Date: 5/25/09, 3 Days After Hammer Down Protocol

Time: 1600 Hours

Location: Arlington County, Virginia, The Pentagon

Perspective: Simon Marc

"It was a bright sunny day, and the airport was booming with people. I don't think I've ever seen so many in one place, but there I was with them. I was going to visit my family for a reunion, the last time we met up together in one place, it ended with my mother fighting with my grandfather. They never really did like each other so what can you do?"

"My grandmother, Abbie, invited the whole family to her apartment on May 22nd for a chance to start over. My family didn't really like each other, so it was usually Abbie who tried to plan stuff, so we could get closer, it never worked though. Usually, I'm not nervous about this type of stuff, I've never been nervous meeting my family because I knew them all too well. We always fought, hell, sometimes there was even contest to see who could shout the loudest, that was the kind of family I was in,"

"This year though, something was different, and not just because of a…monster…attacking us. My wife was with me this time. Julia and I married when I turned 21, one year after the last family reunion we had. Julia was my world, my sunshine in a void of darkness. She was the only one who understood me, who loved me for who I was. She was everything to me,"

"So, when Abbie sends out invitations to the reunion, guess who doesn't want to go this time, me, but Julia had never met my family before, and she said it was the perfect time to meet them while we still could. So, like the big teddy bear I was, I agreed with her, and soon we were standing in the airport lobby, waiting for my sister…Andrea…to pick us up."

"Can you tell me what happened during the attack?" Mia said.

"Mia, please, I'm in no rush. I get to tell my story, my way. I'll get to the monster stuff in a bit, alright?"

"Fine, just…please hurry up."

"Okay…Let me start over."

...

Date: 5/22/09, 1 Day until Hammer Down Protocol

Time: 1800 Hours

Location: Manhattan, New York

Perspective: Simon Marc

It was a sunny day in New York City, and you could tell that the weather was affecting people's moods, especially mine. I watched thousands of people roam around the airport, picking up bags, ordering their kids around, and just generally hanging out with friends. It felt reassuring seeing all those people there not worrying about anything, it made me feel a bit calmer about meeting my family again.

I turned around to see my wife Julia, walking over with our luggage. I only brought a simple green backpack with books, my laptop, some bubblegum for the kids, and present for Julia for her birthday, which was tomorrow on May 23rd. I never forgot Julia's birthday, even if we were only married for two years.

Julia handed me her suitcase and my backpack, grinning as she put them both in my hand.

"Think you can carry these for me?" she asks.

Julia looks at me with a grinning face, with her light blue eyes staring at me happily. When I saw her, I thought she stepped out of a photoshopped picture, and that's no exaggeration, because she looks beautiful. She has long blonde hair that reaches her back, and light blue almond eyes that twinkle in the night, she has a heart-shaped face, with thin lips that she has applied red lipstick on. She is white skinned and stands around 5'4".

I smiled as I take the bags from her hand.

"Anything for you my lady," I say, trying to sound formal and snobbish.

Julia laughs as she picks up her other bag filled with her personal belongings.

"You know, when will you ever grow up?" She says jokingly.

"When you decided to first," I reply.

She smirks and walks ahead of me, making her way toward the exit doors that lead outside. I follow her, careful to avoid bumping into anybody. We make it out of the airport quickly, trying to squeeze through the crowd of pedestrians walking around. We stop once we make it to terminal B, expecting to see Andrea, but her car is nowhere to be found.

We wait for a few minutes, wondering where she might be. I stand at the edge of the sidewalk, trying to see where Andrea's car is, while Julia decides to make a few calls home, talking to her mother about where she is and how she's doing. I remember meeting Julia's family before, and man, were they so kind to me. Julia's family was a lot easier to get along with than my family, they were so kind and funny, and Julia's father had many interesting stories to tell.

It's one of the reasons I'm so worried about this meeting, what if Julia took one look at my family and then turned around at the door, what if she was so disgusted by my family's behavior that she thinks I'm the same way? Sure, we've been married for two years and she knows I'm not like most of my family, but I still fear the worst.

While I'm lost in thought, I notice that Julia is a bit closer to me now, though she's still taking her calls. She stands there, with the wind blowing her hair high up. It exposes her silver flower earrings that shine in the sun. I bought them for her when we started dating, and she's had them on ever since.

After waiting for a few more minutes, I can see a red van pull up near us, and I also see a very familiar person inside, my sister

Andrea steps out of her van and looks around the terminal until she spots us, she waves and slams the door to her van as she comes over.

"Hey, Simon!" She yells, "worried I wouldn't show up?"

"You not showing up was the last of my worries," I reply.

"Well good thing I showed up when I did."

She punches my arm lightly and in a joking matter that I smile. Andrea is my younger sister, she's 20 years old and is currently still in college. She has a playful young charm to her that really shows when you're around her. She has tons of friends, which doesn't really surprise me.

Andrea has curly brown hair that reaches to her shoulders. She has white skin and is a bit shorter than me and Julia, around 5'3". She has flirty type lips and her skin looks smooth. She wears a long brown tunic with blue jeans, and she also wears black sunglasses.

Andrea turns her attention to my wife and they both start talking like long lost sisters.

"Oh my gosh, so your Julia! It's nice to meet you!" Andrea says while she shakes her hand.

