Authors: Alex Williams & Andrew Sudomerski | Banner: Matthew Williams & Connor Clennell

Table of Contents:
Chapter 1: Punished Snake
Chapter 2: A Lingering Past
Chapter 3: Living a New Life
Chapter 4: The Sheriff
Chapter 5: The Memory
Chapter 6: The Harvest Festival
Chapter 7: It All Comes Crashing Down
Chapter 8: Revival! Colossal Titan vs. the Skullcrawlers
Chapter 9: Overlapping Nightmare
Chapter 10: The Assignment

[Continued from Match 318]

Chapter 1: Punished Snake

A faint ringing, off in the eternal distance… An illusion fabricated by the mind. A brilliant light, then swallowed by insufferable darkness. His vision became compromised, yet his ears returned to him faster than anything else, even if it was only muffled. At the end of the tunnel, there was no light; had it been his evils that corrupted the path to the afterlife? Or was it the curse of his gift that kept him bound to the mortal realm?

For what felt like the first time in his accursed existence, his crusty eyes peeked at the world around him. Trees towered like skyscrapers, swaying in the wind. A bleak cloud loomed overhead, blotting the sun’s torturous rays. He could barely move his body, let alone fully open his eyes, for his peripheral vision was obscured by rampant steam sizzling from his body. His cognitive functions were completely haywire, still processing everything around him as if it was the first time he’d seen this.

Squinted eyes scanned the limited distance they could see. However, he was able to regain his olfactory senses and inhaled a cruel and foul stench. A rotting smell that was all too familiar when in the midst of war; decay. With what little he could see, he was able to identify the disheveled corpse of a wolf slumped to the side, unmoving. It was clear scavengers had picked the lycan apart, down to the bone. What remained was a feast for the worms and parasites to decompose the animal further, leaving only a shell of a once mighty hunter.

He too shifted to his front, or at least what he could make out. Though his nerves could barely feel it, he saw that was stripped of all his identity; no uniform, no badges, no rank. A mere husk of a man with wrinkled pale skin and atrophic muscles. He saw the white vapor rise from his missing toes, as if they had been gnawed off. No doubt the scavengers had tried to consume him, yet failed. Why? Why did they flee? What was it that he could not remember?

Even if he could recall with pristine detail, his mind didn’t register this as his own body. None of it did, none of it felt real, yet it was all the same.

In the vacant time after awakening, he tried to move; how long he had been at it was lost to him. The sky seemingly remained stagnant, but it was hard to determine the exact time of day with the looming clouds. Soon enough, he forced his jaw to open; a sickening pop stiffened for a moment before control resumed, shifting the lower jaw to break it loose. For the first time, he was able to inhale with hoarse breath, oxygenating his lungs with fresh air. From there, new blood flowed through his veins; though it did little to mend to his atrophy, he felt his dwindling strength return to him.

Popping his ears and breaking his limbs loose one by one, in a slow and agonizing process, the stark man pushed himself into a sitting position. He tried to sort through his memories, but they all passed in a haze. He grasped at straws, only to slip through his fingers. The more he tried to remember, the more they fell out of his mental reach. Then he stopped, breathed, and sighed to clear his mind. The root of the problem was a lack of an established reality. He had to know.

“I… Am…” his words dripped from his mouth, the first words uttered in what felt like ages. But when he tried to seize the memory locked away in his mental vault, he couldn’t dig it out. This only left him with a troublesome question. “Who… Am I?”

A sudden sting lanced into his hippocampus, dredging frightening images to the forefront of his mind. He remembered being a great and enormous figure of terror; a handful of rookies who dared to pursue the truth of the world; the white-plated Titan that hauled the missile… Sensory overload flooded his mental capacity, a foggy light-headedness overwhelming him. A hard-hitting realization as to the true nature of himself, and a body that rightfully belonged to him alone.

“I am… Kubal,” he stated plainly. He spoke not for another person’s ears, but his own. To establish the truth to his reality, of what he is, was, and shall be. He felt the heat of his regenerating body swelter with steam clouds, mending the wounds from the explosive blast inflicted by his traitorous political rival, Shikishima. He understood now; he was alive and back from the dead. Be it from a charred corpse or a drop of blood, it didn’t matter. He willed himself to live, and his Titan powers did the rest.

Truly, an immortal.

Kubal followed his first instinct. He refused to feed off the terrible odor from the rotten flesh, but did conjure a compromise. Lunging for the skeletal wolf, Kubal desecrated its carcass and snapped and dislocated its bones, only taking the osseous cluster and hauling it to wherever he could find a river. While he didn’t know where he was, he knew there had to be one somewhere…

His auditory senses alerted him of rushing water, limping there in a weak and pathetic manner. Kubal kept a steady pace until he reached the riverside, immediately plopping to his weakened knees and thrusting the bone pile nearby. First he dunked his head into the life-giving river and drank from it, with steam rolling from his submerged face. He continued downing the lifegiving fluid until he couldn’t ingest it, pulling out of the flowing water and letting himself breathe. Once he was satisfied, he grabbed hold of the femur and drove it into the transparent water, more steam sizzling from his limbs, and scrubbed the filth off with his bare hands.

He knew he had to make weapons; but that wasn’t the priority at the moment. Bringing the femur to his jaws, he grinded against it with his teeth until it shattered. Incisors dug up the hidden bone marrow, chewing it alongside the fractured bone until he could comfortably swallow. He sucked the rest of it dry until there was nothing left, clearing out the innards of the bone. He continued this process, rinse and repeat.

Once I’ve regained my strength, they will learn the terror the world has to offer, he thought to himself. If it is by their feigned ignorance that they want to learn how horrible of a world we live in, then I’ll be sure to make an example! Before he could contemplate further, he felt a violent rumble nearby. How could he not have heard it when it was so close? The sounds and vibrations registered of what this was, a feeling indistinguishable from the rest.

A Titan.

He turned and faced the monstrous human, whose wide eyes were fixated directly at him. Its pale blue skin wrapped around its frail skeleton, almost matching Kubal’s starkness. While most Titans were androgynous, this individual carried distinctly more feminine properties, with a large, curved waist and puffed chest. The 12-meter Titan lunged into motion, closing the gap between them.

“If that’s what you want, then come and get it!” Kubal screamed, acting on muscle memory as he brought his hand to his mouth. He dug into his heated skin, gushing blood from the makeshift wound. His mind steeled with resolve, the will to fight and survive.

Yet nothing happened.

He forcefully tore the chunk from his hand, spitting it aside as he tried again. It only yielded the same result; pouring blood with skin and muscle down to the bone. When he realized he couldn’t transform, for the first time in his miserable life of prolific terror and selfish indulgence, he began to tremble.


It was the only question he could utter from his shaking lips, realizing what came for him.

The large hand swooped in and caught his bare form, hoisting him into the air. The Titan clamped Kubal in its grip, squeezing the life out of him. Its mouth parted, shredding the cheeks that seemed to extend its gaping maw. Kubal could only witness what he realized would be the last moments of his living life. Yet even so, by some illogical area in his brain, he forced himself to live as he had done back at Wall Maria.


Placed in its sticky tongue, the malodor from the depths of its stomach surfaced, filling Kubal’s nostrils with the last thing he would ever smell. Then, thick teeth smashed his fragile body apart, grinding him into pulp and spraying spinal fluid across the fleshy walls of the void. The Titan moaned, swallowing the paste that had once been Kubal.

Shuffling awkwardly, the Titan set its eyes on the next trail it could find. Each step resounded with loud thuds, beelining to the closest human signature in its vision. However, it decelerated its misaligned sprint, growing quieter with each passing footfall. It broke out of the boundaries of the forest, coming to a sluggish limp in a vast, empty field. Drooping forward, the Titan lost its footing and collapsed, stirring the nearby trees and frightening the birds that dwelled within them.

Steam emanated from the nape, and for once in its life, the Titan seemed to smile.


Chapter 2: A Lingering Past

“Mommy! Mommy!” a high pitched voice called out.

Her ears rang as she heard the same word cried out several times. She groaned as the voices rang through ears, finding herself gaining consciousness. However, she didn’t want to lose it, not after what she had been through these past few months.

“Mhm…. five more minutes… Lil,” her tired voice stirred, nearly pulling the blanket over her head.

“But you promised we would go first thing in the morning!” whined Eve.

“All right, all right,” she moaned, facing her children. “Go get ready while I wake your father up.”

The two kids, giddy with excitement, bolted out of the room as she could still hear their murmurs of excitement. She smiled softly, stirring herself awake while she turned over to the still form of her husband only to find him awake; albeit about ready to drift off.

“Today the day?” he murmured, followed by a large yawn.

She waved her hand away from the morning breath. “Yeah, and…..” the mother paused from the stench growing stronger, forcing her to put her hand over nose. “Goddamn! Does your breath stink!”

“A dozen or so combat drops in the worst places possible and my breath smells the worst?”

“Worse than the cleanup in Sendai,” she bellowed out, her voice muffled greatly from the placement of her hand.

He laughed out, slowly pulling himself closer to his wife. “Come on, Beatrice, nothing’s as bad as that. Especially this.”

“David, don’t!” Beatrice blurted out, but wasn’t not fast enough to stop her husband from snatching a kiss.


“Everytime,” Beatrice retorted, giving him a playful frown.

“And yet it works,” he countered impishly, pulling himself closer to her from a hug.

“As always,” she whispered, wrapping her around him.

“Mom!” Lilith’s voice echoed throughout the house.

“Impatient today, aren’t they?” David joked, following it up with a yawn. He allowed his body to rise up, rubbing his wife’s shoulder.

“They get that from you,” Beatrice countered, shooting him a glare.

“You’re right,” David concurred, pulling himself out of bed. “When are we getting there?”

“Asshole,” Beatrice snarked, getting up in tandem as she made her way over to the closet to get dressed. She had her clothes picked out accordingly yesterday in the event their children decided to be impatient. It took less than a minute to get dressed and was about ready to head over to the other room to fix herself when she felt a sudden stabbing pain in her stomach.

Beatrice nearly collapsed, pressing her hand against abdomen. She took in several deep breaths, feeling the discomfort flowing through. With a slap against the wall, Beatrice kept herself still, slowly giving herself time to mend her pain.

“What’s wrong!?” David spoke out, rushing over to her and offering his support to keep his wife stable.

“Just…. I think it’s just a side effect from the shot I received,” Beatrice spoke between pants.

“We can go another time,” her husband pointed out, more concerned with her wellbeing over the planned family outing. “I think a trip to the hospital is an order.”

“No, no,” Beatrice denied, slowly finding the strength to grant herself the ability to stand straight. “They’ve waited a long time for this. I can handle a minor bug.”

“Okay, but if you need to, don’t hesitate,” he mouthed, pressing his wife against him for a tight embrace, still offering his support to keep her upright.

“I won’t,” Beatrice murmured, returning the gesture, feeling an overwhelming sense of warmth that took her mind off the lingering effects of the injection.

“Let’s go already!” Lilith shouted from across the hallway, causing her mother to crack a smile.


Laughter, thrills, and high amounts of candy ingested were the components of the day. Beatrice and David were struggling to keep up with the monstrous amount of energy their daughters were exhibiting. They were there for over nine hours and showed no signs of wanting to leave.

Lilith tugged on Eve’s arm, exclaiming loudly “The Big Dipper! Let’s go on that one!”

Eve, on the other hand, had other ideas. “Nuh-uh. The Goga-go-round!”

“No!” she whined, tugging on her sister’s arm once more. “That ride is too slow!

“Mom!” Eve cried out, desperately hoping to win her over with her next choice.

David raised one eyebrow up in amusement as Beatrice sighed, knowing once again she had to settle the dispute. “Kids,” Beatrice spoke calmly, kneeling down next to them, putting her hands on their shoulders. “We can do both.”

Both Lilith and Eve grinned at their mother’s answer as she continued on, “But after that, it’ll be time to go home.”

In that instant, their smiles were shattered and replaced with faces of shock and disappointment.

“What!?” Lilith bursted out.

“That’s not fair! We only got here!” Eve cried out, smacking their small hands onto their mother’s shoulders.

“Woah! Woah!” Beatrice spoke up, raising her hands in defense. “Don’t look at me. Blame your father, he’s the one who has a tummy ache!”

“Really, Beatrice?” David called out, rolling his eyes at the false blame being thrown at him.

Lilith moved her head past her mother and glared at her father. “Dad! Can’t you tell your stomach to wait!? We’re trying to have fun here!”

“Please? Just a little longer?” Eve pleaded, her words spoken more softly than her upbeat sister.

“Of course I can tell it to wait. We can stay for several more hours,” David cheerfully spoke, accommodating his children’s request, but striking a chord with his wife. Her eyes widened as her heart was beating rapidly.

“Oh no!”

David shot her a sinister grin, forcing Beatrice to look down in defeat. She loved her family and spending time with them, but her strength was slowly being siphoned away. This feeling had been with her for nearly the whole day, with every hour she felt it getting worse. Had it not been for her training in the military to handle such issues, she would have collapsed a lot earlier. That, and to not worry both David and their kids. There were enough problems they faced in the world and they didn’t need to deal with one today.

Still, she had to endure. Her love for them was greater than the pain that slowly crept up on her. Beatrice slowly got up to her feet and gathered with her family, readying to partake in their activity. The two kids ran forward as the parents followed them promptly.

And yet, she still collapsed.

With an extremely loud shriek, Beatrice’s body thrashed repeatedly onto the hard concrete. She lost all bodily functions as her arms slammed repeatedly into the ground, bruising them greatly.

David turned around and saw to his horror, the condition his wife was in. “Beatrice!”

He bolted over to her and immediately brought her close to him. “Hey! Hey!” He cried out, smacking his hand against her face in an effort to keep her conscious. “Stay with me!”

Her eyes were fixated on her husband, bringing her great pain to see how much grief he was in. She wanted to speak, to try and communicate her symptoms, but found herself only able to wheeze. A sudden rapid beating in her chest elevated her upwards with her heart beating rapidly. Beatrice didn’t know if it was out of fear, a side effect of what was happening to her or both.

What horrified her the most was her kids.

“Mommy!” Lilith cried out, tears pouring down her eyes while she dashed towards her parents. All the while, Eve stood there, unsure what to do, but nonetheless, shared her sister’s feelings.

What hurt Beatrice more than the pain she felt was seeing her kids absolutely distraught, broken over what was transpiring. She wished it all away, not for her sake, but for theirs.

“It’ll be okay! We’ll get you help and it’ll just be nothing more than a bad memory. Years from now, we’ll be sitting back and just be us. It’ll just be us,” David spoke, desperately trying to bring some levity to the situation, but Beatrice saw through the ruse. He was terrified and she couldn’t blame him.

She looked upon her family, letting out one last wheeze.

“I love you all so much.”


Beatrice’s body expanded. Her limbs stretched over several feet while her body became bloated as her head blew up like a balloon. Her long red hair covered the entire floor while her gigantic body destroyed everything surrounding it.

David didn’t even realize he had left the mortal realm as he was crushed by the weight of the newborn Titan. Lilith stopped in her tracks, unable to comprehend what was transpiring as it distracted her long enough to realize she had been trampled by the rubble her mother’s Titan body had caused.

Eve stood there, shell shocked at all that had ensued. Her knees grew weary, readying to drop. Screams were heard all around, followed by loud footsteps, however, she tuned them out. The sudden disappearance was the only thing on her mind.


A hand bursted out of the broken pieces of concrete and what followed stirred up conflicting emotions for the little girl. The now gigantic form crawled out of the rubble and stood before her daughter.

“Mama?” Eve murmured, with both relief and fear washing over her. She took a step forward, trying to find comfort with her mother.

The Titan stepped forward, matching the girl’s footsteps. Eve widened her arms, expecting a hug, but was instead swooped up by the gigantic hand. She immediately cried with every bone in her back popping all at once.

The Titan brought Eve face to face with her, inspecting every feature on her head. Her long blonde hair and the round face that would make anyone smile at her. The zombie let out a wheeze, bringing the girl closer to her as she began to cry out.

“Mama! Mama!”

She seemingly ignored her cries, bringing her closer and closer to her maw as it slowly opened up. The newly born monster felt nothing for its victim, however, it found itself compelled to usher out one world.


The word carried no meaning for the Titan. Instead, directing itself in sinking its teeth into the little girl, grinding her tiny body into chunks. Her blood gave the monstrosity’s teeth a fresh new coat of dark red.

With a gulp, the Titan finished its meal, staring into the setting sun. The view was strangely admiring for the zombie, but unlike the girl’s pleas, it didn’t give it much thought. The being heard screams unleashed several feet away and snapped its head towards the noise.

It needed to feast.

Every fiber of its being commanded it!


The wind blew softly, moving the grass all too slightly as it moved in perfect synchronization with it. It crept up on her sleeping form, eliciting a shiver from her mouth. She slowly wrapped her arms around her body, generating a meager amount of warmth. The night sky soon followed suit and shined its glistening light down upon her, stirring her awake. Her eyes scanned the bluish tint of the ground she laid on.

“Where am I?”

Her eyes rolled over to the large patch of tall grass surrounding her, watching as they danced with the cool wind. She propped herself, sitting up and observing her surroundings. She couldn’t shake the feeling like she had woken up from a nightmare. A nightmare where she had lost all control of herself and was forced to watch behind the eyes of a malevolent creature for so many years, devouring countless people that dared to cross her path.

Yet, she barely knew anything.

Only that she felt a great sense of solace at where she was at. The open fields reminded her of a time long ago in her life, perhaps as a child or where she lived more recently. She still felt the cooling sensation brush past her skin, but it no longer bothered her too much. Instead, she had her eyes glued on the bright light shining down on her. The moon’s glorious white light was breathtaking as it complimented the darkened blue sky.

She felt her heart beat slowly while her eyes widened in awe.

Then, with every heartbeat, the stars popped in one by one, casting an illuminating glow on her, contrasting with the darkness surrounding her in the distance.

The night sky gave her three answers.

Her name was Beatrice, she was free, and it was a beautiful sensation.

She preserved her gaze at the twilight, keeping track of the moon slowly moving throughout the night. It mesmerized her to where she blocked all of her surroundings even as words were intertwined with the gusts of wind circling her still form.

A touch was all that was needed to snap her out of serenity.

Beatrice didn’t jump, but simply turned around slowly to find two people standing before her. One had a larger frame to him wearing a white shirt with a black vest draped over it along with a straw hat covering a portion of his head. The other had a slimmer figure while she donned a blue dress. She didn’t feel threatened by them, but instead, was confused as to why they had apprehensive looks.

“Excuse me, madam,” the bulky man spoke, taking a step towards her. “I don’t mean to impose, but what are you doing out here by yourself at this time of night?”

“Out here? Why would that be a question? It’s marvelous. Why would I ever want to leave?”

“I don’t know…..” Beatrice paused, taking a brief look back at the night sky before resuming her attention to the strangers. “I just really like the view.”

“On that we can agree on ma’am,” the heavier set man murmured, smiling at the shining light above them. “However, it’s best if you head back inside. We don’t want you to catch a cold or nothin’.”

“I… suppose, but….” Beatrice complied, however she was stopped by a sudden realization.

”I have nowhere to go.”

“Do you know where we are?” she inquired, scanning her surroundings carefully only to find a couple of wooden homes off in the distance.

“Sannagi, my dear,” the woman answered.

“I… I can’t say I ever heard of that city,” she stumbled dumbfoundedly, finding the name to be an odd choice for a town.

