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Tomorrow Never Came

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Kore didn't tell Eren about the dream she had. She probably should've, he would have loved it.


Her dreams always came to her within that space between consciousness and sleep—where, in the moment, she wasn't all too sure that she was actually dreaming—and she could let her imagination run wild. She had felt it the second her eyes had begun to drop, the sense that someone was watching as her mind emerged from the thick fog of cotton that was not fully precognitive.

That's when she saw it.

An owl ruffled it's wing as it sat atop a tree, drenched in moonlight with each pale feather looking sharp and icy. As she watched it take off into the night sky, her peculiar eyes following its swift movements, Kore realized that she was far away from home.

She froze, blinking her one green and one golden eyes at the area around her.

She could only describe it as an enchanted forest that was beckoning her into its pulsing heart. How could she resist such a lush Garden of Eden? The deep, haunting ballad of its ancient song called out to her. It felt as old as mankind, but the forest still steeped in plushness and opulence.

With a light heart, Kore plunged into the overarching vault of leaf and limb. It was not what she had expected. The exquisiteness of the dawn’s light had not yet pierced the lush, green sward. Because of that, hoods of black shadows hung in the groves. Coils of vaporous mist enwrapped the shaggy heads of the oak trees. They writhed around them like a conjuror’s milky smoke, sensuous and illusory. Sieves of mist caressed the lichen-encrusted bark. Adding its phantasmal gas to the damp breath of the forest, it glided with deadly intent. It deadened sound, haunted glades and poured into empty spaces. A sepulchral silence overhung the hallowed ground where the trees dared not grow.

Nothing stirred, nothing shone, nothing sang. A hollow echoing, like the hushed tones of a great, slabbed cathedral, entombed the wood.

Then a finger of supernal light poked through the misty mesh. It was followed by a whole loom of light, filtering down in seams of gold. Like the luminal glow of the gods, it chased the shadows, banished the gloom and spilled into spaces where the mist once stalked. The fluty piping of a songbird split the silence just as the forest became flooded with light. A fusillade of trilling and warbling detonated all around her as the primordial forest came alive with the troubadours of the trees.

Kore darted between shafts of lustrous gold light as she went, admiring the butterflies. They pirouetted in the air, their wings a-whirr like little ripples of silk. The glory of the forest was revealed in the birthstone-bright light. Almond-brown trees stood serenely, awash with a tender glow. Their bark looked like rifled toast and gems of amber clasped their crusty exterior.

The first blush of the morning gave the leafy bower a green-going-to-gold complexion. Idling past suede-soft flowers, Kore caressed them softly, getting tingles in her fingers. Her ears perked up at the metallic, tinkling sound of a stream. It flashed with a tinsel tint through the lace of leaves. When the trees parted, she could see it was sliding into an infinity-pool. The pool looked like a polished mirror of silver, with skeins of swirl-white twisting slowly on the surface. A shiny spillway led to a choppier pond. Boulders colonized the edges of the pond, buffed with pillows of moss. They caused a rocky gurgling as water met stone; a swish, a clunk, a swell and a clop. Sweet fragrances, alluvial and palliative, seemed to flit in and out of her awareness. Sight and smell vied for attention in this soul-enriching dream world.

Kore put her back against a knobbly boulder, leaning her head against the mossy pillow. She closed her eyes, letting a stream of consciousness take hold, and drifted into infinity. When she awoke, she could remember every detail of her dream, and the softness and silvers still lingered in the memory of it.

A gentle knock arose her further from her half conscious state, and she burrowed herself deeper into the blankets. The knob on her door began to twist, and Kore started to stretch her limbs. Her much needed rest was over, so it seemed.

"Hm?"

"Korina, are you still sleeping?" The soothing voice of her mother picked her out of the dream world she had been loitering in, and brought her back to reality.

"Mom? No. I'm up." She yawned loudly.

"Good. Eren and Mikasa are already up and went out this morning to pick more firewood. Get out of bed, and come eat your breakfast."

Of course Eren and Mikasa were up before her. It was in their nature to raise before the likes of someone like her.

Kore sighed. "Ok, mom. I'll be right there."

Her mom hummed in response, and retreated back into the kitchen.

Kore stood up, stretched and changed her clothes. The sun was already high in the sky, shining through the window. She figured there was no time for a bath.

As she wandered five feet towards the wash room, she could hear her mother calling for her in the next room over. "Korina! Hurry up, sweetheart. Your foods getting cold."

