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Old November 21 2012, 05:10 PM   #1
doublegoodprole
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The Dominion Triumphant: A Star Trek Dystopia

Book One: The Darkness and the Light: Consolidation (2380 -2400)

Prologue
The Changeling abhorred the humanoid form.

Maintaining it was no great hardship, of course, but it was by no means a pleasurable experience. This was unfortunate, for shape-shifting was supposed to be a joyous, liberating act. Like all members of the Great Link, the Changeling relished the chance to take on myriad forms and did so as often as possible. By assuming other forms, a changeling assumed the very essence of life itself. Indeed, one could spend a lifetime imitating everything from a simple shape to a Zirellian octopus and never feel anything but complete, perfect bliss.

But imitating a humanoid? That was different. The act of assuming the humanoid form perverted the sheer joy of shape-shifting into something ugly…something sinister. Taking on the shape of the despised enemy was a truly repulsive concept to any Changeling.

In the end, however, ample experience had proven that humanoids could only truly relate to others like them. The Changeling remembered the great persecutions of the past, and like all the other members of the Great Link, it was determined to never let them happen again. There was no doubt in the Changeling’s mind that humanoids had an instinctive hatred of shape-shifters. History had proven that the fundamental differences between Changelings and Solids could simply never be reconciled. Left unchecked, the humanoid species of the Galaxy would snuff out the Great Link. Therein lay the need to conquer their civilizations, to subjugate their populations, and to deprive them of any chance to harm that which they could never understand. If the price of security included the occasional inconvenience of an unpleasant form, then so be it.

Security. The need for security was the very raison d’etre for the Dominion. The Dominion existed solely to protect the Great Link. The safety of the Link was always paramount, and the only way to guarantee its safety was to impose order on any and all threats. Humanoids could never be trusted, so they must be kept under the yoke of the Dominion. That was the order of things.

The Changeling had journeyed all the way from the Gamma Quadrant to personally assume control of the former capital world of the late, great United Federation of Planets. It was a task the Changeling did not look forward to. Spending a great deal of time among solids would be immensely taxing. The Changeling already yearned for the comfort of the Great Link.

No matter; Earth and the business of consolidating the Dominion’s hold over the conquered Federation beckoned.

But the Changeling had other business to attend to first.


**********************************

Jupiter Station, Sol System, Dominion Occupied Territory
Stardate 57121.1 (September 18, 2380)

Flanked by two Jem’Hadar guards, the Changeling entered the interrogation chamber of the sprawling space station. Once, this room had been used as an office for a Federation Starfleet admiral, or so the Changeling had been told. It did not matter. By serving its current purpose, it served the Dominion. That was all that mattered.

In the center of the room, a naked human woman was shackled by the wrists to a steel suspension rack attached to the ceiling. A spotlight shone on her still, slumped form; the rest of the room was shrouded in darkness.

The Changeling could barely conceal its annoyance. “Turn on the lights,” it ordered, and one of the Jem’Hadar said in a low monotone, “Computer...lights.”

As the chamber filled with light, a door swished open on the opposite side of the room. A Cardassian military officer strode into the chamber, followed closely by a Vorta field supervisor.

“Founder!” The Vorta approached the Changeling, bowing his head slightly and reaching out his hands in supplication. “You honor us with your presence. Is there some way we may be of service?”

“You may explain what has transpired here,” the Changeling replied coldly.

The Vorta turned to the Cardassian and gestured at the human woman. The Cardassian said, “Three days ago, a Jem’Hadar squadron on patrol in the Oort Cloud detected a spatial anomaly. Upon investigating, a rogue Starfleet vessel was found and captured.”

The Changeling circled the human woman, noting her pallid skin. “What was the nature of this spatial anomaly?”

“It appeared to be a wormhole, most likely originating somewhere in the Delta Quadrant.”

The Changeling couldn’t help but show a small amount of surprise. “Is this wormhole stable?”

“No, Founder,” the Vorta replied. “The wormhole collapsed only seconds after it was detected by the Jem’Hadar. The Starfleet vessel’s warp signature was picked up immediately after the anomaly was picked up on sensors; there’s no doubt the vessel traversed the wormhole.”

“Are you sure only one ship came through the wormhole?”

“Yes, Founder.”

“And would you mind enlightening me how this vessel survived the war, let alone how it was able to travel back and forth across the galaxy?”

“From what we can tell, the ship was in the Delta Quadrant before the war began,” the Cardassian said. “The ship is called Voyager. It was reported lost in the Badlands nearly ten years ago and presumed destroyed.”

“Founder, we are very hard at work researching the captured Starfleet archives for more information,” the Vorta said. “If this ship is more than what it appears to be, you will of course be the first to know.”

The Founder could not help but feel unsatisfied. “Where is the ship now?”

“The vessel is currently docked at the Utopia Planitia shipyards, not far from here,” said the Cardassian.

“Interestingly enough, it was constructed there as well,” the Vorta commented cheerily.

The Changeling pointed at the human woman. “And who is this? A member of Voyager’s crew? I would expect that interrogating surviving crew members would prove more fruitful than...researching archives.”

The Vorta nodded nervously while the Cardassian folded his arms and smirked. “That,” the Cardassian said contemptuously, “is the captain of the Voyager, Kathryn Janeway…or at least, it was. It was my understanding—based on personal experience, I might add—that Starfleet captains were made of sterner stuff. This one barely lasted through one interrogation session.”

The Changeling choked back anger. “You let the captain of this vessel die?”

“I’m afraid so, Founder,” the Vorta replied. “Legate Madred’s methods of interrogation proved to be somewhat…extreme, considering—“

“There was nothing wrong with my methods of interrogation,” the Cardassian said sharply. “The human simply proved too weak for—“

“She was already wounded,” the Vorta snapped. “Surely you—“

“Enough!” The Changeling turned away from the human woman and stared directly at the Cardassian. “I earnestly hope you have more prisoners from Voyager to interrogate, Legate Madred, or I’m afraid we may have to…reevaluate the rank structure in this facility.”

