41 2nd Avenue
Sexton's phone rang twice before his secretary picked it up. He ignored it; there were far more important problems happening around him than a mere telephone call. His plans had run into an unexpected snarl; his deniable assets weren't going along with the script. Worse, because of the break-in, internal security started their own investigations.
His administrative assistant knocked on the door. "Sir, phone call for you."
"Not now, Donna." Sexton tried to shoo her out of the office by waving her away.
"She says it's urgent. Her name's Rose Velasco."
Sexton's eyes widened. He nodded. "Put her through." His assistant left, closing the door behind. The phone rang again; Sexton picked it up before the ring ended. "Sexton here. Ah, Rose, so good to hear from you again. How is your part-- I'm sorry?" Sexton shot forward in his chair. He fought to keep his voice level. "My PDA? There must be-- I see." Anger seeped through Sexton's control. "Look, theft of government property and misuse of government computers is a Federal felony. What do you want? That's out of the question. I can get the Feds off your back, though. Meet me with the laptop and the Blackberry. Yes, two o'clock is good. Forest Park. Where, then?" Sexton sighed with impatience. "Fine, the ballpark. At two. If I have to be alone, so do you. See you then." Sexton hung up. He reached under his desk and pulled out a small notebook. He flipped through it. Finding what he wanted, he picked up the phone again and dialled.
St. Louis, Missouri
Wal-Mart Store #6032
Sergei raised an eyebrow. "That's a tall order, Elena," he said. He looked back down at the list. "I don't have the resources you think I do."
Elena switched to Russian. "Cut the crap, Sergei. The FSB isn't as inept as we all pretend it is. I know you still have ties with them. Spin some sort of cock and bull story that it's in the best interests of the Russian Federation. I need the cars, Sergei."
"Keep it down," Sergei responded, also in Russian. "It'll take a week to get the cars."
"I don't have a week."
"Poor planning on your part doesn't mean an emergency for me."
Elena poked Sergei's shoulder hard. "Don't you lecture me about planning. How many times have I hauled your ass out of the fire when you didn't have any contingencies ready?"
The Russian man rubbed his shoulder. "You're asking for the impossible."
"If I wanted the impossible, I'd give you the week to get it done."
"Four cars, Elena. That's tough."
"A Canadian ship is depending on you, Sergei."
Sergei laughed. "Who would go after the Canadians? They're inoffensive. Pull the other one, Elena."
"I'm not joking. Someone has designs on a Canadian frigate. Sergei, if something happens to it, fallout is going to be nasty. Internationally, tempers would flare. It'd be like someone hitting your kid sister."
Elena switched back to English. "The cars don't need to be fancy. They just have to run."
Sergei nodded. "All identical?"
"Colour, make, model. I don't care about the insides."
"Come back in an hour. I'll have something set up by then."
"Thanks, Sergei. I knew you were the person to see for something like this. Now, I have one more request."
Sergei sighed with resignation. "If it's in my power."
"Sporting goods is in Aisle 17."
Elena shook her head. "Five day wait, remember? And I don't want to risk my background data on a search right now."
"What type of guns were you looking for?"
"Here." Elena pulled a scrap of paper out of her pocket. She handed it to Sergei.
The Wal-Mart manager glanced at the sheet. "The revolver shouldn't be a problem. Didn't think you went for those."
"It's for a friend. She's from Texas."
Sergei grinned. "Now, this other one."
"If a street punk can get one, you can."
Elena nodded. "The MAC-11. I'll need extra clips for it and extra speed-loaders for the revolver."
"I can get it. See me in an hour. Bring cash."