GaiaNews: Interviews

24th January, 3025
GaiaNews, Space transport section

Interview with the Phoenix after officially entering the ISTM’s services.
This interview was made moments after the Phoenix signs the official contract with the ISTM with his new Falcon at his back. The interview was made by Althreth Nerthin, official spokeswoman of the ISTM’s press department.
Note: some expressions have been altered for better understanding.

Transcription:

Althreth Nerthin
Good morning, everyone. I am accompanied by Matsumoto Kira, known as the Phoenix. Good morning, Mister Matsumoto.
Kira Matsumoto
Good Morning.

 

AN
Today, the ISTM is celebrating your official entry as part of the Aces of Aces. Many are skeptic by the possibility that the authentic Phoenix had awakened after an over a thousand years long cryopreservation process. Can you offer an insight?
KM
—Laughter— I can imagine the confusions and understand the skeptics. My story is bit twisted… But yes, I am the Phoenix. I was born on the fifteen July of 1982 as Matsumoto Kira en Los Angles. I am a Nisei, a second-generation Japanese immigrant.
Around mid-March of 2012, I got myself cryopreserved in a scientific experiment. An error, seemingly a programming error, made my awakening impossible until the seventh of this month.

 

AN
Impressive. How did you feel awakening in this millennium?
KM
Honestly, I was confused… But as my nature is to keep calm and to go with the flow, it wasn’t difficult to accept my fate. Not to mention, that I received, immediately, the unconditional support from my friend and co-worker Aia Asdiekx, the Queen of the Highways.

 

AN
Then the rumor is true, that you two have met the day of your awakening?
KM
Yes, it is. I doubt that without her moral support, I could have gotten to get used that fast to these new times.

 

AN
According to the data I have access to, you were not officially registered as a citizen until three days have passed since your awakening.
KM
Quite true… A computer error made it impossible to be assigned a first job, as it is usual for any Awakened. It’s there, where my good friend Aia came in.
Without questioning, she got me a place to stay while I was waiting for a resolution. In return, she was forced to keep an eye on me. Basically, she had to monitor me, that I wouldn’t run off —laughter—

 

AN
Then you visited the Alpha-XT station, HQ of the ISTM.
KM
Exactly. It came up while deciding where to have lunch —laughter— I mentioned that I would love to eat at an old pull-in diner on the outskirts of the old LA.
Aia brought me then to the MaryQueens. By the way, it’s way better than that old diner. Sue’s dishes are absolutely delicious and Buz is an excellent host.

 

AN
It was there, that your historic origin came to hight…
KM
—Laughter— Something the like… After a quarrel. Ah, [yes], a trucker bothered my companion, the Queen, and I intervened. Nowadays, I know perfectly well that she would have brushed him off like a flea. —Laughter— But in that moment, I didn’t know it. Meaning, I had a fight wanting to defend her. —He smirks impishly— After the fight, I was asked about how I was able to fight like a trucker. I confessed that I was, too, a trucker in my times.

 

AN
Was it there that you revealed you are the Phoenix?
KM
No, no… It was Mitsubishi-san. He recognized me. It was then, that I confirmed it…

 

AN
Oh? And then?
KM
He invited us, all truckers present, to visit the Museum of Gaian History of NA.
It was a huge surprise to find my old Falcon exhibited in the Transport Celebrities hall of the Twenty-first Century section —laughter— There, Mitsubishi-san offered me to work, exclusively, for the ISTM.

 

AN
You accepted, as we see…
KM
Of course. It was the best job offer I’ve received my whole life. An exclusive contract includes the cost of a basic truck.

 

AN
As we can see, you did not content yourself with a basic model…
KM
Of course not —laughter— If I come back, I come back in condition and style, with the best equipment available.

 

AN
How did you manage to get the money for it? A loan?
KM
—Laughter— Mitsubishi-san offered me a loan, but wasn’t needed —laughter— I won enough money with the simulators’ gambles.

 

AN
Do you refer to the bets about surpassing one of the Queen’s records?
KM
Quite right… I ended up tying with her. I was literally forced to accept the wager, even if I haven’t even bet on it — laughter— But the money was really helpful. Almost everything went into the new Falcon. I think I’ve got some cents left…

 

AN
It is quite obvious that your truck received an extensive overhaul and modifications…
KM
True… But it’s also true that many modifications are esthetic ones. I wanted to have it as customized as possible, just as my old Flacon.
I must add, that I’m truly impressed by Kim and Kite’s work, in all accounts. Their mechanic skills are incredible, and in creativity, they surely don’t lack it. Their workshop really has its name earned, the CreativeTruck.

