Halo: The Flood (Halo, Book 2)
William C. Dietz
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REACH HAS FALLEN.
THE COVENANT WAR MACHINE RAGES ON.
HUMANITY’S LAST HOPE LIES WITH THE CREW OF THE PILLAR OF AUTUMN—THE INDOMITABLE CAPTAIN JACOB KEYES, STAFF SERGEANT AVERY JOHNSON, THE AI CORTANA, HUNDREDS OF FEARLESS MARINES . . . AND SPARTAN 117, THE MASTER CHIEF.
Having barely escaped the battle for Reach, the crew of the Pillar of Autumn is forced to make a jump into Slipspace in hopes of evading the vast alien alliance hell-bent on wiping out humanity. But their destination brings them to an ancient mystery and an even greater struggle.
In this far-flung corner of the universe floats a magnificently massive artificial ring world . . . a construct from a long lost race. The humans’ only hope of survival is to crash land on its surface and take the battle against the Covenant to the ground.
But they soon discover that this enigmatic ring world is much more than it seems. Built 100,000 years ago by a civilization known as the Forerunners, this “Halo” is worshipped by the Covenant---a sacred artifact that they hope will complete their religious quest for supposed transcendence. They will stop at nothing to control it.
Engaged in a fierce ground battle, Master Chief and Cortana go deep into the Halo Construct to uncover a dark secret; this enigmatic ring world is also the universe’s most dangerous weapon. Its purpose: the destruction of all sentient life. For the Forerunners built the Halo to battle the universe’s most vicious enemy---a virtually unstoppable and suddenly reawakened force known as The Flood.
host of Flood poured into the room, all of whom were clearly determined to kill the heavily armored invader. A flying wedge comprised of carrier and combat forms stormed the platform, pushed the human back, and soaked up his bullets as if eager to receive them. Finally, more by chance than design, the Spartan backed off the command deck and plummeted to the deck below. That bought a moment of respite. There wasn’t much time, though, just enough to hustle up out of the channel that ran parallel
which was punctuated by the sounds of combat, as orders went out and reports came back in. “This is where you will sit,” the Elite explained, pointing toward a vacant chair. “All you have to do is listen to the incoming traffic, make note of the reports that pertain to the human, and pass the information along to me by radio. “He has an objective, we can be sure of that, and once we know where he’s going, I’ll be there to greet him. I know you would prefer to be in on the kill, but you’re the
can. In the meantime, we tie up as many of their resources as possible, avoid capture, and kill some of the bastards if we can.” “For what?” Dowski demanded. “So you can make Admiral? I submit that we’ve done all we could reasonably be expected to do, that the longer we delay the harsher the Covenant will be. It makes sense to surrender now.” “And you are an idiot,” Lieutenant Hikowa put in, her eyes blazing with uncharacteristic anger. “First of all, the Captain rates the honorific ‘sir.’ You
again. The pilot turned down-spin, fed fuel to her engines, and disappeared into the night. The Master Chief heard the aircraft pass over his head, gathered his bearings, and spotted a footpath off to the right. The ODST troops spread out to either side as Parker and a three-Marine fire team turned to cover the group’s six. He crept along the rocky footpath, which rose to a two-meter-high embankment. As he neared a cluster of rocks, Cortana warned the Spartan of enemy activity ahead. A host of
occurred, when more than two dozen assault weapons opened up on them. Four of the rapid attack vehicles were destroyed within the first few seconds of the battle. The fifth, piloted by a mortally wounded Elite, described a number of large overlapping circles before crashing into the cruiser’s hull and finally putting the driver out of his misery. The Elite behind the controls of the sixth and last Ghost panicked, backed away from the wholesale destruction, and toppled over the edge of the