“Of course,” the Cardassian replied. “The rest of the command crew and many of the lower-ranking complement remain alive and are currently imprisoned in this station’s brig.” The Cardassian took note of the Changeling’s withering glare and noted, “No harm shall befall them until you give the order, Founder.”

“Good.” The Changeling turned its attention to the Vorta. “You would be wise to exercise more control over the ‘methods of interrogation’ that our Cardassian allies are practicing in this facility."

The Vorta lowered his head. "Of course, Founder. Rest assured that I will supervise each interrogation personally."

The Changeling nodded. "I would hope so. I want to know everything about this vessel. I want to know how it reached the Delta Quadrant. I want to know the nature of the wormhole that brought it back to the Alpha Quadrant, and I want to know how this crew was able to harness it. Am I making myself clear?”

“Perfectly clear, Founder,” the Vorta said. “We will redouble our efforts to obtain information from the Voyager crew immediately.”

“Good,” the Changeling replied. “I will be on Earth. Contact me when you have obtained some…useful information.”

“Of course.” The Vorta once again bowed his head slightly. “Good day, Founder.”

The Changeling nodded, took a moment to glare once again at the Cardassian, and left the interrogation chamber.


**********************************

En route to the Jem’Hadar vessel, the Changeling reflected on the ingenuity and skill of Starfleet personnel. It was hard to imagine anyone else being able to find a way to cross a galaxy in mere minutes. Certainly the simple-minded Cardassians or the obsequious Vorta would never be able to accomplish such a feat!

No. Starfleet, and humans in particular, had proven to be worthy adversaries… and a small part of the Changeling couldn’t help but admire them. But in the end, all of their ingenuity and skill had not saved them from the onslaught of the Dominion invasion.

It was just as well. The Federation had clearly posed a great threat to the Great Link—much more so than the comparatively weak Klingons or Romulans. Their protestations aside, the humans and their allies had been a grave threat to all that the Dominion stood for. The conquest of the Alpha Quadrant was just one more step in securing the Great Link from all external threats. One day, the Dominion would reign supreme over all the humanoid species of the galaxy…and then--and only then--could the Great Link finally breathe a collective sigh of relief.

Truly, that was the order of things.


**********************************

As the Jem’Hadar ship carried the exalted Founder to occupied Earth, the Changeling took the form of a Tarkalean hawk and flew masterfully throughout the spacious corridors of the warship. It felt so good to be free!
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Old November 21 2012, 05:14 PM   #2
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Re: The Dominion Triumphant: A Star Trek Dystopia

Chapter One: Terra Prime
U.S.S. Enterprise
In Orbit of Planet Terra Prime
M-33 Galaxy
Stardate 57133.74 (September 23, 2380)

Admiral Jean-Luc Picard sat in his ready room aboard the flagship of the Seventh Fleet, formerly of the Federation Starfleet. Now...well, now it was just the fleet. Twenty seven ships, four of which were ships of the line, all in this distant solar system nearly three million light-years from home. Were they still a part of Starfleet? Hard to say. Did Starfleet still exist?

Picard glanced out of the ready room window at the star that the Seventh Fleet now called home. Interesting. If he were back home, on Earth, the light he was now seeing would not be visible for another three million years. If he had been able to see Sol from his vantage point, he would have been seeing light that emanated from the star long before the dawn of civilization. Long before.

Data would have been able to give him the exact figures. But Data was not here.

The Seventh Fleet had arrived in M-33 three years ago, after the fall of Earth. Picard remembered the final battle well. Starfleet and their erstwhile Klingon allies had fought hard, destroying most of the Cardassian attack wings before simply being overwhelmed by waves of Jem'Hadar cruisers. The Mars Defense Perimeter had performed admirably, but once it had been broken it was all over for Earth. Picard had attempted to defy Admiral Leyton's order to retreat, but it had been Riker who had convinced him to go, to follow the tattered Federation Alliance forces out of the system as Earth fell to the conquering Dominion.

Riker. He was not here either.

After Andoria and the final collapse of the Federation government, the recently promoted Admiral Picard was ordered by Starfleet Command to initiate Project Longshot. In the event of the Federation's collapse, Starfleet had ordered several contingency plans be set in motion. Project Longshot was just one such plan, and it was just that--a long shot. No one knew if Wesley Crusher could (or would) help evacuate a fleet out of the galaxy, and no one knew where they would end up if he did.

Still, Picard had initiated Longshot on schedule, as ordered. Contacting young Crusher had proven a simple task; it was convincing him to help that had taken a great deal of effort. Picard remembered being irritated with the boy all those years ago, back when he was merely human and a youngster obsessed with sitting in the captain's chair. Now, he was to be the instrument of their salvation.

But Crusher had nearly balked at the idea of interfering in the affairs of lesser races. He had not said as much, but Picard knew what he had meant. The powerful always regarded the weak with condescension. It took an impassioned speech from Picard to convince the boy-god that saving the Seventh Fleet would be one last way to fulfill his duties as a former Starfleet officer--and, Picard recalled guiltily, he had not failed to mention that it would be a way to atone for the fatal actions that had nearly gotten Crusher drummed out of the fleet some years before. But it had only been by invoking the name of the late Jack Crusher--Wesley's father and Picard's best and most trusted friend--that the powerful young man had agreed to help. It was a low-handed tactic, but entirely necessary. Picard still found a small part of himself regretting what he had said, however. Old habits die hard.

So with the young Traveler's help, the ships of the beleaguered Seventh Fleet had prepared to use the same method that had sent the U.S.S. Enterprise-D careening off to the edge of the universe.

But as the final preparations were set into motion, Dominion forces entered the nebula in which the fleet was hiding. Dozens of Jem'Hadar ships appeared on thirty-seven Federation starships' viewscreens, and they were completely uninterested in negotiation.

Picard had desperately hoped the fleet could have made it out of the galaxy before the Dominion had located them, but alas. With steely resolve, he ordered ten ships to engage the Dominion forces as the other twenty-seven made a run for it. It was the only strategy that made sense. Twenty-three ships were packed full of civilians, refugees from Earth and other occupied worlds; Picard figured he could spare four ships of the line to protect them once they evacuated from the Milky Way. The rest would have to stay and fight in order to cover their retreat.