Kore finished brushing through her messy locks and walked towards the table. Her father was already freshly shaved and wide awake, munching on the last of his food before her mother came in and took it away. His bag rested on top of the table, and Kore knew that he would be gone for the rest of the day.

"Hi, sweetheart."

"Hi, daddy."

Kore waited for her plate patiently, eyes drifting close every now and then. She allowed the warmth of the darkness to swallow her, but the banging of her mother in the kitchen kept her awake. She tried to block out the noise, desperately wanting to return back to the beautiful dream world, and she would have succeeded if her father hadn't commented on her snoring.

"Ladylike." His small grey eyes didn't rise from his cup, the steam fogging up his glasses.

"How long will you be gone?" Kore asked, even though she knew that it would most likely be all day.

He took a rather long sip. He set the cup aside and cleaned off his glasses. "I won't be home for dinner. Make sure to behave yourself for your mother."

Kore was proud of her father. He did a lot of their people, and went above and beyond in his line of work, but it felt like he was never home. He had been gone every night that week, always returning when the three children were tucked away in bed, looking haggard and exhausted.

"Could I go with you?"

"Not today."

"Why not? You use to take Eren and I all the time. Why can't I go with you today?"

Their mother had encouraged their father to take the twins as often as he could to get them out of the house, and it was also an attempt to keep them out of trouble. Their father even had hoped that it would serve as a way for the twins to make new friends, but that expectation ended the night they brought Mikasa home with them.

"Korina." Just one word, a warning in his tone. The dingy, gold key glittered at his throat, winking in the morning light.

"I promise I won't get in the way." She heard the stubborn whine in her voice, and coughed to cover it up.

"Not this time, Korina." He looked down at her with his glasses sitting perched on the bridge of his nose. He patted the top of her head. "I'll be home late. Don't wait up."

Kore was about to protest, but her mother cleared her throat and put a hot plate in front of her. The older woman's mouth was set in a thin, hard line, and she gave her daughter a leveled look.

Kore's mother was a beautiful woman. Her light-colored eyes were as golden as the sun, and her rather long dark hair was always twisted loosely to the side on her right shoulder with a dark red tie. There were always a few loose strands of short hairs that rested around her ears and forehead.

Everyone always said that the twins resemble their mother look-wise greatly, but Kore felt like she was some type of washed-out version of her mother. Eren was the one who had their mother's looks, down to the loose strands of dark hair. Although he was an alpha, Eren was a beautiful person; even now as a ten-year-old. Kore got her mother's thick, dark locks and her left eye was a better copy of her mother's golden ones, and apparently Kore's right eye (and Eren's eye coloring, too) were exact replicas of their father's dead sister's. The rest of her was up for grabs. She was just thankful that she didn't have her father's nose, that made her feel a lot better. But, as an omega, she was no prize physically. She was starting to go through a gawky stage, and she was beginning to think that Mikasa had skipped it entirely.

Kore didn't want that to bother her, but it did. For an omega like herself it was better to be pretty and useless more than anything else, but it wasn't fair that Mikasa—who had been among the masses of lucky people to be born an alpha—was not only pretty and useful, she was strong, too. But at least she was a plain omega with her head screwed on right.

So she turned her attention to the plate in front of her to avoid her mother's eyes, and scooped up the scrambled eggs. "Fine."

It took a good twenty minutes for the food to make her feel anything close to being awake, and fully functional. She munched on her food carefully, with her mouth close like her mother had always chastised her to do. She childishly swung her legs back and forth since her feet didn't touch the floor. The fact that her favorite purple dress was finally washed and dried helped lift her mood a little, and she remembered that her brown boots were still unlaced.

"Eat your potatoes, Korina." Her mother reminded her, knowing that the younger girl hated them.

The front door swung open before she could complain, and Eren announced their arrival.

 

"We're home!"

Their mother took her attention off of shucking the corn to greet them. "Welcome back. You two are late."

Eren disposed of his bag of wood into the crate before he took his spot next to Kore. "Yeah, well....some stuff happened."

Kore eyed Eren closely and raised an eyebrow. Her twin brother was known to get into all sorts of trouble, and she had made a game of trying to guess what had happened for her own amusement since Eren wasn't too keen on sharing such stories which usually contained him either getting beat up, or embarrassed. Kore was positive that Mikasa would rat on him, though. She could be such a tattletale.

