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"A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing" by Dori Weisz | Attack on Titan

Anime Series

The girl was standing on one of the giant trees at the edge of the forest. Around her in groups of
twos and threes were her comrades. Some of them friends from boot camp, others veteran
members and officers of the Survey Corps.

Anxiety was palpable in the air. Beside her Sasha was shaking and muttering to herself. The
officers tried not to show that they were just as confused by the turn of events as she and the
other recruits.

Suddenly a noise of cannon fire violently interrupted the eerie silence of the Forest of Giant
Trees. Everyone reached for their blades as if the enemy could be upon them any minute. A
minute later came the sound of another round of explosions. The new recruits turned to the
veterans for explanation, but all the adults could do was share their confusion. They werent
aware of the plan either.

Mikasa, what was that sound? It was cannon fire right? Right? Sasha asked frantically.

I don't know Sasha. I don't know any more than you do, the girl answered just as Nanaba, one
of the more experienced soldiers, landed on their branch.

Be ready soldiers. The signal to retreat should come any minute now. With those instructions
she was gone.

Mikasa looked down at the titans standing below them at the foot of the trees. Some of them
started to figure out how to climb up the trees but eventually, they fell down. It didnt hinder
their determination though, as they started again and again. None of them had shown any
reaction to the harsh sound of the cannons.

Eventually she stopped staring at the beasts under her and retreated into her thoughts. The center
rank with the Commander and his squad are all deep in the forest. It has been several minutes
since the explosions. What could they be doing? Could Armin be right? Is Eren seriously right at
the heart of danger? If only she could sneak away and make sure hes alright. She promised his
mom that she would always keep him safe. So far she hasnt been particularly successful at that.
Why was Eren always so stubborn? The Commander must have had a strong suspicion about the
Female Titan they encountered earlier. So many people have died. Was that all a plan to capture
her? If so were they successful? She just hoped that Eren wouldnt be hurt.

And then her blood froze. The hair on the back of her neck stood up and she was completely in
focus again. A new sound came from deep within the forest. She knew that sound.

Its Eren! I have to get to him!

She was flying among the enormous trees with her ODM gear, completely ignoring Sashas
pleas to stay where she was. The only thing that mattered to her was reaching Eren. The others
would be safe. She needed to be at his side. He needed her.

***

She started in the general direction Eren's titan form's roar came from, keeping to the path. The
last thing anyone needed right now was for her to get lost. The roars of the two titans and the
shouts of men guided her as she got deeper into the forest.

A short while later she arrived at a clearing. Below her a scene of utter mayhem unfolded. The
Female Titan was restrained by a bunch of wires, hooked into her flesh all over her body.
Despite the difficulty with which she seemed to move she was in an attack position, trying to get
to Eren, who managed to free himself from her grasp just as Mikasa arrived. All around, the top
members of the Survey Corps were working on making it impossible for the captured titan to
move. Others were loading the artillery cannons.

Captain Levy waved her over to where he was standing with Commander Erwin. She was
surprised at that. She heard the stories about the Captain, and Eren spoke highly of him as well,
but Mikasa herself has never interacted with the man.

When she got there the Captain introduced her. Erwin this is Mikasa Ackerman. Both Shadis
and Ness speak highly of her and she was also instrumental in taking Trost back. I assume shes
here to save Eren," here he gave her a sideways glance. Anyway since shes here already, she
might as well be useful. Shes fast, and speed will be key in taking this bitch down.

Just as he finished speaking, the soldiers at the cannon signaled that they were ready. After
waving at them to wait, Erwin turned back to Levi and Mikasa. Alright, heres the plan: in a
minute we are going to blast her hands off at the wrist. She has the ability to harden areas of her
skin. We need the two of you to cut her as deep as possible in as many places as you can. Hanjis
hypothesis is that it will tire her out and she wont be able to harden anymore. If that is true
youll be able to cut the person out of the nape. If there are any problems Eren can jump in as a
Titan and help you. Id rather it didnt come to that, as weve already seen that shes stronger
than Eren. Remember, everything depends on your speed.

Commander Erwin then flew off to the artillery team. The Female Titan was still focusing on
Eren, so Mikasa and the Captain were able to sneak close enough to her. They watched as Erwin
silently raised his arm, letting the people manning the cannons know to be ready. When they
signaled back, he flung his arm forward and the cannon, usually used on the walls against
ordinary titans, was fired. The sound was deafening but Mikasa and Levi had no time to hesitate.
They plunged forward into the steam that rose from the injured titan. Not having wrists anymore,
she protected herself by hardening her nape. Levi nodded at her to go to the beasts other side
and then they started cutting.

Even though she was top of her class and much faster than any of her classmates, she was still
significantly slower than Captain Levi. They worked in unison though, cutting through the titans
muscles until she was no more than a useless, unmoving heap on the ground.
They started towards her to finish the job, when through the Female Titans limp jaw came the
most bloodcurdling scream anyone has ever heard. Mikasa and the Captain froze midair before
changing course for one of the nearby tree trunks. They stared at the beast below in disbelief,
needing to cover their ears to shield from the sound. She stopped and stared at the ground.

