Espionage, investigation, assassination
- Serin Osman: "Investigators with teeth. You slip into a hole, find the rats, and—"
- Mark-G313: "And kill them?"
- Serin Osman: "Sometimes. But I was going to say, "fix the problem." Sometimes, that might mean rescuing people instead of killing them."
- — Rear Admiral Serin Osman explains the purpose of Ferret teams
Ferrets are covert special operations operatives under the authority of the UNSC Navy's Office of Naval Intelligence. Organized into small teams, Ferrets are tasked with investigating situations or criminal activities that prove threatening to the Unified Earth Government and its United Nations Space Command, as well as resolving those situations by eliminating—or rescuing—certain individuals. One such team includes Spartan-IIIs Ash-G099, Olivia-G291, and Mark-G313 led by ONI operative Veta Lopis, a former special inspector for the Gao Ministry of Protection.
Veta Lopis' Ferret Team
- Veta Lopis - leader
- Ash-G099 - surveillance expert
- Olivia-G291 - information specialist
- Mark-G313 - security specialist
Following the Human-Covenant War, ONI feared that knowledge of the illegal and dangerous drugs utilized by the Spartan-IIIs of Gamma Company would become public. Taking measures in an effort to prevent such a leak from occurring, Admiral Margaret Parangosky, CINCONI, ordered that Ash-G099, Olivia-G291, and Mark-G313, at the time serving with Blue Team, be officially listed as killed in action and reassigned. Taking note of the proficiency of Special Inspector Veta Lopis and a bond that had formed between her and Ash, Olivia, and Mark during Operation: JOVIAN WHISTLE in July 2553, Rear Admiral Serin Osman formed a Ferret team out of the four, with Lopis leading the team and running the investigations.
In the following months, team underwent a training regimen to mold them into elite ONI operatives. While the Gammas were exceptionally quick to learn the new skills, their military background meant they would often instinctively fall back to lethal force in life-or-death situations. During this time, they visited multiple colonies, rarely staying in one place for long; at one point they were stationed on Jastolo.
On October 14, 2553, Veta Lopis' Ferret Team participated in a training exercise against Oscar Squad at UNSC Recreational Facility 6055-NA-A on Neos Atlantis. Disguised as junior ODST lieutenants, Mark and Ash posed as rookie ONI agents in the facility's officers' club, while Olivia adopted the cover identity of "Lieutenant Bati", a Luna OCS Academy graduate, as part of a ploy to deceive Oscar Squad. However, an unexpected complication occurred when Olivia was drugged by an unidentified man—in fact the reporter Spencer Hume, who attempted to coax her into revealing classified information about the Spartans. Lopis ordered Mark to arrest the man while Ash created a distraction and Veta escorted Olivia back to the hotel's Halsey Suite, which the team was using as their base of operations. While hauling the subject out of the club, Mark was attacked by a woman who managed to wound him with a knife. By his own account, Mark intended to use Hume as a shield and struck him in the chest when he resisted, which unexpectedly killed Hume. At this point Ash arrived, prompting the attacker to flee. Mark and Ash decided to dispose of Hume's body through an airlock and returned to the Halsey Suite afterward. The team soon discovered Hume's identity as well as that of Mark's assailant—a former ONI operative named Ota Gallo, now working for the private security company Dark Moon Enterprises. Attempting to recover Hume's belongings, now in the Ferret Team's possession, Gallo and two of her henchmen stormed the Halsey Suite soon after. After a brief firefight, the Ferrets managed to defeat the attackers, with Gallo being blown apart by her own grenade. Immediately after the attack, Admiral Osman arrived to the suite with an armed escort. The admiral claimed Hume's personal effects and asked Lopis what had happened. Lopis lied that Gallo killed Hume after the reporter was planning to name her as his source. Obviously incredulous yet seemingly accepting the explanation as being sufficiently believable, Osman sarcastically asked Mark to affirm Lopis' story, which he did without hesitation.
Graselyn Tuwa's assassination
- Main article: Operation: RETRIBUTION
On December 2553, Fleet Admiral Graselyn Tuwa was killed and her family was abducted. The Office of Naval Intelligence retaliated by sending Veta Lopis' Ferret Team to find her killer and rescue her family in Operation: RETRIBUTION. The investigation led to the capture of gunrunner Ross Nyeto, the son of infamous Insurrectionist Hector Nyeto and the discovery of the Keepers of the One Freedom's Salvation Base. Inside the base, the Ferrets recovered the bodies of the admiral's husband and children who had had their organs cut out and realized that the Keepers were being set up by Dark Moon Enterprises, in reality under the control of Intrepid Eye who was performing experiments upon the Tuwas' immunity to asteroidea merozoite as part of the AI's plan to turn it into a biological weapon. With the help of Blue Team, they destroyed the base using HAVOK tactical nuclear weapons and used the forensic evidence from the bodies to trace the murder scene to Gao where they discovered the lab destroyed by the Keepers. From information given to them by President Arlo Casille, the Ferrets realized that Dark Moon had set up both Gao and the Keepers to cover their own tracks.
Learning from Casille that he Dark Moon had been recommended to him by Administrator Sloan, the AI running Pinnacle Station, they traveled to the station where they found that the Dark Moon couriers that had been transporting the cryo-jars containing the Tuwas' organs had been massacred by Papa-10, a rogue ONI unit that subsequently came into conflict with the Keepers. On Meridian, the Ferrets and Blue Team came into conflict with both Papa-10 and the Keepers, taking out all of the Keepers but an injured Castor who was left stranded on Meridian's surface. Castor and Veta managed to take out the surviving members of Papa-10 and Lieutenant Bartalan Craddog when he came to collect the cryo-jars which were destroyed by Veta as well. Unbeknownst to anyone, the explosion also destroyed Oriel, a remote aspect of Intrepid Eye who had been directing Papa-10 through Cradogg.
In the aftermath, Cradogg was pinned as the responsible party seeking to weaponize asteroidea for his own purposes. It was believed that he had sought to aggrandize himself through creating such a perilous weapon as the only possible explanation for his actions. Admiral Serin Osman sent the Ferrets back to the Mill to complete their training, but she warned Veta that something big was coming and that she needed the Ferrets to be ready for it. With Intrepid Eye's role in events having been undetected, she continued her experiments with asteroidea on Argent Moon.
List of appearances
- Halo: Last Light (First mentioned)
- Halo: Fractures
- A Necessary Truth (First appearance)
- Halo: Retribution