Even then he had known that once those ships broke off to engage the Jem’Hadar, they would not be leaving the galaxy with the rest of the fleet. Attacking the Jem’Hadar was not a winning proposition, but a maneuver to gain time. A pity, Picard thought as he reflected back on the battle. It would have been extremely beneficial to have all thirty-seven ships present here in M-33, where nothing was known and everything was unfamiliar.

Admiral Picard had given the order to engage the enemy on the bridge of the U.S.S. Venture, his Galaxy-class personal flagship. He had fully intended that his former command, the U.S.S Enterprise-E, be part of the four escort vessels leaving the galaxy. So he was surprised when, seconds after giving the order, he received a hail from the Enterprise.

The face of Captain William Riker, his former first office and new commander of the Enterprise, appeared on the Venture’s viewscreen. “Admiral,” Riker said urgently. “The Sentinel is experiencing issues with their main phaser relay. We have to take it out of the attack formation.”

Picard shook his head. “No, Number One. Alert the Sentinel to join the attack formation and bring the Enterprise to—“

“Admiral,” Riker interrupted. “The Sentinel is the only other Sovereign-class ship in the fleet. Without its firepower, we may not be able to cover your retreat.”

“What do your propose, Captain?” Picard snapped. “That we send the Enterprise in its place?”

“Yes sir, and quickly.”

“No,” Picard said flatly. “I need the Enterprise when we leave the galaxy. I—“

“Jean-Luc,” Riker said gently. Picard fell silent. “This is the only way we can make Project Longshot work, and you know it.”

Picard would have liked to have called a conference with his senior staff to discuss this turn of events. A meeting of the minds could have produced a better solution. But time was a luxury he simply no longer had.

“I—very well, Number One.” He turned to the Venture’s communications officer. “Lieutenant Jones, alert the Sentinel to fall in line with the escort vessels .”

“Aye, sir.”

Riker nodded and moved to end the communication. But Picard held up a hand. “Will—wait.”

Riker met Picard’s gaze. “Yes, Admiral?”

Picard could not help but notice the lump forming in his throat. “Good luck, Number One. It was an…honor to serve with you.”

Riker grinned. “I wouldn’t have traded it for anything, Admiral. Now get out of here while we show the Jem’Hadar what this ship can do.”

Picard smiled wanly and Riker cut the transmission.

“Crusher to Bridge,” Picard’s communicator chirped.

“Go ahead, Wesley.” Picard rubbed his temple as he contemplated a now even more uncertain future.

“Cap—I mean, Admiral, we’re ready to begin. I’d just like to put a little more space between us and—“

“Incoming Jem’Hadar attack cruisers!” Lieutenant Polk, the tactical officer, shouted. “Bearing 9847.2!”

“We’ll try our best, Mr. Crusher, Picard out.” Picard
sat down in the command chair. It wasn’t a good sign that some Jem’Hadar had already made it past the Starfleet attack wing. “Initiate tactical plan Picard-Alpha-Gamma. Have the other ships fall into line.” He glanced down at his chair PADD. “Wait until the Jem’Hadar are within visual range.”

“Aye, sir,” Polk replied. “Ten seconds until visual range.”

“Picard to Engineering.”

“Go ahead, Admiral.”

“Commander Gomez, I’m going to need more power to the forward phaser relays. Can we spare the—“

“Inadvisable, Admiral,” Crusher cut in. “I need as much power as I can get.”

“The enemy is within visual range,” Polk reported.

“Fire aft photon torpedoes,” Picard ordered. The bridge shook as the ship took a direct hit.

“Shields holding,” Polk said. “The Sentinel has taken heavy damage in its engineering section. The—“

“Target the lead Jem’Hadar ship,” Picard interjected. “Attack pattern Picard-Zeta-Three.”

“Ready phasers, sir.”

“Fire.”

The Venture fired five short bursts of phaser fire aimed squarely at the engineering section of the Jem’Hadar cruiser. It exploded in a huge ball of flame and plasma.

“One down,” Picard muttered. “Picard to Crusher, how long until we can initiate the jump?”

Crusher sounded woozy. “At current speed….three minutes.”
The ship shook again as the surviving enemy cruisers lashed out against the Starfleet vessels.

“Shields down to seventy-eight percent,” Polk cried out. “Heavy casualties on Deck Eight through Thirteen.”

“Fire at will, Lieutenant.” The communications officer screamed as her console exploded in flames. Picard looked over at the young woman. Her neck was twisted far too abnormally; she was dead.

“Direct hit! Shields down to sixty-one percent.” Polk continued to fire the ship’s weapons. The Sentinel is reporting their phaser banks are inoperable, Admiral. The Lexington and the Chekov are—“ Polk was suddenly knocked backwards by a power surge.

Picard got up and ran quickly to the Tactical station, leaving an ensign to check on the injured Polk. “Helm, set course 7651 mark 0501. Bring us around hard to port. Engage!”

The Venture maneuvered and faced a Jem’Hadar cruiser head-on. Picard concentrated fire on the enemy’s forward hull. The Jem’Hadar cruiser blossomed into a fiery cloud of destruction.

“Picard to Engineering!”

“Just give us one more minute, Admiral,” Gomez cried over the comm system. “We’re that close.”

Picard grimaced as the final Jem’Hadar cruiser began concentrating its fire on the Sentinel and the Lexington. Behind him, an ensign cried out, “Seven more Jem’Hadar cruisers have broken through the line, Admiral! They’re headed straight for us!”

Failure? Now? When they were so close? He stared at the tactical screen, suddenly wishing Data were present. “Helm, move the formation in tighter and prepare for warp bubble initiation.” If they could just hold out for thirty more seconds—

But the Jem’Hadar were suddenly upon them, like raging jackals. Lethal energy beams struck several of the Federation ships.

“Engineering! This needs to happen NOW!”

