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oriole01

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About oriole01

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    Part-Timer

About Me

  • About Me
    Not good at Football Manager.

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  • Favourite Team
    Wolves and NK Maribor

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  • Currently Managing
    Club Brugge

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  1. My goodness, what an unbelievable run through Bolivia... and the world! It only took a day as well... this thread never ceases to amaze and impress . Looking forward to Bonaire!
  2. Could I see Maribor and Aldosivi please? Also, what's the Coca-Cola National League? Is that active and if so, will you have to win that too?
  3. oriole01

    The New FMCU General Discussion Thread

    There were two on FM18, neither lasted very long as I remember it. Not sure about before that.
  4. A perfect end to your time in Bermuda, and delighted to see you return to Bhutan! Should be a fun ride again.
  5. oriole01

    The New FMCU General Discussion Thread

    It wouldn't be frowned upon, though personally I wouldn't do that because I would end up abandoning one of the saves. If you think you can manage it though, have at it!
  6. oriole01

    [FM17] Hans Kaiser- Baldness Über Alles!

    Salta, Argentina Chapter Tres- La Reunión Sorry it took so long to write this. Motivation can be a problem sometimes. Early morning. February 10, 2018. The sun had gone down hours ago, but José Antonio Mendoza was still sweating like it was noon. As he walked down a quiet Salta street in the dark, he was flooded with a combination of nostalgia and anger. These streets had made him. So much of his early life had been spent either at his cramped, crowded apartment, as a student in the underfunded public schools, as an employee in many, many small businesses, and of course at the football fields, where he had gotten his career off the mark. But he had also never wanted to come back to them. It was in this city that the very fabric of being was permanently changed. It was where he had been bitten by an enigmatic crocodile shark, and made to suffer consequences far greater than the immediate physical pain. The shark had implanted something terrible within him, something José had fought very hard to control and suppress. For years, he had succeeded. Even in his lowest moments, he had kept his darkest instincts at bay. Now, something had changed. Something had happened to him that was tipping the scales in the shark's favor. Something that had brought him back here, after decades away. That something was football management. It was a mistake from the beginning. José's family, having known about his condition for years, but not its origin, warned him strongly against taking up a management job, reasoning that the position would put unnecessary stress upon him that could trigger a relapse. José would insist, however, as he didn't want his football career to end. Playing the game had given him so much purpose and positive energy that he was more worried about things going wrong if he didn't stay involved in the game. So he took the job at Primera Division side Aldosivi- one of his former clubs- based in the seaside city of Mar del Plata. Managing a top-tier team as your first job isn't usually a good idea, and José found that out the hard way. The first season was decent, as they finished 20th place out of 30. Nothing special, but it went about as well as he could have expected. But the dreaded "second-season syndrome" made itself known the next year, and Aldosivi went on an awful run of form that led to José's sacking shortly after the new year, for a combination of the results, poor club morale, and a series of bizarre, threatening Twitter screeds under the name of "Ernesto 'Che' Tiburón" that were discovered to be his. Since then, he had been struggling to cope with his emotions. Part of him felt freed from a stressful endeavor, but the other part of him was bitter and vengeful. He was now in the sort of limbo he was worried about before he took the job. In the month since he had been fired, he had already lost a lot more than his employment. His apartment, which he could no longer realistically afford. His girlfriend, who he had hit in a mental lapse during an argument about finances. His Lamborghini Huracan, which he had totalled while taking a joyride on the NR3. Even his Versace tiger tuxedo- which had set him back 150,000 pesos- was gone, stolen while he was out on the lash. Worst of all, he was losing something far more important: his internal stability. He could feel things changing, in a way they hadn't changed since he was bitten. As he walked down the street, the few people he saw didn't look like people anymore. They were like poorly-rendered holograms, flickering in and out of his vision. It took a lot of strength to stay focused and keep walking. Any failure to do that, and there was no telling what the shark could do. When he reaches his destination, a bar on the outskirts of the city, he can't help but shake his head. It was a total dive. A ****hole. A herpes trap. He couldn't believe he was about to step foot in it, but that's exactly what he did. As he opens the door, the dark, smoky rhythm of Snake Eyes' 'Trouble' comes to his ears. There were only a few people- or rather holograms for José- left in the taproom. That made sense. It was 2:42 AM, with the doors set to close at 3:00, and