Solemn Penance was a CAS-class assault carrier in service with the Covenant fleet during the Human-Covenant War. The flagship of the Fleet of Sacred Consecration, it was commanded by the High Prophet of Regret during the fleet's invasion of Earth on October 20, 2552. The shipmaster of Solemn Penance was Rhul 'Salmutee.
Battle of Meridian
Throughout the Human-Covenant War, Solemn Penance and fellow assault carrier Day of Jubilation were responsible for the glassing of over a dozen human colonies. Solemn Penance was present in the Battle of Meridian in 2551, remaining in orbit while the world was glassed. Following the battle, a Covenant Special Operations team was dispatched by the Prophet of Regret to the moon's surface to search for Forerunner artifacts. The team retrieved a Luminary and delivered it to Regret. Some time later, Regret's Stewards successfully decrypted the Luminary, which revealed the existence of the final home of the Forerunners, as well as a portal that led to it. The Luminary also revealed the location of this portal; Erde-Tyrene. In October of 2552, the Stewards presented their findings to Regret by personally showing him the information it contained aboard the carrier. Regret hastily assembled the relatively small Fleet of Sacred Consecration—with Solemn Penance as its flagship, Day of Jubilation, and thirteen CCS-class battlecruisers—and departed for Erde-Tyrene shortly after, unaware that the planet was the home of humanity.
Assault on Earth
Solemn Penance arrived in the Sol system on October 20, 2552 over Jupiter, along with the rest of the Fleet of Sacred Consecration, expecting to find and uncover the entrance to the Ark. Instead, they emerged from slipstream space into the heavy defenses of the UNSC Home Fleet, defending humanity's homeworld, Earth. Solemn Penance and its fleet were reported to Home Fleet's command by Io Station when the Covenant passed the relay station. While the cruisers engaged the human warships and orbital defense platforms, the assault carriers used boarding parties of Sangheili and Unggoy to carry antimatter charges onto three platforms, intending to blast a hole large enough for them to circumvent the defenses and reach Earth's surface. Though two ODPs were successfully destroyed, the second assault carrier was destroyed by Spartan-II John-117, who used the bomb that was intended to destroy Cairo Station. However, Regret's vessel continued unimpeded, descending to New Mombasa, in Kenya, Africa.
While hovering over the city, the Solemn Penance deployed massive numbers of ground infantry and heavy equipment, including two Scarabs, intending to drive the UNSC out of the area and begin its excavations. Soon, John-117 and dozens of Marines began an assault on the carrier's landing zone in Uplift Nature Reserve. Eventually, faced with the possibility of being overrun on the ground and intercepted by UNSC ships if it tried to escape to orbit, Regret ordered a retreat. The Solemn Penance activated its slipspace drive, making an emergency jump, with the UNSC In Amber Clad following it into slipspace. The shockwave from the Slipspace rupture severely damaged the city, releasing a potent electromagnetic pulse and partially damaging the city's urban infrastructure AI, the Superintendent. The jump also foiled the attempt of an Orbital Drop Shock Trooper force to infiltrate the carrier from above, scattering their drop pods around the city and killing most of the troopers.
On November 2nd, the Solemn Penance exited Slipspace near Installation 05 and immediately began deploying forces to the surface. Regret departed from the Solemn Penance, fortifying himself within a temple in the centre of a large lake. From there, he pleaded with the Prophet of Truth, apologizing for his rash actions. Meanwhile, In Amber Clad arrived at Installation 05. UNSC forces, again spearheaded by John-117, hunted the Prophet; the Spartan soon assassinating him. Following these events, the fate of the ship is unknown, but it is believed to have been subsumed into the High Charity defense fleet.
List of appearances