The Xena Scrolls
By: Gabrielle Bard of Potedia
Scroll#29: The Giant Killer
January, 47 B.C.
I sing of David the warrior poet of Isreal. His courage shown on the battlefield, his gentle nature within his home. David’s truest passion was in his psalms, and within all that he did. All that had been done had been done for the love of his family and of his god. Upon twilight’s eyes Xena and Gabrielle walked through death’s shadows within the open graveyard of the mighty giants. Xena whispered within the echoes of her life and of its past. She sung of a great battle in which she had fallen. Yet in this battle she had been rescued by a brave and noble friend.
Xena’s army had gone up against an army of giants and it had been mauled by their strengths and power. The commander of the army of giants was Gareth and there was not one soul that he would spareth. Not even the souls of the innocent were safe from his wrath and so Xena’s noble friend Golliath paid a price. He paid it with his own sacrifice. For Gareth had delivered Golliath’s family into the hands of death. Distraught by his terrible loss Golliath took command of Xena’s army for the warrior princess was too wounded to continue on. He charged forth toward Gareth, but Gareth would not stand. Gareth’s cowardice would not face Golliath’s vengence so he sent his own soldiers into this valley of death. After Golliath had taken the remainder of Xena’s army they defeated the giants of Gareth. Then before vegence could strike the cowardly Gareth fled leaving a graveyard strewn with slain giants forever resting in death.
As Xena continued on forth Gabrielle feared the darkness of what they were about to explore. The giants graveyard was a littered sight. It was full of bones, and the agonies of ten years past. Xena and her friend Golliath had promised that they would return here. To honor all who had fallen and sacrificed their lives. Xena felt she owed a great debt to her friend for he had lost his family as he had rescued her from death. They had been innocent victims caught in the crossing blades. Golliath’s loving heart and kind bravery had been stolen as had his family.
The warrior princess then knelt down to mourn and to pay her respects. Gabrielle still uneasy treaded carefully through the sight. Suddenly the bard’s worst imagined fears came to pass. She looked out across the path and saw something that made her gasp. The ground shook beneath her tiny boots as she tried to warn Xena of the approaching danger. It was the imfamous giant from Xena’s past. Yet Xena did not appear worried or inclined to act. Instead she waited as the giant approached. He stood proud and tall before the tiny mortals below. When the giant stopped he smiled and welcomed the sight of his old friend. This giant was not Gareth as Gabrielle had suspected, but Golliath the savior of the warrior princess. Although Xena had introduced her friends to one another with pride Gabrielle found herself unable to oblidge. She decided that she would head off into the woods beyond feeling that her life would be less in danger there.
And so the two old friends were left to catch up alone while the bard thought aloud to herself. She was still so uneasy about the cryptic nature of her friend even when it came from within. Despite Xena having told her entire story she failed to mention that Golliath was just as large as the true enemy. Yet the bard’s loud thoughts were interrupted by an unexpected confrontation. She found herself confronted by the commander of the army of Philistine. He threatened her for her tresspass with his sword. But the bard warned that she was not alone. Her warning was more for the sake of the enemy than for the defense of her own safety. Yet the leader did not heed the warning. Instead he laughed in the face of the innocent acusing the bard of befriending the bush. Suddenly he raised his weapon for attack as Gabrielle readied her trusty staff.
Then there he was a handsome man. Who demonstrated his willingness to take a stand. He had been one of the captives traveling with the Philistine group for crimes the bard could not understand. Another of the captives shouted out his name as David plunged forward bravely to protect the bard from harm. Yet he was struck down violently by the spear of Daygon the leader of the Philistines. Gabrielle found herself determined to continue to stand against Daygon’s wrath. She challenged him to a fight, but all he could send to her was his spite. Suddenly the warrior princess appeared to defeat the newfound enemy. She began the battle rushing forth attacking the two advancing soldiers. Xena skillfully disarmed them jumping into the air then driving their spears into the ground. She finalized her move jumping into the air once more as she doubled her kicks to the faces of the enemy.
