Page 1

Book 1 ANA, THE MARTIAN (Beta) ´¨) ¸.•´¸.•´¨) ¸.•¨) (¸.•´ (¸.•` Part 1 It was the night, on the extensive plains, with crops, of the "Provincia de Buenos Aires", where with its pavement the provincial road extended across such an extensively uniform horizon. Darting at high speeds against the almost non existent traffic of that road, at the steering wheel of a black racing Honda, which had been brought imported to Argentina directly from Japan, his owner Daniel Cordoba was chanting with the music, that was coming out of the powerful speakers inside the car's cockpit, from the radio "Mega", with its permanent broadcast of old argentine hits. While at that time the song was of the "GIT" rock band, Daniel only distracted from it, to comment remembering by the way: "My River Plate will be playing in Caracas, tomorrow wednesday... I just really hope they come back in one piece!... from that violent country, I mean...". At Daniel Cordoba's right, in the passenger seat, was travelling his life long friend Manuel Harriott. The two men were of an average height, and as young as twenty both. Much more thin than Daniel though, Manuel was about to speak something, although the third friend traveling there, Ana Arce, from the back seat perfectly anticipated his intentions, with her uttering: "Yeah! It would be great, to be there instead... in the Caribbean, I mean... With the yachts, the sun, and the palms... and everything like that". Manuel laughed out loudly, and stretched his left arm, to tease the skinny naked thigh of Ana, under her tiny skirt of a thin white fabric, with Manuel then remarking: "Ditto, to that, Ana!... That's exactly, what I was thinking!", and then with a gloating smile Manuel turned back his palid face of black hair, with his also black eyes on the way barely staring left, at Daniel. Sitting well again, Manuel finally muttered: "You don't surprise me anymore, Anita!". Right behind him, one year younger than the two gentlemen, with her age of twenty years, Ana Arce giggled. Ana really was an uncommon human being though, with her skinny body, her extra pale skin without blemishes, her milky irises, and an equally white hair, that she always kept short, resorting to the most expensive coiffeurs in town. Both Ana and Manuel were common 'Portenio' people of the city of Buenos Aires, anyhow, from the neighborhood of Belgrano. There, Ana had an old, very expensive manor of her property, near the Cramer avenue, and Manuel lived in an apartment, similarly of him, on the third floor of an ultra sophisticated building, on the Olazabal street, in the corner of Moldes. Furthermore, Daniel Cordoba was an authentic aristocratic youngster of a distinguished family, even with ties with the argentine military, and so it always

felt like condescending with Danielito, when treating with others. Anyhow, the three of them were affluent overall, dedicating their time to study things only for some occasional leisure interest, and so Daniel Cordoba was dedicated, studying his career of architecture, for example. Daniel also had a humongous farm in Lujan, to where the three friends precisely were heading on that night, and so Ana asked casually: "It's two in the morning, people!... Could we be there, at your farmstate, Daniel, in time for our fucking asado?... I mean, really in time at noon?". Daniel blew a giggle, and said quite confidently: "With this new car of me, at two hundred kilometers per hour, certainly we'll reach there as expected! We'll have time to play Battlefront with our laptops, and everything... You'll see!". Manuel Harriott then commented: "Let's hope there's good internet connectivity from these farms... My Luke Skywalker will do just like in the movies!". Ana Arce laid her thin hand on his left shoulder, and she teased then: "Manuelito, my love... You won't escape even here from the might of my Emperor Palpatine...", to which Daniel Cordoba then added: "And his loyal henchman Dart Vader...". Even at those high speeds on board the racing japanese car, Daniel then raised his right muscular hand, to which Ana immediately reacted with her own thin left hand slapping his, on behalf of the Imperial team, they usually shared, playing "Star Wars". Ana then stretched back over her seat, and so distracted she examined inside her coat, of a thin, red fabric, and short sleeves, over her white blouse, examining the tiny screen of a mp3 player, which was playing then an audio book of the "American Psycho" novel, her favorite literature of all times. With the popular novel being read into her ears, Ana Arce couldn't help then with her unpigmented milky eyes to examine at the skies of the province of Buenos Aires, as up there it was all sprinkled with a mantle of shinning silver stars. Ana so mumbled: "Humph... too much calm, around here, though...". Precisely at that moment, the left front wheel of the Honda racing car of Daniel, with an explosive sound unexpectedly suffered a puncture blowout, for which, for an emergency procedure, Daniel quite dexterously released the speed pedal, totally ignoring the brakes, and held the steering wheel the most firmly he could, with his well built arms, attempting to keep control. At its very high speed, the car pulled sharply to the left though, and soon it began to spin, with its three surviving wheels screeching over the pavement. After being traveling well over one hundred kilometers per hour, the Honda of Daniel whirled out of control five times completely roundly, with the rubber of the three surviving Bridgestone tyres shrieking, striving to keep gripping the pavement. The imported car ended up over the hard shoulder of the opposite side of the road, with the front fallen in a road ditch with water. Once being totally stopped, Daniel blew air from his mouth, and Manuel Harriott mumbled: "phew!". Behind, Ana Arce stopped clawing to her seat, to be the first to speak: "Are we

still alive?". The four Portenio friends didn't take long unbuckling their safety belts, and getting out of the car. Manuel Harriott was the first one assessing the situation: "Well... We'll have to wait for a crane, before anything else". Daniel Cordoba had his cellphone on his hand already, checking out its GPS, to mumble pensively: "Hmm... the closest Automovil Club is 35 km from here", after which he got the phone connection he had been expecting, and began to talk. Besides, the skinny Manuel Harriott distracted his head from him, discovering then, that in the middle of the dark night Ana Arce was totally absorbed, staring with her milky eyes at the skies to the west. Manuel Harriott walked slowly close to Ana, and then embraced her from behind of her equally white short hairdo. Manuel then discovered, that Ana was unusually tense. Intrigued, Manuel wondered: "What's going on?", to which he got no answer, and so he attempted following the direction of her eye sight, to the skies. Up there, Manuel effectively discovered the unusual occurrence, as there was a blinking light, of changing colors, slightly bigger than the rest of the stars, moving in a line exactly in the direction of the two Portenio friends. Like somehow expecting an explanation from her, Manuel extremely surprised mumbled: "Tell me, Ana... What is that thing?", to which he got no response from her part, though. At that moment, with his black eyes paying attention only to the LCD screen of his Kodak cell phone Daniel Cordoba aproached to them, mumbling: "We'll have a rented car, coming for us in some minutes, from "Tres Sargentos", fifteen kilometers from here". At that point, Manuel was as absorted as Ana, in total silence, staring at the heavens, in those first hours of the day. Puzzled, Daniel then mumbled: "Kids?", to which he ended up raising his head too, quickly finding the uncommon phenomena, occurring in the starred skies. Anyhow, like reacting to the arrival of Daniel Cordoba, in the upper atmosphere the flickering, colorful luminosity suddenly hastened gaining a shooting speed, in just a second, and so it finally disappeared. On the ground, stranded in the middle of nowhere, Manuel, Ana, and Daniel were left literally open mouthed, and after some seconds of silence an audible explosion also came powerfully down from the skies, distantly upwards. It was Ana Arce, who reacted turning around, and squeezing the left arm of Manuel, she said: "I'm really scared, about being here tonight, my love...". ´¨) ¸.•´¸.•´¨) ¸.•¨) (¸.•´ (¸.•` Book 1 Part 2 At breakfast time, the dining room of the sumptuous motel, in the small town at

some distant road in the Provincia de Buenos Aires, was really warm on that winter morning, even with powerful sun beams invading the place inside, through the glass windows. On the wooden table, there was a floral arrangement, beside a glossy with caramel strawberry pie, over which a fly had just lied down its six microscopic paws. Daniel Cordoba distracted his hand waving it over there, just to bring it back to the screen of his cell phone, while commenting: "...overall, everything is working fine, Ana. Yeah! Much better than before. Our clients are making queues daily, to get all our imports, that you and Manuelito got for my company. I'll be getting back to Buenos Aires just to take care of all that". Wearing a thick, red bathrobe over her skinny body, Ana Arce got closer to her steaming capuccino, getting her elbows over the table, to comment: "See, Daniel? See? Friendship loyalty always pays off... It's an ancestral rule!". Ana made a gesture with her white brows, over her eyes of similarly milky irises, smiled funnily at his friend, and finally with her skinny right hand she brought the humongous, hot mug to her delicate lips. Daniel Cordoba then commented: "All in all, it now gives me more time to practice polo with my team of Coronel Suarez... You and Manuelito will so see me shine on the Campo Argentino!". Daniel Cordoba also was a star of argentine polo, in that squad, and so Manuel and Ana often went together attending those games of their friend, at Palermo. With her white eyes checking his mug, Ana Arce left it over its little plate to whisper: "I really like those weekends in Palermo... One of the best places to take out my Mercedes, with Manuel...". Daniel Cordoba brought his two hands over the back of his head to say distractedly: "I'm just enjoying all the extra autographs, I'm handing to the little girls after each event!... You've got no idea, Ana!". "...while keeping up the prestige of my own family!" Wearing a yellow inflatable coat, Manuel Harriott surprised with such commentary, returning then to the table from the parking lot, outside. Also, with his right hand wearing a bracelet entirely of actual sivler, like a tiny chain with links, Manuel surprisingly had picked a bottle of imported "Chivas Regal" whiskey from the bar there, even being then the early hours of the morning. Manuel kissed Ana Arce, and then he sat at her right. While Manuel was pouring a generous amount of the scottish alcoholic beverage into his very thin glass, Ana hastened, and she held his hand with her thin right one, like anticipating, what their friend was about to utter, from the other side of the wooden table. Then, Daniel Cordoba didn't care to add: "Oh, well... Your grandfather is my idol of all time, in Polo. Yeah! His team fellows are, who taught me all I know of the game". Manuel's grandfather had been one of the champions of Polo in Argentina, in the year 1969, whereas he also had been an argentine naval officer, perishing in the war of 1982, in the sinking of the cruiser General Belgrano.

Manuel indeed had ever been really touchy about the subject, so he then reacted promptly drinking the whole of his glass of whiskey, and in the end he made a "Mmm" sound of alcoholic delight. Disregarding, quite coldly Daniel Cordoba just raised his black eyebrows, to demand aloud: "So? How's my car, Manuel, there in the Automovil Club?". Nonetheless, Manuel Harriott reacted equally manly then, to talk to his friend. Firstly, Manuel extended his left arm over the back of the chair of Ana, and so he finally said: "Oh, yeah... Your car has suffered nothing else, but some bruises, beside the flat tire. It's gonna be ready this afternoon". As Manuel filled his glass with whiskey again, Daniel, with his mouth full of honey covered cake, disregarding raised his two thumbs, acknowledging aloud: "That's great! The Automovil Club is so awesome...". With his whiskey in his right hand, and with a smile on his face, Manuel turned to his left, asking: "Are you better from your headache, love?". After examining him with her white eyes, Ana Arce leant fully back on his thin arm, and putting her white head on his neck, she whispered: "Not, unfortunately... I'm still stressed, and I've got no idea why...". Daniel Cordoba brought together his two hands, mingling all his fingers pensively over the wooden table, to suggest: "You should rest, then, girl... We have enough time to get ready, until my Honda is ready to go again". Ana Arce snorted soundly over the neck of Manuel, and then she smiled with her white teeth, to open wide her equally milky eyes, and voiced: "Yeah, you're right, Danielito. I'm going to lay down in my hotel room...". Ana Arce kissed the mouth of Manuel Harriott, who promptly attempted to stand up, although Ana reposed her thin hand on his left shoulder, with her adding: "Oh, don't worry, Manuel... I'm perfectly fine. I need some calm right now. I better walk lonely there. I'll just wait for you, ok?". Ana Arce smiled, and Manuel nodded in agreement. As Ana was leaving the table, Daniel, with his head of a black hair of a "taper fade" cut, approached confidently to his friend. Daniel Cordoba, then, finally commented in a discreetly low voice: "...and this is how another of the mysteries of Ana Arce begins!". Disregarding, Ana Arce then left the dinette of the motel of the isolated town, in the Provincia de Buenos Aires, stepping with her leather flip flops, and with a blue topaz anklet in her right foot, over the gravel parking lot, covered with dead leaves and sticks. Each single porch of the over dozen hovels, in a row, of the hotel, was occupied by a vehicle, each of a different size, including a large bus at the extreme of the small park. Below that big passenger vehicle in particular, there were ten children playing football, with piles of clothes for goals. Ana Arce barely distracted with them, as she was tranquilly crossing back to her

cottage room, walking over the gravel. At that moment, though, one of the kids, wearing the green shirt of the Ferrocarril Oeste club, hit the ball really hard, and it just scored, sneaking through the two extended arms of the goalkeeper, with the shirt of the Racing Club, white, and with vertical blue stripes. All the children of that team yelled "Goooal!" in unison, while the ball kept flying at a high speed, and passed in the air right in front of the tiny, round nose of Ana Arce, who barely managed to pull back her entirely white head, of milky eyes. The ball so ended up fully hitting the side of a red Fiat Argo, also there nearby, causing its alarm to go off loudly. With her hands in the big pockets of her red bathrobe, Ana Arce smiled at the kiddos, and she animatedly headed to that place, where she crouched down with her skinny arms extended, to get the ball. Ana in fact grasped it, yet getting up again she noticed very weird luminosities, reflected in the rear window of the Fiat. Intuitively, Ana Arce quickly turned her white head towards that direction, at the distance, in which it actually was the big entrance of the parking lot of the motel. There was nothing there, and at that precise instant the car alarm stopped wailing, aparently by itself. Despite being very confused, Ana somehow relaxed from the jolt, and then she mumbled: "Oh, well...". Nonetheless, a child voice interrupted her thoughts then: "Can I have my ball, miss?". With the ball still in her two thin hands, Ana turned around, and she barely stared down at a little kid, who was wearing a shirt of the national team of Paraguay, white, and with red vertical stripes. Disregarding, Ana Arce nervously turned her head back again to the Fiat, parked there, checking its windows. Then, with her white eyes she discovered more clearly, the shadow of a tall humanoid figure, looking like two meters tall, whose head also could be distinguished, surrounded by a halo of a curious orange luminosity. Ana quickly stepped back on her leather flip flops, with her skinny right arm protectively dragging the little kid with her. Always in her red bathrobe, Ana Arce then yelled: "As you've already noticed, I can read minds! Get out of here, now!". The little kid then wondered aloud: "Who your are talking to, miss?". Nonetheless, Ana kept her milky eyes affixed upon the entrance, although still there was nothing there. However, then, from the sheer nothingness in the entrance gate, it got apparent a 1.95 meter tall quite slender humanoid figure, with a big head, humongous ocular

