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       THE ALL-PRO (Galactic Football League), p.1

           Scott Sigler
 
THE ALL-PRO (Galactic Football League)


  THE

  ALL-PRO

  Galactic Football League: Book Three

  Scott Sigler

  THE ALL-PRO

  September 2011

  This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

  All rights reserved

  Copyright © 2011 by Scott Sigler

  www.scottsigler.com

  The Library of Congress has cataloged the earlier printing as follows:

  Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Sigler, Scott

  The All-Pro / Scott Sigler. — 1st ed.

  p. cm.

  1. Science Fiction—Fiction. 2. Sports—Fiction.

  Library of Congress Control Number: 2011904462

  ISBN: 978-0-983-19634-1

  Book design by Donna Mugavero, Sheer Brick Studio

  Published in the United States of America

  by Dark Øverlord Media

  Limited Edition

  This book is dedicated to

  Terry Bradshaw,

  my first football hero.

  This book is dedicated to

  the Orange and the Black —

  the greatest fans in the galaxy.

  Contents

  Acknowledgments

  Special Thanks

  Author’s Note

  Book One: The Off-Season

  1. Transcript from the “Galaxy’s Greatest Sports Show with Dan, Akbar, and Tarat the Smasher”

  2. August 2683

  3. September 2683

  4. October 2683

  5. November 2683

  6. December 2683

  Book Two: The Preseason

  7. Preseason Week One: January 1 – 7, 2684

  8. Preseason Week Two: January 8 – 14, 2684

  9. Preseason Week Three: January 15 – 21, 2684

  10. Preseason Week Four: January 22 – 26, 2684

  Book Three: The Regular Season

  11. Week One: Isis Ice Storm at Ionath Krakens

  12. Week Two: Ionath Krakens at Yall Criminals

  13. Week Three: Coranadillana Cloud Killers at Ionath Krakens

  14. Week Four: Ionath Krakens at Hittoni Hullwalkers

  15. Week Five: Alimum Armada at Ionath Krakens

  16. Week Six: Ionath Krakens at 0S1 Orbiting Death

  17. Week Seven: Lu Juggernauts at Ionath Krakens

  18. Week Eight : Bye

  19. Week Nine: Ionath Krakens at Wabash Wolfpack

  20. Week Ten: To Pirates at Ionath Krakens

  21. Week Eleven: D’kow War Dogs at Ionath Krakens

  22. Week Twelve: Ionath Krakens at Themala Dreadnaughts

  23. Week Thirteen: Ionath Krakens at Vik Vanguard

  Book Four: The Postseason

  24. The Quarterfinals

  Book Five: Epilogue

  25. Divisional Championships

  26. Galaxy Bowl

  Acknowledgments

  Gridiron greats, who line up to play every damn Sunday:

  A “Future Hall-of-Famer” Kovacs

  publisher, ally, warrior to the core

  Donna “Chalkboard” Mugavero

  interior book design

  Scott “Big Fish” Pond

  color insert design

  John “The Franchise” Vizcarra

  continuity coach

  Jerry “SI Coverboy” Scullion

  jacket design

  Rob “Moo” Otto

  football analyst

  Irv “Coach” Sigler

  playbook consultant

  Special Thanks

  Team Dark Øverlord:

  Arioch Morningstar

  audio production

  Carmen Wellman

  Siglerpedia Czar

  Also by Scott Sigler

  Infected

  Contagious

  Ancestor

  Books in the Galactic Football League series

  The Rookie

  The Starter

  The All-Pro

  Short Story Collections

  Blood is Red

  Bones are White

  All of these books are also available at scottsigler.com

  Author’s Note

  Oh, hello there. I didn’t see you hanging around, waiting patiently for this book. That’s a lie. Of course I saw you, you stalker.

  A brief timeline note for THE ALL-PRO. If you read THE STARTER, an article at the end of that novel reported the results of the 2683 Tier Two Tournament. The Orbiting Death won the T2 Tourney, beating the Texas Earthlings in the championship game. That earned both teams promotion to Tier One, where you will see them play in this book.