Gabrielle fearlessly went into combat against the leader. She despised his act against the young handsome David. Gabrielle did not care what his crimes may have been for she could see within his eyes that he had no sin. To the bard’s surprise she held up against Daygon well, but soon lost the momentum against him. Daygon was stronger and more experienced as he knocked the bard from her feet. Xena came to Gabrielle’s aid instantly as she cut Daygon down using her superior warrior skill. He fell easily for the warrior princess, but was angered for he had been defeated by the warrior woman. Xena held her sword to his throat as he raged on about wasting money to pay a giant who was not worthy. And then the great Golliath appeared with a large smirk across his face. It was revealed that he had been working for Daygon for a large price. Yet he would not fight against an old friend despite what Daygon had been paying. Disgusted yet intrigued Daygon stood down with his men upon discovering the identity of the great warrior princess.
Soon the early morning twilight turned into the promise of a new day yet for David and the Isrealites the future seemed darker. Xena and Gabrielle watched as Daygon presecuted his prisnors for their accused misdeeds. Gabrielle could not tell who was in the right and who was in the wrong. It appeared as if theIsrealites had been stealing from the Philistines. Yet there was something in the eyes of the one they called David that led the bard to believe that there was much more to the story than what was being told. She watched as Daygon punished David for carrying a small leather weapon known as a sling. It appeared to be a harmless weapon, but Daygon insisted that it was highly dangerous if used by one who knew how to harness its wrath.
As David tried to sooth Daygon’s rage against himself and against his people another young man spoke up. He declared that he was John the eldest son of King Saul of Isreal. Daygon’s anger shifted toward his bold interruption as he continued to demonstrate his power over the Isrealites. Then Daygon commanded that his prisinors be taken into the prison. The Philistine guard was unkind as they roughly escorted their captures to their cells. It was clear to Gabrielle that even Xena was suspicious of Dagyon’s actions. She too had seen the truth in the eyes of the innocent and the accused. Xena pleaded with the Philistine guard to be sure that they bandaged the wounded head of the young David. Her sypmathy for him was obvious.
And then as the prisinors were whisked away Daygon cunningly approached the warrior princess. He invited her to dine with him for midday feast. Daygon was preparing to win her support. During the feast Xena and Gabrielle sat before him as he gorged himself with countless chicken legs, fruits, and fresh grains. He drank as he spoke of his turbulant encounters with the Isrealites. Daygon proclaimed that the Isrealites had been stealing from him and had been invading the Philistine lands. He made it known that it was his people that had turned a dessert into a flourishing land of riches. When Xena asked him why the Isrealites would steal from him he proclaimed it had been because all of their lifestock had perished. Daygon blamed his rivals for their irresponsibility in handling their own riches. Yet Xena and Gabrielle were not so certain that all that was being said rang true. They suspected that maybe Daygon had actually poisoned their lifestock hoping to force his rival into slavery. The choices for Isreal’s people were simple. They could hunt upon Philistine lands and risk capture into slavery or they could starve to death.
Gabrielle did not like what she was hearing as she quietly began to steal Daygon’s riches. She carefully took one apple, then two as she slid them into her leather scroll bag. Then she went for the bread just resting upon the edge of the table. Xena did not touch one bite of food as she continued interrogating with caution sensing what the bard was planning to do. Finally the conversation had ended as Daygon’s gluttony ceased to his greed. He wanted to profit from the people of Isreal and control them if he could. And so Xena and Gabrielle left his tent as they conferred with one another in secrecy. Xena agreed with her friend that she and Golliath needed to talk about his misleading employer. Golliath was too kind hearted to be working for the petty dinars that Daygon was paying him. Xena and Gabrielle were hopeful that they could sway him to fight on the side of the Isrealites.
As Xena seeked out Golliath Gabrielle could not resist the intriguing David. She went to the dungeon that held him and his people hoping to gain his trust. Gabrielle had noticed before that David and his people had already judged the warrior princess. Once again her dark past had come back to haunt her. People still did not believe in Xena’s goodness. But Gabrielle was certain that she could help turn the tables. When she entered into the prison she noticed that David and his people were digging a secret escape tunnel. Yet it wasn’t a very good plan for it was quite noticeable. Even the bard could see the truth. David approached the bars to greet his unexpected visitor though he seemed unwilling to accept her help. She revealed to him the food she had taken from the feast and passed it onto those who were with hunger. This lightened the moment between the bard and the brave.
