The third period of game seven is winding down. The Buffalo Sabres are playing the Los Angeles Kings for the right to the Cup. The fans in LA's Staples Center are tearing the house down; the Kings are about two minutes away from parading with Lord Stanley of Preston's silver trophy.

"It's hot as Hell down here in L.A.," Satan muses. "The ice is terrible." Then Satan casts a devilish smile to himself. "But it's not going to matter."

"Get ready, Miro," Coach Ruff admonishes. "The first line's going to go back on soon."

"Yez, Coach, I em rready." Satan says, mostly to himself. "Don't worry, don't worry, that'll probably be the last time you'll ever have to force that Eastern European accent," he thinks.

"Whoa, look at Miro. Man, he's got fire in his eyes today," Doug Brown comments to his linemate Doug Gilmour.

"Doug!", Ruff shouts.

"Yes coach?" "Yes coach?"

"Quit fooling around, you're going in in a minute."

"Got it, coach." "Got it, coach."

"Damn first line Dougs...", Ruff mutters.

"Soon, the world will be mine! All mine!", Satan cackles evilly.

"Uh, you OK, Miro?", Gilmour asks Satan.

"Uh...yez. Jus gettine myself pawmped up." ("Dammit! OK, that's the last time.")

"Brown! Gilmour! Satan! On the ice, go!", Ruff shouts.

Satan and the Dougs skate onto the ice. The puck is currently being pushed past the Buffalo blue line by the Los Angeles Kings. Kings winger Ziggy Palfy aims five-hole, but Buffalo goalie Dominik Hasek snaps his legs together and covers up the puck.

"Dammit, now Anna K.'s gonna dump me for HIM..."

Brown wins the ensuing face-off and passes it off to Satan. Satan pushes it past the red line all the way to the LA blue line before stopping.

"What the Hell is he doing?", Ruff screams. "Miro! Move it, God damn it!"

Satan drops his stick, raises his arms into the air and casts a demonically cold expression.

"You're too slow, pal," Mathieu Schneider says as he steals the puck and heads for the Buffalo goal.

Arms raised, cold, empty expression still plastered on his face, Satan begins to softly recite a dark incantation:

Powers of darkness, powers of night
Power of Me over Lord Jesus Christ
I am the dark one, the evil Divine
And I'm casting a spell for the freezing of time!

Suddenly, everything stops. The fans, the cameramen, the coaches, the players on the bench, are transfixed in their positions, however awkward or impossible they may be. A few kernels of popcorn linger in the air over the head of an overly-excited fan in the front row. No one moves. No one stirs.

"Mon Dieu! Qu'est-ce qui...que'est-ce qui se passe?" a bemused Luc Robitaille squeaks.

"Miro, what are you doing?!", Sabres defenseman Jason Woolley screams.

Satan goes on:

I am Master of the souls of Hell
Give me control of the Sabres as well!

Suddenly, the eyes of Doug Gilmour, Doug Brown, Dominik Hasek, Alexei Zhitnik, and Jason Woolley twinkle a blinding red. When the flash is gone, all that's left of the eyes of the five Sabres are the whites. Deadpan, they drop their sticks and start to move into a formation. Mathieu Schneider slowly backs out of the Buffalo zone.

"Guys...what are you doing? What are you doing?", a discombobulated Schneider shouts to the members of the opposing team.

"They cannot hear you. They are under my control," Satan casually remarks.

"Who...who are you?", Palffy asks Satan with bated breath.

"Isn't it obvious? HAAAAAA!", Satan screams. Suddenly, yellow light encapsulates him. "You will see...you'll all see...grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrHAAAAAA!" A loud tear noise pierces the air, and tiny shards of plastic fall to feet of the Satan.

"Oh my God..." Kings center Jozef Stumpel utters. The ends of two horns now protrude from the helmet of Satan. "HAAA!" Now there's a rip. A pointed tail emerges from the black pants of Satan's uniform. The unholy yellow aura leaves Satan.

"You're...you're the Devil!", L.A. blueliner Mattias Norstrom gasps.

"Yes, that's right...I'm the Devil!"

"What do you want? What are you doing here?", the pugnacious Luc Robitaille demands.

"Silence! Behold, my army of darkness!"

Satan gestures towards Buffalo's side of the rink. The possessed team is in positon. Goaltender Dominik Hasek remains in his crease. Defensemen Jason Woolley and Alexei Zhitnik stand on opposite ends of the blue line. Forwards Doug Gilmour and Doug Brown stand on the red line so that it is divided into thirds.

"Une...une ├ętoile...", Luc Robitaille observes.

"It ain't just a star, Frenchie. Behold!"

Satan bellows another chant:

Burning fires below the Earth's crust
Encircle the Buffalo Army of dark-nuss!

"Hey, that's cheating, you can't rhyme 'crust' and 'darkness'!", Schneider whines.

"Just because I'm the unholy lord of the underworld doesn't mean I can't use poetic license.", Satan snaps back. Now then..."HAAAAAAA!" A giant ring of fire appears on the ice. The towering conflagration licks the roof of the Staples Center. "ENOUGH!", Satan cries. The flames evaporate. All that's left of the fire is the singed circle surrounding the soulless Sabres.

"It's a...it's..."

"That's right, Mattie! It's a PENTAGRAM!"

Out of nowhere, red lines burn between the possessed players, drawing the star.

"Yes! Yes! It is complete...it...it..."

Suddenly, Satan's muscles burst through the red top...

"...it...is..."

...and a section the roof above Satan's head cracks open...

"wwwworrrkkingg..."

