Breath of Annihilation
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Breath of Annihilation, informally referred to as the Annihilation, is a CAS-class assault carrier in service with Sali 'Nyon's Covenant, formerly belonging to Jul 'Mdama's new Covenant faction. Along with 'Mdama's Song of Retribution, Breath of Annihilation was one of the two assault carriers that made up the faction's primary contingent fleet.
Battle of Aktis IV
During the Battle of Aktis IV, Breath of Annihilation along with another CAS-class assault carrier and a CCS-class battlecruiser were hidden underneath an ocean of an unknown, foam-like substance on Aktis IV which prevented UNSC Infinity's sensors from detecting them. The ships were to be used by 'Mdama in his plan to ambush the UNSC forces in order to take possession of their half of the Janus Key. After the Pelican carrying the key was shot down by Sali 'Nyon's artillery, however, the Breath of Annihilation's shipmaster gave the order to assault the UNSC forces despite receiving no attack order from 'Mdama. Breath of Annihilation and the other Covenant ships then emerged from the ocean and launched their attack against the human forces on the nearby island.
The carrier battled UNSC Infinity and her Strident-class heavy frigate sub-vessels over the planet, alongside Song of Retribution and smaller Covenant cruisers, preventing Infinity from moving or supporting its deployed ground forces. After Jul's forces managed to procure both halves of the Janus Key, 'Mdama and his forces fled the system.
The Absolute Record
Using the Janus Key, 'Mdama's faction worked to pinpoint the location of the Absolute Record, a repository of Forerunner knowledge. On September 15, 2558, while within the Urs system, Doctor Catherine Halsey believed she discovered the Absolute Record's location while analyzing the Janus Key. Meanwhile, the UNSC's Office of Naval Intelligence put together a team composed of Spartans Sarah Palmer, Gabriel Thorne, Holly Tanaka, Doctor Henry Glassman, and Ayit 'Sevi—a mercenary within Jul's ranks working for ONI. Using 'Sevi's false affiliation with Jul's forces, the team took a Phantom and stalled away aboard Breath of Annihilation, with the intention of revealing the location of the Absolute Record to the UNSC. When Breath of Annihilation and the rest of the fleet departed for the Absolute Record's apparent location, they discovered an apparently artificial gas giant with a slipspace portal leading to their true destination. However, slipspace ruptures suddenly destroyed two cruisers within the fleet and heavily damaged Annihilation.
While the carrier's crew rushed to repair their ship, the UNSC team aboard Breath of Annihilation lost their way of communication with ONI when the slipspace rupture formed. With their Phantom damaged, they resolved to travel to a nearby hangar bay to steal another Phantom. Creating a smoke screen, 'Sevi exited his dropship and began eliminating the Covenant soldiers in the hangar. He traveled to a nearby hangar and hijacked a Phantom, while the Spartans and Glassman followed. While moving to 'Sevi's position, the humans encountered a group of oncoming Covenant soldiers. After a quick firefight, the humans made their way to the hangar, where a Wraith prepared to fire upon them. However, 'Sevi destroyed the tank with the Phantom. The team escaped the damaged carrier aboard the dropship and embarked for Song of Retribution. Rumors of a Spartan attack in Breath of Annihilation spread to the carrier's shipmaster, and eventually reached Retribution. While the shipmaster sent out search teams to check for Spartans, 'Mdama decided that only his carrier would enter the slipspace portal to the Absolute Record while Breath of Annihilation remained behind with the rest of the fleet to make emergency repairs at a nearby moon. Still needing to make contact with ONI, 'Sevi and Thorne traveled back to Annihilation in their Phantom. Before entering the portal, Retribution transferred several of its prisoners to Annihilation, including Sali 'Nyon.
Setting down in the water of a swamp on the moon, Annihilation started undergoing repairs. Its crew began arguing whether there was Spartans aboard the ship or not; some claimed they had seen the Spartans, while others went by the word of 'Mdama: there was no Spartans and their crewmembers were killed by accidental friendly fire when the ship was damaged. Overhearing the argument, 'Sevi decided to use it to his advantage. To incite chaos aboard the carrier, 'Sevi had Thorne attack the arguing Sangheili before going back into hiding again. After Thorne's actions, a mutiny was carried out by those who believe that the Didact's Hand lied to them about the presence of Spartans aboard the ship.
In order to keep the Covenant forces from uniting to kill Thorne, Ayit freed Sali 'Nyon, and encouraged him to lead the revolt against 'Mdama's leadership aboard the assault carrier. Thorne escaped to the swamps outside of the ship, pursued by Kig-Yar with Banshee support, but these were recalled to help defend the ship from 'Nyon's forces, leaving only a handful of Kig-Yar to continue the hunt for Thorne, who managed to take them out while wounded. Triumphing over 'Mdama's forces, 'Nyon seized control of 'Mdama's cache of Forerunner artifacts taken from Requiem to secure an edge against 'Mdama. When the artifacts activated, returning Commander Palmer and her team from the Absolute Record, Ayit convinced 'Nyon that the glow of the artifacts was a sign of approval from the gods, hiding them until the Breath of Annihilation reached Sangheili space, where they left the ship to meet up with an ONI extraction team. Shortly afterwards, the Song of Retribution arrived with 'Mdama aboard, and immediately engaged the Breath of Annihilation in an unsuccessful attempt to take the ship back. It remained in 'Nyon's control as he rallied support among the rest of the Covenant.
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