My name is Leo Valdez.
Orphan, former foster child, former captain of the Argo II, and former bachelor. (That's right ladies, I'm taken.) A month after I, erm, died, me and Calypso made it back to camp, and we found everyone celebrating, and why wouldn't they be? Gaea and the Giants finally defeated, both camps unified, monsters finally stopped immediately resurrecting, and the gods finally unschizophrenized. All was well.
And then came May 26. A day that everyone would remember, as a massive explosion rocked the center of Manhattan, taking out five city blocks with the Empire State Building at the epicenter. "9/11 all over again," the news had called it. No one had ever seen anything like it. But that was only the beginning. Word of the "Demon of Empire City" spread across the country, and the government started secretly hunting us down. Everyone who went on a quest was captured, never to be seen again.
A month later, an even worse blow hit. A "Beast" had ravaged the East Coast, leaving millions dead and millions more sick with a mysterious plague, but a week later, a huge beam of light shot out into space. We thought it didn't affect us at all, until we saw news reports of monsters across the country. Whatever that thing was, it took out the Mist. By then it was the government's last straw. Now they were publicly hunting us down, calling us "deviants" and "bioterrorists." Anyone who was presumed not human was caught and imprisoned immediately.
No trial. No warrant. No rights.
By then we realized, too late, we had to leave.
"Of all the days," Leo muttered. It was a perfect late summer morning. The sky was a pristine bright blue, with the occasional lazy cloud and slightest tint of orange, and the trees were still bright green and plump with leaves, as if they didn't know what was coming. Usually the campers would be out in droves, playing tetherball, going out on the lake, scaling the lava rock wall.
But not today.
With his ADHD, the eerie silence was almost too unbearable. But he was prepared, at least, for the grim faces inside. "Hey everyone," Leo said sheepishly.
"Leo, why'd you bring us here again?"
"I…uh… okay. I had a long speech prepared for this, but I'll just cut to the chase; I request that the evacuation be today."
Everyone in the room muttered amongst themselves, save Annabeth and Clarisse, who was twirling her humongous army knife.
"Guys, look," Leo said as he switched on the TV. "Look at the news. Already people are reporting SWAT teams trashing their homes, and ransacking them for 'evidence.' If we wait another week-"
"Another week- Leo, look at what you're asking us to do," Will stood up, hands clenching the pool table. "You're asking us to fly a giant Celestial Bronze aircraft carrier in quarantined US airspace. You get that thing above a thousand feet, military jets will shoot us out of the sky. The casualties alone would be-"
"Look, I understand what could happen, but if we don't evacuate now, we will all be brought into custody and shipped off to gods know where. This is my plan, but honestly, I don't like it any more than any of you do."
There was a tense silence, until Annabeth spoke up.
"Leo's right. The military will have us surrounded within a month. If there is a time to act, the time is now."
Clarisse stopped sharpening her knife.
"Well? That big red button isn't gonna push itself." She gestured to the button in the center of the pool table. Leo pulled the lever that activated the two fountains and threw two gold coins in. A giant ball of frizzy white hair appeared in the fountain.
"Hey Leo. How's life treating you?"
"Better than death I suppose," Leo responded, half chuckling. "Alright, down to business. Oh goddess Fleecy-"
"Use the new jingle when making calls, please."
Leo made a half smile. "Yo Fleecy, do us a solid."
Fleecy made a full smile. "Who do you wish to see?"
"Group chat, Reyna Avila Ramirez-Arellano, and Carter Kane." Fleecy's faces disappeared, and they were replaced by the faces of both the leaders from both camps.
"Reyna, how'd it go?" Leo asked.
"Me, Praetor Zhang, and the Senate have approved of the motion, Leo, and we are ready to fly."
"Brooklyn House is also ready. We even got our gryphon strapped to the boat-"
"…nevermind. Are you guys ready?"
