Chapter 1: Fall of Shinganshina Part I

Disclaimer: I do not own Shingeki no Kyojin or Bleach

Summary: A group of Scouts become trapped in a room for twelve hours and are forced to watch Attack on Titan.


This story will contain manga-related SPOILERS and is NOT for ANIME watchers! It was originally posted under the SnK section of FF, but that section has been merged with the anime one. References to things from the manga are mixed in MANY of the chapters! So don't think it's safe because they're only reacting to season 1! Don't read if you're not caught up with the plot!

"What do you think this means?" Eren frowned at the note in his hands. "Why would Commander Erwin summon us all of a sudden like this? And what's with all the secrecy?"

"I'm not sure," Petra replied as they walked. "But it must be something important." When they reached the top floor of the castle, they saw Levi and Hange standing before their destination.

"What are you guys doing here?" Hange asked, exchanging a look with Levi.

"We got a note from Commander Erwin saying to come to this room as soon as possible, and not to tell anyone else," Petra explained, holding up her note. "But I saw Eren holding one, too, and we came here together."

Levi frowned. He didn't understand why Erwin would suddenly ask them all to be present. It had to do with the upcoming expedition, he was sure. What else could it be? But hadn't they already decided to keep the info about Sonny and Bean's killer being a fellow soldier between only a trusted few? What changed his mind?

"Eren!" Mikasa's voice turned heads.

"What? Were you guys invited, too?" Eren asked, eyes skipping to their faces in surprise.

Levi couldn't keep the incredulous look off his face. Telling my squad is one thing, they're veterans. Eren, hotheaded as he is, is part of the team, but the newest recruits?

Hange seemed to be having similar thoughts next to him. "Why did he suddenly think they should be in on it?" She whispered to him. "Erwin never said anything about this at yesterday's meeting. Something must have happened."

"Why are we here?" Jean spoke up. Mikasa and Armin he could understand. They were Eren's friends and maybe they'd been allowed to hang out with Eren and his team. But what do we have to do with this?

"Only Erwin knows that," Levi answered him.

"Let's go in and find out," Hange suggested, opening the door.

The room, the last one in the hall, had been cleaned out. Three large couches were placed in a crescent shape in the middle. They were facing a table covered with food, utensils, and pitchers of water as well as a notebook, a pen, and a pencil. Warm sunlight shone through the high windows and the ceiling light. There was also a door on the right side of the room. What grabbed their attention was the rectangular object in the front.

"What's that?" Hange immediately made way for it. She halted when she reached the table. "There's a note here." She held up the half-folded piece of paper. On it, in black, bold letters were two words: READ ME!

"What's going on?"

They collectively turned to see Erwin, the last one to arrive.

"What do you mean, sir? We got your note to come here at this time." Petra displayed the piece of paper and the others followed suit.

"What? I didn't write any note." Erwin was taken back and held up a note of his own. "I got one from Hange saying she figured out—something about tomorrow's objective." Only the other two ranking members caught the near slip. "And to come here only after I couldn't find her and Levi."

"Someone wanted you to show up last so they could trick us into staying," Armin concluded.

"Is someone playing a joke?" Erwin said, frowning.

"They left us food and water and arranged all this. They must want something. Let's see what the note says." Hange unfolded the paper.

Everyone gathered around her.

"Greetings, I have gathered you all here today because I think watching this will help you better understand your situation. I mean, you guys are all about helping humanity and all that dull stuff, right?"

"Dull stuff?!" Eren repeated heatedly.

Hange ignored him. "While I would have loved to stay and watch it with you, I have somewhere else I need to be."

"Watch what?" Connie whispered to Sasha, who shrugged.

"Unfortunately, I can't be in two places at once. I've left you provisions—don't worry, you won't run out—and there's a restroom, too. You'll be able to leave the room in twelve hours. I made sure your absences will not be noted so don't worry about that."

That sent Levi to the door. Try as he might, it wouldn't budge. Armin stood next to him and placed his hand on the wooden surface. "It seems almost new."

Jean came up to him and knocked on it. "Yeah, you're right. It's sturdier than most of the doors here." He tried to push. "Something's not right."

"It might be blocked from the other side," Petra said.