“It’s a newer town, ma’am. It’s the first of many as part of an outreach program to expand beyond the walls,” the farmer elaborated, smiling fondly at how the town was thriving thus far.

“I don’t understand,” Beatrice murmured. “The walls?”

None of this sounded right to her. She didn’t understand why everyone was apprehensive about being outside or why everyone was moving beyond the walls. Beatrice wondered what kind of nightmare she really woke up from.

“You’re not from around here, are you?” he inquired, puzzled by the woman’s behavior as if she was completely oblivious to everything around her.

“I can’t even say I know where I’m from,” she responded, feeling the urge to shed a tear, but was able to restrain herself from doing so. Beatrice felt a lot of things were locked behind her mind and it baffled her that she couldn’t figure out what they were.

“Oh dear, you must have hit your head pretty hard, then,” the woman spoke.

“Maybe I did, I don’t know,” Beatrice trailed off, taking her eyes off of them as she rubbed her hand on the grass.

“Well, perhaps we can let you stay with us for a while at least until you get back on your feet.”

Suddenly, something struck a chord in her with his words. They sounded so sincere and warm, enough to make her forget about the wind.

Beatrice nodded her head. “Of course. I’d like that.”

She got up from the ground, looking at both of them with gratitude. “Thank you. I’m in your debt, um……”

“I’m Taizo Kasshoku and this is my wife Kahori,” the man introduced.

“Beatrice,” she replied in kind as she immediately started to walk off to where she saw the homes. The two watched her walk off when Kahori’s face grew red and ran up to her.

“Stop for a moment!”

“Huh….” Beatrice hummed in confusion at what the woman was trying to infer.

“You’re….. well, naked,” Kahori stammered out, averting her eyes.

Beatrice looked down at her form only to realize she lacked any articles of clothing on her whatsoever. She blushed in embarrassment only now realizing the predicament she was in and the one she put the two strangers in.



Chapter 3: Living a New Life

She dried her hair with a towel, as she then placed it in the nearby hamper. Beatrice eyed the clothes laid out in front of her provided by Kahori. The Kasshokus were kind enough to allow her to stay with them until she got back on her feet. Her memory was still drawing a complete blank aside from her name.

She threw the long-sleeved white shirt on and pulled the black sweatpants over her legs. The red-headed woman glanced at the room she was in, the one she was provided with. Like the rest of the Kasshoku residence, it was almost rudimentary. Brown wooden walls with very old paintings adorned on them.

At first she chalked it up to their preference in interior design, but the technology inside was all over the place, as if it was from different decades. She may have not known what her life entailed, but she knew there was more at the palm of her hand than what she had witnessed in the tour. It was as if the technology was inconsistent.

Beatrice grabbed a nearby brush from the vanity in front of her, using it to caress her curly red hair. She felt herself slowly being at ease while she closed her eyes, taking in the field she awoke in, visualizing the calm cool wind hitting against her skin. She smiled at the sensation while she continued stroking the brush against her hair when her vocal cords whispered a command.

She began humming a song, as if it was one she knew instantaneously. She paced back and forth in the room, keeping her eyes closed, focusing on the recent memory.

Her lips opened up, letting out a couple of the words. “You will know you’re reborn tonight.”

Beatrice continued taking in the moment, picturing that field perfectly, however, brief pictures interrupted that view, like frames of different scenes interrupting the one she was visualizing. She closed her eyes tighter, agitated by these newfound memories. The first was of her running through an obstacle course in some sort of heavy duty gear as another showed her, removing some dangerous material. Then, there was one of her alongside a man around the same age as her, with two little girls standing next to them.

That memory, like the one she was trying to live in, brought her joy. Serenity, even. She tried to picture it, letting the previous one go as she was getting a clear view of them. Beatrice didn’t know who they were, but they seemed important to her and brought her a great sense of love.

She smiled once more as a tear flowed down her face while she held her arms out, eagerly awaiting to wrap her arms around them.

“Must be ragged but I’ll stay by your side.”

The little girl with blonde hair smiled at her, showing off her shiny white teeth as she opened her arms out. “I really like your hair.”

Beatrice smiled at the little girl’s compliment, wanting to take it all in, but she stopped herself. Her humming ceased as did her footsteps, staring at the memory playing before. She couldn’t help, but notice the voice didn’t belong to the girl. She wasn’t even sure how she knew that, even if the voice was appropriate for the culprit. Something didn’t feel right.

The red-headed woman opened her eyes, taking herself away from the memories as she saw a little girl standing in the door frame, rubbing her hands together, smiling at her. The girl in front of her was a little older than the one in her memory, eleven or twelve, she surmised. Still rather tiny for her presumed age. Beatrice squinted her eyes, taking note of her shoulder length black hair and her chubby face.

“I really like your hair,” the little girl spoke softly again, smiling up at her.

Beatrice grinned at her, already feeling a sense of kinship towards the child. One she couldn’t explain, but didn’t need the answer to. Not yet anyway.

“Why thank you, um…..” Beatrice tried to speak, tapping the side of her head, realizing she didn’t know her name nor any of the other kids belonging to the Kasshokus. “I’m sorry I don’t know your name.”

“Koyuki,” the girl softly spoke, taking a step forward.

“Well, Koyuki,” Beatrice spoke, crouching down to meet her level. “I’m Beatrice. It’s really nice to meet you.”

She could see the girl was eager to get to know the household’s new residence, but saw some apprehension in her. In a blink of an eye, it came to her, knowing exactly what to do to get her at ease.

“Hey, how about I help brush your hair?” Beatrice suggested, glancing over at the girl’s messy hair.

Koyuki nodded enthusiastically as she hopped up on the bed. Beatrice chuckled from the display and plopped herself down next to the girl, slowly brushing her hair. She took a few minutes, handling her little friend’s mane with care. Yet, it came to her naturally.

“I never seen hair like yours,” Koyuki finally spoke, glancing upwards.

Beatrice smiled back at her, pausing for just a moment. “Redheads are rare.”

“I didn’t even know people can have red hair,” replied Koyuki.

“I guess I’m the exception, not the rule then,” chuckled the older woman, with the little girl following it up with a smile.

Koyuki twiddled her hands together, slowly glancing up at Beatrice once more. “Where are you from? Where’s your family?”

The questions gave her pause. Despite the quick flashes just minutes ago, possibly giving her glimpses of who she was, Beatrice couldn’t give her an answer.

“I don’t know who I am or where I’m from.”

“Everybody’s from somewhere,” Koyuki murmured, before looking down. “I used to be from Shiganshina before the Titans took everything.”

”Titans? Why does that sound familiar?”

Beatrice nearly gulped, feeling uneasy by that word as a memory briefly flashed before. A memory of the perspective of some horrid monster devouring a group of people. They were terrified as they screamed out when the beast ripped into their flesh with its teeth.

She almost pulled back, but kept herself composed, not wanting to scare Koyuki. However, she wasn’t fully sure of what she was talking about. “Titans? What exactly do you mean by that?”

Koyuki nearly snapped her head towards the older woman, almost as if a fire burned in her eyes. She let out a series of breaths, fuming as if someone personally angered her. “Those monsters took everything from not only me and my family, but from several others. My brother lost his life to them!”

The older woman was nearly taken back by the outburst, keeping her focus on her as she saw no end toward her anger. She slowly moved her hand towards her to keep the peace, but she saw the little girl trembling even more rapidly.

“Lost it all, because of the Colossal!” Koyuki screeched out, breathing in and out with her face turning bright red. Beatrice slowly moved her hand forward, but the shaking wouldn’t stop. It was then, her gut spoke to her, giving her detailed instructions on what to do.

Beatrice snatched the girl up in a deep hug, catching Koyuki by surprise. Her anger ceased as Beatrice tightened her grip around while she rubbed the back of her head. “Shh…. It’s okay, it’s okay.”

Koyuki wanted to argue, to lash back at her, to tell her she doesn’t deserve a voice for not losing anything to the Titans. However, her soft voice brought a sense of relief to her as started to simmer down, wrapping her tiny arms around hers.

The room went quiet again as the steps on the staircase creaked as Beatrice opened her eyes to see Kahori standing in the hallway, concerned for her daughter’s wellbeing. “Is everything okay?”

“She just got a bit upset from the Ti….” Beatrice to explain, but was met with Kahori shushing her, as she waved her arms. In that moment, she understood what the mother was trying to convey to her as she simply nodded.

“Come on, Koyuki,” whispered her mother, gently removing her from Beatrice’s grasp. “It’s almost time for supper. We should let Beatrice get acclimatized.”

“Oh, I’m not complaining,” Beatrice spoke, pausing to look at the girl wiping away her tears. “I liked talking to her.”

Koyuki smiled brightly back at her as Beatrice did the same before opening her mouth once more with a declaration. “I think she’ll be my new best friend.”

The girl ran back to the new arrival and snatched her up with a hug of her as Kahori chuckled. “Now you’ll never get her off of you.”

Beatrice chuckled, thinking back to the two girls from her memory and how it correlated with Koyuki. She caressed her hair, whispering to herself, “She is my reason to see this new world.”


A Monday to Friday job.

Beatrice chuckled, pulling out the stalks from the paddy field. She turned around, wading slowly through the water her heavy duty boots navigated through, as she placed them on a cart. It wasn’t much or something she even preferred, but it was a wage. Something that allowed her to get her own place and to be able to live a life, even if Koyuki was devastated at first. But a daily visit was enough to remedy the situation.

It had only been a few months, but already she had seen the newfound town of Sannagi breathing new life ever since she first arrived. She hunched over once more towards the stalks and cut them with her sickle, going on to repeat the process of her job.

“Hey, Beatrice!” an enthusiastic voice called out, snapping her attention away from the crops.

She saw two of her coworkers holding baskets of rice, smiling at her. The one with longer black hair spoke up, “Don’t forget! You have plans with us tonight at the bar.”

“Doulina, it’s not like she has short term memory loss! She just doesn’t know where she came from!” hushed Naoko, elbowing her on the arm as she turned back to her coworker. “I’m so sorry about that! She can be a bit on the nose!”

“I just say how it is!” Doulina barked back, shoving her friend back slightly. The sound of her boots sticking to the mud underneath the body of water, eliciting her eyes to widen. Naoko gritted her fist, fuming at what her coworker just did.

“You jerk! I could have fallen and ruined my work clothes!” Naoko screeched out, slamming the basket against Doulina’s back. “And I know you don’t have the money to pay for it!”

“Ow! Ow!” Doulina yelped out, feeling the carrier hit against her body, with her feet struggling to move in the terrain to evade the strikes.

Beatrice chuckled at her friends’ antics, putting another round of stalks in the cart. She looked over at them and hollered out “I don’t know why you need me! The two of you should just get a room tonight!”


It was only for a brief moment, though.

The two women turned their heads as Beatrice simply couldn’t hold back her laughter as they immediately opened up their mouths and started barking out a wave of insults. A lot of it zoomed past her, but she caught a few bits here and there.

“We are not together!” the two screamed out.

Beatrice went down and cut off a few more stalks, still laughing at making her friends angry and flustered. “Great! See you both at seven!”

She threw the stalks in her cart and slowly wheeled it away as their high pitched voices followed behind her.

And all she could do was continue laughing.


“You should take up a hobby,” Doulina mouthed out, before grabbing her glass to take a sip out of.

“Hmm?” Beatrice murmured.

“Everytime I see you, it’s just work and then home unless you’re seeing Koyuki,” her friend pointed out, following it up with another drink.

“She can do what she wants!” Naoko spoke out, before turning to her co-worker. “Don’t listen to her, she’s just trying to push your buttons.”

“Oh, I know she is,” Beatrice chuckled, taking a sip from her reddish drink, before turning her attention towards her co-worker. “And I’ll bite. What are some things you had in mind?”

Doulina set her drink down, lifting her hand down as she began to list everything down, “Let’s see…. We got cooking, painting, musical instruments, crafting, and the nearby gun range.”

Naoko rolled her eyes, knowing full well what her friend was trying to convey, going down a certain list of skills she’s mentioned several times over. “Sounds like you’re trying to mooch off someone once more!”

“What can I say?” Doulina hummed out, shrugging her shoulders. “They’re highly desirable skills.”

Naoko chugged her whole drink down and slammed it onto the table, annoyed by her friend’s laziness. “Then learn them yourself!”

“Eh, too much work,” Doulina mouthed out, taking another drink from her beer.

Beatrice, on the other hand, chuckled. Their back and forth never ceased to amaze her, but Doulina did have a couple of good suggestions. “Perhaps some visits to the range are in order. I’ve been meaning to give that a shot.”

“Really?” Naoko groaned, shooting Beatrice an annoyed look.

“What, it sounds appealing!” Beatrice replied.

“No, the pun you just made,” Naoko pointed out, raising her arm upwards for the barmaid to bring her another drink. “That was terrible.”

“Perhaps I’ll craft something better in class,” Beatrice pointed out as Doulina burst out laughing, leaving a smile on Beatrice as she saw Naoko fuming.

“I should really hang out with these two more often.”


“Lost Girls, huh?” Beatrice read off the title of the book in the palm of her hand as she plopped down on the couch. “Guess I can read the first few chapters of this.”

She then lay on the couch, lifting the book above her, taking in the story the novel presented to her. From what the librarian had briefly described to her, it was three short stories. One about a member of the Military Police trying to find a missing woman. The second being about a young girl imagining what life would be like if she never lost her family. Then, the last, being about the two main characters discussing why they joined the military.

Their stories were oddly relatable. She couldn’t quite put it together, but she was engaged, deep into the novel. It was if someone wrote a story about her, or three in fact.

She examined every word, but two spoke out to her.

“Eve…..” Beatrice mouthed, placing her finger above the word, as her eyes darted over to another word that caught her interest. “Lilith….”

Her eyes welled up, as tears fell down onto the book, dampening the pages. She didn’t seem to notice as her stomach knotted up. She tightened her grip on the book, the mere mention of those names kept her from being unable to focus.

“Why am I so bothered by those names?”


Several memories zoomed past her like a bullet train. Two little girls ran together in a field, laughing as they shouted at each other. Then, another of an unseen figure sat at the dinner table with them as they smiled exactly like Koyuki did. Finally, the one that upset her the most was one of the two girls standing side by side with her as she wrapped her arms around them.

Beatrice, losing all control of herself, shouted out, as the tears were in full gear. Her hold on the book fell, dropping to the ground while she wailed out despite not knowing who those kids were. All she knew was that they meant a lot to her, and that was the worst thing about it all.

She sobbed for several more minutes, trying to uncover the mystery that currently plagued her, but it was of no use. All she continued to see were those memories playing on repeat. She hated seeing them, to feel such complete and utter despair, but she didn’t want them to leave her. Beatrice couldn’t explain it to herself, but at the same time, they brought her a sense of solace. It was until a loud noise was heard.


Beatrice slowly stirred herself out of her trance, lightly rubbing her eyes as another knock was heard. She turned her head around to see someone at her doorstep. Beatrice got up from the sofa and before she could ask who was at the door, an all too familiar voice made itself known.

“Beatrice! It’s me, Koyuki!” the outsider spoke out, hoping to get her friend to open the door as Beatrice smiled, wiping away the tears as the sadness she had just felt finally subsided.

A visit from her best friend was what she needed.


“This is so cool! You gotta see it!” Koyuki declared, excitement oozing out of her voice. She grabbed her friend’s hand and dragged her towards the center of the town.

Beatrice smirked, curiosity had peaked in her mind as she couldn’t help but be interested in what Koyuki was trying to show her. Her eyes darted around the little town she was being guided through, lightly biting her lip. She wasn’t exactly sure what there was to show, as Sannagi was still a growing town, with it reaching a thousand occupants just a few days ago.

Koyuki stopped in her tracks, as she let go of Beatrice’s hand. The red-headed woman lifted her right eyebrow in confusion, staring at the area still under construction. Flowerbeds were largely empty with only the soil on top while a few fence posts were put up, outlining the perimeter of it.

“While I’m very fond of seeing the end result, I’m not sure what exactly it is you want to show me.” Beatrice admitted, Koyuki slightly rolling her eyes.

“It’s nice, don’t get me wrong, but that’s not why I’m excited for it!” Koyuki replied, running towards the very center of the construction. Beatrice picked up her feet and slowly followed her, knowing full well it’s what she wanted her to see. “This! Right here!”

Koyuki pointed at the hardened concrete square at the very center as Beatrice eyed her, taking note of her huge grin. The biggest smile she had seen the twelve year old have. “I don’t recall the mayor saying anything about something being put here aside from a garden and a few benches.”

“We just got word!” Koyuki beamed, her entire body beginning to shake as she then started to bounce in joy, jumping to face her friend. “They’re gonna put a statue of Sannagi here!”

“That’s amazing.” Beatrice mouthed, smiling at her friend, now understanding why this was such a big deal for her. She spoke of her late brother with such a high regard for being an additional caretaker and doing whatever was necessary to take care of them. She even mentioned wanting to take after him by joining the Survey Corps when the time called.

“Right!? It’s about time he’s getting the recognition he deserves!” Koyuki declared, slamming her fist over her heart, mimicking the Scouts’ salute.

Beatrice smiled at the girl’s behavior, but deep down, resented the idea of the government allowing kids to join their army. Even if it did reform just months ago, she was appalled by their decision to still bring in children to fight an endless horde of monsters just because they were short on manpower.

“Being a Scout really means a lot to you, doesn’t it?” Beatrice inquired, stepping forward.

“Mhm,” Koyuki murmured, keeping her hand placed above her heart. “I can do a lot of good out there. Just think of what’s out there. Beyond the walls.”

Beatrice slightly nodded her head. She didn’t doubt Koyuki, she wanted to know what was out there herself, even if she felt like she knew parts of the answer. But, a child shouldn’t have to throw their life away for humanity to know it.

“What do your parents think about it?”

“Hmm?” Koyuki murmured, turning over as she let her hand drop.

“They’re okay with you joining the Survey Corp?” answered Beatrice.

“I haven’t….” Koyuki stammered, as Beatrice lifted an eyebrow. “I haven’t told them yet.”

“And you think they won’t let you.” Beatrice surmised as Koyuki nodded, brushing her hand against a nearby hedge.

“Do you think…. you can talk them into it?” Koyuki requested, turning her head back to her, eyes widening. “So I can enlist next year.”

“Me?” Beatrice questioned, taking a step back from what her friend was suggesting. “Why do you think they’ll listen to me?”

“They respect you. I’m pretty sure the whole town likes you,” Koyuki answered, turning back to face you. “You show up out of nowhere and immediately become a part of our community. Who would even imagine hating you?”

A wave of energy hit the woman at what the girl conveyed to her. Beatrice had her suspicions she was on good terms with everyone, but didn’t know their admiration for her was that high. It felt unearned when all she did was pull her own weight like everyone else did, but it felt good knowing that’s how everyone felt about her.

Yet, she still hated the idea of Koyuki joining the Survey Corp. Even if she was an adult, she’d still feel disgusted by it. Everytime Beatrice saw her, it felt like she was taking care of a child, her child, and seeing her wanting to run off into danger made her ill.

Beatrice sighed, knowing Koyuki won’t take “no” for an answer.

“Alright,” Beatrice spoke, pretending to relent to Koyuki’s request. “I’ll try talking to them about it the next time I see them.”

“Thank you!” Koyuki shouted out, snatching her friend up with a hug. “You’re the best!”

