• Published 9th Jan 2020
  • 3,197 Views, 32 Comments

This is the Way - ZR_Stein

The Mandalorian and the Child land on Equestria, fleeing from the forces of the Empire. Nothing could have prepared them for Equestria, but the ponies are friendly and the location is idyllic; what better place could there be to raise a child?

  • ...

The Native

Fluttershy hummed quietly to herself as she picked a few sprigs of wild mint and packed them away into her saddlebag, the mint joining a small jar of flax seeds and a sheaf of sage leaf. Her stores of herbs had been running low, and it was cheaper to forage for them in the Whitetail Woods than it was to buy them in Ponyville. That she didn’t have to go into town to deal with other ponies was just an added bonus, in her mind.

Not that there was anything wrong with other ponies, she quite enjoyed them sometimes, despite some of the rumors she’d heard around town. Fluttershy loved all of her friends dearly, and she could hold a conversation with casual acquaintances if she needed to. Strange ponies that she didn’t know were another matter entirely, but in the past six months she’d even become better at dealing with strangers! Somewhat better, anyways. Being one of the Elements of Harmony and all of the craziness that came with it required a certain...mental fortitude, one that she hadn’t known was inside of her.

Fluttershy’s lips curled up into an amused smile as she remembered everything that had happened to over in the past half year. Who would have thought that the pony who clammed up around strangers and lived alone in the woods would be instrumental in defeating Nightmare Moon and Discord? Honestly, it boggled believability!

As memories and thoughts chased each other around in her mind like squirrels in October (oh, they were such dear little things), Fluttershy continued her self assigned task. She plucked some star anise pods and sorted through a small pile of fallen branches before finding some healthy pine needles.

At this rate, she’d be back at her cottage in an hour, and she could spend the rest of the day tending to her animals and enjoying the day. How lovely!

. . .​

At the edge of the treeline, Din settled into a crouch against a fallen log and carefully set the kid on the ground next to him. The little gremlin looked around at the surrounding forest, his long ears flexing as he listened.

“All right. Stay within sight of me and don’t go near the town. If you want to try to find something to eat, go right ahead.” Din said evenly. After seeing the kid hunt and eat live frogs, he didn’t see any harm in letting him find his own food as long he stayed close enough to be safe from predators. This forest wasn’t the type that usually had a large variety of poisonous flora or fauna either, and the kid could probably magic away toxins from his stomach or sense whether or not eating something would hurt him.

Din shrugged mentally at his lack of knowledge about the strange, sorcerous abilities that the foundling in his care possessed and detached the scope from his rifle.

The edge of the town looked to be about half a klick away, maybe a bit less, and was mainly composed of stone and wood buildings with thatched roofing. The architecture was fairly primitive in appearance, though that didn’t mean much in the grand scheme of things. Backwater planets like this usually used what materials they had on hand to make buildings, and this settlement didn’t look very large.

Din thumbed the magnification dial on the side of the scope and took a closer look at the town, hoping to catch a glimpse of the inhabitants. After a moment, he grunted and murmured “Huh. Quadrupeds.”

The natives were some form of equine quadruped, which was a definite oddity. Out of the thousands of species in the known galaxy, Din couldn’t recall a single sentient species that walked around on four hooves. Unless these were beasts of burden...they were unclothed, after all.

Looking more closely though, Din could see clear signs of intelligent society. One rust colored equine with wings dropped a few small golden coins into the hoof of a cream colored equine without wings. The cream colored equine then handed the buyer a bunch of flowering plants. They engaged in commerce, and had language, if the way their lips were moving was any indication.

Idly, Din wondered how such a species could come to be. He was no xenobiologist, but weren’t hands a requirement for intelligent life to evolve? And what was with the wide variety of coat colors? Perhaps they were venomous, or maybe it was a form of social hierarchy. The Twi’lek likewise could have skin in any number of hues, but certain colors were more rare than others, and thus fetched a higher price at the slave markets.

