Operation: COALPEPPER, later referred to as the Talitsa incident, was a United Nations Space Command operation, arranged by the Spartan branch and Office of Naval Intelligence, to rescue Huragok Quick to Adjust and his human handler, Sadie Endesha, on the United Rebel Front-controlled moon of Talitsa.
Huragok Quick to Adjust and his human handler, Sadie Endesha, participated in a variety of field operations issued by the Office of Naval Intelligence, including one in which they possibly aided in a new MJOLNIR development project on Talitsa in August 2555. However, while on the moon, they were captured by the United Rebel Front and taken to one of the URF's military bases on Talitsa. Due to their past experiences with the Huragok, ONI Captain Veronica Dare selected SPARTAN-IVs Edward Buck, Kojo "Romeo" Agu, and Michael "Mickey" Crespo for the mission to Talitsa to rescue the two.
On the way to the base Alpha-Nine was surrounded and forced to surrender by a large number of insurgents; it was revealed that Crespo had betrayed the team and revealed their mission to the URF. As the rebels, led by Doctor Schein, led Buck and Romeo back to their base, the latter began to insult Mickey and Schein. In response, Mickey attacked and inadvertently pushed Romeo down a hill. While the URF soldiers chased after him, Buck used the opportunity to attack Mickey and succeeded in moving the fight just out of sight of Schein, and Romeo and his pursuers. Romeo learned of Buck's situation and began to massacre the rebels. As their brawl continued, Buck eventually managed to knock Mickey unconscious with a headbutt. However, Buck was shot in the back by Schein. The doctor held him at gunpoint and attempted to use him to force Romeo to surrender, but while Schein was distracted, Buck threw his helmet at Schein's chest and knocked him to the ground. Buck grabbed Schein's rifle and smashed the shoulder stock against his face, killing him.
Taking Schein's rifle, Buck waited for Mickey to regain consciousness and watched as Romeo eliminated the rebels. After eliminating the rebels nearby, Romeo moved on to rescue Quick to Adjust and Sadie Endesha. When Mickey awoke, he asked Buck to kill him. However, Buck opted not to and the two sat down together until a dropship arrived to extract them.
When they returned to the Spartan base on Mars, Buck had Mickey handed over to Jun-A266 instead of the ONI operatives that were waiting for their return, since he believed that Mickey was still a Spartan. Afterwards, Buck and Romeo were reassigned to another team at Buck's request, with Buck as a member of the team rather than as its leader. Following the incident, Buck and Romeo were both debriefed in light of the issues regarding conflicting loyalties and emotions among the soldiers of the SPARTAN-IV program. Buck later told his life story to ONI archivists, beginning with his early life to his career as a SPARTAN-IV supersoldier.
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