"Huh? Dad, you're going out now?" Eren asked once he noticed the bag waiting to be picked up.

"Yeah. I have to see a patient two towns up."

Then Mikasa opened her mouth and said, "Eren said he wants to join the Survey Corps," all in one rush.

Kore was thankful for the distraction because that meant she wouldn't have to eat the potatoes now, but she felt for Eren. Mikasa always thought she had his best interest at heart, but sometimes she just didn't understand what kind of trouble she'd put him in.

"M-Mikasa!" Eren looked startled and outraged and betrayed. He slammed his hands on top of the table. "I told you not to tell them!"

That was true. Kore had been there when Eren had asked Mikasa to swear not to mention his idea to their parents. And unlike Mikasa, who thought that Eren always needed to be protected, Kore trusted that Eren could take of himself and knew that he was too stubborn to be detoured from his dream.

Of course, their mother wasn't pleased. She rounded the table like a bat out of hell, and grasped Eren by the shoulders, and literally tried shaking some sense into him. "Eren, what are you thinking?! Do you know how many people have died because they dared to venture outside the Wall?!"

"Y-Yes, I know!" Eren shouted back.

Kore watched as her father's interest was sparked. He leaned across her to catch Eren's eyes.

 

"Eren, why do you want to go outside?" He asked.

"I hate the idea of spending my whole life inside the Wall," Eren said passionately. His ocean eyes were wide and shined with a light Kore had never seen before. It made his eyes look like beautiful gems. "Ignorant of what's happening in the world outside! And besides, if there's no one to carry on, everyone who died up to now will have died in vain!"

"I see." And as if Eren wasn't giving the speech of his life, their father gathered his bag and stood up, heading for the door. "Well, I'd better be going. The boat leaves soon."

Their mother shook herself from her initial shock, and rushed to her husband's side, following him outside, begging. "Wait, honey! Talk some sense into your son!"

"Carla," their father sighed. He sounded expatriated, but there was still fondness in his tone. "It doesn't matter what anyone says. There's no holding back an inquisitive mind."

To say that the twins were shocked was an understatement. They were absolutely floored. Usually, their father just agreed with their mother, letting most of the parenting fall onto her. He didn't ask for much from his children, and he never seemed to care about their hopes and dreams. So it was certainly a surprise that he would defend Eren.

"Eren, Korina," he called out to them. He flashed them the key around his neck before he tucked it away. "When I get home, I'll show you what's in the basement that I've been keeping secret all this time."

The twins eyes went wide, and their smiles would've been contagious if it hadn't been for the tense atmosphere. "Really?!"

As their father started to fade away with every step he took, the twins continued to wave him goodbye enthusiastically. There was no way they would be sleeping tonight. They were finally going to know what they're father had been hiding from them for years! It was so exciting, and nothing could ruin their high.

"Eren, I won't let you do anything as foolish as joining the Survey Corps."

Well, there was that.

"What? Foolish?! The way I see it people who are satisfied living like caged birds are the real fools!" And without another word, Eren grabbed Kore's hand and ran away, dragging his twin with him.

"Eren! Korina!" Their mother shouted after them, but neither twin stopped or even bothered to look back. Eren needed to get away, and Kore would follow him so he had someone who would actually listen to him.

Rather than going through the crowded market, Eren took them down the stone cobble steps that led through the back alley way. Cats and beggars and those up to no good loitered around those areas, just looking for something to stick their nose into. The twins normally found themselves running throughout the allies in order to escape the bullies, so they maneuvered easily around.

 

But Eren was much taller than his sister, and had longer limbs. Kore soon found herself out of breath from trying to keep up with him. She yanked on his hand. “Eren, slow down!”

 

And Eren did, looking back with an apologetic face. “Do you need to stop?”

 

Kore shook her head. “Lets walk for now. Mom's not going to come after us.”

 

Eren scoffed, almost sounding like a laugh. No, their mother would never run after them. She was more the type to scold them for running away when they got back home.

 

“Hey.” There was a small, thin smile on Kore’s face. She kept her hand tangled with Eren's, and squeezed his gingerly. “Are you ok?”

 

Eren shook his head. “I can't believe Mikasa told them.”

 

Kore moved her head to the side. “Really?”

 

“Alright, I can believe that she told them,” Eren said when he saw the look his twin was giving him. They both knew that it was just like Mikasa to tell on them. She seemed to have a speciality for it. “I'm just mad at her, and mom.”

