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.