“Something is out there. In the storm.” — Adequate-Observer
“Defender of the Storm”
from Halo: Fractures – Extraordinary Tales from the Halo Canon
A lone sentry finds the war has come to him…
In 2015, I was invited to contribute to Halo: Fractures – Extraordinary Stories from the Halo Canon — an anthology of short stories set at various points in the Halo timeline — by Ed Schlesinger, who runs the Star Trek office at Simon & Schuster. Halo also fell under his purview, and we’d discussed me doing something for Halo for some time — even as I also had been speaking with Dark Horse about doing something for the Halo comics line.
The invitation, however, hit at an incredibly busy time for me. I was on the East Coast in advance of announcing the Star Trek: Prey trilogy at Shore Leave Convention — a series of books I’d plotted but not yet written. I arranged to write my story for the edition in between the second and third volumes; meanwhile, I had also been writing a comics story for Dark Horse’s own anthology, Tales from Slipspace.
I ended up doing both stories, which were set at different ends of the timeline; the prose story, “Defenders of the Storm,” was set in the distant past and involved a Forerunner staging a last-ditch defense of an outpost on his own. But the two stories have one thing in common: they have very little connection to the broader Halo canon at large. That’s how I wanted it: I was new enough to the franchise I didn’t want to dive into anything too complicated. So “Defenders of the Storm” is really a pure science fiction story, which just happens to be set in the Halo universe.
“Your metabolic rate is increasing. Would you like me to have your armor apply a minor relieving agent?” — Adequate-Observer’s ancilla
Audiobook narrator Scott Brick is an old friend of mine, having been one of the contributing reporters to a magazine I worked on, Comics Buyer’s Guide, in the 1990s. I’d heard his narration on many famous works before, including Moneyball — and was delighted that he was chosen to narrate the story.
This story takes place near the end of the Forerunners’ war with the Flood. I was able to draw upon the Halo: Cryptum novel by Greg Bear for background on how the Forerunners would live.