Disclaimer: I hate the fact I do not own anything… T_T
A man carried two resisting children in his arms as he ran.
"Don't go," a woman's voice helplessly whispered.
Thud. Creak. Clatter. Crash. Crunch. Splatter.
Another woman devoured by a Titan.
"Mother!" a boy shrieked hysterically.
Eren and Mikasa just watched their mother get killed by a Titan. And a smiling one at that. The Titan had towered over the rubble that once served as their home. Carla Jeager's legs were crushed by the debris, and Eren and Mikasa had tried to pull her out. As the Titan headed their way, Hannes arrived to give them help in any way he could. He planned to kill it, but the Titan's terror-inducing face had scared him. Carla pleaded to just take the kids and run, and run he did.
But that did nothing to prevent Eren and Mikasa from watching their mother's demise. The Titans picked her up, smiling as it did so. She struggled to escape the Titan's grip in vain, only to get her head pulled off from her shoulders. Her body went limp, and the Titan proceeded to bite off half of the corpse, spraying blood everywhere.
Hannes could only look away and harden his grip on Eren and Mikasa as he ran towards safety. It was the only thing he could do, being the coward he is and all. He, among others, couldn't face the Titan's, even when they were trained to do so. The Military Police and Garrisons haven't dealt with Titans for a century.
Mikasa could only feel sadness as she watched another member of her family die. She watched her biological father die when he was stabbed in the heart with a knife and fall motionless onto the floor. She watched her biological mother try to fight back with a pair of scissors hopelessly and get hit by an axe to the neck. Now, she had just watched her adoptive mother get dismembered by a Titan. The only family she has left was her adoptive brother, Eren, and at that moment, she swore to protect him at all costs.
Eren felt grief and horror as his mother's blood sprayed everywhere. He felt shock stun him and replay the scene over and over and over again. The last time he did with his mother was fight, and he knew he would regret it for the rest of his life. He stared into space, millions of things running in his mind.
"Toss all luggage! We might even fit one more if you do that!"
The moment Erza caught sight of Eren and Mikasa, she put her hand on Armin's shoulder to catch his attention and pointed to the direction of their friends. "Over there," she prompted.
Armin visibly relaxed and raised his arm to yell and wave at them but stopped when he noticed the horrified expressions on their faces.
Eren's green eyes were wide yet Mikasa's black ones were devoid of all emotion, yet it was obvious they just saw something traumatizing.
"Eren," Armin mumbled.
"Now isn't a good time to talk to them," Aro spoke. "Those poor souls. You can tell what happened by looking at them."
Armin could only look at his grandfather in fear. Erza watched them board the ship, her expression filled with sympathy. She knew how it felt, watch someone die right in front of her. Grandpa Rob and Simon's deaths hurt her to the core.
The ground was still trembling as the Titans were nearing the gate, chasing all mankind in range. Frantic screams of "Hurry up!" or "The Titans are coming!" were heard as people ran to the other side of Wall Maria for safety.
"This can't be happening…"
"God, please save us." The frightened whispers of some said as screams of fear and agony cut through the air.
Just then, the soldiers lifted off the wooden bridge that connected the ship the banks of the river. The citizens not able to get on board started panicking, some even jumping to try reach the ship.
"What are you doing?!"
"We're leaving! The ship is full!"
"Please let us on! Even just my child!"
"I'm sorry, but we can't do that. GO!"
The ship started to move and leave the chaotic place as yells of protest were heard.
"Let us on!" "Let us get on!" Dissents were heard as the ship started to move father and father away from the crowd. A loud explosion was heard, and people were starting to grow silent, all turning to try seek the source of the sound.
The gates rumbled and started to close, but a few moments later, deafening consecutive thuds were heard, like ginormous footsteps. The thuds grew louder and a loud boom reverberated as boulders flew every which way, crushing the humans it landed on with a squish. Gone was the gate and its place was a 15 meter tall Titan with gold plating covering its exposed muscles. It stood up straight as more screams of fear and panic tore the air, cries of grief and sorrow echoing into space as more people died with their vain attempts of escape, civilians and soldiers alike.
The people on the ships watched the whole incident some standing up to get a better view. Eren, Mikasa and Armin stared at the gold giant towering over buildings with fear as Erza could only watch, fully knowing if she rushed to help, her brave attempt would be in vain, considering the fact her body was small, most of her armor don't fit, and she didn't know how to kill a Titan, and Armin once mentioned they regenerate, plus, there were thousands of them.
"This is the end."
"The Titans will eat us all."
Whispers of despair and misery faded to the warm mist of the sunset as Eren's thoughts started to sort themselves, his feelings now as bright as day.
'It's over?' Eren helplessly thought. 'I'll never be able to go back home again.' Memories flashed through his mind, those happy moments with his father, mother and Mikasa all coming back to him. 'Why?! Why was I so immature and argued till the very end?!' He remembered the last conversation/argument he had with his mother. 'Mom is gone. She's gone.' He remembered the blood that sprayed everywhere. 'Why?!'
"Because you're weak," Eren remembered Hannes tell him hours ago when he asked why they couldn't save Carla.
'I… Us humans are weak.' Tears leaked from his eyes. 'Because we're weak, we can do nothing but cry?' He stared at his blood stained hands, gashed and bruised as a tear fell onto it. He stood up, Mikasa gazed at him and spoke his name, yet Eren didn't acknowledge her as she stood up to follow him.
'I will erase the Titan's existence from this world.' Armin and Erza had moved toward him and as Armin tried to touch his shoulder, Eren pushed him away. Erza only put her hands on Armin to keep him from Eren. "Eren?" Armin murmured.
"I'm going to kill them all," he finally spoke, pure anger and hatred visible on his face. "Not a single one of them will be left!"
Armin could only shift in surprise while Mikasa and Erza watched him calmly.
Silently, the ship sailed as the skies grew darker in the misty dusk air.
The next days were madness. All humans were evacuated from Wall Maria to Wall Rose. People constantly fought for food to survive. Soldiers discriminated all the evacuees, infuriating Eren the most. If it weren't for Erza holding him back, he'd have hit all those arrogant soldiers long ago.
That one moment Erza's eyes left him to look for Armin and Grandpa Aro, he stomped his way to a soldier and kicked him in his shin. He got beat up of course, if it weren't for Armin's rescue, he won't be able to stand up.
"I'll be back inside Wall Maria and kill off all the Titans," he said when the others confronted him.
"Eren, you're not serious, right?" Armin asked him softly.
"I've never been more serious!" Eren replied immediately and stood up. "I'm not like most people who only act tough when protected by the wall! I don't need this crap!" He threw his share of bread at Armin.
Armin almost let it fall onto the ground. "Eren, what are you doing?"
"Doesn't it piss you off?" he rambled angrily. "We can't do anything because we live off such pity!"
"It's impossible! Nothing can defeat them!" Armin countered. "Our only choice is to live outside the Walls. If you do anything rash, you'll die the same way my parents did!"
"So that's why you're sucking up to those people?! Do you have no shame?!"
Before anybody else could reply, Erza slapped him. Hard. The sound echoed in the hallway they were standing in.
"That's the only thing we can do right now," she decreed. "We're still children; our bodies are too weak to take down just one Titan even with all four of us combined." Actually that statement was untrue; she'd take down monsters bigger than Titans in jobs she used to take. She fought with Mirajane almost every day in the guild before Lisanna's supposed death. But the rest of them never knew the existence of magic and mages. "We could try, but our attempts would be in vain. We have to become stronger in the meantime. The lives of those who died would go to waste if we move recklessly. Your mother's sacrifice to save you would be meaningless. You still have to live, for the people who died, and for the friends who care for you! Relinquishing this life would be a slap to the face to all of them!" She said, remembering the words she once said to Kagura.
Eren was astonished. He never thought of it that way.
