(AUTHOR”S NOTE: This story is based loosely on the biblical story of David and Goliath in 1 Samuel 17, set a few years before Mata Nui’s arrival on Bara Magna. I’m not trying to preach or anything here.)
It was pretty much a normal day in the small Jungle Tribe village at the edge of the Bara Magnan desert. The sun emanated its searing heat down on the village’s inhabitants. Glatoran and Agori milled around in the village streets. One could hear the jungle birds singing their mating calls. On the eastern horizon, a small army of Skrall was gathered on top of a sand dune.
Okay, maybe it wasn’t exactly a “normal” day.
I guess I should have started out by introducing myself. My name is Davnik, and I’m an Agori from the Jungle Tribe on Bara Magna. As is tradition in the jungle tribe, my clothes and armor are green (though by personal taste there are a few red highlights). My helmet has a pretty simple design; it’s just got a snakelike ponytail coming out the back and not much else. I’m not the strongest of Agori, nor am I all that fast. In fact, one could easily describe me as scrawny.
I used to work as a Nogra herder. For those of you who don’t know, Nogra are animals that come up to about the height of an Agori’s hip. They are covered in dense, fluffy wool that we Agori harvest to make garments and other things, and, if cooked right, they can make a delicious meal.
I was extremely protective of my Nogra flock. On more than one occasion, I had a Spikit or a Wasteland Wolf run off with one of the flock in its jaws. I would chase it down and put a rock through its skull with my trusty sling, then take the Nogra back to the flock. I never lost a single one of my Nogra to wild beasts.
Oops, I’m starting to get off track. Let’s get back to the story.
So anyway, there was a small army of Skrall about to raid our village. We had some Glatorian just outside the village ready to fight the Skrall, but they were far outnumbered. For the sake of safety, the other Agori and I stayed inside the village.
After a few days of having the Skrall practically at our doorstep, I was sent to bring some food the Glatorian. As I came out of the village gate, I saw the Glatorian looking as if they had already given up. I got curious, so after I dropped off the food, I went up to a Jungle Tribe Glatorian and asked him what was going on.
“The Skrall have brought a giant with them,” the Glatorian said wearily. “His name is Golrith. He’s absolutely huge! He’s got a gigantic spear the length of two Glatorian and a huge sword that could chop three of us in half with one swipe! Every day, he struts out in front of the Skrall lines and shouts, ‘You Glatorian haven’t got a chance against me! Why don’t you send out the best fighter among you, and we can fight. If you win, you can take us as slaves, but if I win, you’ll be our slaves!’ None of us are willing to fight him, we’d be mincemeat before you could say ‘Thornax!’”
I was astonished to see these Glatorian looking so hopeless. I had thought of Glatorian as brave, intrepid individuals who could, and would, stand up to anything. To see them quitting without a fight like this left me, to put it lightly, flabbergasted.
“Who’s in charge around here?” I demanded.
“Ackar, Prime Glatorian for the Fire Tribe,” he replied. “When he heard that the Skrall were about to attack this village, he came to take charge of the defenders.”
“Could you take me to him, please?” I asked him, “I’d like to speak with him.”
“Sure,” he said. “By the way, my name is Gresh. What’s yours?” Gresh held out his hand.
“I’m Davnik,” I replied as I shook his hand.
And so Gresh led me to Ackar. The Glatorian was tracing patterns in the sand with a stick, discussing strategy with a tough-looking Glatorian from the Ice Tribe.
“Um, excuse me, Ackar,” said Gresh, “This Agori wants to speak with you.”
Ackar’s head turned towards me. His battle-hardened face looked me up and down. “Is there anything I can do for you?” he asked me.
“There certainly is. Why don’t you Glatorian go out and fight the Skrall?” I asked. “Just because they’ve got that giant doesn’t mean you can’t beat them!”
“That giant isn’t just an overgrown Skrall,” Ackar explained, “It’s one of a special breed of Skrall, just like Tuma, the Skrall leader.”
“But you’re the best Glatorian in all of Bara Magna! You fought in the Core War!” I insisted, “Can’t you go out and fight him yourself?”
“I’m too old to fight him,” Ackar said, “I’m not the fighter I used to be.”
“Well,” I said, “if you won’t fight him, then I will.” Ackar’s eyes practically popped out of their sockets. I could hardly believe myself that I had said that.
“You?” Gresh almost laughed. “You’re just an Agori, you couldn’t possibly take down a Skrall that big. How do you expect to beat him?”
“I’ve killed Spikit and Wasteland Wolves that attacked my Nogra flock,” I replied. “I’ll do the same to that Skrall.”
“You’re suicidal!” Ackar exclaimed.
