Flotilla of Unsung Piety
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|Flotilla of Unsung Piety|
The Flotilla of Unsung Piety are an organisation of originally-Covenant stealth spacecraft. In mid-2526, they were stolen by the exiled ex-Fleetmaster of the Fleet of Inexorable Obedience, Nizat 'Kvarosee, to avoid punishment for his failures during the Battle of Zhoist. During the Battle of Netherop, the flotilla was mostly destroyed in combat with the Covenant's Fleet of Swift Justice and the UNSC Navy's Task Force Pantea; however, two vessels - Quiet Faith and Silent Truth - were able to survive and escape the reach of the Covenant's retribution.
In early 2526, the reliquary world of Zhoist came under attack by Task Force Yama of the United Nations Space Command. During the battle, two of the Ten Cities of Edification on the planet's surface alongside the Ring of Mighty Abundance and the under-construction supercarrier Hammer of Faith were lost, along with several warships of the Fleet of Inexorable Obedience. As such, Fleetmaster Nizat 'Kvarosee was recalled to High Charity to formally meet with the Hierarchs and to meet his punishment for such a great failure. Arriving at the Sanctum of the Hierarchs with his steward Tam 'Lakosee and nine other guards - the majority of whom shipmasters of the fleet whom had volunteered to serve as Nizat's bodyguard - he presented the Hierarchs with seven shards of glass encased in boxes fashioned from the native stone of a different planet. These were intended for addition to the Shard Chamber, to display a shard of glass from each of the worlds glassed by the fleetmaster in his crusade. The eighth box held a Luminal Beacon - a Forerunner quantum entanglement communications device and one of two entrusted to Nizat when he and his fleet set out on the conquest of humanity (the other having been lost when the warship Almighty Persuasion was destroyed over Zhoist).
Ultimately, Nizat failed in his primary goal; having resigned to his fate of an inevitable assassination by the Silent Shadow, he intended to at least ensure that his honour could be restored by conferring his experiences fighting against the SPARTAN-IIs and the Office of Naval Intelligence to future Covenant fleetmasters, as not to repeat his mistakes. He offered a hypothetical plan for the Hierarchs' consideration, that could allow the Covenant to find and destroy ONI; to hide the Luminal Beacons inside a nondescript piece of Covenant technology and allow ONI to take it back to their primary headquarters - then use the beacons to locate the facility and destroy it. However, the news that one such beacon had been destroyed caused the Hierarchs to deny Nizat's request and instead order him to return to the remaining beacon to the Beacon Keeper's Vault, and then to his assault carrier Pious Rampage for "reassignment" at the hands of the Silent Shadow. Once arrived at the Vault, Nizat instead made the decision to grab Tam 'Lakosee's energy sword and kill the Honor Guard blademaster that had escorted the group, before dispatching the remaining two Honor Guards posted by the vault's entrance.
'Kvarosee's escort then hid the bodies of the guards before moving into the vault - rousing the Beacon Keeper from his sleep and forcing him to open the coffers where the final remaining beacon and its reception units were housed. While Nizat originally ordered the Beacon Keeper to be bound and thrown inside one of the lockers to keep from sounding the alarm, Yey 'Mootasee instead pointed out that the vault was a mystery to them and the Beacon Keeper could have some other way of sounding the alarm. As such, all ten Sangheili plunged their energy swords into the Beacon Keeper in unison, sealing all of their commitment to Nizat's mission; to find and destroy ONI, and restore their lost honour. In this regard, Nizat viewed his followers as disciples. After this, Nizat and his shipmasters stole the Flotilla of Unsung Piety - ten intrusion corvette stealth vessels and the frigate Steadfast Strike - and headed for Netherop; a barren world so-chosen by 'Kvarosee due to his belief that the UNSC would not deign to send Spartans to such a world.