Tabling those thoughts for now, Din continued his examination of the town. There was no technology in sight more advanced than a simple wagon; no droids, no vaporators, no landspeeders, nothing. Still, that didn’t necessarily mean there was no more advanced tech on this planet...he’d just have to look for it.

The thought that he’d landed on a pre-spaceflight planet and that he’d never fix the nav computer flitted through the Mandalorian’s mind before he crushed it.

Lowering the scope in his hand for a second, Din considered what he’d discovered so far. While the lack of tech was worrying, it also meant that the locals didn’t pose much of a threat to him. Not when he had all of his gear with him. He could watch for one of the equines to leave town, away from the others, and confront it. Communication might be difficult; he had no way of knowing whether or not they shared knowledge any of the half dozen languages he spoke. But if worse came to worst, he could resort to pictograms.

The kid would come in handy; by himself, Din was an armored warrior, face covered by an emotion concealing helmet and bristling with weaponry. The kid was adorable and had eyes that made you want to tuck him in and read him a bedtime story. Hopefully that would make him more…where’d the kid go?

Din stopped as he turned his head around, looking for his ward. He couldn’t see his little green head anywhere. After a moment, Din activated his tracking scanner, and found a trail of tiny footprints leading back into the forest.

The Mandalorian took a long, deep sigh and slung his rifle over his back.

. . .

Fluttershy tucked the last of the herbs that she needed to collect into her stuffed saddlebag and nodded to herself. That had gone even better than she’d expected; it wasn’t every day that she found truffles in the woods. They’d do nicely in a stew for dinner.

Turning, Flutterhy prepared to walk back to her cottage, and nearly ran nose-first into a very peculiar creature. She squeaked in surprise, jumping backwards, as it had been right behind her and she hadn’t even known that it was there!

However, after a second of study, she decided that the poor dear was harmless and moved closer. It was even smaller than Applebloom, and was wearing some sort of brown sack over most of its body. It hadn’t moved at all during her little fright, and was instead staring at her.

Fluttershy cleared her throat and asked “Umm...hello there. I’ve never seen a creature like you before.”

The little green monkey thing tilted its head at her and blinked once. Fluttershy cooed as she moved closer.

“Aren’t you the most precious little baby? How’d you get here in the middle of the woods?”

The creature wiggled its ears and chirped something. Fluttershy blinked slowly and said “Oh...I’m sorry, I didn’t quite catch that. You said you landed here in...a giant metal egg?”

The creature gurgled.

“And you’re with your caretaker? Oh my, where are they?”

The creature turned to look back into the forest. Fluttershy followed its gaze. There, coming out of the brush was a tall figure standing on two legs. Its features were concealed by a gleaming silver helmet, and more shining armor covered its body. In its hands was a long stick of some kind, with two prongs on the end.

The stick was pointed straight at her. Like one would point a crossbow.

Fluttershy’s pupils shrank until they were pinpricks.

. . .​

This wasn’t exactly how he’d planned to meet the natives. Still, it wasn’t all bad, as long as the equine made no sudden moves towards the kid.

Din kept his rifle trained on the yellow quadruped as he moved closer, finger on the trigger and disintegration round in the chamber. He didn’t want to kill it if possible, but he would if it tried to hurt the child. Thankfully, that looked like it wasn’t going to happen; the local was backing away from both him and the kid in fear, trembling noticeably. After he came within a few meters of the kid, and the equine was an equal distance away from either of them, he slowly lowered his rifle and slung it on his back, his gaze moving to the child for a second before he returned it to the native.

The equine still looked nervous, but as the two of them stared at each other, a sort of understanding passed between them, and it nodded to him. He nodded back and sat down on a nearby rock, the kid toddling over to him.

. . .​

Fluttershy fought to control her breathing. That had been very scary, but she understood now. The tall one had simply been concerned about its child. Still, did he (she?) have to point a weapon of some kind at her?