"How could they do that without alerting us?" Christa wondered.

"Hange, finish the note," Erwin said. "It might tell us."

Of course, the next line was: "Don't bother trying to escape. You can't. And why would you want to? You wanna know more about Titans and increase your chances of survival, right? Well, I'm going to serve the answers to you on a silver platter. Or a black TV, I guess."

"So that thing's called a TV," Armin muttered, eyeing the mysterious object.

Hange kept reading. "There was a limit of twelve and I chose all of you."

"Why us, though?" Jean couldn't figure it out. "I mean, we don't have ranks and we only joined the Corps about a month ago."

"Now settle down and turn it on. The remote's on the table. You only have to point it at the TV and hit the power button. It's all pretty self-explanatory. So, have fun! And remember, nothing is set in stone. But actions have consequences. Peace out, Candy."

Ymir raised an eyebrow. "Candy?"

"That's what it says." Hange showed it to them. On the bottom of the note was a cartoonish drawing of a girl making the peace sign.

"What do you think, Erwin?" Levi turned to him.

"I'll be honest, I'm intrigued. Let's watch it." Erwin was eager to see the answers Candy promised. And it wasn't like they could go anywhere. They all quickly settled into their assigned seats, a little surprised Jean, Armin, Mikasa, and Eren got the middle. On the couch to their left sat Ymir, Christa, Connie, and Sasha. The right couch seated Petra, Levi, Hange, and Erwin.

The commander picked up the innocuous remote and studied it. It was black in color and had little buttons with white markings and numbers. At the top, a red button with "Power" written under it caught his attention. Erwin pointed the remote at the TV and pressed it.

Gasps came from around the room as the screen lit up.

Eren flanked by Armin and Mikasa took up the frame with other members of the 104th class in the background, lit up by an explosion.

"I guess we know who the main characters are," Ymir said. It explained the seating, too.

Hange let out a shrill noise in excitement. "Hurry up and start it!"

Erwin didn't need her to tell him twice.

On the black screen, words appeared along with a feminine voice. "Hello, I'm Candy, and I'll be the narrator!"

"She sounds young," Petra said.

Candy cleared her throat and began ominously. "Humanity was suddenly reminded that day..."

"Holy shit," Jean said with wide eyes at the sight of the Colossal Titan looking over the wall, the shocked little humans, the young trio included, stood frozen in horror.

"...of the terror of being at their mercy."

Silence fell over the room, mouths falling open.

Hearing about the Colossal Titan was one thing, seeing it was a whole 'nother matter. Eren, Mikasa, and Armin tensed, knowing where it was headed and mentally braced themselves for what was to come.

"The humiliation of being caged is what triggers them to fight back."

The screen cut to the image of horses racing through a forest in a storm. "All soldiers, prepare for battle!" The commander yelled.

The members of the 104th class couldn't help but feel a sense of familiarity from the man.

"We have one target! We will slay it and claim this spot as humanity's first stronghold beyond the Walls!"

"This is so amazing," Christa said while they all stared in awe.

"Target approaching!"

"Erwin, that's you!"

"Way to state the obvious, Four-Eyes." But even Levi didn't deny the excitement and amazement he felt.

"Split into five groups just as we practiced!" The commander ordered. "We'll act as the bait! All assault squads, switch to 3D Maneuver Gear! Strike from all directions at once!"

A young man was the first to approach the Titan. He attacked from behind, blades swirling. "Taste the power of humanity!"

The sun shining on flowers was disrupted by images of blood, a Titan's teeth, a stone building with a windmill that became overrun by Titans, a red uniform, children's toys, a bee in a human eye, a close-up of a creepy Titan smile, and someone being plucked from the ground.

The images zoomed by quickly and then a young Eren woke with a gasp.

"Did you dream that?" Armin asked Eren.

"I...don't know. I can't remember." Shock and confusion coursed through him. Had he seen the future? Was that even possible? Then again, he could turn into a 15-meter behemoth and had crazy regeneration abilities.

"I'm sure it'll explain," Mikasa whispered softly from next to him. She was the only other person who could have recognized that haunting sight of Carla being killed.


"We should be heading back."

"What are we doing here?"

