As the bloody Human-Covenant War rages on Halo, the fate of humankind may rest with one warrior, the lone SPARTAN survivor of another legendary battle. This was the desperate, take-no-prisoners struggle that led humanity to Halo - the fall of the planet Reach. Now, for the first time, here is the full story of that glorious, doomed conflict ...Almost on Earth's doorstep, Reach is the last military fortress to defy the brutal Covenant onslaught. But their highest priority is to prevent the Covenant from discovering Earth. The outnumbered soldiers seem to have little chance, but Reach is the secret training ground for the very first 'super soldiers'. Code-named SPARTANs, these bioengineered and technologically augmented warriors are the best - quiet, professional and deadly. As the ferocious Covenant attack begins, a handful of SPARTANs stand ready to wage ultimate war. And at least one of them - the SPARTAN 'Master Chief' - will live to fight another day on a mysterious and ancient artificial world called Halo ...