appendages, not a nose, a light grey skin, and a mouth of pyramidal teeth, from which the creature started hissing, in a phantasmal way. The biped living thing, there, was almost completely nude, just with an orange robe, coming down from his right shoulder, and fitting all around his waist. With its two long hands, the creature also was holding an elongated contraption, which looked just like a motorcycle handlebar, of an orange surface, and with visible luminous distortions, in the middle of it. Also, the creature had a wide, golden bracelet, clasped to its left arm, near its shoulder, with more phantasmagoric luminosities, coming out of some bizarre figures, engraved on its surface, looking just like a big "H" letter with a smaller "x" in the middle of it. Ana Arce kept stepping back more quickly, while warning: "Don't you dare...". Disregarding, the orange handlebar held by the creature started shaking for just a second, and so the whole of his towering body vanished, jumping like an orange luminosity from its original place, to reappear one second later beside the little kid, of the Paraguay shirt. Then, the creature indeed managed yanking the kid away of Ana, and it also laid the elongated orange contraption over the chest of the child, who started to resist, violently, with all his energies. Ana Arce extended forward her two arms, in her red bathrobe, with her claiming: "Don't do nothing to him, monster! You'll certainly regret it! The authorities here will chase you down, and kill you...". With its long legs and paws, the creature forcibly pulled back the kid, while hissing a creepy and whimsical sound, from its big mouth of pyramidal teeth, which also echoed phantasmagorically in the minds of all the other people there. Anticipatedly then, Ana screamed: "Not, my god!", as the long orange gizmo vibrated again, and the kid got as stiff as a wooden board. With Ana Arce without daring to get any closer, the almost 2 meter tall creature pulled, and so the small petrified kid was dragged by the force, while leaving marks on the gravel, with the black "Puma" football sneakers of his feet. All the other kids of the parking lot were thronging then, behind Ana Arce, who desperately told to them: "Do not get any closer to that thing!". The tall creature of a grey skin so easily kept walking back with its hostage, to a narrow open space with a wooden fence, at which the big monster of an orange robe checked briefly behind, and finally stopped, exhaling a hissing noise, almost of an animal. There, it finally briefly looked at Ana for a second, and the orange 'motorcycle handlebar like' contraption in its two long hands then shook before the kid, right after which both the grey creature, and the hostage kid, became a single orange luminosity, shooting in the air to the expanse, behind, from where they had been standing. Ana Arce rushed desperately there, with her arms extended forward, to finally protest in her frustration: "Oh, my god. No!". All the kiddos there, in the parking lot, began to revolt in their desperation,

with many of them starting straight to cry, wondering: "Where is Luis?", "What happened, here?", "What the fuck is going on?". After staring at nowhere in the direction of the already vanished luminosity, with her two hands clenched in her desperation, she finally began running with her leather flip flops, and her blue topaz anklet in her right foot, back to the tea room of the motel, in the middle of the isolation of the provincia de Buenos Aires. ´¨) ¸.•´¸.•´¨) ¸.•¨) (¸.•´ (¸.•` Book 1 Part 3 In the city of Buenos Aires, in the neighborhood of Belgrano, like every afternoon the wooded sidewalks of the Juramento street were very busy, specially about the traditional node of humongous supermarkets, sited right there around the small Noruega park. In a nearby school of primary education, by the Moldes street, the bell of the day of studies there had just rang, and so the area quickly got cramped by small kids, all dressed with entirely white smocks, under a diversity of colorful coats, ment for such a very cold winter day. Of them all, a group of seven nine year old kiddos gathered into a candy store nearby there by the corner, once there unrestrainedly seizing a piece of sweet pleasure each, and paying for that. Just so, the whole launched further away, in an unrestrained race for fifty meters, to muster standing in front of the glass window of a small toy store, under the placid warmth, from the winter sun, whose beams were doused particularly over that side of the street. Similarly with a southern european look of a pale skin and a neat black hair, two of the kids discovered, to have coincidentally bought "Aguila" sweets, one of them being a big cookie with caramel filling, the other a chocolate covered medallion of mint. The two had opened the respective wrappers of those, ready to bite their treats, yet noticing the coincidence of the label, in their respective sweets, quite friendly they suddenly took their time to raise the confectionery in their little hands like in a toast, before finally starting to gobble that. Minutes later, reaching the corner of the street right there, one of them said goodbye to the group, to haphazardly begin running, crossing Juramento towards the public market, right there. One of the shops in particular, inside that covered area, was selling cheese, where there was a vendor of a white uniform, and a white cap. "How's been everything at school, Manuelito, my son?", the man asked, while squeezing the nine year old kid against his waist. Wearing a blue cotton coat over his long white school smock, the kid reacted embracing the big man with his arms fully open, and then he got tranquilly behind the counter, by his side. Manuel then tossed his grey knapsack over a surface, over which there was a big sticker reading "Malvinas Argentinas 1982", with the image of those southern islands, a few light blue and white stripes, and a big yellow sun, historically the same of the pre Columbian Inca Empire.

Manuel opened the zipper of his grey backpack, to take out his monthly school report sheet, and staring at his eyes with a smile he then extended it to his father, there. After rubbing his hands with a small cloth, the old man examined the school document, verifying once more, that once again all the grades of Manuel had been high. The man kissed the kid's head, and then he promptly signed the paper, saying: "You really deserve, all we give to you, my son!", and so he embraced him quite amorously another time. A while later, Manuel was walking the Juramento street again, back southwards, enjoying of some chilean dried cherries, directly from its package. Some girls of his school remained in the area, talking at the bench of a shop, offering yogurt, off the corner of Moldes. All the very young ladies greeted him with their hands, and always walking at a fast pace Manuel smiled at them. At the next street, Vidal, Manuel turned east. At the following corner, Echeverria, Manuel Harriott finally reached home, in the ground floor of an old, yet picturesque, big building of four stories, with a low 'metal grate' fence and a very thin garden, with grass and a few big plants. After opening the door with his key, once inside his family residence, Manuel announced: "I'm here mom... Dad's sent you greetings!". The mother, a blonde woman wearing a kitchen apron, with drawings of bananas, promptly got there, kissed him, and clutching him tight uttered: "I'm so proud of my future argentine astronaut! So studious and good looking!". After leaving some soft candies, also minty, in his tiny hand, the woman got back to the kitchen. Opening and eating one of those, Manuel recuperated his calm breath, and then he opened his knapsack to get some receipt notes, he brought from their shop in the market. Manuel Harriott stretched all his body then, toward the top of a wooden chest of drawers, where there was a small replica of the Argentine light cruiser General Belgrano, over which there was a big picture of his grandfather, dead in the war of 1982, hanging of the wall. The little hands of Manuel left the receipts, laying over that toy battleship. Eating another of the mint candies, Manuel then tranquilly walked to his own bedroom, at which he just spread himself on the bed, pensively, finally taking a breather from all his activities, since very early on that day. "Some day, I'm gonna be a great man", the nine year old boy was thinking, "the only owner of the shop of my family in the market, dedicating my whole day attending each part of it... dealing with the suppliers... with the clients... raising a family..." His comforting thoughts were interrupted then, though, as someone unexpectedly in

that afternoon rang the doorbell of the house. From his bed, Manuel heard her mother rushing to the entrance, uttering: "It has to be your auntie!". The ensuing voices coming from there resulted hard to distinguish, and the pace of the footsteps of the new visitor over the room besides resulted quite puzzling as well. Through a narrow opening of the door of the bedroom, then, surprisingly showed up the head, white and of then disordered black hairs, of his best friend, also nine years old: Daniel Cordoba, who then uttered: "Suh, Manuelito?". The door opened totally then, by the hand again of Manuel's mother, who commented: "It seems, that you too have company today...", and with a smile she closed the door again. Manuel slowly sat on the edge of his own bed, smiling funnily, because Daniel had gotten there wearing his white uniform of karate practice, with an orange belt, while being an advanced student fighter, indeed. Manuel only said: "Sneaking out?". Danielito quickly opened his knapsack, and took out a plastic container, with the disc of the computer game "Burnout Paradise". Daniel casually then told: "It's just that... I'm so sick of it! This year, they haven't even respected my birthday!". Daniel Cordoba got to the big screen in Manuel's bedroom, where there was a brand new Playstation 3 "Slim" console, just brought from the United States, by Manuel's parents. Daniel dexterously turned on the whole, and Manuel slowly approached to his side, with the game Daniel brought. Daniel explained: "I bought two Burnout Paradises in Internet, by mistake... You keep it! I don't mind". Manuel left the video game beside the console, whose screen was initializing, mumbling: "Thanks...". Nonetheless, Daniel had already moved to a shelf of the room, turning on a police like red revolving light, which quickly affected the whole place. Daniel whispered: "Red alert", taking a big, detailed toy of a Ferrari 458, and starting playing with it over the fluffy black carpet of the floor. Manuel surprised him them, kneeling on the floor with a bigger Lotus Elise, orange color, and then he knocked both cars with violence, one against the other. Both kids laughed at it, as the door of the bedroom opened again, as Manuel's mother was bringing a tray there, with chocolate milk, and Oreo cookies. Crouching, and leaving the tray over the carpet, on the floor, the woman then expressed: "Have some milk, Danielito, you must be really tired after your practice of karate...". Daniel lied: "You've got no idea, ma'am!", before starting to drink and eat all the

sweet things, just brought there. As the mother of Manuel left the bedroom, the Playstation game of Call of Duty had already started on the television set, so Manuelito used a remote control, raising the volume of the speakers. Soon, he and Daniel were using a wired control each, playing cooperatively in the same team together, slaying arabic terrorists in some middle east god forsaken country. Both kids of Belgrano daily played that way, via the Internet from their respective homes. Having a break from the game, with his attire of karate Daniel Cordoba finished the whole of his chocolate milk, and after uttering a loud "ah!" of fulfillment, he commented: "This' removed out of my throat the taste of the rice pudding of our lunch at the cafeteria at school... Finally! Ew, those menues are so fucking hideous, man!". Always killing arabic foes on the screen, besides with his legs crossed on the floor, Manuel answered: "I didn't mind the food today, while they showed on the screen the TV show of our fellow Figueroa, starring in that soap opera of Television Publica". Daniel remembered that event in particular then, turning violently his head, and opening big his brown eyes, to add: "Yeah... You are right, Manuelito!... Yeah, well... It was an episode broadcast yesterday, though...". In the Call of Duty game, after finishing a killing rampage against four arabs, Daniel completed his commentary: "Let's hope, Figueroa fares well as an actor...". Manuel immediately stared at him with a clever smile, and said: "Figueroa will! He always does everything well... He has the best grades in our class, and everything...". Without stopping killing the foreign guerrilla on screen, Daniel chuckled adding: "And the prettiest girlfriends... Katy B has just said, that she likes of him!". Manuel slowly dropped his game controller with his two hands over the carpet on the floor, to say: "Argh! Do not remind me... It wouldn't surprise me, if that girl is already being taken there, to the hotel, in the corner of Juramento...", and then the two kids started laughing loudly. Before raising his controller again, Manuel commented: "At least, since this month there is a new girl in our class... That Arce...". Daniel instantly blew a giggle out, to remark: "Oh, boy! That girl! Only you, Manuelito, can cope with her...". Manuel waited to finish an arabic terrorist on the screen, affirming: "She studies a lot, it seems... Our teacher, Missis Isola, told me the other day, that Arce...". Manuel made a mental effort then: "Ana? Isn't that her name?", and Daniel mumbled confirming: "Ana, yeah... Ana Arce is her name...". Keeping shooting with his fingers, Manuel continued then: "Well, missis Isola told me, that Ana Arce wouldn't approve another year of school ahead, only because of her age".

Briefly distracting his head at his friend, Daniel then said: "...and she's eight... one year less than us... Even so, Arce demands more than my own sister Debora...". On the screen, the game finished then, and Daniel promptly started setting the specifications for a new one, to play together with his friend. Manuel leaned back over his bed, tranquilly adding: "That Ana Arce is very weird, yeah... She speaks funny, too!". A new match was starting, as Daniel told: "Yesterday, she helped me out finding a page of my book... I was in my bench, and my book went down. Arce was talking with the girl, sitting with her... Arce got the book from the floor... and then...", he thought for some seconds, "...Ana just opened in front of me... It was the page I'd been reading!". On the screen, then, Daniel was killed, nevertheless he added: "Ana Arce then told me: 'I like daisy flowers, too... And it was the picture, I was staring at, in my book!". Manuel was with his black eyes more concentrated on the screen, and with the game controller vibrating in his hands, when he added: "And those eyes of her! They are as white as the milk!". The mother of Manuelito showed up again then, with her head popping in by the door, and so she told: "I'm leaving with your father's sister now, Manuel. We'll bring some coffee and pastries to him... Be nice here, sweetie...". The mother left there, and then the entrance door could be heard being shut. Daniel Cordoba and Manuel Harriott stared at each other then, thinking in the same thing. For this, Daniel used his controller to turn off the Playstation game console, while Manuelito got to his feet, and got to his toy chest. There, Manuel scoured with his two arms and hands, until announcing: "Got them!". As he was awaiting by the door, Daniel by then over his karate uniform was wearing a white thin coat and some Topper train pants, all borrowed without asking from Manuelito's closet. Manuel then tossed to his best friend an "E-11 blaster rifle" toy, from Star Wars, made of plastic, completely white, and with orange details. For himself, Manuel kept an "A280" rifle toy, of the same colection, yet light blue and orange. Without further word, both kids rushed to the street, playing shooting at each other, with repetitive "pew pew pew" vociferations, from both parts, in their imaginary laser shootout. Just so, they ran a hundred meters to the south west, crossing the Cramer avenue then, without having slowed their pace at all. There, over the pedestrian white "zebra crossing", the karate pants of Daniel distinctly screeched, getting ripped, although keeping springing and "blasting" the nine year old boy nonetheless didn't care at all, then.

A couple of streets farther ahead, at the turn of a corner, Manuel and Daniel reached a huge, abandoned manor, nearby the train station of "Belgrano R". The two nine year old kids quickly sneaked into, climbing and passing in between the bars of the grate, of that property there, which had become already, the secret place of them both. Just recently in that place, the filming of a TV movie had taken place, of which Manuel and Daniel learned via the Internet, to end up attending the event. The two nine year old kiddos then met with Celeste Cid in person, and they even got an autograph from her. In that movie, that actress incarnated a peruvian drug addict, who precisely died in that abandoned house. Manuel and Daniel kept getting there since then, to play together for hours with their toy pistols. The two story manor was big enough for them both, for sure, built early in the twentieth century. As the setting sun of that day doused the whole with its last white beams, Manuel Harriott and Daniel Cordoba kept shooting with their plastic rifles, all the way up to the first floor, where in a room, looking at the street, they stopped. There, their attention was distracted with the secret cache of fun, the two of them together had been raising there for about two months. Thus, under the autographed picture of Celeste Cid, together with a few stickers of candies, Manuel and Daniel kept a shoe box with some Star Wars figurines, all of them old, repeated, and broken. After staring pensively at that for some seconds, Daniel Cordoba out of the blue erected his short E-11 white weapon, and demanded: "Surrender your merchandise to the Empire, bounty hunter!". Manuel Harriott raised his larger light blue "A280" toy rifle, flaunting it inertly, and answered: "Over my dead body...". That was just the excuse for them both, starting running again across the wooden floor rooms of the first floor, until Daniel, the chaser, suddenly lagged behind. Standing in the big hallway, up there, Daniel suffered of a chill nervousness, and lowering his toy gun, he mumbled: "There's someone staring at us!". Daniel Cordoba first moved his head to his right, and then he turned around completely, finding at the end of the corridor of wooden floor a little girl. She looked barely older than the two kids, and she was wearing an old long dress, with thin vertical lines, light blue and white, very aristocratic, and yet clearly worn and with some blemishes. For whatever reason, the girl spoke in russian, and even so Daniel understood her words, as she said: "How dare you, entering into my house... Get out of here, you two!". With his black eyes wide open, Daniel disregarding started to walk at her, wondering aloud: "Who are you?".

