This article is about the manga chapter. For the anime episode, see Smile: Assault on Stohess, Part 1.
|It looks like your gamble paid off for now...but this is where mine begins.|
|— Annie Leonhart is cornered|
Annie awakes in her room within the Stohess District. While the citizens grow nervous due to the oncoming arrival of Eren, Annie and the other Military Police recruits are given the mission to protect Eren and the Survey Corps as they pass through town. Marlowe, a young soldier, is put in charge of the mission's details because his superior officer singled him out for asking a question. He then gets angry, saying that the Military Police is full of lazy scum. Some other soldiers then begin to make fun of him, but Annie defends him by saying that he is indeed a righteous person. When the operation begins, Annie is found by Armin who asks her to help Eren escape. She initially refuses but then accepts when she is told that he would be killed. She then travels with Armin, Eren, and Mikasa and they tell her to enter into a tunnel, but she refuses. After much debate, the three reveal that they know her identity as the Female Titan and she gives a disturbing grin, saying that though they may have won their bet, hers begins now.
In Stohess District, Annie Leonhart awakens after having overslept. Elsewhere, few citizens have a conversation about the previous day's events. They get news that Eren will be passing through the town later in the day to be handed over to the Military Police Brigade. Another worries that officials will use him to influence the King, while another still wants them to seal up the Wall regardless. Upon hearing this, a fanatic member of the Wall worshiping religion accosts him, saying that to seal the Wall would be blasphemy.
Annie meets the other members of the police force who are already at attention and ready for the day's instructions. Hitch and Marlowe give her a hard time for being late, before another reminds them that she was present for the attack in the Trost District, suggesting that she is still recovering. Moments later, a senior officer walks in and gives them their orders for the day. Annie's interest is piqued when she hears that they will be escorting members of the Survey Corps on their way to the capital. Marlowe questions the need for an escort. Not wanting to be bothered with the responsibility, the officer leaves Marlowe in charge with a warning to not mess it up.
Outside, Marlowe complains about the attitude of the senior officers. He states that he wants to advance in the Military Police Brigade, so that he can change it from the inside. After some jokes and insults from the other soldiers, Annie speaks up. Hearing his speech, she is reminded of Eren and commends his courage for going against the majority and says that it is rare. She also tells him that most of the trainees are what he would consider scum and trash as they would put their own personal gain above others, even placing herself in that category, but that they are what is normal. Her speech causes Marlowe to rethink how to change things.
As Annie walks through the town, she stops as Armin quietly calls out to her, hidden in an alley. Seeing that she is officially in the police force now, Armin asks her for a favor. He wants her to help in his plan to get Eren out of the city. At first, she refuses, thinking the plan is not well thought out. Armin pleads with her, saying that Eren will be killed if she does not help. She asks Armin if she really seems like a good person to him, to which Armin responds that such a claim would be subjective, but that if she did not help then she would become a bad person to him. After taking a moment to think the offer over, Annie finally agrees, slipping a small silver ring on her finger out of Armin's sight.
Wearing heavy raincoats with hoods, Mikasa, Eren, and Armin make their way through the city, escorted by Annie. The trip goes smoothly thanks largely to the Military Police's lack of attention to detail. However, they still have to hurry before the cart reaches the capital and they find out that Jean has taken Eren's place as a decoy. Curious, Annie asks Armin how they would have escaped had she not agreed to help. Armin reveals the reckless plan of using vertical maneuvering equipment. Reaching an abandoned tunnel leading to the Underground, they start down the stairs but Annie does not follow. Eren turns to ask what is wrong. She gives an unconvincing argument that she is just a scared, frail maiden and that he would not understand. Eren, recalling her aptitude in hand-to-hand combat remarks that she can not be that frail and insists that she come down. Still refusing, she says that if they go underground, her escort stops there. Angry, Eren yells for her to stop messing around while Mikasa tries to quiet him. Annie, becoming suspicious, says that his yelling does not matter, as they have not seen a single person on the streets since they got to the tunnel. Out of her sight, members of the Survey Corps, some in civilian disguises, are hidden on rooftops and in the shadows of the nearby buildings.
Her suspicion coming to a head, she feigns insult at the realization of Armin's real plan. Armin questions her about the equipment she was using, confessing that he knows it was Marco's. He also tells Annie that he knows she was the one who killed the Titans, Sonny and Bean, being used for research by the Survey Corps. She asks why he never said anything until now. Armin explains that he did not want it to be true; he was hoping that his train of thought had messed up somewhere. Armin also acknowledges that he knows she is the Female Titan and in turn, asks why she had not killed him in the field the day of the mission. Eren, offering redemption, says that all she has to do is come with them now. Fed up with Annie's games and realizing that the conversation is going nowhere, Mikasa takes off her raincoat and readies her weapons. She calls her out as the Female Titan that attacked them earlier and will not let her escape. With the secret out, Annie gives a big grin and prepares to take on her Titan form. While Eren and Armin are shocked, Mikasa takes her stance, prepared to fight Annie. Annie prepares to bite her finger, letting them know that her bet begins now.
Current Publicly Available Information
14. The Military Police Brigade
Only the ten individuals with the highest marks in their year's Training Corps may apply to the Military Police Brigade. Additional soldiers join the Brigade in other ways, such as by transfer from the Garrison after gaining experience there.
The Military Police Brigade is about 2,000 soldiers strong, but reportedly has an actual fighting strength of about 5,000 soldiers including the Garrison, which is under its command.
The Brigade acts as though it is above the Garrison, and behind the scenes, it has the power to influence every section of the administration in the Interior. As it does not come into contact with the Titans on the front lines, it also suffers no human losses.
About 200 MPs are deployed in each walled city. Their main duties are to preside over the Training Corps, supervise the Garrison, and command and control the fire departments. They also arrest and detain political criminals and major offenders. The Military Police Brigade is ever given the first priority during investigations that involve nobility or the royal family.
Due to its character, the Brigade often comes into conflict with the Survey Corps, whose roots are democratic in nature.
Author's note: (With thanks to Ukyō Kodachi and Kiyomune Miwa)
Characters in order of appearance
- This chapter is currently the last chapter to contain Current Publicly Available Information.
- When confronted by Eren, Mikasa, and Armin near the tunnel entrance, Annie remarks that she could not become a "Warrior" (戦士 Senshi?). However, in the official English translation from Kodansha, this word is translated as "soldier." This was likely due to the fact that the significance of the "Warrior" title was not known at the time of Volume 8's publication, with the first distinction between "soldiers" and "Warriors" not being made until Chapter 39 in Volume 10.