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[FM15] The Hart Chronicles - Volume I: Paul Hart's Alphabet Career


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Adam couldn’t believe what he was hearing. He looked at Pat in absolute horror.

“They’re going to try and kidnap my dad. Quick. We’ve got to warn him!”

They turned to run back towards the exit, but from out of nowhere, a frightening looking man dressed as a pirate had appeared – and he was wielding a very real and very sharp looking sword.

“Look what we have here…the catch of the day. Sir Paul’s bastard son himself. Why…if I grabbed you right now, it would save us the trouble of assaulting the whole building to grab your dad. We could ‘old you as a hostage instead!”

Adam didn’t say anything. He was still looking at the pirate’s sword, just to double check that it was actually real. It looked very much like a real sword.

“You’re not taking Adam or his dad you pirate scum!” Kabongo snarled.

“Oh is that so, matey? You is wrong on this one. His dad is the real pirate. Back home on Cove Bay, they call me Dodgee D. But I’m nothing compared to that crook! Now…you will both surrender yaselfs to me or there will be trouble!”

“You’re not taking me or Adam without a fight!” Pat spat.

“Pat. Maybe we should do as he-

Before Adam could finish his sentence, Pat had feinted a punch on the pirate, then dodged out of the way of the oncoming sword in his direction.

“RUN BACK ADAM! WARN THE OTHERS! SAVE YOUR DAD” Pat screamed.

Adam was reluctant to leave his friend in such a hostile situation. Maybe the two of them together could take him.

“GET OUT OF HERE NOW!!” Pat screamed again as he used his clever footwork to dodge yet another strike from the pirate.

This time Adam followed Pat’s orders and made a run for it. He sprinted as fast as he could back to the exit door, just as he got to the door and almost out of eyeshot of Kabongo and the pirate, he heard a chilling scream that would stay with him for the rest of his life.

He turned back around and saw in the distance, clear as day, the long sword sticking out through the back of Kabongo’s chest. The pirate then quickly removed his blade from Pat’s body and with that, the former World Player of the Year slumped to his knees, before lifelessly falling face-down onto the now blood soaked pavement.

Paterne Kabongo was dead.

 

Edited by PaulHartman71
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“That was quick cigarette-

“There’s no time! Call the police! Kabongo’s dead! My Dad’s in danger!” he shouted towards the French security guard before running back into the building the way he came.

Adam flew through the corridor, if he’d ran this quickly during his career he may well have justified some of the appearances he made for his father. He hurtled along and eventually flung open the door back into the main room, where many of the Hart XI were still standing around speaking on the stage. He quickly ran down the main walkway and found his father. He pulled him aside and whispered in his ear.

“Dad! We’ve got to get out of here! Now!” he pleaded.

“You what? But this is my retirement do. I’m not leaving now it's still early days! I know I’m old but I can still drink into the early hours of the morning, son!” he said adamantly.

“Pat’s dead! There’s some men outside that are coming for you. They’re trying to kidnap you and hold you for a ransom!”

“You what?! Oh ****! Oh ****! I feared this day might come. Come with me boy, to my office, there’s something I have to show you. Now! We must hurry!” 

They made a move to quietly leave through the stage exit, when suddenly they heard a loud smashing of glass.

Four masked men quickly descended from the roof of the building on ropes they’d lowered down.

“DELTA SQUADRON! LINE ON ME!!!” shouted a man dressed entirely in blue as the others landed and lined up next to him. They aimed their guns at the shocked guests.  

“Where the hell is everybody else?” said one of the men to the others, in what Adam thought was a Norwegian accent.

“I must’ve got my calculations wrong lads! I thought this was the time we were supposed to break in. I usually always get this stuff bang on!” another man in a Leeds accent said.

“Ah you can’t win anything with kids” said another one of the attackers, who for some reason was wearing a fake moustache over his mask.

“Where’s the target? We’ve lost the target! Dammit!” shouted the blue man, as he noticed, far too late, that both Adam and his father had indeed left the room.

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Adam could hardly breathe by the time they’d got to the relative safe haven of his father’s office.

“I don’t get what’s going on dad. Why are these guys after you?!”

“I’m sorry son. I should have told you sooner”

“Told me what?!”

“The truth”

“The truth about what?!”

“Did you ever notice anything strange about my managerial career? The moves that I made?”

“Well the move to York City was a bit strange and Liverpool to United after already managing Everton was pretty mental but-

“I went from A…to Z. I started at Arsenal and ended at Zenit. Every move in-between was another step in the alphabet!”

