Warning: This article contains major spoilers for Mass Effect 2.
Cerberus is a secretive organization in the Mass Effect universe that exists to protect and advance human interests in the galaxy. Many Cerberus personnel think of their organization as merely pro-human, but outsiders widely regard Cerberus as an anti-alien terrorist organization.
Known Cerberus operations are controlled by an individual who calls himself the "Illusive Man". The Illusive Man, once called Jack Harper, founded Cerberus after the First Contact War and an incident with the turians involving a Reaper artifact (no connection to the Reapers was known at the time). Cerberus has small cells operating on many planets in the Terminus Systems.
Because the Illusive Man likes to keep Cerberus operations under tight control, the organization never has more than about a dozen operations in progress at any given time. Even so, some Cerberus projects have "gone rogue", conducting their operations in ways that would be unacceptable to the Illusive Man and attempting to hide their actions from him.
Cerberus revenue comes from an assortment of legitimate front corporations and wealthy benefactors and amounts to several billion credits per year. This revenue stream was severely stressed by the Lazarus Project, which involved the resurrection of Commander Shepard from a dessicated corpse and the construction of the Normandy SR-2; Cerberus only had two other active projects at the same time.
Cerberus would qualify as a significant non-military power in many settings. It has a well-developed intelligence network and the resources of several large, interstellar corporations. Cerberus can deploy squads of special ops agents for specific missions and runs a small fleet of warships, but it is evidently not a match for a major government organization in a direct confrontation. They are, however, dangerous to governments that have committed most of their resources to fighting a greater threat.
- The Illusive Man
- Miranda Lawson
- Jacob Taylor
- Kai Leng