 

“I know,” Kore said. “She reacted a lot better than I expected, though.”

 

Eren had to agree with her there. He and his mother had their moments, but he had expected this morning to go way worse than it had. But he bit his lip, and nervously glanced at his twin.

 

“You don't think I'm foolish, do you?”

 

Kore’s eyes widened. “No! I agree with you—you know that. I want to see the outside world, too, but I'm not as brave as you are, Eren. You're a lot stronger than people give you credit for, so never give up on your dream because you'll be doing it for the both of us.”

 

Eren's whole face lit up, and he drew Kore in for a surprised hug. That's all he needed to hear, really. As long as his twin—the person who was supposed to be by his side from womb to tomb as they said—had his back, then he could do anything.

 

“What are you talking about? You'll be right at my side, like always! You shouldn't put yourself down so much, Kore. You're not like other omegas, and that's a good thing. Who wants to be normal?”

 

Alpha, beta and omega—the “second sex” where all people have defined biological roles based on the hierarchical system, with the terms originating from animal behavior research. Some would say that the ABO system was older than any well put together human civilization, that earlier clans acted on pure animalistic instinct and nothing more. And if that were true, then no one actually knew why human instincts, thoughts and morals began to take over their ancestors, reducing them back to their primitive state once every year during an omegas heat. A lot of researchers believed it was the dwindling numbers of omegas, though. The birth rate of omegas continued to lower within the hundred years of living behind the Walls, and the numbers for alphas and betas continued to skyrocket. And years ago Kore’s birth would've been celebrated; she would've been seen as a rarity and prized throughout the entire kingdom, but times have changed. Everyone looked down on omegas like they were some sort of lost cause because they were the lowest on the hierarchy. If one couldn't be born a dominant alpha, then it was better to be the subordinate beta who was nothing special compared to the alpha, but they could still conceive and birth children whether they were male or female, and they didn't need a heat to be fertilized.

 

And poor, little Kore had the unfortunate luck of being born an omega. The only omega in the entirety of the Shiganshina District. For as long as she could remember she was constantly picked on by the other children, excluded from games just because she was different. That had always made Eren angry, and so instead of using his words to express how he didn't think his sister was being treated fairly, he had started to use his fist. That was the reasoning for them not having many friends, and Kore always felt bad because Eren could have as many friends as he wanted to if he didn't have an omega sister to look after. She sometimes felt like a burden to them all, but that never changed the fact that she knew they would always have her back at the end of the day.

 

“Do you hear that?” Eren asked out of the blue. He stopped walking, and looked down another path.

 

“Hear what?” Kore strained her ears, and heard the faintest sounds of voices. One voice in particular sounded very familiar. “Is–is that Armin?”

 

“Yeah, I think so. Come on.”

 

Their footsteps echoed on the stones. The voices got louder, and one of them definitely belonged to Armin.

 

“A-AND THAT’S AS GOOD AS ADMITTING DEFEAT!”

 

“Do you think he's in trouble?” Kore asked.

 

“Probably.” Eren took a sharp right and led them down into a confusing tangle of steps that all looked the same. Kore started to feel warm again, and that's when she realized that Eren had started to pick up his pace.

 

“Shut up, you tricky bastard!”

 

At the sound of the second voice, Eren growled low in his throat. They were the same bullies who constantly picked on Kore and him because they were different and seen as heretics. And they usually sought out Armin when they knew that the twins and Mikasa weren't around. One would think that Kore would be the easiest target because of where she stood in rank, but it was actually Armin who would never fight back. Having Eren for a twin sure had its many pros, and one of those things were that Kore had learned not to let anyone push her around no matter who they were. She was a scrappy fighter at best, and the omega in her could become bloodthirsty when she thought that her loved ones were in any sort of real danger.

 

The twins rounded the corner, and neither of them slowed down. The sight of Armin surrounded by three big alphas, shoved up against the wall, only made them run faster.

 

“Knock it off!” Eren yelled as he advanced on the bullies. “What the hell are you guys doing?!”

 

“It's Eren!”

 

“And Kore!” Another laughed.

 

“Now’s our chance to kick the little bastard’s ass in front of his sister again!”

 

Just as one of the alphas looked over Kore's shoulder, the omega had smelled another alpha coming up from behind them at top speed, too, and she knew exactly who it was.

 

“Ah! F-Forget it! Mikasa’s with them!”

