The Big Game

"The Big Day is finally here! An ENORMOUS crowd has gathered from though out this part of the galaxy to see the big showdown for the first annual MAIN EVENT! Hi, I'm Mara Radick, reporting LIVE on this BIG EVENT for the Ewok News Network! I'll be your host today for the Big GAME, and I'll be providing interviews before and after as well as commentary and play by play achievements made by the players in tonight's GAME! For those of you just joining us, we are at the Championship Competition between the lawful government team, Galactic Imps, and the rebellious team, New Republic Rebs. The GAME is sponsored by our friendly neighbors at GL, TCS, and AMA. Each of our sponsers will provide one referee to tonight's event."

"The GAME consists of a great frenzy of activities on our thousand square meter playing field located on the luxurious planet of Sullust. Two White Power Balls begin in the center of the playing arena. At each end of the field is an ENDZONE which extends 50 meters out from the east and west sides. Each time a player brings a white power sphere into the endzone, his team scores a point. The power sphere then turns blue. At the back of each endzone is an 15w x10h meter goal. If the blue power sphere is brought into that goal, the offensive team scores an additional 3 points and the sphere turns red. In the back of the goal area, 8 meters off the ground, is a hoop. If red sphere successfully goes into the hoop, the offensive teams scores an additional 6 points. If at any time the offensive team makes a turnover, the power sphere dissipates, and reforms in the center of the playing arena. "

"Each team has up to 36 members on the field at a time. There are but two rules. No killing, and no hitting a man while he's down. The GAME is very competitive, and can become VERY violent. Parental discretion should be used before allowing a minor to view this event. "

Mara continued on, "In a moment, I'll be receiving personal interview from the Managers of our two teams, Ghent, and Ripper. Right now, we'll pause for a message from our sponsors."

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"Hi, I'm ENN Reporter, Mara Radick, and I'm here with the legendary Admiral Ghent, the manager of New Republic team. Welcome to the show, Ghent." "Hi." "Tell me, Ghent, how do you think your team will fare in today's big GAME? Throughout the season, the Imperial team has dogged the the whole way, except for the GAMEs at SluisVan, where you finally managed a victory?"

"Well, Ms. Radick, I have a lot of spirited players on my team. Our leadership is good, and we have a devoted staff of coaches working around the clock to put together an All-Star crew. My head coach, Vanor, and his lovely assistant, Diamond, have truly outdone themselves this year."

Mara added some news, "To our watchers, most teams are divided into squads of 12 members. This puts three squads per team on the playing field at a time. However, the game is divided into 4 quarters, and squads may only be substituted out at a quarter. Quarters last thirty minutes each. Please continue, Admiral Ghent."

"Thank you again, Mara. As I was saying, Vanor and Diamond have put together an excellent team for the final match. Currently, our Rogue and WarHammer squads are our strongest, with our Ace in the hole being EvilGrin. That man has truly shown talent this season, and will probably receive our MVP award this year. Another big bonus is the our new aquisition, Coyote, and the fact that the Imperial Team has lost one of their captains, Invader. This will be a great asset to our game. As is normal strategy, we're going to play Rogue and WarHammer squads to the first and last quarters. We've not yet decided which squad will support them. I'm going to review my numbers from our scrimmage with the TIE Alliance team, but, more than likely, one of the squadrons from Saber Wing will join them."

"Thank you very much, Ghent. Right now, we're going to break for another message from one of our sponsors. When we return, I'll be speaking with Emperor Ripper of the Galactic Empire on his view of the situation."

-----

A holonet image appears with Lando made up in his dress to impress outfits. "Hi, there! My name is Lando, and I'm here to tell you about what savings you can make when you deal with the Amalorian Mercenaries! All of our prices are now 20% off the sticker price! Give us a call ready to spend your credits! If you want it, we have it! Everything has a price! For more information, contact holonet service AMA-SAVE!

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"Welcome back, everyone. This is Mara Radick, and right now, I'm with His Imperial Majesty, Emperor Ripper. Emperor Ripper, you've had an amazing season this year. Your players have scored victory after victory in your Alpha Wing ever since the arrival of your new squad, Crimson NOVA. Tell me, Ripper, what's there secret?"

