Halo: Silentium: String 1 (Excerpt)

In the last years of the Forerunner empire, chaos rules. The Flood—a horrifying shape-changing parasite—has arrived in force, aided by unexpected allies. Internal strife within the ecumene has desperately weakened Forerunner defenses.

Only the Ur-Didact and the Librarian—husband and wife pushed into desperate conflict—hold the keys to salvation. Facing the consequences of a mythic tragedy, one of them must now commit the greatest atrocity of all time—to prevent an unmatched evil from dominating the entire universe.

Read String One from Halo: Silentium by Greg Bear, out March 19th from Tor Books.



Senior Juridical


Welcome, Juridical. The Domain is especially clear this evening. I presume the transport of all those brutish wheels has come to a pause. Where may I
guide you?

“Thank you, Haruspis. I am empowered by the New Council to investigate the matter of the Precursors and possible crimes against the Mantle. Grant me access to that beginning.”

A unique request—and not a welcome one. That region of the Domain has long been sealed. For you, it does not exist.

“The Master Juridical orders it be opened.”

Not even such a One has that authority.

“Who does?”

Ten million years have passed. Back then, Warriors were not yet servants and stood highest. Perhaps the greatest of your Warriors might persuade the Domain.

“I am authorized to remove the Haruspis and access the Domain directly, should you refuse.”

I see the authorization is legitimate. That does not make it virtuous or wise.

“Forerunners are rapidly moving beyond virtue and wisdom. The evidence is essential to judge testimony gathered by Catalog regarding the Flood, the Master Builder, the Old Council, and the Didact. Surely you’ve stored other materials relevant to those cases.”

They have been refused by the Domain.

“How is that possible? The Domain is the soul and re- cord of all things Forerunner. Is it judging and correcting before history is made?”

Since the destruction of the Capital world, the Domain is frequently off-line now, and even when it is available and clear, it does not always respond to timely storage or retrieval.

“Individuals and their ancillas have reported difficulties— but you?”

What I know suggests the possible influence of an immense event yet to come. Do you anticipate such an event, Juridical? Does your request seek justification, or preparation?

“That is beyond my scope.”

You have come to remove me. Please do. I have been so long with the Domain that I will quickly pass into it—and I can think of no more suitable fate for Haruspis.

“I would prefer of course to rely on your experience. I plead with you . . . !”

Do not hesitate or your courage will fail. Wait.


“Is there a problem?”

The Domain is making its own request. The Domain wishes to testify to a Juridical.

“The Domain is not a recognized class of being. It is not in any way a citizen—not even an awareness!”

How little you know. Haruspis is standing aside now. Are you recording?

“Yes . . . Unprecedented! But recording.”

All paths are clear. Signal strength is remarkable, even willful . . . Harupis has never seen it like this.

“Recording . . . too fast! Too powerful! Can’t absorb it all . . .”

You asked for it, Juridical. The Domain is here, the Domain is wide open—and it is not happy.


Continue with String 2 over at Halo Waypoint.


Halo Silentium copyright © 2013 Microsoft Corporation


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