 

The bullies scattered in fright, forgetting all about Armin and Eren. As her brother came to a stop, she heard his surprised tone. “They took one look at me and ran away!” It seemed like he still wasn't aware of Mikasa’s presence.

 

“More like they saw Mikasa and ran away,” Armin corrected him as he attempted to stand up. The bullies must've gotten him good because he slid back down the wall with a pained expression. “Ow….”

 

Kore crouched down and brushed the strands of blond hair out of Armin’s face. “Are you ok, Armin?”

 

Tears gathered in Armin’s baby blue eyes, and he looked away from Kore's concerned face. He felt warmth spread across his entire face in embarrassment. He knew that she couldn't help it—it was programmed in her biology to act as if though she were a cornered mother hen, but the blond beta didn't want the pretty omega to think that he was a weakling.

 

Eren offered him a hand, but Armin refused. “I can stand up on my own.”

 

“You sure?” Eren didn't look convinced, but the blond proved him wrong when he was able to stagger to his feet, gaining his barings.

 

“I'm sure.” Armin dusted off his clothing, and he looked over at Mikasa. “Thanks.”

 

Silent as always, Mikasa just nodded, but there was no mistaking the fondness in her eyes. Armin was just as much her best friend as he was the twin's.

 

Knowing that Armin was alright, Eren took his attention off of his friend to glare at his adoptive sister. “Why did you follow us?”

 

“To make sure you didn't get into any trouble,” she said. She rearranged the scarf around her neck, something that was nervous tick of hers. “And I was right—you two find trouble everywhere.”

 

“We don't need your help.” Eren began walking again. Glancing at her sideways, he asked, “Why can't you ever leave us alone?”

 

Kore felt a flash of guilt when Mikasa blinked, startled.

 

So she grabbed Armin's hand, unnoticing to his sputtering and blushing, and took one of Mikasa’s hands into her free one. Kore smiled brightly at her adoptive sister. “Don't mind him. He's just cranky. Hey! Let's go to the market and look for Hannes. He's probably so drunk by now that we can swindle a few coins outta him.”

 

Mikasa smiled, and it made her look lively. “Ok,” she mumbled softly with a twinkle in her eyes that was only ever directed at Eren and Kore.

 

The female alpha and blond beta allowed the petite omega to pull them in the direction that Eren had stormed off to. Mikasa kept a vigilant eye out just in case the bullies decided to try and ambush them, but nothing went amiss. So she allowed herself to admire the omega for just a moment, taking in the setting sun that casted an otherworldly glow around Kore; making her look more like some sort of fairy than an actual human begin.

 

Like she had said, they were able to get a few coins from Hannes who reeked of alcohol at that point, slurring his words and even calling Kore Eren as they left him sitting on his sore ass when he had fallen off of the chair.

 

“That was a good one, Armin!” Kore laughed as the three of them ran off with Hannes yelling after them.

 

Armin smiled impishly. He hadn't meant to make Hannes fall out of his seat, but the blond beta could be such a klutz sometimes. And if Kore hadn't jumped out of the way when he had tripped over a stone then it would've been her tumbling to the dirt floor.

 

“Maybe he won't remember what happened, but he'll have a sore ass tomorrow,” Kore said, amusing the blond.

 

“Let's hope not,” Mikasa said, unamused.

 

Mikasa wasn't a fan of unnecessary violence even though the ravenette alpha was one of the best fighters Kore had ever seen.

 

“Oh, c’mon, Kasa! Live a little!”

 

Armin just smiled. Now, everything was right, and he couldn't help but be reminded of the first time he'd seen the twins, the day they became best friends. He had always been a pale, slight boy with big blue eyes and a brain that made him subtly weird that made the bigger boys start picking on him immediately. At the center of the market place they ganged up on him like a hound cornering a fox—until the twins saw what was happening.

 

Surprisingly enough, it had been Kore who burst into the group first, slapping faces and kicking shins until the bigger boys went running home to their mother's. Even at five she'd had a good left hook. Then she'd turn to Armin.

 

“Wanna be friends?”

 

After a brief hesitation, he had nodded his head. Eren had returned a minute later after he went chasing after the bullies. Kore had introduced him to her twin as their new best friend. The smile the blond had given them was nothing but sweet.

 

And soon the twins had learned that their new friend was just as strange as them. Unlike the rest of the other children, Armin hadn't cared that Kore was an omega. In fact, he'd found it fascinating. Carla had been ecstatic when they'd brought Armin over for the first time.