"You were that deep asleep that you're still only half-awake?"

"No," Eren replied. "It just feels like I had this really long dream or something."

"What was it about?"

"I can't remember."

Mikasa went to grab her firewood, then looked at him in surprise. "Eren, why are you crying?"

"Huh?" Eren touched his face in confusion.

"If I saw that I'd cry, too," Connie muttered. "Creepy!"

[Year 845 - Shinganshina District]

The atmosphere was peaceful. People moved about without worry, going on with their lives. Children ran around, laughing and playing.

"Listen! It was by the goddesses' great wisdom that the Walls were built! The Walls are their divine work! No one must be allowed to defile the Walls!"

The preaching got the frowns and eye-rolls it deserved.

"Don't tell anyone. About me crying." Eren sulked a little, head down as he walked.

"Too bad for you," Jean said, smirking. "Now we all know."

That earned him a glare from Eren.

"I won't," Mikasa said. "But crying for no real reason, you should have your dad give you a checkup."

"Don't be stupid! I can't tell him!"

"What are you cryin' about, Eren?" A tall man, a Garrison soldier, walked up to them.


"Did you get scolded by Mikasa?" Hannes's cheeks were pink and his words a little slurred.

"He's drunk," Levi said in disapproval.

"Huh?! What makes you think I was crying?! Whoa," Eren said and jerked way, hand over his nose, "you reek of booze!"

"Come on, it's cool." A voice came from behind Hannes. Three Garrison soldiers were playing cards, a bottle of alcohol in plain sight, laughing without a care.

"How undisciplined." Although Petra was not the least bit surprised.

"You're drinking again?" Eren stared at the scene with wide eyes.

"Why don't you two join us?" Hannes teased.

"Well, uh...don't you have work to do?"

"Yup! We're guardin' the gate today!" Hannes said proudly. "We're stuck here all day, so we end up getting hungry and if some booze happens to get into our drinks, so what? It's no big deal."

"If I find any of you slacking and drinking while on duty, you'll get my boot up your ass," Levi barked at the teens, making them shrink.

"And will you be able to fight if something happens?!" Eren demanded.

"And when would that be?" Hannes looked honestly confused.

"Isn't it obvious?! When they break the Walls and storm the city!"

"Damn, Eren." Hannes touched his forehead. "Don't start yelling so suddenly."

One of the Garrison soldiers stood and walked up to them, laughing, just as drunk as his comrade. "You're lively, doctor's son! If they do bust down the Walls, we'll take care of business, don't you worry. It's never happened, not once in the last one hundred years."

"Not quite true," Candy said.

"Whoa! What does that mean?" Connie yelled, whipping his head left and right.

"How come we've never heard about this?" Mikasa asked.

Christa stared at the veteran Scouts. "Have Titans broken in before?"

They were just as shocked by that revelation. "But...if Titans came inside the Walls before, shouldn't we know?" Petra said. "Something like that isn't easily forgotten."

Erwin pressed his lips at that, mind racing.

"Hey, Candy, what does that mean?" Jean asked the TV, on the off chance she might answer.

No reply came.

"She's the narrator, remember? If it's like a story in a book, it's pre-recorded," Armin pointed out.

"Let's hope it's revealed later on," Hange said. "Now shush! I wanna get to the Colossal Titan part."

"Still, my dad says there's nothing more dangerous than being complacent like that!"

Levi nodded. "Smart man."

"Dr. Yeager, huh?" Hannes looked reminisce. "Yeah, he's got a point. He once saved this town from an epidemic. I can't argue with him."

"Really?" Sasha asked. "He did?"

Mikasa nodded. "It was before we were born. Not surprising you don't know since it affected only our town."

"So," Ymir said, "this hero thing runs in the family, huh?"

"Still," Hannes said, "they're another story. When you're a soldier, you get to see those things roaming around outside while you're on Wall reinforcement duty and stuff. The Walls are fifty meters tall, though. I can't see 'em do anything about it."

"All this talk about the Wall being impenetrable, it's like you jinxed it," Ymir said.

"Ymir," Christa said, tone lightly scolding.

"What? I'm just saying."

"W-Wait... So you're saying you don't even have the resolve to fight them to begin with?" Eren demanded.

