Long Night of Solace
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This article is about the Covenant supercarrier. For other articles including "Long Night of Solace", see Long Night of Solace (disambiguation).
The Long Night of Solace was a Covenant Sh'wada-pattern supercarrier and the flagship of the Fleet of Valiant Prudence, commanded by Supreme Commander Rho 'Barutamee. Long Night of Solace and its fleet inadvertently served as an advance invasion force on the planet Reach during the Fall of Reach in the summer of 2552. The supercarrier was destroyed by United Nations Space Command personnel over Reach during Operation: UPPER CUT.
Fall of Reach
On or prior to July 23, 2552, the fleet, cloaked by Long Night of Solace, made landfall on Reach. The fleet then deployed a network of deployment spires and stealth pylons to covertly land an advance ground force. Long Night of Solace served as the flagship for the advance force, which was comprised of the supercarrier and at least five Ceudar-pattern heavy corvettes.
On August 12, the UNSC launched an attack on the Covenant base in Viery. After Spire One was destroyed, the Solace decloaked and engaged the UNSC. Immediately after its position was compromised, Long Night of Solace destroyed the UNSC Grafton and laid waste to several other UNSC deployments. It then retreated to Covenant-held space in orbit above the planet.
During Operation: UPPER CUT, an operation designed to destroy the ship, UNSC EVA teams boarded the Covenant corvette Ardent Prayer, which was on a refueling run with the supercarrier, and transported a Shaw-Fujikawa Translight Engine onto the corvette. Simultaneously, Operation: LEFT JAB was initiated to distract the carrier's escort fleet.
During the battle aboard the ship, the detonation controls of the improvised bomb were damaged, forcing SPARTAN Jorge-052 to sacrifice himself by activating the drive manually, staying on the corvette as it was consumed in a slipspace rift. The unrestricted slipspace rift teleported the middle section of the supercarrier's hull into slipspace, destroying Long Night of Solace. The remaining two-thirds of Long Night of Solace then crashed into a mountain range on the surface of Reach as a larger Covenant fleet dropped out of slipspace over the planet. Kantar 'Utaralee took over the Fleet of Valiant Prudence following the destruction of Long Night of Solace, rallying the fleet near Turul.
On August 27, Vice Admiral Hieronymus Stanforth stated that Long Night of Solace would have been a prime candidate for use in Operation: RED FLAG. However, with the vessel destroyed, the Navy was forced to wait to enact the operation until the Covenant arrived in force days later.
In early development phases, the Long Night of Solace was simply known as the "Black Ship".
When writing Halo: Silent Storm, author Troy Denning envisioned the Hammer of Faith as a Sh'wada-pattern supercarrier and a sister ship to the Long Night of Solace. However, ultimately, Denning chose not to specify the ship's class in the text, deferring to 343 Industries to make the final canonical decision. The ship's class has not been stated in canon as of yet.
List of appearances