|Humanity's first defeat will come only when we stop fighting. As long as we keep fighting, we haven't lost.|
|— Mike speaks words of hope to Nanaba|
As the 104th Training Corps hear heavy oncoming footsteps, they are alerted by Nanaba that Titans are coming. They then begin preparing to head out in search of a breach in Wall Rose. Mike Zacharias smells nine soon to come Titans and warns Nanaba. Nanaba laments over the Survey Corps' apparent failure, but Mike offers her some hope. When everyone sets out, the Titans begin to chase them and Mike volunteers to distract them while the other soldiers escape. Later, Mike is seen on a rooftop. He has taken out five of the nine Titans and he decides it is time to retreat as he has bought enough time. He worries about a strange beast-like Titan covered in fur that appears to be an Abnormal. Mike is happy to see his horse return but is shocked when the Beast Titan picks it up and throws it at him. Mike falls off the roof and is caught in a small Titan's mouth until the Beast Titan crushes its head and frees him. It then begins to speak to him, asking about his vertical maneuvering equipment. When Mike is too terrified to respond, the Beast Titan takes it off his hips and leaves, telling the other Titans that they may do what they want with Mike. Unable to maneuver away, Mike is devoured by several Titans at once and dies.
Sasha becomes agitated after hearing multiple heavy footsteps from afar as Nanaba appears and informs the recruits that a vast number of Titans are approaching from the south. She orders them to get onto horses and evacuate the neighboring villages. On the roof, Mike senses nine Titans in the immediate vicinity. Fearing the breach of Wall Rose to be the worst imaginable scenario, Nanaba becomes tense and assumes that the human race has lost. Mike disagrees, believing that the human race will lose the moment when they stop fighting.
After everyone mounts their horses, Mike orders the group to split into four squads, each to go in a different direction and spread the word about the Titan breach. Sasha joins the North Team, while Connie, Reiner, Bertolt, Krista, and her friend join the South Team. A group of Titans spots the soldiers and begin running towards them. Mike confronts them to buy everyone else more time, leaving command of the South Team to Gelgar. Gelgar assures the others that Mike will be fine, him being the second-strongest soldier in the Survey Corps next to Captain Levi.
Some time later, Mike has killed five of the nine Titans. After calling for his horse, he notices a strange, 17m fur-covered Titan in the distance, which he assumes to be an Abnormal. Mike's horse returns, but is suddenly grabbed by the Beast Titan, which throws it at Mike. Mike dodges the attack but falls from his perch and is caught by another Titan, which immediately starts eating him. The Beast Titan instructs the other Titan to wait, but it does not listen, prompting the Beast Titan to crush it, to Mike's surprise.
The Beast Titan addresses Mike with human speech, asking questions about his vertical maneuvering equipment. Mike is too shocked to answer, and the Beast Titan concludes that the humans' use of swords means they know that they are in the neck. Receiving no answer from Mike, the Beast Titan strips Mike of his vertical equipment. As Mike remembers his words to Nanaba earlier that morning, he attempts to get up to fight while the Beast Titan absentmindedly tells the other Titans that they can move now. Mike calls out as the Titans grab him, and he screams in agony as they devour him from all sides. The Beast Titan seems unsurprised that Mike could indeed talk. He inspects Mike's equipment with amusement as the Titans continue to devour him.