As Gabrielle tried to ease his distrust of the warrior princess he would not see the light. Instead David spoke of how he knew all about the deeds of the evil Xena. He spoke of a Xena Gabrielle had never known. Then he told the bard that he himself had written of her exploits which struck her deep within. Gabrielle found herself fluttering with excitement for he was brave, handsome, and a bard. They seemed to share so much already. Gabrielle felt compelled to get to know him. Then he told the bard that she could never understand his problems for he only wrote them as pslams. Yet Gabrielle was very educated in the many styles and works of great bards. She knew that psalms were religious poems which made David’s heart even more attractive to her. He was just the kind of companion she seeked. David was someone who could understand her in a way that not even Xena could. Gabrielle then told of her own craft with great confidence and pride. David then encouraged her to write a story that would heed the escape of he and his people.
The bard had a wonderful story in mind, but she was certain that David would not approve. Her story spoke of the heroic exploits of a warrior princess who would save him and his people from his pain and suffering. Yet as they shared this small moment of connection they were interrupted as the Philistine guard barged in. They quickly denounced the Isrealites for their feeble attempt at escape. The punishment for this crime was worse than the punishment for survival. Death to David and the Isrealites was the punishment for their attempt at freedom. Gabrielle now knew what she must do. And so she prepared to take another stand.
As Daygon and his men brought the accused forth toward their execution Garbrielle had an idea. She would try to use her words to fight against these absurd crimes which the Isrealites had been accused of. Gabrielle pleaded with Daygon to let them go taking responsibility for their attempts to escape. She was instantly forgiven for her own involvement with the prisnors despite her having stolen Dagyon’s food to give to the accused. Gabrielle thought that maybe there was a small chance now since Daygon would not punish her for her own crimes against him. She then pleaded for Daygon’s heart to let the people of Isreal go free. Without hesitation Daygon proclaimed that he could not ever forgive the attempts of their escape. Instead he decided that he would humor the young bard. He told her that he would pardon all, but one. They would stay prisinors, but that he would only take the life of the small one. Daygon was speaking of the young David. His men quickly rounded up their victim and escorted him toward the executioner. John the eldest of the brothers pleaded to take David’s place, but his pleas fell upon deaf ears.
David struggled to break free, but could not for the strength of the darkness which held him. Gabrielle was in disbelief for the situation was beyond her control. Without Xena she could not fight against the Philistine army, but she desparately searched her mind still for a solution to this problem. Suddenly as she watched the men shove David’s head upon the block she jumped forth speaking once more. Gabrielle stepped courageously upon the platform where the execution was to take place and placed herself upon David. She had used this plan once before. The last time she had saved an accused it was Xena who was reckoning with her past demons though she had been innocent of murder. Gabrielle was certain that if she declared the words of murder stacked against the innocently accused that she would be able to buy David enough time for Xena’s return.
Yet this time was different. As David pleaded with Gabrielle to leave him she refused. She was certain that things would be okay. But instead of the wise judgement of the law presiding victory it was the greedy desires of Daygon that declared that murdering two would be no problem. He did not care if David was innocent or guilty. Daygon wanted blood and he wanted power. The Philistine leader was willing to take the life of the bard as well. He gave the command to the executioner to proceed as he laughed amused at the fatal mistake made by Gabrielle. Gabrielle was now beyond control. There was little she could do as the executioners pulled down the binds sending the two innocent souls toward death.
The bard’s heart pounded wildly as her mind desparately tried to think of a last minute reprieve, but nothing seemingly came to mind. Then just as the ax was about to come down upon the innocent the crisp sound of the chackram could be heard whisping through the air toward the hands of death. It suddenly decapitated the head of the ax which nearly befell upon the innocent. Instead it cut through death into life catching all who witnessed it by complete surprise. Not one person Philistine or Isrealite expected the warrior princess’s arrival. The chackram did not stop with the separation of the murder weapon. It continued on its path knocking down the executioner, terrorizing the men of the Philistine army and finally it cut through the ropes freeing Gabrielle and David to fight another day.