"Good afternoon citizens of the Empire! And hello to you, Ms, Radick. Yes, we've had an amazing string of victories on our last campaign of GAMES. Last season did not work out well for us. We had a slow start this campaign, as well, with the New Republic team scoring victories all the way to Byss. It was at Byss, however that I deployed my new squad, Crimson NOVA. Several members of Crimson NOVA have served some time in my elite Avenger Squadron. Aeropagitica, Elladan, and ()rion, their leader have had only the best of training that money can buy. CN's XO, Ajax, has been brought up by Rapier Squadron, my next most talented squadron. ()rion, aided by Archer and his elite Avengers, turned back the New Republic winning streak at Byss, and Crimson NOVA and Avenger Squadrons have not failed me yet."

"What about rumors of the Avenger squad breakup following tonight's BIG GAME, Emperor Ripper?"

"They are not rumors, Ms. Radick. In order to bring the quality of all my squadrons up, I'll be reassigning all Avenger members to other squads so that they may share what they have learned to the less experienced, for the Glory of the Empire!"

"Thank you, Ripper. Ghent has told us that EvilGrin is probably their strongest player. Do you have anyone who can compete with EvilGrin's skill level?"

"Why, yes, of course, Ms. Radick. My Coaches in Command, McRat, Stryker, and Hund have compiled a list of my best troops. Oh, I'm afraid that EvilGrin and his friends are walking into a trap! EvilGrin should hope that he doesn't have to come face to face with my Top ACE, Aeropagitica! My team captain, Infamy, will lead my team to victory."

"How can you be so sure, Emperor Ripper?"

"Why, my child, I have foreseen it!"

"Thank you Emperor Ripper. The BIG GAME is next. Right now, we'll pause for a few words from our sponsors!"

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"Ok, we're back, and only minutes away from Power Sphere Materialization! I'm standing in the Gold Box of the Sullust Prime Stadium, with some special guests from the MSN Sector. Joining me are several small delegations from such groups as Niten Ichiryu Ronin, UVA, and the Destroyers of Hope. I must say that the delegations seem to lean their favoritism towards the Impies. Three NIR delegates, Gares, Frohike, and Optimus, are each waving a banner with names such as Imp stars "Stryker, AeroP, and Ell." The fourth NIR has a datapad in his hand with several blank fields. I believe I saw the name at the top of that datapad to read EvilGrin, the Alliance Star. This could indeed prove interesting!

There were only two delegates from the Destroyers of Hope, each wearing a specialized DOH tee-shirt. They seem to be routing for the newest member of Rapier Squadron, Beowulf, as the first, Crazy Man Al keep chanting 'Bay-O' while the second, JediG, keeps chanting "Wolf!'"

There are four delegates from UVA, like NIR. Each SST has their callsign on their shirt. We greet you, Halfelven, Fireforge, Riverwind, and Vapor. What's this? Am Imp operative in the services of BenK has come to join the UVA delegation. Well, this is strange, the NIR and DOH members seem to be moving away from Bubba. Excuse, me, Mr. Bubba, who do you favor to win?"

Bubba says, "Well, Miss, I sincerely hope the Imps win, 'cause then Vapor and the boyz'll get drunk, and, when they get drunk, I get what I want."

"I see," said Mara, now also moving away warily. "Materialization is coming up!"

-----

"Ok," said Enforcer, team captain of the Rebs from within the Rebel locker room, "Here's the way the lineup is. First Quarter is WarHammers, Knaves, and Defiance. Second Quarter is Rogue, Nova, and Gray Wraiths. Third quarter is Scimitars, Green Daggers, and Saber Squadrons. For the fourth, we're going to go back to WarHammers, Knaves, and put in the Rogues for an attempt at smashing their 4th quarter defense!"

"You realize, if we lose, we're not going to hear the end of this," came Nova_Knight.

"You realize, if you lose, none of you are getting a Christmas bonus this year." Said Vanor flatly. His comment was replied to by a bunch of flying birds when he turned his head away.

"C'mon, guys, this is just like we've trained for. Same old stuff. Let's send those Imps home with nothing but the sweat and stink they work up!" shouted Dare enthusiastically!

At that moment, Admiral Ghent entered the room. "Ok, here's some incentive, Ladies and Gents. Anyone who scores a goal gets a promotion. Score 2, and you get the promo, and two weeks vacation. Score three, and I'll let you be Ghent for a day!"

Several jeers erupted from the back of the locker room and several jokes were passed, one of which sent SilverKnight bursting out in laughter.

"Is there something wrong, SilverKnight?" asked Ghent cooly.

"Ah, no, sir, the new LSF page is almost done! Won't be long before even the links work!"

"I see. Ok, team, get out there, and kick some Imp tail!"

The Rebel team erupted in a chorus of Bohemian Rhapsody, as they began their descent into the stadium.

-----

Deadeye retracted the microphone device out of the air vent leading to the Reb's locker room. "We got it!"

McRat smiled,"They call that incentive? We'll make 'em think it's a pot roast compared to what we're getting! Is Deadpool done with his mission yet?"

Deadeye punched in a sequence on his comm and waited for a reply.. "Almost, Rat"

"Excellent, the Emperor will be pleased!"

Meanwhile

Located in the official's box were the three referees: Nightangel, Anvil, and Phalanxx. In addition to the refs was the presence of a dark cloaked figure who was chatting privately in the corner with Phalanxx.

"Three million credits is my lowest offer, Deadpool, I can't be leniant to your faction and risk the wrath of the Rebs without less," said Phal in a hurt bargainers voice.

"The empire is offering you protection from the Rebs, in addition to the cool 1.5 million," was Deadpool's offer.

"I'm sorry, Deadpool, 3 mill, no less."

"Very well, I must concede, or Darth Deadeye would have my head!" Deadpool made the credit exchange quickly, and was out the door. Phal just smiled. Damn, Crime didn't just pay...it payed GOOD.

-----

Moments later...

Hund clicked off the holorecorder and stood before a deathly quiet Imp team. "You see what the Rebs offer as incentive for scoring! We offer more! For the first goal, you get a promotion AND 2 weeks of PAID vacation. For the second goal, we guarentee you'll never have to pull TO duty again! For 3 goals, we'll let you LIVE in the Imperial Palace for a year! All expenses paid. However, there is one catch. If you don't win, there will be no scoring rewards."

Several members of Dark Raven booed at this, but were quickly silenced. "Infamy, please give the game briefing now."

"Of course, Hund. This is the way it's going to work." Infamy looked down at his notes from the overheard Reb meeting. "We're going to pair off Rapier Squadron with WarHammer, Archangel with Knave, and Ravager with Defiance. In the second quarter, Avengers get the Rogues, Crimson boyz get their Reb counternames, and Dark Ravens will hunt the Gray Wraiths. For the 3rd quarter, Red Dragon will take Scimitars, Lightning will line up with the Green Dagger, and BFS will tango with Saber Squadron. Finally in the fourth quarter, WarHammer will be guarded by CN, Rogues once again tango with Avengers, and Knaves duke it out with the Rapiers. Any questions?"

Xizor raised his hand, "Is the pizza and beer on the Emperor if we win?"

Hund looked at Infamy, and was about to speak when Stryker spoke up, "Pizza and beer will be paid for by your Wing Commanders when we win."

Sithguy, and the other Wing Commanders shook their fists at Stryker.

"And," Stryker added quickly, "the wing commanders will get an appropriate bonus for winning." This settled the Wing Commanders down.

Aeropagitica asked, "Do we get room service during out stay at the palace?"

"No." was Ripper's reply, "unless you pay for it."

BenK asked, "Can we have wild parties with lots of booze and women?"

Ripper replied, "Only if I'm invited."

"Cool!"

"Remember, you have to score 3 goals first!" Infamy reminded everyone.

"What if we already have rooms in the Imperial Palace, and we score 3 goals?" asked Stryker.

"Well, you can have room service, then, I suppose." Ripper conceded.

-----

"Did you get all that?" Sirene asked Sparkster.

"Got it. We can't let this out, though. If our mates find out how much we're being jipped, it'll shatter our morale!" Sparkster added.

