• Published 1st Jul 2012
  • 5,732 Views, 331 Comments

A Hard Bargain - Zap Apple Smash

Lunaverse. Ditzy is approached by some ponies from Manehatten with an offer they doubt she'll refuse

  • ...


The three Manehattenites had received the keys from reception and were heading to their motel room.

"Not an ideal choice." Parley stated, "But it wouldn't do to draw too much attention to ourselves."

Plomo was busy complaining.

"¿Por qué estamos perdiendo el tiempo? ¿Por qué no simplemente agarramos al fenómeno y termimanos con esto?
"Why are we wasting time? Why don't we just grab the freak and be done with it?"

Parley turned to Plata for translation. "My brother wonders if it is wise to be waiting for the mare to accept our offer."

Parley sighed. "And this is why I'm the one in charge of negotiations." He ignored the growl coming from Plomo. "Gentlecolts, unneeded hostility would be counterproductive. Forcing the issue means that we might face retaliation from the other elements which could ultimately lead to retaliation from Princess Luna. Let's try and avoid that."

"Maricón." Plomo muttered

"¡Plomo! no digas palabrotas." Plata scolded before turning to a curious Parley. "He says that makes sense." Plata explained.
"Plomo! Watch your language."

Parley nodded and opened the door to their room only to find that instead of it having three beds, it had one double and one single bed. "Oh dear. Well nothing we can do about that now, you too are just going to be very cosy tonight." He then made him self comforatble on the double.

"Ah juro que lo voy a desollar vivo a ese pequeño...."
"Oh I swear I'm going to skin that little..."

Plata stuck a hoof out infront of Plomo. "My brother and I are going to go check out the town, get a lay of the land, just in case."

"Fine." Parely said dismissively. "Just try to look a little less like a pair of Manehatten thugs. We don’t want people getting suspicious."

Pokey was doing some busy work around the represantive house when he heard the front door slam open. He turned to see a dishevelled Trixie storming past. “You alright?”


Pokey shrugged. “Don’t think the collective gene pool will suffer too greatly from that loss.”

“Cancel all my appointments for the rest of the day.” Trixie ordered. “I’ve just had a traumatic experience and need to consult with my therapist.”

Pokey paused. “You have a therapist?”

“Yes. Dr Bourbon. Phys.D, MD, DDS and STFU!”

“That sounds about right.” Pokey muttered. “Well you don’t have any more appointments today.”

“Good.” Trixie marched into her office and then promptly back marched out.

“However Big Macintosh is here to see you and is currently waiting in your office.”

Trixie let out a frustrated groan as she put her face in her hoof. “Remind me again why I keep you around.”

Pokey brought his hoof to his chin and pretended to be in thought. “Well at the top of my head I’d have to say it’s my sharp wit, excellent work ethic, magnificent horn, incredibly nice backside and the fact that without me you’d probably drown yourself in liquor just to escape the paperwork.”

Trixie glared at her assistant for a moment before turning to head back into the office. “For your information your backside isn’t that nice. It’s a 5 at best, 6 ½ when I’m drunk.”

“So 6 ½ on average?”

Trixie would like to have thought that she had gotten Pokey when she slammed the door in his face but she knew that he had gotten quicker.

Big Mac to his credit sat quietly while looking intently at the picture that was behind the desk. Despite her mood, Trixie couldn’t help but smile at the picture.

“My grandfather,” She explained. “Quartermoon the Magnificent.”

“Great magician.” Big Mac answered.

“You went to see him?” that genuinely surprised Trixie. “Where?”

“Canterlot,” Big Mac replied. “With Grandpa.”

There was an unexpected moment of silent camaraderie between the two before Trixie remembered about his meeting with Cheerilee. Turning her back to the picture she faced the farmer.

“Cheerilee told me that you came to her about a job offer for a teaching position in Fillydelphia.”


“Why would you do that? Rural school like this, who knows how long it might take to get a replacement. Why would you risk undermining the education of the school your sister goes to just give Cheerilee a job opportunity?”

“Not your business.”

“Well I’m making it my business.” Trixie closed the gap and got into Big Mac’s face “Cheerilee’s my friend so if I find out that this job offer is just a scheme from the Trust or some noble that’s buying you off I’ll...” Trixie trailed off as Big Mac stood up to his full height and gave her a look that could make stone flinch. “...It’s not a scheme, is it?”


“Well good to know.” Trixie backed away, right into a bookshelf, causing a big book to fall down right on her head.

The hard stare Big Mac had been giving her quickly turned into a look of concern. “You okay?”

“Yes yes fiiiinnneee” Trixie ignored the pain as she staggered behind her desk and tried regain a sliver of dignitiy. “So what can I do for you?”

Big Mac pushed a piece of paper towards Trixie before he sat back down. The representative lifted it up to see that it was Bounty Hunting License renewal form filled out to by Mr Macintosh Apple.

“Bounty hunting license?! What does an apple farmer need with a bounty hunting license?” She cowered slightly under the hard look that Big Mac gave her. “But that’s not any of my business, is it?”


To avoid the ensuing awkwardness Trixie read through the form to check if there were any flaws. All that was left was for her to cross check it with the local bounty hunting registry and to verify all details and then once she signed it off it was sent to head office in Canterlot for approval. It was a straight forward, albeit tedious process that unfortunately clashed with her planned therapy session.

“Well this seems all in order.” Trixie said with trained enthusiasm. “I’ll be sure to process this and have it sent first thing tomorrow. If it’s approved the new licence will be sent to the address listed.”

Big Mac sat unmoving from his spot staring at Trixie.

“There isn’t anything else I need from you.”

Big Mac didn’t even twitch.