...and a column of fire surrounds Lucifer, extending through the hole in the roof all the way to the Heavens...

"It's working! It's working!"

...Satan laughs maniacally from within the fire. His muscles continue to burst the seams of his #18 jersey...

"...I am...now..."

...The infinite column of fire starts to thin, converging upon Satan. When in thins into nothingness, a blinding white flash cascades throughout the rink.

"INVINCIBLE...(incible)...(incible)..." The echoes can be heard as far away as Frisco. "Fools! Look at me now! The pentagram has channeled the power of every single evil soul that has ever lived and died...their nefarious power flows through my veins...you cannot defeat me. I am a one-man army of one million. ... Hey! HEY! Wake up, I'm done now!"

"*Yawn* What'd I miss?", Norstrom asks Schneider.

"I don't know...I wasn't paying attention."

"I'll tell you what you missed, you impertinent fool!", Satan shouts. "You missed the birth of an evil undefeatable soldier of evil."

"You said evil twice, you know.", Robitaille remarks.

"'Cause...uh...I'm DOUBLY evil! Satan squared, baby!"

"But...why are you playing hockey?", Palffy asks.

"Hmm hmm hmm...I was waiting for someone to ask that. Anyway, here's my plan: I win the Stanley Cup for the Sabres. The city of Buffalo worships Miroslav Satan. And I shall have them do my bidding. At my behest, the people of Buffalo will capture the state of New York for me. From there, I can take over America. And from there, the world! You can't spell 'PRETENDING TO BE A SLOVAKIAN HOCKEY PLAYER' without 'DEVIL'! HAHAHAHA!"

"Why the Sabres?", Stumpel asks.

"Geez, c'mon, the team's colors are red and black. OK, white, red, and black...but check out these spiffy third jerseys we're wearing, huh? Red top and black pants...how very appropriate."

"Why not the Devils, then?", Schneider inquires.

"Well, they've already got Arnott, Sykora, and Elias on their first line. Besides, who wants to control the souls of people from New Jersey?"

"Good point," Schneider, a New York City native, admits.

"Why number 18?", asks Robitaille.

"Heheheh...isn't it obvious? 18 is 6 times 3, or 3 sixes...or 666!"

"You haven't won the Cup, yet! We're still up by a goal, and there's just thirty seconds remaining," Schneider snaps.

"But I'll change all that in a matter of moments, Mattie. Now that I've got the strength of every damned soul in the underworld...I am unstoppable! Hahaha! Now my army of darkness shall be in free-minded redux. But they won't remember the time stoppage or anything. Only you," Satan gestures to the Kings on the ice, "will remember this. And it won't do you any good. Will anyone believe you if you told them? No! They'd just have you committed! HAHAHAHA! HA! Ah..." Satan draws in his breath. "RETURN!", he cries. The pentagram disappears and the five Sabres return to the positions they were in before Satan "called time-out". The color returns to their eyes, but the players remain frozen in time.

"Hey! Hey! What are you doing! Can't move..." Schneider cries as he is picked up by some unseen force and put back in the position he was before the stoppage. The paralysis remains even after he is set. "Rrrg...well...at least I've still got the puck in the Sabre zone." After Satan telepathically resets the other Kings, he looks over his shoulder and calmly says to the defenseman, "Not for long you won't."

Satan's horns and tail retract, and then his uniform mends itself from all the unworldy damage it has sustained in the past few minutes. Lucifer points to the broken section of the Staples Center roof, and, expectedly, it is mended instantaneously. Satan gestures for his dropped stick to return to his hand, and it obeys. Satan draws in his breath again. "TIME-IN!"

"Ladies and gentlemen, Satan lost the puck! I've never seen anything like it folks, he just stopped and let Schneider take the puck away from him! Now Schneider's got the puck in the Buffalo zone...he's all alone...Oh, my! Satan scorched back to his own zone and has stolen the puck back from Schneider..."

"Ah...no...", Schneider hopelessly mutters.

"...blows by Norstrom and Stumpel..."

"He's going to send this into overtime...dammit...and no one'll be able to stop him from scoring in OT, either...the season's done!...and, the Earth, too, of course...", Norstrom thinks.

"Oh no...he's gonna blow a hole right through the hand of our poor goalie...", Stumpel cries.

"He's got two men to beat...oh, just whizzes past a hapless Palffy..."

"Our rookie goalie...he'll never play again, he'll be blamed for it all...his first playoff game, too...he's been working so hard since we called him up for the playoffs...", Palffy mourns to himself.

"...it's one-on-one, folks. Satan...oh, look at Satan, folks! Just schooling Luc Robitaille. He wants to send this game into overtime all by himself!"

"Maybe he'll make the save. He's done well filling in for Felix...maybe...just maybe...he can do it...maybe Jesus can make the stop!", Robitaille prays.

"He's within striking distance, he winds up...Satan shoots and... Jesus Saves! And time expires! Jesus wins the Stanley Cup for the Los Angeles Kings..."

"NO!! NO!!!! WHO? WHO ARE YOU?!"

Jesus flips the puck in front of him and takes off his mask. "Who do you think?"

"...oh...oh no..."

"I'll deal with you after the party, Satan."

"Years...of preparation...gone...oh...no...NO!!!!!!!!!!!!! NO!!!"

"With his amazing surge tantamount to failure, we can understand why Satan has shed any inhibitions and is hysterically crying on the ice like a pathetic little girl, folks. We can have sympathy for him. But, oh my God, folks...Chris T. Jesus has secured the Cup for the Kings! And as Satan writhes in misery, right now, Jesus is the greatest King of all."


My first nodeshell rescue. 'Cuse my lameness

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