“Fifteen seconds, Admiral!” Gomez’s voice cracked. “Give us—“

The ship rocked violently as the Venture took three direct hits. The shields were down to thirty-nine percent. “Helm!” Picard shouted. “Set course 62—“

Picard looked up in shock as his ship, the Enterprise, swooped out of nowhere and engaged the Jem’Hadar vessels. The powerful vessel drew the fire of the Jem’Hadar as the rest of the fleet moved further out of the nebula.

“Bridge, we’re Initiating the warp bubble!” Gomez shouted over the comm. “Ready enhanced warp drive in 3…2…1…”

Picard watched as the Enterprise took a brutal beating from the enemy vessels. “Thank you, Will,” he whispered. "Godspeed.”

And in the blink of an eye, twenty-seven Starfleet vessels winked out of existence and left the galaxy forever.


Above Terra Prime, the M-class world where the refugees of the Seventh Fleet intended to make their new home, Admiral Jean-Luc Picard ordered a cup of tea from the replicator and reflected on his new life. So much had changed. So little was known about the dangers of this region of space…but so little was known about the possible wonders, too. He looked around his ready room of his flagship, the recently rechristened U.S.S. Enterprise. The name must live on. The dream, the ideals that constituted the United Federation of Planets must live on.

He peered out at the unfamiliar constellations dotting the skies around him. Hopefully, one day, the descendants of this ragtag fleet could find out what was out there, resume Starfleet’s mission of peaceful exploration, and rebuild what had been lost.

But for now, safety and building a new home were the priorities. And like a good Starfleet officer, Picard was going to rise to the challenge…whether Starfleet still existed or not.
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Old November 21 2012, 05:15 PM   #3
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Re: The Dominion Triumphant: A Star Trek Dystopia

Interlude One

Intercepted Dominion Subspace Communiques and Official Alpha Zone One Occupation Dispatches, Archive Fourteen (2380 – 2400)

Note: The following has been translated into Galactic Standard for the benefit of contemporary readers, researchers, and interested parties.

Dispatch: Order of the Day
Date: Stardate 56555.5 (February 6, 2380)
From: Alpha Zone One Headquarters
To: All Dominion subjects, troops, and associated powers
Re: Forbidden Phrasing

***Begin Transmission***

As per the wishes of the Founders, who bestow life, liberty, and order upon us all, the following phrases will now be strictly forbidden in all conversation, correspondence, and direct/indirect communication between sentient beings residing in Dominion space (including both touch and non-touch telepathy):

United Federation of Planets
Federation
UFP
Earth
Sector 001
Starfleet
Andoria (the descriptive term 'Andorian' is acceptable but not encouraged)
Changeling
"Remember the Enterprise"
Klingon (or the Klingon Empire)
Deep Space Nine
Vulcan (all inhabitants of that planet shall be referred to as 'Romulan' as per the Second Dominion/Romulan Non-Aggression Pact, Amendment 47)
Borg (see also "The Borg")
"Kirk Lives"
Jesus Christ
Surak
Kahless
Cochrane
The Resistance
Project Agamemnon


As the Founders desire, more undesirable phrasing may be forbidden in the future. By themselves these words are merely historical artifacts, objects of curiosity and perhaps derision; it is the actions of a selfish few that necessitate their banning in the name of safety and order for all.

***End Transmission***

Communique: Subspace transmission, dated Stardate 56696.6 (April 2, 2380)
To: Vorta Field Supervisior, Sector 24-B
From: Legate Lemok, Alpha Zone One Base 19 Commander
Re: Pacification Efforts in Coridan system

***Begin Transmission***

Kestin: This is Legate Lemok. I must report significant gains against rogue elements in the Coridan system over the course of the last week. Rumors of a surviving (redacted by Dominion authorities) vessel proved to be correct, and that vessel was confirmed to have been responsible for the destruction of three Dominion cargo ships on Stardate 55931.21. The enemy vessel was successfully engaged by three Cardassian warships and two Jem-Hadar attack cruisers. It is with deep regret that I inform you no prisoners were taken in the short battle; the Jem'Hadar once again did not heed my warnings about the structural integrity of battle-damaged (redacted by Dominion authorities) ships that have not received significant drydock repair since before the war. Otherwise, our victory was most assuredly a total one and it is with great confidence that I predict no further incidents with Dominion shipping in the future.

***End Transmission***

Communique: Land-Based transmission, dated Stardate 56865.7 (June 8, 2380)
To: Abraham Morrison
From: Norman Jellico
Re: Portland Harbor Incident

***Begin Transmission***

Abraham,

I'm very disappointed in how you handled the bombing at the harbor last week. I thought I made it very clear that when the Jem'Hadar get involved in our petty squabbling, it makes us look very, very bad to the Vorta field supervisors. We all understand that this transition has been very tough, but thanks to the benevolence and generosity of the Founders, we'll survive and prosper once again.

But do get a handle on things.

Be well.

Serving the Founders loyally,

Norman

***End Transmission***
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Old November 21 2012, 05:16 PM   #4
doublegoodprole
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Re: The Dominion Triumphant: A Star Trek Dystopia

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.

"Aren't you?"

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.
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Old November 21 2012, 05:18 PM   #5
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Re: The Dominion Triumphant: A Star Trek Dystopia

Chapter Three: Erewhon
Planet Erewhon
Delta Quadrant
Stardate 57138.6 (September 25, 2380)

Dr. Julian Bashir quickly jogged along the rock-strewn path that led to the top of the mountain. Well, perhaps the term ‘mountain’ was generous. On Earth, it would have been nothing more than a large hill.

But here, on Erewhon, geology had not played such an active role in shaping the terrain. At this point, Bashir didn’t mind; he’d been running for almost an hour and was growing more and more weary by the second.

He reached the top and rested, kneeling down onto the grass. Mt. Khitomer, as it had been named, overlooked a bustling settlement simply known as ‘Starfleet Command.’ No one had proposed naming the settlement anything. It seemed…too soon. Too permanent.

A voice called up from down the trail a ways. “Doctor? Doctor Bashir?”

Bashir sighed. He spent his days (and many nights) constantly dealing with people’s needs; it was nice to get away from it all for a while, even if only for a couple hours a week. But it seemed as if there was no such thing as true solitude anymore, even on this relatively empty world. “Up here, Garak.”