Mikasa acquiesced. "We can't even escape from the Titans or leave the city by ourselves. Even the food we eat is from someone else. What's important is staying alive, just like your mother said." Mikasa walked forward, took the bread from Armin's arms, and shoved the piece of food into Eren's mouth, who gasped in surprise. "Eat and stay alive. I won't let you starve to death."
Tears leaked from Eren's eyes in submission.
A few days later, the refugees were sent to cultivate land and secure food. But that did nothing to prevent the food shortage. In the following year of 846, the Central Government launched a campaign to retake Wall Maria using the refugees. There were 250 thousand of them, almost a fifth of the population. However, only a hundred survived. With their sacrifice, the food shortage improved, albeit a little, for those who survived.
Erza was devastated, of course. One of the ones she'd care for deeply, taken away from her in a short amount of time. She could only hug Armin close and cry silently with him when the news of their grandfather's death arrived. She knew it was an attempt to kill off civilians the government couldn't support. It was so painfully obvious. But who was she to stop them? An outsider, a foreigner from another world, who was marooned in this cruel world? How long was she going to be anchored in this harbour known as battle?
"The Titans are to blame. If only we could defeat them, we would regain our reign in this world," Eren murmured as he and Mikasa watched the two mourn for Aro in sadness. "Erza, Armin, I'm applying for military training next year."
Armin looked at Eren in surprise as Erza wiped away her tears and let go of Armin. "I'll become strong enough to fight them and avenge everyone, our parents and Aro and all the others who died."
"Me, too," Armin replied weakly after a short pause.
"Armin?!" Eren could only exclaim in surprise.
"Me, too!" Armin repeated bravely.
"I'll join you," Mikasa said.
"Mikasa?" Eren said, puzzled. "You don't have to! You said survival is the most important thing."
"Yes, I'll be there to ensure your safety." Eren and Armin blinked. They couldn't argue with that.
"That makes two of us," Erza finally murmured. They all looked at her in surprise.
"Erza!" Armin exclaimed. "You should stay, if there is anyone who needs to stay in safety, it would be you. Let us protect you."
"I was always the one being protected…" Erza murmured.
"Erza?" Mikasa asked. "Are you remembering something?"
"My companions make my heart strong. If I'm fighting for those I love, I care not what happens to this body," Erza said, ignoring her question. "I will protect you and stay alive, because you have to live for your nakama, not die for them."
The others could only stare at her incredulously, puzzled by her logic.
Finally, Eren nodded. "All right, we'll all join."
"You are now officially members of training unit 104!" the chief instructor was booming. "Unfortunately for you, I, Keith Shardis, will be in charge. I'm not here to give you a warm welcome. All of you are now merely livestock, waiting to be eaten by Titans! You're even worse than livestock! For the next three years, I'll train you useless shits. I'll teach you how to fight Titans! When you face a Titan in three years,, will you be just food? Or will you become a glorious wall to protect these walls? Or a mighty champion of mankind who will destroy the Titans? The choice lies in your hands."
'Yeah, don't worry,' Eren thought. 'I'll kill every last one of them.'
A/N: Sorry about the late update. Me and a few club members had to participate in a four day camp last week. To add to the delay, since I type chapters in my phone, my laptop had problems with bluetooth, making me type everything all over again. I made an extra long chapter you you guys and an even longer next chapter once I finish retyping it. Oh gods, we're almost there guys, we're gonna see Erza chop up Titans soon.
Thanks to everyone who reviewed/favorited/alerted: Bleachtoshiro, manticore-gurl071134, Kakudo Shi, Summer's Vice, Goggles, StarCaptain, DatCynicalGirl, Epic n Awesome, Ivise, Listen-to-that-sound, Personthatlovesanime, Rainyxx, Sommer3Butter, Wonkies Mantis, theoreticalThaumaturgist, arekuruu-inabikari-no-She, and my favorite cousin, kcLUKAMEGURINE! And some unnamed guests. Thank you also to all those 287 visitors! It really motivated me.