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.
recommends is likely to result in a high number of casualties. Is this acceptable?” “The opportunity to transcend the physical is a gift to be sought after,” the other responded. “The humans are willing to spend their lives—can we do less?” No, ’Fulsamee thought, but we should aspire to more. He again clicked his lower mandibles, and touched the light panel. “Cancel the previous order. Load four transports with troops, and launch another flight of fighters. Neutralize the interloper’s weaponry
got through the storm of gunfire. One of the Banshees managed to hit a Warthog with a burst of superheated plasma, killing the gunner, and slagging his weapon. The LRV continued to roll, however—which meant that the trailer and its load of supplies did as well. Once through the hail of bullets, the surviving Banshees turned and lined up for a second pass. As the second flight of Covenant aircraft arrived from the east, split up, and launched individual attacks, Field Master ’Putumee barked an
horrible. Now they’re afraid.” “Something buried?” Cortana looked off into the distance as if she could actually see Keyes. “Captain—we’ve got to stop the Captain. The weapons cache he’s looking for, it’s not really—we can’t let him get inside.” “I don’t understand.” “There’s no time!” Cortana said urgently. Her eyes were neon pink and they focused on the Spartan like twin lasers. “I have to remain here. Get out, find Keyes, stop him. Before it’s too late!” SECTION IV 343 GUILTY
completed his mission. Slowly, reluctantly, he turned to investigate the rest of the room. The remains of a badly shattered ramp led up over a small fire toward the walkway on the level above. He felt heat wash around him as he stepped over a dead Elite, took comfort from the fact that the body had been riddled with bullets, and made his way up onto a circular gallery. From there, the Master Chief proceeded through a series of doorways and mysteriously empty rooms, until he arrived at the top of
flew and assault weapons chattered, as both sides took part in a deadly game of hide-and-seek. This was not what McKay had envisioned, and she was looking for a way to disengage, when a wave of new hostiles entered the fight. A torrent of the bizarre creatures attacked both groups from the other side of the hill. McKay had a glimpse of corpse-flesh, twisted and mangled bodies, and swarms of tiny little spheres that bounced, leaped, and climbed over the rocks. The first problem was that while