Most of the Yonhet, including Axl, went into hiding for the duration of the Human-Covenant war, because the fighting made exploration and trade nearly impossible, and because they did not want to be drawn into a war that was not their own. However, when the war ended in 2552, Axl among many of his species emerged from the shadows, hoping the peacetime would allow him to turn a profit through trading.
Sometime before early 2556, Axl became involved in smuggling a biological weapon that specifically targeted humans, which was mined on a fragment of the destroyed Installation 04. He acted as a middleman, delivering the weapon to members of Jul 'Mdama's Covenant.
In February 2556, Axl landed on Sedra, a human outer colony. He met there with a Sangheili Zealot to whom he gave a sample of the biological weapon. Unbeknownst to the pair, the Office of Naval Intelligence had gotten wind of the transaction, and deployed Jameson Locke and his team to investigate. After witnessing the trade between Axl and the zealot, Gregory Ramos, one of Locke's squad mates, apprehended Axl and he was interrogated by Randall Aiken and Locke.