|It only took 30 years for us to forget the terror of the Titans...but now we humans have felt that fear carved deep into ours hearts once again...|
|— Carlo upon seeing Shiganshina District in ruins|
The Titan's Son (巨人の子 Kyojin no Ko?) is the 1st chapter of the 1st volume and the 1st chapter overall of Attack on Titan: Before the Fall manga, written by Ryō Suzukaze and illustrated by Satoshi Shiki.
Sorum Humé and Carlo Pikale are in the remnants of Wall Maria. They find the Garrison dealing with a robed group of people. Elena is part of the group, who orders they open the gate. The group chants her statement until the soldiers do as they say. Eventually, the gate opens and a Titan emerges from the space. It takes over the town and eats every human in sight. Later, the military performs a sweep of said district to prevent disease spreading. Sorum and Carlo are among them, however, they ponder why the Titan is nowhere to be seen. Carlo suggests it had enough of eating. The two find a large pile of Titan vomit with the dead bodies it has regurgitated, and Elena is among those dead bodies inside the vomit. They hear noises coming from her body, so they cut open her womb and find a human baby. Nonetheless, the baby is branded as the "Titan's Son" following the events of being born inside a Titan.
Thirteen years later, Elena's son is grown into a teenager, where he is being kept inside a prison cell.
Two members of the Survey Corps, Sorum Humé and Carlo Pikale, are inside the ruins of Shiganshina District, but both of them are overwhelmed by the scenario, knowing that this is the result of an encounter with a Titan.
Earlier that day, there is a confrontation between the Garrison and a group wearing black robes. Sorum is among the group guarding the gate, who find a pregnant woman at the head of the group. The woman is Elena, who has recently lost her husband, Heath, a squad leader of the Survey Corps. Sorum is unable to get through to Elena; it is as though she is "unconscious," simply unaware of Sorum’s presence right in front of her, deaf to anything Sorum is trying to say to her. Elena orders the others to open the gate, leading to the robed figures chanting her statement. Sorum proceeds to shout at Elena, but to no avail. Carlo comes up beside him, reminding him that it is the way of this cult to prey upon those who have fallen apart, and even to convince personnel of the Survey Corps to join their ranks.
A government official is amidst everyone near the gate, kneeling, set to be executed by more black-robed individuals. Recalling that there is an uprising occurring within the Walls, Sorum and Carlo recognize this man, realizing that the cult had lured him into a trap. Carlo points out that the man has been able to bask in a "refined" lifestyle, something commoners cannot have. But immediately after that notion, the Liberty Bell rings, intensifying the cult’s chanting, simultaneous with the government official being decapitated. The gate is opened with everyone within the district able to see it, and the Garrison are powerless to stop it.
When the gate is fully opened, large fingers peer through the passageway. The Bell continues to ring as an enormous, bulbous, malformed humanoid face, expressing squinted eyes and a grin partially overlapped with melted flesh, glanced through the passageway. The Bell’s ringing is drowned out as the entire populace is wrought in terror, as the Titan proceeds to ravage the district, crushing and consuming countless people around it. The district within Wall Maria is quickly ripped apart.
Sorum calls out to Carlo, breaking him from his traumatic recollection. Sorum inquires about why the Titan is not within Wall Maria at present, to which Carlo is unable to answer effectively, recalling a rumor about civilians who manage to lure it out and subsequently close the gate, but to that Carlo believes more in the possibility that the Titan had enough to eat. With that inquiry out of the way, they remember their orders to sanitize the ruins, to dispose of corpses so as to prevent the possibility of a contamination. A little further into the ruins, they discover a hill of bodies, covered in some sort of thick residue, something that Sorum and Carlo recognize as another characteristic of the Titans, that they vomit all who are consumed. While observing the mass, Carlo discovers that Elena is among the bodies. Soon, before they can call up the Garrison to handle with recovery, Carlo hears something, which he soon hears coming from inside Elena’s body.
Sorum expresses fear of the possibility that Titans can give birth through way of vomiting those they ate, all the while knowing nothing about their physiological functions. After a brief thought about what might happen, Carlo ultimately draws his sword and Sorum readies his crossbow. Upon pulling on Elena’s blouse, something erupts out of her womb, which Carlo and Sorum see to be a human baby. They are startled to witness that it is alive, and they can only guess that it was still alive within the mass of bodies which the Titan had regurgitated. Given the circumstances of the child's birth, he is named the Titan's Son.
Thirteen years pass after this event. The child, having grown, sits confined in a cage amongst other exotic animals.