"The Changing Face of Evil"

When the Dominion forces broke through their lines at Chin'Toka, the Allies sent a combined fleet of 312 ships to counterattack. The Breen's energy dampening weapons disabled many starships, allowing them to be easily targeted and destroyed. The Defiant took a severe beating, forcing her crew to abandon her. Before she could be finished off, the Founder was persuaded to have the starship captured as a symbol of the Federation's, and in particular Benjamin Sisko's, failure.
The Defiant was taken to a Cardassian space station in the Trivas system, where it was refit to be part of the Cardassian fleet. It was then placed under the command of the Founder's new ally, a man who had vowed to use it to destroy their mutual enemies of the Bajorans, the Prophets and Captain Benjamin Sisko: Gul Dukat.

"The Dogs of War"
After spending a period of time being repaired at the Second Order's new home base, the recovered space station Empok Nor, the Defiant returned in a dramatic fashion. In response to sending a fleet of ships to assist Allied forces in the Battle for the Kalandra system ("Damaged Goods") Defiant led the Dominion forces in the attack on Ferenginar. Millions of Ferengi civilians were killed.
In the aftermath Quark, Nog and Rom returned to their homeworld with Leeta in an effort to find their mother/grandmother and the Grand Nagus. Although they were too late to save the couple, the actions of Ishka's sons in joining the relief efforts and further directing infrastructure and economical recovery convinced the government to appoint them to temporary leadership roles while a new Grand Nagus was selected. Federation forces would assist the Ferengi in retaliatory strikes, whereby the the entire Second Order and Empok Nor itself were eventually destroyed, although the Defiant would escape retribution for the time being...
It's consistent with the Founders' own strategy of taking the form of their adversaries. Thinking about it, I'm surprised they didn't build a small fleet of "Federation starships" and provoke wars with the Klingons and Romulans to their own advantage, before ever engaging their Jem'Hadar in direct combat.
I feel as though that's somewhat akin to the question of "Why do the Borg only ever send one cube to Earth?" Which is to say, perhaps the Founders didn't engage in such a tactic because they didn't feel they needed to.

"What You Leave Behind, Part 1"
Pah-Wraith infused Gul Dukat sits in his command chair aboard C.U.V Defiant, ready to wreak havoc on the approaching Federation/Klingon/Romulan fleet and begin his final confrontation with Captain Benjamin Sisko.
U.S.S. Sao Paulo NCC-75633 docked at space station Deep Space Nine.
With the Defiant still active Sao Paulo is not renamed to be Defiant in this timeline. But it is still placed under the command of Captain Sisko.


U.S.S. Sao Paulo and it's support fleet leaving space station Deep Space Nine, to take part in the Invasion of Cardassia.

The fleet includes:
  • a Negh'Var class warship
  • Nebula-class starship U.S.S. Kanimbla
  • Romulan D'Deridex-class warbird Harax commanded by Commander Tebok
  • B'rel-class Bird-of-Prey Y'Tem, commanded by Captain Drex
  • Sovereign-class starship U.S.S. Sovereign
  • Intrepid-class starship U.S.S. Sagan
  • Defiant-class starship U.S.S. Damocles
  • Galaxy-class starship U.S.S. Breedlove
  • a Romulan Mogai-class warbird
  • Garidian D'Deridex-class warbird Asiram, commanded by Captain Pentara
  • a Tamarian Deep Space Cruiser
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"Damaged Goods"
On stardate 52092.5 a Federation/Klingon/Romulan Alliance fleet was drawn into an ambush in the Kalandra system by Dominion forces and surrounded. The trap was designed so that ionic storms in the system would play havoc with ship's systems, making many ships unable to navigate and unable to escape. The Dominion forces would be able to quickly pick them off with ease. When word of this was accidentally revealed in a conversation from Quark to Zek and Ishka the Ferengi believed it would be an opportune time to have the Ferengi Alliance take a definitive stand in the Dominion War. An assault force of Ferengi Marauders attacked the Tamlan system, drawing a substantial piece of the Dominion fleet away from Kalandra, and allowing the Alliance fleet to retreat.
The Alpha Quadrant Alliance fleet moving on the Dominion fleet several light years from Cardassia Prime. Sao Paulo and her support fleet have joined up with the main Alliance invasion force, led by Admiral William Ross aboard the Promethus-class U.S.S. Cerberus, which also includes Ferengi, Miradorn, and Talarian ships.
Ahead of the Dominion fleet lies the oncoming C.U.V. Defiant.....
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