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Halo: The Thursday War is the second novel in the Kilo-Five trilogy, taking place within the post-war Halo universe. It is said that this book will have ties to Halo 4. It was released on October 2, 2012.
The prologue begins with Margaret Parangosky in Sydney at ONI's Bravo-6. She recounts what has happened so far with Professor Evan Phillips' visit to Sanghelios and how contact with him was lost in an explosion. It is revealed that he survived and was protected from shrapnel by his radio, but because of this, Phillps' fragment of BB was partially disabled and had most of its memory wiped. The explosion was caused by rebelling Brutes, who are killed, but manage to force 'Telcam to start the uprising early. Vaz and Mal tell Naomi, Devereaux, Captain Osman that Staffan Sentzke, a major anti-Earth "nutter" terrorist, is Naomi's father, while at the same time, Parangosky tours the UNSC Infinity and talks to the Huragok, more specifically Requires Adjustment, about the ways in which they plan to update the ship, which include instant slipspace communications. Dr. Halsey is revealed to be stationed on the Infinity for the time being. At ONI Research Facility Trevelyan (formerly the shield world Onyx, which was renamed after Lieutenant Commander Kurt-051 of Halo: Glasslands), Dr. Magnusson finds out about Sangheili food from Jul 'Mdama and acquires some, but only to genetically engineer it and test the results on Jul and some Sangheili livestock which she had also obtained, with future plans to permanently contaminate the Sangheili food supply. However, Jul is allowed to explore the surface freely on the conditions that he wear a Huragok explosive harness and that he does not go anywhere without Prone To Drift. On Sanghelios, Raia 'Mdama attempts to track down her missing husband, and she suspects 'Telcam to be behind it. Although Forze doubts it, she still refuses to let 'Telcam and his men embark on their ships until she gets an explanation. However, when he arrives and he cannot provide one, she insists that she be on the Unflinching Resolve with him when they attack Vadam with 8 other vessels.
Phillips, meanwhile, explores the Temple of Abiding Truth with the semi-operational fragment of BB and tries to record and translate Forerunner symbols and locate other Halos and Shield Worlds. He manages to find and activate a portal and he leaves the temple. Soon afterward, the Arbiter gives Kilo-Five permission to land on Sanghelios to search for Philips but their presence accidentally helps 'Telcam rally support against the Arbiter. Naomi, Mal, and Vaz land and enter the Temple of Abiding Truth, causing an angry mob to form outside. They realize that he has left, but when they try to exfiltrate, they are engaged by members of the mob. Vaz is injured and a couple of Elites are killed, but they manage to board the dropship and continue the search. On the UNSC Port Stanley, Osman and BB realise that the Arbiter is winning too quickly and try to contact Parangosky. At the same time over Vadam, Unflinching Resolve is shot down and is nearly destroyed by the Arbiter's forces, but Raia, Forze and 'Telcam survive. Philips reappears about 80 kilometers from Ontom in Acroli and is directed to the local keep by three Unggoy farmers. Upon arriving at the keep, he is greeted by a Sangheili female wielding a Plasma Pistol. He tries to explain how he came to be on Sanghelios in the midst of a civil war, but when the keep comes under attack, he is given a plasma pistol and is expected to defend it against several attackers. The attack on Vadam keep continues and the Arbiter's forces are gradually worn down.
Because of his connection to Kilo-Five and the threat from Captain Osman to cease the supply deliveries, 'Telcam sends Raia and Forze to collect Phillips in a Phantom. BB intercepts this and Kilo-Five races to get to Acroli first. From the dropship, they spot plasma fire and realise that the keep is under attack. Devereaux uses their Pelican chain gun to suppress the attacking Elites while the ODSTs and Naomi jump out and prepare to storm the building. Naomi barges in but Philips gets in the way to prevent anyone from being hurt. Just as they try to leave, more enemy vessels approach, including a Phantom piloted by Forze, and several Banshees.
Admiral Hood and Parangosky offer the Arbiter help dealing with the rebels, but the Arbiter, unaware of the power of the Infinity, warns them that he cannot protect them if they go into battle. After further discussion, he accepts the offer. The Phantom pilot identifies himself as Forze, Devereaux fights off the Banshees but her Pelican takes damage and she starts to lose coolant, they pick up Phillips but the Phantom starts tailing them and they can't make orbit. They manage to make a deal with Forze and Raia so that they can get the parts they need as long as they honor their agreement with 'Telcam. On the Port Stanley, the Huragok Requires Adjustment and Leaks Repaired work on upgrading the ship by improving the communication systems and Slipspace drive. While on Trevelyan Jul learns that the Ur-Didact, commander of the Forerunner military may still be alive on a planet known only as Requiem, he also learns that he had a hatred for all of humanity which makes him interested to seek the didact out.
Back on Sanghelios the dropship is repaired to the extent that Devereaux thinks it's solid enough to make orbit, they take off hurriedly before the violence gets any worse and the pelican stays in one piece. Immediately they notice the UNSC Infinity which has arrived in system carrying admirals Hood and Parangosky to help the Arbiter's forces. Meanwhile, Raia and Forze start taking fire in the Phantom; they reach Vadam and realize that the Arbiter's keep is surrounded. they call for him to surrender but he continues to resist. UNSC forces then attack both sides with the Infinity.
Kilo-Five later heads to Venezia to find Naomi's father. Vaz and Naomi head down to the planet undercover to sell some weapons. As they leave they see Naomi's father in a truck with a Skirmisher terrorist, Sav Fel, who has a stolen Covenant cruiser that the UNSC had been looking for.
- Captain Serin Osman, Spartan-019
- Staff Sergeant Malcolm Geffen
- Sergeant Lian Devereaux
- Corporal Vasily Beloi
- Professor Evan Phillips
- Naomi Sentzke, Spartan-010
- Admiral Margaret Parangosky
- Admiral Lord Terrence Hood
- Irena Magnusson
- Mike Spenser
- Hugo Barton
- Commander Thomas Lasky
- Captain Andrew Del Rio
- Doctor Catherine Halsey
- Thel 'Vadam
- Jul 'Mdama
- Avu Med 'Telcam
- Raia 'Mdama
- Naxan 'Mdama
- Dural 'Mdama
- Panom (First appearance)
- It appears that the UNSC Infinity is on the cover.
- The title may be a reference to a sentence said by BB in Halo: Glasslands.
- A Thursday War is a colloquial term meaning "a training exercise."