slaves have suffered this, though Murky was born into slavery.
  • Made of Iron: Brimstone Blitz.
  • The Master: Murky refers to Chainlink Shackles as "the Master" through the first half of the story.
  • Medium Awareness: Wildcard has this to a horrifying degree; he happily rambles about audience reactions and conservation of impact while gutting Murky in front of a crowd.
  • Middle-Management Mook: Wicked Slit.
  • Mistaken for Gay: Glimmer (jokingly) attempts multiple times to convince Murky to hook up with another colt, despite Murky's insistence that he's straight. Occasional sexual tension with Protégé doesn't help his case.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Chainlink Shackles, Brimstone Blitz.
  • Never Learned to Read: Murky, though Protégé later teaches him.
  • Nice Guy: Caduceus. He's an earth pony medic, one of the most emotionally stable characters, and generally calm and polite. He quickly becomes close friends with Glimmerlight, and is the first of Murky's friends to die.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Murky suffers one at the hooves of Barb and his cronies for trying to call a pair of guards over to their position. This unfortunately includes a Groin Attack.
  • Non-Action Guy: Murky, due to his emaciation and complete lack of combat training. If he has to fight, he fights dirty so that he can escape.
  • No OSHA Compliance: Fillydelphia in general. Lampshaded often by Murky.
  • No Sense of Personal Space: Wildcard. Murky and Glimmer go into a memory orb together and wake up to find him napping between them.
  • Place Worse Than Death: Fillydelphia. Littlepip didn't see the half of it.
  • Polluted Wasteland: Fillydelphia again. As a city built on crude but heavy industry, Filly's air is faintly toxic and the rain acidic. Then there's the tainted moat surrounding The Wall, and the dangerously radioactive balefire crater.
  • Posthumous Character: Sundial, the previous owner of Murky's PipBuck. Murky listens to his audio journals throughout the story.
  • Psycho Knife Nut: Wicked Slit, a rather volatile slaver fond of threatening slaves with knives.
  • Rape as Drama:
  • Really 200 Years Old: Weathervane, a prestigious doctor during the war.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Possibly Protégé, who's caring and good-natured despite his role as a slaver. A few other slavers express remorse or reluctance over the poor treatment that the slaves often receive.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Subverted with Brimstone Blitz, but played straight with Protégé.
  • Retired Monster: Brimstone, formerly an infamous raider warlord who now seeks penance in slavery and struggles with anger management.
  • Russian Roulette: Six-shooter Surprise. The protagonists are forced to play as part of a sick game staged by Barb.
  • Slave Brand: Murky's cutie mark acts as his. Protégé later revealed that his Cutie Mark is actually one.
  • Slave Collar: Chainlink forces Murky to wear one as a sign of his ownership. He also wears him an irradiated collar at one point.
  • Slavery Is a Special Kind of Evil: Invoked strongly throughout. Red Eye is the only character who views slavery as a necessary evil, often invoking the need for sacrifice for the sake of progress. Protégé shares his views, mostly out of loyalty and a firm belief in his master. The treatment of ponies in Fillydelphia is what inspired Brimstone to pull a Heel–Face Turn.
  • Slimeball: Sooty Morass, a slave who manages to worm his way up by way of his ruthless merchant business. He exploits Murky as much as he can at every turn, at one point humiliatingly making him pluck out his own feathers to trade for his desperately-needed RadAway. Later he joins the slavers, running a sex trade.
  • Smug Snake: Wormtail and Sooty Morass.
  • Stealth Pun / Mythology Gag: Wildcard is heard humming a melody: four short notes, followed by a long one, repeated twice - The show's main theme song.
  • Super Senses: Murky had a minor (or so he thought) taint mutation at birth that made his ears extremely sensitive. While this means that he can listen to the radio undetected and hear enemies before they get close enough to see him it also means that gunshots, heavy machinery and even loud voices cause him physical pain.
  • Teeny Weenie: Murky, if the taunts he receives are any indication.
  • Theme Naming: Sundial is Dr. Weathervane's son.
  • There Are No Therapists: Downplayed in the sense that Murky and the gang survive as well as they can by confiding in one another, but enforced in the sense that a lot of them have some seriously deep seated problems.
  • Vague Age: Murky. Word of God puts him anywhere between 14 and 21.
  • Wham Episode: Chapter 25, where we find out that Murky is Unity's special somepony.
  • When He Smiles: Other characters find Murky's rare moments of hope and happiness inspiring. Including Pinkie Pie.
  • Win Your Freedom: The slaves are offered several ways to 'earn' their way out of Filly. Of course, most of them are lethally dangerous.
  • Wings Do Nothing: Murky's wings were broken and healed wrong while they were still developing. He can't even move them without pain. Slowly subverted over the course of the story, as help from Dr. Weathervane allows them to begin healing; Murky eventually gains the strength to glide. The trope is firmly and triumphantly averted in the final chapter, when Murky takes off and flies to freedom under his own power.
  • You Are Number Seven