"Pretty much!" Came a cheerful reply from Hannes.

"Wh-What?!" Eren said indignantly. "Then drop the 'Garrison Regimen' name for 'Wall Construction Squad' instead!"

Laughter came at that remark.

"Good one, Eren!"

The other Garrison soldier thought it was funny, too. "That doesn't sound half bad."

"But you gotta understand, Eren, if a soldier's doing his job, things have seriously gone to hell. It's better when everyone's calling us useless freeloaders. It means peaceful times for us all."

"You know, in a weird way, I can kinda see his point," Hange admitted. "Of course, it would only hold merit if Wall Maria wasn't breached."

"Sure, we can stay inside the Walls our entire lives and do nothing but eat and sleep! But that basically makes us cattle!" Eren yelled, scowling.

The words seemed to strike a chord with Hannes, although the other soldiers laughed. "Man, you're one plucky kid! For someone who's totally helpless! Right, Hannes?!"

"Huh? Y-Yeah."

Eren kept his head down and walked away, Mikasa right beside him.

"Hey, Eren," Hannes called out, but he was ignored.

"What a strange kid," one of the soldiers commented.

"Don't tell me...does he wants to join the Survey Corps?" Hannes stared after him.

"I'm honestly impressed, you've known exactly what you wanted since you were a kid," Petra said.

"Most were against my decision from the start," Eren replied, shooting Mikasa a look.

The two children continued to walk in silence, until Mikasa finally spoke, "Eren, I'd forget about the Survey Corps if I were you."

"See?" Eren nodded.

Mikasa only shrugged.

"What? You're gonna look down on them, too?"

"It doesn't have anything to do with how I see them—"

Bells began ringing in the distances. "The Survey Corps is back! They're gonna open the front gate!" Eren grabbed Mikasa's hand. "Let's go see the heroes return, Mikasa!"

"Oh, I can just tell this is not gonna be good," Sasha said nervously.

"Ohm! Damn! I can't see!" Eren spotted some crates and they ran toward them.

A defeated Erwin caught sight of Eren's hopeful, bright-eyed smile and looked away, confusing the child.

"Hey, do you remember that?" Hange asked him.

"No. My mind was... That expedition was a massive failure," Erwin said with a shake of the head.

Almost every single soldier walked broken, bloodied, and bandaged. It finally seemed to hit little Eren.

"They're the only ones who made it back?"

"Everyone else must've gotten eaten."

"This is what they get for going outside the Walls."

"Moses! Moses!" A frantic feminine cry came from the crowd.

Erwin sighed. "This I remember."

"Yeah..." Eren agreed, Mikasa nodding next to him.

"Excuse me, I don't see my son, Moses, anywhere. Do you know where he is?" The woman walked up to the commander.

"This is Moses' mother. Go get it," he ordered.

The viewers shifted uncomfortably, apprehensive at what was about to happen.

She stared down at the bloodied sheet, unsure. Carefully, she began to unwrap it—then gasped, trying to quickly cover up the appendage. Pain filled whimpers escaped her as she sank to her knees, clutching what was left of her son.

"That's awful." Christa covered her mouth.

"It's all we could retrieve." The commander knelt before her.

"But my son...he carried out his duty, right? Even if he didn't achieve direct greatness, surely my son's death helped humanity to fight back, didn't it?!"

"Of course!" Then he faltered, looking dejected. "No… On this latest scouting mission, we…" He gritted his teeth and screamed, eyes shut. "No! Just like all the other missions we achieved nothing at all!" Tears streamed down his face. "My incompetence has done nothing but needlessly send soldiers to their deaths! We haven't found out anything about them!"

"Oh, man," Connie said, wincing.

"That's not something you say to a grieving parent." Petra shook her head. "Saying that their child died in vain."

"Yes," Erwin agreed. "Keith should have kept it together." It was simply not how a commander should act, especially in public.

Realization dawned on Ymir's face. "I knew he looked familiar!"

"Wait a minute!" Sasha gasped. "Keith? As in Keith Shadis? As in our instructor? He was the Survey Corps' commander?"

"That's him," Erwin replied. "After this, he resigns from the position and starts instructing the trainees."