“Yeah,” Beatrice whispered, looking at the foundation of the statue, imagining the type of man Sannagi was. Hoping, if there was an afterlife and he was watching down on his little sister.

“If there is one, tell her and your other little siblings to never join.”


Haunted trees swayed in the billowing gale, with not a hint of moonlight shining upon these desolate lands. Dark clouds blanketed the high skies, shrouding the stars of the night in darkness. The earth dead and lifeless, with crumbled leaves abandoned to the wind. The fauna that had once thrived here had long abandoned their burrows and headed outward. The trees and brushes that once sunk their roots had withered and died.

Not a sound sang across this place of the dead.

Then, for the first time, it was disheveled by a bony cone, which drove itself into the mound of lifeless soil. From the bony armor, the flesh of the lithe reptile became apparent. Thin and lanky, the biped lizard shuffled its muzzle in the dirt hill, siphoning its hollow innards with its extendable tongue. Like an ant-eater devouring ants, the reptile scoured every last square inch of the nest, only pulling its head out when the insides were completely cleaned.

But as the Skullcrawler lifted its head and shrieked to the night skies, it still desired to consume more. And it was not alone.

Others like it rummaged and pillaged the barren wasteland, nestling their muzzles into the dead soil and unearthing nourishment from beneath. Clusters of eggs cracked under the tremendous weight of the foul reptiles, their gooey innards and yolk exposed to the harsh, cruel outside world. Their permeating stench made them quick and easy targets for the Skullcrawlers, the slobbering ghouls slurping the underdeveloped fetuses and albumen until nothing remained.

Their hypervoristic tendencies drove them to starvation, which could only be nourished with sustenance. But more than that was the anxiety pounding on their animalistic minds. Especially once the rumblings of large footfalls vibrated through them. Four giant Alphas of their species–the “four generals”–marched behind the diminutive swarm, barking and corralling the lounge into scouring the decayed forest. The higher intellect and experience of the generals ensured they didn’t succumb to the temptations of their smaller brethren, keeping stern and steady supervision over them.

Among the four, one of them noticed one of the smaller Skullcrawler’s inefficiencies, leaving behind remnants of yolk in the mound. The Alpha barked, garnering the fear-stricken attention of the reptilian fiend. In an instant, a whiplash tongue darted straight for the Skullcrawler, wrapping around the scrawny amphibian and pulling it into its mouth. Powerful jaws clamped down with its many jagged teeth until the calcified skull cracked, then proceeded to swallow the rest whole. As a show of display, the general went on to clean up the leftover bits, showing that nothing is to remain.

With a series of howls, the Alphas pushed their foot soldiers onward. Not a scrap to be spared. Not a bit to remain. No rest until the entire area was completely vacated.


Chapter 4: The Sheriff


Beatrice lifted her head upwards, moving her eye away from the scope and towards the target off in the distance. The target was of a scarecrow resembling a standard Wraith Titan, with corn syrup dripping from its drawn mouth. She observed the scarecrow, taking note of the bullet that decimated the top half of the target’s head.

“Woowee!” whistled Murai, the town’s blacksmith, as he stepped next to the shooter, observing the end result. “A bit more practice and you’ll be single handedly defending us from Titans!”

Beatrice smirked, pulling the mechanism back on the rifle, as she peered through the scope once more. “Just one little hit is all it takes.”


With the push of a trigger, another bullet shot out and crashed through the nape of the scarecrow, completely annihilating the remaining half of the bogey’s head. Beatrice moved her head away from the rifle and got up on her feet, facing the man whistling once more.

“Got anything else?” inquired Beatrice, brushing her hands off. She was satisfied with her skills handling a rifle, but something about it all felt missing. Almost as if she had used it before. However, what mattered more was being able to protect everyone in this town she’d grown to love.

Especially Koyuki.

“Hmm…..” Murai hummed, putting his hand on his chin while he tapped his head with his free hand. “Unless you’re interested in joining our hunting parties, you may have to wait until the batch of supplies from the Survey Corp.”

Beatrice gritted her teeth at the mere mention of the Survey Corp. She hated how they constantly asked for young recruits every time they delivered supplies to their settlement. Koyuki and a few others always bolted towards them, asking when and where they could sign up, but their parents, thankfully, had common sense and refused.

The locals filled her in on everything that transpired, even with several of their highest ranking officers being Titan themselves. Those people, her people, didn’t need to be slaughtered by those they were supposed to trust just so they could rid the monsters outside.

However, she couldn’t let her anger cloud her thoughts. Not at the moment when Murai cocked his head slightly, confused at her delayed response. Beatrice shook her head slightly, before chuckling.

“Perhaps I could put in a special requisition,” suggested Beatrice.

Murai laughed, pressing his hand against his stomach. “You could certainly do that, but they’ll take forever to fulfill it.” The blacksmith paused, wiping away the sweat off his face. “You’re better off running to Shiganshina for three days straight yourself.”

“Yipee….” Beatrice muttered.

She went to turn towards the wrecked scarecrow, planting her feet onto the range, intending to recover it for it to be repaired. Screams interrupted the process, forcing her to freeze in place just for a moment before springing into action, snatching the gun off the table.

“Woah!” Murai hollered out, raising his hands up at her. “Why are you grabbing the gun?”

“Round them up for everything they have! We’re not going home empty handed!” A gruff, loud masculine voice screeched out from the other side of the village.

“Ah, fair point,” the blacksmith murmured as Beatrice stepped past him, intending to investigate the situation ever further.

Before she continued on with her trek, she turned around to face Murai. “Head back to the armory and barricade it. Don’t let anyone in aside from the residents of our village, no matter what.”

“What if the Survey Cor…” Murai tried to reason, but Beatrice shot him a glare, forcing him to simply nod in compliance. He rubbed the back of his head as he watched her bolt off towards the source of the conflict.

Beatrice kept her breathing composed as she bolted towards the commotion, putting a bullet in her gun. Despite keeping herself calm, her heart was beating rapidly as if it was attempting to burst out of her chest and take on the intruders itself. Her thoughts raced, heartbeat matching the speed of her internal clock, ticking on how long before everyone she cared about could very well die.

It was then when she caught a glimpse of someone she didn’t recognize around the townsquare. She stopped in her tracks, readying to take aim, but noticed the person starting to turn towards her. Beatrice nearly bit her tongue, planning to take the shot here and there, but she heard another voice closeby.

“Any more stragglers for the takin’?”

“Shit!” Beatrice muttered, sidestepping behind a building, planting her back on the gray brick wall.

“A few likely remain unaccounted for, but we’ll find them,” the other relayed.

Beatrice poked her head out slightly, gaining a vantage point over the bandits. She lifted her rifle ever so slightly, knowing full well she could dispatch one of them with ease. However, she trembled slightly, before pulling back behind the structure.

She took a deep breath.

“But that’ll only endanger the others. Shit!”

Beatrice took a deep breath only to hear a whisper.


She snapped her over to the source of the noise and saw Koyuki huddling next to her. Beatrice’s eyes widened at her being out in a skirmish, but at the same time she breathed a sigh of relief, knowing she had full confirmation she was okay.

Beatrice almost let the rifle drop out of her hands as she snatched Koyuki in her arms, wrapping her up in a hug. The little girl nearly yelped, but kept her composure out of fear of them being discovered. Koyuki did return the gesture by wrapping her tiny arms around her friend’s figure.

“What are you doing out here!?” Beatrice nearly shrieked out, unwrapping her arms around the child as she then placed them on her shoulders.

“I tried to find help after my parents got me out of the house when the bandits showed up, but everyone was already taken!” Koyuki explained, fiddling her hands together almost nervously, as she didn’t want her best friend to be angry with her. “I only came out of hiding when I saw you running over here.”

Beatrice sighed.

She couldn’t remember if she had raised her voice at her despite it only being moments since they found each other. However, she saw in her eyes that the girl was already terrified at the situation before them and yelling would not help anything.

“You did good staying out of trouble, Koyuki,” Beatrice commended, rubbing her left shoulder. “I’ll save everyone here, but I need you to do something very important for me, okay?”

Koyuki nodded.

“I want you to run as fast as you can to the armory and tell Murai I sent you, okay? He’ll make sure you’re safe,” instructed Beatrice, standing back up.

“But…. but….” Koyuki stammered, feeling her entire body being washed over with anxiety over her friend’s wellbeing. “You could get hurt or die, and I don’t want to lose you!”

She breathed out once more, before smiling at the child. “It’ll be okay. They have never encountered a red head before, and we’re pretty scary.”

Koyuki cracked a smile before wrapping her friend up with one more hug. “You better make it back.”

“Always,” Beatrice mouthed, watching as the child ran as fast as she could to the distant armory.

She turned around to the staging ground ahead, pressing her body against the structure once more. Beatrice took a deep breath and lifted her rifle up, keeping her eyes on the bandits as they patrolled their stations.

Several scenarios played in her mind.

Like she thought of prior, she could take out one of them with the pull of a trigger, but that would only endanger the rest of the settlement. Beatrice lowered her rifle as she rubbed her forehead with two of her fingers.

Another scenario came to mind as she could sneak past the bandits and run into the belltower and ring the bell.

“It’s a solid idea. At least a couple of the bandits will run in and I dispatch them that way without my cover being blown, but….”

Beatrice’s mind raced with all of the scenarios that could play out, including that particular scenario itself. She groaned softly, annoyed at how any of these could theoretically play out.

“And yet, there’s a good chance it’ll take too long to get there and everyone will either be dead or dragged off to god knows where!”

She gritted her teeth as she slammed her back against the wall. Beatrice felt herself at a loss, knowing no matter what she did, someone could get hurt or even killed. Yet, she needed to do something, and fast.

Beatrice heard a light footstep in front of her. Her heart almost burst from her chest, but considering how she wasn’t killed nor being attacked, she felt at ease. “Like I told you, Koyuki, head to the armory and wait for me to return.”

“Oh hoho!” A loud, booming voice echoed out, forcing Beatrice to snap her eyes open to see a bald, burly man standing before, brandishing a knife. “Kicking down a door will do wonders for me, especially when there’s people too scared to help themselves!”


Beatrice turned her rifle towards the muscular bandit, but he was faster on the draw and held the gun downwards. With his free hand, he swiped the knife at Beatrice, slashing her across the cheek, eliciting a scream of pain. Blood poured from the fresh cut, forcing Beatrice’s hold on her gun to falter.

Before she could even recover, the bandit planted his large foot onto her stomach, pinning her onto the wall. Beatrice grunted as the bandit continued to laugh, “But first, I think I want a little fun with you.”

Beatrice hissed as she used her free hand and began striking her bulkier opponent, but all he did was laugh at her feeble strikes. She felt herself dropping her hand down, realizing it was of no use as her assailant continued to laugh at her throws.

“Dang!” the muscular man yelled out, raising Beatrice off the ground with his right hand. “I was really hoping you put up more of a fight, but I guess I shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. Not that I read of course.”

“Of course you don’t.”

“But I’ll have fun with you in other ways,” he pointed out, licking his lips as he raised the knife towards her stomach.

“And so I will,” Beatrice countered as her assailant raised an eyebrow, completely unsure of what she meant.


The gunshot echoed throughout the whole village, followed it up with a scream not belonging to a giant, fearsome warrior, but of a sniveling, disgusting baby. The gigantic bandit relinquished his hold on Beatrice as he collapsed on his back, clutching his now severed foot. Blood spurted out like a sprinkler, painting not only the gray wall, but squirting its ichor onto Beatrice’s face.

She didn’t flinch, as whether it was her vague memories of being in some sort of army that hardened her to such gruesome sights or something far more sinister influencing her consciousness. Yet, she didn’t pay much mind to it at first.

Shifting her eyes downward, she spotted the knife her attacker had dropped and snatched it up. Beatrice stepped forward to the crying bandit as she held the knife out in front him, catching his attention.

Realizing what she was about to do, he cried out in an attempt for salvation. “No! Please, no! I didn’t mean to! Please don’t!”

His cries fell on deaf ears.

She grabbed the back of his head, tightening her fingers onto it, almost crushing it with a feeling of newfound strength. Almost inhuman, even. The bandit screamed out as Beatrice found it to be music to her ears, something she never found appealing before, as something in the back of her mind sparked like a wildfire.

Reeling her arm backwards, she slammed the knife into the bandit’s left eye, earning one last scream before the entire blade erupted from the other side of his head. Beatrice then yanked the knife out of the corpse as she found herself giving into another command. One of pure sadistic nature, she struck the bandit’s face, denting it upon impact.

She smiled at her handiwork collapsing before her very eyes as the corpse landed on his back. Beatrice lifted the knife upwards, noticing the eye still hanging onto it; albeit barely. She flicked it almost nonchalantly, before holstering it.

“What the hell was that gunshot!?” one bandit screamed out as several footsteps were racing towards her.

“Let them come!”

“Aha! We found another one!” a distant voice roared out with pure excitement in her voice.

“Get your hands off me, you bastards!” an all too familiar voice retaliated, forcing Beatrice to freeze up.

“That voice.”

Then, as if her brain was completely being rebooted, snapped out of her previous mindset. Beatrice glanced down at the corpse below her before gagging at the realization of what happened.

“What the hell!?” Beatrice huffed, feeling her knees buckle under pressure. That sensation didn’t last long when she saw off in the distance, Koyuki being hauled off to the center of the town by two more raiders.

Her heart beat faster than ever as she raised her gun upwards. That rage, that sensation was still present in her as that voice she experienced just moments ago commanded her to partake in the killing, however, she felt herself more in control. She was fully aware of what was transpiring.

And it was time she saved the only person capable of saving her.

Reaching into her pocket, she pulled out a bullet and loaded it in her rifle.

Beatrice took a deep breath, peering through the scope as she tracked the bandit moving faster than she expected, with Koyuki slamming her hands against his chest. The bandit, while not as burly as the one she had killed just prior, was still an intimidating force to be reckoned with, and struck the child on the back of her head in an attempt to get her to cease her pitiful punches.

That rage, that feeling she had only felt just today was reigniting itself once more at the sight of her child being harmed. Her entire body trembled as the rifle shook in the palm of her hands. The focus on her aim became entirely unfocused as a voice manifested in her mind.

“Take control and slaughter the cattle.”

Beatrice gave into the command and charged forward, screaming to the high heavens at the bandit. Hearing the banshee-like scream, he only had enough time to turn his head around to discover the source before his head met the full force of the butt of her rifle.

Blood and teeth flew out of the man’s mouth, forcing him to lose his grip on the child as Koyuki let out a yelp. Beatrice, still having some clarity left in her mind, grabbed a hold of her child before gently planting her on the ground.

“Cover your ears.” Beatrice issued the command to the child as she quickly slammed her hands against her ears.

The red-head pointed the rifle at the recovering bandit and before he could even recover from the blow, she pulled the trigger. The bullet raced out of the chamber and struck the side of the man’s head. It flew out of his head, but not before turning his eyes into a gooey mess as it collided into them.

The raider couldn’t even usher a scream as he collapsed to the ground, dead on arrival. Beatrice turned around to Koyuki, knowing full well the second gunshot would only attract more of the raiders’ attention. She couldn’t escort the child back to the armory, not when the raiders could round up the remaining population. However, she couldn’t put her in harm’s way directly.

“Koyuki…..” Beatrice spoke gently, keeping her eye on the narrow entrance to the center of town.

“Ye….. yes?” Koyuki murmured, feeling her entire stomach turning to knots over witnessing the gruesome display along with nearly being kidnapped just moments ago.

“I need you to do everything I tell you to do, okay?” Beatrice asked, snatching up another bullet from her pocket and loading it in her firearm. “It’s really important to me.”

“Um…. okay…” Koyuki nearly stuttered out, grabbing on the article of her clothing.

“Good, you’re doing well so far,” Beatrice praised softly, keeping her eyes on the passage as she heard a couple of voices echoing through the corridor. “Just make sure you stay behind me.”

“I heard the gunshots over here!” a feminine voice shrieked out as the first of the bandits lunged out of the alleway only to be met with a bullet to the stomach. She immediately shrieked in pure agony as blood painted her white and brown shirt with a dark red. She tumbled over, clutching to her body while the other two bandits were distracted by the ambush; they didn’t notice their assailant loading another bullet in the chamber.


Another shell flew out, striking one of the distracted raiders in the heart, detonating upon impact. He tumbled on top of the wounded woman as she raced towards the last of the trio and bashed her rifle against his head. The resulting impact slammed his head into the brick wall, knocking him out in an instance.

Beatrice glanced over at the wounded woman, tears in her eyes as she was completely at her mercy. The fire in heart raged on like a great wildfire, pure hatred in her eyes, as she despised this group of people threatening her community. Especially Koyuki.

She glanced back at Koyuki standing at the entrance of the alleyway, watching Beatrice deal with the bandits. The voice she had heard just recently spoke again, ushering a command, to give into her those dark desires.

“Purify humanity of these pests. Save our society from this rebellion.”

Beatrice smirked slightly at what the voice was beckoning, agreeing to it to an extent. She turned over to Koyuki, wiping away the smile from her face. “Close your eyes and cover your ears.”

Still reeling from the encounter, Koyuki nodded her head in compliance. With her hand over her ears and her eyes closed, Beatrice turned back to the wounded woman, tears pouring out of her eyes, realizing what the red-head was about to do.

Beatrice reached into her pocket, counting the bullets she had left. Only three were felt with her reach. She leaned her rifle on the wall and raised her foot.

The raider attempted to scream out, but was met with the full force of Beatrice’s boot, cracking her nose open. She coughed up blood as ichor rushed out of her now broken nose while Beatrice stomped on the bandit’s face yet again, reducing it to a crater of bone and flesh.

Beatrice took a deep breath as the voice subsided and she regained some semblance of herself. She shivered at the sight she created and nearly hurled, but kept herself strong for Koyuki. However, she didn’t want the young girl to see the gruesome sight Beatrice created, and rushed over, telling her to keep her eyes closed as she navigated past the mangled corpse.

She planted herself on the wall and peered just out of the alleyway to the townsquare where she saw a good number of the residents being held hostage. The bandits were on high alert and a lower quantity than she expected, due to the amount she had already taken out. Still, it wasn’t something she could blindly rush in. Especially when Koyuki was still in danger.

“Koyuki, I’m gonna draw the bandits out, so I need you to stay here. It’ll be your best bet to stay safe,” Beatrice ordered softly, planting her hand on her shoulder.

“I will, just please be careful,” Koyuki murmured, wrapping her arms around her.

Beatrice ran her hand through the girl’s hair and smiled.

She turned around to observe the battlefield, detailing her attack plan to rescue everyone. Beatrice scanned the area to find the five bandits on high alert after the commotion she caused. Two of them kept their eyes peeled on just about every entrance while the other three aimed their weapons at the hostages.

The woman loaded a bullet in the chamber, realizing she’d only be able to take down one of them before the rest would dispatch the townsfolk. Beatrice breathed out, realizing there was no option to save them, she stepped out of the alley in pure view, alerting the raiders’ attention.

“You caught me!” Beatrice exclaimed, dropping her rifle down the ground, as she stood watch while three of them rushed over to her. They continued aiming their weapons, with the leader of the pack smirking at the sight before him.

“You are quite the beauty, you know that?” the bandit leader’s grizzled voice oozed out of his crusty lips.

Beatrice nearly recoiled her head in disgust at the balding man’s demeanor while taking note of his cracked skin.

“No wonder why he resorted to stealing; people would rather look at a Titan than him.”