“If there are any issues I promise to let you know.”

Still nothing,

“You’re not going to move until I send this away, are you?”


Trixie groaned. “Fine.”

She got up from her desk and started looking for the bounty hunting registry. After a couple of minutes of fruitless searching and the realisation that she honestly didn’t know where it was, she stuck her head out of office shouted for her assistant.






Trixie turned back to see Big Mac pointing towards the bookcase she had crashed into. Trixie went over to the bookcase and found that the book that had clonked her on the head had in fact been the registry. She let out a nervous chuckle as she brought the registry to the desk. After crosschecking Big Mac details (name, address, license number etc), searching for the official seal (which had somehow ended up in the medicine cabinet) and some more Representative/Assistant banter, Pokey was out the door with a sealed up envelope to take to the post office.

Only then did Big Mac stand up and take his leave. Once she was sure he was gone, Trixie levitated out a glass and was about to do the same with her spare bottle of bourbon when her gaze fell back to the registry that was still sitting on her desk. Her need for a drink having waned (slightly), she decided now might be a good time to do some digging.

School day was finally over. Aside from the whole Trixie fiasco and having to lecture her students about unnecessary interrogation and torture, Cheerilee felt that it had, all in all, been a very good day. She was busy tidying up the classroom when Ditzy came.

"Hi Ditzy, Amethyst Star came by to pick Dinky up. That had been the arrangement, hadn't it?"

Ditzy nodded, the half sisters were spending the afternoon together at Sparkler's shop.

"Yeah I know. I was actually hoping to speak with you."

"Sure," Cheerilee stopped tidying and faced the mailmare. "What did you want to talk about?"

Ditzy took in a deep breath. "Dinky is doing alright, isn't she? In schoolwork and in other stuff."

"I think she is doing splendidly." Cheerilee replied. "She's growing up into a fine young filly."

"And is she happy?"

"I've always thought so." The teacher answered. "Why? Has she said something?"

"No, it's just." Ditzy sighed. "Would Dinky be happier if I didn't have to work so much?"

Cheerilee paused before answering carefully, "I think she would be happier for your sake. She knows you work very hard but she doesn't blame you for it and she loves all the time you do set aside for her."

"But if I could find a way to not have to work as much and spend more time with her, that would make me a better mother, wouldn't it?"

"That all depends on what you would have to give up to get that extra time." Cheerilee countered. "And being a good parent isn't just a matter of how much time you spend with your children but also the quality of the time you spend with them."

Cheerilee saw that Ditzy still looked unsure. "Look I can understand that you sometimes feel that you don't get to spend enough time with Dinky. That's natural, we all sometimes wish that we had more time to spend on the things that matter to us. But believe me when I say that you manage to fit more love and devotion into one hour than some stay at home parents fit into a whole day." The school teacher then gave Ditzy a hug. "So don't worry. Dinky is doing fine."

Ditzy returned the hug. "Thank you."

Cheerilee smiled. "That's what friends are for."

"So Wind Whistler is moving house on Monday and I was wondering if you could talk to Applejack about letting me have it off."


It had been a slow day so Applejack had gone to pick up Applebloom and take her home, leaving Big Mac and Caramel to finish selling produce and then to pack everything up.

"Oh come on Mac." Caramel pleaded. "I may actually have a shot with this one. You know how hard it is to find a date when you're a farm hand, not to mention your sister..." Big Mac raised a threatening eyebrow. "is a fine lady and a pleasure to work for."

Big Mac rolled his eyes at Caramel's antics but then paused when he saw Plata and Plomo walking through the market. Caramel noticed the change in demeanour.

"What do you see?" Caramel asked. He started to turn to see what Big Mac was looking at but then stopped when the red stallion put a hoof on his side. "Alright, point taken, just easy on the physical contact, folks are already starting to talk bout us and unlike you I already have a hard enough time with the ladies as it is."

Caramel turned, this time casually, making it look like he was checking out stock. When he turned back to Big Mac his tone was hushed. "Yeah, those two definitely don't look like tourists. Think we should check them out?" Big Mac gave a single nod. "Alright so how shall we play it? Cheerful cherry? Lazy gazing?" Caramel sighed when he saw the look Big Mac was giving him. "One Caramel special, coming up."

The blue-eye stallion a picked up a basket of apples and said in a cheerful voice. "Sure thing thing Mac, I'll get these delivered right away." He then sprinted off. Big Mac took a brief moment to check if there were any potential customers coming but all was quiet.



"Sorry, sorry, sorry."


"Look I said I was sorry."

Big Mac trotted over to the scene. Apples were scattered everywhere, Caramel was pinned to a wall with Plomo about to bash his skull in. Big Mac casually took hold of Plomo's hoof before any real damage could be done. "Problem?”

Plata sized up the new comer and quickly decided that a confrontation wouldn't be worth it. "No no, my brother and I were just telling your friend he should be more careful." Plata stepped back and started to walk away. Plomo wrenched his hoof out of Big Mac's grip and reluctantly did same, but not before giving Caramel one last shove against the wall and making sure to step on some of the apples as he walked away.

The two stallions started picking up the apples and only once they were certain that that they were alone did Caramel speak.

"Alright, I wasn't able to get much, they were on me a lot quicker than most ponies, they could be military but I'm thinking more likely enforcers. They weren't carrying a lot but I did see a room key for May Flower Motel. Oh and I also swiped this from the one that kept yelling at me in Caballerian." Caramel lifted up his hind leg to reveal a business card he had hidden under his hoof.

Big Mac lifted it up to inspect it, it was for a Manehatten based construction company.

"Any idea what a couple of Manehatten 'Builders' are doing in Ponyville?"