"Mhmm. Now remember, we have to get our helicarriers to three thousand feet, or else the wind gods can't carry us to the Pacific. Be ready for military retaliation. Godsspeed."
The Iris-message closed, and Leo turned to the other campers.
Will solemnly pushed the button, and klaxons blared all over camp.
"ALL CAMPERS TO THEIR DESIGNATED EVACUATION CABINS. HARPIES AND PEGASI TO THEIR DESIGNATED STABLES. THIS IS NOT A DRILL. IF YOU ARE ALLERGIC TO BULLETS, EVACUATE YOURSELF IMMEDIATELY."
The camp seemingly opened up from the inside, and a humongous Helicarrier sized Argo III slowly lifted itself into the sky. The entire Hephaestus cabin held to their own personal handrails, but the Apollo cabin all stood outside in their snipers nests, at the ready.
Unbeknownst to everyone, Jason carried Annabeth and Piper by both hands down to Rachel's cave. Landing softly on the ground, Annabeth ripped open the veil that closed her off from the outside world. "Rachel? You there? The entire camp is evacuating- RACHEL?"
Rachel lay on the ground, seemingly unconscious and muttering, her eyes glowing in Oracle fashion. Annabeth picked her up and shook her. "Oh my gods, not now! Rachel!" Her head just lolled back, still muttering unintelligible phrases. Annabeth picked her up in a bridal position. “Jason, can you fly all four of us to the Argo III?” Jason looked up at the unforgiving sky, and with a grunt and a gesture, the winds blew the foursome toward the flying ship.
As it reached one and a half thousand feet in altitude, Leo heard a military transmission in the cockpit:
"UNIDENTIFIED AIRCRAFT, YOU ARE ADVISED TO DESCEND TO 800 FEET AND FLY TO THE NEAREST AIR FORCE BASE. IF YOU DO NOT COMPLY WE ARE AUTHORIZED TO USE DEADLY FORCE."
Leo's voice suddenly rang around the aircraft. "Archers to the defense tower! Do not fire unless provoked!" The sound of an exploding missile rocked the ship, and Leo ran to the outside, wildly screaming orders into his rigged Wiimote microphone. A squadron of twelve military jets circled the Argo III, firing missiles toward the bridge, but the archer nests were fending the missiles off.
So far so good.
And then the helicopters came. Soldiers dropped down from parachutes and held up automatic rifles and riot shields, and were met in earnest with swords and arrows. Celestial Bronze clashed with Kevlar and Plexiglas, and Leo scrambled toward the bridge, simultaneously awed and confused.
Percy whirled around like a demon, simultaneously slashing his sword left and right and subduing soldiers with icy bonds. Nico and Will yinned and yanged across the battle, teleporting people to safety and enemies to the ground. Jason, immediately after landing and assessing the situation, became a literal whirlwind, disorienting and confusing the soldiers. But soon, the military's aim became apparent. Paratroopers swung in, grabbed Annabeth, who was carrying the unconscious Oracle, Piper, and Jason, and parachuted off the ship.
"NOOOO!" Percy yelled, and ran to jump off the side to the ship. Nico and Will grabbed him and pulled him up, as three voices across the country yelled at the same time,
"Prepare ship for ludicrous speed!"
"Set all thrusters to maximum throttle!"
"Divert all magic into the boosters!"
And all three helicarriers raced at the speed of light toward the Pacific Ocean.
Later, in a military base…
The soldiers dropped off the foursome, Annabeth, Jason, and Piper bound and gagged, in a prison cell in the base. They clamped their hands with special guards that surrounded their hands completely. “Dirty bio-terrorist.” a soldier yelled at them.
Soon, a cloaked man with umbrella and a red hair looked down at them, as though he were sizing them up. Jason was in a protective gesture around Piper, and Annabeth, even though she was gagged, looked at his as though she was going to spit at him. Even under this glare, the man didn’t flinch.
“Throw them in a cell. Analyzation will start tomorrow.”