this was no in-demand bar. They were blurry to his eyes, but José could tell what sort of people were left at this hour. Chopper-riding, drug-addicted, possibly criminal degenerates, smoking up a storm and drinking without any restraint. But he had nothing to fear from them. He walks up to the counter and sits down right in the middle of two of them, both tattooed behemoths with enormous cigars in their mouths. José knew they were giving him unsavory looks, but he couldn't see and didn't care. They would learn a lesson if they tried to give him any trouble. He orders a drink, a Cuervo, from the bartender, and takes it down in a gulp. Then another. And another. After his third, he asks the bartender a question. He didn't come here just to drink. He was looking for someone. The bartender points him to an open door back by the jukebox. José thanks him, then heads over to the door. Beyond the entrance is a rickety set of stairs, leading down to the basement. He slowly descends them, taking care not to fall. The lower he goes, the darker it gets. By the time he's at the bottom, he can hardly see his own hands in front of his face. He moves one hand over to the nearest wall, looking for a light switch. Instead, he finds spider webs and something wet. Pulling his hand back, he takes his phone out and activates the flashlight. He pans it around the basement, revealing shelves of filled boxes, cases of liquor, and in the far left corner, what looked like a mattress. He walks towards it, and finds the living space of someone who was clearly in dire straits. There was the mattress itself, which was filthy, soggy, and likely infested with vermin. There were dozens of empty, broken bottles on the floor, as well as bags of junk food. There was a bong, cigarette packs, and needles strewn across the top of a tiny nightstand. Beneath those were dirty magazines, cash, and an old revolver. This was a stereotypical scene, like something you'd see in any junkie's "bedroom". What set this disgusting corner apart from the other disgusting corners, though, was the speaker and electric guitar next to the nightstand. Unlike everything else, these were in great shape. They looked so out of place that José figured they must have been stolen. He reaches over to pick up the guitar. It was red and black, with jagged edges that looked as if they'd been sharpened at the grindstone. Just as he strums his first note, the lights turn on. He hadn't heard anyone coming down the stairs, but José turns around to the sight of the person he was here for. Unlike everyone else that night, this person was someone he could see crystal-clear. Indeed, after over twenty years apart, this person he saw was Zezé Santiago. He looks horrible. There are scars all over his once child-like face. His jet-black hair was now more like salt and pepper. It's also wild and long, stretching halfway down his back in a frizzy mess. His beard is equally unkempt- it wasn't far off Duck Dynasty level. He's thin to a ghastly degree, and José can perceive a slight twitch in his arms, legs, and neck. Though he had seen Zezé at some rather low points before they grew apart, he could never have expected him to sink this far down. "Oh my god." The words rolled slowly off Zezé's tongue. "I should say the same." "I thought you would never come back." "I didn't want to." "Why are you here, then?" "Nowhere else to go." Zezé stops for a few moments, thinking of what he wants to say. "How did you find me?" "Asked around. Took some work." "Well... I wish you hadn't found me like this." "Yeah, this is pretty bad, Zezé." "I know. But this is the best I can do." "********. It's not. You're what, 43 years old? You should be doing a lot better than this." Zezé doesn't respond to that. "Come on, let's talk. Not in this bar." José continues. "I don't want to spend another second in here." Zezé remains taciturn, but gently nods his head in agreement. The two wounded companions slowly walk up the stairs, and leave the herpes trap just as it is about to snap shut. Both of them wished they'd never have to come back. "Do you understand, Zezé?" "I do." "Good. I'll see you in a few days." José and Zezé part ways. They had spent the past two hours catching up on a park bench in the Plaza 9 de Julio park, which was normally a tourist trap in the daytime, but was quiet and peaceful in the wee hours of the morning, as it was now. Neither of them held back when telling their stories. They poured out all their elations and frustrations over the past twenty years. Although their lives had taken remarkably different paths since then, there was still a lot of common ground between them at that moment. They had both been broken down by the system. They were both wayward and aimless. At the moment, neither had anywhere other than Salta to go. José, however, was the only one determined to change that. Ever since he had stepped foot in Salta, he had been forming a plan... or rather, a part of him had been forming it. If he wanted to get out of this arid hellscape again, the shark reasoned, he would have to burn it to the ground. Though he had the power to do just about anything on his own, José needed Zezé by his side. Each side of him had their own reason why. For the José that had previously existed, he wanted to help his friend out of his plight. To break him out of the cycle of drugs, desperation, and poverty, even though he was responsible for his descent into it. To get him back on his feet, and see him become the great friend and big brother figure he used to be once more. The