The bard quickly rolled into action as she grabbed another ax to free David from his own binds. Then she broke off the sharp edge and used the ax as a staff. David quickly jumped into battle rushing to take out the Philistine guards and to free his people from their binds. Xena sat upon Argo surveying the situation calmly not jumping in to fight. She watched as Gabrielle battled against the enemy and the Isrealites began to take up arms against those who suppressed them. Then the warrior princess retrieved her mighty chackram once again and flipped down upon the ground drawing her sword for battle against Daygon and his men. She sent the first soldier violently crashing into a feasting table.
Gabrielle continued to fight with her new staff quicker and more agile than in any battle before this. Her confidence raced through her as she fought through one, then two, and then a third Philistine soldier. As the warrior princess and the battling bard held off the Philistine army David and his brother John prepared for escape as the Isrealites freed took the horses and the weapons of their enemies. Just as David was about to command his people to escape he caught sight of John struggling against Daygon. Daygon was about to take John’s life in the heat of battle when David intervened. He saved the future leader of his people as Xena gave the command for all to get up onto the horses to escape. David and his people quickly heeded Xena’s command as Gabrielle rushed to rejoin Xena and Argo.
Xena quickly hopped upon Argo and awaited Gabrielle’s arrival. She then pulled the bard upon her horse as they followed the Isrealites to freedom. Gabrielle’s spirit soared with confidence and with energy for she had helped to write the story that she had spoken of which would save David and his people. And when then finally reached the kingdom of the Isrealites Xena and Gabrielle were introduced to King Solomon. Solomon was grateful after hearing from David how his sons and his people had successfully escaped. There was great joy within their land for they were preparing to defeat their enemies once and for all. And David then complemented Gabrielle for her brilliant story now knowing that the warrior princess was not of the darkness.
Soon Gabrielle found herself helping the house doctor tend to David’s small wounds. She had noticed back at the battle that when Daygon had summoned Golliath to come out and fight that Golliath had not come. The bard was certain that Xena had succeeded in convincing Golliath to swith side, but soon she was to find out from the warrior princess that Golliath was still against them. When Xena had spoken with her friend she had expressed her displeasure with what he was doing for Daygon and the Phillistines. Golliath had defended his actions reminding Xena of his reasons for working with the Phillistines. He had lost his family ten summers before and he had vowed to hunt down and execute the one responsible. Golliath was willing to sacrifice anything including his soul to gain his revenge against Gareth. Soon Golliath would have enough money from the Phillistines to complete his mission to seak out and find his enemy. Xena realized that vegence had eaten away at her friend so deeply that he would never make the right choice no matter the consequences. Golliath accused Xena of going against him for not fighting alongside him. She had reminded him that she owed him only her own life and not the lives of the Isrealites.
And so it was to be that Xena would have to fight an old friend. She and John were going over their battle plans. John’s scouts had relayed to him that Golliath and the Phillistines had taken out two of their outposts already. The enemy was heading straight for their kingdom. It was clear that the Phillistines would win the battle with a giant on their side. Yet Xena had a plan. She suggested that there be a contest. The warrior princess declared that it would be a battle of one against another. She declared that she would volunteer to fight against Golliath in a duel to the death. Whomever the victor was would be the winner of the lands. John and David were not so certain that Xena’s plan was a good one. David reminded Xena that Golliath was her friend. Gabrielle could see the seriousness of the warrior princess’s tone. She could see that the warrior princess did not really want to go up against her friend.
Then John objected to the idea declaring that anyone going up against a giant in a one on one battle was certain to be going into a suicide mission. Gabrielle could see without being an expert that John was right, but Xena knew more than the commander of the Isrealites. She knew of only one way to kill a giant. The warrior princess then gravely picked up an empty skull lying upon a table and demonstrated the blind spot that all giants have. It was located just above the bridge of the nose upon the giants forehead. Xena declared that if one could deliver a strong blow to the soft spot that the battle would be one and that the giant would be killed. And then the conversation ended. No one could argue with Xena’s decision for it was the only way to ensure the freedom and the future prosperity of the Isrealites.
Gabrielle found herself intrigued by David despite the difficult decision that the warrior princess had been faced with. She followed him with a bowl of soup hoping to find out more about him. When Gabrielle finally found him she caught him writing more of his psalms. It fascinated the bard even more and she wanted to hear from him. Though he had a large gash upon his forehead from the battle Gabrielle was still mezmorized by his beauty. His soul was radiant like hers and to be around him felt wonderful for the bard. He was full of a mysterious strength and commitment. All that he did was done unselfishly and it was amazing. As he wrote she set down the bowl of soup asking him to read his story to her. Yet David refused to read his current psalm to her. He told her that his stories were not of greatness.