  As THE ALL-PRO opens, however, the T2 Tournament has not yet happened. That article about the Orbiting Death’s tourney win? That was a flash forward, a little sneak peek to set up a primary rivalry for the Ionath Krakens.

  In the pages you are about to read, our story begins with Quentin scouting for players at the Tier Three Tournament, also known as the “Two Weeks of Hell.” This tournament happens three months after the 2683 Tier One season that you read about in THE STARTER and right before the beginning of the Tier Two season.

  Am I confusing the bejezus out of you? Here, this might help:

  THE STARTER:

  Tier One Season: Jan. 2, 2683, to May 22, 2683

  THE ALL-PRO: (off-season for Quentin & Co.)

  Tier Three Tournament: Aug. 14, 2683, to Aug. 28, 2683

  Tier Two Regular Season: Aug. 28, 2683, to Dec. 25, 2683

  THE ALL-PRO: (in-season for Quentin & Co.)

  Tier One Preseason: Jan. 1, 2684, to Jan. 22, 2684

  Tier One Regular Season: Jan. 27, 2684, to April 20, 2684

  Tier One Postseason: April 27, 2684, to May 11, 2684

  I hope that clears things up. Now, enjoy the book, drop and give me twenty and run the plays that I call!

  BOOK ONE:

  THE OFF-SEASON

  April 23, 2683, to

  December 31, 2683

  1

  Transcript from the “Galaxy’s Greatest Sports Show with Dan, Akbar, and Tarat the Smasher”

  DAN: Hello again, sports fans. I am the semi-mystical being known as Dan the Man Gianni, once again bringing you the most stunning show the universe has witnessed since the Big Bang. With me as always, Hall-of-Fame linebacker Tarat the Smasher and my lil’ buddy, Akbar Smith.

  TARAT: Thank you, Dan.

  AKBAR: Lil’ buddy? Are you kidding?

  DAN: No need to thank me, Akbar. Everyone in broadcasting needs a great nickname.

  AKBAR: And your great nickname is Dan the Man? That’s the best you got?

  TARAT: Well, we can’t all have names like Smasher, lil’ buddy.

  DAN: Hey! Was that humor out of Tarat? Fantastic.

  AKBAR: Tarat, how many times do I have to tell you to not encourage him?

  TARAT: But I thought it was good to offer Humans encouragement.

  DAN: Never mind him, Tarat. Let’s get into the news. The Tier Three Tournament is underway. We’re through the first round of the famed Two Weeks of Hell.

  TARAT: My money is on the Achnad Archangels.

  AKBAR: I’m going with the Kull Conquerors.

  DAN: You’re both wrong, wrong and ... oh wait ... I have a memo here ... yes, it says wrong! The Pittsburgh Steelers are the cream of the Tier Three crop this year and they’ll bring the Homestead Cup back to Earth for the first time in a decade.

  AKBAR: The Steelers? You’re crazy. And what the hell is a steeler, anyway?

  TARAT: A stealer
is someone who practices theft, Akbar. And Dan, with a statement like that, I have to question the validity of your decision-making process.

  DAN: Both of you, shush it. We’re not going to dwell on Tier Three, because the real story is free agency for the upcoming 2684 Tier One season. You guys know how this works. Tier One finishes, which takes us to the Two Weeks of Hell for Tier Three and when that finishes we have the Tier Two season. With Tier One season finished and the Wabash Wolfpack crowned champs, we immediately jump into the free agency window. Teams can sign any player who is not under contract.

  AKBAR: Sure, but we won’t see any big signings for another few weeks, Dan. Players have to feel things out.

  DAN: Wrong, fish-breath! This just in. The Galaxy’s Greatest Sports Show is the first with the story — Rick Renaud, formerly with the New Rodina Astronauts and the top freeagent quarterback in all of football, just signed with the Yall Criminals.

  TARAT: The Criminals got Renaud? That is a big move.

  AKBAR: That instantly makes them contenders again. Last year, they were six-and-six, but in ’82, they were eleven-and-one and favored to win it all before they lost to the To Pirates in the semi-finals.

  TARAT: They only lost that game because quarterback Morite Whittmore was hurt in the second quarter. The Criminals were ahead when that happened.

