During the Battle of Tribute in the summer of 2552, Floral Express escaped the planet with two dozen colonial refugees to the slipstream space, hoping to regroup with other evacuees and make their way to the Sol system. The heavily damaged freighter followed a random slipspace trajectory per the Cole Protocol, and arrived at the edge of the Khaphrae system on October 8, 2552. While Floral Express underwent repairs, its furtive scans did not find Covenant pursuers, but instead detected anomalies within the star system. Once repaired, the vessel returned to Earth, where its crew was detained by the Office of Naval Intelligence for possible violations of the Cole Protocol. Floral Express' flight records revealed the largest anomaly's sensor signature was a close match to a Forerunner megastructure, leading ONI's pioneer teams to the discovery of a second Halo ringworld, Installation 03.
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