Taking a deep breath, Fluttershy let it slowly out as she calmed her nerves. The child was tugging on the adult’s cape, and in response, the adult lifted the child up to sit on the rock as well. With that done, the armored figure turned its helmet back to her, and Fluttershy felt the weight of its attention back on her.

Onthen al spek auerbesh?”

. . .

“Do you speak Basic?”

The equine stared at him for a long moment, blinking twice, before it responded almost silently in a melodic language that he didn’t understand.

“Galactic Basic, is it a language that you speak on this planet?”

The equine said something else in the same language more loudly, brow furrowed. So much for Basic. Still, he had five languages left that he was fluent in (he could at least speak some words in Jawa and Durese, so they counted). He’d try Sy Bisti next, then Huttese, Jawa, and Durese. If all of those failed...well, it was highly unlikely that the equine spoke Mando’a, but he’d give it a try. Just in case. But that’d come last, first he’d run down the trade languages that were common on the Outer Rim.

Suwabanu Sy Bisti?”

. . .​

The taller creature said more words to her and Fluttershy shook her head at him (she was fairly certain he was a male, the voice sounded masculine). Oh dear. It was unusual to meet a being that didn’t know Equestrian. Even Zecora knew Equestrian, and she was from Zebrica! Where did these two hail from that they didn’t?

Wait, those words sounded subtly different. More melodic and slurred together. Maybe he had changed languages?

Of course! He was asking her if she understood any of the languages he was speaking! Unfortunately, she didn’t understand this one either, so she shook her head more emphatically.

The creature paused before switching languages again, to a more guttural, grating one.

Bal uba hutta?”

“I’m sorry, I don’t understand that one either. Maybe if we go visit Twilight she’ll be able to help.”

The creature paused again, and Fluttershy stared at the featureless helmet, wondering what he was thinking behind it. Mentally, she pictured the face of the little one in there, older and scowling. She almost giggled at the thought.

With that language striking out, the armored one ran through two more, neither of which Fluttershy understood. One was high and choppy, and the other was a seemingly unbroken stream of syllables that all sounded similar. Idly, Fluttershy was amazed that this creature knew so many languages. Unfortunately, none of them were recognizable.

“I’m sure Twilight will be able to help if we go see her, she should have a translation spell or a book of languages...oh dear, how do I tell you that? This is very frustrating.”

The creature, not understanding Fluttershy, muttered something softly to himself before he raised his helmet again.

Speak do you Mando’a?”

. . .​

“Do you speak Mando’a?” Din said, voice carrying a tiny hint of resignation. With all of the trade languages he knew striking out, the chances that this little yellow local knew the ancestral language of Mandalore were incredibly low. Not impossible though...his adoptive people had been conquerors for thousands of years. Though their conquering had been in the known galaxy, so it was almost certain that this native wouldn’t know-

Speak you Griffish?!”

….what the kriff? The Mandalorian had to remind himself to close his mouth. Of all the tongues to hear on a planet far into the Unknown Regions, the tongue of Mandalore was not one of them. Even if it went by a different name here.

Din paused for a moment as he ran over the language lessons of his youth and said “Hello. My name is Din Djarin. What is your name?

Oof...his pronunciation was a little rusty. In his defense, it’d been over a decade since he’d spoken more than a word or two of Mando’a at a time.

. . .​

Fluttershy was confused, happy, and relieved all at the same time. Finally, the creature had found a language that she understood! Well, one that she understood a few words in. After Gilda had visited, Fluttershy had talked with Rainbow Dash about her, and had discovered that her old friend knew Griffish, surprisingly. Gilda had apparently taught Rainbow Dash back in flight school, and Rainbow Dash had lent Fluttershy her own Equestrian-to-Griffish dictionary (she still needed to give that back) and taught her a few phrases.

Why the creature knew Griffish was confusing, but the answer could wait. Wait, he’d said his name was Din Djarin...or he’d said his name was Djarin and his clan name was Din. Oh dear...she knew very little Griffish. There was a rule she was forgetting about naming order. And what were the rules on word order again? Was it verb-subject-object or subject-verb-object?

