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JAL First Class Cabin, 40,000 ft above the Pacific

Despite what people thought the life of a music journalist was not a glamorous one. Many nights in grotty bars and clubs listening to mediocre to downright bad bands. But today was not one of those day for the “lucky†Carmen Canto as she sat in First Class enjoying all that it had to offer.

The reason for this lucky break? It seems that the reclusive Japanese Idoru singer Sanshain KinpÅge had suddenly agreed to give an interview. But she insisted that it be in person (if that counted with an AI) and had asked for Carmen by name.


Yeah Sanshain’s bubblegum pop might not be Carmen style, but who would turn down a first class flight to Tokyo?

Edited by TiffanyKorta
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Damn it, why I am going to Tokyo to interview some AI? asked Carmen as she stretched in her 1st class seat and had a top quality whisky. 


The vibrations of the plane always set off her pain, running down her leg like an electric spark every minute, jolting her brain, making her body squirm. Damn, the pain was bad today. 


She quaffed her whisky and some painkillers, washing it down with some amitryptiline and a small dose of tramadol. A heady concoction, all prescribed. But still. 


Her sleep on the flight was still fitfull, still distrurbed, a hazy blur of sedation, sleep, and wakefullness. By the time she landed in Tokyo, she felt exhausted and red eyes. A coffee. A second. A third. It helped, but she felt done over as she entered the electric neon wilderness. 


"Taxi!" she said, perhaps to loudly, as she exited the airport. 

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Terminal One, Haneda Airport, Tokyo

3rd November  2014, 9:00 am local time (8:00 pm EST)


Tazel was nervous and that made the demon tetchy. The rules were subtle difference here and his kind were as powerful, or feared, as back home.  His demonic mutteringi n Carmens head didn’t do much to improve things.


Before a taxi could be found Carmen was interrupted by a woman  stepping  in her view, impeccably dress in a business suit.


“Excuse me Ms Canto I’ve been sent by Sanshain, we have a car waiting for you if you are ready.â€her English was almost perfect and she bow in respect.


She gestured over to a rather impressive limo, Japanese made of cause, and a limo driver in full uniform standing almost to attention.

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Carmen had dressed conservatively, at least for her standards. A white t shirt, cut just above the waist, a pair of jeans, and a pair of boots. That was as far as she could go, even in Tokyo. The spinal tattoo of devils and demons was still visible. She made it a habit to make it visible, and not (just) to flaunt it. It protected her. 


Stick in hand, limping slightly, she followed the woman into the Limo, silent until she sat down. 


"First time in Japan" she smiled, feeling a few nerves outside of her comfort zone. 


"First time interviewing an AI too" she added. She was well outside her comfort zone there. 


"So what's the deal? How do I do the interview?" she asked.

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  • 4 weeks later...

The limo was the lap of luxury with all the normal luxuries you would expect and a strange glass cylinder in one corner of the car. The japanese woman said something to the driver and the car smoothly drew away from the airport.


“If you wish I can arrange a tour of Tokyo if you wish, Sanshain is willing to be very generous with her time. I would suggest you cover up those tattoo’s in our culture they mean something very different than the west. As for how this will work Ms KinpÅge wished to explain it herself...†she gestured to the tube were after a few second a little figure appeared in the chamber.


“Hello Miss Canto I’m Sanshain KinpÅge, welcome to Japan.â€

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Covering up the tattoos?


That would be...dangerous...


"Of course" she said, putting on a ripped jacket that did covered up her spine. That was of course dangerous. The tattoo might have damaged her nerves, but it also protected her. She felt, ironically, more naked with the jacket on than if she was standing in her birthday suit. 


"Never been to Japan before. Seeing the sights seems right on!" she said, almost surprised at her enthusiasm. She had been blackened by a slightly surly mood, and she felt inclined to loosen up. 