other José had less noble intentions. He doubted that they would be caught, but if they were, Zezé would have to be the one to take the fall. Through some online research, José had found a lengthy arrest record in Zezé's name. They were all relatively minor transgressions: loitering, trespassing, petty larceny, drug charges, physical altercations. That was good. It would be easier for him to graduate to bigger things. Much easier. Both Josés had had to think about what exactly "burn it to the ground" would mean in relation to Salta. Actual burning wouldn't make much sense; the city was already hot as hell. No, what needed to happen was retribution. Taking back from a city that had taken so much. One that destroyed his best friend. One that would have destroyed him in the past if he had stayed, and would do the same now if he wasted any time getting out. The first step of that journey? Robbing that bastard Benito for everything he had. Midnight. February 13, 2018. The most curious thing about a desert is how cold it gets at night. What had been a suffocating pressure cooker of heat earlier in the day had become a bone-chilling black mass once the sun went down, seeing the residents of Salta exchange their air conditioners and short sleeves for sweaters and blankets. The desert is indeed where Benito's Crocodile Ranch is located now, as the area it had once called home on the edge of the city had grown up, driving up rent prices and forcing Benito out into the mountains. That was all well and good for his soon-to-be assailants; there would be no witnesses. As he drives his father's 1973 Ford F100 pickup towards the ranch, José starts to feel an impending sense of dread. Was he really ready to step foot in this place- the place where he had been forever scarred- again? Even if it wasn't in the same physical location as before, it was going to be mighty difficult to persevere through the trauma that would inevitably be returning to him. When he looked to his side, though, he knew his answer was yes. He had gone too far to quit. Any pain he would feel at the ranch would be erased by the pleasure of tearing it down. Zezé, wearing all-black clothing and a balaclava, was sat in the passenger seat, brandishing his fearsome guitar as a potentially deadly weapon. He had his real deadly weapon, too, the good lad. José remembers his purposes for bringing him along, and presses harder on the gas pedal. Time to do this. The truck rolls to a stop on the side of the empty RN51 highway, about a hundred meters south of its destination. José, sporting a thick black leather jacket that served as a winter coat but requiring nothing in his hands to assist him apart from a large bag, cuts the ignition and hops out, with Zezé following. They advance forward in the silent darkness, with only their condensed breath and a faint multicolored light emanating from up the road visible to their eyes. The light becomes brighter as they approach, revealing a brash neon sign indicating that they had indeed arrived at Benito's Crocodile Ranch. José doesn't bother to look at it, but Zezé is entranced by it. He lingers beneath it, the sign casting bright hues of yellow, green, and orange upon his face. He looked like he was in a desert version of Tokyo. José, who had zero patience for dilly-dallying or sentiment, barks out an order to keep moving, and Zezé somewhat reluctantly shuffles forward. The driveway was a long dirt road, extending deep into a valley between two barren peaks rising up on either side of it. A common observer would probably consider this an eerie scene. Nothing about this was hospitable. But José was no common observer; he felt nothing apart from his hunger for revenge. At the end of the driveway are three small pueblo-style buildings, large empty cages, and the enclosure, a massive windowless dome with only one door in or out. It looked the exact same as it used to; one thing you couldn't call Benito was inconsistent. This fact was concurrently acknowledged by Zezé, who pointed at the farthest of the three buildings and mumbled "Office". "That's where I'm going, Zezé. Do you remember where you're going?" "Yeah." "Good. Be careful now. Stick to the plan and we'll be fine." "Alright." With that, José and Zezé separate, the former moving briskly towards the dimly-lit office and the latter slowly pacing towards the enclosure. José could sense a bit of hesitation and uncertainty on Zezé's part, but he wasn't worried. This was just a trial run of sorts. If Zezé did what was required of him, that was all well and good. If he didn't, José knew plenty of ways to make him. A snap of a door handle later, and José was in the office. It too was exactly how he remembered it. Along the hardened adobe walls hung all sorts of traditional Argentine items, from a quena flute to ponchos to a pato ring. José was quite sure Benito had never used these things; he just showed them to impress the minuscule number of guests he had. There were also numerous crocodile skulls, skins, and stuffed heads all over the place. Years ago, this office had unsettled José. Now, he had nothing to fear from it. He hoists himself over the tiny "reception" table, and advances toward the doorway behind it, which guarded Benito's personal quarters. He knew Benito had heard him and was waiting for him, but that wasn't of concern. He had no need for stealth; his powers ensured brute force was all that was required. As soon as he breaks his second door handle of the evening and barges into the adjacent room, his former employer lunges