"The vault is underground, directly below the the craps tables," Bain explained. Dallas followed along on the blueprints the Dentist had couriered to them that afternoon. "The plans don't show precisely where the vault lies though so we'll have to incurr some... collateral damage to find out," Bain added.
Dallas set the plans aside for the building specifications, to see what exactly they were up against here.
"We're gonna need more than C4 to breach this vault though," he said. The ceiling of the vault was thick and made of heat and impact resistant alloys. "Thermite wouldn't even be able to get through this. Not in good enough time, anyway."
"I'm working on that," Bain said.
"I don't care to be contacted directly, Bain," the Dentist said, taking the call in his office .
"Now you know how we feel," Bain retorted. "We need you to make an "arrangement" for us," he added quickly, getting to the point.
"If you will recall, I am the client in this transaction. You are supposed to be making arrangements for me."
"And if you will recall, you've already delivered on your promise to free Hoxton, which means you are now relying entirely on theives' honor," Bain took a drag from his electronic cigarette and let the understanding of their new dynamic sink in. "They are very eager to do the job though. They just need one more tool to get it done."
The Dentist let Bain hang for a moment of his own before speaking.
"What do you need?"
"Nothing you haven't done before," Bain said. "We just need you to offer a man a job."
They wouldn't ban him from the sport entirely. He was a star player, he sold tickets and filled seats. This wouldn't go over without consequences though.
Sokol sat in the locker room, mulling over the possibility that he might have just ruined his hockey career.
He'd overreacted. He was smart enough to know that. No one was going to accept being called a "durak" as justification for punching a referee in the face and starting a brawl between teams. A five year perfect record ruined in an instant of blind rage.
It was just one of those things that set him off.
The player on the other team, Number 67, probably hadn't even meant it as a real insult. It was just muttered under his breath right before the puck went into play. Yes, now that he really thought about it, it was clear that it was just a psyche out trick. And he had fallen for it.
Being called an idiot was something he could never abide, though. He had robbed practically every worthwhile casino in the country and no one was any the wiser. He'd graduated early, with a degree in advanced engineering. This, compared to his colleagues who had degrees in things like communications or philosophy, if they even graduated at all. He was indisputably smarter than most people, certainly everyone in that hockey arena, and he was without a doubt smarter than Number 67.
But Number 67 still got to him. Stupid.
He was interrupted from his lone contemplation by the sound of expensive shoes clicking on the locker room tile. He didn't look up to see who it was, resolutely scowling at the floor. Just as well, as the shiny Italian leather shoes stopped right in front of him and placed themselves squarely under his gaze.
"What do you want?" he grumbled.
"I'd like to offer you a job," came an even reply from above.
Sokol looked up then.
The fancy shoes belonged to a tidy black man in wire frame glasses.
"Yeah?" Sokol asked. "Doing what? Bouncing for some shit roadhouse? Loanshark enforcer?"
"No," the Dentist said. "Something much more befitting of your... previous work history."
Sokol stared then, unsure if this man was implying what he could be. He could tell nothing from the Dentist's own dead stare though.
Better safe than sorry.
"No, thanks," Sokol said. "I am thinking about retiring."
"You've already retired. The Russian authorities were getting too close to you. And you are smart enough to know when to quit."
Okay, so he was talking about Sokol's life of crime. The Dentist allowed himself half a smirk at the look of wariness that shifted into place on Sokol's face.
"My client would like to offer you a position on his team, in the United States," the Dentist said. "On average, each job they execute nets each participant one point four million dollars."
Sokol could not keep himself from reacting to that number with wide eyes. He was only getting seven hundred thousand a season for playing hockey. Still, he couldn't ignore the feeling that something didn't add up.
"Why does he want me though?" Sokol asked. "Almost any athlete would say yes." It wasn't like throwing your full body weight into guards or pointing a gun at croupiers were specialized skills.
"My client is not interested in your physical abilities," the Dentist explained. "He is interested in the machine you designed for your senior project."
That piqued Sokol's interest.
"Yes. They have need for such a device. As you have designed one and you have experience with exactly the sort of job sites they are planning work for, you are an ideal candidate for the position."
He couldn't deny that he was intrigued now. When it came to his criminal career, he'd always worked alone. Once the police starting seeing a pattern in his jobs, though, he'd been forced to stop. He'd be harder to trace and harder to catch if it wasn't just his MO the cops had to recognize. And it would be next to impossible for them to follow his tracks if he went to America. All this, coupled with the idea of using his engineering skills, his intelligence, in earnest? He was never going to get that chance as a hockey player.
There was still one kink in the plans though.
"The BFD doesn't exist," Sokol said. "I designed it, yes, but I never built it. My concept is purely theoretical."
The Dentist's reserved smile returned.
"My client has already allocated funding for parts fabrication into the job's budget. He needs only for you to build it and put it into use."
Another point in favor. Still, he had a very lucrative, very legal career already. It paid well and it kept him out of prison. This would be taking a very extreme risk.
After tonight, though, he could almost certainly anticipate that there would be rules and conditions on his continued playing. Rules and conditions were why he eschewed going into professional engineering. He didn't want to waste his time and mind on shit other people demanded he do. This "client" of this man's, though, he was prepared to let Sokol use his talents more or less as he wished.
"You say 1.4?" Sokol asked.
"It's done," the Dentist said into his cellphone as he walked to his airport terminal.
"Great," Bain said. The call disconnected.
It was beautiful how these things sometimes just seemed to come together, Bain thought. Especially when you put some of the pieces into place yourself. He pressed the enter key on his keyboard, beginning a series of obfuscating money transfers that ultimately ended in the bank account of Number 67 of the Kursk Rockets.