Outbreak on the UNSC Spirit of Fire
On February 23, 2531, the UNSC Spirit of Fire arrived at the Etran Harborage, a Forerunner shield world, in pursuit of the Covenant, who had captured one of its crew, Professor Ellen Anders. Upon landing on the surface of the shield world, the Spirit of Fire's forces were attacked by the Flood, making them the first known humans to encounter the parasite. Early in the battle, the Flood attempted to board the Spirit of Fire, but were repelled by the ship's Marines. Despite facing attacks from both the Flood and Covenant, the UNSC forces were able to destroy the shield world by using the Spirit of Fire's Shaw-Fujikawa Translight Engine as a makeshift bomb to send the shield world's star into supernova, apparently wiping out all Flood forms on the world as well.
Surviving the battle, the Spirit of Fire, left without a slipspace drive, began its slow return journey to human space at sublight speeds.
Six years after the battle, on January 1, 2537, the Spirit of Fire's AI, Serina, awakened ship engineer Violeta Maldini to perform routine maintenance. The pod infector came into contact with Maldini, infecting her and turning her into a combat form. Suffering from the early stages of rampancy, Serina locked the combat form in a cryo bay, intending to study it. Over the next three days, Serina observed as the combat form eventually changed into a carrier form, producing more Pod infectors. Seeking insight, Serina woke Professor Anders from cryosleep.
In the meantime, however, using Maldini's knowledge of the cryo-chamber codes, the Flood awakened the other crew members in the bay and infected them. After infecting Lieutenant Kwan, the Flood gained knowledge of codes required to override Serina's quarantine, putting the entire ship at risk of infection.
In the same bay, SPARTAN-II Jerome-092 was awakened by a subroutine he had programmed to awaken him if Anders was awoken. Taking stock of the situation, Jerome armed himself and began fighting his way through the Flood forms.
Eventually, only one Flood form remained. When Jerome confronted it, however, it turned out to actually be several Pod infectors riding on the back of a combat form, to conceal its numbers. In the ensuing struggle, Serina vented out the bay they were in, causing the Flood forms to be thrown into space, while Jerome managed to hang on.
Following the incident, Jerome and Anders returned to cryo-sleep, while Serina composed a final status report that was to be left to Captain Cutter before self-terminating.
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