Enacting the plan
To enact their plan to destroy the Office of Naval Intelligence, Nizat intended to use a suitably impressive target to draw their eye - namely the frigate Steadfast Strike. At 21:00 hours on June 3, Steadfast Strike engaged with the UNSC destroyer wolf-pack Task Force Pantea, consisting of five Halberd-class light destroyers. During the engagement, the frigate was "downed" by the destroyers - in actuality a deliberate act - and crash-landed on Netherop. The humans would be allowed to board the frigate wreck and find the Luminal Beacons planted inside an energy shield emitter and a anti-gravity harness used by the Yanme'e. The flotilla's Fleet Rangers would then deploy to the frigate to drive off the humans with their captures, before the frigate self-destructed to reinforce the ruse and also prevent it from being captured in a second attack. As such, despite all appearances, the frigate was still mostly-operational, and capable of launching back into space if needed.
The flotilla then lay in wait and observed as the ONI salvage ship UNSC Phyllis Wheatley arrived at Netherop and dispatched its S-14 Baselard fighter complement to begin conducting reconnaissance around Netherop's moons. Shortly thereafter, the intrusion corvette Divine Whisper began to track the sudden appearance of a UNSC D75-TC/r Pelican dropship - though could not ascertain where it had been deployed from - indicating the presence of an ONI prowler. Fearing that the dropship may house a team of Spartans and thus pose an actual risk of capturing Steadfast Strike, Nizat ordered the firing of a Guarding Spear on the Pelican, resulting in its destruction and alerting UNSC Night Watch to the flotilla's presence. As such, Lieutenant Commander Amalea Petrov decided to deploy Spartan Blue Team onto Netherop's surface by directly descending Night Watch into Netherop's atmosphere, attracting the presence of a few of the flotilla's Banshee fightercraft and resulting in their destruction - at the cost of the crash-landing of Night Watch herself.
With Nizat's plan already going awry, he began discussing alternatives with Tam 'Lakosee - with the steward suggesting a slight alternative; allow a team of UNSC Marines to board Steadfast Strike and recover the Luminal Beacons while holding off the Spartans. If the Spartans made it to the ship, it can simply be self-destructed or leave before they get to it. However, this was interrupted by the confirmation of the arrival of the Covenant's Fleet of Swift Justice and their intention to hunt down the Flotilla of Unsung Piety. Quiet Faith shipmaster Qoo 'Weyosodee suggested that if the flotilla were to leave Netherop now, they could survive with most of the ships escaping. However, Nizat pointed out that Swift Justice had emerged from slipspace on the opposite side of Netherop to the UNSC fleet, which had itself been gathering in numbers. Unless the flotilla acted fast, they would be caught between both the hostile Covenant and human fleets. Rather than follow 'Weyodosee's suggestion, Nizat instead decided on a less conventional plan; use a gravity assist around Netherop to bring the ships of the flotilla low over Steadfast Strike; the repulsor engines of the corvettes firing would alert the UNSC to the flotilla's presence, leading them to attack and drawing them into a combat with the Fleet of Swift Justice. Meanwhile, Nizat, Tam, and a cadre of Rangers would drop onto Netherop via breaching carapace and begin to enact the plan discussed prior - with the flotilla emerging back into space now behind the UNSC fleet. With the Fleet of Swift Justice about to quickly eliminate the human presence in orbit, Nizat now intended to manually plant a beacon aboard UNSC Phyllis Wheatley rather than simply wait for the Spartans to find it, while leaving the other aboard Steadfast Strike.
While Nizat and his crew began their attack on Phyllis Wheatley on the ground, Task Force Pantea engaged with the Fleet of Swift Justice in orbit, and were eventually able to confirm to the UNSC's ground forces that the stealth corvettes of the flotilla had begun exchanging fire with the fleet in orbit. Despite this, the shipmasters of the fleet remained hesitant to fight the Covenant, and awaited the orders of Fleetmaster 'Kvarosee. As his ground force, alongside Steadfast Strike's Ranger complement, began to attack the security complement from UNSC Phyllis Wheatley, the Ranger First Blade Gri 'Waqilsee volunteered to be sacrificed in battle to deliver the Luminal Beacon to the Marines. His energy shield emitter would be replaced with a faulty module that would not self-destruct upon his death, allowing his body to be recovered and the Luminal Beacon discovered on his corpse.