Eventually I was able to convince Ackar to let me go and fight Golrith. I think it was my confidence that won him over. However, he thought I needed some extra protection, so he lent me his armor and sword. I tried it on, but it was way too big and heavy. I thanked him, but politely declined the armor.
I left the Glatorian camp and entered the jungle to get some rocks for my sling. I picked my way through the tangled shrubbery and eventually found a small stream. I reached in and, one by one, I drew five smooth stones from the rushing water. I use smooth stones for my sling because they tend to fly farther, and they cause less wear and tear on the leather of my sling.
Anyway, I now had myself some ammunition for my sling, so I headed back towards my village. Just as I was emerging from the jungle into the desert, I saw the giant Golrith on top of a sand dune facing our village. My heart skipped a beat. The guy was huge! He looked like he could rip me in half with his bare hands. Backed by battle cries from the other Skrall, he began to shout taunts at the Glatorian defending my village, calling them cowards and daring them to come out and fight. I could hear the Glatoirian outside my village crying out in fear.
If I told you that hearing Golrith insult the Glatorian made me mad, I’d be lying. Well, not exactly lying, I guess it would be more of an understatement.
Oops, I’m rambling again, sorry about that.
Anyhow, hearing Golrith insult the Glatorian made me absolutely furious. I was practically seeing red. I ran through the Glatorian’s camp and onto the battlefield. I faced the giant Golrith and I stared him right in the eye.
For a few seconds, everything was dead silent. The Glatorian had stopped panicking, the Skrall had stopped screaming battle cries, Golrith had shut up, even the jungle birds seemed to have stopped singing. Then, all at once, everybody burst into laughter.
“THIS is what you send out to fight me?” Golrith’s laughter boomed across the battlefield. “You have an army of Glatorian at your disposal, and you send out this pathetic Agori as your champion? I won’t even bother enslaving you; I’ll just slaughter you all!”
“You ugly Skrall scumbag!” I yelled back. As you can tell, I’m really good at making up insults. Golrith seemed to hear this, because he drew a massive black sword from his back and charged at me, screaming bloody murder the whole way down the sand dune. I charged at him and drew a stone from my pack and placed it in my sling. I slowly began to swing it around my head, rotating my wrist to keep it moving. I focused on the charging giant, visualizing the trajectory the stone would take. Gradually, I started speeding up my wrist movement, and my sling spun faster, faster, until it was a brown, leathery blur whirling above my head. Golrith was getting closer now, probably fifteen strides away from cutting me to ribbons. I aimed on his forehead, which was rapidly growing bigger as he got closer. Then, I swung my arm downward, sending the stone flying from the grip of my sling.
Time slowed down. The stone seemed to be floating through the air towards the charging giant, slowly rotating as it traveled through the air. Each of Golrith’s thundering strides appeared to take ten seconds each, with him briefly hovering over the ground between steps. I tensed as the distance between the stone and the giant shrank. Ten feet, seven feet, five feet now. Now I was positive that the stone would hit its mark. Three feet, two feet, one…
Time suddenly sped back up as the projectile collided with the Skrall’s helmet. Pieces of the helmet went flying as the stone punched a hole right through it and struck Golrith’s forehead with a resounding KER-CRACK.
Golrith dropped his sword as head jerked backward at the impact. For a second or two, he stood motionless, frozen in mid-step. He began to teeter, and then he toppled to the ground not two feet from where I stood, kicking up a huge dust cloud with an earth-shaking impact.
I coughed and fanned the sandy dust away from my face. I stared at the prone form of the giant Skrall, amazed at what I had just done. Coming back to my senses, I picked up his sword and hefted it above my head. I almost fell backwards with the weight of the huge blade. Struggling to keep my balance, I held the weapon high above my head, then, with a roar, I swung the blade downwards towards the giant’s neck and chopped his head clean off. I dropped the sword and lifted the severed head into the air, yelling at the top of my lungs.
The Glatorian and Skrall were silent, none of them believing what they had just seen. Then, as if noticing for the first time that I had just killed their champion, the Skrall began to panic.
“CHARGE!” yelled a voice behind me. I looked to see who it was, and there was Ackar, with the rest of the Glatorian following close behind. The sound of Thornax blasters filled the air as the Glatorian opened fire on the enemy. Skrall after Skrall fell under the barrage of exploding spiky fruit. The Glatorian fell upon the fleeing Skrall and cut them down until there wasn’t a single one left alive.
So there you have it. The story of how I defeated a giant Skrall. Now I’m just about the most famous Agori in the Jungle Tribe. Maybe Metus, the Glatorian recruiter, will ask me to be a Glatorian. He seems like a really nice guy. Anyway, now that I’ve defeated their all-powerful champion, I don’t think the Skrall will be attacking again anytime soon.