  DAN: Well, we’ll see what the Yall Criminals can do now that they have their man. Renaud’s deal is eighteen megacredits a season for six seasons, one hundred eight megacredits total, forty-eight of those guaranteed. That’s forty-eight million credits, guaranteed, even if he doesn’t play a down for the Criminals. That makes him the highest-paid player in the history of the GFL. We know the rules committee is looking into a salary cap for 2686, which means the 2685 season could be the last year where a team can pay whatever it wants to land a player. With Renaud defining what a quarterback can make, what does that mean for free-agent quarterbacks at the end of the 2684 season, heading into 2685, which might well be the last year of monster contracts?

  AKBAR: And by free-agent quarterbacks next year, you’re referring to Quentin Barnes?

  DAN: Who else? His contract with the Krakens is up after the 2684 season. There will be no other major QBs on the market. Sure, Frank Zimmer is available, but even if the To Pirates don’t re-sign him—

  TARAT: Which won’t happen unless the Pirates want bloody riots all across the Ki Empire.

  AKBAR: Try across the whole damn galaxy.

  DAN: Right. Zimmer and the Pirates are one and the same. Not signing him means great loss of life and also general sadness among many. Like I was saying, even if Zimmer is available, no one is going to pay him top dollar with his age and history of concussions. Don Pine’s contract with Ionath is also up at the end of 2684, but he’s also old and he’s not even starting for the Krakens. The young-gun quarterbacks, like Themala’s Gavin Warren and the Orbiting Death’s Condor Adrienne, are either tied up in long-term contracts or protected for two years due to promotion from Tier Two to Tier One. Barnes is a free agent, he’ll only be twenty in Earth years and he’s shaping up to be a superstar.

  AKBAR: You know, Renaud averaged 315 passing yards per game and Barnes averaged 268 when he played the entire game. Barnes isn’t that far behind the best quarterback in football right now. For all the great roster moves made by Gredok the Splithead, he messed up by not signing Barnes to a long-term deal.

  TARAT: I think Barnes will carry some animosity at being paid league minimum for two years.

  DAN: But will Gredok make Barnes the highest-paid player in the league? Will he lock him up?

  AKBAR: If he doesn’t do it, someone will. The Bartel Water Bugs need a QB. And sooner or later, the Pirates need to replace Zimmer.

  TARAT: And my sources tell me that the Mars Planets have new investors. They badly want to return to Tier One and are willing to spend the money to get there.

  DAN: But would Barnes drop to a Tier Two team if the five time GFL champion To Pirates are willing to make him Zimmer’s heir? I don’t think so.

  TARAT: Humans are obsessed with finances, Dan. There is no limit to what your species will do when money is part of the equation.

  AKBAR: And let’s not forget the gangland factor. As far as we know, someone will strong-arm Barnes into signing. Anna Villani did that with Condor Adrienne.

  DAN: Hey now, Akbar, let’s not go making wild accusations.

  AKBAR: What the hell do you mean wild accusations?

  TARAT: That means a baseless claim or an assertion that lacks facts or supporting evidence, Akbar.

  AKBAR: Thanks, Tarat. You’re always so helpful. Why don’t you have another spider snack? Do you guys think that Condor Adrienne walked away from the Whitok Pioneers and signed with the Orbiting Death just because?

  DAN: Akbar, you can’t deny that Villani is putting together an impressive team. Adrienne? Yalla the Biter at linebacker? And Chooch Motumbo at running back to replace Ju Tweedy?

  AKBAR: Don’t you mean replace the murderer?

  DAN: I mean replace Ju Tweedy, Akbar. There is no evidence that Ju killed Grace McDermot.

  AKBAR: And I’ve got a wormhole to sell you.

  TARAT: But there is no such thing as a wormhole.

  AKBAR: Exactly.

  DAN: Anyway, Villani’s spending the bucks to make a run at Tier One. She locked up Adrienne, which means that after the upcoming 2684 Tier One season, Barnes is going to be the biggest catch on the market.

  TARAT: He should get an agent.

  AKBAR: No kidding. Barnes makes league minimum. And have you seen his commercials? The Miller Lager commercial is awful. The kid can’t act at all.