 

AN
It is said that you, by yourself, helped in the tuning…
KM
Oh, [yes]… I’m a former mechanic after all. In no-time, I got my hands dirty, helping out wherever I could. And I learned a lot —laughter—

 

AN
Now, something which has me intrigued, surely all present too, how did the name Falcon come to your mind?
KM
—Laughter— In reality, there are several roots, each more extravagant than the others —laughter—
The first reason was the falcons, the birds. I grew up near a falcon training center. There, I got my liking in them.
A further root was the comic of the Falcon, a superhero by Marvel.
But the most obvious one, the greatest influence, was Han Solo’s Millennium Falcon from the Star Wars saga. Those movies inspired me a lot as a kid.

 

AN
That is quite interesting. Haven’t you thought of naming your new Falcon the ‘Millennium Falcon’ as a millennium has passed?
KM
—Laughter— Several mentioned it, as a joke… No. I won’t call it that. I am not Han Solo —laughter— I’ll leave it as always. It’s quite obvious that it’s not the same tuck —laughter—
Anyway, I have to admit that the Falcon’s name is quite childish. I named it at the age of eighteen…
On the other hand, I’m too much used to drive my Flacon, that I couldn’t name the new on otherwise. The Falcon and the Phoenix are inseparable, no doubt.

 

AN
I understand. You even kept the original colors…
KM
Yes, quite true. In essence, they are similar, black background and a phoenix-graffiti. But the design is completely new. Kite from the CreativeTruck made a marvelous effort on the graffiti.

 

AN
Did you have the design clear?
KM
From the beginning. At least for this new Falcon. At that time, my first Falcon hadn’t had a graffiti at all. I added it after being called the Phoenix.

 

AN
This leads me to a question about your nickname, how did the name Phoenix come up?
KM
It all began on a hot day in the year two thousand…
A kind of experimental oil rig in midst a dense forest burst into flames. The huge wildfire was already threatening communities nearby, a nitroglycerine charge was needed to blast the rig. The burning oil and gases from the rig kept on feeding the wildfire, making it impossible for the firefighters to extinguish the inferno. It was impossible to drop the nitro[glycerine] nor any helicopters could land nearby.
The only possible way to reach the rig was through a dirt-track…
I drove my Falcon with an armored trailer full of nitro[glycerine] through the very same hell… The firefighter crew did anything possible to prepare the track for me, including the dropping of water and fire-retardants by tankers.
Truth to be said, it wasn’t a pleasant experience, not at all —laughter—
Just when I thought I wouldn’t make it out of that inferno, I reached the glade near the rig, where I was awaited, with the tires on fire… It was a miracle that I’ve got there in one piece.
I was received like a hero… With the nitro[glycerine], the experts were able to blast the rig and the wildfire was under control a few hours later…

 

AN
Impressive! Did walk away unharmed?
KM
No… I had severe burns on my left arm and was completely dehydrated… Fortunately, a paramedic took care of me, just before losing consciousness.

 

AN
Truly an impressive story! Is that the real origin of your name?
KM
Yes. And not only that —laughter— Uncountable legends about me were born…
The only “legend” which can be said to be true, is this one, in which I come out of the flames in my Falcon —laughter—
That’s where my nickname was born, the Phoenix, the one who rebirths from its own ashes…

 

AN
Then, the rest of the legends?
KM
I would say about ninety-nine percent of them are invented and exaggerated…
Perhaps, few hold some truth, but I haven’t heard any… —laughter—

 

AN
How do feel surrounded be that many legends?
KM
—Laughter— I’m simply amazed by the human’s imagination… It’s truly incredible how many [legends] were created…
Even though, honestly, there are many I don’t like. They are too personal and exaggerated. I am, by no means, a superhero from a comic book. I don’t have any superpowers, I’d wish… —laughter—
Being considered one of the best truckers that ever existed is already overwhelming. I am not that good…

 

AN
You are being modest…
KM
Perhaps… What I want to say is, that if I’m looked up to, it should be for what I do, not based on legends and rumors.

