Anyone in their right man had evacuated the neighboring planets. Those who didn't... they were assimilated.
So far, only a few inhabited planets have been attacked. Ships in horrid states of disrepair had limped into the atmospheres, festered, putrid things, as much flesh as metal. From them, the infection took hold. So many fell to the parasite, writhing and screaming as the little bulbous creatures latched on took them for their own.
Local military forces had responded, but they too were defeated.
Human Stronghold, on the planet 'Foundation', on the outskirts of the humans secured space
Lord Hood, an aging, wrinkled General, viewed the recording on the holoscreen. Around him sat the bigs of the UNSC, various men and women of high rank and authority. Also present were what could only be the equivalent of the Sangheili higher-ups. Sharp as ever, the few Spartans present hung back, at attention, always ready to fight or intervene. There had actually been confusion among the Sangheili over whether or not The Spartans were humans or cyborgs. As they stood now, it was an easy mistake to make.
All eyes were intent on the recording. It was only several hours out of date.
From above, the drone had watched the ruined streets of Humesh, a human settlement that had sent a distress signal, but had then lost all comunications.
Bodies littered the streets. Thousands upon thousands of them. Bullet holes, plasma scarring, craters, uncontrolled fire, the signs of battle were in abundance. The only movement was that of the Flood. Humans and Sangheili had encountered them before, and they were quickly becoming a very serious threat. It was now known that the Flood was responsible for the Forerunners near eradication, and the Halos were all that saved them, at the cost of all life.
The bipedal creatures loped and lurched around, their bodies destroyed in places that made practical tasks more difficult. Even so, they gathered the multitude of corpses, dragging them, carrying them, tossing them into piles, where the floating, bulbous creatures that spread this infection descended upon, as if to feast.
Several people in the room cringed as a bulky Flood warrior swung a crying woman to the ground, killing her and tossing her into the pile. Even worse, a small child had been picked up in one hand and thrown in, wailing and screaming as he consumed, flailing his arms and struggling as the slow transformation took place.
"Remus, get a closer look on that pile" The A.I. responded and zoomed in. The bodies were merging. Flesh and bone would twist, curl, expand... the bodies were being used as construction material, the matter grotesquely bending the the Floods will to become whatever was needed.
"We've seen enough Remus" Lord Hood took a second to steel himself against the horrific images. Even the Sangheili were unnerved by the images. One of them spoke up, his two left mandibles missing.
"It seems the Floods capabilities extend from reanimating the corpses. They could easily adapt to any situation with such an ability..." "I agree" spoke up a very pale, sickly looking woman. "A war with them could drag on until either sides defeat. Tactics would soon be obsolete as the enemy keeps changing to rise above its former disadvantages"
Lord Hood rested his pock marked forehead in his hand, silent a long while.
"They will have the numbers, and the advantage... as we are, our hopes are slim. We must defend our borders, but right now, I say the best course of action is to understand these... Flood. If there is something to give us an edge over them, we will only find it with research"
Many were in agreeance.