He slowly approached her, limping ever so slightly from past encounters, or at the very least what she assumed was the case. Beatrice resisted the urge to roll her eyes, as their backstory or even present day lives didn’t matter to her. All she wanted was for them to be gone from her village and the people she loved.

And yet, that opportunity can still come around. The knife she had concealed earlier hadn’t been found yet. These raiders were truly incompetent, so much so, she couldn’t help but chuckle.

“Relishing the last of your life before we’re done with all of you?” the frail man inquired, running his cracking hand against her cheek. She nearly threw up in disgust, but kept her composure for the rest of the town. Beatrice glanced at them, all of them casting expressions of apprehension, however, she winked at them, letting them know it’ll be okay.

“In some form or another, yeah.” Beatrice answered, casting her captives a smile before launching her foot backwards and sending it careening into the leader’s stomach. The kick was powerful enough to send him flying several feet away.

Beatrice reached for the concealed blade and swung it directly across the raider’s neck on her left. Before the other raider could make a move for it, she rammed it directly into his stomach, dispatching him with ease. She quickly ducked and grabbed her gun, firing it off at the third bandit in the distance.

She went to reload, but a loud bang was heard, followed up by a huge explosion of flesh. Beatrice howled in agony at a bullet ripping through her shoulder with blood oozing out. This forced her to lose her grip on her rifle as steam slowly rose out of her gaping bullet wound.

Beatrice gritted her teeth, taking a step forward while she pressed her hand against the wound, keeping pressure on it. The bandit looked her dead in the eye as he realized she was still standing and had the wrathful look of a god in her eyes. She let out a banshee-like scream, ripping the knife from her holster and throwing it with such a mass amount of hatred, that the blade dug directly into the bandit’s head. The knife nearly ripped the man’s head in half as he simply dropped to the ground. Everyone gasped at the display before them while Beatrice turned to the leader of the group. He was the last of the group that harmed them and he needed to pay.

Beatrice stormed towards the raider she had just killed and picked up the gun. She felt the rush of adrenaline in her as shoved the barrel of the gun directly at the now panicking man’s head. His cries of agony and sorrow were ignored by her as she stared at him blankly, not feeling an ounce of remorse at what she was about to do.

She did, however, glance back at the rest of her kin only muttering a few words to them.

“Look away.”

With no hesitation, they all turned as Beatrice pressed the trigger.


The last of the raiders dropped to the ground as she soon followed suit by dropping the firearm. Beatrice, realizing the danger had subsided, allowed herself to breathe for a moment, to rest. Then, it dawned on her.

“The bullet wound!”

She snapped her head to her shoulder wound, expecting it to be covered in blood and for her to pass out shortly, but to her surprise, nothing. Only a part of her shirt was ripped from it along with her still feeling completely energetic, as if these past few minutes never happened.

“What in the hell?” Beatrice murmured to herself when she then heard the crowd erupting cheerfully.

“Beatrice is a hero!” one person screamed out joyfully.

“Yeah! A hero who is willing to do what is necessary!” another chimed in, striking her fist upwards.

Several of the townsfolk began to congregate around her, talking nonstop about the heroic deed she committed. Beatrice nervously chuckled, feeling herself more overwhelmed than dealing with the bandits. She never was one for crowds.

“Beatrice!” Koyuki screamed out from the back of the crowd, gaining a glimpse of her friend.

“Koyuki!” Beatrice hollered back, lightly pushing away the other townsfolk to reach her daughter. She wrapped her arms around the little girl, embracing her with all of her might, relieved to see she was in one piece.

“Um…. excuse me, Beatrice,” the calm, collected voice of the mayor spoke, causing Beatrice to turn around and to smile back at the older, broader man. “A moment?”

“Of course, Connor.”

The mayor’s voice became slightly timid, knowing full well this question could be perceived as insensitive, but he had to know. “I know this is sudden and your mind is completely racing, so understandable if you say ‘no,’ but would you be our sheriff?”

Beatrice’s heart nearly sank at the question, feeling completely blindsided by the question. She wasn’t opposed to the question, but never thought she could obtain a position like this. Especially with how she dispatched the raiders.

She took a step forward. “You sure you want me as the sheriff? I didn’t really solve this in the best way.”

“A few people like myself will be shaken up for a while, but what matters is you protected this town when no one else could, and I can’t think of a better person,” Connor explained, smiling ever so slightly from the deed committed.

“I… well…” Beatrice nearly stammered as Koyuki stepped up, playfully punching her on the shoulder.

“Come on, Beatrice! You’d make an excellent sheriff and hey! Maybe in a few years, I can be your deputy! It’d be good practice for me before I join the Scouts!”

“Shit. She’s still on about that.”

“Of course, you can be my deputy!” Beatrice playfully spoke up, rubbing her hand through the girl’s hair, eliciting a giggle from the girl.

“Then you’ll do it?” Connor asked.

“Where do I sign?” Beatrice asked, affirming her intentions to become the town’s guardian as the crowd erupted cheerfully.

Beatrice’s smile then turned to a frown, with her mind beelining back to her healed wound. She rubbed the patch of skin where she’d been shot, feeling as soft as it ever was. Beatrice tightened her fist slightly, baffled at what was going on with her body.

“But first, I need to figure this out.”


Chapter 5: The Memory

Sleepless eyes squinted open to their surroundings, the view not being the bed she found herself asleep in. Rather, she quickly realized she woke up standing, walking–moving not of her own volition. The space was nearly pitch black, but it was clearly the innards of an abandoned structure. Within the dark tunnel, she–or perhaps whoever was in charge–stopped in front of an iron door protected by armed men, although she couldn’t distinguish their features in the darkness. Placing their right fist clenched and over their hearts, the soldiers saluted.

“Where am I? What is this place?”

Her mouth moved, issuing authority over the guards, but Beatrice couldn’t make out a single word of what they were saying. The doors skidded open, revealing a cylindrical room with a beam of light shining down from above. In it were more men in uniforms unfamiliar to her, their armbands embroidered with a unicorn-like insignia. Her steps were taken with a firm and confident stride, descending around the spiral staircase to the bottom.

The limelight shone upon that of a young man, chained and strapped, hanging over the edge of a contraption her eyes couldn’t fully comprehend. But it seemed to keep the boy restrained, unable to move. Beatrice felt her mouth ramble from the host, but her mind refused to listen. “Come on, push!” She forced her will, trying to force her body to move. She felt herself budge, but it seemed it did nothing to deter the body from obeying her will.

Another voice dominated her mind. “Let’s see if these rats show themselves. This is too good of an opportunity for them not to.”

Beatrice was taken aback. “Who is this?”She waited for a response, only for none to be given. ”Answer me, dammit! Who are you?!” Once again, no response. The droll from the host continued pouring, questioning the myriad of individuals around them. ”Is this… an interrogation? For what?” Beatrice could only conclude it had something to do with the boy hanging above them.

Words flew across the strange room, but Beatrice put her mind to something else. She pushed more and more, trying to force her body to move under her command. It refused to move, yet it felt like she could detach her perspective from the host’s. Almost as if pushing against a brick wall, Beatrice felt herself molt from the body that dictated her every move. The more she persisted, the more of the host she saw; it wasn’t herself at all, rather that of a man. An elder too, if only from the white buzzcut that graced his aged head. With enough strength, she flung from his person and onto the dirt floor, at last free from the constraints of the body that imprisoned her.

But even though she was no longer a part of him, it became apparent not a soul around her acknowledged her presence. “Is this… A dream? Or something else?” Her confusion led into curiosity, finally able to move freely and of her own accord. “Hey! What’s going on here?” She shouted, her words echoing in the vacant space. But no one even took a glance at her. Part of her wished someone would just pretend to notice her. If this was more than a dream, then perhaps it was best to focus.

She concentrated, trying to focus on the situation. People she didn’t recognize were proposing an argument for the boy’s usefulness. More specifically, the soldier with blonde hair stood between the chained boy, the elder man, and several dozen barrels pointed right at them.

“Supervisor Kubal, please!” the blonde soldier pleaded, “Eren can be a beneficial asset to all of humanity! I’m sure we can make use of his Titan power to aid in the Wall Restoration efforts!”

“Titan power…?” Beatrice thought, those words stinging her soul.

“Cadet, I can understand your reasoning,” the elder man, who was called Kubal, responded with an air of authoritative assurance “However, there is something you must realize.” As he paused, a thought swirled in Beatrice’s mind, recalling a memory that didn’t belong to her. A time where Kubal questioned the cadet about the world they lived in, if he loved the world or not.

“I love this world,” Kubal said, reiterating his words to the cadet. “And it is within the responsibility of the Military Police and the Survey Corps to ensure peace in the walls. Are you telling me that this… Creature, has a place in this world?”

The cadet lingered on those words, carefully trying to choose his next words. “I’ve given my full heart and soul to the mission. Eren’s saved lives, including what we found in the nape. If it means I am executed, then so be it.”

The shackled one known as Eren stirred to life. “Armin!” he cried out.

“You’re an admirable one, Armin, but in your genius, you lack the perspective of what’s truly going on here.” Kubal’s thoughts swirled with Beatrice’s own; even though she had separated from him, it was beyond clear that these were his thoughts.

“Pragmatic utility is a good trait in a soldier. But we must never forget that Cadet Misaki may never walk again due to him. I wonder if death would’ve been more merciful? And even if this accident did save precious lives…” He paused, eyeing Eren closely. “A bad sprout must be plucked before it grows.” Kubal affirmed with utmost certainty.

That comment ignited something in Eren. His relative composure was lost as he racketed from his constraints, glaring at Kubal with burning fire in his eyes.

“Damn you, you fucking bastard!” Eren boomed in righteous fury. “You don’t have the guts to give me a chance!”

Kubal smirked at Eren’s feeble comment. “Now you show your true colors.”

“I’ve always felt powerless because I was born inside the walls!” His seething rage permeated his thoughts and voice. He took a breath, trying to dilute his outburst. “I’ve finally found something I can do. So please…” he struggled against the restraints, begging for a chance. “Don’t stop me! I beg you!” Those words bore their way into Beatrice’s soul. His rage, his desperation, all struck a chord with her.

“Then tell me this, Cadet Yeager,” Kubal issued, “Are you a human? Or a Titan?”

Beatirce scowled at Kubal. “What kind of question is that? Why would you even suggest such a thing!”

Almost as if responding to her thoughts, Eren shouted, “I’m human!” A stagnant pause filled the room. But only one uttered a response…

“What a shame…” Kubal said. With a quick gesture of his hunting crop, the other soldiers took aim with their rifles. Then the sudden ring of gunfire sounded, forcing Beatrice to cover her ears as she fell to the ground. Even if no one noticed her, it felt all too real for her. But just as quickly as it started, it was over. Uncovering her eyes, Beatrice saw that Eren was still alive; that the blonde cadet remained untouched. Instead, what instead happened were fresh corpses strewn across the dirty concrete floor, bleeding to death.

“What just… happened?” Beatrice stood wide-eyed at the blossoming situation. Three men were confirmed dead, with others that followed Kubal’s orders likewise either injured or dying from the shootout. But among the dead men, only one of them caught her attention–if only because the others recognized him.

“Mr. Souda!” Armin shouted, taking Eren and everyone else aback. It seemed they shared a special relationship with the man known as Souda. All except for Kubal, who seemed more than delighted at the turn of events. “I knew the rats would come crawling.” his thoughts intermingled with Beatrice’s.

“I must thank everyone here for their cooperation,” Kubal gestured. “The government has been aware of ‘rebellious elements’ to stage a coup de grâce for quite some time. We’ve also been given reports that this ‘rebellious element’ has been testing human-Titan experiments for quite some time…” Beatrice knew the words he uttered were fabrications, a twisted string of words to concote a false truth. But without having lived it from his perspective, she could never fully discern what parts were the lies or what parts were truthful.

She disassociated from the surrounding situation, allowing the ramblings of the mad dictator and those that stood against him flow as the strange, dream-like memory recalled. It wasn’t until a sharp pain shot into Beatrice that she saw another figure; a ranking officer with black hair and facial hair came to mind. “Who in the world is…” Beatrice thought, until the roof above them began to quake, in which the image of the mystery man became clearer.

As the roof came tumbling down, one last thought entered Kubal’s mind. “Son of a bitch… It was you the entire time, wasn’t it, Captain Shikishima?” Both Beatrice and Kubal looked up, seeing the large piece of the roof falling right towards them. The last glimpse Beatrice saw was nothing short of terrifying; a Titan covered with alabaster armor. A fearsome demon born from the depths of the human soul.

And before she knew it, they were both crushed under its tremendous weight.

She jolted up with raspy breath, her mind spinning in place. Drenched in sweat, Beatrice struggled to move with focus. She was dehydrated, and was in desperate need of water. Nevertheless, she forced herself out of bed, stumbling through the bedroom and into the hallway. Her vision was blurry at best, her movement awkward and imbalanced as she rushed to the bathroom sink. Turning the water on, she took gulps of water to quench her thirst and proceeded to take deep breaths to regain her focus. She sat on the floor, letting her nerves settle from the ordeal.

A couple of minutes passed before a quiet knock caught her attention. “Is everything okay?” spoke the whispers of a young girl she knew all too well.

“Yeah,” Beatrice said apprehensively, “Everything’s okay now.” She slowly got herself back to her feet, opening the door to see Koyuki standing there. “I’m sorry, I just… had a nightmare. Guess those bandits from yesterday took more of a toll on me than I thought, huh?” Beatrice put on a smile, if only for Koyuki’s sake. But she knew the young girl still felt off about the matter. “I’m sorry, didn’t mean to wake you up.” Beatrice went in for a hug, and Koyuki held her tight in response. “Let’s go back to bed, okay?”

Koyuki nodded, parting their ways as they returned to the comfort of their beds. Beatrice laid down, but her mind couldn’t help but fixate on the people she saw in the dream. “Kubal… Eren… Shikishima… Who are you people?” she mouthed aloud. But the more she focused, the more it began to wear on her. And eventually, she fell asleep until the dawn of the following day.


How much desolation laid in ruin, the dead trees uprooted from their foundations as the devil beasts stalked the land. Ghoulish screams echoed in desperation, seeking to purge the land of every morsel they could consume. The nests that once weeded the land were expunged, leaving not a scrap behind beyond empty shells in their wake. Galling growls riled among the swarm, eyeing each other in a desperate need to feed.

Suddenly, they jerked from the distant pops and crackles of an unknown signature. The multitude swerved their heads trying to pin the source of the cacophonous racket. It wasn’t until the sparkles that lit the night sky directed their eyes to the gathering off in the distance.

A bark from one of the generals kept their impatience in place, who surveyed the ruckus. The giant Skullcrawler’s eyes scanned the bursting lights and many structures, some similar to those found on Skull Island. It was enough to inform them of the presence of humans. With another bark, the giant called the other generals, their ensuing vocalizations keeping the smaller Skullcrawlers tense with the final verdict.

They snapped at each other, arguing the ramifications of moving recklessly. But a fact remained undisputed among their bickering–humans were here, where they did not belong. Their quarreling died down, they hissed their final issue.

To celebrate! To feast!

Snapping towards the source of the noise, the throng stumbled through the forestry, their insatiable hunger propelling them forth–for a chance to dine upon human flesh.


Chapter 6: The Harvest Festival

Fireworks shot off into the sky.

Blue, green, red, purple, and so many other colors blanketed the night sky while people celebrated. Sannagi was livelier than ever and it was all thanks to the Harvest Festival. The hunters of the town brought in a record amount of animals along with the farmers producing an outstanding amount of produce. Enough to not only feed the town for several months over, but to even make profit by exporting to other settlements.

The inhabitants of Sannagi had so many plans for their quaint little town and were eager to praise each other all night long for their success. Their screams of joy could be heard from kilometers away and the lights they hung up illuminated the town like a beacon for all to observe.

Eyes blinked as they peered through the wilderness, seeing the bright lights across from it. It closed its eyes for just a moment before it adjusted to the brightness. It wasn’t a foreigner to such contraptions, it had witnessed similar types of devices as it felt itself entrapped in a metallic like dome. Nothing, but those bright, harsh rays blasting its eyes.

It growled at the thought of being locked away in that room again, but these lights evoked a different type of feeling. One full of desire, knowing full well there will be plenty of creatures to feast upon.

It hissed yet again, acknowledging that it had to share with its kin as it let out a small roar, alerting the others to its position. Despite having to split the meal, the Skullcrawler licked his lips as saliva dripped from its maw, eagerly awaiting to sink its teeth into something that would sate its hunger.

The Skullcrawler growled, taking its first step out of the wilderness and towards the lively settlement before it.

Beatrice folded her arms together, admiring the multicolored lights strung up throughout the whole town, contrasting with the town’s yearlong yellowish lights. Everyone in the town had really outdone themselves for this celebration. She glanced over to see Doulina and Naoko operating a stand consisting of their supposed mouthwatering omelets.

“I suppose that is an order, since they’ve been begging me to try them out since last week.”

The Sheriff chuckled before, taking a seat on a nearby bench just underneath a blowup glowing cow. Beatrice remembered playfully rolling her eyes at the display when she cautioned a horse would be far more appealing to the eye, but nonetheless, relented. She couldn’t help but chuckle in response to a couple of kids pointing up at it and laughing as their mother snapped a picture of it with her polaroid camera.

“I guess I was wrong,” Beatrice mouthed out.

“Wrong about what?” Koyuki chimed in, taking her seat next to her best friend as she held an ice cream cone in her hand.

Beatrice pointed up at the cow above them. “Moo.”

“You mean Moofred?” Koyuki spoke between bites of her snack.

The Sheriff raised an eyebrow at the name delivered to her, as she let out a sigh, “Moofred?”

“Moofred!” Koyuki exclaimed happily.

“Uh….. why Moofred?” inquired Beatrice, taking another look up at the smiling cow before glancing back at her friend.

“Because he reminded us of a cow who mooed constantly,” reasoned Koyuki, taking another bite from her ice cream. “And Nobu is the one who came up with it, so don’t blame me if you rally the town against it.”

Beatrice chuckled at the girl’s deflection at the explanation for the silly name. “Of course.”

“And you can do better?” Koyuki questioned, staring at her almost as if she were glaring at her.

The idea came to her in an instance.

“Moolisa,” Beatrice declared, smiling at the equally silly name as Koyuki continued to glare at her.

“That was terrible.”

“I know,” Beatrice concurred before following it up with a laugh as the girl soon joined in at their playful argument over a blow up animal. “Besides, there’s plenty to do and I don’t want to spend the night with Moofred.”

“Game of Skill!” Koyuki beamed brightly, forming her fists tightly, almost breaking apart her ice cream cone.

“The one Murai’s running?” Beatrice inquired, nearly cocking her head at game, feeling apprehensive about her handling a gun, but sighed nonetheless. She knew this was a better time than any, as she could at least supervise her directly and disguise the teaching experience as a game.

“Mhm….” Koyuki murmured, throwing away the cone and wiping her hands off with a napkin.

“Okay, let’s get you trained!” Beatrice announced, jumping up from the bench and headed towards the game booth.

Murai turned around to see Beatrice standing across from him with the counter in between them, as he smiled at the friendly face before him. “Care to give the target practice a shot?”

Beatrice chuckled at her friend’s silly pun even if it did make her cringe slightly. However, his friendly nature and knowledge on crafting everything the town needed was enough to make her fond of his presence. However, now was not the time to pursue something like that with him or anyone. There was a lot she needed to figure out about herself, her past, and most of all, talking Koyuki out of joining the Survey Corp.