 

AN
Yes, I can figure. Even so, your awakening, being the Phoenix, has its irony…
KM
—Laughter— Truly… and that the Awakened are also called “the reborn” is also ironic…
Perhaps it is true. In a sense, I am reborn, of course, not from my ashes —laughter—

 

AN:
How do you cope with this irony?
KM
Quite well… I have been reborn, like a Phoenix, in this millennium and was able to begin a new life. I am really thankful for this coincidence —laughter—

 

AN
A more personal question… I overheard a conversation in which you commented that you consider yourself a mestizo.
KM
Oh, yeah… That conversation was about other mestizos I have met, including, of course, SpeedKitty, the fasted of the Aces.
It’s true, I consider myself a Human-mestizo, even if in a second degree…

 

AN
In what sense?
KM
My mother is Filipino-Japanese, meaning, her father was Filipino and her mother was Japanese. My father is full Japanese. Meaning, that I am a quarter Filipino and three-quarters Japanese.
Even if it is official, the Filipino part, it is just nationality. My grandfather was from an African origin. Recent medical analysis confirmed it.

 

AN
What aspects do you consider having from each part?
KM
Most are of my Japanese origin. My height, body mass, and dark skin are clearly African, the rest is Japanese.

 

AN
You were born here, in the ancient United States of America.
KM
Quite true. My parents immigrated for work reasons. I think my mother was already six months pregnant with me.

 

AN
Then, you have, obviously, a Northamerican nationality.
KM
Of course. I don’t know how it is nowadays, but then, the norm was that if a baby was born in the US, it got the nationality.
However, it took a lot of time for my parents to get the nationality.
Anyway, I am a Nisei, a second-generation Japanese immigrant.

 

AN
You have spent your childhood and your youth in the lost Los Angeles.
KM
That’s right. I was born and grew up here…

 

AN
At what age did you think about becoming a trucker?
KM
If I remember well… at the age of twelve. When I was old enough, I began to study for car mechanic. At the age of sixteen, I restored an old eight wheeler with the help of a friend, and I began to prepare to get a professional driver’s license.

 

AN
That was precocious. At what age did you begin to work as a trucker?
KM
Has an offense prescribed since then?
AN
—Hesitation— Of course, over a thousand years have passed, why?
KM
—Laughter— Then I can say it… I falsified my age. I began to work as trucker at the age of sixteen…
AN
Really? You were able to get a license at such young age? Which one did you get?
KM
All of them —laughter—
AN
All of them?
KM
[Yes], from motorbike to dangerous cargo, including all public transport licenses. Of course, most were only possible after having the first one for some time. Anyway, at the age of eighteen I had all of them.
AN
Then you were able to get all the licenses between the ages of sixteen and eighteen. Nobody ever noticed?
KM
I abused the fact that Americans always had difficulties in guessing the ages of Asians…
I was always guessed older as a teen, and younger as an adult… How old would you guess I am?
AN
I couldn’t guess… about twenty-five?
KM
I’m thirty.
AN
You seem quite younger…
KM
Thanks —laughter— Anyway, I am not completely sure about how calculating my age…
I was cryopreserved in March and awakened in January… Then I haven’t turned thirty yet… On the other hand, I’m a thousand forty-three years old, if we include the cryopreservation —laughter—

 

AN
—Laughter— True…
How would you summarize your career?
KM
At the age of sixteen, in the year 1998, I began to work as a freelance trucker with the truck I’ve restored.
For my eighteenth birthday, I bought my first Falcon, that was in the year 2000. Shortly after, my nickname, the Phoenix, was born.
From then on, I was working as a freelance driver until the year 2012, where I accepted the cryopreservation experiment.
I awoke in cryo on January the seventh of this year. And finally, today, I begin to work officially in the ISTM as one of the four Aces of Aces…

 

AN
An impressive career…
But one thing intrigues me… Why did you accept that experiment?
KM
I won’t disclose the exact reasons, it’s too personal…
But generally speaking, I needed a change of life… And thanks to the partial failure of that experiment, I’ve got it —laughter— My life has turned drastically, in a good way.

 

AN
Anything you want to add?
KM
Yes, I want to thank all who helped me to get here.
First, I want to thank Mitsubishi Hiato, for the great opportunity he offered.
The biggest thank goes to the Queen, Aia Asdiekx, who has found me, offered an unconditional friendship, and without whom I never would have met my new boss.
A huge thanks to SpeedKitty and the Space Cowboy, for their unconditional help and friendship.
And, of course, big thanks to Kim and Kite, and their team, for their incredible work on my new Falcon.
And lastly, thanks to all the new friends which made it easy to accept my new life in this millennium.

 

AN
Thank you for the interview, Phoenix.
KM
Thank you.

 

© GaiaNews, 3025.

Interview transcribed under authorization from the Press Department of the ISTM, © 3025

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