As the flotilla continued to battle in space over Netherop, the fleet was gradually whittled down. Eventually, an N'weo-pattern Gigas fighter-bomber was deployed from the Fleet of Swift Justice to bomb Steadfast Strike and destroy the frigate while a Silent Shadow contingent continued the battle on the ground against the UNSC resistance. Following this, a trio of Covenant Honor Guardsmen were deployed onto Netherop's surface to personally interrogate and execute Nizat, with the Helios Ultra leading the trio initially hesitant to do Nizat the honour of even informing him of the flotilla's status. However, Nizat lied and claimed that the Luminal Beacons' receivers were aboard two vessels in the flotilla - meaning the Ultra would be forced to inform him of the flotilla's status to have any chance of recovering them. As such, the Ultra revealed that that Silent Truth and Quiet Faith had escaped the carnage, though would soon be hunted down by the Covenant. Having in actuality hidden the beacon receivers aboard Quiet Faith, Nizat then informed the Ultra that he had in fact hidden the receivers aboard Still Devotion and Worthy Silence - one of the vessels destroyed in orbit and one vessel destroyed during the Battle of Seoba earlier that year. If the Covenant believed the beacons were lost, then shipmaster 'Weyodosee may have a slight chance of finishing the Flotilla's mission and restoring Nizat's honour.
With this lie unveiled, the Ultra elected not to simply execute Nizat - believing that his failures were too great for such a quick death. Instead, the Honour Guardsmen stripped Nizat of his armour and then marooned him on Netherop alongside Tam 'Lakosee and a few other survivors of the battle - Silent Shadow and deserter alike. These troops would eventually band together for survival against the ragtag human outcasts also stranded on the planet commanded by Lieutenant Commander Amalea Petrov - later coming to find the Inner Sanctum and branding themselves as the Defenders of the Sanctum for the ensuing war over the next thirty years.
At the outset of the fleet's mission on Netherop, it was composed of ten intrusion corvettes; a type of Covenant starship designed for stealth operations, alongside the frigate Steadfast Strike - which was used as the bait to tempt ONI into action on Netherop. The fleet also had within it a number of Banshee fighters for air support, and some Wasal surveillance craft.
By the end of the battle on Netherop, all but two intrusion corvettes were destroyed; Quiet Faith and Silent Truth had successfully escaped the Fleet of Swift Justice.
- List of named ships in the flotilla
- Intrusion corvettes
At the conclusion of the engagement on Netherop, Fleetmaster 'Kvarosee claimed that one of the Luminal Beacons had been housed aboard the corvette Worthy Silence. However, this corvette was in actuality destroyed in the Battle of Seoba earlier that year.
Despite its small size, the Flotilla of Unsung Piety nonetheless numbered over 3,000 crew strong - so much so that Nizat 'Kvarosee was unable to keep track of the names of all of the troops under his command. The founding members of the fleet consisted of Nizat himself, alongside his steward Tam 'Lakosee, and eight other loyal shipmasters from the Fleet of Inexorable Obedience. Due to the quick nature of the mission, 'Kvarosee had been unable to secure the allegiance of a kaidon - as such, he felt that the warriors he commanded were less loyal to him as a mere Fleetmaster than they would have been to their own kaidons.
- Named personnel of the flotilla
- Fleetmaster Nizat 'Kvarosee
- Steward Tam 'Lakosee
- Qoo 'Weyodosee - shipmaster of Quiet Faith
- Yey 'Mootasee - shipmaster of Divine Whisper
- Ob 'Nathisee - shipmaster of Steadfast Strike
- First Blade Fleet Ranger Gri 'Waqilsee
List of appearances
- Halo: Oblivion, chapter 5
- Halo Encyclopedia (2022 edition), page 252: Nizat's bio notes that he "stole the Flotilla of Unsung Piety"
- Halo: Oblivion, chapter 21
- Halo: Oblivion, chapter 11
- Halo: Oblivion, chapter 4
- Halo: Oblivion, chapter 14
- Halo: Oblivion, chapter 6
- Halo: Oblivion, chapter 17
- Halo: Oblivion, chapter 18
- Halo: Silent Storm, chapter 15
- Halo: Outcasts, chapter 9
- Halo: Oblivion, chapter 7