At that moment, an automated voice of Ripper's echoed through the packed stadium listing off the Imp rewards for scoring.

"We're screwed," Sirene and Sparky said together.

-----

At the strike of the clock on the hour, the first squads of each side exited opposite rampways leading down onto the huge playing field. It was as they were making their descent that Ripper's automated voice went over the loud speaker.

Diamond, leading the Reb team down to the field to be play coordinator for the first quarter scowled. "That's just low of those Imps, " she said to Improv.

Improv silently nodded her agreement.

Following directly behind Diamond and Improv came Dare, Corran, and Kali, the sub-team captains for the 1st quarter.

"Since Defiance is only playing in the first quarter, all of Defiance will play offense focusing on Power Sphere One, with half the Knaves and half the WarHammers playing Power Sphere 2. At the 15 min mark, the Knave and War Hammers on offense will change over to defense to conserve strength," said Dare.

Corran groaned, "Ah...I'm so out of shape, Kali, I'm going to need a back rub after this."

Kali smiled, "Of, course, as long as you give me one, too!"

And with that, the first wave of Rebs took the field.

-----

"I'm certainly glad you decided to join us, Stryker," said Rockbiter, "We've certainly got a rough first quarter on our hands."

"Pfft, Rockbiter, stop kissing up. We'll do fine, and I NEVER miss a good game. We're going to try to keep the Rapiers on the defensive this quarter. You'll get your chance in the fourth quarter." Stryker motioned to Sithguy and Dengar. "Sithy, your boys'll get Power sphere one, Den, you'll take 2."

"Hmm, Defiance squadron for me, and a mix of WHs and Knaves for Den? This is going to be too easy. Our bet is still up, right Dengar?" said Sithguy.

"Oh, yeah, Sithy, and your're gonna regret this bet when we're pulling my a.m. shifts for me for a month!" Dengar said arrogantly.

"I heard Chinano and Misfit have a similar gamble going, we'll see who get's us the most points this quarter." Sithy said with a grin.

"Alright, guys, get set for pregame ceremony, it's almost time" Stryker said.

With that, Imps took the field, with Rapier squadron stationed in the last 1/3 of the field in a defensive formation.

-----

"Ok, folks!" said Mara Radick, "Materialization is in 2 minutes! Even now, the field referees, Phalanxx and Anvil are taking the field. Nightangel will remain in the referee's box to monitor 'fair' play on the multi-positioned 'cams' to judge close calls for points, and to keep an official record of the score. Right now, the DLoS Deadeye will sing the classic Wild 'n Crazy Tune, 'My Ding'a'ling, accompanied by Mirax, to get this game started..."

A single note was played to set the key, and Deadeye began:


When I was, a little bitty boy
My Grandmother bought
me a cute little toy.
Silver bells hanging on a string
She told me it was
My Ding'a'ling'a'ling! Oh...

And the crowed erupted in laughter as they joined along in the chorus...


My Ding'a'ling, My ding'a'ling
I want you to play with my ding'a'ling!
My Ding'a'ling, My ding'a'ling
I want you to play with my ding'a'ling!

"Beautiful, Beautiful, you're beautiful!" said Deadeye, as he continued...


And then momma took me to grammar school
But I stopped off in the best of yule.
Everytime that bell would ring,
Catch me playing with my Ding'a'ling'a'ling!, Oh!


My Ding'a'ling, My ding'a'ling
I want you to play with my ding'a'ling!
My Ding'a'ling, My ding'a'ling
I want you to play with my ding'a'ling!

"Oh, that is beautiful! You know what I heard, I heard Diamond and Sirene singing over here in harmony...that's alright, girls. You're rebels, live like you wanna live, babies! Ain't nobody gonna knock it, darlin'! Yeah, you got freedom! One guy up there, "Deadeye points to Bubba in the Gold Box, "...singing 'MY' too...yes sir, you got a right, baby..ain't nobody gonna bother you!"

Once I was climbing the garden wall
I slipped and had a terrible fall.
I fell so hard I heard bells ring!
But held on to my ding'a'ling'a'ling! Oh!