Gabrielle found this intriguing that he was so modest. She urged him once more to read her his new psalms. The bard pleaded with him with her persuasive words expressing to him that all stories are meant to be told no matter the skill of the bard. Every bard is unique and has a unique view of life. She wanted desparately to view life through the eyes of David. And so David finally surrendered to her. He told her that his psalms were of the battle that they had just fought and of his brother John’s exploits. Gabrielle found herself dissapointed that David was writing his psalm about John when he had been the one who had saved John’s life. It was David whom Gabrielle had seen lead his people fearlessly with great skill and courage. This didn’t seem fair to the bard that John would get all of the credit in this psalm. David reminded Gabrielle that it was John who would be Isreal’s future king. He defended John’s weakness in battle declaring that John would have saved his life if the situation had been reversed. Yet Gabrielle had made up her mind in that moment. She had decided that if David would not write his pslams with pride then she would write hers of David.
In that moment she began to sing to David the opening lines of his story. The verse came to her with passion and with love in her heart. Gabrielle’s voice was soft and soothing as she continued hoping to win the heart of the warrior poet. As she finished her first spontaneous verse she looked deeply into David’s eyes. The bard could see that he was fascinated by her story so far. She had him captivated and hoped desparately that she would not have to continue on for what she wanted was a special moment to share. Gabrielle prepared for David to reach over to kiss her softly certain that he felt the same within his heart as she had been feeling toward him. Yet just before the moment was about to unfold the tender silence was broken when the lovely and beautiful young Sarah entered.
She had come to tend to David and Gabrielle felt a certain sense of jealousy coming over her as she stood with David to greet Sarah. Then David smiled for he seemed happy to see Sarah. He then introduced Sarah and Gabrielle to one another. Suddenly the bard realized that she had been a fool for David then revealed the heart breaking detail. Sarah was his wife to be. They were planning to wed in the following spring. The bard felt true embarressment within knowing that it was no secret to the warrior poet that she was in love with him. Yet he was a gentlemen and did not make a scene. He was honest and pure just the way she had felt that he would be. Gabrielle could not allow herself to come between the two young people. She realized that she had to let go of that pang within her heart. It seemed cruel that cupid would play such a trick upon her. The bard only hoped that the poison of love’s arrow would wear off soon.
Gabrielle tactfully exited the situation suggesting that Xena must be looking for her. As she left the room her embarressment peaked as she beat herself up inside over her terrible mistake. The bard was so upset that she hoped to share her embarressing mistake with Xena, but when she found the warrior princess she saw that Xena’s issue was even greater. It was a pain more than love’s disappointment. Xena was standing before an open window in the darkness alone. The bard could see the light wind blowing through grasping Xena’s hair gently. Yet Xena seemed unaware of this. Instead she was staring off into an abyss of lonliness. Gabrielle hoped that she could comfort her friend knowing what Xena was about to do. There was a night storm raging in the distance. It was as if it foreshadowed the raging battle that was to take place on the next day with Xena and Golliath.
The bard broke the silence asking if it was the distanct thunder which kept Xena awake. She knew that it was more than that. Xena then turned to her friend with great sadness and regret within her eyes. She reminded the bard of the story of the battle of ten years past. Xena told Gabrielle of how Golliath had been too stubborn to stay back when Gareth had caught them off guard. Instead he had stayed beside her leaving her with a debt that she could never repay. Her debt was simple. The lives of his wife and children had paid for Xena’s life. Xena was feeling great guilt and sorrow feeling it was wrong to kill her friend that she owed so much to. Gabrielle could see it was tearing Xena’s heart apart. This choice between knowing what was right and what was just. Xena had already chosen justice over what she felt was right, but there still seemed to be something wrong.
Gabrielle knew that she could not take away Xena’s pain no matter how much her heart desired to. Then did the only thing she could think to do. She took Xena’s hand into hers hoping to give her friend strength though she could not give her the wisdom. And so the two friends journeyed together into the uncertainty of the next sun. As the sun reached the high point in the sky the Phillistine army arrived over the valley in a large mass. They chanted the name of Golliath yet Golliath was not with them. Daygon was at the head as he commanded them into their formation. Then he smirked at the Isrealites at the gates of their city and took out his horn to call for Golliath.
