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Halo - First Strike - Eric Nylund - NEW Book

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Halo - First Strike - Eric Nylund -  NEW Book

Halo - First Strike - Eric Nylund - New Book

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First Strike takes place in the 26th century, where humanity, under the governance of the United Nations Space Command (UNSC), has been fighting a losing war against a religious collective of alien races known as the Covenant. Humanity's best defense against the Covenant is the SPARTAN Project, super-soldiers in powered armor, but these elite troops are too few to turn the tide of war in the UNSC's favor. Following a Covenant attack on Reach, a planet within UNSC jurisdiction, the Pillar of Autumn flees randomly coming across an ancient installation built by the mysterious Forerunner. The Covenant call this relic Halo, and believe it is a weapon and means of transcendence. UNSC discover that Halo is in fact a method of containing a parasite known as the Flood, or destroying all sentient life to prevent the Flood from spreading beyond Halo. The SPARTAN Master Chief and his artificial intelligence companion, Cortana, detonate the Pillar of Autumn's engines, destroying Halo. Escaping the destruction via a fighter, the Chief and Cortana believe themselves the only survivors of the catastrophe.

The novel begins on Reach, as humanity fights the Covenant invasion forces. The last line of defense for the planet is an array of magnetic accelerator cannons (MACs) orbiting the planet. The Master Chief sends a team of Spartans to the surface of Reach to protect the MAC's planet-based power generators. Ultimately, the Covenant are able to destroy the generators and begin glassing the planet, melting its surface to glass. The surviving Spartans flee underground to the hidden headquarters of the Office of Naval Intelligence. There they meet Dr. Halsey who has uncovered a strange crystalline shard in a cavern built by the ancient Forerunner. Pursued by the Covenant, the Spartans retrieve the shard and collapse the passage behind them.The book then shifts to events occurring soon after Halo, as the Master Chief and Cortana drift through the ruins of Halo, they discover other survivors including Sergeant Johnson and Corporal Locklear. The group commandeer the Covenant flagship Ascendant Justice and use its slipspace capabilities to return to the Reach system. To prevent the Covenant finding Earth with a tracking device, the humans plan to find a suitably undamaged human ship to take them to Earth. Upon arrival the group receive a radio signal used by the Spartans in their training days. On the surface, they find several Spartans, Halsey, and Vice Admiral Whitcomb, the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations. The Vice Admiral arms a "Nova thermonuclear mine", a weapon that would destroy the planet, while Cortana, still aboard Ascendant Justice, learns that the Covenant already know the location of Earth and are preparing an invasion fleet.

Seeking the Forerunner shard, the Covenant attack, severely damaging Ascendant Justice, but are temporarily defeated. In order to make repairs, the UNSC forge an alliance with separatists hidden in an asteroid field. Halsey abducts Spartan Kelly-087 and flees in a stolen ship, leaving Corporal Locklear with instructions to stop the crystal from falling into Covenant hands. Locklear decides to destroy the crystal, inadvertently killing himself, but stopping the Covenant from tracking the crystal's radioactive emissions and by extension the Ascendant Justice. With the knowledge that the Covenant are en route to Earth, the Master Chief and his fellow Spartans decide to disrupt the invasion force at their rendezvous point. The Spartans successfully infiltrate the Covenant space station, Unyielding Hierophant, set it to self-destruct and escape in a drop-ship. On board the Ascendant Justice, Whitcomb tricks the Covenant fleet into following the ship closer to the Unyielding Heirophant; when the station explodes the entire Covenant armada is destroyed or damaged. Master Chief and the surviving Spartans take a UNSC freighter back to Earth with Sgt. Johnson and Cortana to warn of the approaching invasion. Meanwhile, the Covenant leadership discuss the fate of the "incompetent one," an Elite who allowed Halo to be destroyed and Ascendant Justice to be captured; setting the stage for Halo 2.

 

About the Author Eric Nylund

Eric S. Nylund (born 1964 in California) is an American novelist and professional technical writer. His wife, Syne Mitchell, is also a science fiction writer. He holds a B.Sc. in chemistry and an M.Sc. in chemical physics. He lives in North Bend, Washington. Nylund is the author of three novels set in the Halo universe: Halo: The Fall of Reach, Halo: First Strike and Halo: Ghosts of Onyx. Eric Nylund is employed as a writer for Microsoft Game Studios. His duties include the development of story bibles and other such fictional assets, the preparation of materials for marketing, and coordination with Microsoft localization, legal, and geopolitcal departments.

In the 1990s Eric Nylund was hired by Microsoft to help rewrite and edit portions of Microsoft's multi-media enyclopedia. Since then, Eric Nylund has written several novels based on Microsoft-published games, including the aforementioned Halo novels, and Crimson Skies, which was written collaboratively with Eric S. Trautmann. Eric Nylund has written many original novels as well, including Signal to Noise, A Signal Shattered and Dry Water.

 

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