A Cardassian (of all things!) male appeared out of the brush and walked onto the ‘summit,’ as it were. “Why, good morning, Doctor,” he said cheerily. “I was hoping we could have breakfast together.”

Bashir looked over and saw that the Cardassian was carrying two ration packs. “Did you follow me up here? I certainly didn’t hear you behind me.”

Garak sat down next to the doctor and handed him a ration pack. “Doctor, I’m afraid my steadily advancing age precludes me from making such long ascents these days. No. I beamed in.”

Bashir tore open the ration pack. “I’m beginning to feel as if there’s no such thing as privacy anymore.”

Garak nodded sagely. “These are…interesting times.” He took a bite of the ration. “And these are horrifyingly disgusting meals, I must say.”

Bashir shrugged. “Once we get agriculture up and running, we won’t have to rely so much on ration packs. They’ve even begun cloning animals for consumption.” He grimaced. “It will be difficult to get used to that.”

“Why, I don’t know, Doctor,” Garak said, “It might actually be refreshing. We’ve all lived on replicated food for so long. I’ve always found that something is simply…missing from replicated foods.”

“What? Things such as germs? Bacteria?”

Garak smiled. “One must make compromises in the face of adversity, my dear Doctor. Starfleet Command is not the only settlement on the face of this fair planet.”

And that was the simple truth. After the final collapse of the Federation at Andoria and the Battle of Tellar, all Starfleet vessels not destroyed in the retreat or engaged on other missions had escorted the many refugee ships out of the Alpha Quadrant. All of the vessels had been equipped with cloaking devices; the crisis of the war with the Dominion had rendered some treaty obligations moot. The ships had also been fitted with experimental propulsion engines, and fortunately they had only lost three ships during the escape due to engine failures or warp core breaches.

And they, this disparate batch of Federation remnants, had come to this world, far from what was now Dominion space. There were many tiny settlements on Erewhon; some named, some not. It was now necessary to go back to the old ways in order to feed everyone, for replicators required an energy expenditure far beyond what Starfleet could now offer. The post-scarcity era was over; now not having enough was simply a fact of life.

“You’re right,” Bashir said as he ate the last of his ration. “But no one said we have to like it.”

Garak offered the rest of his ration pack to Bashir and the doctor waved him away. “I’m not very hungry.”

“Understandable,” Garak replied. “It has been a very stressful week.”

Bashir allowed himself to relax a bit. That was the point of trekking up here, after all. “Indeed. There’s been at least two breakouts of Herellian fever in the Vulcan camps alone.”
“Have there been any deaths?”

“Not yet,” Bashir closed his eyes. “But unless we find a better way of obtaining medical supplies, that won’t be the case for long.”

“Have faith, Doctor,” Garak replied. “I have found that Starfleet is much more adaptable than I had previously thought. After all, we’ve made it this far. It seems premature to give up hope so soon.”

“Perhaps.” Bashir gazed out at the settlement below. “Sometimes when I wake up, I can’t believe this is all really happening. I close my eyes and hope that when I open them again, I’ll be back on Deep Space Nine, and I will discover that all of this was just a bad dream.”

“I used to feel the same way on Deep Space Nine,” Garak mused. “I imagined that I would wake up back on Cardassia, and all would be well again. Alas, it was not to be.” Garak looked pointedly at the doctor. “As is now the case for you.”

Bashir met Garak’s stare and then returned his gaze to the settlement. “Tell me, Garak, do you think Deep Space Nine is still there?”

“If it is, it has certainly returned to its old designation of Terok Nor,” Garak said. “Perhaps Dukat has towed it to Earth’s orbit, just to satisfy his megalomaniacal urges.”

“I miss Quark’s,” Bashir said, ignoring Garak’s attempt at dark humor. “I never thought I would say that, but I do.”

“Please don’t ever repeat this, Doctor, but sometimes I miss my tailor shop,” Garak said with a hint of wistfulness. “It always felt like a prison to me, back in those days, but now…now I would almost give anything to be back there.”

The two sat quietly for a moment, reflecting on a past now lost to history.

Bashir’s communicator chirped. “Pulaski to Bashir.”

Bashir sighed again. Back to work. “Go ahead, Doctor.”

“We have what appears to be a case of Jauntaride influenza in one of the human refugee camps, located about seventeen kilometers from Starfleet Command.”

Bashir slowly stood as Garak remained seated on the ground, staring out at the horizon. “Acknowledged,” Bashir said. “Could you please have the transporter chief beam me back to Main Sickbay?” He looked over at Garak. “Are you coming?”

“No thank you, Doctor,” Garak replied. “I think descending down the mountain might be an easier and quite necessary exercise for me.”

Bashir nodded. “That will be one to beam over, Doctor Pulaski.”

“Stand by.”

“If I’m back in time,” Bashir said, “Would you care to have dinner, Garak?”

“That would be most enjoyable, Doctor,” Garak responded cheerfully.

“All right, then. Goodbye, Garak.” And just as he finished speaking, the transporter beam caught him up and took him away to the next crisis.

And Garak, the exiled Cardassian who was now among a multitude of exiles, spent a long time sitting at the summit of Mt. Khitomer looking out at his new home. Yes. These were interesting times.
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Old November 25 2012, 03:16 AM   #6
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Re: The Dominion Triumphant: A Star Trek Dystopia

This is a great story...
PM me whenever you post an additional part!
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Old November 26 2012, 03:48 AM   #7
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Re: The Dominion Triumphant: A Star Trek Dystopia

Chapter Four

Alpha Zone One Headquarters, Sector 84-A, Sol III (formerly known as Starfleet Command, San Francisco, Earth)
Stardate 57144.5 (September 27, 2380)



“Founder?” Weyoun entered the room that served as the temporary quarters for his changeling master. No matter how many times he’d attended to a Founder in their living spaces, he was always surprised at the Spartan quality of the rooms the Founders chose to inhabit when not in the Great Link. The furniture and décor were so…sparse. Surely the rulers of such a great interstellar empire could install some lavish carpeting at the very least!

