Ducks Gameday -- Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back

Anaheim Ducks (2-4-1) at Philadelphia Flyers (2-2-1), 4 pm
Anaheim Calling and Broad Street Hockey -- you must obey your master.

(Author's note: just like last episode, this got out of control quickly -- beware: severe corniness ahead.)

Not long from now in an arena far, far away...

It is a dark time for the Duck Rebellion.  Troops from the Eastern Time
Zone Empire have driven the Rebel forces from their hidden base and
pursued them across the galaxy.

Evading the dreaded Imperial NBC Starfleet, a group of freedom fighters
led by Cam Puckmover has established a new secret base on the
remote world of Sunbelt.

The evil lord Darth Pronger, obsessed with finding young Puckmover,
has dispatched thousands of hockey scouts into the far arenas of space...

Cut to: the icy world of Sunbelt, a planet far from the heart of the Eastern Empire.  A young Cam Puckmover has just finished scouting the area for signs of life -- it's a wasteland, as far as he can see.  However, Cam doesn't spot the Doan Ice Creature quickly closing in behind him -- he is blindsided by its ferocious attack.

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Fortunately, the Doan Ice Creature is captured because of an unrelated sex crime, but Cam is injured -- his nose is broken, and he can only lay on the ground, stunned.  In his daze, Cam sees an image of his old mentor, Obi-wan Niedermayer, who instructs him on his next move.

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Cam survives the attack (sadly, his Lupul had to be sacrificed), but as he is in recovery the Eastern Time Zone Empire closes in for its attack.  The NBC starships move in to trap the Duck rebels, but they make a tactical scheduling mistake.  The rebels are alerted to the Empire's attack and are able to apply regional blackouts, which angers Darth Pronger to no end.

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Still, the Empire's land attack presses on -- the rebels scramble to evacuate and agree to rendezvous at the remote Syracuse Crunch station, where Princess Luca has been re-assigned.

Getz Solo and his first mate Georgebacca are in the middle of repairing the Honda Falcon when the Empire's attack hits.  The Honda Falcon is mostly operational, but most of the food upgrades required for warp speed are not yet fully installed.  In the chaos of the Empire's attack, Princess Luca and Teemu PO are forced to escape with them in the battered ship.

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In an effort to escape the Empire's pursuers, Getz decides to navigate through a tricky CBA asterisk field.  Teemu PO, having signed an over-35 contract, tries to warn Getz about the risks involved, but the headstrong captain won't hear of it -- he knows the Empire would be fools to follow them in.

The Empire does pursue, though, except for Darth Pronger's ship -- he takes it out of CBA range to communicate with the mysteriously-hooded Eastern Time Zone Emperor.  The Emperor has sensed the young Cam Puckmover's impressive abilities, and is alarmed at what it might mean for hockey on the west coast.

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At this very moment, however, Cam Puckmover is lost in the Slovakia system, along with his faithful Finn Saku D2.  They crash-land their Wild Wing into a swamp before stumbling upon a minuscule elf with an adorably poor handle on the English language -- Master Lubo.

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Lubo is a veteran of many defensive battles, and he begins to instruct Cam about the offensive potential that exists between all living things.. center, winger, defensive partner, the boards.  It is a lot to take in for the young Puckmover, but under Master Lubo's tutelage, he feels his offensive instincts steadily improving.

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Back out in the CBA asterisk field, the Honda Falcon takes refuge in a cave for more emergency repairs, while Teemu PO attempts to translate Finnish for Getz.  It's no cave, though -- they are in the belly of a giant Bettman worm, and they only barely circumvent his cost certainty.

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Still without warp drive, Getz Solo decides to turn to an old friend -- "a real douchebag; you'd like him" -- Perry Calrissian , who is doing business in the nearby Crease City, but hasn't been speaking with Getz in years.  Luca wonders, "Can we trust him?"   "No,", Getz admits, "But he has no love for the eastern conference, that's for sure."  When they land, tensions are high for a few moments, but then Getz and Perry seem to hit it off like old friends.

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The old comrades exchange some playful banter: "Hey, what have you done to my Arrowhead Falcon?"  "You mean my Honda Falcon -- I renamed her fair and square, remember?"  Perry tells Getz that he is now a legitimate businessman, running a crease-crashing operation on the planet below Crease City.  It is only too late that Getz realizes that Perry is stalling; he has already sold them out to Darth Pronger, along with the notorious bounty hunter Boba Fechkin.

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With Imperial forces throughout Crease City, Teemu PO panics and accidentally injures himself with his own skateblade.  Fortunately for Teemu, Georgebacca went to Princeton, so the Wookiee is able to begin a rehabilitation process.  Unfortunately for Teemu, Georgebacca doesn't speak any Finnish -- repairs go awry and Teemu is put on the LTIR.

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Darth Pronger's trap is set -- he plans to capture young Cam Puckmover in captainite, a process that causes one to freeze up in road games.  First he decides to test the freezing process on Getz Solo, though, and it works as intended -- Getz is alive, but unable to produce any points on road trips.  Princess Luca and Georgebacca are devastated.  Boba Fechkin takes Solo's frozen body for delivery to Chara the Hutt.

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Back on Slovakia, Cam senses his teammates are in danger and decides to rush off to help them, even if it means walking in to Darth Pronger's trap.  Master Lubo is dismayed -- Cam certainly has talent, but he is not ready to take on Darth Pronger yet.  Even Obi-Wan Niedermayer's ghost returns to try to dissuade Cam's plan.

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Cam goes to Crease City despite his master's protests, and Darth Pronger is waiting for him -- Cam avoids the captainite trap, but Darth Pronger's experience outflanks his raw talent.  In the stick saber battle, Pronger lays a vicious slash across Cam's wrist and cuts off his hand -- just like with the Doan Ice Creature, Cam is once again bloodied and beaten. 

With his opponent cornered and (literally) disarmed, Darth Pronger gives Cam a final offer and a shocking revelation.

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"No.  I am your forefather." 

Cam is stunned -- could this intergalactic Eastern Time Zone terror really began as a west-coast Duck just like himself?  Once free agency provided an opportunity, could Cam become a Darth Fowler too?  The sudden awareness of his own dark potential tears him up inside.

Suddenly, Cam's anguished face turns calm.  He may have lost the one-on-one battle, but he has made his decision -- he turns his back on Darth Pronger's outstretched hand and hurls himself away from the dark menace.  As his life begins to slip away, he weakly cries out for help.

"Luca... hear me."

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Prediction: Cam goes to Crease City to save his friends from Darth Pronger's evil forces, but in the end it is they who save him.  Goals by Perry Calrissian, Saku D2, Teemu PO, and Georgebacca.  Master Lubo gives Cam a lesson with three assists.

Go Ducks.

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