• Published 2nd Jul 2017
  • 1,234 Views, 53 Comments

Wonka Vs. Applejack - MrPeaches



When the legendary candy-maker shows up in Equestria, a simple business proposal turns into an adventure that could change apple-farming in Equestria forever!

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Chapter 2: High-Stakes Negotiations

The rest of the sales day went more or less normally, save for a few exceptions. Sometime in the mid afternoon, a herd of Canterlot Royal Guardsponies flew a chariot into Ponyville, and flew back out a few minutes later with a waving Willy Wonka in the windborne wagon. Welp, I guess that's that, Applejack thought to herself, feeling a little better. Celestia would take care of things from here. She turned back to her stand. “Next!”

The sky was the color of a ripe gala apple by the time the Apples closed up shop for the day and set about the task of readying for tomorrow; pots and pans were washed, apples and unsold jam went into the apple cellar, and Applebloom trotted up and down the road apace to pick up the odd stray bit of rubbish left by less-courteous ponies. In the barn, Applejack was just about to finish putting up the last of the large apple baskets when they glowed violet, rose into the air and stacked themselves neatly.

“Hey, Twilight!” Applejack called as the purple alicorn trotted merrily into the barn, the setting sun throwing the her shadow long onto the barn wall.

“Hey, Applejack!” Twilight's eyes were a-sparkle more than usual, and she trotted in place excitedly. “Did you hear the news about our visitor? I heard that you were the first one in Ponyville to see him!”

“Well... technically that was Granny Smith and Applebloom,” Applejack wiped her brow with a forehoof. “He said he was a 'chocolate ear.' Saw him get sent off to Canterlot.”

“You're never going to believe this!” Twilight exclaimed. “He's an interdimensional traveler, from the land of Urthe! He's manufactured a translucent craft that runs on refined, concentrated sucrose of all things!!! Can you believe it?”

“Uh. Neat,” Applejack said as her scholarly friend hopped in circles.

“Isn't it??” Twilight crowed. “Between this and the realm that lies beyond the mirror in the Crystal Empire, Peachicornicus' Multiverse Theory is looking more and more probable! I have a mind to write a scholastic scroll on it all – of course, I'm not sure if Princess Celestia and Luna have decided where they stand on this yet...” The purple mare ceased pronking and put a forehoof to her chin, subdued. “Come to think of it, his physiology is strikingly similar to the beings that live in that other realm – not the same, but very close. It raises all sorts of questions; what if there's a universe out there with ponies in it too, who are like us but not quite like us?

Twilight didn't oft speak of the realm she'd visited when she'd stepped through that mirror, although it didn't seem to be a bad memory. Applejack was fine with that; she'd gathered that Celestia didn't want news of the mirror to spread, and had done her part to keep mum about the little she knew. But now it seemed as though this Willy Wombat was raising all sorts of questions of other worlds; right now, Applejack was dreaming of a world where she could go and get some supper before a long day tomorrow.

Twilight noticed her friend starting to droop and snapped out of her musing. “Oh! I'm so sorry; you've all had a long day. Anyway, in addition to wanting to update you on the... Wonka situation, I actually came to ask you if you'd be willing to stop by my castle for just a moment? Mr. Wonka expressed a desire to purchase some of your Zap Apples. I thought it could be a quick way for you to make some extra bits from your harvest!”

Applejack's eyes flew open. “Hang on! What's that... feller doin' at your castle?! I thought he was in Canterlot!”

“Oh, no!” Twilight smiled. “After some very successful inter-dimensional diplomatic negotiations, the Princesses ruled that Mr. Wonka wasn't a threat to Equestria. In exchange for a temporary permit to purchase candy ingredients and a goodwill offering of bits, I get to chronicle all the information he has on his home dimension and archive it in Canterlot! He's actually staying over at my castle for the duration of his visit.”

“Oh...!” Applejack exclaimed in her best fake enthusiasm. “How... nice. But look, Twilight, as much as I'd like to get involved in this... inter-dimensional... thing right in the middle of Zap Apple season, I've really got to get back to the house now. We've just enough time for supper before we have to get some shut-eye for tomorrow.”

“Oh! Actually, Mr. Wonka already thought of that,” Twilight countered unhelpfully. “He sent this along!” Twilight levitated a medium-sized bottle of blue glass out of her saddlebags, wrapped in a festive blue and green label with more of that foreign script on it, and sealed with a cork. “He called this 'Vigour-and-Sass Sarsaparilla,' and said that a bottle of this was as good as a good night's sleep!”

“... Yeah. I ain't drinkin' that.”

“Oh! Don't worry; Celestia and Luna and I all ran every test we could conceive of on his cargo – it checks out as non-malicious and even compatible with pony biology!”

Applejack frowned.

“... But I can understand the trepidation!” Twilight smiled sheepishly, putting the bottle away. Applejack thought she smelled sarsaparilla on Twilight's breath. “Anyway, whatever you're up for is fine. If you end up with extra Zap Apples that you need to sell, I guarantee our visitor is interested!”

