Vata 'Gajat's mercenary group
This mercenary group was an offshoot of Jul 'Mdama's reformed Covenant, led by Sangheili Shipmaster Vata 'Gajat. As of March 2558 the group was employed by the New Colonial Alliance, a human Insurrectionist faction.
At some point after the Human-Covenant War, Vata 'Gajat was part of Jul 'Mdama's Covenant. Eventually 'Gajat left 'Mdama's Covenant and started working as a mercenary, along with numerous other former members of the Covenant. By 2558 he was employed by the New Colonial Alliance and worked closely with Captain Daniel Clayton.
Battle of Ealen IV
In March 2558, following an escalation in Jiralhanae raiding attacks along the joint-occupation zones, Ealen IV was chosen as a place for peace negotiations between the Sangheili and Jiralhanae. As Fleet Admiral Terrence Hood was meeting with Arbiter Thel 'Vadam and Jiralhanae Chieftain Lydus, they were attacked by 'Gajat's mercenaries sent on a bounty. Captain Thomas Lasky and the delegation's SPARTAN-IV security detail, consisting of Fireteams Jackknife and Bailey, were forced to defend and evacuate the ambassadors. With their communications to their orbiting fleets having been blocked, the delegation were left without reinforcements.
The mercenary forces were led by Shipmaster Vata 'Gajat and Champion Tek. Meanwhile, the peace between the Jiralhanae and Sangheili ships in orbit became worse, as they blamed each other for the lack of communication and were on the verge of attacking. Captain Lasky and Spartan Ray managed to disable the communications jammer on the surface, enabling them to alert the Jiralhanae and Sangheili fleets of the true culprits behind the attack. With his position exposed, Vata 'Gajat ordered a retreat. Back on the surface, the Spartans managed to evacuate the delegates, though it came at the cost of many Spartans, including Paul DeMarco.
The events revealed a significant security breach in the UNSC, with Spartan Vladimir Scruggs exposed as a traitor along with the implicit presence of a higher-ranking leak within the organization. The mercenary attack itself was a major setback to Thel 'Vadam's efforts to make peace with the Jiralhanae. Captain Lasky later discovered that the attack on Ealen IV had not been orchestrated by the Covenant remnants, but by the New Colonial Alliance which had hired Vata 'Gajat and his troops to stage the attack.
Sometime after the Battle of Ealen IV, 'Gajat and Captain Clayton lured Admiral Hood and the UNSC Infinity into a trap, using assault craft supposedly recovered from the long-lost UNSC Spirit of Fire to draw Infinity into Covenant remnant-controlled territory near Oth Lodon. Once Infinity arrived, 'Gajat and Clayton opened fire on the ship with the massive glassing cannon of their hidden station.
When the cannon overheated, Clayton ordered 'Gajat to keep the Infinity busy while they brought the cannon back online. However, 'Gajat saw that an even greater profit could be made by personally destroying the Infinity. When the station was boarded by Spartans, Clayton requested help from 'Gajat. He decided to ignore the call for help and pursue the Infinity. When his ship targeted the Infinity he ordered a channel to be opened so Clayton could watch. Instead, he discovered that the Spartans had seized control of the station. The Spartans opened fire with the cannon and destroyed 'Gajat's ship, killing 'Gajat and bringing an end to the group.
Vata Gajat's mercenary group employed numerous members of the former client species of the Covenant, including Sangheili, Kig-Yar, Unggoy, Mgalekgolo, and at least one T'vaoan. The ranking organization was similar to that of 'Mdama's faction. Additionally, the group was seen working with several Jiralhanae and humans.
The group had similar resources to both the original Covenant and 'Mdama's faction, though most of the group's assets seem to originate from the latter. The faction's fleet was mostly composed of Covenant cruisers and CAS-class assault carriers. The fleet's flagship is Vata 'Gajat's SDV-class heavy corvette. The Type-26 Banshee, models A and C, were the faction's primary ground support aircraft, as well as the Type-27 Banshee. The Type-25 Spirit and the Type-52 Phantom were used as troop transports, as well as at least one Type-56 Lich.
Most members of the faction wore the standard armor of 'Mdama's faction, which saw limited use during the Human-Covenant War; however, other members wore armor types that were more prevalent during the war. The group continued using the Type-50 particle beam rifle as their primary sniper rifle, despite the relative scarcity of the model in comparison to the Type-27.
In the first issue of Halo: Escalation, a Sangheili warrior of the group refers to himself and his allies as "Guardians of the Righteous". Whether this is the proper name of the group in question or merely religious rhetoric has not been specified. As the Covenant attackers are revealed to be a mercenary force in Issue 3, this may instead have been an attempt to obscure the group's motives.
List of appearances