|Author:||William C. Dietz|
The novel starts in the perspective of a crew member of the Pillar of Autumn, who has had experience with the cryo system. He is awakened from his cryo slumber, and is ordered to revive a "special" person from sleep. He is surprised to find out who it is, and the story switches to an "Elite" Officer. The officer finds out about the arrival of The Pillar of Autumn, which he is ordered to board. The novel then describes the fight on The Pillar of Autumn. Master Chief is awaken from his sleep, and finds that the ship is being invaded by the Covenant.The ship is far too damaged to fight any longer, and the ship is ordered to be abandoned. Master Chief is also ordered to get Cortana off the ship safely, due to all the tactical and NAV information she holds. He goes around the ship heading for the escape pods, while actively helping defenders in firefights. Meanwhile, Keyes and his crew stay on the ship until it is safely guided toward the planet. They all manage to escape The Pillar of Autumn, while Keyes unexpectedly kills an Elite spy aboard their escape boat. After the escape of The Pillar of Autumn, the Helljumpers took a Covenant base on a hill. The people leading the capture include, first in command Major Silva and second in command Lieutenent Melissa Mckay. Master Chief manages to find the encampment and sees that the Helljumpers have fortified the base. Keyes unfortunately did not make it to the encampment. He was captured by the Covenant and was being interrogated. Master Chief was then ordered to rescue Keyes, and he successfully takes Keyes back from the Covenent ship Truth and Reconciliation. Keyes tells everyone that the "Ringworld" called Halo is a weapon of unimaginable strength. Master Chief is then given the mission to find the control room of Halo before the Covenant can find it. After a long struggle, Master Chief finds the control room, and he inserts Cortana into the computer. Suddenly, Cortana realizes that Halo is a very different weapon than they thought and tells the Chief to find Keyes. He finds out that Keyes disappeared and heads into the swamp to investigate. By viewing a soldier named Jenkin's helmet cam, he sees that a mysterious alien species attacked Keyes. He then fights an onslaught of the alien species and soon meets 343 Guilty Spark, a Forerunner monitor of the Halo Installation. Guilty Spark tells Master Chief he knows a way to contain the Flood and to follow him. Master Chief then follows the monitor through rooms filled with the Flood, and finally ends up at the control room. Guilty Spark gives him the key to activating the defenses, but Cortana angrily appears to tell Master Chief what happens when Halo is activated. She explains that Halo doesn't kill the Flood, but actually kills the Flood's food. Meaning that, it kills all sentient life. Deciding they have to stop 343 Guilty Spark, they go out to delay Guilty Spark and to detonate The Pillar of Autumn's fusion reactors, but to start the detonation, they have to get Keye's nueral implants. After finding his location, Master Chief fights his way to Keyes who is dieing. Meanwhile, the Helljumpers have captured many weapons and defenses, and they too have found out about the Flood.They capture many Flood specimens including Jenkins, and they launch an assault to get off the ring. By a well planned attack, they capture the Truth and Reconciliation. Silvia, obsessed with fame and glory, decides to take the Flood to Earth for study. Mckay, realizing Silvia's crazy ideas, tries to convince Silvia to leave the Flood behind, but she fails. Jenkins then shows Mckay a critical system for the ship, and Mckay destroys it and the ship to contain the Flood. This causes the ship to crash killing all things on board. During all this, Master Chief successfully detonates the reactors. He jumps into a Warthog and arrives at his pick up location, but his ride is suddenly destroyed. Cortana points out that there is a lone Covenant fighter ship docked, and is the only way to escape. Master Chief made a mad rush to the fighter and escapes the explosion. This sets up the events of Halo: First Strike and everything following it.
--SONXx 05:45, 9 August 2008 (UTC)