"It's nice to meet you too! By the way, I love you outfit, you look so cute!" Julia responds.

"Thank you, and you look amazing yourself! Who does your hair by the way? It looks gorgeous!"

They both go on and on about fashion choices and other things I don't care about, so I start packing our stuff into Andrea's truck to make myself busy. I put the suitcase and bags into the trunk, making sure it's locked in there, and return to Andrea and Julia, who are still chatting it up.

"Since when did you drive a van?" I ask, smirking since I remember when we were little that she despised them.

"It was the only cheap rental I could afford," she remarks, "and besides, I got plenty of room for my besties when we go to parties."

Me and Andrea go to the front seat, while Julia decides to sit in the back. We wait as she settles herself in before Andrea starts to drive away from the terminal. I watch as all the people's faces drive by, dissolving from my view.

"So, Simon! Long time to see huh?" Andrea says.

"Yeah, it's been awhile," I answer back to her.

"After the last reunion, I was sure you weren't going to return."

I look back at Julia, who has a confused look on her face.

"What happened at the last reunion?"

This is what I was afraid of. I cringe as Andrea answers back at her.

"Oh, well our mother and our grandfather started throwing cupcakes at each other while screaming, and our grandmother Abbie decided to end the whole thing when they both fell backward into a bowl of fruit punch."

I looked at Andrea with a wide eyes face, trying to signal her to end the conversation, and she got it because she shut her mouth after seeing me. However, Julia was laughing in the back.

"Really? That's hilarious. Even my family reunions don't end that way."

I sighed in relief when Julia started talking about how her reunions are always so boring and elegant, maybe it would mean she wouldn't mind how my family would act. I turned around as Andrea and Julia started talking about their past. I looked straight ahead, watching thousands of cars and people moving around in constant motion.

The closer we got to our hotel, the more alive the city began to feel. I could see street performers dancing and singing, I watched people jog across the Brooklyn bridge, checking their phones to see how long their batteries will last, and I saw citizens walking down the street with groceries and a camera.

"You guys said you're staying at flower motel?" Andrea asks.

"Yeah," I responded, "We should be at least one block away from Abbie's apartment."

Andrea checked her phone, where her GPS directed her to our hotel, making sure we were following the route. As Andrea drove toward our hotel, I looked back at Julia, who was looking out the window watching some street performer. Julia looked in awe at all the tall buildings, it's her first time being in New York since she was six, that's what she tells me.

"I've forgotten how pretty the city is!" Julia chirps.

I turn around back at her.

"Oh, honey you'll love staying here for the next couple of days."

"I don't even doubt it."

I think it's a few more minutes before Andrea pulls up to our hotel parking lot. When I look on the outside, I'm quite impressed. Right in front of the hotel, is a big water fountain, with flowers that float around. The parking lot had a lot of spots, and a lot of them were left open. It appeared that the hotel was formed a big L shape, with the corner of the hotel containing a pool.

Andrea parks in one of the closest spots near the lobby, and we all quickly unpack as fast as we can, which doesn't take long since we didn't bring as much with us. Once were done, Andrea locks the van and we all enter the flower motel. We quickly check into our room, room 54 on the second floor, and swiftly maneuver our way there.

Once were there, I take out my room key and unlock the door. Julia is the first to enter and I hear her throw herself on the bed, Andrea goes in next, and then I follow closely behind, making sure the door is locked on my way in. After placing the begs in the room closet, I check the place will be staying in for the next two days.

It was a simple hotel room, only with one king sized bed instead of two. There were two brown end tables right next to the bed, both with lamps and alarm clocks on them. The floor was made out of wood, with a fluffy yellow carpet right in front of the T.V and bed. Near the edge of the room, was a small kitchen with a one big counter, a fridge, and a microwave. Right next to the kitchen was a small living room, with a small red couch, and a coffee table right in front of it. In front of the bed was a flat screen T.V that was above a huge drawer, with nothing inside it. Right beside the T.V and drawer was a door that I assumed led to the bathroom.

Julia smiles while she sits on the bed, she's already flinging off her shoes and tossing them on the floor. We agreed that we would change into nicer clothes when we got to the reunion, so I wasn't mad at all when she started to take off her clothing. I stand near the doorway for a bit before walking over to sit on the bed with my wife.

"Nice place your staying in, to bad I have to sleep in Abby's crappy apartment." Andrea stated.

I laugh at her comment, which makes my worries dissolve about Julia and my family.

"So, I'll see you at Abby's place, right?"

"Of course, I wouldn't miss it." I reply.

"Well, we have to go, so yeah." Julia says.

Andera laughs and then goes out the door.

"See you soon!" Andera calls out in the halls.

Yeah, I think, See you soon…

This isn't my proudest chapter, and I know it's really short, but I wanted the party/reunion to start asap. If your confused at the change of the P.O.V, then allow me to explain. When I was doing third person for Mia, it made sense to me since I wanted to try something new and challenging for me, and I thought it fit really well, but as you can see, this chapter is focused on Simon's P.O.V before the attack, that was because I find it more engaging and realistic, if we knew Simon's perspectives and thoughts during the attack. I hope you're okay with that. Anyway, should be posting more on this story soon, sorry for the long wait for those who are reading.

Take Care

CandleFire45