Halo: Escalation Issue 6
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Issue #6 opens with Hood remembering his actions during his military career, and watching the chaos on the Infinity after three successive attacks of the station's glassing cannon. Commander Bradley is killed during the attack and Hood himself is impaled, blaming himself for letting the Infinity fall into a trap. Palmer and Majestic proceed to board the station and stop Clayton while the glassing cannon overheats, forcing it to cool down for some time. NCA forces detect Spartans' Booster Frames and Clayton activates the station's point defenses. Clayton orders 'Gajat to stop the Spartans, but 'Gajat, in a burst of ambition, decides to destroy Infinity instead. The NCA forces attack Majestic and Palmer with missiles but the Spartans manage to avoid them. Hoya notices 'Gajat's SDV-class corvette undocking from the station, but the Spartans decide to enter the station and use it to destroy the ship. Inside 'Gajat's flagship, 'Gajat receives an emergency call from the station but he decides to ignore it and proceed with his plan to destroy Infinity. Meanwhile, the Spartans quickly capture the station and its crew. Madsen knocks Clayton unconscious as revenge for DeMarco's death on Ealen IV. 'Gajat contacts the station to tell Clayton he is about to destroy Infinity, but he is answered by Palmer, who orders Thorne to fire the cannon, destroying 'Gajat's ship.
Three days later, the UNSC sends a task force comprising a cruiser, a Charon-class frigate and a Paris-class frigate to repair the Infinity and monitor the station. At the same time, Lasky and Ray return to Infinity after his mission with Petra on Karava. Palmer apologizes to Lasky for her behavior after the battle on Ealen IV. Lasky forgives Palmer and tells her that his mission to find the spy, despite having been a success, failed to report to the UNSC in time to prevent the attack. Palmer tells him that it was Hood's fault for making decisions without his consent. In Clayton's cell, Hood (now in a wheelchair) visits him and asks him why Admiral Drake wanted to destroy the Infinity despite wanting to capture it five years before. Clayton tells Hood the NCA is stronger than before and have agents on every colony, even Earth. Hood orders to his men to take Clayton to Midnight Facility, but Clayton tells him they will meet again. After this encounter, Hood wonders if the UNSC will find the Spirit of Fire, wishing to find Cutter and ask for his forgiveness.
In an unknown system, the Spirit of Fire drifts near a terrestrial planet. Inside, the ship is on full evacuation alert and a lone Flood infection form is seen scurrying across the Spirit's now vacant cryo storage room.
The issue's solicitation claims that Petra's life is endangered by her investigation while the UNSC Infinity struggles to liberate the UNSC Spirit of Fire from Vata 'Gajat. In the released version, Janecek, Lasky, and Ray are not seen until the end of the issue when they return to Infinity without incident. Also, Infinity never actually encounters Spirit of Fire: the former is ambushed by Clayton's forces while the latter (in the midst of Flood infestation) remains stranded.