“Oh…errr… I do remember seeing a few conspiracy theory stories about that. But I always thought it was bollocks. I mean, everyone knows that Holland would technically count as “N” – and there’s other things that don’t add up, like Spain in Spanish would be an “E…and Xanthi is debatably an “S” cause they’re called Skoda Xanthi… I mean, you’re not really saying that was all deliberate?”

“Yes it was”

“But why? Why would anyone deliberately have a managerial career that went from A-Z?”

“It all started when I was at Dinamo Moscow. A rich Russian oligarch came to me one night. He said him and some of his other mega rich cronies had noticed how having moved from Arsenal to Borussia Dortmund to Cameroon to Dinamo Moscow, I’d inadvertently managed teams in alphabetical order from the start of the alphabet. He suggested a secret betting ring, for the world’s wealthiest men, to see who could correctly guess the next moves I made in my career – all on the condition that I continued my career moving from club to club or club to nation, nation to club etc all in alphabetical order”

“That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard”

“It’s all true. I swear it. They set up rules, like each better was capped at ten million pounds to start with, but the more money they won the more they could bet. It seemed like a great little earner for me, so BET-PH71 was born. I made millions from those men. It was great, because they decided they’d collect their big winnings at the end, after my final move”

“But if you paid them all their winnings, then why do they want to kidnap you?”

“That’s the thing, son. I didn’t pay out”

“You didn’t? But. But. Why? How much do you owe?”

“Oh I don’t know. A billion or so?”

“A billion pounds?!”

“Yeah I know, crazy right?”

“Do you even have that sort of money to pay them back?”

“Nah, son. I spent it”

“You spent a billion pounds?! On what?! Why would you spend it all, surely you’d know they’d come after you with everything they’ve got to get that money back?!”

“I’m not stupid, son. Of course I knew they’d want it back. Trouble is, they won’t get it. I’ve got an escape plan. A get out of jail free card, if you like”

“What is it? What could possibly get you out of this much ****?!

“This”

Adam watched as his father entered a code into a switch on the wall. The wall opened inwards to reveal a Bugatti Veyron, quite the vintage car in 2063.

“I don’t get it. This is just a car. A nice car, but I still don’t-

“Take a look on the inside, son”

As he looked inside the car, a look of utter astonishment swept over Adam’s face. He couldn’t believe it. 

“Is that?! It can’t be?!”

His father nodded as a big grin lit up his face.

It was a flux capacitor.

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“So you’re just going to drop everything and go to the future?!”

“No, son, don’t be silly. I’m one of the most famous managers of all time. I can’t go to the future, people would recognize me there. I’m going back in time”

“Back in time? To where?”

“To a much simpler time. Almost 50 years ago to be exact. 2016”

“2016?!”

“Yes, son. And you should join me. Come with me. I’ll start a whole new management career. You can be my assistant manager. Together we can rule the galaxy as father and son. Maybe we can even reunite with Keano!”

“But dad, you’re in your seventies. How could you start a new management career?”

“Don’t worry about that son. I’ve got this special potion I bought from the same person I got the flux capacitor from. First of its kind. For every drop of it you drink, you become 5 years younger. A little swig of this and we’ll be 30 again. Both the same age, imagine that!”

Adam shuddered at the thought of it, but he was interested in joining his father back in time. It wasn’t like he had too much going for him – and maybe the men that his father owed millions would come after him instead if his father vanished.

“Now son, are you with me? They might find us any minute. We should leave now”

“Er…okay dad. Okay. Let’s do it”

Suddenly the door crashed open with a loud thud and a load of armed men in masks flooded the room. They pointed the guns at Adam and his father.

“ON THE FLOOR!! SURRENDER YOURSELFS!!” came a shout in a Russian accent.

“You won’t be getting your money. This is futile” said the elder of the two Harts.

The Russian man paused for a moment, as he turned to his left and looked at one of the other masked men.

“Wavel, what do you say?” asked the Russian.

“Frytek” the man begun…

“FRY THAT ****ER!!” he shouted.

Suddenly, another one of the masked men unleashed an array of bullets that struck Adam’s father in the chest. He fell backwards with a thud and lay motionless on the office floor. He had been struck down in the very stadium that had been made in his name.

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Adam was so struck with grief and shock that he froze in fear.