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The little hologram seemed to float in the chamber as if sitting in the lotus position, there was something naggingly familiar about the little virtual woman though Carmen couldn’t quite place why. And with Tazel sulking he was no help in this matter.

“Please don’t make yourself uncomfortable on my account, I’m very familiar with Western customs. I’ve booked you a couple of nights at Tokyo’s finest hotel, don’t worry everything been cleared with you employers.â€

As they spoke the road allowed Carmen the first proper view of Tokyo. It was a impressive skyline of neon and steel that rivalled Freedom in it’s skyline rivalled the American city as a “city of the futureâ€.

Edited by TiffanyKorta
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Carmen had one foot in the city, one foot in the desert heat of Mexico and the South. She liked both. She like an edge. Would Tokyo have one? It looked like gleaming metal, chrome, and glass. It looked like order and control, grown wild and magnificent. 


"The finest hotel sounds good. I'll try not to throw the television out of the window" she half joked. 


Been there, done that. Perhaps not done again. 


"I hope it has a good bar" she added. At least Tokyo had no upturned nose at alcohol. 


"Lead on!"

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The mini bar was generously offered as the limo made it’s final few miles into the heart of Tokyo finally pulling up outside a small but rather beautiful skyscraper. The sign read  å›½éš›é›»å­,   with the  more helpful,  for Carmen, below it Kokusaidenshi.


“Kokusaidenshi are the official sponsor of Sanshain KinpÅge. An interview has been   arranged  in one of their  meeting room. If you ready to begin that is.â€

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"Yeah, I'm ready" said Carmen, feeling well out of her comfort zone. It was interesting, but alien. How often those qualities came together. 


"Best to leave the Jack Daniels till after the interview, I guess this is one star who doesn't drink or do drugs" she said with a smile. Which would also be an unusual thing. Plenty of her best interviews had been with intoxicated (via alcohol or other substances) rock stars who tended to gabble a little more than either they, or more pertinently, their managers, would like. 


"Lets go. This is gonna be one of the strangest interviews I have done..."

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  • 5 weeks later...

Tazel had apparently been apparently been sulking during the trip into down town Tokyo but now he sprung into life straining against the confines of his fleshy prison.
Can't you feel it the door there protected against our kind, it'll keep me from entering the building.

It wasn't the first time they'd faced such things but usually they both knew what to except before getting to close to such dangers.
The woman who had been there guide paused and gave a concerned look.
"Is there anything the matter?"

Edited by TiffanyKorta
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"Arck..." stifled Carmen, a cramp in her stomach. She could feel Tazel swarming and writhing. He would not enter holy ground, or warded ground. And whilst she could, that would mean he got dragged out of her, forcibly and painfully. 


"I...grr..." she said, fighting the awful vomit. "I need to go and...pee...." she said, the awful feelings stripping away her cool exterior and making her regress to infantile emotions. She staggered away round a corner, into what she hoped was a public toilet, and bent over. 


The wisps of flame and smoke were hard to see, as Tazel popped out. It hurt, this time. It was never pleasant, but now it hurt. 


Fortunately, the flaming demon was shifting and shifty, Invisible to the eye if he wanted to be. And demons preferred to make there presence unknown to the world. As soon he was out, he was gone to the eye. 


And stay that way...she added, although she hardly needed to. 


"I'm...fine...really sorry..." she blurted to the hologram. "I have some pain...from my leg..." it was, pardon the pun, a lame excuse, but she was feeling pretty lame. 


"Lets get this show on the road..." she said, weakly. 

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  • 1 month later...

The place where the interview was taking place wasn’t terrible exciting, a rather non descript interview room, the only sign that anything was unusual was a large cylinder that dominate a corner of the room.


Apparently Sanshain was stood there already waiting and it was slightly unsettling in some ways. The resolution of the holographic singer was near perfect, to most human eyes it impossible to tell that she wasn’t really. It look to all the world that someone had placed a young woman in a glass tube to display to the world.

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