Chapter Two: Earth
Alpha Zone One Headquarters, Sector 84-A, Sol III
(formerly known as Starfleet Command, San Francisco, Earth)
Stardate 57126.2 (September 20, 2380)
The Vorta stared at the newly rebuilt, beautifully gleaming bridge spanning the majestic bay. The skies above him buzzed with the activity of Dominion shuttlecraft and surveillance drones.
"I'm afraid I just don't get it," the Vorta sighed.
The tall Cardassian legate standing beside the Vorta on the observation post rolled his eyes. He knew very well where this conversation was going. "And what exactly don't you get, Weyoun?"
The Vorta tilted his head sideways as if trying to look at the bridge from a different angle. "A bridge is a utilitarian construct, is it not? It simply must get someone from one destination to another. Why add all those extra frills?"
"We rebuilt the bridge to its original specifications because it reminds the humans of their recent subjugation," the Cardassian replied testily. "Did you not receive the memorandum I sent on this very subject?"
The Vorta waved his hands dismissively. "Of course, Dukat, of course. 'The humans will gaze upon the bridge, rebuilt by their masters as a symbol of what they have lost and will never regain.' Poetic, perhaps, but quite nonsensical."
"It actually makes a great deal of sense," the Cardassian snapped. "This bridge was a great symbol to the humans. It meant that they could meet any challenge, that they were more than a match for whatever the galaxy threw at them." He smiled. "But they could not match us
, and rebuilding that bridge will remind them of that. Forever."
"Do you not think the bridge might serve as a rallying point for future resistance on the part of the humans?"
"Of course not. Within several generations humans will be a servile farmer race, whose only purpose in life will be to supply food for the Occupation Zone. Their descendants will gaze upon this bridge and think only of the mighty power of the Dominion."
"You seem so sure," said the Vorta.
The Vorta shrugged. "I was merely referring to my confusion regarding the aesthetics of the bridge design. It seems frivolous. But if it was, as you say, a symbol to the humans who designed it, unfortunately I can only understand that concept on an intellectual level." The Vorta glanced at the bridge ruefully. "I'm afraid I simply cannot appreciate it aesthetically. The Founders did not see fit to include that ability in my genetic design."
"A shame," the Cardassian sneered. He enjoyed observing the weaknesses of others. "It is almost Cardassian in its design. I quite like it. It must be...difficult to not be able to appreciate beauty."
The Vorta nodded. "Indeed. Well, it is as the Founders intended, so who am I to complain?” He chuckled. "Very well then! The Founder will arrive soon to assume command of the Alpha Quadrant's integration into the Dominion." The Vorta rubbed his hands together in anticipation. "It will be wonderful to have a Founder among us again!"
"Yes, indeed," the Cardassian said with only the slightest bit of sarcasm in his voice. "Although I--you and I are doing very well on our own."
The Vorta looked at the Cardassian with what appeared to be grave concern. "Dukat," he said, "you have been invaluable in from the moment you led Cardassia into the Dominion. Do not think of the Founder's arrival as an intrusion. Think of it as a validation of all the wonderful work we have done." The Vorta patted the Cardassian gently on the arm. "Together."
And before their eyes, the female Changeling and four Jem'Hadar guards beamed down onto the observation post.
"Founder," the Vorta said effusively. "You honor us with your presence. Welcome to Sol III."
"Weyoun," the Founder acknowledged simply.
The Cardassian bowed his head and said tonelessly. "Welcome to Earth, Founder."
The Founder nodded. "Thank you, Legate Dukat." The Founder began walking towards the administration building, with the Jem'Hadar in tow. Weyoun and Dukat followed closely.
"We should all strive to not use forbidden words," said the Founder to no one in particular as she walked. "Old habits are sometimes hard to break, but we must set the proper example for the humans."
Dukat began to speak but was quickly cut off by Weyoun. 'Of course, Founder. You are absolutely right." He glared at Dukat. "A simple slip of the tongue, I'm afraid."
"Yes," Dukat muttered. "I apologize."
"No need," the Founder said. "I am eager to commence working on the integration efforts."
"Do you require any time to settle in, Founder?" Weyoun asked. "We shall be at your disposal whenever you are ready to begin."
"No. Let us begin the situation report now."
Dukat led the way a the small conference room. The Founder took a seat at the head of the table; Weyoun sat two chairs over from her while the Jem'Hadar flanked the table on both sides. Dukat walked to the front of the room, where a large viewer dominated the wall.
"You may begin when ready, Legate Dukat."
