In 2517, Li was abducted at the age of six, when Dr. Catherine Halsey singled him out as a perfect genetic match for the SPARTAN-II Program. He was replaced with a flash clone who later died because of the defects that are a by-product of the Flash Cloning process. He was then taken to Reach, where he was trained with the rest of the SPARTAN-II candidates by the AI Déjà and Chief Petty Officer Franklin Mendez.
Li-008 was one of the SPARTAN-II's best zero-gravity combat specialists. He had trained extensively with microgravity equipment and martial arts at the UNSC's extreme-conditions facility on the Chiron space station in orbit around Mars. It was also said that he was as much at home in free fall as the rest of them were on solid ground.
Little is known about Li-008's personality, only that he was a disciplined and skilled martial arts specialist.
In 2552, he was assigned to the UNSC Pillar of Autumn like most of the remaining Spartans and was present at the Fall of Reach. During the battle, his team deployed to Reach to defend the Orbital Defense Generators but their Pelican dropship, Bravo 001, was shot down by enemy fire. Li-008 regrouped with the rest of the Spartans and was assigned to "Team Gamma" by Frederic-104, along with Anton-044 and Grace-093. Their objective was to evacuate Vice Admiral Danforth Whitcomb and his men. The group was successful in rescuing Vice Admiral Whitcomb, but Frederic-104 ordered them to stay in hiding because their fall back point was crawling with Covenant forces.
Anton-044, Grace-093, Li-008, and Vice Admiral Whitcomb were forced to retreat to Camp Independence for three weeks, where they attacked the enemy repeatedly with guerrilla tactics. They also broadcast the Oly Oly Oxen Free code on the UNSC E-Band until the signal was picked up by Cortana and John-117 aboard the captured Covenant CAS-class assault carrier Ascendant Justice. Shortly thereafter, John-117 took a team consisting of Staff Sergeant Avery J. Johnson, ODST Corporal Locklear, ONI Lieutenant Elias Haverson, and Petty Officer Second Class Pilot Sheila Polaski in a Spirit dropship to rescue them. On Whitcomb's order, Li-008 then joined the team to rescue Dr. Catherine Halsey and the remaining SPARTAN-II's who were trapped in an underground Forerunner complex.
The group then followed the Covenant to the subterranean remains of CASTLE Base. Vice Admiral Whitcomb ordered Li-008 to stay behind on the dropship and protect Polaski and provide covering fire in case they were ambushed by enemy forces, while the rest of the group saved Frederic-104's team and Dr. Catherine Halsey from a massive Covenant strike force. All of them returned to the Ascendant Justice/Gettysburg and tried to initiate a Slipspace jump.
While the Forerunner Crystal artifact was in possession of the crew, the part of Slipspace that they were traveling through was altered, creating an anomalous Slipspace bubble in which the Ascendant Justice and all Covenant ships pursuing it became trapped. During the ensuing battle, some of the surviving Elite crew members of the ship sabotaged part of the main power conduit of the ship, forcing Li-008, John-117, Frederic-104, Anton-044, Grace-093, and William-043 to go out onto the outer hull of the ship and repair the conduit.
While they were repairing the conduit, hot plasma flew overhead and revealed that there were, in fact, some camouflaged Elites approaching their position. They continued repairing the conduit, but a stray plasma bolt from an enemy ship struck the piggybacked ship, destroying the dropship during the repair. Afterward, Li-008, who had continued firing at the approaching Elites while the plasma bolt approached, Anton-044 and Polaski disappeared in a bright light. Only John-117, Frederic-104, William-043, and Grace-093 were confirmed to have survived. Li was listed as MIA by John-117 according to ONI Directive 930 when he had recovered on the UNSC ship Gettysburg. It is most likely that Li was flash-vaporized by the plasma bolt.
- Interestingly, even though he was the Spartans' Zero-G expert, John-117 did not pick him for the mission to retrieve the nav data at the Fall of Reach. Instead, he went ground side to protect the Orbital Defense Generators.
- John-117 commented that he was the only Spartan who was as comfortable in Zero-G as on the ground.
- He spent almost every day on Reach training in Zero-G environments.
- It is quite ironic how he was the Zero-G expert because he died during what could be considered a "space" battle.
- Halo: First Strike, page 219
- Halo: First Strike, page 24
- Halo: First Strike, pages 111-112
- Halo: First Strike, page 156
- Halo: First Strike, page 173
- Halo: First Strike, page 182
- Halo: First Strike, page 186
- Halo: First Strike, page 211
- Halo: First Strike, page 218
- Halo: First Strike, page 223