  TARAT: I thought the commercial was very informative about the benefits of the product.

  DAN: Oh, for crying out loud. The only other commercial he did was that one for Sayed Luxury Yachts. Barnes didn’t say anything, just stood there looking all quarterback-ish. He should do more like that.

  AKBAR: Maybe he should just worry about football. Let’s be honest — he pulled the Krakens out of the fire last year and stayed in Tier One, but he hasn’t proven anything other than he can sling the ball if his offensive line gives him time. We have to see if he’s focused this year.

  DAN: If he’s focused? Why wouldn’t he be dialed in like a laser?

  TARAT: My sources say he’s spending time with Somalia Midori, the singer of the band Trench Warfare. Apparently, her appearance is what you Humans would call distracting.

  AKBAR: Distracting? Yeah, that’s a good word for it.

  DAN: You can say that again. That is, if you’re into 6-foot-6 supermodels with legs up to the moon. But to each their own. You know what? Let’s go to the callers. Can Barnes handle his newfound celebrity and elevate the Krakens to a playoff team? Line three from Wilson 6, you’re on the Space. Go!

  CALLER: Yeah, I hope Barnes loses focus this year, so that New Rodina can get him cheap. Rick Renaud’s betrayal left us hurting this year. Renaud should be shot!

  TARAT: I think that is a bit extreme for leaving a team. For fumbling the ball, it is acceptable, but not for leaving a team.

  DAN: The New Rodina Astronauts have about as much of a chance at signing Barnes as I have at stealing Somalia Midori away from him. Two words: not gonna happen. Next call, line five from Alimum, you’re on the Space. Go!

  From The Ionath City Gazette

  * * *

  GFL Names 2683 All-Pro Team

  by TOYAT THE INQUISITIVE

  NEW YORK CITY, EARTH, PLANETARY UNION — GFL Commissioner Rob Froese today announced the 2683 All-Pro selections. This elite group is well represented by the Orange and the Black. Dominant left tackle Kill-O-Yowet and defensive end Aleksandar Michnik were named among the league’s best at their positions.

  Kill-O and Michnik became Ionath’s first Tier One All-Pro players since 2675, when Moog-A-Vero earned the honor, also at left tackle. The Krakens were relegated to Tier Two at the end of the 2676 season. The 2683 campaign
was the Krakens’ first Tier One outing in seven seasons of play.

  Quarterback Rick Renaud was named the league’s most valuable player on the heels of his 11-1 season with the New Rodina Astronauts. Renaud threw for 3,780 yards, a new single-season record for twelve games and averaged 315 per game with 27 touchdowns and 9 interceptions. Renaud led the Astros to the GFL championship game, where they lost 23-17 in a double-overtime thriller to the Wabash Wolfpack.

  This is the last season that the All-Pro selections are announced after the Galaxy Bowl. Beginning in the upcoming 2684 season, the All-Pro team will be named at the end of Week Thirteen, right before the playoffs begin.

  * * *

  * * *

  OFFENSE

  * * *

  Quarterback

  Rick Renaud

  New Rodina Astronauts

  Gavin Warren

  Themala Dreadnaughts

  Frank Zimmer

  To Pirates

  Running back

  Don Dennis

  Themala Dreadnaughts

  Jack Townsend

  Yall Criminals

  Stephen Schacknies

  New Rodina Astronauts

  Fullback

  Ralph Schmeer

  Wabash Wolfpack

  Kahn-En-Roll

  New Rodina Astronauts

  Wide receiver

  Atlanta

  New Rodina Astronauts

  Angoon

  Isis Ice Storm

  Victoria

  To Pirates

  Naksup

  Wabash Wolfpack

  Tight end

  Brandon Rowe

  Alimum Armada

  Rich Evanko

  New Rodina Astronauts

  Tackle

  Kill-O-Yowet

  Ionath Krakens

  Maik-De-Jong

  Neptune Scarlet Fliers

  Steve Henry

  Alimum Armada

  Guard

  Lor-En-Zen

  Jupiter Jacks

  Al-E-Rand

  Bord Brigands

  Mik-Gar-E

 
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