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- “I'm not sure what that thing is. Don't look like any 'uneven elephant' to me-—more like two squids kissing.”
The Unyielding Hierophant, or as Sergeant Johnson referred to it, "uneven elephant", was a Covenant command-and-control center and refit-battle station that was capable of supporting a fleet of over 500 capital ships. It was capable of slipspace jumps  and was over 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) in circumference. This vessel was thought to possess at least two fusion reactor cores for power.
The Unyielding Hierophant was shaped like a figure-eight, with two tear-drop shaped bulbous sections connected at the center, each 15 kilometers (9.3 miles) long which makes it 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) long total. A rotating ring is connected to the central hub by many long spokes, and is used by Covenant cruisers and carriers to dock with the space station. Thin, filament-like tubes extend from both bulbous sections and move over the surface of the ring; these may be tubes used for transporting personnel and cargo between the ring and other parts of the station.
Running the circumference of the station's hub is a repair-and-refit facility, with many slots for Covenant spacecraft to dock and be attended to by Huragok work teams. This section of the ship is crewed by thousands of Huragok and a small number of Unggoy.
Inside the main sections, it has large "rooms" that contain environments with foliage, water, and animals to simulate the Covenant's worlds and makes the occupants feel more at home, rather than on a huge station. John-117 compares these to the large atrium that FLEETCOM's HQ has in its lobby. These areas have temples for religious sessions. In these large rooms, the Spartans saw pipe-like tubes that carried passengers from one destination to the other inside transport capsules. Also, the Covenant seemed to have an almost complete control of gravity in the station, as water was seen flowing up and sideways.
Despite what was assumed by the humans before they conducted Operation: FIRST STRIKE, the Unyielding Hierophant was in fact not preparing for an invasion of Earth against humanity, but rather to secure the portal to the Ark, which can only be accessed from Earth. The surviving ships from the Hierophant's destruction are the ships invading Earth at the beginning of Halo 2. Because the ships were not aware of humanity's overwhelming presence they were caught off guard, and consequentially the Prophet of Regret had to make a slipspace jump to Installation 05.
At the time of its destruction it was located in the Tau Ceti system. The system was conquered by Covenant forces in 2530 and was therefore used as a rendezvous point for Covenant forces before they prepared to launch their impending attack on Earth. When the crew of the Ascendant Justice-UNSC Gettysburg discovered this, they decided to initiate a first strike against the Covenant, to postpone an inevitable Covenant assault against Earth. A team of SPARTAN-IIs, among them John-117, Grace-093, Fred-104, Linda-058 and William-043 commandeered a Covenant dropship and, after they had reinforced the armor of the dropship with Titanium-A armor, lead, and carbon molybdenum steel I-beams so the ship could withstand immense pressures and keep the Spartans alive, departed and made the transition from Slipspace to normal space in one piece.
The SPARTAN-IIs infiltrated the station, using the Covenant's own tugs to tow them aboard for repair, finding themselves within a hangar capable of docking hundreds of single-ships. Avoiding the Covenant presence, the Spartans proceeded inward, with a copy of Cortana infiltrating the Station's network to distract and hinder the Covenant's coordination. Managing to cross an open plaza with only the loss of Grace-093, who was killed by a Brute with a Brute Shot, Blue team neutralized the Brute guards of a temple and proceeded to the 512 tera-watt reactors, with the copied Cortana setting them to overload, which would destroy the station and nearby fleet.
The SPARTAN-IIs attempted to flee using captured Banshees, taking heavy fire from the Covenant forces then aware of their presence. After destroying one of the plaza's windows, they managed to escape, hijacking a floating Covenant dropship and making their way to the evacuation point for the Ascendant Justice-Gettysburg. The Ascendant Justice, separated from the Gettysburg and commandeered by Vice Admiral Danforth Whitcomb and Lieutenant Elias Haverson, drew the Covenant's attention to the station with a holographic ruse, keeping them within the blast radius; the detonation destroyed virtually all of the five-hundred strong fleet, the largest space victory ever accomplished by the UNSC.
- The five hundred twelve tera-watt energy that is used to power the shield generator of the station is strong enough to repel the collision of a small moon.
- It is possible that this is a counterpart to the UNSC Cradle, but much larger.
- A hierophant, according to Webster's Dictionary is a "priest in ancient Greece; specifically: the chief priest of the Eleusinian mysteries". This may be a reference to the San'Shyuum's and their role in Covenant society. Also, the Eleusinian mysteries could be seen as referring to the Great Journey as both promised salvation to believers and an afterlife.
- According to the Halo Encyclopedia, the 12 ships that survived the station's explosion are the ships the Prophet of Regret brought with him to Earth. However, a history entry in Halo Waypoint establishes these ships to be a part of the fleet secretly summoned to the station by the Prophet of Truth and later used to reinforce Regret's forces on Earth during the events of Halo 3: ODST and after.
- The human nickname "Uneven Elephant" is a play on words, despite having no similarities to such a creature.
- It is possible that, apart from the Transport Tubes used, that anti-gravity barges were also used, similar to High Charity.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Halo Waypoint: Unyielding Hierophant
- ↑ Halo: First Strike, page 297
- ↑ Halo: First Strike, page 198
- ↑ Halo: First Strike, page 304
- ↑ Halo: First Strike, pages 316-317
- ↑ Unyielding Hierophant on Merriam-Webster
- ↑ Eleusinian Mysteries on Wikipedia
- ↑ Halo Encyclopedia
- ↑ Halo Waypoint, Universe