• Published 2nd Jul 2017
  • 1,235 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!

  • ...

Chapter 6: Bad Times at 8000 Feet

A very long four seconds passed. Wonka turned to the others.

“My goodness, that's a dragon.”

The serpent's eyes narrowed. “I am Chalco'Zok. I have given the slip to the tide of history in order to build up the rarest and most wondrous hoard ever known to dragonkind! While common wryms simply lie on a vulgar pile of gold and gems, I've collected only what is truly rare- my ancient mystical trees.”

“Where they rare when you started collecting 'em?” Applejack cried.

“Applejack!” Twilight hissed.

Chalco'Zok's maw opened in a fanged grin. “Rare is rare. I made sure of it myself. My labors of fire took centuries to complete!” The dragon strode around them in a circle, weaving between the trees like a huge cat. The branches shrank away from the serpent's hide as he moved past, and no fruits would fall. “In the end the result is what you see here: this beautiful enclave of powerful magical species, tamed by me, kept by me, known only to me. I took the legends of every healer and alchemist born before or since and brought them all to myself!” The creatures eyes burned with avarice, until a sudden clank near its feet broke it out of its reverie. It glanced downward, to where its foreleg had bumped the Great Glass Elevator.

“Uh-! Mr. Chalco'Zok, sir!” Twilight took to the air and swooped up in front of the dragon's snoot, diverting his attention from the very smashable elevator. “My name is Twilight Sparkle, Equestria's Princess of Friendship! My friends and I were seeking the Golden Apples, it's true, but we didn't know at the time that this was your... um, personal grove. For that I am sorry.”

The dragon looked the purple pony over. “An alicorn. I hadn't noticed your puny wings. I thought you were just fat.”

“Well, anyway I'm sure that we can come to some sort of mutually beneficial-”

“These trees are fixin' to burst with all these fruits!” Applejack protested from below. Chalco'Zok glanced down as if at an ant that had crawled on his forepaw. “Ancient and magic as they might be, no tree can keep this up forever! It ain't natural for a tree to hold onto seeds like this, and if you don't let 'em go, pretty soon you ain't gonna have any trees at all!”

“Please, Mr. Chalco'Zok,” Twilight pleaded, “You've made this grove into your home, and we have no business to tell you to change that, but the seeds and fruits of these trees could improve the lives of everypony in Equestria – not just ponies, either, but griffons and dragons and all other manner of creatures! Won't you negotiate a fair exchange for these seeds?”

The great green dragon looked up to the sunset sky for awhile, scratching under his chin with his huge claws, before turning back to Twilight with a grin as wicked and implacable as an obsidian stone.

What did you say you were the princess of?”

“Friendship?” Twilight replied.

“Princess of Friendship​?” Chalco'Zok threw back his head and barked out cruel mocking laughter. “I can see that the world outside has grown soft as a rotten Rubypod since I founded my orchard. Sell my seeds and dilute the rarity of my collection? I think not. And you!” Applejack cried out in alarm as Chalco'Zok plucked her off the ground in one of his mitts, leering at her. “You presume to tell me how to keep trees?! Were you to live a dozen lifetimes more you could not hope to match me!”

“Hey! Nopony picks on our Applejack!” Pinkie Pie bounded goat-like up the dragon to land on its nose, glowering.

“And what can you possibly do about it?” Chalco'Zok sneered.

“If you don't put her down I'ma let you have a taste of my patented Pinkie Pie Tactical Close-Range Confetti Cannon!” The pink party pony proclaimed.

“... What?”

KA-THOOM! Pinkie reached back (nopony was quite sure where) and planted her signature Party Cannon on the dragon's snoot, where it blasted a huge cloud of confetti and streamers. Roaring in surprise, Chalco'Zok toppled over backwards, dropping Applejack who was swooped up by Twilight Sparkle. With a “Wheeee!” Pinkie bounced off of the falling dragon (to where the Party Cannon went nopony could say) and landed atop the Great Glass Elevator as it vaulted into the air, Willie Wonka leaning out. “Get in, get in!” He cried to Twilight, who awkwardly flapped inside, dropping Applejack upside-down on Wonka's armchair. Pinkie swung herself inside as Wonka shut the door.

A gold gleam caught Applejack's eye as she righted herself, tail flopping. “You managed to get a bag of golden apples!”

