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.
and they opened fire. The Master Chief chose to target the most distant alien first, thereby ensuring that he would still get a crack at the others, even if they turned and tried to escape. The pistol shots came in quick succession. The Grunts barked, hooted, and gurgled as the well-aimed bullets hurled their lifeless carcasses down the reverse slope. When there were no more targets to fire at, the Master Chief took a moment to reload the handgun, clicked on the safety, and returned the weapon
and ground attacks. There was a different route, however, a pass approximately half a klick wide. All three columns could pass through it without breaking formation. The problem, and a rather obvious one, was the fact that a pair of rather sizable hills stood guard to either side of the pass, providing the Covenant with the perfect platform from which to fire down on them. As if that weren’t bad enough, a third hill lay just beyond, creating a second gate through which the humans would have to
face. A kilometer ahead, a Hunter named Igido Nosa Hurru fumed as he paced back and forth across a docking platform still stained with Covenant blood. Word had come down from an Elite named Zuka ’Zamamee that a lone human had killed two of his brothers a few hours earlier, and was about to attack his newly reinforced position, as well. This was something the spined warrior hoped would happen so that he, and his bond brother Ogada Nosa Fasu, could have the honor of killing the alien. So, when
reverberating thud. 343 Guilty Spark hovered over his shoulder as the Spartan stepped off the lift and approached a pedestal. “You may now retrieve the Index,” the Monitor said. The artifact glowed lime green; it was shaped like the letter T. It slowly rose from the top of the cylindrical tube in which it had been kept for so many millennia. A series of metal blocks that encircled the device rotated and spun, releasing their protective grip on the Index. The Spartan took hold of the device, and
mysterious installations stood like islands on the platform around him, and there was no way to know what might lurk in the dark corners. Lights, mounted high above, provided what little illumination there was. The human stood on a broad platform that ran the full length of the open area. A deep chasm separated his platform from what appeared to be an identical structure on the other side of the canyon. One of two bridges that had once spanned the gorge was down, leaving only one over which he