“Not now, at least for the moment,” Beatrice spoke, motioning towards Koyuki who barely stood above the counter as Murai raised an eyebrow at the woman, completely unsure about allowing her to partake in the game, involving real ammunition. “It’s okay, I’ll be with her the whole time.”

“As you say,” Murai trailed off slightly as he set up the targets and handed the rifle to Beatrice.

Koyuki smiled at her as she was about to handle a gun for the very first time, but Beatrice’s face painted another story. “Before I hand this off to you, there’s a few things you need to follow, okay?” Beatrice spoke almost like an authority figure, a voice she never once saw used on her.

The little girl nodded as Beatrice started off.

“First, make sure you always point down range before you shoot. Never point a gun at anyone even if there’s nothing in it, got it?” Beatrice relayed as Koyuki shook her head up and down.

“Second, if there’s a problem with the gun, never look through the barrel. You get me or Murai to help you. It doesn’t matter what we’re doing, you get us right away,” continued Beatrice, pointing at every function of the rifle.

“Third, when you’re about to shoot, make sure no one is in range as it will kill them.”

“Mhm….” Koyuki murmured, slowly taking the rifle from Beatrice. Her grip nearly faltered from the unexpected weight of the rifle, but the Sheriff gently placed her hands on the rifle, allowing Koyuki to gain a better grip of it.

“Got it?” Beatrice asked as Koyuki grinned at her, maintaining her grip on the weapon.

“You bet!”

“Good, now set up your shot,” instructed Beatrice, taking pride in the child doing exactly as she said. Koyuki aimed her rifle at the target and rested her finger on the trigger.

Then, in a second, she shot.


A bullet shattered the upper left portion of the target, but Koyuki couldn’t celebrate as the pushback sent her tiny body flying. Before she could scream, Beatrice grabbed a hold of her.

Murai whistled, “Wow wee!” He then grabbed a hold of the rifle while he examined the target once again. “For that being your first shot, that was pretty good!”

Beatrice chuckled as Koyuki regained her bearings, observing her handiwork to see the target partially destroyed. She grumbled at not destroying the target, vocalizing her disdain. “That should have shattered! I aimed right at it!”

“Another thing to remember,” Beatrice chimed in, setting her back up on her feet, as she looked at her. “Just because you have your aim down, doesn’t mean you’ll always get the results you want. Whether the gun jams or your target has something up their sleeve.”

“I’ll be sure that it won’t happen!” Koyuki declared, clamoring her hands towards the gun, wanting to give it another try while Beatrice focused on reloading it.

Beatrice inserted the bullet into the chamber while she took note of her behavior. She admired the girl’s enthusiasm, but at the same time, with all that has happened to her, she was worried at what she could end up doing in the future. If she did join the Scouts, it’s not what she would do to the Titans that worried her, it’s what she could potentially do to others or even herself if she continued pursuing her goal in eradicating the Titans.

The Sheriff gave a small sigh, knowing that time will be inevitable, but at the very least, she could continue providing proper training with a firearm. Beatrice went to hand the rifle to the still excited Koyuki, but a loud scream gave her pause.

Beatrice snapped her attention towards the source of the scream only for it to be followed by a monstrous rumble, as its vocal cords rattled with its cries. She ran into the main pathway in the town to find bricks thrown across the stony street as a large two-legged reptile leapt into the area.

Her eyes widened at the monstrosity before her as she witnessed a man running away from it, but he was quickly snatched away from the monster’s whip-like tongue. The lengthy piece of tissue wrapped around the doomed citizen and dragged it towards its maw. Beatrice, almost acting upon instinct, raised her rifle upwards and fired. The bullet shot through the tongue, as blood seeped out of it, but it was enough. The civilian was pulled into its maw and was shredded into pieces by the reptile’s razor sharp teeth.

Her heart sank at her failure to save a life, as the Skullcrawler turned its attention towards her. Beatrice loaded another round into her gun and aimed it while she fired off it, striking it in the creature’s right eye, eliciting a pained scream from it. The resulting impact forced it to stall as Beatrice scanned the area, taking note of several others fleeing.

It was then she saw several more of the grayish-white creatures arriving into the settlement. The smaller ones leapt onto the buildings, observing the layout of the town, figuring out where exactly they could leap down to devour their meals. All the while three larger ones, similar in height as the one she just shot, circled the entire village, waiting for their moment to strike.

A peculiar thought occurred to Beatrice as she reloaded, taking note of the larger members of the invaders. They could have struck at any second and devoured anyone in their way in an instance, but they didn’t. It was then when she realized, the smaller ones were chasing them into the mouths of the giants!

“Doulina!” Beatrice heard Naoko scream out in pure horror.

“No! Please no!”

Beatrice ran towards the commotion as fast as she could, pushing herself past her normal limit. She couldn’t bear to see anyone she cared about die, much less be harmed. The Sheriff arrived to see one of the smaller Skullcrawlers on top of her friend as Naoko ran towards it with a frying pan. Beatrice saw how desperate her friend was, but shrieked out “Naoko!”

She stumbled upon hearing her name, forcing herself to trip while Beatrice fired her rifle, striking the animal in its tiny head, detonating upon impact. The Skullcrawler’s body collapsed on Doulina as she let out a cry for help, waving her arm towards Beatrice.

Beatrice set her rifle down and began lifting the Skullcrawler off of her, but she struggled. Naoko slowly got up and inched her way towards Beatrice, assisting the Sheriff in removing the tiny yet still heavy beast off of their friend. Doulina was covered in gashes, her right arm was sliced open with blood gushing out while her left foot was ripped off from the creature’s powerful teeth.

“Naoko….. Beatrice…..” Doulina quietly mouthed, barely keeping herself conscious.

Naoko, with tears shedding heavily, held her tightly. “Doulina, please stay awake! We’ll get you all the help you need!”

“Beatrice!” Murai screamed out, eliciting a quick head turn from her as she saw him pointing a gun towards her. A moment of pure shock came to her from her good friend pointing the firearm at her, but it was washed away when he hollered out, “Get down!”

The gun fired and struck the head of another Skullcrawler, as its body flew past them and crashed directly in front of Murai. Beatrice breathed and held Doulina on one side while Naoko supported her from the other side.

“Thanks,” Beatrice breathed, trying to keep her cool. “I appreciate it.”

“Connor is evacuating everyone to the bunker,” Murai relayed, as he scanned the area. “We need to move before it closes down.

The four started to move as Beatrice nearly stopped in her tracks, almost forgetting someone. “Koyuki!? Where is she?” she blurted out, her eyes widening in pure horror at the thought of these monsters devouring her.

“I already sent her and her family to the shelter, they’ll be fine!” the blacksmith answered, firing another round at a Skullcrawler running alongside them on the roofs above them. The shot didn’t kill it, but simply grazed it, forcing it off its feet for just a second.

The beast let out another roar as it reared its skeletal head back at them, licking its lips. It got ready to pounce on them, but snapped its attention across the street to see a woman on top of a roof. She screamed out in pure horror at the Skullcrawler looking at her dead in the eye as it leapt across the building, ignoring Beatrice and the others. The creature snatched the poor woman up, devouring her in an instance.

Beatrice felt sick to her stomach, feeling relief that the Skullcrawler ignored them, but at the cost of someone losing their life over it.

“God fucking dammit!”

They moved as fast as they could as several screams were heard throughout the village. The bunker was in plain sight as they wanted to sigh in relief, but even if they could, their nightmare was only just beginning.

Connor peered his head from out of the bunker and saw them running towards them. He waved his arm out towards them, screaming out at the top of his lungs, “Come on! Hurry!”

They picked up the pace as fast as they could, reaching the bunker. Beatrice and Naoko nearly relinquished their grasp on Doulina towards Connor, but a Skullcrawler leapt on top of the bunker and slammed its long, narrow jaws down on Connor’s head, ripping it off like a band-aid. Blood spurted out like a fountain before the Skullcrawler grabbed a hold of the body and gobbled it down.

They couldn’t scream or even process the mayor’s death. As much as they hated it, they took the advantage to bolt into the bunker. Beatrice was the last one in and sealed it as best as she could. Screams were still heard while the Skullcrawlers roared with delight as the sounds of teeth ripping into flesh could be heard, forcing Beatrice’s heart to continue racing.

“I’m supposed to protect these people! And all I can do is sit, watching whoever made it here! Son of a bitch!”

Her heart continued to beat a mile a minute, her arms shook while her eyes stared intensely at the massive door in front of her. They were safe, but for how long?


Chapter 7: It All Comes Crashing Down

The bunker that was redesigned from the old church was far from ideal, but bought them time on what they could do no next. The Skullcrawlers screamed outside of the walls, their wails felt like they were right next to them. Their massive feet could be heard scratching against the walls while pieces of wood chipped off in the inside.

Beatrice gripped her teeth while she clutched her rifle, pointing it at the front door. Just moments before every able body inside the bunker moved pieces of furniture and barricaded the place to the best of their ability. She let out a huff, sitting on one of the few benches left, yet keeping her aim on the entrance.

“A moment, Beatrice?” Murai’s voice softly came in, stirring her attention away from the door.

“What’s the situation?” inquired Beatrice, pinching the bridge of her nose, anxious at the impending news about to be delivered to her.

“Good news is, we got the bleeding for Doulina to stop and she’s stable,” Murai relayed, eliciting a huge sigh of relief from Beatrice. “However, the bunker isn’t going to last, several of the rooms aren’t going to hold out much longer.”

“Amazing,” muttered Beatrice, lowering the firearm to her lap, allowing her arms to rest for a few seconds. “How are the others holding up?”

“Naoko is…..” Murai paused, trying to find the right word to describe her without insulting his friend.

“Hysterical?” Beatrice interjected, rubbing the side of her head.

“Yeah….” Murai spoke, almost chuckling, but stopped himself, continuing with his friend’s question. “The Kasshokus are sticking together as any family should, trying to keep the place from falling apart, except for Koyuki.”

The Sheriff’s eyes widened, tightening her hold on her rifle once more, expecting danger to befall on her friend. She nearly jumped up from her seat when Murai hushed out, “Woah! Woah! Easy!” He placed his hands on her shoulders, sitting her back down, “It’s okay. She actually found something that could help us.”

“If it’s not a giant missile or a doorway to the inner cities, then I’m not sure what good it’ll do,” Beatrice huffed, feeling immense guilt at discrediting Koyuki’s discovery, but knew she had to be practical. These creatures were unlike anything she had ever discovered and with the town only able to down a few of the little ones, they were beyond saving.

“I concur that it’s not ideal, but it’ll give us a chance to live,” relayed Murai.

“And that is?”

Murai cleared his throat, preparing to give the Sherif a history lesson. “Back when this place was just a church on the outskirts, there was an underground passageway that would lead outside of Sannagi and towards the inner cities.”

Beatrice chuckled at the information delivered to her, thinking it was simply too good to be true. “Any basis on it actually leading there?”

“No,” Murai paused, before resuming, his voice starting to tremble ever so slightly. “But what choice do we have? We’re about to be ripped to shreds, so I’d say we may as well test the Church of the Wall’s passage.”

The Sheriff nearly reared her head back at the mention of the name, disturbed yet thinking the name was beyond silly for a religion. “The Walls?”

“Back before you arrived, the Church of the Walls held a lot of power, believing the walls were sacred,” Murai explained, almost shuddering in fear, as if a memory was seeping back to him. “Look, what I can tell you is a lot of people disappeared because of that organization.”

Beatrice shook her head, disgusted at how a religious organization held so much power, but what really troubled her is what they did to Murai. He seemed disturbed at having to mention them to her, however, he seemed more committed to using one of their assets to keep everyone alive.

She planted her hand on his shoulder and murmured, “I’m sorry.”

“Yeah,” Murai breathed out, keeping himself composed.

There was one other thing that plagued Beatrice’s mind, feeling tempted to ask, between the Skullcrawler assault and her friend on the verge of breaking down, she knew it wasn’t the time to ask.

“Is that why Sannagi was the first town of this outreach program? Because there was a foundation already in place here? What the hell is the Survey Corps’ angle? They have a lot to answer for if we make it out of this.”


Beatrice snapped out of her thoughts and raced out of the main area into a storage room where the source of the noise was. A Skullcrawler’s head poked through the wall, screeching in high volume as it saw both Beatrice and Murai. Its belly rumbled, desiring to sate its never ending hunger.

The primeval devil slammed its right arm through the wall, allowing it to gain footing inside of the building. However, it couldn’t wait as it needed to sink its teeth into them. It launched its whip-like tongue at them, but Beatrice was faster on the draw. She fired her rifle as a bullet careened into its tongue, severing it in half before hitting it dead center in the head.

The creature’s body went limp as its head sank down while blood poured down on the floor. The vile smell forced the two of them to hold their noses while they backed away. The citizens of Sannagi inspected how they could further reinforce the room, but such a plan could not be enacted.

Screams echoed throughout the whole building as the sound of wood snapped. The roars of the devils shrieked out in pure delight as they smashed through the glass, moving their eyes rapidly in search of the cattle.

One Skullcrawler shot a glare at the Doulina and Naoko, reeling its head back as it roared out. Naoko screamed as she grabbed her injured friend, yanking her off of the couch she was resting on, eliciting a pained yelp from her vocal cords.

The ravenous predator dug its claws into the wooden floor, preparing itself to pounce on the two as it let out another yelp. It opened its mouth and leapt off the floor, launching itself at them, but unleashed a pained scream as its right foot was blown to pieces. The resulting impact sent the Skullcrawler crashing through a wall and into the next room.

“Everyone, follow Murai!” Beatrice screamed aloud, firing another round at a nearby Skullcrawler, temporarily stunning it. The devil shook his head as it turned its attention back towards its attacker, but they were quicker on the draw. A bullet from the chamber careened through a portion of its jaw, instantly dislocating it. The Skullcrawler let out a gurgled cry as Murai stepped in and fired another shot into the throat of the gluttonous beast.

Blood spurted out like a sprinkler as the gurgled cries of the beast echoed throughout the whole bunker. The Skullcrawler writhed in agony at the slow death bestowed upon it until it went limp.

Hearing the cries further into the bunker, several of the citizens raced towards Beatrice and Murai’s location as they followed them towards the source of the passageway. In the crowd, Beatrice spotted Koyuki amongst them and grabbed a hold of her. She was proud of her for finding something that might give their people a chance to live, but she had to be sure.

“Koyuki, is this a sure thing?” inquired Beatrice, her voice almost trembling at the uncertainty of their predicament. It was the moment of truth of what is possibly left of their community and they were betting all of their cards on this passageway.

“Mhm,” Koyuki shook her head, inching her way towards the tunnel as she smiled at her friend. “I took a look around before Mr. Murai pulled me out.”

Beatrice took a deep breath, wanting to lecture Koyuki to not wander off in times like these, but now wasn’t the time. Even if these Skullcrawlers weren’t capable of burrowing underground, she could have been snatched up at any given point.

“Okay, then it’s the best we have,” Beatrice spoke before moving closer to the entrance. “Good work, by the way.”

Koyuki’s parents, Taizo and Kahori were the first down into the tunnel as their children jumped down and raced behind them. Naoko lowered Doulina as fast as she could without bringing any discomfort to her to the two parents. They brought her down to the ground as Kahori wrapped her arm around the injured woman to assist in moving her. They began to move down the tunnel while Naoko jumped down to join them as Koyuki prepared herself to make the descent.

However, fate had plans at that moment!

A monstrous shriek, one far more powerful echoed around the broken bunker as the roof was torn straight off. Beatrice, Koyuki and Murai all stood motionless, looking upwards at the larger Skullcrawler finally making its presence known, roaring directly at them. The ravenous predator slammed its arm directly down at them.

The structures in its descending path shattered as Beatrice, without giving it a moment’s thought, snatched Koyuki up in her arms and threw themselves away from the creature’s foot.

The two lay on the ground, watching as the dust circled around them as Beatrice slowly lifted her head to see that the passage before them had been sealed off. Her heart sank at their exit being blocked off along with the fates of her beloved community being uncertain.

“Wait! Murai!”

Beatrice snapped her head over to where her dear friend was, but like the passageway, the place where he was was reduced to rubble. The Sheriff breathed rapidly, feeling herself becoming overwhelmed as she held onto Koyuki with her life. She wanted to cry, to curse these devils for destroying everything she held dear to her, but she couldn’t. Not when Koyuki was still in harm’s way.

Beatrice lifted herself up as Koyuki released a coughing fit from the dust around them. They took a look around them as the bunker was nearly in ruins, allowing them to gain a good look at their ruined village as buildings were reduced to rubble with body parts littering the streets.

The Sheriff glanced downwards at the rifle she dropped, hoping to continue using it as their one and only defense, but to her dismay, it was snapped in half. Beatrice sighed, continuing to keep her grip on Koyuki as they moved slowly out of the ruins and into the ruined town, hearing the disgusting cries of their assailants.

Not even one step out of the ruins, the two of them heard a loud rumble behind them. They stopped in their place as Beatrice slowly turned her head back at the large Skullcrawler keeping its eyes peeled on them.

Beatrice breathed out once more, knowing this was the end, but not for Koyuki. She could at least make sure of that.

“Koyuki,” Beatrice mouthed softly.

“Yes….” Koyuki stammered out, scared beyond belief at the monstrosity standing behind them.

“I need you to run and hide,” Beatrice commanded.

“But…. what about you?” Koyuki murmured, holding back the tears as she gripped the sleeve of her friend’s shirt.

“Do as I say!” Beatrice yelled out, feeling her body issuing one last command to her arms to ensure she makes it out of this alive.

She shoved the young girl out of the way; amidst the wreckage, Beatrice knew the end waited for her. But if it was nothing else, saving the life of someone she held dear was more than enough for her. Koyuki disappeared behind a slab of what remained of one of the buildings, hidden from the Skullcrawler’s limited sight. And instead of her young friend, Beatrice found herself wrapped by the viscous tongue that pulled her into the disgusting sewage that was the maw of the reptile.

Then, just as abruptly, her vision went dark as its mouth closed behind her.


Chapter 8: Revival! Colossal Titan vs. the Skullcrawlers

The world crumbled around Koyuki the instant Beatrice disappeared. Gone, into the belly of the beast. The young girl could hardly move in the slightest. Her temporary paralysis kept her from moving, from breathing too heavily. Her mind was overwhelmed at what just transpired.

Her best friend was gone. And she wasn’t coming back.

“B-Beatrice…” Koyuki softly muttered, barely getting the word out. As she lay in the ruined gravel, she felt her eyes watering and snot clogging her nasal cavities. She tried to move, only for her fingers to merely twitch. The perfect image of Beatrice refused to leave her mind’s eye. But she had to move, or else she would perish along with everyone else. Yet in the end, all the strength she could muster was enough to get back on her feet.

The foul stench of death and devastation made it hard for Koyuki to tell apart what’s what. Supporting her weight against the slab, she felt hidden from the gaze of the Skullcrawler. Koyuki had only hoped she could find someone in the ruins of Sannagi. Scrapes and bruises stung across her body, but she pushed forward regardless. She slid across the slab until she came across a sizable portion of a building still standing–one she could hardly recognize from the havoc wrought upon this poor town.