Xena was hopeful that he would not come, but her hope was replaced with the sounds of the earth shaking beneath. As Xena prepared for Golliath’s arrival David put a comforting hand upon Gabrielle’s shoulder. It was the hope that she needed to help Xena face this terrible trial of faith. Xena then looked to David asking that his people be prepared to do battle. John took Xena’s command and prepared the men. It was obvious to the bard that even Xena knew who the real leader was though John was the future. As all watched Golliath approach the gates the worst had been revealed. Golliath had not come to fight fair as the Phillistines were not about to fight fair. He came armed with a protective helmet so that Xena would not be able to strike the soft spot.
Then he laughed as Xena approached him. Her plan would have to change quickly for there was no way that even the warrior princess could defeat a giant with these odds. Then Golliath made the first move. He swept his mighty hands across the stone gates knocking them down effortlessly. As the rocks fell all about the warrior princess she turned to flee Golliath’s wrath. Gabrielle could see his poisoned vengeful heart. She knew very well how vengence could poison the soul. Though Golliath had been Xena’s friend and saved her life he was now a blood thirsty killer. He charged forward shaking the ground with every step. Though he was big and powerful he was not quick. The warrior princess flipped and rolled to dodge his advances.
Then she rose to her feet to face him as she drew her sword. Xena tried to entice him into making a mistake by taunting him, but was unsuccessful. Instead it only enraged a vengeful heart more as the giant created a path of destruction through the Isrealite town. Suddenly it was obvious that it was a trap as Daygon gave the command for his army to charge the gates behind Golliath. The Phillistines stormed the town as David and his people fought to defend themselves. Gabrielle fought alongside David as she knocked two approaching soliders with her staff. They rushed her unsuccessfully as David fought two more approching enemies. John approached the front lines only to find himself within the path of the giant. Golliath did not spare him of his ignorance as he picked up a wagon and smashed it down upon the victim.
The warrior princess then threw out her chackram to hold off the lines of the Phillistine army knowing that the Isrealites had to regroup. There was no way that they would leave this battle alive unless they retreated in the moment for their future king was badly wounded now. Xena gave the command to the officers of the Isrealite forces as they took up their commander from his resting place underneath the wagon. David helped to gather the remaining people within the kingdom including his father Solomon. Gabrielle followed along with them as they escaped to the caves in hiding. Xena was left behind with Golliath who was determined to end this conflict between himself and his old friend. He had taken out the Isrealites commander and now he was going to be certain to complete his mission to Daygon.
Just before Golliath was about to strike Xena hid within the market area. She waited for Golliath to approach. He declared that she show herself and when she did he was greeted by a large bag of salt in the eyes. This allowed Xena to escape and to rejoin the Isrealites. Yet the situation seemed very grim now for who would take John’s place to lead the people of Isreal? The news was broken to king Solomon of his eldest son’s death. There was nothing that could be done to repair his wounds. The old king wept silently for his loss as the warrior princess found herself in a deeper despair than before. Not only had she led the Isrealites into their failure, but her friendship with Golliath was forever lost. Gabrielle followed her friend to the next victim as Xena tried to push away the stresses of the mind and of the heart. Gabrielle realized that Xena felt as if she should just give up for she did not know what to do. The bard knew that she had to give Xena more strength. She then reminded Xena of their delemma. Golliath would never be defeated as long as he wore the helmet.
The warrior princess was seemingly irritated that Gabrielle would not let the battle go. She suggested that they just make sure that Golliath took his helmet off during their next encounter. Gabrielle found herself increasingly frustrated at the warrior princess yet she continued. She asked Xena if it was certain that even with the helmet off that the giant could be killed with a single blow to the forehead. Xena held steady on that claim, but she made a declaration. She said that she would not do it. Gabrielle realized that her friend was upset at being at odds with Golliath, but there was seemingly no other choice. The bard had seen the vengeful heart of Golliath and it had to be stopped no matter the cost. Yet Xena explained that it wasn’t her feelings about her friendship with Golliath that had driven her to this new decision. She reminded Gabrielle of how the Isrealites were led by John. Now that their leader had been taken from them it would not matter if she killed Golliath. For if she killed Golliath and left them they would still be in ruin. Xena explained to the bard that the Isrealites needed a new leader. This was the reason that she would not be the one to take Golliath down.
