When Walter found out that Roy’s film won a prize at the festival, he was genuinely happy for his friend and brought his nightly girlfriend to the Security Operations Center to introduce her to his friend, the famous director, and after the shift they took Roy out to the pub.

Walter even began to think about whether or not he should go into the film industry himself. He may bring up his ties to the police—the NYPD homicide unit, his former job. He offered to help Roy arrange to shoot night raids, arrests for drug trafficking, weapons seizures, prostitutes who have been shot, and things in the same vein, which have always thrilled viewers. Walter saw himself in the role of consultant on the movie. And he was very upset when Roy expressed no enthusiasm for his offer. What an oddball! Who would refuse such an offer?

However, the answer soon became clear. Walter’s respect for Roy increased when on the one screen disconnected from the hotel cameras appeared an amazingly beautiful woman in a burgundy swimsuit.


“Who is she? What’s her name?” asked Walter, lightly shifting his left foot to the side of the table. He lowered the sound on his radio and placed it on the table next to his black shoe. His jacket was unbuttoned, revealing paunch under his light shirt and a strap that crossed his mighty chest to support a gun holster.

The room was quiet; from time to time the radios, set on their recharging dock, would chirp. The screens showed the life of the Mandarin: guests walked past the doormen to enter the building. VIPs came in surrounded by bodyguards. Celebrities and journalists arrived also. During the day and evening, life was in full swing, both in the hotel and around it. The screens became empty near midnight, when the commotion in and around hotel died down. Only an occasional drunken tourist may walk unsteadily down the corridor to his room, or a restaurant kitchen employee climb down the fire escape to drink a stolen bottle of expensive beer.

“Anyway, what’s the name of this beauty?” asked Walter again.

“Carmen. She is my new neighbor in Sea Gate, my beach mate.”