Manuel surprised Daniel then from behind, with Manuel aiming with his light blue 'toy gun' at point blank at the right side of the head of Daniel. Daniel reacted pointing with his two arms and hands at the end of the hallway, announcing: "Look! There's a girl there", to which Manuel turned his head just to find nothing. Manuel claimed: "Don't invent things, Daniel. Ladies are a pain in the neck. We are fine here, just you and me...". Daniel got quite surprised with such a response, and widening his arms walked to that spot of the corridor, claiming: "What?! Where has she gone... She was here... She spoke to me!". Manuel laid his long light blue toy over his own right shoulder, saying: "Don't invent things, Danny... For god's sake!". Daniel reacted almost desperately, pulling of the blue coat of Manuel, by his right arm, and then Daniel insisted: "It is true! There was a girl there!". As in a response to such a reaction, after an unexpected gale of wind the five doors of the hallway shut by themselves, altogether. Still there was light filtering into the corridor, from the empty window of the other side at the hallway. Thus, as Manuel instinctively gave a step behind Daniel, it resulted clearly visible for them both, when all the five door handles there started moving, up and down slowly, by themselves. Mumbling: "This place is fucking haunted...", Daniel stepped back, carelessly stumbling into Manuel. Then, the door handles began beating much faster, all at the same time, exasperating the two nine year old kids of the neighborhood of Belgrano, who wouldn't even so yet attempt to flee from there, though. All the five doors then also started opening and closing violently, to which Daniel and Manuel just stayed put in the corridor, witnessing such a scene. Like giving up to the guts of them both, the doors suddenly got shut again, stopping, for staying completely calmly finally. Like coming with the wind of that winter, the voice of the russian girl was hearable again, this time for them both: "You shouldn't have dared me...". Suddenly, then, the door of the room, up there in the first floor, with their toys, opened wide. Daniel slowly walked there, with Manuel behind, and effectively under the window to the street, it was again the little girl of the old aristocratic dress. She then said, again in an uncannily understandable russian language: "I'm Nadezhda (Надежда)... I was born in Moscow, early in the twentieth century". As Manuel Harriott stood still behind, with his light blue toy gun in his right, and his left hand in the pocket of his blue coat, Daniel started walking slowly at the strange appearance.

The little girl then turned violently her blonde hair head at him, to stare at Daniel with her blue eyes completely affixed upon him. Then, the shoe box with the old toys rose in the air, by itself, and turned around, discharging all the Star Wars figurines on the wooden floor. Daniel barely stared down at that, and kept walking, even with his Umbro athletic shoes stepping onto the derelict playthings. Manuel then said: "It was true, then... There was a ghost around here!". The little girl looked at him to say: "I am Nadezhda (Надежда) Rasputin!". Daniel then quipped: "She can't be a ghost... It's like in the movies... Some holographic communications...". The girl stared at Daniel again, to say with even some air of superiority: "The american 'Versed' were supposed to be much stronger than this... You really know nothing, at all...". As Manuel reacted then wondering aloud: "What the heck are you talking about, girl?", Daniel had stopped walking, and was already standing by the side of the so called "Nadezhda (Надежда)". Daniel started playing then, extending his arm, and aiming with his toy "E-11" white gun at the head of the girl, and playfully pulling its orange trigger repetitively. Answering to Manuel then, nonetheless, Nadezhda (Надежда) said: "You have pulled the whole universe, down here to Earth... You...". At that point, Danielito was also carelessly waving his hand and his white toy through the luminous consistency of an aristocratic dress, dirty yet in fairly good conditions, of the ghost girl, who finally seemed to be concerned with that, turning her blonde head, to stare at him with her blue eyes. Nadezhda (Надежда) Rasputin finally said: "You are so imperfect!", and so she finally vanished into nothingness, from that manor of Belgrano. Articulating again: "pew pew pew" nonetheless, Daniel indifferently with his white rifle toy of plastic started doing like shooting at that empty space, while Manuel got there too, commenting: "Ghosts weren't that scary, after all...". ´¨) ¸.•´¸.•´¨) ¸.•¨) (¸.•´ (¸.•` Part 4 Unlike the rest of the Argentina, eternally tied up, because of remaining submerged in political and financial violence, the carpeted aisles of the traditional Harrods shopping center, in the intersection of the Florida street with the Cordoba avenue, in the city of Buenos Aires, comprised a series of quite sophisticated, and sumptuous trade areas, like belonging to other, much better times... To another reality, indeed... With her fine, skinny appearance, and at her age merely of eighteen years, Ana Arce walked inside there, wearing like occasionally a very formal, entirely red dress, showing her shoulders, and of a long skirt, almost reaching the thin ankles of her,

of which the right one was bearing a silver bracelet with blue topazes. After checking out all fine products, being sold there, most of them imported from afar abroad, Ana Arce ended up picking up a French "Chanel No.5" perfume. Ana raised its flask, and finding delight in staring at herself through a mirror, she sprayed some of it over her thin neck, to end up raising her delicate right thumb in approval, while whispering: "This' an eternal winner, for sure...". Ana Arce promptly acquired it, and next she took upwards a flight of mechanical stairs, to the first floor of Harrods. There, Ana Arce stopped in the boutique area, where really stylish clothing was for sale, and where without hesitation she got her delicate fingers onto an entirely red coat, with a big hood. Ana distracted herself for a moment trying out that scarlet wrap, wearing it, and playing with its hood, on and off many times over her short, very expensive, and natively white hairdo. Ana Arce then claimed: "The finest combination in Argentina, for the prettiest Argentine woman...". To that in particular, the female salesperson, for no special reason, started talking about politics: "Now... that in our country we can finally say, that the clowns have definitively left the government!". Disregarding, Ana Arce undisturbedly sought her Visa Platinum card from her tiny red purse, and handing it to the vendor, the eighteen year old girl from Belgrano clarified: "Oh, well... I've never had any idea about politics... Haven't even voted yet, in my life!". Handing a ballpoint pen and a ticket, for Ana to sign, the seller then opined: "Good for you! Keep that innocence in your life, while you can, young girl...". After bidding her a farewell with a smile, already wearing her new scarlet coat Ana Arce with her white block heel shoes walked then her way downstairs to the exit of Harrods. By there, there was also a stand, with a myriad of products from the Harry Potter franchise, to which Ana dedicated only a tiny bit of her attention, and then whispered: "How stupid's all that, for god's sake!". Disregarding, closer to the exit, there were other racks, promoting instead a new installment of "The Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy" movies, to which Ana Arce got totally magnetized, affixing her chalky iris eyes upon that toy collection, for then walking to that place without thinking much. Once there, with her skinny hand, Ana Arce snatched a small, light grey, lustrous figurine of "Marvin, the paranoid android", with its round head, and a raised right thumb, with the whole of it having the same design, as in the first feature film of the franchise. Ana tried a button on its plastic chest, after which brightening its green, triangular eyes with each of its words, Marvin uttered: "Don't panic!". Minutes later, leaving a parking lot on the Paraguay street, Ana Arce driving at the steering wheel of her own Mercedes SLS left the zone, eastwards.

While next heading south by Reconquista, Ana was forced stopping before a red light at the Cordoba avenue. There, she used that occurrence to good advantage, quickly unwrapping her plastic figurine of Marvin the android, out of its container. Then, she placed it, in the middle of the dashboard of her Mercedes Benz, above its LCD computer screen. Like so, Marvin was left standing there, with the upped thumb of the tiny hand, of its extended right arm, meaning the characteristic gesture of an interstellar hitchhiker. With the traffic light again in green in that intersection, then, Ana Arce as usually made the V8 engine of her Mercedes Benz to aggressively roar several times, before accelerating gently, though, across the Cordoba avenue. However, Marvin then couldn't help tumbling down from over the dashboard, forcing Ana, to chortle. Half an hour later, Ana left her imported Mercedes Benz sports car in the underground parking lot of the Alem avenue, within Buenos Aires' banking and administrative area, downtown, and then she simply walked crossing the avenue to the centennial building of the Stock Exchange of the city. Even being merely eighteen years old, Ana Arce had an office space of her own, for those financial businesses, which she and her boyfriend Manuel Harriott had been building indeed for years already, by means of some figurehead brokers, who followed Ana's prodigious intuitiveness. Thus, in a small office space with many desks, and a window overlooking the "25 de Mayo" street, Ana Arce was sitting on a simple swivel chair in front of her computer, while her secretary, Katya Mamani, was with her tushie over the edge of the table. Ana had a picture of Manuel Harriott, stuck to the wall there, to which Katya chuckled, and said: "You really are doing good to Manuel. You know. I'm close to his complicated family, and know all about him, since I am also from there, the same streets of Belgrano...". Katya in fact was much older than both Ana and Manuel, and for a long time she had been one of their financial "front persons", in their so successful enterprises. With her head of a naturally white, expensive, and short hairdo, then Ana Arce audibly insufflated some air, and smiled. Keeping typing in her own computer, Ana told: "Manuelito has a great loyalty to me. I really adore him!". Ana Arce then dropped tranquilly her thin hands over her quite formal red dress, and widened open her unusual "entirely pearly iris" eyes for adding: "Sometimes... I feel, that he would die for me. You know?... He's so romantic!". Always with a calm tone of voice, Katya laughed, and said: "Really? Oh, well... For now, you are making him to live, and he has become really very possessive, about you". Both gals then laughed aloud, and from the nearby desks, everyone briefly turned their heads at them, with sympathetic smiles.

Nonetheless, an old man with red bow tie and suspenders, who actually was one of the directors of the Stock Exchange of Buenos Aires, showed up unexpectedly then in that corner of the office, with the intention to speak directly to Ana Arce. Ana stopped working, and then she attentively stared at him with her chalky eyes. He then announced: "Hey, Ana!... Our president of the Argentina is here in the building, for our annual lunch... Want to meet him? He has demanded some extraterrestrial exchange!". The old man giggled then, with his blue eyes always affixed upon Ana Arce, while Katya widened her black eyes, and narrowed her mouth like blowing with her thin lips, with surprise and admiration. Within the Stock Exchange of Buenos Aires, the large hall for the event of such an official dinner was really lavish, with three glass cups, before each one of the forty guests, round a sinuous shape table, with an immense, sober mantle, and with the whole laid under a big, gilded chandelier, suspended overhead. At the middle of the many people there, at the big, central sinuosity of the table, it was sitting the very same president of Argentina, on an old, centennial chair, which indeed had been successively shared, already, by each of his presidential colleagues, right in that same place, in similar occasions. Whereas the Argentine chief of state was an old person of a blanched head, he was quipping: "The problem with the one dollar for one peso was, that we were dropping our trousers, for having a Ferrari, while we didn't even care to manufacture simple things, such as cookies". The forty distinguished people there gently dropped their eating utensils, and then all started half laughing, half clapping their hands, at such a witticism of the Argentine President. At one of the extremes of the table, Ana Arce was sitting together with some Australian investors, just arrived from their country, and staring at them with her 'pearly iris' eyes she snapped: "What Argentina really needs are fortune cookies!". The handful of foreign visitors laughed out loud at that, and so the president of Argentina couldn't help turning his head at Ana, who then smiled at him, shrugging with her skinny, naked shoulders. After the dinner, the Argentine president was smoking of a curved pipe, and thus he approached with curiosity to Ana Arce, while the head of state was walking with a cane, with a handle of a golden consistency. Widening his blue eyes, the national leader inquired: "And you... are a reporter from...?". Looking even younger than being of only eighteen years then, with her unusual, white appearance Ana Arce quickly smiled kindly at him, and answered: "Oh, no, mister president. I'm just a successful girl of the financial world", reciting all formally. Ana found herself then, waving her delicate hand at the smoke of the pipe of the man, nevertheless the Argentine president just nodded politely his ashen head at her, and turning around to start walking away with his cane, he whispered: "That is so good for our country! We really need young, enthusiastic people...".

After smiling at that remark, standing in her place, Ana Arce nonetheless then turned back to resume talking to the Australians, there. Of the foreigners, a fat person of a blonde hair, with a ponytail, tied up by the back of his head, and of an also blonde beard, was already smiling at her, resuming saying: "Oh, well, Ana... That's what 'Tecnologias Centenario' will be about! We have already a warehouse of a half of a block in the middle of the city of Buenos Aires, and a terrain for our factory in the Patagonia, in Tierra del Fuego... There, we'll soon start producing our televisions, tablets, and cell phones. It's gonna be the best of the best, for the Argentina!". With her formal red dress of a long skirt, Ana Arce with her eyes of frosted irises above the hypnotic smile of her mouth, stared at the big man for about ten seconds, the two of them in a complete silence. Finally, she grasped the thick left arm of him, taking him away from his fellow foreigners, visiting the Argentina. Ana Arce started telling in a low voice: "Oh, well. You look just like a good man, my friend. How do you like this offer?". With her skinny hands, Ana Arce finally showed her tablet computer to him, where the Australian read the actually ridiculous figure of "fifty thousand euros". Disregarding, the blonde man immediately shrank his blue eyes with a funny smile at her, and then with his right index he just inked the screen, after which the computer chimed, together with the appearance of the logo of the Stock Exchange of Buenos Aires. Grinning reciprocally then, formally, Ana Arce quickly shook her own skinny hand with the robust one of the Australian, as furthermore he then surprisingly reacted over Ana, embracing her quite tightly, while even raising her off the ground, altogether with her two block heel shoes. Without having much idea of the situation, the other Australians witnessing the scene indeed got quite surprised, at all that. Nonetheless, the big blonde Australian of the transaction quickly returned to his own fellows, then, with open arms. Embracing them all, the bulky Australian of the blonde beard and ponytail hair was shouting: "Oh, my god... The South Americans are really so beautiful for making businesses with! Let's go my men, we'll celebrate all night long!". Other Argentines from the world of money, also there, all around, stared at them unbelievingly, to which Ana Arce shrugged with a smile, and raising her milky eyebrows. Nonetheless, with no one else around, Ana examined her tablet computer, under which she then was also holding with her skinny fingers a big chocolate bar, whose white package had written "Chocolates Centenario", in red letters. Ana Arce had stolen it, from the inner pocket of the jacket of the Australian businessman, and then she spent a moment examining the big candy, cackling, and smiling with her pretty cheeks. At that same moment, in the offices of the second floor, within the Argentine Stock Exchange, there was another broker, talking by his phone, being a thin person, of below 30 years of age, of a swarthy skin, and a short, black hairdo.