"Didn't recognize him with the hair," Jean muttered.

"No wonder he has such crazy eyes," Connie said.

It made more sense now, how strict and ruthless he was in training them, so they'd have the skills they needed to survive.

"The poor man." Christa felt bad for him.

That expedition really did a number on him. Armin thought.

"What a mess," a civilian said.

They could tell from the tone it wasn't going to be good.

"You can say that again."

"Our taxes are basically going to feeding and fattening those things up now."

Looks of disgust were shot at the TV.

The judgmental jerk let out a squawk, holding his head. "What the hell, you little punk?!" He turned to see an angry Eren holding a stick.

"Good job, Eren." Hange gave him a thumbs-up.

"Serves him right," Petra said.

Levi didn't say anything but silently agreed.

A hand reached from around the building and yanked him back. "H-Hey!" Eren cried out. "What are you doing, Mikasa?!"

"Get your ass back here!" The man yelled while Eren was dragged away.

"Mikasa, this is far enough, isn't it?!"

Without a word, she launched him into the wall.

Levi raised an eyebrow at the impressive display of strength. His couchmates sent the girl curious looks as well. Maybe rumors of her skills equaling a hundred soldiers weren't exaggerated after all.

"What was that for? Now the firewood's all over the place." Eren began collecting the firewood.

"Eren, have you changed your mind about joining the Survey Corps?"

Eren ignored her question. "Help me pick this up."

"There isn't much to begin with." Mikasa knelt and started picking up the firewood.

Nostalgia welled in Eren and Mikasa at the sight of their home. Emotions closed up in their throats as they leaned forward.

"We're home."

"Welcome back," Carla greeted and smiled, looking over her shoulder.

Tears welled up in Eren's eyes but he forced them back. He did not want to waste a second of this, a chance to see his mother again.

"My, Eren, I see you've worked harder than usual!" Carla remarked.

Guilt squirmed in his stomach. That wasn't quite how he remembered her face. How could I forget my own mother's face?

Eren emptied out the firewood into a wooden box. "Yeah."

Petra giggled. "She knows you're lying."

Carla pulled his ear for a second. "Your ear's red, that shows that you're lying. You had Mikasa help you, didn't you?"

"Busted." Connie laughed.

"My mom always goes on about her mother's intuition and all that when she catches me lying," Jean said, smiling.

Eren sat at the table with Mikasa and Grisha, stuffing his face. "Oh? You're leaving, Dad? Is it for work?"

"Yes. Some checkups in the interior. It'll take a couple of days."

"Wait," Hange interrupted, "if your father had connections there, and a good reputation from when he saved the town, surely he could have taken you two to the interior. If he's half as good as you claim, his skills would have been highly valuable." Doctors were in high demand, after all.

Eren exchanged a look with Mikasa and shrugged. "We don't know. I hope this tells me what happened to him."

"Eren says he wants to join the Survey Corps," Mikasa said, eyes downcast.

"Subtle," Ymir snorted.

The atmosphere changed immediately.

It had felt like the right thing at the time. Now, watching it, Mikasa couldn't help but think maybe Ymir was right, she should have had a little more tact.

At the same time, Eren couldn't help but notice the expression on little Mikasa's face. He'd been too shocked and annoyed before to really notice the emotion shining in her eyes.

"M-Mikasa! I told you not to say anything!"

"Eren! What are you thinking?!" Carla walked over to him, grabbing his shoulders. "Do you have any idea how many people have died outside the Walls?!"

"I do!" The little boy said.

She was just worried about me because she loved me. The only reason he'd survived was that he turned out to be a Titan-Shifter. He'd been so arrogant. If he hadn't had those extraordinary abilities and Wall Maria hadn't been destroyed, was that how his first expedition would have ended? Suddenly, the scene with Moses' mother came back and hit Eren harder.

"Then why—"

"Eren," Grisha interrupted his wife, "why do you want to go out there?"

"I want to know what the outside world is like!" Eren replied passionately. "I don't want to live my entire life in ignorance inside the Walls! Plus if no one else is willing to take their place, then the lives of all who've died will be for nothing!"

"Hm, not bad," Levi commented.