As she dashed towards the still-standing portion of the building, she kept herself hidden, only peeking to see where the Skullcrawler was. Just as she anxiously hoped, it didn’t seem to notice her movement. But the swelling anxiety was too much, tears forcibly streaming down her face against her own will. But beyond the wall were mounds of ruined buildings destroyed beyond recognition. There wasn’t anywhere else to hide; there were other Skullcrawlers prowling by, making it inevitable one of them would find her. But she wasn’t sure what to do…

“W-why did y-you…” she whimpered under her breath, trying to refrain from choking on her tears and overwhelming sadness. “…leave m-me?” She curled into a ball, sobbing into her legs with tears and mucus. “First I failed Sannagi, now Beatrice…” Koyuki kept her muffled sniffles as quiet as she could, but what would it be like living without Beatrice?

Then, just as suddenly, she felt a push. It wasn’t the wet tug of a Skullcrawler’s tongue, but rather one far more human. “Hey, hey!” the voice firmly ushered. Pulling her face up from her legs, she saw a familiar face–beaten and battered, but still kicking.

“Murai!” Koyuki nearly yelped in pure jubilation. “You’re alive!”

“Yeah, I managed to get out of the way before those creatures broke into the bunker. Now come on, we need to move it.” Murai gently but firmly hoisted the young girl onto his shoulder, turning around and high-tailing it out of the disaster zone. For as much as they both kept as quiet as they could, it wasn’t long before they were noticed.

“Murai, it’s looking at us!” Koyuki exclaimed, feeling the rush of fear overcoming her.

“Then I just have to hustle!” The blacksmith said with utmost assurance, picking up the pace. She felt the rhythmic bounce of his footsteps increase significantly. But when compared to the longer, lankier limbs of the ghoulish reptiles that devoured without regard, it became apparent it was going to catch up to them–and fast.

Seeing death looming over them made Koyuki recoil in gut-wrenching fear. But a small fire in her soul lit aflame, summoning all the reckless courage she had. If nothing else, it was already approaching them.

“YOU SAID ‘ALWAYS!’” Koyuki shouted at the top of her lungs. “THAT YOU’D ALWAYS COME BACK!” She immediately broke down sobbing, with Murai attempting to comfort her with words and pats, trying to get her to quiet down. But neither registered with her. But even then, the Skullcrawler pursuing them was unequivocally the one who’d consume them first.

The permeating stench spread as the Skullcrawler opened its vile jaws, its long tongue eager to wrap and consume. But before it could lash out its whiplash tongue, it choked. From the depth of its maw, Koyuki could have sworn she saw a brimming light, almost like it ate the sun. Its partially translucent body began to shimmer with the same brilliant glow. And rather than sloshing with filthy saliva, it instead began emitting steam from its maw.

Koyuki’s eyes widened at such an unusual sight. “Mr. Murai, something’s happening…” she said in disbelief, almost flabbergasted. But before Murai could say anything, the spinal region of the Skullcrawler began to inflate drastically–becoming a hideous puss of superheated gasses. Then, just as suddenly, it popped. Like a balloon filled with blood, bile, and bone, a massive shockwave threw Murai off his feet, sending both him and Koyuki flying to the outer perimeter of the ruined Sannagi.

Neither of them could do anything to stop their trajectory except brace for impact. For Koyuki, she found herself caught in the tangles of a tree, one bent from the immense shockwave produced from whatever emerged from the Skullcrawler. Murai was less fortunate as she saw him hit the ground with a thud. “Mr. Murai!” Koyuki cried out, desperately trying to get his attention. She didn’t get a response, but she held onto the hope that he was knocked unconscious.

Despite it all, her eyes glued themselves to the hectic scene unfolding before her. What was once a Skullcrawler had been completely mutilated from the inside, and from it came a colossal spine. The shape began to gestate, forming a skull and arms, a ribcage, all wrapped with strings of muscle and sheets of tendons. It stood up to a cataclysmic height of just a little over 80 meters, its eyes blazing with the power of the sun. Its muscles glowed with a fiery light, almost as if it emerged from the depths of the Earth itself.

It was indisputable, undeniable even. “A Titan…” she muttered, dumbfounded at the sight before her.

But she noticed something odd. It was truly large and colossal in size and girth, yet it only stood a little over 80 meters. When the steam began to settle, she saw the Titan was only half-formed; instead of being carried by a pair of legs, she instead saw that its lower ribcage and spinal column supported its weight. She had heard about a supergiant Titan that had kicked a hole in Wall Maria some years back. Was this the very same? It had to be. And upon that revelation, a deep-seated sense of hatred began to swell within Koyuki.

“You… YOU TOOK EVERYTHING FROM ME!” Koyuki seethed with intense animosity, letting go of her self-control. “If you hadn’t appeared, my brother would still be alive! He died retaking the Wall, and that wouldn’t have happened if you didn’t exist!” She gasped for air, inhaling and exhaling heated air from her mouth. Tears ran down her face. “So please… JUST DISAPPEAR!” Her mind snapped with a primal rage, connecting with a deep, intangible feeling–even if it was only for an instant. It was then that she heard the calls of the Skullcrawlers gathering around, almost gathering en masse.

Then she realized what was happening. With the appearance of this Colossal Titan, they were all converging to take it down. She didn’t know how to feel; if the lizards perished, then the Titan would certainly reign supreme. If the Titan were to fall, the ravenous predators would continue to feast to their heart’s content. ‘It doesn’t matter, there is no good here–just two evils that I hope take each other out,’ she thought to herself. But for the time being, she had to get herself down from the treetop, still hanging onto the small hope that Murai was still alive.


Her eyes opened.

Instead of the darkness of being within the gut of a Skullcrawler, she found herself towering over the land. But even then, what she saw didn’t connect with the rest of her body. There was no feeling of control, rather it felt like she was the observer of another person’s body. However the case, no matter the circumstances, she was indisputably alive.

Yet it felt different. This wasn’t like her vivid daydreams.

“What are you doing? Come on, move.” Beatrice quietly groaned, trying to urge her strange body to move. But it refused to obey. Even if it didn’t bend to her will, it didn’t stop her from taking in the surroundings. From its eyes, Beatrice noticed a couple of features from the wandering eye of the giant; the oncoming swarm of Skullcrawlers, the fact this new body only possessed two arms and was only composed of an upper torso.

“Is this the power of the Titans…?” she concluded. Unfortunately, she had to bear witness as her partially formed Colossal Titan began to move on its own. It swung its lengthy right arm back, thrusting it towards the ground with the full intent to crush the marauding Skullcrawlers. Those that found themselves under the palm of the giant were smashed and smeared across the gravely earth, reduced to bone shards and bloody paste. The air blast from the impact scattered the surrounding predators in a crazy disarray, forcing them to scurry around their dead brethren and continue the hunt.

In droves, the ghoulish lizards closest to the Titan leaped, clamping their cone-shaped maws and two-legged claws around the strings of muscle that kept the Titan together. Even if the muscle tissue was searing hot to the touch, the Skullcrawlers persisted. Although the Colossal Titan pulled back its right arm, it proceeded to swipe again at the relentless horde of vile demons with its left. Instead of smashing them, the Titan dragged its large palm across the ground, carving a trench in its wake and scooping up the leftover cretins that fell in its path. Between being grinded against the earth and the superheated nature of the Colossal’s exposed tissue, the end result came when the Titan flung the pile of Skullcrawlers with its immense power, their bodies broiled, broken, and scattered across the land.

But that wasn’t the end of it. The super-sized giant aggressively slapped at the pests that clung to its body, crippling them in an instant. One near its rib cage was caught in its mighty grip, and just as swiftly squashed with tremendous pressure–leaving a trail of burning blood and bile to rush down from the clenched fist of the Titan.

“This is a powerful Titan, but… why won’t it listen to me?!” Beatrice groaned once more, irritated at the circumstances around her. It felt like nothing short of dumb luck disposing of the flurry of Skullcrawlers that continued their ravenous approach. But for each group that did, the Colossal Titan took out swaths of them with its tremendous size and power, painting the former town of Sannagi in bloodstains and scattered limbs. “What disgusting creatures.” Beatrice uttered with disdain, offended by the mere nature of the lizard-like fiends.

Wave by wave, piece by piece, the Colossal Titan slaughtered the relentless horde–and the smaller Skullcrawlers proved none the wiser. But just as their numbers diminished, bigger, louder cries caught the Titan’s attention–and by extension Beatrice’s.

Their hollow sockets made it seem like they gazed with deadly intent. Big ones, and four of them.

“This… is not good.”


Climbing down became such a difficult task in lieu of the convergence of the Skullcrawlers. Every slap, every hit the Titan dished out against the massive horde, the more intense the vibrations became, and by extension the more unstable the path down became. Koyuki felt the sweltering heat and intense blasts of wind from the source, fearing for her well-being.

War raged on from behind, but Koyuki had to focus on getting to Murai amidst the chaos. If nothing else, to save a life to make up for the ones she couldn’t. Among the scattered remains, she found the near-unconscious blacksmith lying on the ground, bleeding from a head wound. She placed her hand on his chest, trying to feel if he was breathing. In a panic, she scurried up to his neck to feel for a pulse–and much to her relief, he was alive.

“Mr. Murai, please wake up!” the young girl begged, pleading for him to get up. She shook him, as much as she could, only for him to awaken with a pained groan, clutching his left arm. Koyuki cried out once again, but only got a low wheeze from the barely conscious man. Weakly and limply, Murai mustered the strength and focus to get himself up, leaving his broken arm hanging as he pressed his palm against his ringing head. When he pulled his hand back, he didn’t even have to see it–he felt his own blood in the palm of his hand.

“Koyuki…” Murai blankly whispered, struggling to find his words. “Are you okay…?”

“Yes, I’m fine,” Koyuki replied, hurriedly pointing to the chaos ensuing around them. “There’s a Titan out there!” Murai only responded with a doubtful grunt, trying to focus on the destruction that suddenly came upon them. Even if his sense of judgment was foggy, there was no disputing the reality that stood before them. Hundreds of Skullcrawler limbs and carcasses littered the ruined town they once called home, with four supergiants circling the half-formed Titan like vultures. His eyes widened at the realization of what he saw.

“Oh my god…” Murai’s face turned pale, his breathing stiffening. “Koyuki, are you able to run?” The young girl nodded affirmatively. “We need to get out of here, and I’m not going to be able to carry you. Please, just move.”

“But what about you? You’re hurt, and–”

“Just go!” Murai shouted, forcing his body to move. Without any room to argue, Koyuki complied and kept pace with the injured Murai.

“Koyuki, you know what this means, right?” the blacksmith firmly asked.

“If the Colossal Titan’s here, then that evil man Kubal is alive,” Koyuki confirmed, recalling the intel the Survey Corps released after the reclamation of Wall Maria. “We have to inform the Scouts!”

“Good. You got a strong head, Koyuki,” Murai nodded assuredly. “But work on your emotions, kiddo. Keep your chin up.”

Such simple words pierced her heart, but she refused to show it on her face. ‘Keep your chin up.’ It was what Sannagi often told her when times were rough. “Yeah.” It was the only response she could muster as they continued to evacuate the premises.


The war between giants began with a shriek as one of the large Skullcrawlers made a mad dash towards Beatrice’s Titan. Unresponsive to her will and command, the Colossal Titan simply readied another strike, anticipating the lithe devil to come mindlessly charging like its smaller kin. As it sluggishly threw out its arm, the alpha Skullcrawler was quick to maneuver around the strike entirely, showing a sense of dexterity and experience lacked by the tiny ones. Instantly, the subterranean hunter pounced on the skinless humanoid, shoving it off the ground and landing on its back.

Before the others could take advantage of this, their leader barked at them. Their comrade was more than capable of dealing with this nuisance, but it was best to stand back and observe. With irritated grumbles, the others kept their distance, waiting to see what tricks or surprises this mystery intruder had in store.

As the Colossal Titan crashed onto its back, the ravenous beast pressed its weight upon the fragile Titan–pushing the nape into the ground. The immense pressure sandwiched Beatrice between walls of flesh. If it hadn’t been for the cushion of muscle behind her, she certainly would have been grinded into a meaty paste against the rugged ground. But even with the cushion, it wasn’t going to do her favors from being crushed to death.

“Push!” Beatrice instinctively cried out, shoving her hands deeper into the thick slab of meat she was connected to. In an instant, her body felt a jolt of electricity course through her body, her mind expanding exponentially with neuronic sensations as she felt the whole of her Titan’s body. Experiences she had never lived, but felt, coursed through her veins. With every ounce of determination, she ordered her arm to swing at the Skullcrawler–and it did. With a decisive blow to the wild creature’s torso, the immense might of the Colossal Titan hurled the Skullcrawler off of her.

“Come on, let’s try and get a move on.” The Titan clumsily reoriented herself, but it wasn’t long until she found herself upright, held by her hands and whatever constituted of her spine and ribs. With a booming roar, the Colossal Titan began its charge, using her hands as locomotive support and lifting her torso off the ground. The Skullcrawler was likewise quick to stabilize from its violent crash, hissing with spite and an insatiable thirst for violence. It, too, began to charge towards the hand-walking Titan.

Seeing the distance close between them, Beatrice halted her Titan’s movement and planted down. Slamming her torso and left arm into the ground as anchors, she pulled her right fist back, seeking to go full-throttle of the invasive raider. Although the serpentiform hunter was quick to react, it didn’t stop the fist from connecting with the Skullcrawler’s hollow false eyes, fracturing the calcified armor in the process. A hideous howl rang from the beast’s filthy mouth, swiftly lunging forward and clamping its muzzle upon the forearm of the Titan.

No matter how hard she tried, Beatrice couldn’t force the hypervore off of her. The foul cretin swung its head violently and viciously, tearing the muscle and bone clean off the Colossal Titan. Beatrice grimaced at the sight, forcing her to take drastic action. Dragging her only usable arm from the ground, she gripped the cranial region of the Skullcrawler’s head, forcing her entire weight upon the ghoulish lizard. Its wailing cries fell on deaf ears, which only turned to high-pitched shrieks as the Titan’s fingers found their way into the eye sockets of the reptile.

But such actions did not go unheeded. Resounding cackles and shrills caught Beatrice’s attention, turning to see two of the three other giant Skullcrawlers lunging towards her–with the last one, their leader, holding back.

“Down an arm and two more coming for me…” She exhaled a heavy sigh, unsure how to turn the tables in her favor. High-tension anxiety flowed through her veins as naturally as blood, unable to cope with the building life-or-death stress hanging over her… Until her mind clicked once again. Less so of a memory, but an instinct to harness the power of hatred…

…And let everything around her burn.

Just as the other two closed in on her, the Colossal Titan ignited in a ferocious blast of steam and fire. Its brilliant illumination shone like the sun. The subsequent blast of wind knocked the other two back; only the leader had ample time to anchor itself to the ground and withstand the oncoming burst. The Skullcrawler that Beatrice had kept pinned began to flail wildly, its flesh bubbling and meat searing beneath it. With the sudden overload from the immense pain, the useless flailing came to a stop–signaling the death of the general.

With complete resolve, Beatrice maintained this flow of heat, which kept the other three at bay. No matter how they approached or what they did, the core of where the Colossal Titan resided burned too intensely for them to effectively strike. It was the perfect barrier to keep distance between herself and her foes.

But before she could take pride, she glanced at the arm used to keep the now-dead reptile down–and instead of finding flesh, she found a skeletal arm in its place. It dawned on her that she was feeling less and less of her Titan the longer she maintained this barrier. For every second that passed, the more of her Titan’s muscles disappeared.

“So this Titan turns muscle into steam…” she noted to herself. It was worth keeping in mind. But with this realization, it became clear how much worse this was going to be for her. “Without a Titan, I can’t keep up the fight. Maybe I can get away in the mist once I run out of steam. Just hope they don’t find me. Not a perfect plan by any means, but it’ll have to do…”

The longer it held out, the more of her Titan lost its form, becoming nothing more than a giant, skeletal husk of what it once was. Just as the last of the Titan’s muscles vanished–leaving only the glob attached to the nape–the entire body collapsed into a pile of bones, steaming away as it broke down on the atomic level. Only cushioned by the sack, Beatrice tore herself from the last traces of organic material as she heaved in her first breath of fresh air since turning into a Titan. With everywhere around her clouded by steam, she heard the irritated screeches of the Skullcrawlers still present.

Now there was only one thing she knew to do.



They ran. They ran for their lives, just hoping the Colossal Titan would keep the attention of the Skullcrawlers long enough for them to make their escape. During the havoc, a bright light caught their attention, turning their heads back just to peek at the change of events–in doing so, they tripped and fell off a miniature cliffside, landing on the ground rather unceremoniously.

Murai screamed in pained cries over his broken bones, with Koyuki groaning from the sudden impact–though she was able to move. But just as they did, Koyuki felt hands grasp her, whispering in her ears to shush. With panicked eyes, she looked at Murai, who was similarly being dragged closer to the base of the small cliff.

“Shh, shh, be quiet, or those devil things are going to get us!” the worried man whispered, dragging her back, joining with the crowd of people that remained hidden from the destruction above. When Koyuki got a better look at the man, she recognized him as a denizen of Sannagi–Mr. Claasen.

Almost wordlessly, people began to flock to Murai, bandaging him up to the best of their ability. And unfortunately, it seemed Murai wasn’t the only one, as other survivors were likewise bandaged up with torn clothes and makeshift casts from the foliage around them. Murai couldn’t utter another word, being told to rest. Koyuki felt it was up to her to ask.

“Excuse me, but…why are you still here?” The young girl couldn’t muster to continue further. Keep it to the point.

“It’s because of that dreadful Titan, actually. If it’s here, that means that the corruption of the interior Walls hasn’t ended. Or at the very least, there’s a chance it’ll resume again,” the man known as Claasen said sternly, “Mayor Connor is dead, and it might be too much of a risk for the Scouts to get here before Kubal can make the getaway. So here’s the deal.” Claasen pointed to the rifles and guns that had been scavenged amidst the chaos. “Once they’re done fighting, we’re going to check. If those filthy lizard scum finish him off, we can make a getaway. But if the Colossal Titan prevails over those skull-devils, we can ambush ‘em. Even if he is a Titan, there’s no way he’ll be able to have the strength to carry on.”

Hearing this plan from him stirred something in her heart. “Please, I want to join!”

“A little girl like you with a gun? I’m sorry, that’s too much to as–”

“Please!” Koyuki furiously bowed, “I can use a gun!” Upon hearing this, Claasen cocked an eyebrow, seeming doubtful. “Always point down range before you shoot,” Koyuki began, recollecting the words Beatrice had once told her, frantically trying to remember her other points of advice, “and never point a gun at anyone even if there’s nothing in it!”

“Hmm,” Claasen pondered, almost reluctant. “I know the others won’t approve, but you’re clearly a determined kid. Not only that, the more hands the better. As long as you keep the gun to yourself and leave the strangling to the rest of us. That’s all I’ll ask.”

“Fine!” Koyuki’s eyes radiated with a shine, almost ecstatic at the thought–to avenge her brother, her town, and her best friend.

“Yeah, when the time’s right of course. Just keep hidden for now.” the gruff man said rather nonchalantly.

“Oh! Can Mr. Murai come along too?” the excited young girl asked.

“If he’s recovered by the time we get a move on, sure–but that’ll be up to him. Time is of the essence.” Claasen firmly declared. Nodding in agreement, Koyuki waited by the ridge, unsure of when the colossal battle would come to an end…


Dirt and rubble crunched beneath her feet, sprinting for dear life through the thick mist created from the carcass of her Titan. Beatrice had no clue where she was heading to–but it had to be better than here. Nothing else mattered more than escaping out of here alive. But that ultimately hinged on whether or not the skull devils were intelligent enough to discover her whereabouts.