His name was Ezequiel Fernandez Moores, and he had just slurped some yellow foodstuff of a big, shinny spoon of actual gold, to say: "Look, Alicia... On Monday, I was visiting my kinesiologist. On Tuesday...", he was counting with the smaller fingers of his hand, also holding the eating utensil, "...the '9 de Julio' avenue was jammed because of a political rally on the streets. Today, I will really be in time, with you, my love! I'll make sure of it... I swear!". Under his right arm, Ezequiel Fernandez Moores was pinning down a plastic package, with a half million actual dollars in paper money, laying beside a catering plastic container of potatoes, with Huancaina dressing, all over. Ezequiel plunged once more the auric spoon into the yellow food mixture, and holding it before his nose he kept talking to his phone: "Please, Alicia... Do not be as obnoxious as my first wife! I will really be there with you, today... I promise!". Right then, Ana Arce careleslly dunked her very thin fingers into the Huancaina, bringing those into her own delicate mouth, to whisper fully joyfully: "Mmmh...! Long live, for the Peru!". Reacting to such an unexpected entrance, Ezequiel Fernandez Moores repositioned himself over the plastic package, full of dollars, for staring at Ana with his black eyes, wide open. Then, Ezequiel said to his phone: "I've got to hang up, Alicia. Please, excuse me. I'll meet you tonight... There's something very important taking place here, right now!", and then he definitively hanged up. Ana Arce knew, that the Peruvian Ezequiel Fernandez Moores was an extra annoying person. Since growing in his country of birth, the Peru, Ezequiel had belonged to the circle of interest of the former president Alberto Fujimori, as in particular their Peruvian investments most usually ended up failing to succeed in the Argentina. By chance, in those days Manuel Harriott, Ana Arce's boyfriend, had gotten indebted to Ezequiel Fernandez Moores, after a financial swindle of him, and so Ana would attempt, on that same day, to fix all that. Within his nook, Ezequiel sat back, and raising his brows over his black eyes of dark shadows, underneath, he attentively asked: "So, Ana... What can I do for you?". Smiling, with widened milky eyes, Ana Arce propped her butt against the desk, and then she told: "Look, Ezequiel... I've got a whole Australian company, expecting for a new owner, for a fine price. It's only one million dollars...", Ana nodded at the plastic package of paper money, over the desk, "...for the whole of it". Using only her right hand, Ana then Googled with the desk computer, there: "Tecnologias Centenario". As Ezequiel Fernandez Moores also used his electronic mail, and made a phone call, Ana Arce gave a brief rundown of her proposal: "These Aussies handed me their operations, although...", she lied, "I'm really lacking the required time for that. You, Ezequiel, would be getting the keys of that company, here in Buenos Aires, plus all their current office space, in Sydney. Also, you'll get a certain number of their additional investments across North and South America, in fact meaning the true whole of it".

At that point, Ezequiel had been listening to his phone as well, nevertheless he then hanged up, and laying back he examined once more the sheets of documents, printed beforehand, that Ana brought there for accomplishing the operation. Ezequiel Fernandez Moores mumbled thoughtfully: "Hmm... Yeah... Yeah... Yeah... Very good! It's a very impressive offer!". Ana Arce was clutching the edge of the desk with her two skinny hands, while her pearly irises were affixed upon Ezequiel. Ezequiel Fernandez Moores took a deep breath, and after drawing his gold pen from the pocket of his jacket, he began signing each one of the contract papers. Ezequiel was saying: "Macanudo, Ana! It's exactly what I was looking for! My japanese girlfriend Alicia's gonna love it. We always talked about opening an office in the Pacific Ocean, and to move there. Now, we are going to finally do it!". Ezequiel Fernandez Moores then accommodated well the sheets of the contract, holding those with both hands, and hitting rapidly his own desktop with the whole, he said: "I will finally marry Alicia, then!". To that, Ana Arce tranquilly asserted: "Congratulations! You see... That's what friends are for!". Ana then showed to have also carried the chocolate bar, she'd found during the lavish dinner event, whose white paper wrap was written with red characters, expressing: "Chocolates Centenario", for a brand. However, underneath, the original pack of the sweet treat bore evidence, of being a confection of a Colombian origin. Ana Arce left the big sweet beside the plastic container of Huancaina potatoes, and then she approached her milky head at the swarthy Peruvian broker. Ana then said: "Here you go... Some advance profits for your new Pacific company. I hope, you enjoy it!". Ana Arce took the half million dollar stacks, in their plastic wrap, from the table, and silently she then stood up. Turning around the door, out of that office in the Stock Exchange of Buenos Aires, Ana mumbled for herself: "Now, Manuel and I are even, with this motherfucker of Ezequiel!". Although Ezequiel Fernandez Moores hadn't realized it, the Australian technology company actually was an international scam, in reality selling Colombian chocolates, while issuing phony receipts of electronic products in each of those transactions. The "Tecnologias Centenario" international company in turn then created fake documents, recording deceitful revenues from those fake receipts, easily and in a great scale, and so overstating its own earnings, through which their shares were kept high, in the most important 'bourses' across the American continent. In truth, though, "Tecnologias Centenario" merely was a 'financial facade', a bogus company, functioning despite being losing money all the time.

Ana Arce quite intuitively had managed learning of all that during the presidential lunch, while the Australians were attempting to bring such a corrupt model, down to the Argentina. A few minutes afterwards, again taking seat at the steering wheel of her own Mercedes Benz SLS, within the underground parking lot of the Paseo Colon avenue, Ana Arce quickly slipped the package of the half million dollars into the glove compartment, by her right. Also, Ana had brought from her own office a tiny tube of Poxiran glue, with which she stuck her "Marvin, the Paranoid Android", to the center of the dashboard, by her right, under the rear view mirror. With the thin fingers of her right hand, Ana Arce took the trouble to hold the figurine in place for about a minute, whereas "Marvin" with its upped right thumb was kept, thus, standing above the LCD screen, of Ana's Mercedes Benz' computer. With her chalky iris eyes, Ana Arce stared at the android, giggled, and so she mumbled: "It seems, that you've brought me good luck, today, my friend!". Next driving her Mercedes Benz SLS along the Paseo Colon avenue, with the typical arcades on the ground floor of its buildings, there, Ana Arce whispered: "I've got to celebrate this day, for myself!". Thus, after reaching the Libertador avenue, Ana Arce turned left, climbed the Maipu street, and then went all the way to the right, around the block of the Circulo Militar, to finally get into a parking lot on the Esmeralda street. Some meters from there, at the corner of the Santa Fe avenue, Ana sat at a sidewalk table of a cafe, with a superb view of the San Martin park. With a mild smile, Ana Arce tranquilly stared at there for a moment, silently enjoying such a green panorama, to finally start drinking of her coffee. Ana then lowered her pearly iris eyes at her tablet computer. In the Internet, the site of the Clarin newspaper bore only unexceptional news, for example highlighting problems with the price of the beef in the Argentina, as one of the bureaucrats, in the government, was warning about periodical official scrutinies, to be implemented over all the retail butcheries, across the country. Highlighting on that sidewalk, under the warm sun of the winter, with her chalky skin of no blemishes, and her naturally white, short, and very expensive hairdo, Ana Arce then whispered, chaffing: "Oh, well. It won't matter... I'm feeding myself only with dietary supplements, daily, and also some occasional Huancaina dressing, so...". On the screen, held in her skinny fingers, the Internet page of Clarin suddenly changed, though, announcing the unforeseen occurrence of a growing tension over eastern Europe, with Russia assembling its armies, along its western frontier off the Baltic Sea. Ana Arce widened her pearly eyes, shook her equally snowy head, and mumbled: "I don't know, what to think about this!". Then, however, a hefty man, of a curled hair, of a white and grey dye, arrived to the place, pushing his bicycle, which he then propped against the low grate, there, of the Santa Fe avenue.

Quite bluntly, without else the man turned around, and snatched the thin right hand of Ana Arce, demanding, while spitting his saliva quite rudely all over her and her coffee: "Come with me to my office, baby!... We are hosting a lunch party, there. You know?". Ana quickly stood up, while angrily, yet fruitlessly, started pulling her own arm, exclaiming: "I'm not your sister, or whatever of you, mister!". Disregarding, the face of the beefy man got suddenly stupid, then, with his round blue eyes keeping staring staticly at Ana Arce. Next, the man released Ana's hand by himself, and then he unreasoningly turned around, to end up stumbling against other of the tables there, of which, peanuts, fries, drinks, and whatnot, all got straight down to the sidewalk, of the Santa Fe avenue. A moment later, before three of the waiters of the cafe, already there, and all complaining at him, the blonde harasser finally "pulled round" from his disorientation, shook his head, straightened up his big body, and turned back at the table of Ana Arce. Ana wasn't there anymore, though. Instead, Ana Arce at that moment sounded the horn of her silver, and of a low framework, Mercedes Benz SLS, bidding her farewell to him, with Ana already leaving that place, driving around the corner of the Santa Fe avenue. Soon afterwards, northwards along the wide and arboraceous "9 de Julio" avenue, Ana climbed the Umberto Illia highway, which soon shifted to the left, with a magnificent elevated view of the portuary zone of the city of Buenos Aires, and of the vast mouth of the Rio de la Plata. Stacks of giant shipping containers dominated the scene, there, while within the cabin of the Mercedes Benz SLS, it was playing the audiobook of the "Imperial Bedrooms" best seller. As a matter of fact, Ana Arce would only listen to that kind of smart English MP3s, for most of her leisure time, while then Ana couldn't help snickering, and mumbling: "Oh, my god! Now, I'm a very pretty gal of eighteen... So superior!... I shall start killing street prostitutes!". Concordantly with such a declaration, Ana usually was an aggressive driver too, always going at the highest allowed speeds, with her silver European racing car, over the asphalt. Thus, after driving her Mercedes Benz SLS at eighty kilometers per hour, exactly, by the port area, when reaching the Salguero avenue, Ana Arce with her right foot pushed the pedal beyond that, and so she instantly got to one hundred, avoiding all slower drivers, while intentionally bothering others with sharp maneuvers. "...but for now, I'm only going to meet Manuelito, my love, to spend an enjoyable afternoon with him!", Ana then declared, finishing her previous statement. Nonetheless, about one kilometer ahead, driving normally again Ana took two avenues, in succession: Sarmiento, to the south, with a magnificent view of the hemispherical building of the Planetarium of Buenos Aires, and subsequently Libertador, westward, across the groves and lakes of Palermo. That area had also been a favorite place, for Ana Arce to walk lazily with her

friends, in her recent years of secondary school. During those years of her life, in fact, Ana usually spent most of her time having fun, although in occasions she would evidence to also have a quite impressive knowledge in a diversity of professional fields, including engineering indeed, and also a powerful intuition for business. Thus, together with Manuel Harriott, her romantic interest since ever, Ana Arce had managed organizing several financial figureheads, at her own personal service, and thus in just few years she had raised a millionaire fortune, which she had just legally reached, with her recent eighteenth birthday, on the twenty ninth of June. Anyhow, "turning up" with her Mercedes Benz in the intersection of the two railway bridges, over the Libertador avenue, Ana knew about the Muslim mosque, located just there by her left, which indeed was the biggest one of South America. Almost intuitively, and paying more attention to her MP3s, continuously playing audiobooks, in English language, Ana Arce then mumbled: "Shitty peronists!". Disregarding, also in that area, in front of the traditional horse race track of the city of Buenos Aires, it was located the "Campo Argentino de Polo", also known as "The Cathedral", to which the family of her boyfriend Manuel Harriott had belonged for almost one hundred years, by means of the Coronel Suarez Polo Club. Thus for years since knowing Manuelito, Ana had been attending, accordingly to social protocol, every important gentlefolk event, taking place there during the weekends, together with her boyfriend. Next from that place, beyond the immense apartment buildings of the Virrey Vertiz avenue, Ana Arce drove her Mercedes Benz SLS by the traditional grassy hills of Belgrano, off the ultra modern train station of the Mitre railway, there. The beauty of that area, specially with her having attended secondary school nearby, for five years just until recently, aroused the cherriest memories of Ana, who couldn't help singing, mumbling: "Nothing could change you. Set and sure of the way...". Next, driving along the Juramento avenue, and the streets of Vuelta de Obligado, and Olazabal, it aroused as usually some thoughts in Ana, out of the great intuition of her, while at the same time her heart started to feel a bit withered, as daily getting there... Those streets full of tall buildings, of Belgrano, for decades had been victimized by a savage, and merciless commercialization, all over there, with which everything in the area ended up grey and dull, unlike what the family of Ana used to tell, with respect to their own neighborhood, regarding decades ago. Nonetheless, Ana Arce soon reached with her Mercedes Benz SLS the corner of Moldes, at which was located the sophisticated and innovative six-story building of her romantic interest, Manuel Harriot, who lived in his own 'whole floor' apartment, on the third floor. Indeed, even at his age of just nineteen years, Manuel had acquired such a spanking new property, thanks to the money of him and Ana Arce, attained by means of her extremely impressive intuition for businesses. Ana Arce and Manuel Harriott had been doing important financial operations, by way of figureheads, even since studying together in their secondary school, thus managing both to make an actually big fortune.

Nonetheless, finally crossing the Moldes street, Ana then drove her Mercedes Benz into that building, on the left sidewalk from her, on the Olazabal street. After Ana Arce steered her silver racing car through the lifting doors of the garage, she therein stopped it over a round elevator platform, which then descended to an underground level, while gyrating clockwise. Thus, Ana Arce ended up oriented in the direction of one of the corresponding parking spaces, owned by her old friend Manuel Harriot. Driving her Mercedes Benz SLS, Ana then just advanced some meters forward, stopped her car, and finally turned it off. After unbuckling her seat belt, Ana Arce opened the Mercedes' gull wing door, with its roof hinge, upwards, and exited the vehicle. It was the early afternoon, at that time, as Ana Arce with one of the elevators, there, reached the third floor, on which the whole 'floor apartment' of Manuel Harriott was located. The sturdy entrance door of mahogany, there, opened before Ana, without the need for her to even announce her arrival. Before her, it was the always slim Manuel Harriott himself, with a bit disordered, then, 'combed over' hairdo, and with one of his hands holding a bottle of the imported Scottish whiskey "Chivas Regal" by its neck, and with a tumbler cristal glass, of a wide rim, in the other. Manuel as a matter of fact was inebriated, hence Ana Arce hurried embracing his lean torso with her two thin arms. Still wearing her red hooded coat, she purchased early on that same morning, Ana Arce with much effort mumbled: "Got you, Manuelito!", as she also took the imported whiskey bottle away from his hand, and then she started helping him. Walking the hallway of the sumptuous apartment, there, carrying Manuel with much effort, Ana was whispering: "It's OK... I'm here to help you, now... That's what good friends are for!". Crossing the door of the kitchen, which was over the Olazabal street, Ana distracted her white iris eyes examining the bottle, quickly verifying then, that Manuel Harriott had drunk half of its whiskey, during that morning. Ana had also been familiarized with that bottle in particular, from having seen it, the previous day, totally anew, and full. Manuel then uttered: "Oh, don't Ana Arce helped, and so he with stool, at the 'similarly wooden kissed his mouth long, and with

worry... I watered the whiskey down, Ana...", as his skinny body took seat on a wooden counter surface' bar of the kitchen, where disregarding Ana all her resolve.