"Meaning he's very impressed," Petra said.

Eren felt a rush of pride at that.

"I see." Grisha stood and walked away. "The boat's about to leave. I better get going."

"Hold on, dear!" Carla followed after him. "Talk some sense into Eren!"

"Carla, words can't hold back human curiosity."

"Wise words," Hange said in agreement.

"Eren, when I get back, I'll show you the basement that I've kept secret all this time." Grisha pulled out the key hanging from his neck.

Eren smiled excitedly. "R-Really?!"

Grisha tucked the key back under his shirt.

"When exactly does he give you the key?" Erwin asked Eren.

"It' memories are a little messed up. I don't really know."

Hange groaned. "We're gonna have to wait forever before we get to the really good part!" If this really was focused on the trio, there were still their training years to go through before they got to the Battle for Trost.

"Take care!" Eren waved happily.

"Just forget it," Carla said. "Joining the Survey Corps is a stupid idea!"

"Huh?! Stupid?! People who don't mind living like livestock are the stupid ones if you ask me!" With that, Eren took off running.

"I'm an idiot." Eren groaned. Why did I have to be such an asshole to her? He wanted to reach into the TV and hit his younger-self.

"Eren!" Carla called out. He rounded the corner, out of sight. She turned to the little girl with hopeful, expectant eyes. "Mikasa, he gets himself into trouble so easily. If anything ever happens, you need to be there for each other!"

"Okay," Mikasa said and nodded.

Eren stiffened. Is that why she always obsesses over me? Because it was the last thing she promised my mom? More guilt swirled in him, recalling all the times he'd snapped at her for her needless fussing. All because she was fulfilling the promise she made to his mother. But he, too, wanted to honor his words to his mother about protecting Mikasa, and it had made him angry that she'd try to take care of him instead of the other way around. They were both trying to do the same thing and it always caused fights. I really am an idiot.

"What's the matter, heretic?!" A bully pushed Armin into a wall. "If you don't like it, let's see you hit back!"

"Y-Yeah, right! That would be stooping to your level!"

"What was that?"

"You know I'm right! That's why you have to resort to violence! Because you can't argue back! Which means you concede defeat to me, does it not?!" Armin said angrily.

Ymir rolled her eyes. "He's too stupid for that."

"He's a bully," Jean said. "Saying that will only get you more beat up."

"Shut up, smart-ass!" He raised his hand to strike Armin.

"Told you."

"Stop that!"

"It's Eren!"

The bullies got excited.

"That idiot's back for more?!"

"Does he want his ass kicked?!"

"We'll tear you a new one!"

"Ever the Suicidal Bastard, I see." Jean snorted.

One of them squinted and said, "M-Mikasa's with him!"

"We're screwed! Run!"

Laughter broke out as just the sight of her made them run with their tails between their legs.

"One look at me and they ran off!" Eren said arrogantly.

Everyone, except an embarrassed Eren, continued to laugh.

Even Levi seemed amused by the scene.

"No, it was Mikasa they saw—ow!" Armin winced.

"Hey! You okay, Armin?" Eren offered him a hand.

Armin looked at his friend's outstretched hand and hid his emotional face by looking at the ground. "I can get up on my own."

"Oh, alright."

Armin shifted in his seat, uncomfortable with his comrades seeing him so weak.

Golden-orange rays highlighted the houses as the three friends sat near the water. "I said humanity needs to venture into the outside world at some point and then they beat me up and called me a heretic," Armin told them.

"Damn, why does everyone look down on people just for wanting to go outside?!" Eren tossed a pebble in the water.

"Well, because we've had a hundred years of peace by staying inside the Walls. They're worried that going outside carelessly will invite them in."


"Was that Candy?" Connie asked.

"It sounded like her," Christa said. "What could it mean?"

"I'm sure we'll find out." Hange waved at them to shut up. They were almost there. She could feel it.

Eren, Mikasa, and Armin shifted in their seats.

"The Royal Government's policies have made having any interest in the outside world a taboo," Armin said.

"It's our lives! We can risk 'em if we want!" Eren said angrily.

"I won't let you. You can't." Mikasa looked over her shoulder.

"Oh yeah!" Eren remembered. "I can't believe you told my parents!"

