The Super Mutant reproduction problem needs to be solved... they cant keep putting it off forever, with new sources of FEV and stretching the Mariposa and 87 clans to the breaking point...If Super Mutants (and ghouls for that matter) are to be a continued part of the Fallout universe they need to solve this problem once and for all.
Let us examine possible solutions?
Stable Human Population?
To me this is the easiest and most practical way to solve the problem, a Super Mutant group takes over a human population. They create a religion and ideal around becoming like super mutants and they convert humans that have already had children into Super Mutants.
As well these mutant cultists could make up part of the Super Mutant forces, making them more interesting enemies to fight.
When a human has sufficiently reproduced or otherwise proven himself, he would be converted via FEV... either the mutants would have learned how to create it. Or they would use the FEV in their own blood, either through transfusions or in aerosalized form.
Presuming of course that the FEV reproduces on some level in a Super Mutants body this would be as near flawless a solution to the Super Mutant problem as is possible.
This method I think would make most sense employed by a particularly intelligent 87 type Super Mutant... Perhaps an outcast who wanted to get back at his brothers, so he found a way to solve the reproduction problem
A Mariposa mutant would also work... But I get the sense they wouldnt be so cruel...
Lets say that some super mutants come across Garys vault? And re-appropriate the equipment in order to produce new Super Mutants. The problem with this is that it would be more likely for the Mariposa Super Mutants to do something like this... and there are none in the area."
Most likely candidates to do this would be Uncle Leo or Fawkes. Which I could see happening and would be interesting in some way.
The problem is that the clones produced by this equipment seem to demonstrate lower intelligence, but that may simply be because of repeated cloning of a single individual (genetic degredation, a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy), this would actually probably be counteracted by the FEV repairing their DNA...
whiiiiiiiiiiiich the clones wouldnt have... not even slightly, since their bodies would be built from the mutants DNA exclusively... This means a Mariposa Mutant cloned with this technology could potentially be fertile, as they still have their sexual characteristics.
But not an 87 mutant as they have no sexual organs... So a cloned 87 wouldnt be able to reproduce...
Lotsa problems using cloning as you can see...
Similiar to the first idea I put up here, perhaps the weakest members of the super mutants would be killed and force-fed to human slaves... infecting the slaves with the FEV virus, converting them into super mutants.
Perhaps super mutants wouldnt even need to be killed, it is often said their mutants afford them superior healing abilities. Whats a little bit of flesh to something that can just grow it back with no effort... and with that thought...
(this would definitly be an 87 method of creating new mutants)
Similiar to cloning, is it possible that the Super Mutants could take bits of their own flesh, and perhaps stimulate it into growing into new super mutants? Seems a little... out there. But there is similar phenomenon in the real world.
There are several "immortal cell lines" used by scientists for experimentation, these cells were taken from humans and continue to be used to produce new cells. Similiar processes of keeping cells alive and growing them let scientists create skin for grafting, and even is paving the way for possible organ generation.
Such technologies are very possible in fallout, as seen with Vault Cities organ and limb fabrication devices... with the FEV and the mutants healing abilities perhaps it would be very easy to stimulate the growth of tiny mutants from bits of mutated flesh...
This would almost certainly be a technique pioneered by Mariposa Super Mutants
Bethesda saw fit to resolve this problem... slightly, by retooling how ghouls worked so that ghouls could arise from radiation exposure at any time.
The way I see ghoulification is... that the vast majority of cells within a human body undergo a specific cancerous mutation, nearly all at once. The cells that do not mutate begin to fall away and rot of... creating the ghouls.
Those injured in nuclear blasts, simply do not regrow the parts of their body that were burned away...
Ghouls live in constant unending pain, but their psuedo-immortality may make up for it in some small way? At any rate almost no living ghoul would want to reproduce, save for perhaps those that are clearly insane.
A group of mad cultist ghouls perhaps learns exactly what happened to them... and learns to replicate it. Perhaps ghouls would become more like vampires in the wasteland, insane ghouls turning victims believing they are bestowing a gift upon them?
This is the easiest method, re-vitalize the "Born Ghouls" concept from Van Buren, tweak it a little bit... maybe add a few more to their numbers.
Created by essentially a mad scientist this would work out very well I think... perhaps make the Born Ghouls oblivious and Naive to the fact that they are different, make them isolated and sheltered from the outside world?
Well that is it for my thoughts on mutant reproduction... share yours in the comments below, I think that these problems need to be resolved and to stop being dangling threads in the Fallout story.