Ana walked out of the kitchen then, while Manuel, snubbing her, then finished the glass of whiskey, in his hand. Ana Arce returned a while later, without her coat, yet still wearing her formal red dress, reaching down to her thin ankles, with the right one bearing a blue topaz ornament.

Indeed, Manuel Harriott was still lucid enough to tell: "Our contact Shirley Mamani has called. She told me, how well our investments, in local oil companies, have been faring...". Crouching then, Ana unbuckled her white block heel shoes, slipping out of them, while affirming: "Oh, well... That information was easy for me to get... Within the stock exchange building, people don't know how to keep their traps shut!". Ana Arce finished her statement, dedicating a warm smile to Manuel, with her being simply happy, that Manuel was enjoying of his life with her friendship, there in their neighborhood of Belgrano. Manuelito Harriott then managed, uttering another coherent statement: "Whatever... With other tip of those, Ana, the Argentina will pay the whole of its external debt, for sure!". Ana had been listening to him, with her right hand over the counter, and then she laughed out loud, taking a step forward, embracing Manuel, and quite lovingly rubbing nose against nose, with him, while smiling with her white teeth. It was then precisely, that Ana Arce left, there on the wooden kitchen bar, right in front of the black eyes of Manuel Harriott, the plastic package, with the stacks of a half million dollars, beside the bottle of "Chivas Regal", after Ana on that same day by the morning had skimmed the idiotic broker of Ezequiel Fernandez Moores. Ana explained: "I've canceled your original debt, Manuelito, with that Peruvian fuckup, while I've educed an equal amount of the original sum, only for profit, for the two of us...". After listening to that, Manuel reacted, raising the stacks of dollars in the air, and then opening his hand, dropping the whole again, over the wooden kitchen bar. After chuckling, Ana Arce kissed Manuel Harriott fervidly once more, and, keeping her mouth against his, she widened her chalky eyes, and mumbled: "Oh well... I forgot...". Ana walked then to the wall of the Olazabal street, in that kitchen, on which there was an humongous flat television screen, which then was playing YouTube music at a low volume. With her skinny right hand, Ana Arce made the screen to slide away, bringing then a series of graphs, with financial information from the "City Portenia", of downtown Buenos Aires, where all the banks of the Argentina were located. After pensively scrutinizing the statistics, there, Ana mumbled: "Hmm... This country hasn't changed in eighteen years!". Nonetheless, with her fingers Ana Arce then slid away that screen too, finding the Internet page of "Clarin", which was reporting, that Russia had dared crossing already its own western frontier, invading some kilometers into the territory of one of its neighboring countries, off the Baltic Sea. For that, Russia had used the excuse of humanitary reasons, supposedly for providing a set of spanking new electrical lines, of Russian public utilities, for the population there. While all those operations, of Ana with the screen, had been occurring, Manuel Harriott was pouring even more "Chivas Regal" whiskey into his tumbler crystal

glass, which in this occasion was bearing a whole new, big ice ball. Manuel calmly stood up, bringing his glass with him, and then embraced Ana, from behind her. Manuel was wearing a silver bracelet in his right wrist, made of big links, in a way like being some sort of a slave, as he was pointing at the television screen, with the index finger of that hand, at the images coming from eastern Europe. Manuel Harriott, so, whispered with his strong alcoholic breath, wondering: "Do you, Ana, have had anything to do, with all that?". After some seconds of a meditative silence, Ana Arce with her skinny hands seized his thin right arm, which was laying then over her delicate naked shoulders. Ana then chuckled, and finally answered: "Boo hoo!... Oh, well...". Ana turned around, and still wearing her formal red dress of a long skirt, she passed her two skinny arms around the waist of him, and, 'vis a vis' with him, Ana Arce then whispered: "What do you think, Manuelito? Was it me, or not?". Always amused examining the pearly irises of Ana, Manuel Harriott ended up giggling too, and affirming: "You don't surprise me, anymore, Anita...". The two of them then started kissing fervidly, standing there, in the kitchen. Half an hour later, both Manuel Harriott and Ana Arce were laying on the full sized bed, of the bedroom of that 'whole floor' apartment, by the side of the Moldes street. Both best friends were then completely naked, sweaty, and totally embracing together, only with some romantic music, softly playing out of a set of MP3 speakers, with colorful, and titillating LED lights. Still recuperating his breath, Manuel was teasing Ana's short, naturally white, and expensive hairdo, while she was insistently kissing his perspired chest. With half closed eyes, Manuel Harriott was noticeably about falling asleep, nevertheless he then started muttering: "Cordoba... Eh... Danielito wants to see us both. It's been a while since we don't meet him personally... since almost an entire year... for my birthday, after our graduation party". Ana Arce rose with her back over a pillow, and laying vertically with a brief smile she shook her head mildly, pointing out: "Beyond being a violent goon, Danny is our only friend of the secondary, who hasn't yet left the Argentina, to go to live to the United States". Manuel gently pulled Ana's skinny right hand over his own chest, and quite drowsily he said: "Daniel is also a friend of our primary... Our pastime occupation with the money has kept me... us... away from him... Not that he isn't occupied, with his family of the army, and everything...". Manuel Harriott fell asleep then, making Ana Arce to chortle, and Ana then extended her neck to her right, and kissed Manuel's mouth for a long time, while also feeling his usual whiskey breath. Ana Arce then got to her feet, slipped into her red bathrobe, and calmly walked to the kitchen, taking a bottle of Villavicencio water there, out of the refrigerator.

In the living room, then, Ana dropped herself onto the fluffy large couch, there, with a loud thump, and positioned her naked skinny legs, out of her red bathrobe, with her naked feet over a small coffee table of marble, in front of her. Ana Arce then took a figurine, she brought in those days from her own nearby manor, of the comic character of Rogue, from Marvel's 'X Men', with a green spandex suit, of white details, including a big "X", within a circle. Staring with her pearly iris eyes at her doll, Ana voiced: "Let's continue, with my little fantasy tale... Shall we?". Ana Arce then left the figurine over the coffee table, and from there she nabbed a silver 'bag sleeve', with a decor of aliens, from within which she extracted her Acer laptop, of a silver color surface. Putting comfortably her naked feet again over the thick, wide, and low marble furniture, Ana started working upon a text application, although after barely adding a single paragraph to it, she sighed, and shrugged. Ana Arce then audibly insuflated some air, and mumbled: "I better rest a bit for now...". Thus, after carefully saving correctly her computer file, and laying down the laptop, Ana instead fetched indifferently a game controller, of an "Xbox One X" console, she recently bought as a gift to Manuel Harriott, instead of the Playstation, he used to play with. Ana Arce confortably then turned on the game console, and resumed her saved game of "Fallout 4", on an humongous TV screen, there in that room. In the story of that game, Boston city had been torn down, after suffering a nuclear bombardment. In that imaginary world, Ana was the biggest crime lord of that area of the United States, and accordingly she engaged some tribes, from nearby regions, for attacking and subjecting all local survivors. Extraordinarily, in her adventure Ana Arce traversed the whole region, ever aided by a 'yellow painted', spheric, floating android, she baptized "Inti", after the sun god of the Incas. Disregarding, in that afternoon Manuel Harriott didn't take too long to wake up from his nap, and thus just half an hour later, he was having a black coffee, together again, with Ana Arce in the kitchen. Like that, both were sitting on the wooden counter stools of there, facing each other. "No, Manuelito! It wasn't a sham...", widening her chalky iris eyes Ana defended then her financial actions of the morning of that same day, while the paper money stacks of a half million dollars, of that clever operation of her, still were laying besides there, over the wooden kitchen bar. Comfortably with the warming heat of the apartment, despite the winter season outside, Ana Arce had already changed, wearing then a red cotton 'T shirt', of long sleeves and a high neck, together with her red panties, below her thin waist. Accordingly, the skinny legs of Ana were totally naked, except for a pair of white Umbro running shoes, on her feet.

Ana Arce explained: "but... the papers were all in order!... It only happened, that those Aussies were of the bully kind... Like them all, when coming down to this part of the planet!". Believing, to have already given a proper defensive rationalization, on her own actions, Ana Arce then tranquilly drank of her bottle of Villavicencio water, sipping through a pink straw. In front of her, definitively enlivened again after finishing his big cup of black coffee, the ever thin Manuel Harriott notwithstanding still asserted: "...but, for what you've told me, Ana, that Australian company was totally phony... I really enjoy, that Ezequiel Fernandez Moores got what he had coming... I even wish, that it was me who did that... but...". Remembering something else, though, Manuel interrupted his own words, and showily pulled his torso back, while raising his two arms. Already wearing a yellow 'T shirt' of short sleeves of the Ramones, with the design of the round 'USA national shield like' design, a pair of blue jeans, and his usual 'chain like' silver bracelet in his thin right wrist, Manuel Harriott with his black eyes then checked his Hublot watch, on his left, which was a Big Bang Unico Titanium Ceramic. It was fifteen twenty then, and Manuel voiced: "Danielito will be waiting for us in nothing but half an hour, there in Nuniez!". Ana Arce reacted getting to her own feet, walking with her naked legs to the bedroom, while uttering: "I better finish getting ready, then", while with a smile Manuel's black eyes enjoyed staring at Ana's elegant, feminine walking, from behind. A minute later, Ana had taken seat on the edge of the full sized bed of the bedroom, with her then bearing a pair of white pants over her laps. Then, Manuel Harriott joined her there, with him hurrying and announcing: "Here! Let me help you with that, girl...". Smiling at him, Ana Arce then stretched her naked, very thin legs in the air, and Manuel started untying and removing her white Umbro running shoes, while Ana continued telling: "Besides... That company, I've sold to Ezequiel Fernandez Moores, actually exists with all its patrimony, while I simply transferred the whole to him, the new owner...". Manuel Harriott was about buttoning the white pants, already dressing Ana Arce's legs, when standing she added: "It wasn't that much property though, despite the fact, that they also had bought some very cheap terrains in Paraguay, promising for titanium mining". Ana cackled and grinned with her white face, of no blemishes at all, at Manuel, who reacted raising his black brows, and commented: "Huh? How queer! Oh well... The good news nonetheless are, that Ezequiel Fernandez Moores won't bother us anymore, here in Buenos Aires". The business debate continued minutes later, as Ana Arce's Mercedes Benz SLS was leaving the garage of that sophisticated building, by the Olazabal street. By then, Manuelito Harriot was claiming: "...I mean, Anita... I have just sold the cheese shop of my parents, for us both to do our businesses together without

interferences, and then the dumbass of Ezequiel bilks me!". Reaching the Cramer avenue, Ana whispered: "With me around, he didn't go to far, though... He just messed with the wrong person... Me!". Manuel Harriott clearly heard that, acknowledging: "Yeah, that's right Ana! Anyway... The point is, that to have red numbers for me in these moments, it's not exactly the best thing to happen!". Ana Arce with her Mercedes Benz was driving to the northeast by then, along the Mendoza street, as she cackled: "Oh, don't worry, Manuel. I'm like a spider in businesses. I can simultaneously take care of any crisis, happening... Specially for you, my best friend of life". Ana then distracted her head to her right, reassuringly smiling briefly at Manuel. The traffic of the Mendoza street, early afternoon, was as usually very dense, so the Mercedes Benz of Ana Arce could barely manage along there, getting almost stuck, while traveling at a walking speed. Disregarding that, Manuel Harriott then told: "I know, I can count on you always, Ana... but my father isn't that forgiving, after what I did to our family business. Neither him nor my mom would talk to me anymore. It's really hard for me!". Keeping her thin hands, seizing the steering wheel of her own Mercedes Benz, Ana Arce reacted laughing, showing her white teeth: "Don't lie to me, Manuelito! You don't really care about your parents. You don't even share our money with them...". With the slow traffic there, occupying the passenger seat Manuel sneaked his left arm over the shoulders of Ana, and with his own black eyes very near to her pearly ones, he promised: "What is ours it's ours, Anita... I'm not gonna share that with someone else". Manuel Harriott then smiled with his palid, white face, staring romanticly at Ana. Worsening the gridlock situation, also then, the traffic lights of the intersection of the Amenabar street, with the small Noruega park right there, were in red, and so Ana reacted distracting herself, showing again her white teeth, and romanticly rubbing noses with Manuel. After, moreover, giving him a sounding kiss on his mouth, Ana Arce smiling calmly told: "Oh, well... After all... It's the same story with me and my own father! I manage keeping my cool, as long as he stays with his big, Spanish company, he works for, there in Lima, Peru...". Manuelito Harriott then removed his arm from her, and he sat back, well, on his passenger seat, voicing: "Don Nicolas...". Disregarding, Ana's Mercedes Benz SLS then was crossing the Cabildo avenue. The usual street bustle right there, like in every early afternoon, distracted Ana Arce, raising the thoughts in her, about what to do later, on that same day. Thus, talking about something else, Ana proposed: "Anyway! I feel totally like celebrating, hence we should get to the Mars disco, tonight...". Manuel Harriott shrugged about that, mumbling: "That would be cool, yeah! We'll definitively manage to dispel all our bad thoughts, that way, there in Puerto Madero...".