at him from the side with a gaucho's facón dagger. But José had already eliminated the danger. Benito's outstretched arm stays in place, all its impetus dispelled. José grabs the blade out of his hand and smashes it into pieces with his feet. It is now that a visibly flabbergasted Benito begins to recognize his burglar. The shock he felt at having his motion suspended now mixes with disbelief and anger as he processed the fact that he was under siege by one of his former employees. More specifically, it was 'la pequeña perra', to whom he had always delegated the most dangerous and disgusting of tasks. He tried to vocalize this, but he couldn't. José had shut him down and shut him up. He is the one to speak instead. "It's nice to see you too, Benito. I bet you never expected to see your... tell me, what was the nickname again?" He looks at Benito, mocking his inability to give a response. "Ah, of course. It was 'la pequeña perra'. Wonder who that is now, huh?" Another self-indulgent glance at Benito, followed by a chuckle. "I can do anything I want to you, you know. Or don't you? I suppose you never found out what happened after that hideous creature ****ed up my face. Well, it ****ed up more than that, actually. It molded part of me in its image. I suffered in silence for years, but guess what? I overcame it. I banished that shark to the deepest depths of hell. But it's come back now, and I've had to start asking questions. And the one I kept coming back to, and the one that's brought me to this landfill you pass off as a business, is simple: if the shark is back, and I'm done trying to stop it, why don't I try it out? This thing gives me power. I have abilities- or talents, as I prefer to call them- that one could only dream of. Why don't I use them? This life has taken so much from me, so why don't I start taking back? I've answered all these questions, Benito, and I've decided that it's only right to bring it back to where it all started. You're the one who created this. You were an awful boss. You were more like a dictator, really, making me clean crocodile **** and trim your goddamn hedges day and night, when you knew damn well that my family needed me at home. Whenever something wasn't to your utmost satisfaction, you beat and humiliated Zezé and I, just like with your wife and children. Thank god they got out of Salta before you made it their resting place. And of course, to top it all off, you're the one responsible for that shark coming here and biting me. Now, out of the kindness of my heart, I used to forgive you for ruining my life, but the shark thinks differently. He's not just a part of me anymore. We are one and the same, and I ****ing love it." Just then, alarms start to blare outside. And not just any alarms. The alarms. The ones that Benito prayed would never go off. His eyes widen to a level only seen in those at peak levels of human terror. If he could speak, he would be begging for mercy. But there was none to be found here. José was exceedingly proud of Zezé for having done his job, but he was also a tad bit disappointed. He had wanted to rant for just a little bit longer. It was time to leave now, but not before he gave the poor bastard his parting words. "Ah, I forgot to mention I wasn't alone. Zezé's here too, and he's done exactly what's been asked of him. We'll be leaving now, but you won't. You're going to have other company instead. I can't imagine you've treated the crocodiles too well over the years. Something tells me they'll have more than a few grievances to air with you." José guffaws violently, then says, "Goodbye, Benito." He unleashes a swift strike to the old man's temple, then releases him from his hold. He drops to the floor, unconscious. Before leaving, he finds the safe underneath Benito's bed, forces it open, and takes Benito's money, jewels, and flintlock pistol- his only other means of self-defense- putting them in the bag. As soon as he comes out of the building, the alarms grow louder to his ears. Thank goodness there was no one else around to hear them. The enclosure was engulfed in red light, the single door open. Reptiles were pouring out, scattering in all directions. José was confident that at least a few of them were hungry and would come to the office for a meal before escaping to the freedom of the Río Rosario. His work- the only work he had ever enjoyed in this place- complete, he leaves the ranch for what would be the final time. Oh boy, did that feel good. Having followed his instructions perfectly, Zezé was sitting in the passenger seat of the truck when José returned to it. However, one glance inside indicates that Zezé, had not, in fact, completely followed instructions. He wasn't instructed to steal anything- that was José's job- but he had what appeared to be two garments draped over his legs. José opens the driver's door, hops in, then shuts it, placing the bag of valuables by his feet. He takes a few moments before speaking. "Zezé?" "Yes?" "What do you have there? I told you not to take anything." José glances over at his friend. He expected Zezé to be afraid, but the look on his face seemed assured that he had done the right thing. "I know... but you said you were taking valuable things. I found these in a storage closet in the enclosure, and I thought they might be valuable to us." José disagrees, shaking his head and raising his voice. "What are you talking about? They're clothes, right? Why the **** do we need clothes?" "Not just any clothes. They're costumes." "Costumes? For what?" "Well, I'm not exactly