“Now, Adam. Don’t worry, we won’t be killing you. Now that your father is dead, all of his estate and wealth will be passed down to you. You will hand over every last penny and acre of land that is left to you, to us. We want every last penny that your father owes us, and we know that he still has it hidden away”

“You’re wrong. He spent it. You won’t get that money back”

“Should we fry him too?” asked the Russian, with Frytek looking on eagerly.

Wavel thought for a moment, pondering their options. He then raised his hand, as if he was making some kind of secret code message to the others. Suddenly they all pointed their guns firmly towards Adam. He closed his eyes. This was the end. He braced himself and wondered what it felt like to die. He hoped it would be quick and pain-free.

“FOR MONEY…POWER…GLORY!!!!” they all shouted.

The sound of the initial flurry of gunshots was deafening. He felt no pain and didn’t even feel himself fall or collapse following the gunshots. He must have died instantly. After a few moments his ears were still ringing, but it sounded like the gunshots had subsided.

Was this it? Was this what dying felt like? Was there really an afterlife?

Adam opened his eyes and to his massive surprise…he was still in his father’s office.

In-fact… he was still standing exactly where he had been standing before he had shut his eyes and heard the gunfire. The only difference was that the walls were now covered in blood and the floor was filled with the dead bodies of all of the men who had been aiming their rifles at him.

He couldn’t believe it. He looked towards the door and that was when he saw him. There was another masked man with a rifle of his own. Had this masked man killed the others to save him? It seemed to be the only logical explanation.  

The masked man put his rifle down carefully onto the floor, before taking it off to reveal a warm and friendly smile.

“Hello! Do not be alarmed, Mr Hart! My name is Sherwin Riga. I was part of this mission to kidnap your father, but I never wanted to kill him or you! When I saw the others kill your father and then try to kill you, I had to kill them to save you!”

“Oh er… err thank you. Thank you! But but- why?”

“Why did I save you? Why do you think I saved you Mr Hart? I have so many unanswered questions that need answers!”

“Wh-what?” Adam said, but before he could muster up a response the crazed man had already produced an A4 journal that seemed to be filled to the brim.

“Who will be the new head coach at Tranmere now that Kabongo has been murdered by pirate?”

“Er-

“How is Zenit getting on? Who is their new manager? Are you still a scout for them?”

“Er-

“Who was new York City manager after your father left? How is Oxford doing after they sacked Kabongo? Who did they replace him with?

“Er I don-

“Now that your father is dead will you still be going back to 2016? If you go back, does this mean you will go back to the original time-line of the FM15 game that PaulHartman71 was playing, because that would mean PaulHartman71 playing another save game on FM15 again, or is this whole convoluted back-story thing a prelude to his FM17 save game, in which case this weird crazy time travel thing doesn’t really make sense in the canon of the story as it would mean you were going back to a new timeline where your father never existed, even though he was managing Borussia Dortmund in 2016 in the real timeline that we are in right now? Why all the different timelines? What do you think this is, ****ing X-Men?”

“I don’t know what-

“If this is a prelude to PaulHartman71’s FM17 save game what will you be doing in this new save game? Will you be doing another A-Z career, maybe start at small clubs this time? Or maybe Z-A this time? Also what about the other various plot-holes that you would have to deal with if you really went back in time? How would you get manager’s job if nobody knew who you was? How would you have money or be able to get qualifications? How would you get passport, bank account etc without sufficient documents to prove when you were born and such forth?”

All of a sudden, there was yet another deafening gunshot and in an instance, the man asking all of the questions dropped to the floor in a heap.

“I thought he’d never shut up” gasped a voice that Adam recognized instantly.

“Dad! You survived!” he shouted in shock as he looked over to see his father, who was still on the floor. It was only then that Adam noticed just how blood soaked Sir Paul’s body really was.

“Yes, son…but I’m as good as dead. I don’t have long left…”

“Come with me! I’ll take the time machine to the future, they’ll be able to fix you up. Then we can go back to 2016 like you said!”

“No, son. My time is over. I had a good run. But it’s not too late for you. You can go back in time, carve your own managerial legacy”

“But how? I’m no manager. I was barely even a player!”

“I believe in you, son. Pat believed in you too. You have my blood. You can do it, I know you can. Just promise me one thing…”

“Anything”

“Learn from my mistakes. The A-Z journey. I restricted myself so much. Do you know how many times I got offered the Real Madrid job but had to turn it down? Don’t do what I did. When opportunity presents itself, you should never say no…” and with that, Sir Paul Hart breathed for the very last time… as he died in his son’s arms.

 

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