After snickering, blowing air from her mouth, Ana Arce voiced: "...and Danielito Cordoba could come with us, too, this time around...". To that, Manuel affirmed: "Oh, yes... It's gonna be so cool!". Descending to the area of near the Rio de la Plata, within the "Lower Belgrano" area, the traffic had lightened up already, and so in few minutes driving her Mercedes Benz Ana reached the intersection of the elevated railway, and next of the Libertador avenue. Several streets from there, already into the neigborhood of Nuniez, Ana Arce left her Mercedes Benz SLS, parked into a garage on the Olazabal street. Ana then was wearing again her new, red, hooded coat of Harrods, and she thus started walking toward the proximate Monroe avenue, holding hands with Manuel Harriott, who was clad in a black puffy coat, over his yellow "T Shirt" of the Ramones. In one of the five corners of the intersection of Artilleros and Monroe, the "Macanudo" bistro was located, which had just been inaugurated by Debora Cordoba, its owner, whereas she was the 'twenty three year old' sister of Daniel Cordoba. The building of the "Macanudo" bar had the shape of an acute angle, in one of the street layout distortions, within the curious area, nearby of the River Plate's stadium. "Macanudo" also had a 'far west saloon' look, with its wooden entrance doors, and its surrounding pergola, all made of wood, with a brief sloped roof, and an horizontal rod, all around. Wearing a blue 'T Shirt' of no sleeves, with the images of Wacky Races' Dick Dastardly & Muttley The Dog on the torso, the nineteen year old Daniel Cordoba had been having a beer, at a four chair table, there, from where he hurried getting to his feet, for greeting his two old friends. Also, his elder sister Debora got there from the counter, with Debora wearing a blue, denim, jean mini skirt, and an old jacket of her secondary school, of the "Instituto River Plate". Minutes later, the four friends were playing an "8 ball Pool" game, on the table of the "Macanudo" bistro. It was the turn of Ana Arce, for striking the ball, and so with much concentration she stretched her very thin body behind the cue stick, that she was holding, with her high neck red cotton 'T shirt' of long sleeves, and raising almost horizontally her right leg, of white pants, and white Umbro running shoes. Ana indeed managed, firstly pocketing the "solid colored" orange ball, number five, after which she also did the same, to the 'number three', red one. Ana Arce missed then her third try, though, with the blue, 'number two' ball, nevertheless her three good friends there, reacted then spontaneously, clapping their hands at her. Even more, despite belonging to the rival team, Debora Cordoba discretely got close to Ana. Then, with her 'sleek, long bob with curves' hairdo, big black eyes, and shorter

stature than Ana, Debora of an usually funny demeanor affirmed: "Oh, my god! You, Ana, always do everything so awesomely! I hope, someday I could fare exactly like that, as a journalist!". Beside owning, and managing the "Macanudo" bar, Debora at that moment was studying journalism in the "TEA" school, the traditional 'workshop, academy, and news organization' of Buenos Aires, for future reporters. Indeed, Debora Cordoba already was about graduating, from there. Also coming close to there, after already having played in his turn with his 'cue stick', Manuel Harriott said to Debora, taunting: "Debora... Perez Volpin... right?", making reference to the famous TV reporter, who had died years before. Before preparing herself for striking the balls in her turn, Debora Cordoba smiled and got flushed on her face, to comment then: "Oh, well... Yeah, of course... I really wish, someday! I mean... I did a report, about the work of her, my namesake Debora Perez Volpin, in the tube... and Carlos Ulanovsky himself felicitated me... So!". Debora had begun walking to the '8 ball' pool table, when she was interrupted also by his own brother Daniel, who suddenly embraced her. Then, Daniel said: "Just remember us all, mere mortals, Debora, when you are a big celebrity of television, OK?". After staring at each other with Ana Arce, snickering both, Manuel Harriott quipped: "Can I have your autograph, Debora?", with which the four friends exploded laughing heartfeltly. Holding her cue stick vertically on the floor with her right, Debora Cordoba moved her left hand down, like dismissing her three friends in jest, and quipped with a smile: "Yeah, alright!". For the second '8 ball' pool contest, both Ana Arce and Daniel Cordoba called it quits, by virtue of their respective, yet so different, individualities. Ana was a lady of a mainly scientific mind, due to a vast knowledge about a diversity of interests, so pastimes such as the "spots & stripes" usually resulted somehow stupid for her. For his part, Daniel was of a violent character, with little patience for simple, playful things, except when spending time with his best friends of life, Ana Arce and Manuel Harriott. Thus, Ana Arce and Daniel Cordoba found themselves chatting tranquilly on the opposite sides of their table, with their backs propped against one of the big windows of the bar. Daniel had just gobbled a big clump of peanuts, when he began drinking cool Quilmes beer of a dimpled pint glass, with his voice being still hearable despite the liquid, being swallowed almost simultaneously: "I also came here today... Ana... to go to Ciudad Universitaria, for resolving some... administrative issues". Daniel Cordoba was then an architecture student, of the University of Buenos Aires, in the monumental buildings, over the margins of the 'Rio de la Plata', a few streets from there, also within the neighborhood of Nuniez. Ana and Daniel then stared at each other in silence, until Daniel added: "My

college is right here, Ana, and my car is being repaired, 'at the moment'!". With the milky irises of her eyes affixed upon him pensively, Ana Arce sipped through the straw of her plastic bottle of Villavicencio water, blew some air from her mouth, and finally smiled showing the tip of her white teeth. Ana then answered: "Yeah... I know where 'Ciudad Universitaria' is, Danny, although I'm not leaving my Mercedes, parked there!", as she also made a gesture with her hands instead towards the garage of the Olazabal street, nearby. Daniel briefly distracted himself some seconds staring at the pool table, in the center of the "Macanudo" bistro, and after drinking more of his beer he insisted: "So, what? Then, let's go walking there, Ana! You and I. We'll come back afterwards in a taxi!... It's just five streets from here". With her natively white, expensive, and short hairdo, Ana Arce reacted staring at him, widening her also chalky eyes, smiling, and telling: "You know well, Danielito, that 'Ciudad Universitaria' is more distantly than that!". By the '8 ball' pool table, in the center of the "Macanudo" bistro, Manuel Harriott then nodded at them both, with a giggle at Debora Cordoba. However, Debora grounded her cue stick as well, and instead she then distractedly opened her black eyes at the silver chain bracelet, on the right wrist of Manuel. As playfully as ever, Debora Cordoba started acting wildly, with her little fingers seizing the plated wristlet, and starting pulling it. Debora bantered: "I want one of these for me!... Would you give me this one, Manuelito?". Manuel Harriott shook her right hand as elatedly, answering: "Perhaps, Debora... Once you are in the TV news". With her jean 'mini skirt' and her school jacket of the "Instituto River Plate", Debora Cordoba laughed, and getting ready to use again her cue stick at the pool table she assured: "I'm gonna be there, Manuel!... and then you will want me more than your girlfriend...". Getting by Debora's side, Manuel Harriott then tranquilly said: "That will hardly happen...". From the table of the window, Ana Arce unexpectedly reacted to that, yelling: "Hey, kids! Take me seriously, and don't be mean at me!", for which the four friends laughed, with Manuel Harriott shaking his head amusingly, while smiling. At her table, Ana Arce then lowered her head, of a perfectly white skin without blemishes, and with a very expensive white, and short hairdo. In such a way, Ana checked her lady 'Royal Oak' watch, which was an Audemars Piguet imported from Switzerland, specially for her, and then she finally told: "OK, Danielito... Let's do that!". The two got to their feet, with Ana donning back her red hooded coat of Harrods, and Daniel hurrying to help her, in doing so. Ana Arce thanked Daniel, staring at him at close quarters, and then Ana mumbled completing her own remark: "...after all, what are good friends for?".

Next, after bidding Debora and Manuel their temporary farewell, the two old friends of Belgrano stepped out of the "Macanudo" bistro. Ana Arce and Daniel Cordoba thus started their way, walking down the Monroe avenue through the neighborhood of Nuniez, to the north east, under the warm afternoon sun of that winter day. Ana was wearing her entirely red coat of Harrods, all buttoned, and with its 'self tie' belt, fastened around her very thin waist. Whereas the big scarlet hood of Ana Arce remained suspended, loosened on her back, inbetween the collar of her coat, it was visible Ana Arce's also red, and unembellished 'T shirt' of high neck. From below her very thin thighs, it was visible, meanwhile, that Ana was wearing white pants, and white Umbro running shoes, on her feet. Walking along Ana Arce, Daniel Cordoba was clad in conventional blue jeans, a blue puffy coat, which he kept openly despite the cold climate, over his blue 'T Shirt', bearing the funny cartoon pictures of Dick Dasterdly & Muttley The Dog. Daniel Cordoba was also wearing blue Nike training shoes, with their distinctive 'check mark', in white. With the two of them walking so, across the wooded, and so aristocratic district of low houses of Nuniez, Daniel Cordoba casually checked the golden Rolex 'Day Date automatic' watch of his left wrist, on which it was shown the time of five o'clock in the afternoon. Daniel then commented coolly: "I suppose... I should feel sorry for all this, Ana... It happens, that my Nissan is still in the mechanic's garage, after my crash of the other day in the woods of Palermo... I've been forced to leave it there, at the Zabala street... you know". Ana Arce chuckled, and voiced: "It seems, that you haven't changed, Danielito... with your ruthless driving, I mean... Originally it was ilegally, and with no driving license at all... although such a trend nonetheless continues nowadays... even with you, being an adult already!". Both friends were passing by a small security shelter, at one of the corners, with a guard, when Daniel Cordoba said: "Anyway... I'm still interested in getting a good muscle car, something for actually racing...". Distracting his head at Ana, who walked by his left, Daniel added: "...and I know you... It's exactly your taste, Ana!". Ana Arce laughed then, and shook her white head, while Daniel continued: "The point is, that I'm thinking about bringing some really beefy racecar straigth from Japan. You see?". Walking along with him, Ana was smiling at his words, while sipping through the plastic straw of her Villavicencio water bottle. After assenting humming, Ana Arce opined: "Oh, well, Danny. I think, It's OK! You've got the money for doing that... and you ought to spend it for having fun... I mean, in your own behalf!". By then, the green open area of the "El Salvador" park opened suddenly by their left, and after some seconds of walking silently together, Daniel Cordoba told:

"It's funny, because I've been talking with Manuel Harriott, precisely about it... That's why I've called the two of you, today. It's, that I'm planning to settle with the people, I really care about... my real friends... and believe me, Ana, that in the last two years, I've been looking for other people... and other ways for living my life!". After dropping her empty plastic bottle into a sidewalk bin by the park, and sentimentally dedicating a smile to his old friend of life, Ana Arce commented: "Yeah... You have changed a lot since moving from Belgrano to San Isidro, two years ago... before our last year of secondary school. Manuel and I haven't been seeing you much, since then... That was very sad for the three of us!". There was an old, thin man, nearby, holding of a cluster of dogs, awaiting to cross the Monroe avenue from the park then, with some of the canines, distracted, and sniffing over Ana and Daniel. "Shooo! I hate dogs!", Ana Arce exclaimed becoming aware of that, while hurrying away. Disregarding, after caressing one of the german shepherd dogs, there, Daniel Cordoba instead kept telling animatedly: "Anyway... I've always been talking with Manuelito... from time to time. Specially now, that he stays in his new apartment, practically all day and night!". After checking again the dogs behind, with her milky eyes, Ana nonetheless answered: "Manuel and I have been working for our money for years, Danny. We haven't been born so luckily, like you, in a rich family, which helps us...". The big park of the left ended in the next street corner, where the two friends waited for a car to pass, from their right. There, Daniel Cordoba sighed, giggled, and finally commented: "Oh, well... It seems, that you haven't changed at all about Manuelito. You always keep giving him the reason... about everything!". Starting crossing the street, Ana Arce whispered: "He has changed a lot with the years, since when we three first met, and, yes, he is a real man, now...". Daniel took a broken branch from the ground, and after hitting an humongous plastic garbage container, off the sidewalk, one of those for serving the whole street around there, he tossed the stick to the middle of the Monroe avenue. Daniel Cordoba then said: "That's happened thanks to you, Ana! You insisted with him. You have never cared about either his mad father, or his ridiculous mother. You took the trouble, of rescuing Manuelito out of that vicious circle, in his home". Both were reaching the area of the immense park "Of the Americas", by the side of the Figueroa Alcorta avenue, very near the margins of the Rio de la Plata. After thinking on his own statements, Daniel ended up laughing, and added: "...but yeah... It's True! I admit, that it was you, Ana, who has made an adult of Manuel. You are his maker... although I have always wondered, why...?". Ana Arce had remained pensively about the memories of her own life, but then she reacted laughing loudly about such an ironic final remark of Daniel. Thinking fast, Ana finally admitted: "Oh, well. You obviously know me very well, Danny, and yet, you also know, my cheeky friend of life... that even being eighteen

year old, I date other men too!". After inspiring deeply and chuckling, Ana also added more composedly: "I'm too much of a scientific gal, studying everything, happening to me, with a fucking microscope... highest magnification!". As Daniel then reacted warmly extending his husky left arm over her shoulders, Ana continued telling: "That's why, I'm always having more fun with Manuelito... Doing businesses together, you know? Distracting... For a change, he represents how much unruly I could be. I couldn't conceive a life without him... or either without you, for case, Danny!". Squeezing lovingly Ana with his strong, well trained left arm, Daniel chuckled, and forcing a rough voice said: "Meanwhile, I am the bloody bully!". Walking with her thin arms crossed, and clad in her new red coat, Ana Arce quipped: "Yes, that's true! You are the real hellraiser, of us three, Danielito!", and then both friends laughed heartfeldly together. Ana Arce and Daniel Cordoba had just crossed the Figueroa Alcorta avenue, and began to walk a thin concrete path, laid over the shipshape, grassed area there, while the warm afternoon sun fell down particularly strongly over all that area. Affectionately taking, and holding the milky, thin, and delicate hand of Ana then with his sturdy left, Daniel tranquilly resumed saying: "Well... as I'd been telling to you... I talk with Manuel quite often by the phone... It occurs, that now I'm with David Coulthard, my friend officer of the Argentine army, with whom I practice golf and polo in San Isidro... and also have gone hunting in safaris to South Africa...". Daniel Cordoba giggled, and continued: "Anyhow... David put me in contact with his own family of Coronel Suarez, a place where everybody remembers Manuelito's grandfather, the polo star...". Ana Arce knew how difficult were those memories in particular, for Manuel, nevertheless she pointed out: "...and that's why you've been seeking for a reunion of the three of us. You want to play polo there, well afar in the province countryside, only to be famous, and to win the Argentine cup... just like Manuel's grandpa did, decades ago!". Knowing that Ana usually pulled stunts like that, Daniel Cordoba reacted stepping back a bit, because his deepest feelings had been coldly undigged and publicly exposed, for all to see. Then, Daniel firstly uttered loudly: "What?", although after some seconds of silence he ended up laughing, and admitting: "Oh, well... who knows?". By then, the Leopoldo Lugones freeway was getting closer and closer, with its big, double guardrail, by the left of the two friends of Belgrano. Daniel then nodded to the nearby buildings of 'Ciudad Universitaria', by the other side of the turnpike, to also voice: "For now, David and I are flying in my jet to 'Coronel Suarez' every weekend, casually with little girls, from my school of architecture, to 'study' down there...". Daniel then laughed, and continued: "Meanwhile, we also practice golf and polo, there. All that kind of hard duties, guarding the fort of that locality... you know, Ana!".