‘Come in, Weyoun,” the Founder called out. Weyoun looked up at the ceiling, where a large Utretrian moth fluttered towards the floor, gracefully shifting shape back into that of a humanoid.

Weyoun bowed his head. “How may I be of service, Founder?”

The Founder pointed to a couch in a corner of the room. “Tell me, Weyoun,” the changeling said as they sat, “how are things really going on this world?”

Weyoun sized up the situation. A week had passed since the Founder had arrived on Sol III, and all of the information provided to the changeling had been in the form of action reports, mission briefings, and Dukat’s interminable lectures. Here now was an opportunity to finally be of some use to his master—and if he could settle some scores of his own while doing so, well, all the better!

Weyoun smiled pleasantly and said, “Founder, as you well know, we have experienced many triumphs over the course of this past year. However, I would like to personally express some concern over Legate Dukat’s plan to convert the human species into a race of…simple farmers.” Weyoun adopted a regretful look. “As you wisely stated…the process is simply taking too long.”

The Founder did not change expression, which always offset Weyoun somewhat. He was a master of reading nonverbal language, and could adjust his tone or delivery as needed or required; but when talking to a Founder, one could never be sure what they were thinking. It made his job slightly more difficult, he found.

At last, the Founder responded. “I agree. Share your reservations with me, Weyoun.”

“As you wish, Founder. You see…I believe that Legate Dukat may be…a bit too restrained in his approach to dealing with the humans,” Weyoun said. “It seems to pain him greatly when we must liquidate large groups of humans for criminal behavior. I fear his commitment to the task at hand may be somewhat…compromised.”

The Founder trusted Weyoun as much as a changeling could trust any solid, but one flaw in the Vorta’s genetic programming was a complete inability to simply get to the point.

“Compromised by what, Weyoun? Not compassion, I hope.”

The Vorta took care to look as pained as possible. “I do not believe Dukat could ever be accused of compassion. Instead, Founder, I believe the legate restrains his behavior based on an egocentric desire to be admired by his subjects…perhaps even loved.”

The Founder blinked. “Weyoun, we knew that about Dukat from the moment he approached us with a plan to ally Cardassia with the Dominion. His behavior during the Bajoran occupation is all the proof of your theory that one would ever need.”

“Indeed, Founder. That is quite an astute analysis,” Weyoun simpered. “However, I feel this time that the situation is very different.”

“Different how? Are you suggesting Dukat is dragging his feet on completely pacifying this planet?”

“With all due respect, Founder, I simply do not feel qualified to judge Dukat’s performance in that regard,” Weyoun lied. “All I can tell you is that where a heavy hand is required, Dukat will often choose a less punitive measure. Where an opportunity arises to stamp out some troublesome element of human culture, Dukat seeks to appropriate it for his own uses, although he is quick to claim it is in the Dominion’s best interests. It is…a troublesome pattern.”

The Founder nodded. “We have indulged Dukat in implementing his philosophy regarding the treatment of conquered enemies on Sol III, and we will continue to do so as long as it is useful to us. I suppose the question is, then: has this plan’s usefulness run its course?”

Weyoun bowed his head deeply and did not answer; he recognized the question as rhetorical.

The Founder recalled the Vorta’s previous comment. “You mentioned there was a difference between Dukat’s approach towards the Bajorans, as opposed to the humans. Tell me, Weyoun, how are the humans different from the Bajorans in this particular case?”

Weyoun sighed. “Founder, Dukat looked at the Bajorans as his children—as a father might look upon a wayward child, that is.” Weyoun leaned in towards the Founder and said in a conspiratorial whisper, “But the humans are different. I believe he sees them—and this whole unpleasant business of occupation--as a challenge which ended before it could truly begin.”

“Because organized resistance folded so quickly,” the Founder surmised.

Weyoun was relieved. The Founder understood. “Yes, Founder. I believe that is very much the case. I feel Legate Dukat may be prolonging the process of assimilating the humans into the Dominion so that he is not denied his chance to…effectively subjugate them. Dukat could never exercise the kind of control over Bajor which you have seen fit to grant him here on Sol III. So rest assured that it pains me greatly that he does not seem to be willing to take advantage of such an…ideal situation.” Weyoun spread his hands out. “But what can I do? I am only an adviser, after all!”

The changeling felt the stirrings of alarm. This was not orderly. But before the Founder could press the issue, the room’s comm system beeped. A Jem’Hadar’s gravelly voice said, “Founder. A message from Jupiter Station. Priority One.”

Weyoun made as if to leave but the Founder said, “No, Weyoun, stay. This will only take a moment.” The changeling pressed a button on the table beside the couch. “Patch it through.”

The wall in front of the couch shimmered and was replaced by an image of Legate Madred.

“Ah, Madred,” Weyoun greeted the Cardassian. The Founder merely stated, “What is it, Legate?”

Madred looked as if he had just seen a ghost. “Founder…” he stuttered. “The Voyager…the crew…the captain’s body….they’re gone.”

The Founder stood up. “Gone? Gone where?”

Madred held up both of his hands. “They…their…their remains…they lost molecular cohesion—but the ship--the ship…the ship simply...” Madred ran out of words. “They melted, Founder!”



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Old November 26 2012, 04:46 AM   #8
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Re: The Dominion Triumphant: A Star Trek Dystopia

I've always wanted to be a writer, but I've never really had the self-discipline to practice enough to be become close to adequate. So I really do appreciate everyone putting up with what might be a bit of, uh...strained prose. I get excited to post things, and I'm not editing myself that well.

I'll try and write updates ahead of time, and then give myself a chance to go back and edit. The ending to the Bashir/Garak exchange is terrible.
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Old November 26 2012, 09:58 AM   #9
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Re: The Dominion Triumphant: A Star Trek Dystopia

Chapter Five

Planet Terra Prime
M-33 Galaxy
Stardate 57151.9 (September 30, 2380)


Three of the Starfleet vessels that had fled the Milky Way--the U.S.S. Orion, the U.S.S. Majestic, and the U.S.S. Constellation--had already been dismantled and used to create settlements on Terra Prime. Finally, it seemed, refugees who had not signed up to spend their life in space could disembark and get on with their lives.

