|The quality required of a Survey Corps Commander... is the unyielding desire for understanding. There are none more suited for this duty than you. I'm leaving them in your hands.|
|— Hange Zoë to Armin Arlert|
The ship arrives in Odiha and the Azumabito engineers begin repairs on the flying boat so the Survey Corps and Warrior Unit can chase after Eren Yeager. The city has been abandoned, and by now most of Marley has been destroyed. Yelena believes Eren is heading for Fort Salta at the southern end of the country. Annie Leonhart decides to part ways with the group at this time, and stays on the ship to look after Gabi Braun and Falco Grice, who are being left behind.
Before they can leave, Floch Forster reveals himself and damages the fuel tank to the flying boat, forcing them to stay longer than anticipated and putting them in danger of being overtaken by the Rumbling. Hange Zoë decides to be the one to stay behind and names Armin Arlert the 15th Commander of the Survey Corps. Thanks to Hange's sacrifice, defeating enough Wall Titans to buy them time, the Azumabitos are able to finish repairs and fueling, allowing the Survey Corps and Warriors to take off.
The Survey Corps and the Warrior Unit arrive in Odiha and find the city deserted. Hange Zoë begins to ask the Azumabito family if they can ready the flying boat before the Rumbling crosses the nearby mountains, and Kiyomi says that they will, no matter what it takes. She asks Hange to save Hizuru.
The combined group lugs the flying boat into a hanger where the Azumabito engineers can begin their preparation work. When they need to remove the explosives previously rigged around the flying boat, Armin Arlert suggests keeping them for later use instead of throwing them away.
Meanwhile, Pieck Finger comforts Falco Grice as he comes to terms with Theo Magath's death and the destruction of Liberio. The Rumbling has already covered the majority of Marley. In a panic, Falco asks Pieck what they are supposed to do, but she holds her head, saying that she does not know.
Outside, Mikasa Ackerman tries to persuade Annie Leonhart to try on the new vertical maneuvering equipment since she is not used to it, but Annie says she is done. She does not understand saving humanity when the humanity they are trying to save has been the ones persecuting Marleyan Eldians like her for her entire life. Even if they stopped the Rumbling, Marley has already fallen so there will be no one to protect them. Annie feels sorry for people like the Azumabitos, but she no longer has it in her to fight.
Mikasa notices Annie looking at Armin as she states she wants to live in peace, and Mikasa asks a blushing Annie when it had started, but backs down and says she is fine with Annie's decision. However, she lets Annie know that Armin is coming with them on the flying boat. Annie knows, and asks if they intend to kill Eren Yeager to save humanity. Mikasa says she is not killing him, but will instead be bringing him back. As Mikasa walks away, Annie notices that she is no longer wearing the scarf Eren gave her. Mikasa pauses and says that she still has it, but is choosing not wearing it right now.
They see Yelena and she recounts her discussion of the Global Allied Fleet's military capabilities with Eren. Rather than the fleet, what worried her was the flying boat research base at Fort Salta. Yelena suspects that will be Eren's next target, to destroy the flying boats that could potentially be a threat.
She asks those present to admit that Zeke Yeager's euthanization plan was right, especially given the circumstances they are facing right now. Hange does, adding that Eren had no solutions or future for them either.
Outside the hanger, Pieck asks Kiyomi to take care of Gabi Braun and Falco. They might not be completely safe on the ship, but it will be better than carrying them on the flying boat. Pieck plans to lock them in their room and asks Kiyomi not to let them out until the group has departed. Somber, Pieck says she needs to pay back her fallen comrades.
An hour before takeoff, Hange has the Survey Corps inspect their equipment and Levi participates, checking the grip of his blades with a shaky hand even though he is missing multiple fingers. To everyone's concerned looks, he says that two fingers is all he needs.
Off to the side, Annie asks her fellow Warriors if she is going to be the only one running away. Pieck tells her not to worry and Reiner apologizes for forcing the start of their operation when they were kids. If they had turned around back then, she and Bertolt Hoover might have been able to see their families again. Annie agrees, and tells him that she does not know how many times she stopped short of trying to kill him. They embrace and Reiner asks her to take care of Gabi and Falco for him.
Annie waves good-bye to everyone and regards Armin sadly before turning away. Mikasa asks Armin if he is okay with this, and he says he is glad, though he looks down a moment later.
Hange asks if everyone is fine being in on the operation, given how Eldians will be treated after this. Pieck understands, but Magath left the Warriors with a final order to work together and she and Reiner intend to see it through. Hange uses the opening to suggest riding the Cart Titan's shoulders, but Pieck refuses, leading to a snide comment from Levi. Hange asks him if he thinks their dead comrades are watching them, but Levi instead tells them to not start talking like him.
As the engineers get ready to fuel, Floch Forster drags himself into the hanger after having clung to the ship ever since it left Paradis Island. He shoots the flying boat several times, damaging the fuel tank, before Mikasa kills him by shooting a hook from her vertical maneuvering gear into his neck. One of the engineers says he can repair it in an hour, but as he reaches for a pair of pliers, the ground begins to shake, signaling the arrival of the Rumbling.
With his dying breath, Floch tries to convince Jean and Hange not to go or everyone on the island will be killed. Hange agrees, but says they cannot give up. Armin volunteers to stay behind and slow the Wall Titans, but Reiner calls him their only hope of stopping Eren, and says he will be the one. Hange interrupts them to say they cannot afford to use up any more of their Titans. Since Hange was the one who led them up until this point, they will be the one to take responsibility for staying behind.
Hange appoints Armin the 15th Commander of the Survey Corps, citing his unyielding desire for understanding, and then sends their former soldiers on their way. Levi catches Hange as they turn to go and Hange says that it is now their turn, and to let them go so they can look as cool as possible. Levi sets his fist against Hange's chest and tells them to devote their heart, the first that Hange has had him say that. Hange then leaves to face the Titans.
The Titans get close, but Hange kills enough of them with their blades and Thunder Spears to allow the flying boat to finish repair and fueling. Hange's cloak catches fire from the sheer heat of the Wall Titans as the group hustles the flying boat out to the water. Levi says farewell as they take off and Hange falls.
Hange wakes up lying in the footprint of a Wall Titan. They immediately ask about the flying boat only for Erwin to tell them that it took off. Surprised, Hange sees the fallen members of the Survey Corps standing around them. Hange asks Erwin if he knows how much trouble they went through because he named them commander. Erwin agrees it must have been a lot, but they are here to listen.