It was a bleak night as Kyle staggered home through Seto. His back in agony after another harrowing day living with his Pearls. His feet scuffed along as he approached his door, he sat in his Genkan bending down to remove his shoes and put on his slippers Almost letting out a grunt of pain as he stood back up. Once he was inside a sense of relief came upon him as he was now allowed to
remove his Pearls in the privacy of his home. Kyle shuffled through the deserted hallway and past a mirror taking a glance at himself. His hair or what was still left of it turning to a silver grey, his eyes so tired they almost sagged to the bottom of his nose. His face a pale shade of grey he rubbed his neck and shoulders which were turning black and purple from the stress of having to wear his Pearls, his back bent in half all those years from the weight. Kyle laughed to himself “At least they work” he definitely didn’t stand as tall as he used to. Nobody did. Kyle sat down in an almost empty room with just a lonely chair, a tv mounted to the blank wall with just a single window sitting next to the tv. With an effort, he picked up the remote and switched on the tv screen. A middle age woman appeared and an image of a large man on the screen behind her. “He has escaped and is roaming the streets of Seto please if you see him…” Kyle’s eyes began to shut. He woke again to the name Taiga.
The sound of the sirens burst into Kyle’s head he lurched awake in his chair. The sirens were the signal from the Equalisers for everyone to wake up and get ready for the day at work. Kyle, like most of the people in Seto work in the Pearl factories where they make and weigh the Pearls that everyone wears around their necks. He began his day the same as everyone else in Seto, the unbranded plain cereal for breakfast and then into his Grey overalls the same colour as everyone else the uniform for the working force. Finally with an effort lifting his pearls and placing him over his head the Weight pulling him down to the perfect 5 feet 8 inches every Male in Seto was to be. Kyle thought to himself how great it would be to be born that height never having to wear Pearls. He then reminded himself to avoid thinking about it as he is that height he needn’t wish he were 5″8. He then exited his home to greet the cold outside that embraced his exposed face and hands. He walked down his driveway looking around at the identical single storey homes and into the mass of people shuffling along towards the factories puking out smog in the distance. Some people with more Pearls than others but all of us hunched to the same height. We walked as a unit exactly how the Equalisers wanted. Everyone in the crowd had the same tired shuffle. There skin shiny white from the days spent locked away in the darkness of the factory. There was murmurs in the crowd people taking of the man most believed was a myth. “They say he stands 7 feet tall” “I’ve heard they need more than a carload of Pearls to keep him down.” The crowd hushed quickly as an Equaliser patrol car approached, It was full black like a shadow, the windows tinted so dark Kyle wondered if they could even see where they were going. It began to slow as the crowd approached then just as quickly as it arrived it left. A man tapped Kyle on the shoulder and nodded in the direction of the car “you know they are out there looking for him, Taiga the Kaijū.”
The towering factory buildings were approaching and the crowd began to disperse into parts Kyle joined his team and entered their station. He worked in the chain making section where he stood all day only taking a break for lunch. He took his spot in the sea of conveyor belts under the massive poster of emperor Fumihito that hung from the dark walls of the grimy factory. The tinkle of chains rang throughout the day as Kyle and his team joined the links. As soon as a
chain was made another arrived on his conveyor belt. All through the day it continued, chain after chain and every second Kyle felt the eyes of Fumihito on him, his pearls seemed as though they grew heavier as the emperor watched. Kyle looked around as he assembled the links of chain, He saw the mass of grey uniforms hunched over whom only a few he could name he noticed some people with a few smaller pearls around their wrists slowing them to the speed of everyone around. We worked like a unit everyone finishing the last link at the same time and the churn of conveyor belts delivering their next chain. It made Kyle feel better that everyone worked at the same speed and finished together. “Maybe that why he did it,” Kyle thought while gazing towards the poster. Hours passed but felt like days the clink of the chains never ending. Finally, it was done and all was left was the painful walk home in the darkness of Seto.
Equaliser cars were roaming the street stopping and talking to anyone they saw. There was no crowd walking back from the factories this night they were split as the Equalisers questioned and approached everyone except Kyle. He dragged his feet past the numbers of patrol cars and through the groups of people. Finally reaching his home and entered his Genkan and removed his shoes using the wall to get back on his feet. Slowly entering his home to finally remove his Pearls. He stumbled through his home into the almost empty tv room and sat in the chair where he slept the night before turned on the tv and just as he began to shut his eyes he saw it a massive shadow it could’ve been a horse move quickly past the window. Kyle was shocked at how quick it was that he was certain it was an animal. He jumped up from the chair and walked to the door he felt a burst of energy and excitement he hadn’t felt in years. He reached the back door and paused, thinking of getting his pearls but decided he might miss whatever was in his backyard. He flung the door open into darkness a shadow paused in its tracks turning to face Kyle who as well was frozen to the spot. It was made of metal, head to toe with only a slit for the eyes. It had the shape of a human but stood far taller than any Kyle had ever seen before. The creature staring into Kyle’s eyes. It lifted a metal arm grabbing its opposite shoulder and with a loud creak ripped the metal chest piece from its body it continued to break free like a butterfly from its cocoon. Kyle felt no fear but was entranced, unable to move or look away. He watched as the iron giant turned to a man, what Kyle saw was not a Kaijū but a human. A human called Taiga.