following interview was conducted in a cupboard at
the Natsume residence in Nerima, Tokyo. The air was
blue with cigarette smoke and the only light came
from the screen of a computer. I hesitantly crept
into the cupboard; the low ceiling meant that I had
to move on hands and knees. Natsume Kyusaku was
sitting at the computer, his back to me, typing
rapidly. In the text of the interview, SN stands
for Sarah-neko, K for Kyusaku and A for Akiko. And
C is for Cookie; that's good enough for
Excuse me, Natsume-san?
Where is it, where is it, where is it... I must've
changed the file name... hey, I didn't know I had
one of those! Oh, there it is... (continues
Well, no wonder that didn't work. But
nya-ha-ha, I have you now! (continues
Natsume-san! (reaches out and taps Kyusaku on the
(jumps and hits his head on the ceiling): Gyah!
Where did you come from? Who are you? Did my wife
New Zealand, Sarah-neko, no! I came to interview
you for a website I'm doing. Nuku Nuku said you'd
be in here.
Oh. Well, she was right.
Yes. (pause) I'm sorry, what did you
May I interview you?
Certainly! Ask me anything.
Okay, I wanted to ask you about your greatest
invention, Android NK 1124. Something I've always
wondered is, obviously the inspiration to use the
cat brain came from the situation with your son,
but why does she look the way she does? Why is she
a cute girl?
It was a girl cat.
Uh, yeah, but why a pretty teenager?
Well, she needed to be older than Ryunosuke to look
But why did you make her a BABE?
(grins): Why not?
I would respectfully submit, sir, that that is an
Sorry. I guess the reason was - (he is interrupted
by a strange noise from the computer. The screen
flickers and the display is replaced by the face of
KYUSAKU! What are you doing talking to that
How did you know?
I have my ways.
How are you doing that, anyway? My modem isn't even
on. (looks round the back of the computer.
Disappears head and shoulders behind it and starts
You! Who are you, and what do you want with my
Just to ask a few questions! I'm interviewing him
An interview? (relaxes, puts on a sweet smile) I'm
sure you're excited by the demonstration you've
just seen of Mishima's telecommunications
technology! More and more these days, we're
focusing on creating technology that enhances life
rather than, uh, that enhances life!
- for a website -
Information technology is also a priority for MHI!
Visit us online at www.akies.com!
It's not about your company! It's about your family
and the stuff that's been happening to
(emerging from behind the computer): I still
can't work out how you did it. Good one!
Ask Kyoko, maybe?
I found some mints back there, would you like
Maybe later. Mishima-san, as long as you're, uh,
here, I'd love to know what you and your husband's
plans are for the future.
Plans? Who says we have plans? Who told you
Well, I, ah...
I got your present, by the way. It was a real taste
I've sent you something. I made it
It's a surprise. You'll have to be on the
was some giggling at this point, and a few remarks
which I didn't exactly catch.)
So, I, ah, I'll be going! Thank you both for your
time. I'll, um, I'll see myself out, shall
Bye. Go on, sweetheart, give me a hint.
backed out of the cupboard and switched off my tape
recorder. That was remarkably unproductive. I
obviously caught them at a bad time. Checking my
watch, I realised that if I made my way to MHI's
offices now, I might catch Arisa and Kyoko leaving
for home. I said my goodbyes to Nuku Nuku and
Ryunosuke, admired the chocolate stain on the
ceiling, and set out.
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