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At some point during the war, 12,423 small recreational vessels and seven freighters appeared within the planet's orbital perimeter. The Flood used the smaller ships as an ablative armor, taking all damage and protecting the Freighters, which descended to the planet's surface and unloaded their hordes of Flood over large population centers.
Although the local Forerunner orbital forces were prepared for an invasion by the Flood, they were unable to prevent the infection of the planet and were overrun in a matter of days. Rather than allow the Flood to consume the planet's civilian population, the Forerunner Navy destroyed its own cities from orbit denying them to the parasite for use as biomass.