sure why Benito had them... but they're of a shark and a crocodile. I thought we could use some disguises for future jobs... you know, the ones with more... risk attached." It wasn't a bad idea, José thought. It couldn't hurt to add an extra layer of protection, no matter how assured he was of his 'talents'. Plus, having an air of mystery would serve them well once they were further along in the shark's plans. Once they were out of Salta, most likely. "Alright, show me what they look like." Zezé unfurls them and holds them up, revealing a grey shark with a mischievous grin and terrifying beady black eyes, and a green-and-yellow crocodile with dozens of jagged, nasty teeth and the signature slit eyes. "Hmm... the shark needs a paint job. But it's not a bad idea, Zezé. You've gone above and beyond here. I'm really ****ing proud of you." Zezé smiles beneath the balaclava, provoking a laugh from his (now literal) partner in crime. "Take that thing off! You look ridiculous!" "Should've told me that earlier, amigo!" They're both laughing now, as José starts the truck and they begin to drive off into the cold night. Tonight's job was done, but their new journey was just beginning. May 2018. Three months later, and José and Zezé had conquered Salta, just as planned. The amount of jobs, as well as their income, had ballooned quickly. After Benito's demise was confirmed by a gruesome account in the newspapers the next week, they went from robbing stores and small homes to banks and mansions. They had been shot at and nearly caught numerous times, but they only saw these as thrills, and as reasons to keep going. They were unstoppable, and every thug and cop in the city knew it. They had too much talent... they were the talent men. That was what they were called now, and José's name was no longer José when he was 'working'. It was Che, after his fake Twitter profile at Aldosivi, and of course the Latin hero himself. The costumes had worked well; they had created a brand of sorts, that everyone in Salta knew to respect. Che had painted his once-grey shark green and yellow, both to match Zezé, and because they were Aldosivi's colors. As painful as his sacking there had been, he couldn't betray them in his heart. In fact, he was ready to continue his football career... in a different way. He and Zezé's immense reputation in Salta had already carried outside of the city and country. In international criminal circles, they were like wonderkids... or maybe world class late bloomers, considering they were actually in their early forties. The kinds of offers they had received were truly exciting. They had been tipped to join heist crews and other powerful gangs in London, Paris, São Paulo, Mexico City, Tokyo, New York, and LA. But one special offer stood taller than all of those. They had received a call from a man named Mr. X, who claimed to be a close confidante of Hans Kaiser, bald maniac and Borussia Dortmund manager. According to X, Kaiser wanted someone who could help them 'Visigoth' their rivals, in a totally literal sense. After doing some research on the tribesmen who sacked Rome, the talent men decided that they had sufficient talent for such a job, and they accepted the offer. They would require hefty pay, of course- some of the things those Visigoths did were downright nasty- but they were ready to take the huge step up. To skip rungs on the ladder of criminal enterprise, and head straight to the top. They were going to become legends- no, gods- under the glorious Kaiser, whose ambition and eccentricity was exactly what they were looking for in a boss. When the time came to leave Salta and head to Germany to set up shop and meet their new commander, José felt nothing but a sense of triumph. He had beaten Salta. He had made it his *****, to be precise. And now he was going to leave it and never, ever come back. He had achieved his goals in no time, and with a swaggering ease. He had bought back everything he lost, including the car and tuxedo, he had broken Zezé out of his destitution, and personally, he was happier than he had ever been. And all he had needed to do was lean into the shark. To tap into its power, and let it take control. The old José was now buried in the same cerebral pit that the shark had been marinating in for twenty-five years, and he had no chance of coming out any time soon. It was time for the new José, or Che, as the shark preferred, to shine. The talent men's heads were shaved, and their tandem chants of "Baldness Über Alles" and "Los! Los! Los!" had been mastered. Revolution time, amigos. This concludes the "Salta, Argentina" trilogy.
  7. Welcome back mate, I remember the original Sparta save being one of my favorites that year, and I must say I'm delighted to see it return! Hopefully you can get over the line and win the big trophies this time. Best of luck, and I'll be following this closely .
  8. Regrettably, I've never followed one of your RKC saves closely before... it's time to change that. Here's hoping the fourth attempt is the best!
  9. Brilliant introduction, it seems like you somehow get more invested in this with each attempt! Will be following as always.
  10. Potential Ballers has to be the best team name on this save so far . It makes me so happy every time you take another nation down, please keep it up!
  11. Very satisfying to see you finally break the Bahamas down . Was worried you would get stuck and lose momentum.
  12. Rough start . Hang in there and hopefully you can get out.
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