Armin looked lost. "Huh?"

"I never agreed to help."

"Heh, sneaky," Sasha said, grinning.

"So, what did they say?" Armin asked.

"They're less than pleased."

"It figures."

The wind began to blow softly, clouds moved lazily in the sky.

The trio's faces took on guarded expressions.

"Indeed, I think people are crazy if they think we'll be safe inside these walls forever," Armin said.

"Mommy!" A little kid ran into his mother's arms, happy.

"Just because the Walls haven't fallen for a hundred years doesn't guarantee that they won't fall today..."

Children laughed and played in the background.

"...not one bit."

"Here it comes," Ymir muttered too softly for anyone to hear.

A woman stood on the roof, baby in her arms. Thick silence filled the screen.

They tensed, waiting for the inevitable explosion.

Seconds passed by, a shot of the Wall appeared, peaceful and undisturbed.

Then lighting struck, loud and fast, making their hearts jump.

Most people were knocked off their feet by the sheer force. They looked at the smoke coming from the other side.

"Wh-What was that?" Armin said.

"An explosion?" Eren turned.

"That way!" Someone behind them pointed.

"Did something fall?!" Someone said.

"I'm not really sure." Another answered.

Armin ran after them and Eren called out to him. "Hey, Armin!" They followed him into the plaza. "Just what are you staring at?" He followed their gazes. Ominous music began playing in the background as a massive red hand clutched the Wall, creating cracks.

"The moment I've been waiting for." Hange clicked the pen, ready to take notes while her eyes stayed glued to the TV.

"It can't be! Th-That wall is fifty-meters high!" Armin stared fearfully.

"It's one of them." Eren gasped. A large shadow fell over them as a mammoth face stared down at them. "A Titan!"

Hange began scribbling like crazy, watching how it kicked Wall Maria.

The strong gales shattered windows and sent people flying, ripping off parts of homes. Debris flew and crushed some humans trying to flee.

Wasn't that one of the boys bullying Armin? Christa thought, feeling a mixture of sadness, glee, and guilt.

"Th-They b-blew a hole in the W-Wall," Armin stuttered, on his knees.

The first Titan entered, a wide grin on its face.

"They're inside!" People panicked and ran.

"The Titans have gotten inside!"

"We need to run, too—Eren!"

Eren staggered away. "My house is…my mom is…"

Mikasa chased after him, ignoring Armin's call.

That must be so terrifying. Ymir thought somberly.

Jean swallowed with difficulty. It had been hard enough experiencing a Titan invasion in Trost at their age and after having received training. He couldn't even imagine how much more intense the fear he would have felt in Eren, Armin, and Mikasa's situation.

Armin stared at his shaking hand, clutching it to stop the trembling. "It's all over. Countless Titans are going to overrun the city!"

There's no way our home got hit. Eren stared in fear at the chaos around him as he ran. People screaming, children crying, blood, boulders, and destruction, everywhere he looked it was a nightmare. Just around this corner, our house is standing there, like always!

Eren and Mikasa became distressed at the sight before them.

Mikasa pulled up the scarf, squeezing Eren's hand, who already had tears streaming down his face, not caring who saw.

But everyone was staring at the scene in silent horror, unable to look away.

"Mom!" Eren ran over to the destroyed house. "Mom!"

Carla weakly opened her eyes, lower half of her body buried under the rubble. "Eren."

"Mikasa! Grab that end!" Eren grabbed a piece of the rubble. "We gotta move this pillar!" Footsteps boomed around them. They looked up to see many giants over the roofs of the houses, wandering around.

"Hurry, Mikasa!"

"I know!"

"The Titans have gotten inside, haven't they?" Carla began fearfully. "Eren, take Mikasa and run away! Hurry!"

"I want to!" Eren grunted, trying to force the wreckage to move. "I want to run away! Get up already!"

"The debris has crushed my legs," Carla continued, almost dazed. "Even if I could get out, I wouldn't be able to run. You understand what that means."

Christa sniffed and Ymir put a comforting arm around her.

Connie and Sasha—the only two who had not been so awed by the TV that they forgot about the food and had helped themselves—pushed their plates away, suddenly losing their appetite.

