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Halo: Evolutions is a Halo book of short stories written by several different authors.
- Beyond: A poem that describes an individual's opinion on the Halo rings and the implications of their existence. It written by Jonathan Goff, with cover art done by Nicolas "Sparth" Bouvier.
- Pariah: Pariah tells the story of Soren-066, a Spartan who was one of a dozen unfortunate candidates who washed out of the program due to complications arising from the biological enhancements, and the struggles he faced afterwards. It was written by B.K. Evenson.
- Stomping on the Heels of a Fuss: Stomping on the Heels of a Fuss tells the story of an ONI agent named Connor Brien, who is sent to investigate Brutes on Beta Gabriel. Brien eventually gets captured by the Brutes. The ONI agent conspires with a spiritual guru, Dasc Gevadim, to escape. While the pack's unity slowly breaks down, the prisoners make a distraction, which gives Brien and Dasc a chance to escape. The ONI agent and the spiritual guru eventually escape from the Brutes, but Brien is killed by Dasc before the help can arrive. It was written by Eric Raab.
- Midnight in the Heart of Midlothian: Midnight in the Heart of Midlothian tells the story of an ODST who is put under for a surgery to remove a tumor before participating in his next mission. When the ODST awakens, he finds that he is the only human left alive on the the UNSC The Heart of Midlothian after a Covenant Special Operations team has boarded and taken the ship. Living on borrowed time, the ODST has to stop the Covenant from capturing the shipboard AI and learning the location of Earth. It was written by Frank O'Connor.
- Dirt: Dirt follows a Harvest militiaman, named Gage, from his time before the Human-Covenant War as he joins first the CMA, and then the UNSC with his two friends Eric and Felicia. After joining the ODSTs, the Covenant destroy Harvest, leaving him no home to go back to. After nearly thirty years of war, he is reunited with a few of his old friends from his CMA days, but is presented with a moral crisis that eventually leads to his heroic death. It was written by Tobias Buckell, author of The Cole Protocol.
- Acheron-VII: A poem written by Jonathan Goff and illustrated by Sparth.
- Headhunters: Headhunters follows the story of a two-man SPARTAN-III team, sent deep into Covenant territory to deal serious damage behind enemy lines. It was written by Jonathan Goff.
- Blunt Instruments: Blunt Instruments follows SPARTAN-II Black Team which is given the task to disable a Covenant energy supply station. During the course of the operation, Black Team made an uneasy alliance with the Yanme'e, who tricked them into organizing their escape. It was written by Fred Van Lente.
- The Mona Lisa: The Mona Lisa follows the crew of the UNSC Red Horse as they are sent to investigate the fate of the Mona Lisa, a prison ship which has mysteriously come to rest near the destroyed Installation 04. After boarding the ship, a team of Marines discovers that the ship has been overrun by the Flood, making unexpected and uneasy alliances, and beginning a desperate struggle for survival against the parasite. It was written by Tessa Kum and JeffVanderMeer.
- Icon: Icon is a poem that describes the lives of John-117, the SPARTANs, and the legacy they left. Cover art was done by Gabriel "Robogabo" Garza, and was written by Jonathan Goff.
- Palace Hotel: Palace Hotel follows the Master Chief's movements from getting on the other side of the bridge in the Halo 2 level "Metropolis" to right before he boards the Scarab. It also discusses Master Chief's discovery of a childhood friend. The story was written by Robert McLees.
- Human Weakness: Human Weakness tells what happened at the end of Halo 2, with Cortana in the clutches of the Gravemind. The Gravemind manages to break Cortana by introducing the fallacies of her existence and the purpose of her service, but through it all he cannot get her to give up one last secret. It was written by Karen Traviss.
- Connectivity: Connectivity is a poem that describes the connection between Cortana and John-117. Cover art was done by Gabriel "Robogabo" Garza, and was written by Jonathan Goff.
- The Impossible Life and the Possible Death of Preston J. Cole: A series of email transcripts from Codename: SURGEON to Codename: USUAL SUSPECTS, and details in length the life and times of UNSC military leader Preston Cole, including his possible death or survival during his famed last stand. It was written by Eric Nylund.
- The Return: The Return follows a Sangheili Shipmaster as he travels back to the human colony world Kholo, which he had led the destruction of years earlier, to reflect on his actions and look for guidance in the wake of the Great Schism. It is set after the events of Halo 3. It was written by the 343 Industries Managing Editor Kevin Grace.
- From the Office of Dr. William Arthur Iqbal: From the Office of Dr. William Arthur Iqbal is an email transcript from Dr. William Arthur Iqbal to his colleagues, and details the progress of their research on the Forerunner structure in Kenya.
Halo: Evolutions provides examples of the following tropes:
- Action Girl: Black-Two is most certainly one, albeit of a heavily armored super soldier one.
- All of Them: Admiral Cole in The Impossible Life and the Possible Death of Preston J. Cole:
- "How many of the Archers, sir?” the Chief Weapons officer asked. "How many Shivas?" Cole glared at the man like he was crazy. "All of them, Lieutenant."