Admiral Picard and his core group of advisers—whom residents of Terra Prime, in a rare instance of black humor, had dubbed ‘The Federation Council’—decided upon arriving in M-33 that ten of the twenty-seven vessels were not fit for further space travel and could successfully be converted into planetary habitats. In addition, seven ships were to be cannibalized for parts in order to refit the remaining fleet.

So when all was said and done, the Starfleet contingent in the M-33 galaxy would stand at ten ships in good condition…and one poorly defended planet.

It was not an enviable position.

The population of Terra Prime was ninety-three percent human; while a few non-humans had made the journey out to M-33, the refugees were overwhelmingly of Terran origin. It made sense. As the Dominion had conquered its way through Federation space, only a few species had been targeted for what the Dominion had referred to as ‘special treatment.’ Klingons, Vulcans, and Humans—their surrender was to be unconditional and unequivocal. Others were encouraged to seek more favorable terms from the Dominion—but not as part of the United Federation of Planets.

And at first, the Federation had stuck together. Betazed had fallen, and the union stayed strong. Rigel, Bolarus, Risa, Minos, Galor IV—all of them fell to the Jem’Hadar onslaught and the worlds of the Federation had stuck together, determined to fight to the end as one.

It was a year and a half into the war—when the Dominion wiped out Qo’noS and occupied Vulcan—that the Federation began to splinter and the resolve of its member worlds started to weaken. Planets that had not been part of the Federation for long had seceded and sued for peace. Many of those individuals whose homeworlds had left the Federation also left Starfleet. The Dominion eagerly accepted what amounted to the seceding worlds’ surrender and placed a token Jem’Hadar garrison where necessary. More force was not needed; at least, not yet. Fear had driven the secessionists into the Dominion, and fear would keep them in line until they could be properly integrated into the new order.

As the war inexorably led to a total Dominion victory, the Federation’s membership dwindled. By the time the Solar System fell, Earth and Andoria were the only founding members of the Federation still standing.

Unfortunately, that state of affairs had not lasted long.

And so it was that when the fleet that was to initiate Project Longshot had set out for M-33, most souls on board the vessels were human. Their world conquered, their dreams shattered, they embarked on this mission to another galaxy to try again—to build another Earth: Terra Prime.

The non-humans in the fleet had not objected. Perhaps one day a new version of their world would flourish in this far-away galaxy, too.

At the head of this new human endeavor was one man—Jean-Luc Picard. Born and raised on Earth, Picard’s career in Starfleet had been nothing short of legendary. After a long stint as commander of the U.S.S. Stargazer, Picard had commanded one of the most historic missions in Federation history—that of the U.S.S. Enterprise NCC 1701-D. Voyages to this very galaxy and beyond, the first official encounter with the Borg, first contact with the alien race known as Q—there was nothing that ship had not accomplished. Captain Jean-Luc Picard was the calm figure in the center seat, the man who had defused the Klingon Civil War and had saved the Federation from an attack by renegade Borg and Soong-type androids.

When the Enterprise-D had been destroyed in a battle above Veridan III, Picard received another command—the Sovereign-class U.S.S. Enterprise-E. A year after the new ship’s maiden voyage, the Borg had attacked Earth. The Enterprise-E had played a crucial role in defeating that incursion, and had also prevented the Borg from altering history during Earth’s First Contact with the Vulcans by traveling back in time with the Borg to 2063.

Within months of that triumph, the war with the Dominion had begun.

This time, the Federation’s troubles could not be solved by a single starship. The Enterprise-E was just one ship of many desperately trying to hold back the barbarians at the gate…and failing.

In the end, even the legendary vessel that bore such a storied name was presumably just another burning hulk somewhere in the Alpha Quadrant.
And while Admiral Picard had insisted on renaming his flagship the Enterprise—no A, B, C, D, E, or F—he knew this new Enterprise was something different. It was a beginning, not an end. That was why he had been chosen for Project Longshot by the surviving Starfleet brass. If anyone could make the Federation diaspora to the M-33 galaxy a success, it was Picard.

And as Jean-Luc Picard beamed down to the surface of Terra Prime to attend to an urgent matter, he keenly felt the weight of this new world on his shoulders.

He was flanked by four bodyguards, crisply dressed in what had been Starfleet regulation uniforms and carrying phaser rifles. Perhaps there was little need for such caution millions of miles away from the Dominion, but no one was completely sure what dangers lurked in this particular cosmic neighborhood.

“Admiral Picard!” The loud, braying voice of James Henderson greeted Picard as he materialized on Terra Prime. His security guards kept their weapons low, but looked on warily.

“Mr. Henderson,” Picard genially replied, albeit with a bit of effort. “It’s a pleasure to see you again.”

“Same,” Henderson replied jovially. James Henderson had been a construction engineer on Mars when the Dominion forces had broken through the inner Solar System. Fortunately for him, he found a berth on a refugee ship and had made it out to M-33. Now he was one of the main architects of the new settlements on Terra Prime and a major, completely oblivious pain for Picard.

The two men shook hands. “Been a while since you’ve been dirtside, Admiral,” Henderson said with a smile. “You must be busy up there in orbit.”

An understatement, Picard thought drily. “Yes, indeed I am, Mr. Henderson,” he replied. “So you must understand that when I get an urgent distress call from the surface that apparently only I can handle, I can only hope it was in good faith.”

Henderson laughed. “Oh, believe me, you will want to see this,” and with that Henderson headed down the hill towards a small encampment. “If you’ll follow me, Admiral.”

Picard and the four security officers followed Henderson. In the distance, Picard could see the outskirts of the town of New Paris.

“The town is thriving, Mr. Henderson,” Picard said. “It is a testament to your work that so many have chosen to call it home.”

Henderson chuckled as he neared the main tent. “I don’t know how much choice they actually have, Admiral. Human beings weren’t meant to live in space. We have to have some terra firma beneath our feet eventually, right?”

Not all of us, Picard thought. Especially right now. “Agreed. So, this urgent matter?”

