UNSC Point of No Return
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|Point of No Return|
|Unified Earth Government|
Point of No Return
The Point of No Return is the wartime command and control platform for ONI Section Three. The existence of the vessel is highly classified: officially, the ship does not even exist. Very few have actually seen the ship, only a handful have ever been aboard, and fewer than twenty officers have access to its most sensitive areas. The ship is crewed by people from all military branches of the UNSC and multiple artificial intelligences maintained solely by ONI.
In 2531, Colonel James Ackerson met on Point of No Return with Captain Gibson, Rear Admiral Ned Rich, and Vice Admiral Margaret O. Parangosky to discuss the SPARTAN-II Program. They decided to grant Ackerson permission to begin the SPARTAN-III project. Later, the ship retrieved Kurt-051 after he had been "killed" in action in the Groombridge 34 System. During that operation to shut down a malfunctioning slipspace drive, Kurt noticed that the ship's holding cage was the size of a destroyer, though it had the angles found on prowlers. He noted that the concept of a large stealth ship was seemingly oxymoronic, as the larger a ship is, the more exponentially-difficult it is for the ship to maintain stealth.
In 2537, Admirals Rich and Parangosky met with Spartan-051 and Senior Chief Petty Officer Franklin Mendez again to inform him that the SPARTAN-IIIs of Alpha Company had been killed and to begin training the SPARTAN-III Beta Company.
The ship survived the Human-Covenant War. On December 31st, 2552, Codename: SURGEON filed a report to Codename: USUAL SUSPECTS entitled "Historical/Psychological Analysis of Cole, Preston J." The report was filed from UNSC Point of No Return in synchronous orbit on the far side of Luna. This was the last reported action of the ship and its current whereabouts remain unknown.
Technically considered a prowler, the Point of No Return is the largest ever built, easily the size of a UNSC destroyer. Constructed in parts and then assembled in deep space, the ship is completely radar invisible thanks to stealth ablative coating, and when her engines run below 30 percent she is as dark as interstellar space. It also contains a room called "Odin's Eye", a chamber surrounded by a Faraday cage that blocks all electronic signals.
While not explicitly confirmed, it is extremely heavily implied that the Point of No Return is a Point Blank-class prowler, as introduced in Halo: Silent Storm. In Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, the Point of No Return is stated to be "easily the size of a UNSC destroyer", while the Point Blank-class measurements provided in the Halo Encyclopedia notably explicitly provide the exact same length as the Halberd-class light destroyer. This is a notable change; the Point Blank was first designed for the Sins of the Prophets fan mod, in which it is notably larger. This active change away from the source material to a specific number on par with the Halberd almost certainly corresponds with aligning the Point Blank with Ghosts of Onyx's statement about the ship's size. The Halo Encyclopedia also went out of its way to mention the "stealth cruiser" nomenclature as being a nickname applied to the Point Blank-class, rather than a sweeping broad sub-categorisation of UNSC spacecraft - somewhat reinforcing that there are presumably not a series of stealth cruiser classifications in the navy.
Additionally, Silent Storm also introduced the concept of Prowler naming schemes; Ghost Flight Prowlers all have names with Ghost in their title - Ghost Song, Ghost Star, Ghost Wind and so forth for the other themed flights featured in the book. Similarly, the Point Blank-class ship introduced in Silent Storm alongside the UNSC Vanishing Point share the "Point" nomenclature seemingly inherent to this stealth cruiser classification. As such, this article treats the Point of No Return as a Point Blank-class prowler.
Finally, Silent Storm author Troy Denning has also noted that he considered the Vanishing Point part of the same design as Point of No Return, though ultimately the final decision fell to 343 Industries. Given the information presented in the Halo Encyclopedia, it would seem that they have continued this interpretation.
List of appearances
- Halo: Ghosts of Onyx (First appearance)
- Halo: Evolutions - Essential Tales of the Halo Universe
- The Impossible Life and the Possible Death of Preston J. Cole (Mentioned only)
- See #Production notes
- Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, page 43
- Halo Encyclopedia (2022 edition), page 128
- Halo: Evolutions - The Impossible Life and the Possible Death of Preston J. Cole
- Halo Encyclopedia (2009 edition), page 252
- Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, chapter 2
- Halo: Silent Storm, chapter 19
- Halo: Silent Storm, chapter 20
- Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, chapter 3
- Halo: Silent Storm, chapter 7
- Halo: Silent Storm, chapter 16
- Halo: Silent Storm, chapter 17
- Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, pages 43-49
- Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, page 57
- Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, page 79
- Halo: Evolutions - Essential Tales of the Halo Universe, page 487
- Twitter, Troy Denning (@TDenningauthor): "is the Point of No Return meant to be the same design as the Vanishing Point?
Yes, but I'm not the official authority. 343 could identify them as different classes at a later point, if necessary for a story/game purpose. That possibility remains open." (Retrieved on Apr 16, 2022) [archive]