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A Flood Hive is an important step in the development of the Flood life cycle. The processes that develop a hive begin during the "coordinated stage" of Flood development, once a viable Gravemind has been developed and the Flood has access to a sizable population. Once a hive has been established, it serves as a base for Flood assaults as well as housing a Flood Gravemind. There have been two examples of Flood Hives: High Charity and the crashed Indulgence of Conviction in Voi.
In order for a hive to be founded, the Flood must have access to a suitably large populace and an environment capable of sustaining Flood life. The population of the area has to contain high enough calcium deposits to sustain the Flood parasite.
Once a useful area has been found, the Flood proceed to attack the hosts present, gathering food and biomass. The Flood attack with a strategy relying primarily on numerical superiority. The parasite then begins to pump spores into the atmosphere, restricting breathing for the hosts present, causing them to die of asphyxiation, or weakening them in order to make them less resistant to assimilation. Hosts who are infected will add to the Flood's arsenal. Older Combat Forms will develop into Carrier Forms, which generate more Infection Forms, continuing the cycle.
During this time, Flood Growth Pods start to grow on surfaces. Growth pods are constructed from flesh, and grow at an extraordinary rate. It is unknown how they develop, as this has not been observed, but it is reasonable to assume that they grow from spores that root themselves in a spot capable of sustaining them.
Once the Flood has access to enough calcium, they begin to develop a hardened carapace, onto which they add Flood Super Cells to form Pure Forms, a form of independent Flood drone which has no need for a host. As a result of this development, Combat Forms are relegated to defensive positions or are converted into more pure forms.
The functions of objects, such as doors, are replaced as growth pods grow over the original architecture. Under the Gravemind's orders, life support systems are sabotaged in order to speed up the demise of the inhabitants. The pure forms eventually consume most or all of the original area. The growth pods grow large, bubble-like growths, which incubate new infection forms, essentially replacing Carrier Forms and further reducing the Flood's dependence on hosts.
Once the process is complete, the Flood disposes of almost all need for new biomass, becoming self-sustaining. Despite this, due to the Flood's natural instinct to infect and consume all life, the parasite rarely becomes content at this stage.
- Flood growth pods can be seen all the time, but the only time one can see the underside of a growth pod is on the downloadable map Cold Storage.
- Interestingly there seems to be less green mist in the later stages of Flood Hive creation. This is easily noticeable from the Halo 2 level High Charity to Halo 3 level Cortana.
- The only instance of a Porta outside of Campaign is in the Halo 3 level Isolation, suggesting the area was about to become a Hive.
- It's possible that the Flood area outside of Cold Storage could be part of a Flood Hive.
- In the later stages of a flood hive, a strange white fluid can be found in puddles. This is encountered on the levels Floodgate and Cortana.
- ↑ Halo 3, Floodgate
- ↑ Halo 3, High Charity
- ↑ Halo: Combat Evolved, The Library, 343 Guilty Spark: "Your environment suit will serve you well when the Flood begin to alter the atmosphere. You are a good planner!"
- ↑ Halo 3
- ↑ Dialogue Placeholders Cortana: "Flood spores have contaminated the city's life-support infrastructure, the filtration systems are overloading!"