Ana Arce and Daniel Cordoba laughed together, then, while both were reaching the base of a flight of concrete stairs, leading to a footbridge, over the Leopoldo Lugones freeway. Already climbing the steps with her white Umbro training shoes, Ana unblushingly pointed out: "You haven't changed at all, Danny... always with your system of having one new love per weekend!". Thinking fast, Daniel quipped then: "Hey, Anita... Don't take me wrong... Like every student of architecture, I always have got a lot of great plans!". Stepping on the first, big landing surface of the concrete flight of stairs, Ana Arce started laughing merrily out with such a funny witticism of her friend of life. Like so, Ana also raised her white head, although then her pearly iris eyes got totally magnetized, at a strange figure, unexpectedly perched high above. Mumbling confusedly: "Huh?", Ana stopped abruptly on her steps. Atop of the flight of stairs of the footbridge, over the Leopoldo Lugones freeway, there was a very pretty, yet weird, little girl of a blonde hair, sitting in the middle of the wide topmost step. The phantasmagoric sweet girl, with her appearance of an age of about ten years, wore an aristocratic dress, seeming light blue at the distance. Sitting down over the upmost step of concrete, under her long skirt she also had her left leg crossed over her right, while her two delicate hands were holding her own upper, left knee. After staring at each other with Ana Arce for a couple of seconds, the little girl visibly grinned, puffing her white cheeks, conveying a clear notion of superiority over Ana. Clad in her entirely red coat, with its big hood dangling behind her, her palid face of no blemishes at all, and her naturally white, short hairdo, Ana Arce kept her ivory iris eyes firmly affixed upon the little girl, and after some seconds Ana was able to finally whisper: "Nadezhda (Надежда) Rasputin!". Quickly understanding the meaning of those words, Daniel Cordoba snapped, exclaiming: "What did you say, Ana?", after which with his black eyes he followed Ana's line of sight upwards, and so he too distinguished the same very young lass, who then was looking exactly 'similar', 'to when' he and Manuel met her in the abandoned mansion of "Belgrano R", ten years before. Daniel instantly started running the stairs upwards, yelling: "It's fucking you! I haven't forgotten, what happened, years ago!". Taken by surprise by such a reaction of her friend of life, Ana Arce widened her chalky eyes, and demanded: "Danny, wait! Calm down! Don't do anything to her!". Nonetheless, Ana next widened her arms by her own sides, while sighing: "You haven't changed at all, Danny!", and then she started climbing the stairway with her white Umbro running shoes, following him. Notwithstanding, as soon as Ana Arce grounded her right foot onto the second, big horizontal landing of the concrete flight of stairs, an Airbus A320 jet airliner irrupted in the scene, flying by, at just about two hundred meters from her, more

to the north. Whereas coming down like that, almost touching everyone's head in that area with its extended landing gear underneath, the '38 meter long' plane was about touching down in the nearby Jorge Newbery airport, merely one kilometer and a half to the south east. Under such a deafening roar, Ana Arce nonetheless kept shouting at her friend of life, despite being in complete vain. However, then, with the next, normal blinking of her pearly iris eyes, the reality, all around, went haywire, into a sudden blackness, which demanded a couple of seconds for the vision of Ana, to adapt. Under those new conditions, Ana Arce firstly sensed the sudden withdrawal of the thundering jet. Instead then, strong gales of wind began sounding all around, while enwrapping her strongly, and whistling into her ears. Ana also noticed then, that her white Umbro running shoes had sunk into a sandy surface, very different from the hard concrete of the freeway footbridge of the Leopoldo Lugones freeway, of Nuniez. Bending her knees, Ana Arce lowered her body, and with her thin hands she swept the ground around, which was fine and red. Ana then mumbled: "Iron oxide...". Ana Arce nabbed a handful of that dirt, in her right, and then she stood up. In front of the pearly eyes, of her perfectly white face, Ana Arce then made the red powder, to spill from her right fist, down to her left hand. Completely amazed, Ana Arce then concluded, mumbling: "The planet Mars...". A sudden blast of wind then unexpectedly struck Ana's back, and thus the big red hood of her new coat got mounted over her natively white, short hairdo, exactly as if Ana would have placed that scarlet wrap, attentively correctly, with her own thin, delicate fingers. Ana Arce mumbled again: "Wow!...", before beginning examining every thing, around her feet, with her chalky eyes. Ana then noticed, that she indeed was standing on some kind of elevation, at an altitude of one kilometer from the surface of Mars. Also, Ana was over a sloped surface, which ended at a peak, above, fifty meters ahead from her. Ana Arce then voiced: "It's the pentagonal pyramid of Cydonia...", as she knew, that it was located in the flat northern area of the "Arabia Terra" region of the planet Mars. Ana then bantered: "This really is confusing, however... since I've always been trying to avoid pyramid schemes!". Nonetheless, Ana Arce noticed then, that in front of her the slanted surface of the pyramid was oriented similarly, with respect to the flight of stairs of the freeway

footbridge, over the Leopoldo Lugones freeway, in Nuniez. Pensively, Ana then hit some of the red dirt with her right Umbro training shoe, whose original white color was already much blemished, in red. Next, Ana instinctively turned her head to her left, and behind. With her pearly iris eyes, Ana Arce distinguished in that distant horizon, that the red clouds, which predominated in the sky, underwent, that "planet spanning" windstorms lashed all over such a scarlet overcast. Meanwhile, in that direction on the surface of Mars, there was a collection of towering boulders, at ten kilometers from the side of the pentagonal pyramid, of Ana. Sighing a chuckle, Ana Arce even realized, that those distant "red rock" formations were in the same direction, yet at a larger distance in kilometers, where the quadrilateral buildings of "Ciudad Universitaria" would be, in the real world, on the planet Earth. After meditating about that, Ana next with her ivory eyes sought, again by her left, yet more ahead from where she was standing, the flat, horizontal rocky formation, corresponding to the humanoid face of Cydonia. That monument indeed was there too, as expected, resting over the surface of Mars, ten kilometers from where Ana Arce was standing, over the red pentagonal pyramid. At the distance, Ana thus recognized the red, rocky likeness of a Martian warrior, with two eyes, a nose, an horizontal mouth, and a clearly defined square helmet, mounted over his head. Ana Arce couldn't help chuckling once more though, because that red, rocky formation was sited, proportionally, at the place, where the "Holy Land" attraction would have been, with respect to the freeway footbridge, back in the real world, in Nuniez, on the coast of the Rio de la Plata. Ana hence teased: "That Martian soldier is serving with the Israel Defense Forces, then...". After smiling briefly, Ana Arce then decided to resume her quarry, about Daniel Cordoba, and the weird apparition of Nadezhda (Надежда) Rasputin. Thus, Ana turned her 'red hood', entirely chalky head to the top of the Martian pyramid, where as expectedly Daniel was already arguing bitterly with the little Russian specter. Impetuously, Ana Arce started running to there, while yelling with desperation: "Danny, calm down, for god's sake! Don't do anything to her!... Wait for me!". With her full attention put on that situation in particular, Ana then noticed, that standing on her two tiny feet the small Russian blonde girl Nadezhda (Надежда) remained smiling imperturbably at Daniel, with her always maintaining her superiority stance. From his side, as if he still was the same very young boy, of ten year before, Daniel Cordoba was engaged openly bulling the little lady, with him showing a total contempt, cocky, and defiant, to her. At very close quarters, Daniel thus was shaking his head, mockingly raising both

the left side of his mouth, and his right brow, and with his black eyes affixed on Nadezhda (Надежда) Rasputin. Daniel Cordoba wasn't taking the ghost seriously at all, and, so, in turn, clad in an aristocratic, yet very old, and worn 'long skirt' dress of thin, light blue, and white vertical stripes, the little Nadezhda (Надежда) reciprocally said at some point: "I'm really sorry about your soul, mister...". By then, Ana Arce had reached the summit of the Martian pyramid too, and while panting because of having sprinted to that place Ana claimed: "OK, little children! Stop fighting one another... The three of us are all intelligent enough creatures!". Next, Ana turned around, and seizing Daniel's left arm, she dragged him a couple of meters away, with Ana berating: "Hey, Danny! What's the matter with you?...". After getting to a prudent distance of some meters away, safely distantly enough from Nadezhda (Надежда) Rasputin, Ana Arce added: "What I've been telling you all these years? Huh? You have to be respectful with that little Russian girl in particular... OK?". Making her point, Ana had accented each of her own words extending her right arm, and staring with her pearly eyes at the little Russian ghost girl. For her part, Nadezhda (Надежда) Rasputin had her blue eyes reciprocally affixed upon Ana, and after making a mysterious smile on her ten year old sweet face, Nadezhda (Надежда) just vanished into thin air, clearly leaving the mark of her two little shoes over the red Martian dust. Ana Arce reacted then really furiously, hitting with her two very skinny hands the blue, puffy coat of Daniel Cordoba: "I've told you not to attack her, Danny... Why don't you ever give any heed to me, god dammit!". Always standing in his place, pissed likewise, Daniel opened his two arms by his own sides, thus amply showing the cartoon images of Dick Dastardly & Muttley The Dog, on the blue 'T shirt' of his torso, while demanding: "Yeah?... and why is all that, Ana? Why does that creature deserve so much courtesy? Huh?". Ana Arce stepped back, and raised her still hooded head to directly stare at his so violent friend of life, with her milky eyes, wide open. Daniel Cordoba briefly sensed with his mind, then, that Ana was about starting to cry, something very rare in her. Nonetheless, forcing herself into calming down instead, Ana opened her red coated arms briefly to end up reacting like giving up, and after turning around to the peak of the pyramid, she mumbled: "It doesn't matter... Just forget it, Daniel!". Daniel Cordoba nonetheless wouldn't give up so easily, therefore he irrupted into the field of vision of Ana Arce, and then he indicated with his right index to the empty space, at which the little Russian girl Nadezhda (Надежда) Rasputin had been standing, before vanishing. Daniel demanded: "That is the same missy, Manuel and I have told you, about... The one of the abandoned mansion, that was in 'Belgrano R'! Now, you've seen her, Ana... Come on! Tell me, what you know about those extraterrestrials!". Ana Arce had been avoiding the eyes of Daniel, and after inspiring noisily some air she gave a step to the side, and then she got facing at the distant area of the

horizontal 'red stone', mountain monument, of the Martian face. While giving her back to Daniel, Ana Arce finally talked: "Those aren't space beings, Danny, but terrestrial Russians... They are special people, with special abilities, similar to mine...". Daniel Cordoba then insisted, getting again between the 'red cloud' horizon of Mars and Ana. Daniel then demanded: "Is that child living, right now?". Ana Arce raised her 'red hood', white head, staring straight at her friend of life, widened her arms, and shrugging, she told tranquilly again: "I've got no idea about that point in particular, Danny...". After staring at Ana for some seconds with a hint of anger in his facial gesture, Daniel reacted speaking loudly: "Great, Anita!... You are getting cryptic again...". For her part, Ana Arce didn't care about such a reaction, crossing her arms pensively, lowering her hooded, white head, and kicking some of the red dirt of the Martian ground, with her white Umbro running shoes. With all that, Daniel was left thinking, long enough for him, to calm down, and so instead with an approachable tone he said: "Are you, Ana, Russian too?...". Before Daniel finished his words, Ana Arce was laughing loud already, to such a 'far out' guessing. Ana then chided: "Not at all, Danny! Why would you suppose something like that?... I'm not even of an European blood!". Daniel Cordoba suddenly smiled friendly, and widening his strong arms all around, signaling the dark, 'red dust' scenery, of there, at the peak of the pentagonal pyramid, he asked: "What are you then, Ana? A Martian, perhaps?". Ana Arce then chuckled, and approached with her milky irises straight to him, to calmly tell: "Of course not, Danny. Don't exaggerate the situation! I'm an Argentine mestizo gal... That's my secret... Only that...". For the occasion, Daniel Cordoba regained his toned down pitch, of Ana's old friend of life, with which Daniel wondered aloud: "Really?... You are a Querandi indian, then... You never told!". Calmly, Ana Arce nodded assenting, very tranquilly. After some seconds of silence, between them both, under the clouds of red dust, of the higher atmosphere of the planet Mars, and in the midst of the strong bursts of wind all around, with his right index finger Daniel signaled Ana, and then he pondered: "There really were albino Querandies?". Ana Arce's red coat of Harrods had two very large pockets below her waist, and so Ana slipped her two very thin hands into those, and raised her then 'red hood', frosted head, of ivory eyes and a snowy, short hair. Then, Ana finally proudly answered: "Yes, Danny! There were some Querandies of a pearly race, those of my blood in particular... Secretly... and later some of them became illustrious Argentine citizens too, despite being always confused for Europeans... including some presidents of Argentina... who were my progenitors,

even!". Cheerfully embracing Ana, Daniel Cordoba exclaimed: "That's my friend of life, Anita! Yeah! I'm so proud to be with you since practically... ever!". Ana Arce then cackled long, and removed her thin, right arm from its big pocket, for embracing Daniel reciprocally. As, also, her torso was then waggled lovingly by Daniel's robust left arm, smiling cheerily Ana then continued telling: "My Querandi lineage in particular was an unusual one, since they even were technologically superior, than the societies on planet Earth nowadays!". After suddenly stopping moving Ana, Daniel Cordoba wondered aloud with curiosity: "How so?". With the red hood always on her white head, Ana Arce accomodated well both sides of the collar of her Harrods coat, and then she explained: "My ancestors even conquered the space, traveling from galaxy to galaxy... They fought wars, against other species in the universe... Unfortunately, with the arrival of the Spaniards to America, my forefathers decided to hide all that knowledge, retreating from the stars, and, in the end, of all those advances nothing survived on Earth...". Ana Arce then laid her white head and her red hood on Daniel Cordoba's torso, and so Ana quite pensively added: "...I'm afraid, thus, that I'm the sole survivor of all my Querandi ancestors, with the same, so special ethnicity of me... I've never met any other like me... whereas, in my life, I've managed surviving only by virtue of my mental force, sensing and controlling people's minds". Sympathetically rubbing Ana's 'red hood', white head, quite lovingly, Daniel Cordoba inquired: "Your father, don Nicolas Arce married a mestizo woman, then...". With a suddenly aroused sentimentality for her own 'real family' background, Ana Arce pensively smiled softly to tell: "That man isn't my real father, Danny... He just adopted me". Daniel Cordoba couldn't help then shaking his head in surprise, and asked: "Oh! Really? What happened with your real parents, then, Ana?". With her eyes affixed on nothing, after some seconds of silence, Ana Arce finally whispered: "I really wish, I knew that, Danny... That's why...". At that moment, though, a very powerful blast of wind, of those affecting the highest atmospheric altitudes there in Mars, also beat the peak of the pentagonal pyramid, on which Ana and Daniel were standing. It was much more astonishing, then, that a '126 meter diameter' flying saucer vessel just passed, hovering at a high speed, with a phantasmagoric wailing sound, right over the black 'taper fade' haircut of Daniel Cordoba, and the big, red hood, which covered Ana Arce's white, short hairdo head. The round 'space craft' was all painted of orange, whereas the centre of its circular base was stamped with a 'black design' emblem, consisting of a large "H" letter, whose middle, horizontal union bore an "X" character. Also on its immense base, there were about forty hemispheric spaces, embeded, of which some still contained inside a complete, spherical structure, bearing the inter galactic combustible of that interstellar barge.