 

He wanted to see the outside world, too—he'd shown them a book his parents had left behind just for him to read. He was matter of fact about it.

 

Then Mikasa came into their lives just a few, short years later and the rest was history. The four of them were inseparable.

 

“There's Eren.” Kore pointed out. He was sitting alone next to the huge pond in the middle of the town. He was resting on the steps, skipping rocks in the water one after the other, disturbing the fish peaceful swim. She let go of their hands and took off towards her brother.

 

“Eren! I got you a slice of pie; it's apple!”

 

At the sound of his twin's voice and the mention of food, Eren perked up, the angry scowl on his face lessened. He reached out with grabby hands and dug right in. “It's exactly what I was craving.”

 

“I know. Me, too.”

 

Armin and Mikasa joined them, eating their slices of pie as well.

 

“Where'd you get the money?” Eren asked with his mouth full and crumbs all over his mouth.

 

“Hannes,” was all that Kore said, but Eren understood.

 

The twins cackled with wild laughter.

 

As the sun reached higher into the sky, the four of them just sat around the pond, admiring the same old scenery. It was the same old gardens they saw everyday. The sheds and the fenced in areas that kept the livestock from running all over town. There were even three little girls that played tag everyday, too; all well illuminated by the glittering sun. One had brown hair, one had golden hair, and the other had hair the color of cotton. That white. That fluffy. They giggled as they ran around the circular pond. They were only five years younger than the four that were watching them, but to the ten-year-olds, it was almost a different lifetime ago.

 

“Why did they corner you?” Eren asked Armin as they all had finished eating.

 

Mikasa and Kore looked at each other. There were few things that they actually agreed on, but one of them was definitely Armin and Eren. They figured they could guess why.

 

“I overheard them talking about the Survey Corps; after they came back. They said it was all just as waste of time. Actually, they said they were all suicidal for even wanting to step foot outside the Walls. So I told them that the Survey Corps had to be some of the most bravest people ever, and that every time they step outside it was one step closer to getting rid of them .”

 

“What happened after that?” Kore asked.

 

Armin drew his knees up to his chest and wrapped his arms around them tightly, huddling into a ball. “So when I said the human race should eventually go to the outside world, he punched me and called me a ‘hectic’.”

 

Eren's lip curled. “Damn it, why do people frown on even the slightest mention of wanting to go ‘outside’?”

 

“Well….it's because we've lived here peacefully inside the Walls for hundred years now,” Armin answered without looking away from the water. “People are afraid that if we go out carelessly, they could get in. Royal government policy says that even having an interest in going to the outside world is taboo.”

 

“The same policy that says omegas can't join any of the branches,” Kore said, her voice suddenly as soft as the dead leaves falling around them. “That's a taboo, too.”

 

“In other words, the king is a coward,” Eren said sourly.

 

“You're right about that.” Armin shrugged. “But I wonder if that's the only reason.”

 

“They're our lives!” Eren was looking off into the middle of the distance, his green eyes narrowed, his mouth a scowl. “We can do what we want with them, right?”

 

“Absolutely not,” Mikasa said in her disturbingly soft voice. “No way.”

 

They began to argue about it. Kore rested her chin on her knees and stared at the humungus Walls that kept them locked in, but safe all at the same time. She was thinking about the outside world, something none of them knew nothing about. It gave her a pleasantly forbidden thrill to think of one day venturing into the unknown—Eren's dream had rubbed off on her. Here, at home, they weren't really free. She could never been tempted to go against her mother's orders and try not to go outside. But now….Kore knew that Eren wasn't wrong for his thoughts. It was their lives after all.

 

A shiver ran down her spine deliriously. But just as she was about to picture herself in the Survey Corps uniform, nothing but a silly dream, the ground beneath her moved. The hairs on her body stood up at attention.

 

She looked around. She couldn't see anything unusual. But….she felt ….

 

She turned to her siblings. “Something's coming,” she said. “But I don't know from where.”

 

Eren and Mikasa were still arguing. They didn't hear her, and neither did Armin. He was too occupied with the fight.

 

“So how'd they take it?” The blond asked, referring to their parents finding out about Eren's secret goal.

 

“They weren't pleased,” Eren said.

 

“Of course, naturally.”

 

“What the hell?!” Eren gasped. “Are you telling me to give up on it, too?”