She heard their shrieks, but it didn’t seem like they noticed her. The shuffling of bones was heard, filling Beatrice with a degree of confidence she’d be able to make her escape. A desperate hope to flee from this nightmare. The further out she went, the more the fog began to dissipate, clearing the view. If she made it beyond the hillside, the odds would be in her favor.

But from deep in the mist, a high-pitched wail rang in her ears. It was a little girl’s cry for help.

Beatrice froze in place, dreading the first thought that came to mind. “K-Koyuki…?” she mumbled under her breath. Even if it wasn’t Koyuki, the mere thought of a child in danger forced her to reconsider. Escape with her own life, or risk her life to find the child? Deep in her gut, she knew what she had to do. Turning around, Beatrice made a dash into the fog.

Frustration fueled her determination. She didn’t know how to transform into the Colossal Titan, she just had the will to do it. An embedded goal to protect the people and fight the Skullcrawlers. But what was the trigger? She forced herself to remember anything, be it of her own memories or Kubal’s. But she couldn’t force out the sensations or experiences of how to transform–just how to fight. She cursed under her breath, if only to ensure that the Skullcrawlers weren’t alerted of her whereabouts.

Another scream resounded in the fog, compelling her even more to find the girl before the Skullcrawlers did. But a sudden snap in her mind made an astute observation. The Skullcrawlers were large beasts; if they were hunting for the girl, their footsteps should have signaled her of their general direction. For as slick and crafty as they were, their size would’ve made it impossible to stealthily get by. A panicked anxiety began to settle, but she also couldn’t give up so easily. A child was still in danger, and she had to rescue them–no matter what.

But even that aside, another thought crossed her mind. “I only transformed when I was eaten…” It was a morbid thought, but if it came to the worst, then it would be so. She kept the rest of her thoughts to herself, following the source of the screaming. But the moment she heard heavy breathing, Beatrice stopped dead in her tracks. It was irrefutable of the breathing belonging to the foul, disgusting beasts that plagued this land. But even worse still, when the girl screamed again, the source of it was no longer grounded, but instead ascended in the air.

“Shit… Am I too late?” Her complexion paled at the mere thought of having to see a child eaten by these ravenous fiends. It was then one of the Skullcrawlers came into view, its hideous visage poking through the steam. But there was no sign of its whiplash tongue or a child screaming for dear life. Instead, what came was the scream of the girl coming from the deepest reaches of the Skullcrawler’s throat.

“You’ve got to be fucking with me,” Beatrice growled in absolute disgust. Instantly, the ghoulish lizard lashed out its long tongue at her, prepared to consume her whole. At that moment, Beatrice recalled her earlier thoughts. Thrusting her hands to the sky, she began to scream. “Come get me, you big ugly bastard! COME ON!” Just before the tongue could make contact, it stopped. Such an unusual action from these bloodthirsty fiends took Beatrice aback, which became even more unsettling as it withdrew its tongue back into its maw. She waved her hands furiously, trying to egg it on into eating her. But the Skullcrawler belched a laugh, backing away ever slowly from her.

“Come on…” She stood perplexed as to why it didn’t eat her. But then the last thing she heard was a strange rush of wind heading straight for her. It was an unusual sound occupied by a great shadow that overcame her. Dread, fear, and sadness washed over her all at once, but none of it had the time to register as she was crushed under tremendous weight.


And her mind ceased to be.


Chapter 9: Overlapping Nightmare

A gag that was stuffed in her mouth made it hard to breathe. The blindfolds wrapped around her eyes made it impossible to see. Her body was concealed under layers upon layers of straightjackets and cold, metallic restraints; or at least that’s what it felt like. Beatrice was sweating profusely, struggling to break free of these chains.

“Help me! Please!” Her screams were only retained as thoughts, as she felt her words muffled by the gag. She wasn’t sure how long she had been bound for, but almost abruptly the blindfold and gag were ripped from her person. Drenched with sweat, Beatrice at last took a huge gulp of air, circulating through her system. When she caught her breath, she gleamed with piercing eyes to the uniformed guards who were pointing their barrels at her.

“Wait, I know this place…” Her eyes darted around the dark, cylindrical room, trying to identify the guards who aimed their rifles at her. But more importantly, she saw a figure that stood between her and the guards. The figure stood wearing a beige uniform embroidered with a pair of overlapping wings–one white, the other blue.

“Wait…” Her eyes scanned the posterior up until she reached the back of their head. Something was wrong, off. ‘Didn’t they have different hair?’ Beatrice thought to herself, recollecting the faded details to the best of her ability. The cadet that stood before her had black, shoulder-length hair, but her memory couldn’t pin on where she had seen it before. Suddenly, Beatrice’s ears began ringing, overwhelmed by a headache.

Then, far in the back atop a slope of stairs, the doors flung open.

Another figure stepped out of the shadows, a face she instinctively recognized. “Kubal…” Beatrice growled. Kubal took steady and confident strides down the quarry, gazing upon Beatrice with astute attention to detail, observing her every movement.

With a crack of his hunting crop, Kubal kept his gaze glued to her. “So this is the specimen picked up by the Scouts?” A subordinate addressed him, confirming it to be the case. “Very interesting.” He turned to a group of people that Beatrice only ever caught glimpses of in his memory, these ‘Scouts’ that she didn’t know. “You all did a phenomenal job out in the field.”

The Scouts silently responded with a salute, a gripped fist over the heart. “For rookies, that is,” Kubal continued, casting his judging eyes upon them. “If it hadn’t been for your oversight, the mission would have gone as planned.”

“What do you mean by oversight?” another member, this one bearing the insignia of roses on her uniform, inquired.

“There’s been an infiltration in our ranks, and may be operating within the Scout Regiment in order.” With assured confidence, Kubal cracked his hunting crop at the suspect. “I believe the one who emerged from a Titan is to blame.”

Suddenly, Beatrice saw the short-haired Scout in front of her stiffening into a salute. “Supervisor Kubal, please!” the black haired soldier pleaded, “Beatrice can be a beneficial asset to all of humanity!” Hearing the words come out of the Scout’s mouth was nothing short of confusion. They sounded like either a young boy or a girl, but Beatrice had a hard time identifying which was which.

“What do you mean I can be a beneficial use to all humanity…?” Beatrice chimed in, trying to make her voice known. But not a soul acknowledged her presence.

“Cadet, I can understand your reasoning. However, there is something you must realize.” Kubal gestured to the black-haired Scout. “I love this world, and it is within the responsibility of the Military Police and the Survey Corps to ensure peace in the walls. Are you telling me that this…” He paused, striking a fearsome glance at Beatrice, “creature, has a place in this world?”

“Everybody’s from somewhere,” the Scout murmured, looking down. “I used to be from Shiganshina before the Titans took everything.”

“Shiganshina…?” Beatrice’s eyes widened, feeling the dots connect together. “This can’t be…” Nothing about the unfolding situation felt natural to her, but she had to persist. “Please! I beg of you, answer me!”

“Those monsters took everything from not only me and my family, but from several others. My brother lost his life to them!” the Scout continued, filled with a rebellious spirit. “Lost it all, because of the Colossal!”

“Please stop ignoring me!” Beatrice screamed at the top of her lungs, struggling against the restraints that kept her from moving. In doing so, she drowned out the response Kubal gave, only catching the latter half of his words.

“…I wonder if death would’ve been more merciful? And even if this accident did save precious lives…” He paused, eyeing Beatrice closely. “A bad sprout must be plucked before it grows.” The Military Police raised their rifles at her, prepared to shoot. It was then the Scout finally turned to face her, recognizing the Scout instantly.

“Koyuki!” cried the red-headed woman, calling help from her most beloved friend in a whimper. “For the love of God, please help me…”

Koyuki stared at her intently, “I tried to find help after my parents got me out of the house when the bandits showed up, but everyone was already taken,” the young Scout explained, anxious and nervous, “I only came out of hiding when I saw you running over here.”

“Running over here? Koyuki, I don’t know what’s going on. I just need something to make sense!” The overwhelming confusion compounded her thought processes even further, leaving a bitter taste in her mouth. But then her eyes caught something else; a pair of children playing in the damp, dark court of the cylindrical room, dancing from Beatrice’s right to left. Their smiles and skin glowed brightly amidst the darkness, drawing her attention away from Koyuki and Kubal.

“Impatient today, aren’t they?” The masculine voice perked Beatrice’s ears, forcing her head to twist in the direction the children were going. There, she saw a man and a woman nestling against each other, their names blanking in her mind.

‘This can’t be real, none of this can be real,’ Beatrice’s intrusive thoughts settled in, stirring amidst her confusion. ‘How do I know these people?’

“They get that from you,” the woman countered, shooting a glare. The man gave a small chuckle. “You’re right. When are we getting there?”

“Asshole,” Beatrice mouthed completely by instinct, in sync with the woman’s lips, feeling a blast of nostalgia flow through her mind. As Beatrice saw the children reunite with their parents, she felt tears flowing down her cheeks. “Lilith… Eve… David…” She began sniffling as the memories surged through her. “How could I have forgotten about you…”

Kubal smirked, almost amused. “Now you show your true colors.”

Immediately, her tears shot into darts as she cast blazing judgment upon the Supervisor, infuriated at his insinuation. “And what about you! You’ve murdered thousands, maybe even millions!” Beatrice shrieked at the man, recalling his darkest thoughts and actions. “‘Take control and slaughter the cattle.’ Who thinks like that?!”

“Then tell me this–” Kubal’s words abruptly cut off before resuming, “Are you a human? Or a Titan?”

“You don’t have the right to know, asshole,” the woman snapped back.

“What a shame…” Kubal’s words trailed off as he snapped his crop once again, his subordinates prepared to take aim. But before they could fire, Beatrice took a glance at Koyuki, who was staring right at her.

“Beatrice.” The young girl blankly stated, “I can do a lot of good out there. Just think of what’s out there. Beyond the walls.” The young girl continued to gaze upon her, both mixed with dread and a childlike desire they sought to fulfill. “They respect you. I’m pretty sure the whole town likes you. You show up out of nowhere and immediately become a part of our community. Who would even imagine hating you?”

Just then, the room rang with violent gunshots. Beatrice’s screams and pleas were muted by the array of bullets that flew through the air. But not a single one of them made a mark on either herself or Koyuki. When a ceasefire was called, Beatrice couldn’t help but remain tense. If they didn’t fire at them, then who…

Turning to her left, she found the mangled remains of her former family. Bullets that had manifested not as bullet wounds, but mangled bite marks and crushed paste. A pile of limbs and parts from the father and two daughters remained, and as for the woman, nothing remained but a paste of blood and bones. Beatrice heaved at the sight, doing everything to keep it all in. But at last, she let it all out; instead of bile, she unleashed a silent scream, stretching her mouth as wide as she could. With another deep breath, sniffling and sobbing uncontrollably, Beatrice wailed at the disgusting visual that returned to her full force.

Beatrice’s wails echoed through the cylindrical room, but not a soul heeded her heart-broken sorrow. Whatever words Kubal said did not matter to her; whatever precious memories Koyuki provided did nothing to patch her bleeding heart. She kept going until she wasn’t able to anymore, catching her breath.

“…How can a person do this?” She reflected on Kubal’s inquiry. Her eyes continued to leak, sniffling in the process. “How can people care for such a monster… no matter what I do, I lose everything that matters, right? I screw up everywhere I go, everything I touch…” Feeling the burning sadness extinguish within her, Beatrice fell limp. But a quiet voice brought her back, staring at the girl in the Scout uniform.

“You better make it back.” Hearing Koyuki’s words drew another tear from her near-lifeless husk. Then, the room around them shook violently, forcing everyone to glance at the top. Instead of a roof, there was endless, perfect darkness. But at the end of that darkness was an emerging light. Blazing in the fire of the gods, a hand-shaped figure came rushing down. And with it, she saw its face.

Her Titan.

One last time, she saw them all, awaiting the moment to be crushed and finally join her family in the afterlife. But instead, what she found was one last thought–without question one of Kubal’s from his last moment.


Quietly, almost dissatisfied with the result, she closed her eyes as the heat burned everything away–and reluctantly returned to the land of the living.


Guttural cries of victory from the death maulers echoed across the vacant ruins. The leader pulled its tail, letting the blood drip from its tail. Its eyes observed the spot carefully, seeing only the impact crater left from smashing the puny human into nearly indistinguishable paste. What remained of the tiny human was remnants of their former selves, engulfed in a billow of steam. The leader cocked its head, observing the human mush carefully.

Another of the generals leaned in, eager to consume the morsel and move on. But the leader snapped at them, clamping his jaws at the other. The two Skullcrawlers began to scream at each other. The fight was over! The spoils were theirs! Yet the leader contested such a notion. This was abnormal compared to all the other humans they’ve smashed to bits! Amidst their arguing, the third snuck in the shouting match, shoveling a heap of gravel and the remains of the human on the tip of its tongue.

In an instant came destruction.

The flattened human began to twist and contort, writing on the ground in agony. Tremendous amounts of steam geysered from its shape, until a series of bony protrusions ripped out of its form and, like caressing wings, wrapped around the organic paste. From it, a brilliant light radiated from the tip of the Skullcrawler’s tongue, enveloping it in a burning sphere of fire. No matter how quickly the Skullcrawler retracted its tongue, the heat melted and severed the lithe muscle, forcing a pained screech from the vile devil. The next instant, a sudden, explosive push of wind overcame the fiendish demon. Its jaws cracked and broken from the shockwaves, leaving its disgusting mouth shrivel and dry as it threw the ghoulish beast off its two legs, hurling it aside from its raw power alone. Even the other two were ruthlessly flung into the air, feeling every moment of searing pain from the explosion.

The blast was powerful, cracking a boom across the land. But it lacked the potency of devastation, leaving only charred ground and a blast that barely escaped the outermost perimeters of the ruined town. Fire quickly turned to smoke as the skull beasts reoriented themselves. Disoriented from the suddenness of the blast, the Skullcrawlers picked themselves back up.

When their sight returned, the Skullcrawlers saw their enemy reconstituted–this time in a new form. It laid on its back with a more complete humanoid form–arms, legs, the works. Its gut was empty, leaving nothing more than a hollow core with protruding rib spikes hanging out. Its length totaled to almost 100 meters, but it lacked the imposing shape from their earlier bout. The leader of the generals cautiously observed, keeping a keen eye for its next move. But it seemed it wasn’t moving.

A bark came from the high-commander. Charge.

The two generals made their move, but to their surprise they saw that their compatriot–even with its missing tongue and broken jaws–intercepted the immobile target first. They saw as their comrade jumped on the prone Titan, shrieking wildly as it continued to endure the pain. With its jaws rendered useless, the Skullcrawler opted using its forearm to tear at the strings of muscle lined along its ribs, uncaring of the searing pain from the Titan or the superheated surroundings from the blast. All the while, the two closed in on the gap–and soon enough, they would eviscerate this Titan to kingdom come!

Just then, the Colossal’s eyes snapped open.

Rolling to its side facing the vile beast, both of the Titan’s arms were quick to grapple with the ravaging Skullcrawler. One found its mark on the foul cretin’s neck, forcing a shrieked cry from its orifice. The other reached over to the head of the reptilian fiend, gripping the crevice that connected the calcified face mask to its skin. It was with its other hand that the flames of the Colossal’s wrath began to sear the skin and bone, lurching another blood-curdling cry from the skull devil. Steam burst from the forceful incision as the Titan’s fingers dug deeper into the cranium, and with all its might, the Colossal Titan tore the face mask off the ghoulish lizard, flinging it off in the direction of the remaining devils.

Even as steam obstructed their view of the target, the actions of the Colossal Titan did not go unnoticed. They saw as the face shield crashed in front of them, leaving the ooze to spill out of the underside of the skull–but they continued onward regardless. As they made their approach, they saw the Titan rise from the steam, holding itself on its large, trunk-like legs. With a voracious war cry, the Skullcrawlers made a proclamation of death to the Titan. In response, the Colossal oozed steam from its maw, letting a baritone hum slip from its maw.

A fight to the death.

Without an ounce of reservation, the Skullcrawlers made their move. The first among them leapt into the air, its two forelimbs outstretched as they clamped onto the Colossal Titan’s upper torso. Before the Titan could even react, the reptile swung its lithe tail around, constricting the supergiant under tremendous pressure. Bones splintered and muscles snapped, though not enough to cleave the giant in two. The Colossal stumbled with all the extra weight on it, but maintained its balance.

In tandem with its ally, the leader Skullcrawler swiftly zipped past the Titan’s legs, slapping its tail against the ankles of the colossus. Breaking bones and tendons, the Colossal Titan stumbled and fell to its knees, nearly tumbling forward from the Skullcrawler that was already constricting it. The leader began to maneuver its way around, eager to take the Titan from the back.

Instead, in response, the Titan began to glow around the constricted area, burning the tail of the skull devil with heat and steam. Unable to withstand the pain, the Skullcrawler was forced to release, unraveling its hold on the Titan. Before it could take action, the Colossal Titan gripped its tail with both its hands, yanking the fiend off of it as it swung the vile beast around. The ground disheveled from its shifting knees as the Titan made the turnaround, slamming the two Skullcrawlers against each other. The blast from the impact forced the two cretins to stumble back, twisting themselves in a knot in the process.

Fatigue overcame the Titan, but it fought with utmost will to continue the fight. Excess steam washed over its wounded points, trying to regenerate its injured parts. The mist from the knees and ankle clouded the Titan, reconstituting its lost tissue. But even so, the Titan felt its strength draining. How long it was going to hold out was another matter entirely. As it regained its knees, with the ankle still healing, the Titan rose to its feet, trying to maintain equilibrium. But it saw the Skullcrawlers were also more than ready.

The last pair of generals were quick to untangle from one another, reorienting themselves for their desperate mad dash. Shred the Titan! Kill the Titan! Consume the Titan! Whatever it took. Making another sprint, the Skullcrawlers covered exponential ground very quickly.

Anticipating their forthcoming attack, the Colossal Titan stumbled in its footing, applying pressure to its still-regenerating foot. But this was done with purpose; pulling its other leg back, its feet brimmed with intense heat and light, swiftly bringing it back as a ferocious kick. But this strike wasn’t aimed at either of the Skullcrawlers. Instead, it dug into the ground beneath it, carving a trail in its path. As the swing of its kick completed its arc, a blast of wind sent chunks of fiery rubble and dust at the skull devils, hurling burning objects and irritating dust into their eyes. Searing rocks embedded into the flesh of the reptilian fiends, shrieking cries of displeasure as they continued their bloodthirsty race to the Titan.

The leader of the two swerved off to the side, opting for another angle of attack. All the while, the second continued its reckless charge, more than eager to pounce on the burning red giant and tear it to shreds. It heard the stomp of the Titan, signaling to it that the giant had regained its balance. Once again leaping to the air, the Skullcrawler outstretched its limbs, hoping to take it by surprise with the very dust the Titan had used to blind them…

By the time it broke out of the cloud, it had found that the Titan was likewise prepared to attack; rearing its other leg behind, its foot began to glow with the same illuminating hue from earlier, now fully reconstituted. But the Skullcrawler was certain it would crash against the Titan before it had the chance. But such confidence shattered when a jet of steam blasted from the achilles heel, thrusting the burning foot at supersonic speeds. The Skullcrawler’s eyes widened, realizing that it was too late to turn back.