Henderson held up one bony finger and disappeared in the tent for a moment. A few civilian workers milled about, gawking at Picard. The admiral’s face burned. Celebrity did not suit him.

Henderson came back out holding a large standard-issue Starfleet container. “This, Admiral, is the urgent matter. My team and I were out here, scouting out potential sites for a water-treatment plant. Very important to get that kind of thing right. Anyway, we were walking along this riverbed when we picked up something…interesting on our tricorders.”

Picard’s curiosity was piqued. “What is it, then?”

Henderson nodded and set the container down. “It was buried a few meters underground, so we were able to get at it pretty quickly.”

Picard was now very intrigued. An archeological find on what appeared to be an uninhabited world? What could it possibly be?

Before Henderson could open the container, one of the security officers blocked him and scanned it.

“I’m not reading any explosives or other dangerous objects, sir,” the bodyguard said, “But I recommend we have some Starfleet scientists look at this thing first.”

Henderson smirked. “Please. If it was dangerous, it would have affected me and my team, right?” He looked up at Picard. “Should I open it?”

“Your concerns are noted, Ensign,” Picard said to the security officer who had made the suggestion to wait. Waiting was not an option, not now. “Open it at your convenience, Mr. Henderson.”

Henderson pried open the container and reached inside. “Here it is, Admiral,” he said proudly. “One authentic Bajoran orb.”

Picard was stunned. Forgetting decorum, he kneeled on the ground to examine the object closer. The orb rested inside a decorative box, adorned with what appeared to be ancient Bajoran text; Picard was careful not to actually touch the orb. “This is impossible,” he breathed. “Is there any way we could have brought this with us somehow?”

Henderson shook his head. “No. Tricorder readings indicate this thing has been buried down here for…well, at least a millennium. Maybe more.”

Picard marveled at the hourglass-shaped orb, glistening even in the bright light of the sun. “As far as we knew, there were only nine of these,” Picard mumbled, mostly to himself. “When the war began, the eight orbs that had been taken from Bajor during the Occupation had at the very least been accounted for. The ninth had remained on Bajor, hidden during all of those years. But this…” Picard shook his head. “But this…well.”

Henderson looked thoughtful. “Does this one look familiar to you, Admiral? Is it one of the nine?”

Picard, startled, looked up at the architect. “No. It is most definitely not one of the nine orbs. If it is, in fact, an authentic artifact of the Bajoran Prophets…” he trailed off.

“Admiral?” One of the security officers gently tapped Picard on the shoulder. “Are you all right, sir?”

Picard snapped out of his reverie and stood up. “Yes, Crewman, thank you,” he said. “Mr. Henderson, this is indeed quite an invaluable find, and I am most thankful you brought this to my attention.”

Henderson stood up as well, clearly brimming with pride. “Well, don’t even worry about it, Admiral,” he said jovially. “It was my pleasure.”

Picard smiled in return, but his thoughts were elsewhere. The orb would be transported to the Enterprise, studied, and then…and then, Picard could only guess what could possibly happen next.
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Old November 26 2012, 08:35 PM   #10
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Re: The Dominion Triumphant: A Star Trek Dystopia

I'd almost suggest forgetting what's happening back in the Dominion-controlled Alpha Quadrant and concentrate on the goings on at this last human colony in another galaxy since that story, at least to my mind, is far more compelling and holds my interest more than the other aspect.

That said, and as has been pointed out in the other thread, it does feel very, very much like when the folks from Battlestar Galactica set up home on New Caprica with the Federation citizens in place of the Colonials.
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Old November 26 2012, 09:44 PM   #11
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Very interesting!

Obviously it's too much of a coincidence that these survivors would travel to another galaxy and just happen to land on a planet with this buried Bajoran Orb, so now the question becomes why would such a chain of events take place and who or what engineered them?
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Old November 27 2012, 08:18 AM   #12
Nerys Ghemor
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Re: Angry Fanboy

I haven't read many stories lately on the TrekBBS fanfic forum--and I must say this is AWESOME.

And ignore Sandoval's "advice.' Your extension of the Weyoun-Dukat bickering that we saw on the show, and your deeper look into Dukat's psychology is incredibly well done. Not to mention that you've created quite a mystery here when it comes to how fast humanity surrendered. That past must somehow hold a key to the future. And frankly, I have much more trust that the events of the Alpha Quadrant will end up connected to those outside the galaxy.
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Old November 27 2012, 11:19 AM   #13
Sandoval
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Re: Angry Fanboy

Nerys Ghemor wrote: View Post
And ignore Sandoval's "advice.'
How very hurtful!

But what really upsets me is that you didn't even have the decency to put another quotation mark at the end of the word advice!

The actual insult I can handle, but your cavalier attitude towards punctuation while insulting me cuts me deeply.
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Old November 27 2012, 11:25 AM   #14
doublegoodprole
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Re: The Dominion Triumphant: A Star Trek Dystopia

Sandoval wrote: View Post
I'd almost suggest forgetting what's happening back in the Dominion-controlled Alpha Quadrant and concentrate on the goings on at this last human colony in another galaxy since that story, at least to my mind, is far more compelling and holds my interest more than the other aspect.
I'll have to take that as a challenge to step up my game in the Alpha Quadrant!

Sandoval wrote: View Post
That said, and as has been pointed out in the other thread, it does feel very, very much like when the folks from Battlestar Galactica set up home on New Caprica with the Federation citizens in place of the Colonials.
I'll have to take your word for it. I haven't seen BSG so I can't really comment on the similarities. Thanks for the comments!
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Old November 27 2012, 11:27 AM   #15
doublegoodprole
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Re: Angry Fanboy

Angry Fanboy wrote: View Post
Very interesting!

Obviously it's too much of a coincidence that these survivors would travel to another galaxy and just happen to land on a planet with this buried Bajoran Orb, so now the question becomes why would such a chain of events take place and who or what engineered them?
"I believe in coincidences. Coincidences happen every day. But I don't trust coincidences."

I hope you caught my tiny shout-out. Your Majestic story has really got me thinking lately.
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