- “Brute ships! Staggered line! Shipmaster, they outnumber us, three to one!”— A Major Sangheili navigator advising the Shipmaster
- “Then it is an even fight. All cruisers, fire at will. Burn their mongrel hides!”
The Fleet of Retribution was formerly a Fleet serving as part of the Covenant Navy. When the Great Schism began, the entirety of the Sangheili species was forced out of the Covenant. The ejected Sangheili did not have an official unified faction at this time, however they were unified in their fight against the Covenant that had betrayed them. Within the ejected Sangheili, the forces that allied with humanity was the Fleet of Retribution. The fleet took in forces from the UNSC Seventh Fleet during the final days of the Human-Covenant War and was essential to mankind's victory. The majority of this fleet and it's naval components would eventually form the Swords of Sanghelios. The command and control was provided by the flagship Shadow of Intent.
This Fleet was likely a collection of ships that survived the battle around High Charity that eventually overcame both Covenant Loyalist and Flood forces in the skirmish.
This unit fought during the latter part of the Battle of Earth, as well as the smaller engagement, the Battle of Voi. Remnants of the Second Fleet of Homogeneous Clarity were reformed after its fragmentation during the Covenant Civil War into the Fleet of Retribution under newly appointed Shipmaster Rtas 'Vadum. Following the battle but prior to their engagement at Installation 00, Shipmaster 'Vadum ordered the ships under his command to glass the immediate area surrounding Voi following a brief exposure to the Flood in which the Indulgence of Conviction crash landed on Earth and the Flood began to spread. Much to the dismay of Lord Hood and the rest of the humans, the glassing was the only option if The Flood were to be completely stopped from overwhelming Earth.
Subsequently, they confronted Truth's Fleet at Installation 00 during the Battle of the Ark. Confronted with an enemy which outnumbered them three to one, the Fleet of Retribution nevertheless succeeded in utterly destroying the Brutes' orbital forces, assisting the UNSC on the surface of the Ark. It is unknown how many ships survived the space battle against Truth's fleet, though only the Shadow of Intent is confirmed to have survived. It is possible that no others survived, or that Rtas 'Vadum may have sent all the other ships back to Earth following the destruction of the Brutes at the Ark.
After the war, the Fleet of Retribution would form the Swords of Sanghelios.
In 2552, the fleet was composed of at least 14 ships. Two were CAS-class Assault Carriers and the other 12 were CCS-class battlecruisers. During the Battle of Installation 00, the fleet was joined by the UNSC Aegis Fate and the UNSC Forward Unto Dawn.
- The word Retribution means to payback for another's action, a perfect description for the Covenant Separatists who wanted to seek revenge against the Prophet's and Covenant Loyalists betrayal.