UNSC Phyllis Wheatley
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|Unified Earth Government|
Scuttled during the Battle of Netherop
UNSC Phyllis Wheatley was a salvage ship operated by Section Three of the Office of Naval Intelligence in the early years of the Human-Covenant War. In 2526, it was deployed to Netherop to assist Blue Team in the recovery of the downed Covenant frigate Steadfast Strike, though was ultimately scuttled in the battle.
The Wheatley resembles a large horsehoe in form, capable of landing on a planetary surface with the arch at the top, akin to a "∩" shape. The inner sides of the arch are lines with fifty large claws which can extend inward, allowing the vessel to grab onto any spacecraft with an overall beam of 400 meters (1,300 ft) or less. The top of the arch-shaped hull is lined with several bands of viewing ports that indicate the position of the interior habitation modules and the ship's bridge. The "legs" of the ship rest atop struts as large as main battle tanks, with ten fusion drive nozzles situated between the struts large enough to cover a 160 meters (525 ft) long Razor-class prowler.
The gargantuan ship was considered by the Covenant to be in the middle range of human direct-lift transports; the largest observed by Fleetmaster Nizat 'Kvarosee during his tenure as an officer in the Covenant military had only six fusion drives, used to carry out mass evacuations on worlds under attack. This massive excess of thrust-mass ratio is due to the ship's intended function: descend into a planetary atmosphere and use its claws to grab onto crashed spacecraft (or other similarly-large object), before once again ascending back into space - making the slipspace transit back to its home base once clear of the planet's gravity well.
Despite being a noncombat salvage ship, the Wheatley is armed for self-defence with a loadout of unspecified missile pods and 50m, high-explosive magnetic linear acceleration point-defense guns. There are twelve point-defense turrets in total, with six lining each side.
Crew and complement
UNSC Phyllis Wheatley was selected for service during the Human-Covenant War, following the chance downing of the Covenant frigate Steadfast Strike over Netherop. While selected by ONI Section Three for the task, the ship's security complement were not considered to have the expertise or equipment necessary to clear the frigate of its defenders - leading to SPARTAN-II Blue Team being recalled from the Battle of Mesra for the task. The ship arrived in the Ephyra system on June 7, 2526, and was noticed by the intrusion corvettes of the Flotilla of Unsung Piety launching its twelve Baselard fighters to begin inspecting the moons and Lagrange points of Netherop for potentially hostile forces. This was accompanied by the arrival of the Razor-class prowler UNSC Night Watch, who launched a Pelican dropship onto Netherop following Wheatley's successful insertion into the atmosphere. Unlike Wheatley, the Pelican was shot down by one of the intrusion corvettes, confirming to the prowler crew that the salvage ship had been permitted to enter the planet's atmosphere by their then-unknown attackers.
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The ship was presumably named after Phillis Wheatley, the first African-American author considered to publish a poetry book.
List of appearances
- Halo: Oblivion (First appearance)
- Halo: Oblivion, chapter 12
- Halo: Oblivion, chapter 5
- Halo: Oblivion, chapter 15
- Halo: Oblivion, chapter 8
- Halo: Oblivion, chapter 4
- Halo: Oblivion, chapter 14
- Halo: Oblivion, chapter 19
- Halo: Oblivion, chapter 6