"Computer, activate view, program Dukat-Beta-Three."
The viewer sprang to life with a three-dimensional rendering of the Alpha Quadrant. Dukat lightly touched one of the myriad stars, and a representation of the planet formerly known as Earth was suddenly prominently displayed.
"As you know," Dukat began, "Ear--Sol III was one of the last Federation holdouts to fall during the war. The planet and its system withstood the combined assault of Dominion and allied vessels for over six months before finally surrendering."
Dukat switched the view to a slowly rotating globe, a representation of the conquered Earth. "Once we took control of the system, it took eleven months to pacify the outlying solar colonies. Earth itself was not purged of organized military resistance for over a year and a half. Once this task was complete, however, we found the occupation to be a much simpler affair than we had originally anticipated."
"Elaborate, please," the Founder said.
"Of course. Our intelligence reports indicated that once we wiped out the last organized military resistance, the humans would splinter into small insurgencies much like we--the Cardassians encountered on Bajor some years ago. However--"
"However," Weyoun interrupted, "when we broadcast the news that the...former interstellar government of which Earth was a part had fallen, we found that the humans became overwhelmingly docile."
"Indeed," Dukat said, determined to wrest control of the briefing back from the Vorta. “The fall of the Federation and the subsequent liquidation of the Federation Council on Andoria proved to be a most effective psychological tool in the pacification of this planet."
"But there are still incidents," said the Founder. "The murder of several Breen visiting the northern regions of the largest continent. The Portland Harbor incident. The--"
"We do not claim to have completely pacified this world," Dukat interjected, earning a vicious stare from Weyoun. "There are still isolated groups of terrorists at large. Ex-Starfleet personnel--"
The Founder turned to Weyoun. "What are we doing to eliminate this problem? I need assurance that this planet is--and she pointedly looked at Dukat--"completely pacified before we begin the integration process."
Weyoun bowed his head. "Rest assured, Founder, that we have a great deal of intelligence on these so-called 'groups of terrorists' and plan on making arrests within the next few days." Weyoun looked up at Dukat. "That is correct, Legate, yes?"
Dukat narrowed his eyes but nodded. "Yes."
"I should hope so," the Founder replied. "Continue with the briefing, Legate."
Dukat adjusted the projection, placing Earth's sphere onto an icosahedron dotted with tiny red spots. "These red markings indicated where we have set up re-education camps for those who are having trouble adjusting to the new order of things. We have been fortunate, however, to find many humans that are quite willing to collaborate with us. Nothing helps break the spirit of an occupied people quite like having their own turn on them."
"That is always useful," the Founder commented.
"It is indeed."
"How many humans have you found it necessary to liquidate once the war officially ended?"
Dukat glanced at Weyoun. "When we destroyed the last of the organized military resistance, Earth's population stood at 5.8 billion, with over 7 million non-humans still on the planet. That number now stands at 4.1 billion, with no known non-humans present."
"Admirable restraint," the Founder noted. "The planet's main function is now to provide food for the Occupation Zone, correct?"
"Correct. By converting the human race back into a species of uneducated, illiterate farmers, we intend to create a malleable population that will simply not comprehend the idea of resistance."
"How long will this take?" The Founder turned to Weyoun. "What is your estimate?"
"Several generations, at the very least," he replied. "If that pleases the Founder, of course."
"It does not," she replied coldly. "Do all that you can to speed up this process." She looked back at Dukat. "We did not completely eradicate the human species based on your
recommendations, Legate. I want the ability of humans to even contemplate the idea of resistance wiped out as soon as possible. If enough time passes without sufficient progress, they will meet the same fate as that of the Klingons." The Founder stood up. "I have heard enough for today. We will meet tomorrow at 0900 to discuss these matters further."
Dukat switched off the viewer as Weyoun got up, stretching out his hands in supplication. "Thank you, Founder, for blessing us with your presence today. If you require anything--"
"I'll be fine, Weyoun," the Founder said curtly. She looked at Dukat, who stood at the front of the room with his hands clasped behind his back. "Thank you, Legate."
Dukat bowed his head. "Until tomorrow, Founder."
As the Founder left the room, accompanied by her Jem'Hadar guards, Dukat strode leisurely over to Weyoun. "That went well, wouldn't you say?"
"I want that bridge destroyed," Weyoun said without looking at Dukat. "Please give the appropriate orders to your men. That is all."
As Weyoun walked out of the room, Dukat shook his head. Some people just did not understand that the the breaking of a people's will took time. It took proper care and attention to detail.
But they would learn. He would make sure of it.