While Federico slept, the tiniest details of Dolores’s YouTube video were subjected to high-resolution image analysis. For three uneventful minutes, Dolores’s video showed hostage and captor dancing across the cellar’s slate flagstones to the B flat minor key of Troilo’s “Barrio de Tango”. Nothing is uneventful, of course. While the phone recorded their impromptu dance and innocently betrayed its precise location in Calle Copernico, Dolores was tense in Federico’s embrace, distraught that she may not have set the phone properly. The music goaded Federico’s fevered imagination, feeding his tango crush like a mother’s tender swollen nipple. In the last second or two of the video, the rasp of the cellar door being opened was heard, and an abrupt jolt and sway of the camera’s field of view captured a man’s startled eyes as he stared into the phone’s jewel-like lens. This last video image was downloaded and processed.
The security services inherited by Mme. Quiroga were skilled at scanning and archiving covert photographs of citizens. U.S. expertise in computational image analysis did the rest. Spectrophotometric rendition of the man’s right iris was compared to a database of thousands of digitized irises. A match was made, and a judge perfunctorily signed an arrest warrant for Marcos Maldonado, a retired military intelligence officer, adjutant to General Quiroga in the Malvinas campaign, and focal point of violent rightist subversion of Argentina’s Head of State.
Amancio oversaw the flow of intelligence on his laptop in the Sofitel. While leaning on the balcony rail, he listened to FM Gardel 91.1 and studied the windowed complexities of life in the condo tower across the street, where dramas no less exigent than his own were playing out. Tango shaped his interpretation of these dioramas, and he returned to his laptop refreshed and decisive. Dolores, back at the Four Seasons, shaken but game, dabbed Provocatif on her earlobe and wondered if a black cocktail dress or a white would be better when meeting Willis, and shoes, of course, were a more substantive question… Willis and Nestor negotiated jurisdictional nuances in a beige Ministry of Security office. Federico, under surveillance at the Hospital Italiano, drifted uneasily between the tedious fluorescent reality of life-support, and surrender to dreams of intimate connection with Dolores to the sound of Di Sarli’s “Mi Refugio”.
And Felix and Charlotte, flouting presidential protocol, met discreetly in a private room at La Cabrera, and touched, over Ojo de Bife, on the finer points of leading and following.