The stunning epilogue to Halo 3. Humanity and the Elites are once again at war, and the bloodshed is fierce; both sides are evenly matched. The shattered remnants of the Covenant have fled deep within an asteroid belt, cut off from the rest of the Galaxy, content to live alone. All the meanwhile, a dark, ancient force threatens to destroy the Galaxy, but with the Humans and Elites at war, who can fight against it?

One man. Master Chief Petty Officer 117.

Halo 3: Insurrection, with a riveting plot, old, familiar characters; new, dynamic ones, and an underlying, divine mystery beneath it all.

Prologue

The Lone Sangheili plunged his sword into the human, relishing the way it slid effortlessly into the weak flesh of the inferior being.

Around him lay a multitude of Human bodies, all mutilated in some way by the burning divinity of the Energy Sword.

As he sheathed his blade, the Elite looked out at the horizon, and the setting sun in the distance.

Of course the alliance couldn't have lasted. They were fools to believe otherwise. The Humans, pitiful beings that they were, still held grudges. After several of his brothers were killed by the vengeful creatures, the High Council had decided enough was enough.

They had tried diplomacy at first, asking the Human leader Lord Hood to issue a declaration stating any marine who killed an Elite would be treated like they would if he had killed a fellow Human.

But the fool wouldn't do it, said he could sympathise with the killers of the Elite's, that it was up to them to take steps against the murderers, non violent steps of course.

R'tas Vadum, the exalted leader of their race, had attempted to reason further with Hood, and eventually resorted to threats when the Human refused to accept his terms.

Even those didn't work, and in anger, R'tas had unsheathed his sword and drove it into the guts of the traitor.

And rightly so, the Elite assured himself as he once again questioned himself if what they were doing was right.

The alliance quickly broke up there and then, angry at the loss of their leader, the Humans retaliated, and R'tas was nearly killed in the ensuing escape.

But he had escaped, and was greeted as a hero. By all except that heretic, the Arbiter.

The Elite remembered the confrontation between the two leaders well...

"How could you?" The Arbiter had shouted angrily. "After all the work that had been put in to forming this alliance, you break it with one swipe of your sword"

"I did what I must Arbiter, my honour would not allow me to let this murder carry on!"

"I'm not saying what the Humans did what right, but that's still no reason to kill one in cold blood!"

"Did the humans treat us any differently Arbiter? Slitting our throats whilst we slept, the devious infidels!"

"Be that as it may, you should have continued with diplomacy you fool!" The Arbiter had drawn his sword by then, and was snarling openly at the smaller Elite. R'tas had done likewise.

"Has that what it has come to brother? That you would be willing to kill one of your own over these humans, these worms?"

Averting his gaze to the floor, The Arbiter had sheathed his Blade.

"I cannot kill you R'tas. But I refuse to be part of this insurrection, I'm leaving."

"Arbiter, wait! We need you now more than ever, if you leave, what will that say to the rest of the Sangheili?"

"I care not" The Arbiter had said in an undertone. "For whilst you wage this petty war, I count none of you as brother."

And with that, he had boarded a Spirit drop ship, which were now in use once again after the end of the Prophet's reign, and left without looking back.

The Elite sighed, so much had happened since then. Both sides had sustained heavy losses. But it was too late to call a treaty now. Both races were waist deep in the others blood, and could not climb out.

To end this fighting, they would need a miracle.