Suddenly the unexpected happened. David approached Xena asking to speak with her on a serious matter. Xena seemed relieved that the young warrior poet had stepped forward. She had planned on him to take the place of John, but David had already made the decision without Xena. He declared that his people needed a new leader and that he would be the one to step up. David also realized what taking the leadership role meant. It meant that he would have to be the one to kill Golliath and he accepted the responsibility with great courage and strength. And then both Xena and Gabrielle knew that the warrior poet was ready to take control.
Later that night Xena tried one last time to meet with Golliath in the sacred graveyard of the giants. She hoped to save his life, and their friendship. And she hoped to save the Isrealites. In the darkness Golliath stood still wounded deeply by the pain of his loss of long ago. He could not let go of the vengence in his heart though he was able to forgive Xena knowing that her choice had been right. The two exchanged good-byes knowing that one of them would die. Golliath was unaware that he would not be meeting Xena on the next day, but someone else.
Gabrielle was summoned by David to the supply room where she found him preparing for his greatest battle. There before her she watched him swing his little weapon which he called the sling. Gabrielle broke the silence with David though she was uncomfortable with his presence. She was still embarressed by her actions on the night before upon meeting David’s betrothed. Gabrielle was uncertain of why David had wanted to see her. She was afraid of what he had to say. David was curious as to why Gabrielle had been avoiding him. When she tried to tread softly upon the new knowlege of his betrothed David put her at ease taking responsibility for not telling her about Sarah. He declared that he loved Sarah and that she was a good woman. Gabrielle was glad for them though she had hoped that David would be with her. David recognized Gabrielle’s innocent feelings for him knowing that they had much in common. The warrior poet then asked Gabrielle for her friendship though he could give her nothing more. Gabrielle found herself comfortable with that now knowing that his path was not hers. He had a people to lead into a future and she had to finish her story of the warrior princess.
Of course Gabrielle now passed the uncomfortable feelings she became critical. She was not so certain that the little leather pouch with a stone in it would take down Golliath. David again prepared to put her at ease for he declared that one only needed faith in God to believe in their future. Gabrielle stated that she was unfamiliar with the idea of there being only one God. She had never seen him, or touched him, or known him. Only Zues, Hera, and the other gods were familiar to her. Yet David explained that it was okay that she was not comfortable with his god. He declared that his god was even more special and more powerful than any of the gods that Gabrielle had ever known. David spoke of his god as being the ultimate power like a shepard caring for his sheep. The bard was intrigued yet confused for her uncertainty prevailed. She wasn’t sure that she would ever be able to understand the god that David worhsiped. Yet she was certain that He must be special. For if one god could give one young man the faith and the strength of David then His goodness must be endless.
Then David revealed his true reason for summoning Gabrielle. He wanted to share with her his psalms knowing that he was willingly walking into the darkness. David handed Gabrielle one of his psalms certain that she would share it with many. He was not afraid to be called into death if his god willed it to be. David then commended Gabrielle for her observation of the story for she had been right. Stories must be shared and his psalms were no acception. Gabrielle found herself flattered to be given this awesome responsibility. He was giving her his psalms to share with all. Gabrielle wanted to be certain that she could recite his pslams correctly so she asked him if he would read them to her before she left. David understood her request and the importance of it so he took his scroll and prepared to recite it. Yet before he began he had decided instead to recite to her spontaneously the way she had done for him before. He stated that it had just come to him the moment before Gabrielle had entered. David then began reciting his psalm numbered twenty and three beautiful as a tender song.
“The lord is my shepard I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures. He leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul. He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Yeah, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death…I shall fear no evil. For thou art with me. Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest the table of nourishment for me in the face of my enemies. Thou hast welcomed me as thy guest. For your blessings..they overflow. Your goodness and unfailing kindness shall be with me through life. And afterwards I shall live with you…forever in your home.”