"I'll run away carrying you, then!" Eren screamed, tears in his eyes.

"Why don't you ever listen to your mother?!" Carla yelled back. "You can at least do this one last thing! Mikasa!"

The young girl bowed her head, crying, too. "No, No!" A pair of legs was seen.

"If you don't go, all three of us will—" A familiar sound of wires was heard. "—Hannes!"

Relief surged in most of the viewers.

"Take the children and get out of here!"

"I can't have you thinking I'm a small man, Carla. I'm gonna slaughter the Titan and save all three of ya!" Hannes declared confidently.

It was dumb, what she was feeling. Petra knew Eren's mother was going to die. He'd told her so himself. Still, a glimmer of hope survived.

Levi, ever the pessimist, had to dash everyone's hopes. "He's never fought a Titan before, hasn't even seen one up close. And after years of neglect and laziness, he's out of shape. I wouldn't hold my breath."

"Wait! Don't fight them!" Carla begged.

Hannes pulled out his blades, running toward the Titan. She's right, I could save those two for now for sure. But I'm finally going to repay the favor I owe!

"Favor?" Petra wondered.

"When my dad saved the town from the plague, Hannes's family was among them," Eren said.

Hannes came to a grinding halt, staring at the looming mass that grinned creepily down at him, terror clear on his face, feeling suffocated as if it were just him and the Titan. Quickly, he sheathed his swords and turned back.

I knew it. Levi was not the least bit happy about being right.

Some were disappointed, even if they understood it.

"Hey! Hannes!" Eren screamed when the older man grabbed him, then moved to Mikasa. "What are you doing?!"

At least he saved the children. That was more than Petra could expect from someone who had never intended to fight Titans, especially in the most catastrophic event in known human history. He'd only have gotten himself killed. This way, at least he was able to do some good.

"Thank you." Carla smiled, relieved.

"Hey! Mom's still!" Eren reached out for her, sobbing.

Carla mimicked the action, holding out her arm. "Eren! Mikasa! You have to survive!" A happy image of her family flashed through her mind. She retracted her arm, trembling, covering her mouth to smother her words. "Don't go."

Strangled gasps escaped Eren and Mikasa.

Armin's stomach dropped.

The Titan stood firmly behind her. Reaching down, it moved the rubble aside with ease and picked her up. "Stop!" Carla struggled to break free.

It brought its other hand up and snapped her spine, a horrified Eren still watching.

The soldiers were agitated, itching to jump into action, knowing it was futile. It was all already said and done.

Putting the limp body in its mouth, it chomped down. A fountain of blood exploded in the air.

Jean, Sasha, and Connie immediately thought of their own mothers, of what it would have been like to be in Eren's place and watch the nightmare unfold before their very eyes.

Petra was grateful her mother had died when she was too young to remember, and not in such a violent manner.

All Levi could think about was how silently his own mother had passed away, not at all like the loud, bloody, and visceral death he'd just witnessed.

"Humanity was suddenly reminded that day…"

The Titan swallowed, looking gleeful.

"…of the terror of being at their mercy. Of the humiliation of being trapped inside a cage."

The screen faded out to black before the play button on a new thumbnail showed up.

"Eren?" Petra knocked on the door and waited for a response.

On the other side, Eren splashed cold water on his face and dried it with a towel. Taking a deep breath and looking in the mirror, he morphed his face into the expression he wanted: neutral. He opened the door and spoke before she could. "I'm okay."

"I doubt that," she said, a knowing look on her face. "Here, have some water."

Grateful, he gulped it down. Looking over her head, Eren saw his comrades sitting nervously while his superiors talked quietly among themselves. Armin was consoling a grief-stricken Mikasa in the corner. Sensing his eyes on them, they looked up and made their way toward him. Petra silently rejoined her captain, giving them some privacy.

Eren cleared his throat. "Sorry about that."

"There's nothing to be sorry about." Armin shook his head. His eyes were red and puffy from crying.

"Are you okay?" Eren asked Mikasa, and she nodded mutely, scarf no longer concealing half her face. "Alright, let's not keep everyone waiting then." With another deep breath, they took their seats.

Erwin hit play and started the second episode.

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