Applejack blew out a horsey sigh as Twilight smiled at her and made to leave. The truth was, they'd had a bumper crop of Zap Apples that year, and even after selling their first hundred jars of jam to Filthy Rich, they'd served most of the Ponyville ponies today. As much as Applejack had guiltily wished otherwise, her exploits in defending Equestria hadn't directly translated into renown for Sweet Apple Acres. Years of experience told her that they were going to have a lot of Zap Apples left over this year; even if this Willy Walnut seemed off, wouldn't she be selfish denying her family the extra bits? Celestia, Luna and Twilight were signing off on this, and apparently the chocolatier had good Equestrian bits on him; what was the problem?

The orange apple-farmer, straw-gold mane shining in the sunset, sighed and called out to Twilight. “Hang on... I'll go talk to him. Let's go.”

~~~

“A toast to new friends, and to the generosity of the lovely Princess Twilight Sparkle, and of your magnanimous monarchs: 'Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.'” The lanky Wonka, now resplendent in a purple velvet overcoat worn over a violet floral vest and cream colored slacks, raised a glass of fine cider and toasted Twilight and Applejack in the study. Supper had been a boisterous affair and taken much longer than Applejack had wanted it to; Fluttershy, Pinkie Pie, Rarity and Rainbow Dash had come along as well – they'd all been curious about the stranger from the other world. Wonka had supplied the desserts, and dishes of candy of all sorts had littered the table. Put on the spot, Applejack had sampled some Melty Mint Munches and Raspberry Dandies. She hated to admit it, but the man could make a confection. Applejack wasn't sure that Pinkie Pie was going to let him leave Equestria.

Now, after telling tales of his adventures and regaling them all with songs and party tricks, Wonka, Twilight and Applejack had retired to one of the castle studies to talk business. Wonka sipped his cider delicately and set his glass on a small table near the overchair in which he sat. “You know, I've traveled many places, but none with better produce, I think. The soil quality and water purity in Equestria is unparalleled – but of course, none of it can do any good without a farmer who can properly cultivate the trees.”

“Er... well, y'know. We do what we can,” Applejack hoof-waved the compliment away. “Now, I understand you're wantin' some Zap Apples? Since Twilight and the princesses gave their okay, that sounds fine to me. In about two day's time we'll be all done zap apple jammin', but I checked our stock and we're gonna have a surplus this year, so there should be a whole mess of apples for you to take home if you have a mind. We'll even make some into jam for ya if you want.”

“Splendid!” Wonka clapped his “hands” (as the ponies had learned was the proper word for them) and bounced in his chair like a colt. “I'm over the moon. And of course, I'm also interested in purchasing saplings, and tips on growing this specific strain.”

Applejack's cider mug froze halfway to her muzzle. “Er... huh?” She looked over to Twilight, who appeared to be trying to do a zoological sketch of Wonka while they talked. “I didn't hear nothin' about that. What do you need that for?”

“Why, to start a Zap Apple orchard back at my factory, of course!” Wonka smiled. “Equestria is a veritable Garden of Eden, but I was born under a wandering star – before too long I'll be casting anchor and delivering the ingredients I've found back to my dear friend Charlie – my heir and worthy owner of my factory. He'll be tickled pink; he seemed to think our apple candies were under-represented lately.” Wonka flicked a red candy into his mouth with one of his “fingers.”

“Now, hold on a sec,” Applejack questioned, “Why can't you just come back here every year 'round this time and get zap apples from us?”

Wonka leaned forward and tented his fingers, smiling kindly. “Ms. Applejack, our factory ships out candies to over 6 billion people, in locations all around the world. If demand for zap apple candy is going to be anywhere what I think it will, all of the trees in your orchard couldn't meet demand for even one large town on my world.”

The number “billion” rattled around loosely in Applejack's head. “Uh... oh. Wow. Well... I don't know...”

Wonka reached down and patted the bag of bits he'd been gifted by the princesses, which was as tall and wide as his torso, and fat as a tom turkey. “I wouldn't mind at all exchanging this entire bag for the zap apples. Your friend Pinkie has been a great help in finding ingredients already, and I've plenty of candies to barter for others.”

Applejack gulped. That was not a small bag of bits – it would make for a stress-free rest of the year for the family, and as hard as they all worked, it might hold them over for a good many years yet. It might even be enough to put the plan for Granny Smith's new hip back on the table! And after all, the Apples weren't trying to bogart the method to grow zap apples – that had never been the Apple family way. The orange mare folded her forelegs in thought.

“I... need to go talk things over with the folks,” Applejack concluded. “Besides, I'm 'bout ready to fall asleep in this here chair. I'll get back to ya tomorrow evening.”

Wonka nodded. “Buenas tardes, Applejack. You're sure you won't take a bottle of Vigour-and-Sass Sasparilla?”

Applejack paused halfway out the door. “... Look, I can see you've made a good impression on everypony, but it takes me a little time to feel comfortable with new folk, and I don't much like accepting gifts on the best of days. Good night.”

The apple farmer left.

The apple farmer stuck her head back in.

“By the way, are we sure this ain't Discord?” She inquired of Twilight.

“We're quite sure,” Twilight affirmed.

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