“Ummm...name Fluttershy...not speak...good...Griffish. We...go...speak...Rainbow Dash. Yes?”

. . .​

If Din’s pronunciation was rusty, the equine’s (Fluttershy, he corrected) was atrocious, and the grammar was completely out of order.

It was sufficient though. Fluttershy had communicated that they did not speak Griffish well, and that they would seek out another native who presumably did. A Rainbow Dash, whoever that was. Hopefully they spoke enough of this Mando’a dialect that Din could ask some questions and get some answers. With how Flutterhy stumbled over even the simplest of words, he doubted she'd be able to suss out 'nav computer'.

Din stood up, causing Fluttershy to stumble backwards, startled. Pushing a button on his gauntlet, he signaled the kid’s pram to come out of the trees. The child could ride in there while they went to go see this Rainbow Dash. Now that they had a native to guide them, he wanted to keep the kid stored away from prying eyes for the moment.

Fluttershy stared at the pram as it floated there, mouth formed into a little ‘o’ of surprise. Once the kid was inside and the shutters sealed up, Din turned his attention to his guide, and nodded once.

Take us to Rainbow Dash.”

Rainbow Dash...umm...yes. We go.”

Author's Note:

Bolded words have been used this chapter to indicate words not in one's primary language. I had to fudge words for Basic, since in Star Wars that's just English. Sy Bisti is, according to Timothy Zahn, Zulu with the vowels moved around, so I used Google translate for that. There's a Huttese translator online. And I am not a linguist in any way shape or form, and I don't have in depth knowledge on Mando'a, so if anyone spots errors in my work, please point them out. I already had to correct a line that said that Fluttershy had used a gendered word in Mando'a (it's a gender neutral language).

God damn, am I getting sick of referring to Baby Yoda as the kid or the child.

Comments ( 22 )

It seems that some people do not like this story
I will initiate self destruct to take care of them


Huh. Surprised Fluttershy could understand the kid, since it's not an animal.

But Griffish and Mandalorian are similar? Curious...

Whelp, I'm hooked then.

So does that mean that Mandalorians visited Equestria and taught the griffins their language?

Kuill: I have spoken.

Yona: …..

so whens the next chapter?

I usually just can't engage with crossover fics — haven't read one in m o o n s. But I found myself quite enjoying this! I actively searched for an FiM x The Mandalorian fic because I figured a humble duo like Djarin and Baby Yoda would be compatible with Equestria; compare that to some mainline Star Wars character whose presence would likely change Equestria as we know it. I love the simplicity, and I am hoping to see more of this little story.

Best of luck to you, Stein. ^^

When is the next chapter?

Great job on this chapter.

God damn, am I getting sick of referring to Baby Yoda as the kid or the child.


Oh crap improper other language grammar.=lol=

It's been 4 long f*cking months!!! When the f*ck are you going to release chapter 3, and the rest of the story? Or did you just abandon this or did you die?

My moneys on him being named Kuiil after the his Ugnot uncle

Huh, I can see the Mandalorians teaching the Griffins Mando'a. Especially the fanon more dangerous griffins.

I get that Disney Mandos and Legends/EU Mandos are different, but it hurts that a Mando can apparently not speak Mando'a as well as he should. That's one of the six tenets of the Resol'nare laid down by the First Mandalore.

I like "The Child" being the name, its part of the whole thing, Like Djarin not removing his helmet, ever. even though theres a tiff going on about it.

I would say that the removable helmet on the action figure warping his face is something to be upset over, just the pile of everything that got put into that trashcan got dumped right then and there

Oh, I hope this continues.

I really hope he continues the story cause I love this story

I hope Grogu gets to meet Flurry Heart. They’d be like two peas in a pod!

I’ve read enough HiE fics to know where this is going...poor RD...

More like 9 months to be exact, I suppose it is dead..

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