- Badass Boast: "Listen to me, Covenant. I am Vice Admiral Preston J. Cole commanding the human flagship, Everest. You claim to be the holy and glorious inheritors of the universe? I spit on your so-called holiness. You dare judge us unfit? After I have personally sent more than three hundred of your vainglorious ships to hell? After kicking your collective butts off Harvest - not once - but twice? From where I sit, we are the worthy inheritors. You think otherwise, you can come and try to prove me wrong."
- Big Damn Heroes: The Insurrectionist Fleet at the Battle of Psi Serpentis in The Impossible Life and the Possible Death of Preston J. Cole. Despite being treated as the worst kind of traitors by the UNSC, and even blamed for the early colonies lost to the Covenant, they still show up in the heat of the largest single battle in the history of the war, proceed to rip through the Covenant lines, and give Cole enough time to implement his successful last stand.
- Of course it helps that Cole's ex-wife (whom he was forced to leave after she was outed as an Insurrectionist) is in charge of the fleet.
- Bury Your Gays: Alison gets taken out by an Insurrectionist bomb, and Felicia is killed by some rogue ODST's.
- Childhood Marriage Promise: In Palace Hotel the Master Chief meets a female soldier named Parisa who shows him a photograph of herself and him(!!!) by a lake on their homeworld. She says that they'd promised that they'd get married someday and that he had saved her from drowning, but he (or rather, his degenerate clone) died. His decision to not tell her who he is was quite the Tear Jerker.
- Clone Degeneration: Flash clones are highly prone to mental disorders, organ failure and an early death. In Halo: Evolutions, the Master Chief learns from a now-grown childhood friend that his clone was dead within a few years.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Benti from The Mono Lisa most certainly is one.
- Crowning Moment of Awesome: Cole's entire life could possibly count as one, but arguably his actions at the Battle of Psi Serpentis, which Which he single handedly planned and orchestrated a situation which lured 200 Covenant ships to him, close to a gas giant which he nuked en-masse to initiate a mini-nova that obliterated everyone near it. And ONI has enough evidence to be 89.7% sure he's even escaped THAT and STILL LIVES.
- Enemy Mine: In Blunt Instruments, Black Team teams up with a Drone named Hopalong, who will help them into the mine in exchange for freeing his fellow Drones. Black Team is unsure about whether he can be trusted. He couldn't. The Drones are all psychotic "Unmutuals" who were being imprisoned to keep them from being a danger to others.
- In The Mona Lisa, the prisoner Rimmer convinces the Marines to not attack his friend "Henry", a Sangheili prisoner. Despite their unease about him, "Henry" turns out to be a powerful ally.
- Four-Star Badass: Cole, undoubtedly. He's the only reason the Covenant had any reason to pause, after all.
- First Girl Wins: Subverted. It's Cole's second wife that wins in the end.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Gage's plan to blow himself and all the Covenant after him and the artifact he stole with a Shiva nuke he picked up.
- How We Got Here: Gage's story in Dirt to the rookie was this.
- I Did What I Had to Do: Smith in The Mona Lisa claims this when confronted with the fact that he knowingly infected both Elites and humans with the Flood for the sake of research.
- It Got Worse: The Mona Lisa is arguably built entirely out of this trope. It starts with a extremely bloodied and dying man falling out of an escape pod. And it only gets worse.
- The Last Dance: Admiral Preston Cole. After being depended upon for so long in the Human-Covenant War by the UNSC (compared in The Impossible Life and Possible Death of Preston Cole as being in command of the battles of the Alamo, Termopylae, Stalingrad, and Cold Harbor, and repeating them over, and over), it was believed that he began to fall under the psychological strain, to the point it was speculated that he fell into another Heroic Blue Screen of Death... but one that led him to face three hundred Covenant ships around a gas giant, killing plenty of them with slingshot maneuvers, using gravity as both a lure and a shield against the Covenant plasma shots, mocking them with a Badass Boast that angers them and drives them towards him, and ending with an implosion using said goddamn gas giant into a sun, killing all three hundred Covenant ships.
- Mind Rape: The Gravemind does this to Cortana in Human Weakness, in an attempt to get her to procure Halo's index.
- Moral Event Horizon: Gage in Dirt was faced with the prospect of his friends committing one by abandoning a class of children and their teacher they came across to their deaths by the Covenant all for the sake of robbing a bank and going AWOL. Subverted by Gage's heroic actions.
- More Than Mind Control: The Gravemind manages this to Cortana, along with the mind raping, somehow hijacking her audio output to alter whatever she intends to say.
- Oh Crap: Jonah gets this when Roland gets stabbed by a cloaked elite, only to find five more, and realizing they planned this trap all along.
- Black-Two also gets one when she realizes that the drones the Covenant had there were convicts, and she'd just helped freed them en-masse, both from their wardens and their collars.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Jonah and Roland are undoubtedly this respectively.
- The Atoner: The Shipmaster in The Return.
- The Woobie: Cortana in Human Weakness.
- You Can't Go Home Again: Gage and Felicia realized this all too well when Harvest fell.
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