What the hell was that? Captain Levi asked no one in particular. He turned towards the
Commander. "Erwin! Do we proceed?

He only responded by waving them over to him. He was standing near the cannon with Mike
Zacharias, a core member of the Survey Corps, and both of them acted agitated.

Mike says that Titans are coming, and lots of them. I dont know how but the Female Titan
must have called them. Stay back until the first ones get here and see what happens. If you see an
opening take it, but no unnecessary risks. I'd rather not lose two of my best soldiers.

Here they come! yelled Mike just as three titans of various sizes ran into the clearing. They did
not care about the people at all, just went straight for the Female Titan, tearing into her flesh. She
did not do anything about it.

Everyone protect the Female Titan! yelled Erwin from his command post. All the soldiers
jumped to action as an ever increasing number of titans swarmed the meadow. Although the
ordinary titans were tearing her to pieces, the Female Titan did not budge, nor did she stop
hardening the skin on her nape. There was no reaching the person inside.

Mikasa and Captain Levi stayed a bit back from the action, keeping an eye on her. Yet with the
growing amount of steam it was becoming more difficult by the minute.

Get ready Ackerman," said Levi. Shell have to escape any minute now or shell get devoured.
See, shes tiring out. The moment she withdraws the hardened skin we strike.

Mikasa nodded her agreement. They could do it. They were close enough and fast enough.

The Female Titan moved. It was the tiniest of movements but it was the sign they needed. Both
of them drew their blades.

Any minute now," said Levi slowly. Get ready...NOW!!!

They were onto her. The Captain cut through her flesh horizontally, 1 meter long and 10
centimeters wide. The flesh of the titan fell away and revealed a blonde soldier. She had her gear
on and was wearing the green cape of the Survey Corps. Only she wasnt a member of the
Survey Corps.

***

Mikasa couldnt believe her eyes. She froze completely, not registering that one of the ordinary
titans was reaching for her.

Ackerman, what the hell are you doing?! Move, dammit! yelled Captain Levi. She snapped out
of it, killed her attacker with a single strike and went to help Levi get the girl out of the titans
body.

It was hard. Even though Levi cut the shifters arms and legs she still seemed connected to the
beast. Mikasa had yet to see the girls face. Maybe it wasnt her. Mikasa refused to acknowledge
the person inside it.They started to cut the tendons, still keeping her in place. They were
surrounded by so many titans that even Eren had to fight. Some of the ordinary ones started
attacking him instead of the Female Titan.

They cut through everything and were about to lift the girl out of the titans carcass when it lit up
and a crystal started to surround the girl. Mikasa and the Captain had to run or it would have
enveloped them as well. When the transformation finished the crystal fell to the ground. There
was no way of getting to it without killing all the titans surrounding the Female Titan. There
were too many of them. They just couldnt cope. So far the titans were busy with the two
shifters, so nobody has died, but it was only a matter of time.

Everyone withdraw! Eren, change back! shouted Erwin. Mikasa was off to help Eren get to
safety as he exited his titan form. When everyone stood safely among the branches of the giant
trees they watched as the titans devoured the two carcasses.

Who was it? Tell me!? asked Eren. She looked at him while contemplating her answer. As the
crystal fell, Mikasa did catch a good glimpse of the girls face. It was one of their fellow rookies
from the 104th Trainee Squad: Annie Leonhart. She reached a decision. Im sorry I didnt see.
Too many things were happening at the same time. Well have to see when all these titans have
cleared off.

Eren nodded in acknowledgment. They didnt speak afterwards. Most of the titans wandered
away from the clearing after they finished eating the two shifters titan forms. and the remaining
few were no match for the elite of the Survey Corps. They approached the crystal with caution.
Mikasa hoped she was wrong. She didnt know or like Annie all that much, but the other girl was
her comrade and she knew how much Eren respected her. However, the tiny blonde girl in the
crystal was unmistakably Annie.

The Commander ordered Captain Levi and Mike Zacharias to break Annie out of her shell but
they didnt have any luck. Eventually Hanji reminded Erwin about the new recruits waiting at the
edge of the forest. Some of the soldiers covered the crystal and secured it on one of the carriages.
As soon as all their equipment and supplies were loaded onto the carriages the withdrawal signal
was sent up.

Although no more incidents happened on the way back, the death toll was still extremely high.
Capturing the Female Titan was a big achievement, however, given her state, no information
would be gained from her. This would render the operation useless in the eyes of both the public
and the military leaders, meaning that Erens as well as the Survey Corps fate was just as unsure
as after the Trost Recovery Operation when they were waiting for the trial. Mikasa could only
hope that the Commander had a plan .

The end

Dori Weisz is a Hungarian-born freelance writer living in Germany. She graduated college in
Hungary in 2015 earning a BA in English. She has had articles published in an English-language
publication called The Budapest Times.

When she's not building her freelance writing business, she's a keen amateur photographer, and
also enjoys traveling and yoga.

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