My Ding'a'ling, My ding'a'ling
I want you to play with my ding'a'ling!
My Ding'a'ling, My ding'a'ling
I want you to play with my ding'a'ling!

"Mmm, you know that's future Imperial Senate out there singing! Oh yeah! Mmmm..."

Once I was swimming cross turtle creek,
Man, them snappers all around my feet.
Sure was hard swimming cross that thing,
With both hands holding my ding'a'ling'a'ling!


My Ding'a'ling, My ding'a'ling
I want you to play with my ding'a'ling!
My Ding'a'ling, My ding'a'ling
I want you to play with my ding'a'ling!

"That's so beautful, I really think that's a beautiful little song. And guess what? Everybody's still not singing. There's a few right down here not singing." Deadeye points to Eagle1, Coria, Ironclaw, and Garven. "This last verse here is devoted to those of you who will not sing! Yes sir. Mmmm.."


This here song, it ain't so sad
The cutest little song, you ever had.
Those of you who will not sing,
You must be playing with yer own ding'a'lings! Oh!


My Ding'a'ling, My ding'a'ling
I want you to play with my ding'a'ling!
My Ding'a'ling, My ding'a'ling
I want you to play with my ding'a'ling!

"Nah..nah...noo..."


Oh, Your ding'a'ling, your ding'a'ling
We SAW YOU playin' with your ding'a'ling.
Oh, My ding'a'ling, Everybody sing!
I want to play with my ding'a...everybody!

MY!
Ding'a'ling Oh MY!

Ding'a'ling!
Throwdown!-- I
WANT TO PLAY
WITH
Everybody!-- MY
DING uh...Ling!

"Well, folks, the crowd seems very pleased with Deadeye's performance, as he just received a standing ovation. Now, prepare for MATERIALIZATION!"

-----

Both Phalanxx and Anvil each held a device that activated the Power Spheres. When the pre-game clock ran down to zero, they both hit a button, and 2 spheres appeared: one directly in between the gathered offensive-based squads, and the other significantly closer to the Imps.

Several Rebs noticed this, and shouted in anger as they noticed the placement, but couldn't do anything more as Sithguy picked up the 1st power sphere, and was running with a tight escort of Ravagers down the field towards the reb Endzone; Defiance squadron encircling them preparing for the pounce.

Meanwhile, WH_Quixdraw had been fast enough to snatch the fairly placed power sphere, and quickly retreated behind his mix of WH and Knave allies.

-----

In the back of the concession stand, Baron Apocrapha conferred with his troops. This was going to be their finest hours! A temporary alliance with the Ghost Legion had been worked out before the game to reap the maximum benefits of a gathering of this size. Apocrapha signaled the GL representative his readiness, and sent his troops out.

Anyone watching would not have noticed anything peculiar about the Criminals. They each wore a little paper hat in red and white, a red and white apron, and carried trays with drinks and snacks.

Apocrapha pulled on his "disguise" and joined his men. Yes, this was going to be TOO easy.

-----

Sithy passed his sphere over to MadDog just before being completely leveled by a "Spear" made by Corran. After which, several youth in the crowd began chanting "Goldberg!" MadDog, escorted only by Warlock and Chinano at this point quickly found themselves in serious trouble. Eagle, Garven, Ironclaw and Coria were still seething with anger from their public embarrassement contributed by Deadeye. Led by Raider, MadDog and co. was soon face down in the dirt. The ball dematerialzed and re-materialized in the center.

It was hardly noticed. D-Day, Bantha and Chibi were all exchanging wild blows with Avenger, Sephiroth, and Wolverine. No one had picked the sphere back up by the time Corran got back to the center. The Sphere was quickly in his control, and he gathered his possŤ around him, and started his attack run.

-----

Quixdraw ducked under a dive made by Misfit, and shuffled forward a little more. A quick pass to Knave Viper was made as Stele and Hellsfury plowed over Quixdraw.

Viper allowed Tango and Rido in front of him to act as his screen from the Rapier groups moving to engage. He never made it that far. Stele and Hellsfury each clipped one of his screens as an unseen Misfit let out a whoop of success and pounced Viper. The Power Sphere reset.