Far too late.

At the moment of impact, the foot collided against the inner gut of the ravenous predator, driving itself within the foul demon. The sheer kinetic force of the blazing kick compounded the creature’s thin body, leaving the vibrations to travel all around the body a hundredfold. Bursting at the seams with blood and bile, and its eyes rolling in the back of their head, the third of the Skullcrawler generals died instantly, with the rest of the force launching the lifeless husk back for several kilometers. As the Titan found its footing, it felt weakness overcome it. Even with its almighty strength, the longer this fight held out, the weaker it became.

And unfortunately, there was one last one to contend with.

Weakly turning to its side, the Colossal Titan saw the last Skullcrawler–the leader of the bunch–vigorously make a leap towards the massive humanoid, dominating it in strength. Without sufficient means to defend itself, the Titan was left to helplessly fall to the ground, with the ravenous devil snapping and clawing at its muscles and tendons. The cruelty of the leader was made known as it used its tail to alternate between slamming and flogging both of the Titan’s knees, shattering them for every blow delivered. An anguished cry boomed from the Titan, struggling to hold back the ruthless reptile.

More and more of its body was lost in the relentless onslaught. But just as the Skullcrawler went for the head of the Colossal, the crimson giant forced its hands to keep the snapping jaws at bay. Filthy drool slathered the chest of the Titan, the disgusting lizard almost eager. The pushing force of the last general inched it ever closer, hoping to tear the head of the Titan clean off its body. But when the stubbornness of the Titan proved to be an irritant, the foul beast compromised. Outstretching its whiplash tongue, the Skullcrawler’s long muscle wrapped around the neck of the Titan, constricting it and pressing it.

As its tongue squeezed against the neck muscles, it felt a bulbous point on the nape of the Titan’s neck. And within that bulb, something dwelled within it! Was this where that pesky human resided? A twisted smile curved along the edges of its mouth. But just as it made this discovery, the fingers of the Titan clamped even harder than ever before. Its eyes widened as it realized what was going to happen next.

When the Colossal Titan erupted in a blaze, it withdrew its tongue and slipped its nictitating membranes over its eyes. But it was far from over. Geysers of steam and flames erupted from the supersized giant, and the Titan held onto the Skullcrawler’s jaws with all its strength. If it was kept in the torching winds, it would certainly face certain death. Panic flooded the Skullcrawler’s senses, its mouth dried up from the intense release of heated steam. All it could do was scream, just hoping it would all end.

Even as its nictitating membranes began to dry from the heat, it saw the Titan’s form dissolve. Strand by strand, piece by piece, the Titan withered into a skeletal frame that cost it its muscle fibers. This, too, applied to the very hands that kept it close to the Titan; but when they lost their constitution, the force of the wind blew the Skullcrawler away from the bones of the Colossal Titan, charred and burned beyond belief. Falling out of the range of the Titan’s last resort, the skull devil crashed onto the ground, nearly lifeless.

But against all odds, the Skullcrawler’s eyes snapped open. Weakly and limply, it got back to its feet, unable to screech any kind of victorious howl. This wasn’t a victory; it had simply survived. And there was no pride taken in that. Its recruits and generals had all fallen to a powerful enemy, one filled with tricks unfamiliar to them. Instead of investigating the pile of bones that remained, it turned and high-tailed it out. There was no use in continuing a fight it was uncertain to win for. This Titan had sapped all the fight from it.

If nothing else, the others had to be informed–no matter what.

A steady series of footfalls echoed through the foliage that surrounded the ruined town of Sannagi, continuing until there was not a sound to be heard. What was left was nothing but the fires of death, the ruins of a town full of promise, and the skeleton of a Titan feared by many.

And for the first time since this war began, there was total silence.


Chapter 10: The Assignment

Behind the cliff face, the hunters waited for their chance. When the footfalls died down, Claasen acted as the eye in the sky for the rest. As he investigated the situation over the horizon, the rest of the volunteers stood in wait. Amidst the colossal explosions, devilish shrieks, and booming cries of war, they were swept up by the potential fear of being in harm’s way.

All but one.

Certainly, anxiety washed over Koyuki as it had all the other volunteers. But amidst that fear, there was determination. Even with the war waged between the Titan and the Devils, the utmost destruction they had wrought, the fact they could do something–that she could do something about it–fueled her deepest desires. Even the mere presence of holding a firearm gave her not just a sense of responsibility, but a sense of power as well.

Stopping the greater evil of Kubal and avenging her brother. That was all that mattered.

“All right, everyone understands the game plan?” Claasen reiterated, making sure everyone listened attentively. The volunteers, Koyuki included, nodded firmly. “Good. Now let’s head on out.”

“Wait!” The weak call came from a familiar face. One every townsperson had come to know quite well.

“Mr. Murai!” Koyuki gleefully called out. “You’re okay!”

“Thank you, but..” Murai paused, gathering the strength to pull himself up, “you’re not going alone.”

“You sure about that? Looks like you still need rest,” Claasen interjected.

“Last thing I want is for Koyuki to get hurt. For the sake of Beatrice’s honor.” Even with his wobbly footsteps, Murai was certain with his words. Claasen simply complied with a gruff nod, motioning him to tag along. The blacksmith approached the young girl’s side, simply walking along with her as they got a move on.

“Here, I thought the first thing you’d do is take my gun away,” Koyuki noted.

“Not in the condition to, really. Best I can hope for is that you use it responsibly.” Murai pointed to his bandaged arm, still unable to use it. “Also, that is not your gun, little lady,” he teased, forming a smile to bring levity to the situation.

Koyuki giggled in response. “I guess not.”

They continued their trek back to the ruins of Sannagi, finding barely a crumb remaining of the town they called home. It was a surreal sight to behold, the familiar streets and structures that once held a community reduced to nothing. Littered across the war-torn battlefield were carcasses of the invasive species, broken and mangled. Even some of the large-scale ones were disfigured beyond belief. One was charred to an overcooked husk, while another was barely recognizable from the lack of its bony face mask, leaving its brains drooping against the ground. Even if the fight had just ended, the stench of death permated the land. The disgusting smell of puke and acid stung the nostrils of all present.

Suddenly, Claasen raised his arm up, signaling everyone to stop.

“What’s wrong?” one of the volunteers inquired. By that point, Claasen had pulled up a set of binoculars, peering on ahead to confirm the target.

“Just making sure we’re not wasting time chasing a ghost,” Claasen simply responded, checking for any signs of human activity near the skeletal Titan. It was then a grin formed on his face. “Good. Kubal’s still here.” He passed the binoculars over to the volunteer, pointing to the nape. “There’s still a sack of flesh on that thing, the place where people reside in a Titan. Whatever the case is, this is too good of an opportunity not just for us, but for everyone who lives in the Walls!”

Signaling them forward, everyone broke into a sprint, hoping to get to the Titan before the Titan shifter could make the getaway. Murai dreaded the encounter that was to come; all the while, Koyuki felt her heart flutter at the thought.

‘This is for you, big brother.’


It felt warm. It felt safe. All the time spent in the pouch of the nape gave her body more than enough time to reform. The miracle of the Titans; though perhaps in her case, a curse was far more suiting. Strung together by the tendons, even more so than usual, Beatrice felt groggy–but at the same time, she felt whole again. She groaned at the unfolding events that had transpired. The last Skullcrawler forced her in a compromising situation, which forced her to expend her power to simply drive it away.

The fact it survived did not count as a victory; then again, how could any of this? Too many lives were lost, and now there was nothing left for them to live in. “This is all my fault,” Beatrice murmured to herself. “I could have done more. I should have done more.”

Just as suddenly, the sack opened up, jettisoning whatever heat and steam was left of her Colossal Titan. And almost unceremoniously, she fell out of it, landing on the blackened ground. She was covered in soot, and it was only then she realized her body had indeed fully reformed; only her clothes were tattered with rips, tears, and imprinted bloodstains, a reminder of the deathly experience she suffered from.

Her breaths were rapid, trying to get as much oxygen in her lungs as soon as possible. But she slowed herself, switching from mouth to nose, allowing the air to circulate her lungs and oxygenate her blood. Her body ached immensely, performing stretches in order to break her bones back into place.

The thoughts, the nightmares, the horrid battle all played in her mind. Then the memory of her lost family came back. Tears streamed down her face, leaning back against the spine of the dissolving Titan. She was left to her own thoughts, overwhelmed with guilt and grief from the traumatic experience. But just as her spirits hit the lowest lows, the words of Koyuki sprung back to mind.

“You better make it back.”

Beatrice bawled her eyes out, reminding her of why she bore this burden to begin with. She curled up in a ball, letting her suffering and sorrows come flooding out. But then…

“Everyone spread out!” cried out a deep, gruff voice that snapped Beatrice back to reality. She raised her head and cleared her eyes to see what was going on. Even with her tears wiped away, she couldn’t make out any particular shape; only the voices did she recognize belonging to the town members, including that of Claasen. She tried calling out, only for the words to get stuck in her throat.

Then they all came into view. People that she knew, people that she loved, all raising their weapons at her. Seeing this, Beatriced forcibly cleared her throat before the situation escalated.

“Wait, wait!” Beatrice called out. It became apparent they recognized her voice, all of them wearing faces of apprehension upon hearing her. “It’s me! It’s… me…” Her voice trailed off as she scanned the group, and among them she found not just Murai–but locked eyes with Koyuki, with the gun barrel aimed right at her. Beatrice almost couldn’t bear staring at her in the eyes as tears began to well up again.

Now she was left to face the sun.

“Bea…. Beatrice, what happened?” Koyuki stammered out, her eyes widening at Beatrice’s standing just in front of the slowly collapsing bones of the Colossal. Her hands trembled, forcing her to lower her rifle as she took a meager step forward. “Why are you standing so close to the Colossal Titan?”

Beatrice’s heart raced while she kept her hands up despite some of the townsfolk lowering their weapons. She saved them, yet they were afraid of what happened, what happened to her, and she couldn’t blame them. There’s nothing she could do, but come clean.

“Koyuki…. I….” Beatrice stammered out, taking a moment to compose herself, knowing the minute she revealed what she became, Koyuki would become hysterical. She didn’t want to lose her love, like she lost the love of her other daughters, but lying would only hurt them in the long run. “I’ve become the Colossal Titan.”

The words entered Koyuki’s ears, her brain processing the information delivered as she realized her best friend became the monster that sent her on a downward spiral. Her right eye twitched while her body rumbled, forcing the rifle to slowly ascend back towards her.

“You bastard!” Koyuki screamed out as spit launched from her mouth, inching her finger towards the trigger. “It wasn’t enough that you destroyed our home once already? You needed to do it again and destroy our trust?!”

Beatrice froze at her best friend’s screams, watching the tears pour down her bright red face. Even though she didn’t break down the gate to Wall Maria, she still felt an intense sensation of guilt for becoming the monster that ruined her life. She wanted to speak, to wrap her up in a hug and tell her she had every right to be angry, but she couldn’t move.

She was frozen.

Koyuki screamed and pulled the trigger.


Beatrice expected to cry out in pain, to see the blood usher out of her body, but felt nothing. She looked down to find nothing and upwards to see what happened to find Murai weakly tilting Koyuki’s firearm upwards.

The little girl snapped her head towards the blacksmith, furious at how he stopped her from shooting his target. She gritted her teeth while he took away the rifle from him.

“Why are you protecting her!?” shrieked Koyuki, tightening her hands, fully intending to strike Murai, as he kept his composure. “She brought this upon us!”

“No,” Murai simply spoke, slowly turning his attention to the still largely frozen Sheriff, giving her a small smile. “She protected us, protected you from everything. Beatrice is not and never will be Kubal.”

“A Titan is a Titan! They deserve to die no matter what they’ve done!” Koyuki barked out, striking Murai’s stomach, forcing him to cough out and drop the rifle. The little girl raced for the gun, but was grabbed by Claasen, as he wrapped his right arm around her stomach.

Koyuki screamed, furious at how another member of her town could do this when the real enemy was standing in front of them. She slammed her head backwards and sunk her teeth down on his arm, eliciting a yell of pain, but held onto her firmly.

Several of the townsfolk came closer and closer, standing together across from Beatrice as she continued to watch the display before her. A part of her was thankful for her people not shooting her on sight, but she felt disgust at how they were making Koyuki think they betrayed her.

“She doesn’t deserve this.”

It was then she regained the strength to move.

She took a step forward and spoke, “Murai.”

The blacksmith took a moment to compose himself and looked up to see his friend address him. He couldn’t help but smile at her finally speaking up again, but more importantly, he was relieved to see she was just okay no matter the circumstances. “Beatrice…..” Murai tried to speak, but stopped, realizing this wasn’t the time for pleasantries.

“Beatrice, the Scouts will likely catch on to what happened here,” the blacksmith pointed out, taking a moment to pause, to catch his breath as his injuries were still holding him back. “You need to leave….. They won’t understand like we would about you being the Colossal.”

What Murai suggested caused her to freeze once more, however, it was only for a second. Beatrice didn’t want to leave, she loved her town and everyone in it, but he was right. When the Scouts arrived, there would be an inevitable conflict between the two of them to decide her fate.

“Okay,” Beatrice mouthed softly, pulling the pin off of her vest and placing it down on the ground. “I’m sorry for bringing this upon all of you. You were all special to me.”

She scanned through the faces of everyone, ranging from confusion, sadness and terror at the revelation of what their sheriff was. Beatrice still felt her heart beating as she saw the fuming Koyuki, desperately trying to break out of Claasen’s grip.

“Koyuki, no matter what happens. You are my daughter and I will always love you,” Beatrice vocalized softly, her words oozing with comfort as she wanted her to know how she truly felt about her.

Her words, like rain hitting against a window, didn’t evoke a positive resonation with her. Instead, it only fueled the fire inside of her body, the rage that now consumed her. One that gave her life a new purpose. One she intended to fulfill even if it meant her dying to achieve it.

“I refuse to be the daughter of a horrid, disgusting monster like you!” Koyuki screeched out, gripping Claasen’s wrist tightly, digging her nails into his skin. “And when I find you again, I will kill you whether you are the first or the last Titan on this Earth!”

Hearing that declaration from a once, happy, brightful little girl broke Beatrice. Her heart shattered to pieces as tears fell from her eyes. She was gone. They both were. The former sheriff couldn’t bear to see what Koyuki had become or anything in Saanagi.

It had become a terrible memory.

Right next to the others that plagued her conscience.

Beatrice turned around and began walking away, forced to lose yet another life she once held close to her. Koyuki’s blood curled screams followed her, cursing her until she was outside of the ruined town.


The Survey Corp.

That was her destination.

She glanced at a nearby mirror, taking note of her short gray hair in contrast to her once long red curly hair. It was a precaution she had to take had anyone from Sannagi, her beloved town, told the Scout Regiment of her appearance. She wasn’t partial towards it, as she personally thought it made her look ten years older, especially with the glasses she threw on, but others had given her compliments on it. There was a time when such admiration would have given her a smile, but that was long gone.

All that mattered was ending the Titan curse.

She lost her husband and daughters because of it.

She will be the last of the Titans before relieving everyone of this nightmare.

And the organization she despised was her ticket.

“Alright, shitheads, listen up!” a brash voice spoke up, but several people revered it.

Beatrice glanced left and right at the nearby recruits, all adorned in uniform as they placed their hands over their chests. She followed shortly, attempting to fit in with the rest of the unit, keeping her eyes peeled at the short captain stopping in front of them.

“Captain Levi, I presume.”

“I’m going to make this quick for all of you,” Levi declared, keeping his glaring eyes at the recruits staring back at him, terrified of screwing up in front of him. “I’m not going to give you a speech like Commander Hange or Section Commander Erwin would. Instead, I’m here to inform you that our forces will be spread thin.”

Chatter erupted with the recruits save for Beatrice who darted her eyes between each recruit talking their mouths off, anxious to know the exact situation going on.

Levi threw his hand up, immediately recapturing everyone’s attention. “We got reports of creatures roaming around the outer and inner walls. Most of them being ones we have no actual intel on aside from the Skullcrawlers that attacked Sannagi just months before.”

A hand rose up amongst the crowd, as Levi took notice. Rolling his eyes, the Captain breathed. “Yes?”

The question came from a red-haired recruit, as he took a step forward, his voice slightly trembling. “Will we be gaining the assistance of the Attack and Armored Titans for these expeditions?”

Levi pinched the bridge of his nose, murmuring to himself. “Dammit, Hange. You owe me for watching over the brats.”

The Captain of the Survey Corp looked back at the recruits. “Shikishima,” Levi spoke with disgust in his voice, as he quickly managed to recompose himself, “will be a part of an expedition while Eren will be on a mission of his own and will require a personal guard to escort him.”

Chatter amongst the recruits spiked up once more as the short captain rolled his eyes, something Beatrice took notice of along with the Survey Corps’ predicament.

“Perhaps this can work to my advantage.”

She scanned the recruits standing alongside her yet again and back at the captain addressing them. Captain Levi was not only famous amongst all three branches of the military, but amongst the common folk as well. Slaying over fifty Titans was no easy feat.

Beatrice gritted her teeth. She didn’t want to kill, or even hurt anyone, but this mission of hers to consume the two Titan Shifters could be very difficult. On the surface, these recruits won’t give her much trouble, but for all she knew they could be holding secrets themselves.

Having to deal with Captain Levi was bad enough, but having to deal with scared kids was even worse.

“Now, my second-in-command, Petra, can fill you in on your roster assignments before we embark,” Levi relayed, before turning away to head inside the Survey Corp headquarters as a short woman with shoulder-length ginger hair stepped in his place.

“Good morning, everyone,” Petra announced to the recruits, before glancing down at the roster held firmly in her hands. “Daz Mukai, Samuel Jackson, Krista Lenz, Ymir Lenz, you will be assigned with Levi and Erwin’s escort of the Armored Titan.”

“Shit,” the recruit known as Jackson muttered right next to Beatrice.

“Ilse Langnar, Sandra Lauda, Gordon Johnson, and Floch Forster, you will be reporting to Commander Hange.”

One by one, the recruits were given their tasks as Beatrice’s name was not called, leaving her all alone. She didn’t pay much mind to it, as even if she wasn’t picked, she still had a decent gist of where every operation would take place.

It wouldn’t be a total loss to be left behind.

“Brzenska,” Petra’s voice called out, momentarily stirring Beatrice away from her thoughts. The Titan Shifter darted her eyes, reaffirming the situation of her being the only one left.

“Rico Brzenska?” the officer spoke up, looking up at her.

It was only then did Beatrice snap out of it, realizing she was addressing her. The name she had picked out for herself to hide amongst the people in her self-imposed exile. One that belonged to a friend of hers before Titans roamed the Earth.

“Yes, ma’am,” Rico nearly shouted out, before slamming her hand over chest, earning a laugh from Petra.

“Easy there, Brzenska,” Petra softly spoke, lowering the roster down to her waist. “No need for the formalities.”

Rico dropped her arm, but stood at attention for her orders as Petra continued. “Compared to these other recruits, you seem much more capable, which is why they’ve given you something far more important.”

“And that is, ma’am?” Rico inquired, taking a step forward as she adjusted her glasses.

“To be Eren Yeager’s escort.”

Draw: Colossal Titan, Skullcrawler

K.W.C. Kaiju War Chronicles

A very special thanks to dopepope for some of the assets used in this banner for the K.W.C. Be sure to follow him on DeviantART, ArtStation, and Instagram.