Contact Harvest is the fifth Halo Novel in the seres. It was written by Joseph Staten and was released on October 30, 2007 and is approx. 396 pages long. It takes place before the events of The Fall of Reach. The book was deemed New Yorks best seller for a month.The novel describes the first contact with the Covenant in the perspective of both the Covenant and Humanity.
The story's plot revolves around Staff Sergeant Avery Johnson and a Unggoy Deacon named Dadab. It starts off with Johnson leading a strike team with Staff Sergeant Byrne against a Insurrectionists (Rebels of the UNSC). The operation goes easy enough, but then turns into a hostage situation. Johnson is given the responsiblity of taking down the Insurrectionist with a switch to a bomb, but hesitates because the hostage could be accidently shot. Before he shoots, the hostage's father leaps at the Insurrectionist which sets off the bomb.
Johnson requests a transfer off the front line after the incident and it is suspiciously approved, in which he is sent to the farming world of Harvest. He suddenly meets Sergeant Byrne and finds out that Byrne and him were sent to Harvest to raise a militia. The ONI has found ships mysteriously disappearing around Harvest, and they think the Insurrectionists are to blame.
Meanwhile, the disappearances were acually caused by a Jackal crew with a Deacon named Dadab on it. They invade the human ships to look for Forerunner artifacts only to find fruit and plows. When the crew is raiding one of the ships they are set in a trap by Staff Sergeants Johnson and Byrne. A firefight occurs in which Johnson and Byrne win, but Dadab and his Huragok friend "Lighter Than Some" escape in a pod. The shipmistress decides to blow up the ship to try to kill Johnson but fails. Afterwards, Dadab and his friend are picked up buy a crew led by Brutes and they soon attempt to acquire a supposed "Oracle" on Harvest.
During these events, the Minister of Fortitude and the Vice-Minister of Tranquility decide to overthrow the current Prophets. They go to the Philologist for blessings, but the Oracle that had been dormant for eons, reawakens and declares that the relics that the Covenant have found on Harvest are the descendents of the Forerunners. That meant that all the Covenant writings are incorrect. Fortitude knows that if everyone finds out about this, it will be the end of the Covenant. To keep the secret, he makes the Philologist the Third Prophet that they need.
Continuing the invasion, the Brutes agree to a peace talk on Harvest. Soon, a fight occurs where the Covenant escape, but come back to glass the planet. The Humans launch a desparate attempt to evacuate the planet where Byrne protects the AI executing the plan, and Johnson takes back the space station to clear the citizens of the planet. Tartanus (the nephew of the Ship Master of the Brutes) has overthrown his uncle as leader, and then trys to stop the assault party on the space station. Dadab's Huragok friend also reveals information to the AI on Harvest during the attack on the planet. By revealing this information, Harvest was able to launch the plan. Although he was able to give the intel, the Huragok was killed by Tartanus's soldiers. Dadab enraged by his death, killed his murderers. After he was finished, he had one shot left. Dadab knew what he had to do and went off to avenge his friend's death. With that last shot he destroyed Tartanus's sheild, but the enraged Tartanus ends up killing Dadab. Tartanus, with out his shield could not keep fighting and escapes. The battle ends, and most of the citizens were able to escape.
In the capital city of High Charity the Covenant Prophets are overthrown. The new leaders Fortitude, Tranquility, and the Philologist rename them selves Truth, Regret, and Mercy. By the rise in power they declare a new age has begun, and that the human will be elliminated. This starts the Covenant and Human war, and the events that follow it.
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