The bard found herself enthralled and enchanted by the beautiful psalm as the warrior poet recited. She felt as if she were facing his god through the eyes of the poet himself. And then she knew what it was that she had felt before. It was the love of David’s god that had emenanted through him that had touched her own heart. Gabrielle knew that this moment with the warrior poet was a special one for she began to feel the courage and the strength of David as he recited the words from his heart. It was in his heart that his god lived and breathed. The heart of the warrior poet was where power resided and so the bard understood the god of the Isrealites.
On the next day all were ready. The army of Isreal stood before their homeland preparing to reclaim what had been given to them by their god. Xena walked down the lines in command overseeing the duties as the leader prepared for his battle against the giant. David and Xena had come up with a plan to get Golliath to remove his helmet. There was only one problem. The weather had to be perfect for their plan to succeed. On this day it was cloudy and the sun did not shine. Xena stepped forth and spoke to David asking him to speak about this to the devine. David nodded his head as he bowed it down. Gabrielle could see that he was speaking to his god. Then the silence was broken by the sounds of the roaring horn. The Phillistines summoned the giant to protect what they had stolen.
Golliath stepped forward prepared wearing his helmet and carrying a giant sword. He was certain to take down the warrior princess this time yet he was unaware that he would not be fighting her. Golliath snickered for a moment knowing that he was too powerful to be defeated now. Then the new leader of Isreal stood forth. He did not wear any armor, and he carried only a leather sling. He reached into his belt as he approached the giant and took out a stone the size of a fist. David placed it carefully into his sling and began to swing the weapon. It seemed to take an eternity to gather the energy needed to be powerful. Yet David was patient as he concentrated. But Golliath then let out deep laughter from the pit of his giant stomach. The giant was not afraid in the face of David.
Instead Golliath raised his mighty sword and began to attack David who stood barely tall enough to reach his knee. David dodged each swing of the sword still concentrating on his weapon. He thrust his first stone straight into the giant’s chest and got little more than another giant laugh from his enemy. Then Golliath had decided that he was going to end this once and for all. He began to swing his sowrd more rapidly slicing through the muddy ground. David ran through the giant muscular legs of Golliath preparing to shoot a second time at the giant. Golliath turned about to face David nearly being hit in the face by the flying stone. David had only one more stone left to try. If he did not succeed this time he would surely die.
Again he was patient and brave preparing his third and final stone for its journey. Just as the giant prepared to strike back something amazing happened. Suddenly the clouds began to clear and the sun began to shine brilliantly as if everyone would be blinded by its light. In that moment Xena gave the command to the Isrealites to hold up their mighty golden shields. The people of Isreal held up their shields deflecting the sun’s rays into Golliath’s eyes exposing the giant soft spot. Golliath was confused and unable to move. He could not see and then he took off his helmet as David hurled his last stone into the air. It flew gracefully toward the giant and hit its mark perfectly.
Golliath took the blow and began to scream within his physical pain. He fell backward dropping to his knees as his sowrd fell to the ground. Xena felt his pain and wished to comfort her old friend, but it was too late for him. He had made his choice before going into this final battle. The bard knew that Xena had done the right thing. And so as the giant fell to the ground defeated the Isrealites followed their leader David into battle against the Phillistines. They fought passionately with their faith for their victory would be certain now. And Daygon soon found himself retreating in anger for he had been defeated by the warrior poet. The people of Isreal rejoiced honoring their new leader for his courage and his faith.
Though there was celebration there was also defeat. For the loving husband and friend of the warrior princess pain prevailed. His choice to follow a path of vegence had led him into his death. As he lied on the ground he pleaded with his friend for comfort. He asked what of Gareth and of a place beyond earth. Xena comforted her friend the only way she knew how. She told him that his war was over for vegence no longer matter. All that was important now was that he could rejoin his family in peace beyond life. Golliath looked to his friend and accepted her comforting words. He struggled to smile softly knowing that she was true and that it would be alright. And then the giant collapsed his head upon the ground. His last breath had come to pass. Gabrielle could see that Xena was upset though she had been a good friend even in death.
David had spared Xena the responsibility to the greater good. He had taken the responsibility himself through his undying faith in his god. His god had indeed delivered him and blessed him with great things. Gabrielle was certain that the kingdom of Isreal would flourish for many years to come. And the warrior poet would be writing his psalms reciting them and sharing with all.