“Oh yes!” Wonka cried, working the manual controls. “And I'd very much like to save the rest of these poor trees as well. But best to get some distance between us and the dragon for now!”

Applejack peered around the buttons to where Chalco'Zok was getting up. He'd fallen into a very round, barrel-like tree with six huge branches spindled out from the top of its trunk. In the fall the dragon had broken off one of the branches and was currently holding it in his claws with a look of shock. When the wyrm turned his attention to them again, his eyes were burning hot as forges.

“More distance!” Applejack cried. “Lots more distance, now!”

The Great Glass Elevator shot up into the air like a rocket, catching the light of the sunset, and in an explosion of leaves the dragon followed. Who knew what sorts of magical and fortifying things the serpent had been eating off of his stolen trees; whatever they'd been the ponies soon found Chalco'Zok closing the distance between them with terrifying alacrity.

“Uh, how well does this thing hold up to dragonfire?” Applejack whimpered.

“Oh, miserably!” Wonka said pleasantly. “Why, it would melt. It's made of sugar, after all – we'd be caramelized on the spot. We'd go into his gullet like a bunch of candy buttons.”

Why did you make this elevator out of sugar!” Applejack neighed.

“INCOMING!” Pinkie Pie yelled as Chalco'Zok stretched his massive wings forward and snapped them back, sending his body screaming forward in a mid-air lunge.

Inertia squashed everypony to the ground as Wonka popped the elevator straight up into the air like a cork. “Not to worry, dear ones!” The dapper chocolatier cried, “'Let us pray not to be sheltered from dangers, but to be fearless in facing them!'” The transparent floor below lit up a bright orange as a gout of fire flew up at them from below. “... Hmm.”

Twilight's horn flashed violet, and a glowing half-dome appeared underneath the elevator. For a moment everything around them was naught but fire as the dragon's breath sloughed off the magic shield. “I don't know, Mr. Wonka – shelter can be pretty useful!” Pinkie Pie observed.

“Quite right, Ms. Pie! But now is the time for fearlessness!” The chocolatier set the elevator winging horizontally once again, rotating around so the elevator door faced Chalco'Zok, who glittered like a dragonfly against the white rocky peaks below, rapidly gaining altitude as he wheeled around and followed them.

“Are you crazy?!” Applejack cried. “What're you gonna do, throw bon-bons at him?!”

“Twilight can't you just turn him into a butterfly or something?” Pinkie Pie cried, eating a bon-bon.

The alicorn's eyes darted around. “Let's see... transfiguration... too slow considering his speed... Caponycus' Greater Holding? No... Ah! I've got it! Hockrates' Sluggishness should slow him down enough for us to make our getaway! Mr. Wonka, the door please!” The purple prodigy hopped over to the elevator door, which opened with a blast of icy air that made everypony's eyes water. Leaning forward, Twilight's horn flashed and a moody periwinkle beam shot forth, hitting Chalco'Zok head on. Pinkie Pie and Applejack cheered, but Twilight stared in confusion. She fired more spells as the serpent drew near, and soon everyone could see Twilight's spells skittering and bouncing off of Chalco'Zok's scales.

“I don't understand!” Twilight cried, firing off a volley of a dozen different colors of magic. “Why isn't it working?!”

Over the roar of the wind Chalco'Zok's derisive laughter could be heard. “The princess has neglected her herb-lore! A pity you didn't spend more time reading!”

WHAT?!” Twilight sputtered. But then the dragon was upon them and the outside world was nothing but green scales. Crying out, Pinkie Pie and Applejack pulled their friend inside. There was a horrible lurch and a sound like a giant rake being dragged over a chalkboard, and then they were spinning in the air like a top, pinned to the sides of the walls as stray candies, their picnic basket, and a portion of Wonka's furniture went flying out the door and into the great wide yonder. When the spinning finally stopped, there was a set of three massive claw marks running all the way down one side of the elevator's walls and up half of another. Bits of sugar glittered in the wind from the edges of the scratches as they blew away. Wonka stared at them aghast, clutching the sides of his hair. “My elevator! My beautiful great glass elevator!”

“We're fine too, by the way!” Applejack barked as she helped Twilight to her hooves. Pinkie Pie leaned out the open door, looking very green.