 

Armin shook his head. “Look, I know how you feel, but come on, it's dangerous. I mean, for sure, I think the people who believe we'll be safe inside this Wall forever have a screw loose. Just because the Wall hasn't been breached in hundred years, there's no guarantee that they won't break through it today, for example.”

 

There was a terrible rumble from deep in the belly of the earth that struck fear into every living beast. Then the earth began to move as if it were a wave on the sea—something that was beyond the Walls that they had read about in Armin’s book—and buildings that had stood for hundred years began to crumble into their own foundations, trapping their occupants to a grisly death by crushing.

 

Suddenly, the light in the sky disappeared as it was being swallowed by a massive black shadow. Cracks appeared from the ground beneath. Fear and panic ensued as the ground shook up and down, as if the entire place suddenly fell from the sky and struck the earth with mighty impact. The four of them scrambled up to their feet, but almost immediately lost balance and were reduced to crawling as they fled towards where the crowd was gathering.

 

Kore attached herself tightly to Eren's side, and he didn't seem to mind as he kept a steady hand on her. “What was that?!”

 

“An earthquake?” Mikasa assumed.

 

Kore reached out for Mikasa, too, and the alpha female took the frightened omega’s hand in hers. Kore drew her adoptive sister closer, effectively sandwiching her between her siblings, the two people who made her feel safe.

 

Armin was already on his feet, and he watched as the people ran towards the Wall instead of away. And that puzzled him.

 

“Let's check it out!” Eren was already moving, taking Kore and Mikasa with him. The rumbling didn't cease, and they only proved to get louder.

 

As the three siblings rounded a corner, they found that Armin had beat them, standing there with eyes so stretched open it looked like they would pop out of his skull.

 

“Armin, what is it?” Kore asked, but the blond didn't respond. He just kept staring.

 

Eren tried next. “Hey! What the heck are you looking at?!”

 

And then they came to a complete stop beside the blond. They mirrored his expression of astonished fear.

 

The sky had been consumed in numerous shades of grey and white and black. It looked like the sun had given up on trying to break through the iron curtain of clouds of smoke that it had become content to lounging out behind them.

 

Then, suddenly, five long extremities reached over the Wall with a grip so strong that it left cracks in the foundation that was once thought to be impenetrable.

 

“It can't be!” Armin mumbled to himself in a horrified tone. “Th-that Wall’s fifty meters high!

 

From the thick smoke appeared to be a head. In that moment Kore wasn't really looking at it. All she could do was keep her eyes open because it had to be a dream. A nightmare. How else was she supposed to explain it? Never once in their history had their ancestors mentioned such a monstrosity. She couldn't imagine that it was hard to remember a creature that was over fifty meters tall.

 

Respectively, both Eren and Mikasa’s grip tightened to the point of being painful, but Kore couldn't find the words to speak. Her mind wouldn't connect with her mouth. She was too stunned.

 

“It's one of them,” she heard Eren say, but it got overshadowed by a scream.

 

A TITAN!”


At first no one moved, their brains unable to make sense of the input from their eyes and feet. The ground was still moving, and the noise was like extended thunder only worse because the vibrations were coming from below. Then, like a switch has been flicked, everyone moved for safety, all of them on the autopilot mode that all consuming fear created. The Wall began to scream under pressure, and the sun rapidly began to flicker like a candle light before it seemed to have went out all together.

 

And that's when Kore realized that it—the Titan—had made a hole in the Wall.

 

Time passed slowly.

 

Kore stayed paralyzed within the chaos, feeling every beat of her heart pounding against her now icy chest. The screams around her were deafening, but she could only hear one thing; the sound of her own pulse throbbing in her ears. Suddenly, the serenity of silence surrendered to the deathly screams of fear, as the Wall in front of her was slowly breached with monsters. A narrow stream of light gracefully meandered through the centers, and the shadows quickly followed.

She was scared.

Kore held her breath, daring not to make a sound. Each second seemed to last an eternity as she stood perfectly still listening to the thunderous footsteps of the intruders, which had muted the pounding of her pulse.

 

Armin was saying something—screaming it frantically, but Kore couldn't hear him. She hadn't even left her grip in Mikasa’s hand go limp as she was being pulled away by Eren, running in the opposite directions of the boats.

 

The last thing she could remember was Eren screaming.

 

“Mom's at home!”

 

And that day, the human race remembered the terror of being dominated by them . And the shame of being held captive in a birdcage.