Examining the extraterrestrial space craft with her pearly iris eyes, and smiling puffing her snowy cheeks, while showing her white teeth, Ana Arce then mumbled: "Oranzhevyys...". The orange inter galactic ship then landed on the red, Martian dust at that "Arabia Terra" region, just off the northern angle of the pentagonal pyramid, and about two kilometers from its peak, where Ana and Daniel were standing. Whereas the top of the orange flying saucer vessel also had inscribed the same "Hx" insignia drawing, in black, Daniel Cordoba finally was able to articulate: "Extraterrestrials?". Ana reacted mumbling: "Huh?" for then lovingly seizing Daniel's left arm, enjoying of such an incredible event. Lost in her own thoughts though, Ana Arce then voiced: "This also is an exercise in universal politics, since there are a diversity of conflicts across the galaxies...". However, Ana then was distracted, as a column of dozens of beings, from outer space, started coming out of that orange inter galactic ship. These were all quite slender humanoids, uniformly '1.95 meter' tall, and of a light grey skin. Those so called "Oranzhevyy" space beings were clad, in scant orange robes, over their almost naked, bony bodies, in a diversity of arrangements, but most usually hanging of one of their shoulders, while below enwrapping their thin waists. They also were carrying large black rifles, holding those with their two long, thin hands. Daniel Cordoba then whispered: "Bloody hell! Is that a force of occupation?". In response, always staring distantly down Ana Arce distractedly embraced Daniel's waist with her thin, right arm, and so she commented: "Nothing can change how damned this universe is, from side to side...". Disregarding, quite frightened Daniel suddenly stepped back, completely removing himself from his friendly togetherness with his beautiful friend of life, Ana. Daniel Cordoba with urgency then uttered: "Hey, Anita... look!", as all around, each one of the five triangular sides of the "three kilometer long" pentagonal base of the red pyramid were already being climbed then, by multitudes of creatures, of all kind, which had also arrived to Mars, from distant galaxies of the universe. Also landed round the pyramid of Cydonia, there were, then, hundreds of other intergalactic vessels of a diversity of sizes and shapes, all with a specific number of spheres, of intergallactic fuel, too, attached somewhere, externally on their hull. Clad in her entirely red, hooded coat of Harrods Ana Arce got distracted then into calmly staring down, around the Martian pyramid, for reckoning the massive phenomenon, consisting of such a diversity of alien forces. Daniel Cordoba instead had quickly lost his temper, moving impulsively across the peak area, while vociferating: "Fucking illusory visions... This is bloody cheating! There was no one in the whole region, seconds ago...".

Daniel then added: "...but I am well prepared for a case like this!". Daniel then drew a powerful '130 mm barrel', 'one kilogram mass' 'Smith & Wesson Victory Model 10' revolver, of a British '.38/200 caliber' cylinder, of six rounds, whereas that gun in particular indeed had seen action in the European front, during the Second World War. This time in complicity with her friend of life, Ana Arce chuckled, and smiling she calmly voiced: "Be careful, Danny... All firearms are the devil's work!". Disregarding such an innocent observation of Ana, Daniel raised his pistol, in his right hand, saying: "The streets of the province of Buenos Aires have prepared me, for events like this!". Meanwhile, the violent winds of Mars were beginning to bring a diversity of new noises, all of them unfathomable for Daniel Cordoba, coming out of the mouths, lips, and jaws of the 'shape medley' of marching extraterrestrials, as those were singing their songs of war, while sounding 'drum like' instruments. In such a diversity of beings from outer space, everyone in fact looked just like the assorted species of living creatures, that could be found on the planet Earth, whereas of those extraterrestrials some stood out in particular. Thus, climbing the northwestern face of the pyramid of Cydonia, there were the tall 'Oranzhevyy' humanoids, with their orange robes. By the northeast face, some white, bipedal polar bear creatures advanced upwards too, being even larger than the former, marching on their two rear paws, while carrying blue rifles, with black details. From the southeast, it was climbing a formation of bipedal 'tabby cat like' beasts of a diversity of designs in their furs, and as tall as the common human beings of Earth. Daniel Cordoba then quipped: "Take me to you litter", making Ana Arce, to laugh loudly, with her then telling in response: "Never trust a cat!". From the south, a bunch of '1.73 meter tall', 'six paw', 'fly like', bipedal insect creatures was coming, with their brown bodies, having other darker natural designs, and bearing two big, semitransparent, planar wings on their backs. Those flies had four prehensile paws, of three fingers, holding a thick, red rifle. From the western slope, indeed, there were climbing some very curious 'dolphin like' creatures, clad in a silvered suit, with a big, 'forward elongated' helmet entirely of glass, on their 'bottle nose' heads, whereas those cetaceans were strapped to individual hovering seats. Staring at them, Daniel Cordoba said: "Take me to your liter...", to which after thinking a while Ana Arce told: "Those are the Serebros... really intelligent creatures...". As a matter of fact, for such a close encounter with the two Argentine humans, in Mars, each alien of those multitudinous 'delegations' was heavily armed, with luminous rifles, while wearing the respective symbols of war of each one of their civilizations. Indeed, soon, under the knees of Ana Arce and Daniel Cordoba, the whole of the red pyramid of Cydonia started quivering perceptibly, as more and more

extraterrestrials were marching imperturbably over the five sides. The diversity of space beings finally stopped firmly, high above, over the peak area of the giant pentagonal monolith of Mars, with them all always holding their big, lit guns. The extraterrestrial creatures thus formed a big round, of a 'twelve meter' free radius, surrounding Ana and Daniel, while they both remained expectantly in the center. Daniel Cordoba was back to back with Ana Arce, who nervously couldn't help keeping pushing behind, upon her friend of life. With his 'Smith & Wesson Victory' revolver drawn in his right hand, Daniel then said: "I wish, I had some nukes here, to finish off all these aliens!". After briefly turning her 'red hood', white head to her right, giving heed to that expression, Ana Arce told: "Oh, well, Danny... That wouldn't do anything. All these civilizations have much more powerful weapons and defenses than that...". Seconds later, Ana also whispered: "...and for that reason, they are even more stupid than the humans, living on the planet Earth!". Daniel Cordoba acknowledged that: "Aha! Whatever... Right now, we are impossibly circled!". After a brief silence, Ana Arce quipped: "Oh, well... As in my Stock Exchange daily job... I always like the idea of surrounding myself with some new company...". Ana then interrupted her own witty chatter though, with her by herself reacting, and for no apparent reason, raising her two arms, like seeking protection behind her two very thin hands, while briefly standing only on her right foot. Ana Arce then sighed nervously: "Oh, no, my god!", as every extraterrestrial of the variety there, all totally armed, and surrounding the two friends of Belgrano, then raised their luminous, and buzzing rifles, for aiming particularly at Daniel Cordoba. Daniel didn't hesitate then, holding his British American war pistol with his two strong hands, threatening the agglomeration of space beings there, aiming at them 'willy nilly', one after the other, yet without pulling the trigger. Daniel Cordoba quite angrily started growling: "Don't get any closer, beasts!". By then, Ana Arce had figured out, about the originator of that incident in particular, and so Ana released some air from her mouth, in a sign of calm, with her already deeming the scene, somehow 'good humored'. Thus, Ana couldn't help whispering then: "Nadezhda (Надежда) Rasputin...". Ever maniacally aiming with his 'Smith & Wesson Victory Model 10' revolver, singling out one of those extraterrestrials at a time, one after the other, Daniel clearly heard Ana, and quickly realizing the whole situation he defiantly shouted: "Oh, yeah? We'll see who ends up laughing the loudest!". Ana Arce then turned her head right, and to her back, mumbling: "Take it easy, Danny... Remember all I've been telling you for years...". Daniel Cordoba in fact meditated about it for some seconds, and obediently then he

actually withdrew his '.38/200 British caliber' war gun, raising it in his right arm. From all the assortment of critters from outer space there, forming a big round, with them all threatening to fire their ultra advanced weapons in particular at Daniel, it was a 'more than two meter tall' giant, white furred, bipedal, 'polar bear like' extraterrestrial, the only one acting discordantly, starting to move. At ease, the enormous white creature raised his light blue rifle, for carrying it on his own right shoulder, whilst starting walking the 'twelve meter' distance to the center of the circle, of armed living things, from other galaxies of the universe. The 'polar bear' critter in fact was wearing a light blue headband, on his head, over which the tip of its white ears showed visibly. Walking on its two large rear paws, the colossal white beast soon got just near the much shorter Daniel Cordoba, and then it approached its white, "black tipped" snout to Daniel's head. While the giant white bear started snorting angrily right over him, keeping his black eyes directed reciprocally at it Daniel mumbled: "Thank god, this is only an imaginary vision...". Daniel Cordoba was surprised then though, because Ana Arce had turned around, and then she was standing by his left. With her 'red hood', entirely white face, her short, chalky hair, and her also "pearly iris" eyes, Ana then began scrutinizing all the details of the giant, bipedal 'polar bear' creature, very curiously, with Ana humming now and then, from her delicate, small, round nose. Ana Arce ended up exhaling a snickering breath, to voice: "Well... Hello, there, mister Nebesnyy!". It was only then, that the '2 meter tall' Nebesnyy polar bear finally turned its white, animal head, for staring briefly at Ana. The white, giant beast from outer space then grunted calmly, and started stepping back, while always holding its light blue rifle. Ana Arce chortled again, and put her thin right arm, clad in her just acquired red coat, around the waist of Daniel Cordoba, with Ana insisting: "Tranquilly, Danny!". Nonetheless, Ana and Daniel still were completely surrounded by hundreds of creatures, from outer space, with their luminous guns threateningly aiming particularly at him. Daniel was keeping his British pistol drawn in his right hand, and with nothing happening around he mumbled: "I like my River Plate, even when it snatches a tie game, after having played really bad...". Adding something to that idea, Ana Arce then voiced: "...such as playing against the 'rest of the world' team?". Such a wisecrack of Ana made Daniel, to laugh, particularly since she had only put into spoken words the exact thoughts of Daniel, at that moment. Daniel Cordoba then started giggling, and distracting his head down he commented:

"There's no way to fool you, Anita!". Ana Arce then laughed, and added: "...oh well, although it's more like playing football against the rest of the universe, here!". Ana suddenly then turned around, and with her two delicate hands pulled of Daniel's free, left arm. Thus, Ana Arce called his attention about, that at one point of the circle of a diversity of extraterrestrials, some creatures were stepping aside, for letting pass even another kind of space beast. From that spot, a 'snake like' creature showed up, all yellow, with its reptile head of two large fangs, erected at the same height of Ana Arce's head. The serpent had one third of its elongated body, wound around a very large golden staff, at some height from the ground. Indeed, the snake was managing walking like a bipedal creature so, using that 'precious metal' rod for a prosthesis, and the rest of its long reptile body for a second foot. Daniel Cordoba quipped: "That 'adder' looks like a pirate, to me!". Ana Arce then kidded too: "Yeah... You can't pull the leg of that one!... although at this point my mind is so sick, that I'm really needing an asp-rin... Nadezhda (Надежда) Rasputin and her visions are that hard to bear!". After giggling for some seconds, Daniel also chaffed, then: "Oh, yeah... but we have already become her biggest 'fangs' for sure!". As the 'golden staff' snake with quite agile steps advanced toward Ana and Daniel, other two snakes also came out of the group of diverse, encircling extraterrestrials. The three snakes, the one of the staff and its two attendants in fact also had "arm like" appendages, of large, delicate fingers, yet of no forearm. Those two other serpents were holding big, thick, yellow rifles, whereas both moved over the red Martian dust, there, with a more conventional concertina "serpent movement", with their legless bodies, successively gripping and pushing on the ground. Those armed asps nonetheless kept ever the "torso like" section of their bodies vertically, with their reptile heads just a bit below, with respect to their leader. Ana Arce then was standing by the left of Daniel Cordoba, as the golden staff snake approached, with its "fanged jaw", straight to her. Then, the serpent affixed the 'blade like' pupils, of its two sideways red eyes, attentively at Ana, one after the other, examining her, while quickly moving the whole of its elongated head, several times, for that. The snake finally pulled back its reptile head, over its long, rubbery neck, emitting a humid, hissing sound, and it also flapped its forked tongue through its shut maxilla of long choppers. The giant asp suddenly flattened then its vertical neck, while enlarging it quite

provokingly sideways, until it was as wide as Ana Arce's shoulders. The giant ophidian hissed then: "Your time has come, Ana Arce...". Ana Arce reacted stepping back with her white Umbro running shoes over the 'red dust' Martian ground, while widening her ivory iris eyes, below her also chalky brows, on her pale, and spotless face. Instinctively, protectively, Daniel Cordoba reacted then with his hefty left arm embracing Ana, while Daniel also aimed his 'Smith & Wesson Victory', directly at the elongated creature, from another galaxy. After some seconds of silence there, atop of the pentagonal pyramid of Mars, Ana Arce finally answered: "Well... I suppose, your excellency, Snake Kaiser... that I've figured out most of that, already...". The giant serpent got stirred then, with its long body nerviously giving another turn around its golden staff, while hissing, and noisily shaking its rattle tail. Finally, the "Snake Kaiser" pulled back a bit with its widened neck, just to launch itself ferociously, with its fanged jaws, widely openly, over Ana Arce. Because of the strong effect of it, Ana couldn't help then, seeking protection behind her delicate hands, held in the air, while shutting her milky eyes, with trepidation. After opening her milky eyes again, though, Ana Arce found herself back in the real world, standing atop of the concrete footbridge, crossing over the Leopoldo Lugones freeway, off the coastline of the immense "Rio de la Plata" waters, with the 'late afternoon' 'sun beams' falling warmly over her, on that winter day. Ana still felt then, being squeezed protectively by Daniel Cordoba, one of her two best friends of life. Daniel suddenly realized, then, about having come back to life, and so he eased the hugging of his left arm, with him calmly saying: "Oh! I'm very sorry, Anita. I was only taking care of you...". Pensively then, though, Ana Arce stayed longer than that, over his torso, as disregarding Daniel Cordoba holstered back his 'Smith & Wesson Victory Model 10' pistol. The 'World War 2' American gun then passed right in front of Ana's tiny, round nose, while the then bulging leather pistol case, on Daniel Cordoba's left side, became a hard surface for her 'red hood', white head, to rest on. Smiling, Ana Arce then sighed, and whispered: "Thanks, Danielito! Everything will be fine... at least for a while!". Ana then kissed Daniel's torso, tapped it several times with her delicate right palm, and then she finally took distance from him. Ana Arce instinctively then examined her white Umbro shoes, and her white pants, effectively verifying, that unlike in the imaginary vision neither of both had been stained with red dust. Always wearing the red hooded coat of Harrods, she bought in that same morning, and with its headdress piece mounted over her white head, Ana then raised her two arms, for starting spinning slowly, over the footbridge.

Ana Arce started laughing, while voicing: "That's it! Now, I'm really free... No more secrets for me, at least... I'm still a slave of destiny, but now I know how to take care!". With a smile showing her white teeth, and staring back invitingly with her pearly eyes, Ana opened her delicate right hand, and Daniel Cordoba quickly seized it, for holding hands tranquilly again. Already by the middle of the footbridge, over the Leopoldo Lugones freeway, Daniel remarked: "I can't deny, that this time that girl has creeped me out!". Ana Arce then chuckled, and told: "There's much more about this, than what we have seen... I'm not gonna stop, until finishing what my ancestors started! Fortunately, you, Manuelito, and I are intrepid enough!". ´¨) Coto Spinetto Fiat Ferrari Portofino ¸.•´¸.•´¨) ¸.•¨) INTI (¸.•´ (¸.•` Durante la escritura de este documento: En caso de: alteración alteración alteración alteración

de este documento de mi uso del teclado de mi físico biológico por implantes del guardado de este documento


Profile for Andres Nicolas Arce

2019 10 12 2058 Book 1: ANA THE MARTIAN  

The adventures of Ana Arce, and her two friends of life of Belgrano, while they discover the deepest secrets in the universe together.

2019 10 12 2058 Book 1: ANA THE MARTIAN  

The adventures of Ana Arce, and her two friends of life of Belgrano, while they discover the deepest secrets in the universe together.