-----

As in most GAMEs, overall order dissipates into a free-for-all of chaos. It wasn't long until defenders were out on the offensive, offenders were face down in the dirt, and few were left standing in the first quarter.

Corran, Kali, and Coria formed up. There were only 4 minutes left in this quarter. Eight Rebs were still standing, and only 6 Imps. Dare had gotten into the endzone scoring a point before being knocked out. Eagle had managed to get into the GOAL getting a total of 4 points. On the Imp side, Sithy and Dengar had both scored a point, though Dengar was now incapacitated. The current score was 5-2 Rebs, and, both spheres were in Reb hands and deep into Imp territory.

Corran, Kali, and Coria, with #1 sphere joined up with Diamond, Improv, and Garven with #2 ball. IG 88 and Booster held back playing defense.

The Imps made a vicious attack. Misfit launched himself at Garven knocking him down. The sphere was launched into the air, and was caught by Improv, maintaining Reb control. Sithguy sent a shoulder into Coria making him drop the sphere and resetting it. With the reset powerball, RS_Beowulf and Sithguy were heading to the center to retreive the sphere racing against IG 88 and Booster.

Corran and Kali joined up in the defense of Improv and Rockbiter and Mharhon jumped in. Rockbiter verily ran over Diamond, but was tripped up by her in the process sending him down to graze.

Mharhon moved to clip Kali to get to Improv, but Corran landed a dropkick to Mharhon's temple sending him to the dirt.

Improv, Kali, and Corran advanced.

Sithguy grabbed Sphere #1 and neatly avoided IG 88's attempted hit. However, his evasion left him wide open to Booster. Sithy made a quick lateral pass to Beowulf before being leveled, and gave up his attempt to beat Dengar in the gamble. However, it did leave Beo an open trail to the goal...

Corran turned suddenly to intercept Rockbiter's dive. Both Corran and Rockbiter were soon on the ground fighting for the upper level. Kali and Improv advanced...

...right into Stryker and Chains.

Chains made an attempt to snatch the sphere, but was rejected with a kick to his torso. Kali, knowing the ball would be lost if Stryker didn't lose focus, jumped on him. Stryker smiled, and fell.

Improv stepped on Chains as she dashed for the open goal.

Beowulf ran though endzone and goal watching the sphere change colors in his hands. He came to the hoop, and with a steady shot, landed the sphere though the goal.

Improv made a straight-line vector towards the hoop...15 meters left, and 5 seconds..4..3...2...1...up went the shot...and in it went as the buzzer rang.

Imps and rebs came out to the field to clear off their wounded as the next waves set up. As Rogue, Nova, and the Gray Wraiths came onto the field, they were met by an anticipatory Avenger, Dark Raven, and Crimson NOVA groups. The score was 15-12 Rebs after the first quarter.

-----

On the right side of the field, the Rebs set up, while on the left, the Imps prepared. Enforcer signaled Dark Saber and Red9 over. "Let's start with the Nova's on defense. More than likely, we'll end up like we did last quarter with everyone being everywhere, which is ok. Just make sure someone stays on defense, even if you have to do it yourself, personally. Any questions?

"No Sir," replied Dark Saber.

"Nope," said Red9.

As the rebs moved to their starting positions, the Imps made prepared thier own strategy.

Archer called over Orion and Hawk. "Ok, guys, here's the deal. We need points, and I'm feeling lazy. So, DR and CN will play the offense and defense of their own spheres, while Avenger just goes out and gangbangs Rebs. Should be fun, right? Right. Remember, Phal's sphere will materialize closer to us as it did in the first quarter. We couldn't afford to get it for the whole game, so, DR will be assigned to that sphere. The CN group will cover the regular ball, but I want Aero or Elladan and someone else to hold the center and get any ball that materializes. Pass the word."

Orion and Hawk saluted and returned to their squad clusters. "Infamy, BenK, you're with me along the north flank. Lion, Egghead, and Inertia will cover the southern. The rest of you will stay back and hit anyone who strays too far into No Man's Land.

Orion approached his squad. "Simple, guys. Elladan and Maveric wait for the spheres to rematerialize, everyone else just kicks butt. Go!"