The Saltpillar was a Mark XIV model number 27 hovercraft, which originally served as a reconaissance class hovercraft used to scout the the tunnels in the Real for threats to the city of Zion. It is one of the smallest ships in the Zion fleet and can be operated by only the captain and the first mate, if necessary. Neoteny would later repurpose the ship with the goal of eliminating the Cypherite threat. Following the shattering of the Truce, the crew of the Saltpillar made it their mission to do all they could to end the war in Zion's favor, including exploring unorthodox battle tactics and technologies in the Real and in the Matrix alike.
Over time, the Saltpillar has been upgraded with stronger armaments and plating, but throughout its service, it retained its extraordinary maneuverability.
This hovercraft was one of the four Zion hovercraft involved with the transport of the former commander, Jason Lock, and was the only hovercraft in the Zion/EPN coalition to be disabled during that battle.
The name Saltpillar is derived from the biblical story of Lot, whose wife was turned into a pillar of salt when she turned to look back at the city of Sodom, which God had ordered them to flee. Mark XIV model 27, as with other hovercraft in the Matrix series, translates to a Biblical passage that loosely relates to Neoteny's philosophy as an operative and his mission both in and out of the System.
Mark 14:27 reads as follows in the King James Version of the Bible:
- "And Jesus saith unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered."