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Enduring Conviction was a Covenant CAS-class assault carrier that became the flagship of the Banished. It was destroyed over Installation 00 by the Ark's Aggressor Sentinels during the conflict with the UNSC Spirit of Fire there in 2559.
War and Banishment
During the Human-Covenant War, the Enduring Conviction was commanded by shipmaster Let 'Volir as part of a larger Covenant fleet. It was known to the United Nations Space Command for some time. From around 2549 to 2552, it was responsible for the destruction of quite a few UNSC warships. It was noted for one particular battle in 2551 during which it demonstrated an impressive evasive maneuver and counterattack.
Following the Great Schism and the collapse of the Covenant, Enduring Conviction retained its place in the Sangheili-led fleet it had been attached to previously. By May 6, 2553 ONI learned of a recent engagement the carrier had been a prominent part of. The leader of the Banished, Atriox, had raided a Covenant air base belonging to the Sangheili separatists but had successfully been captured and taken aboard the ship as a prisoner. Twelve hours later, Enduring Conviction broke formation and contact with the rest of its fleet. The Conviction was hailed, warned, and then fired upon when it ignored orders. The Conviction performed evasive maneuvers, returned fire and escaped. It accomplished this through the same infamous maneuver that had been logged by the UNSC in 2551.
The ONI operatives examining the matter concluded that the manner in which the Conviction escaped its fellow Covenant ships was indicative that Atriox had not taken it over by force. Instead, it seemed to them that his capture was either a ruse from the start on behalf of both parties or that Atriox simply allowed himself to be taken so that he could make a proposal to 'Volir. Whatever the case, the fact of the matter is that soon after escaping, Let 'Volir and his crew swore fealty to the Banished on neutral territory—an orbital installation. In exchange for their unquestioning loyalty, the Banished would supply the crew and fuel the Enduring Conviction indefinitely. The ONI operatives analyzing the ship's shift of allegiance surmised that Atriox would lay low for a while after securing such a prize, as he would have painted a giant target on himself in doing so.
On November 25, 2558, the Enduring Conviction arrived in force at Installation 00, carrying with it a massive amount of infantry, vehicles, and aircraft. Instead of launching any orbital bombardments from the ship, Atriox ordered ground forces to be deployed to the Ark's surface. These made short work of the UNSC researchers at the Henry Lamb Research Outpost. Forthwith, the ship remained stationed above the installation for months while the Banished began to extract power and resources from the Forerunner creation. Anything valuable discovered or taken was commonly ferried to the ship overhead.
Around four months after the Banished first took control of the Ark, the UNSC Spirit of Fire also exited slipstream space above it on March 28, 2559. After the presence of the Banished was revealed to the crew, a protracted conflict began between those serving Atriox and those following the lead of Captain James Cutter. During this time, the Conviction's pulse laser turrets were used offensively to melt UNSC forces on the ground. In the first instance the ship was used like this, it was during a defense of a salvage operation being overseen by Decimus. From the ground, Decimus not only had the carrier make a show of damaging the Spirit of Fire's recently-built firebase, but also repeatedly ordered the shipmaster to target his own location briefly and with precision, as he was protected from the lasers by a powerful energy shield that his mechanized power armor could encapsulate him in for short periods. When it became clear that he would not be able to fend off the attack, Decimus retreated but the Enduring Conviction continued to bombard the area, killing UNSC and Banished troops alike, ostensibly to keep the humans from learning anything from the operation. The same tactic was repeated when Decimus entered the fight once more on March 30. Decimus was killed at that moment, however, and the Enduring Conviction finally began to attack the Spirit of Fire more directly by launching vacuum-rated Type-26A Banshee fighters to harass it while it moved to hover over the location where it had been deploying troops and supplies to the Ark's surface via a gravity lift.
As the Spirit of Fire attempted to fend off the swarm of Banshees, Captain Cutter expressed frustration at his inability to beat the Enduring Conviction, should it turn its full attention to the modified Phoenix-class colony ship. The "smart" AI, Isabel, proposed a plan for dealing with the ship. She put forward that the only way they would have a chance at destroying the CAS-class assault carrier was if they could get the Ark's Sentinels to do it for them. From there, the plan became to infiltrate the ship and take control of one of its energy projectors, which could be used to glass the Ark's surface and provoke a response from the constructs. From there, the plan was simple enough. Ground forces were split into two portions to assist with the operation. One contingent assaulted the Banished around a large Forerunner particle cannon, which was taken over and aimed at the Conviction.
At R-7012-5093, according to a Sangheili method of keeping time, the cannon immobilized the ship and caused its energy shielding to begin draining. The Huragok aboard assured the crew that the cannon was no danger to the hull, but that the loss of the shield could open Conviction up to more attacks. This prompted a swift and heavy response from the Banished on the surface, and the carrier also diverted air units to attack the UNSC on the ground. As all local troops pushed to retake the particle cannon, dual units led by Jerome-092 and Alice-130 flew in Pelicans toward the depleted base around the ship's gravity lift. Despite both craft being shot down, eventually Jerome, with Isabel in tow, managed to make it to the gravity lift with the assistance of mainly Alice, snipers, and Kodiaks. At R-7013-5093 all shielding was depleted and every Huragok was assigned to repair duty. All remaining UNSC personnel near the grav lift were extracted as Jerome and Isabel ascended towards the carrier.
Upon arriving inside the ship, Jerome dispatched a group of Sangheili Rangers at R-7016-5093 and inserted Isabel's data crystal chip into the nearest holotank. With this done, Isabel was quickly able to access a plethora of systems throughout the ship. She located the weapons and wasted no time in firing its main energy projector upon a Banished encampment below. As planned, the beam penetrated the Ark's outer crust and alerted vast numbers of Aggressor Sentinels. Millions of the drones erupted from Installation 00's interior and flew en masse toward the ship that dared to deal out damage to what they were charged with protecting.
The Sentinels coordinated so that a constant stream of Forerunner robots threw themselves against the Enduring Conviction's outer hull along a straight line that bisected its hooked bow from the remainder of the ship. Right after the combination of the assault from the Sentinels and Isabel's meddling caused part of the ship to lose power, a group of Jiralhanae charged Jerome, who was guarding Isabel's chip. He fought them off as Sentinel after Sentinel careened into the ship until finally, the structure was torn in two along the line of attack. As the carrier lost all structural integrity and began to fall from its position above the Ark, the remaining Sentinels returned to where they came from. Having finally lost power all throughout, not even Modular Dispersal Technology could be relied upon to save part of the ship. No longer being able to rely on the ship's gravity lift, Jerome was forced to leap from the ship after collecting Isabel. The two sections of the Enduring Conviction crashed into the Ark, but Let 'Volir and a large number of his Sangheili still managed to survive. The loss of the Enduring Conviction put 'Volir in a tenuous position wherein he needed to find some way to prove his allegiance to still be worth paying for. In another battle to follow, the UNSC forces and the Banished fought one another surrounded by the hulking wreck of the massive carrier.
Since being appropriated by the Banished, the Enduring Conviction was modified to reflect the aesthetic characteristic of the faction. Red lighting was implemented throughout the interior and even the exterior of the ship was made to exude glowing red patterns. The energy put out by its aft ventral beam and gravity life appeared orange but the beams from its pulse laser turrets took on a bright red or blue hue. Before its destruction, the Conviction was the largest ship controlled by the Banished. It was typically crewed by Jiralhanae, Sangheili, and Unggoy, but also transported various gestalts of Lekgolo. A number of Huragok were also kept aboard the vessel.
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