A handful of survivors from Installation 04 regroup and head back to Reach to search for survivors. a few Spartan-IIs and other UNSC personnel are found and are rescued. Cortana discovers the Covenant know where Earth is and are amassing a fleet. The remaining crew develop a plan to infiltrate the Covenant fleet and manage to destroy the Covenant space station and nearly all five-hundred ships docked at the station.
First Strike revisits Reach following the Fall of Reach, before eventually heading back towards Earth.
In an attempt to slow down the Covenant advance towards Earth, John-117 and Blue Team take on a mission to destroy the Covenant refit station Unyielding Hierophant.