Interview with Kyusaku & Akiko

The 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 me.

SN: Excuse me, Natsume-san?

K: 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 typing)

SN: Natsume-san?

K: Well, no wonder that didn't work. But nya-ha-ha, I have you now! (continues typing)

SN: Natsume-san! (reaches out and taps Kyusaku on the shoulder)

K (jumps and hits his head on the ceiling): Gyah! Where did you come from? Who are you? Did my wife send you?

SN: New Zealand, Sarah-neko, no! I came to interview you for a website I'm doing. Nuku Nuku said you'd be in here.

K: Oh. Well, she was right.

SN: Yes.

K: Yes. (pause) I'm sorry, what did you want?

SN: May I interview you?

K: Certainly! Ask me anything.

SN: 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?

K: It was a girl cat.

SN: Uh, yeah, but why a pretty teenager?

K: Well, she needed to be older than Ryunosuke to look after him.

SN: But why did you make her a BABE?

K (grins): Why not?

SN: I would respectfully submit, sir, that that is an unhelpful answer.

K: 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 Mishima Akiko.)

A: KYUSAKU! What are you doing talking to that woman?

K: How did you know?

A: I have my ways.

K: 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 rummaging about.)

A: You! Who are you, and what do you want with my husband?

SN: Just to ask a few questions! I'm interviewing him for -

A: 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!

SN: - for a website -

A: Information technology is also a priority for MHI! Visit us online at!

SN: It's not about your company! It's about your family and the stuff that's been happening to you.

K (emerging from behind the computer): I still can't work out how you did it. Good one!

SN: Ask Kyoko, maybe?

K: I found some mints back there, would you like one?

SN: 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.

A: Plans? Who says we have plans? Who told you that?

SN: Well, I, ah...

K: I got your present, by the way. It was a real taste explosion.

A: Oh goody!

K: I've sent you something. I made it myself.

A: What? What?

K: It's a surprise. You'll have to be on the lookout.

(There was some giggling at this point, and a few remarks which I didn't exactly catch.)

SN: So, I, ah, I'll be going! Thank you both for your time. I'll, um, I'll see myself out, shall I?

K: Yeah, okay.

A: Bye. Go on, sweetheart, give me a hint.

I 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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