“He's coming back!” Twilight peered at the dragon twisting in mid-air to make another pass in the distance. “We should land – find somewhere to come up with a plan!”

“Perhaps, perhaps my dear, but I've a few surprises up my sleeves as well!” Wonka shuffled through the debris and set up two small casks about the size of a pony's head in front of the open door, shooing Pinkie Pie aside. “Now then!” he clapped his hands. “If I know my vicious brutes – and I've known a few in my day – this dragon is going to next come and breathe fire right into the open door here. In order to do that he'll have to be fairly close by, so when he opens his jaws I'd like you, Applejack, to buck these barrels into the dragon's maw! Your friends in town say you're quite the marksman. Er... markspony.”

“And just how do you know that he'll breathe fire instead of smashin' this literal sugar-cube into bits?!” Applejack retorted.

“Simple – the only reason we'd leave the door open above these jagged mountains is if the door were broken or we were crazy. The dragon also either thinks this elevator is made of plain glass, or sugar.”

“Um... and...?” Twilight encouraged.

“So, if the dragon smashes the elevator, he's going to have to go through all of the trouble of picking our broken bodies out of the rocks below,” Wonka explained calmly. “We'd be all raw and frosted over, whereas if he cooks us alive here in the elevator, either we'll be nicely roasted in a glass oven, or coated in a delicious carmelized glaze. That's certainly how I'd do it.”

The ponies stared at him. “Hoop!” Pinkie stuck her muzzle into an empty bag.

“And besides, this isn't a cube, it's a rectangular prism. All right, here he comes! Quickly now Applejack, and good luck!”

“Bwah!” Applejack lurched forward and got into bucking position as she saw the dragon drawing near with a particularly fiery look in his eyes. True to Wonka's prediction, when he was a little closer he opened his maw, an orange glow rising. Applejack closed one eye, squinted, and kicked twice. Soaring and spinning through the frosty air, the twin barrels shot down the dragon's mouth. Chalco'Zok's eyes flew open and he went tumbling down, coughing and sputtering... and then floated up past the elevator and into the sky, as if drawn up by a thousand balloons. The dragon looked up at his stationary wings, down at the ground, then over to the elevator falling away beneath him, and began to wriggle his legs and flap his wings. He managed to scoot himself above the elevator and shoot an ineffectual jet of flame down toward the roof, but it was all for naught; up and up he ascended, bellowing in confusion. Soon a measure of peace was attained, and the only sounds were those of the wind outside and everypony catching their breath.

“What was in those barrels?!” Pinkie Pie inquired, tossing a bag out the door.

“Fizzy Lifting Drinks!” Wonka closed the door with a snik and wheeled their strange contraption around. “Delightful stuff- one of my finest inventions really. Goes down with a tickle and makes one wonderfully light on their feet – literally. Great for hard workers and those crazy kids that like to run on walls. Of course, if one is a greedy-guts they'll become altogether too light on their feet. Ergo: floating green dragon.”

Pinkie Pie pressed her hooves nervously against the elevator walls as the razor-tipped mountains below gave up their sunset light to a dull purple as the sun threatened to drop below the horizon. “Uh, Mr. Wonka? I'm pretty sure Equestria was back the other way.”

“It was indeed, but notre travail n'est pas terminé, my friends – our work is not complete!'' The ponies looked down to see that the chocolatier had maneuvered them back to the hidden orchard.

“What in the name of Aunt Lucille's Cornbread did you take us back down here for?!” Applejack cried out.

“I can't have my Fizzy Lifting Drinks sending people up through the stratosphere!” Wonka scolded. “At a certain height the effect begins to gently wear off; our reptilian friend will be right as rain in a few minutes. And if he thought that we'd escaped, and were off to tell your gracious princesses about this orchard, what do you think a covetous lout like him would do?”

After a beat, Twilight's eyes widened. “You're right... if he thought that soon the Royal Guard would be coming to retrieve these seeds, he might decide instead to set this whole orchard on fire!”

“'If I can't have them, nobody can,'” Wonka nodded.

“So we need to get these seeds!” Pinkie Pie exclaimed.

“Yeah, I see yer point,” Applejack acquiesced. Seeing all of these rare trees lost along with all the benefits they could provide to ponykind was too great of a risk to take. “Let's do this then – fast!”

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