Stardate 52594 (Earth year 2375):
Dukat got his wish five months after the Cardassian Union became a protectorate of the Dominion, a war with the Federation and the Klingon Empire. The war would have ended swiftly had the Dominion reinforcements from the Gamma Quadrant not mysteriously vanished. Dukat had a nervous breakdown after having victory snatched from him and following the murder of his daughter. He stayed behind on Deep Space 9 to be captured by Starfleet, and his right hand man Corat Damar took over the leadership of the Cardassian Union.
Maybe Dukat had gone mad buying into Bajoran superstitions, Damar thought. On the other hand, maybe the entities inside the Wormhole had a role in the continuation of the war. Placing a Pah-Wraith in the Wormhole turned the war back in the Dominion’s favor.
Overall, the war did not go well after Dukat had his breakdown, and the Dominion surrendered Terok Nor to the Federation. The Romulan Star Empire sided against the Dominion-Cardassian alliance. Damar became a heavy drinker when the Federation Alliance began pushing into Cardassian territory.
To make matters worse, the Dominion brought the kleptocratic Breen Confederacy into the alliance. The treaty of alliance involved turning Cardassian territory over to the Breen without the Cardassian Union’s consent. Damar became even more disillusioned when the Dominion used a Cardassian military unit as cannon fodder for the Klingon attack on Septimus Three.
“We all serve the Founders,” the Vorta liaison Weyoun declared in response to Damar’s protest. “And we will make whatever sacrifices they deem necessary!”
That was the final straw. Damar freed the two Starfleet officers in his custody to relay a message to the Federation that it had an ally on Cardassia. He then began securing the support of top-ranking officers. He remembered an organization Dukat had founded after the Klingon invasion. Dukat intended the True Way to serve as a patriotic organization during the Cardassian people’s biggest crisis. Certain reactionary groups began joining and had other ideas; including committing terrorist acts against the Federation and Bajor. They even had a role in allying Cardassia with the Dominion.
One such top-ranking officer who had been associated with the True Way paid Damar a visit shortly after the Breen attack on Earth. “I remember when I heard the news that Cardassia had joined the Dominion,” Gul Rusot told Damar. “Like all of Cardassia, I rejoiced. We were going to rulers of the entire Alpha Quadrant. Now we’re a conquered people. Servants in our own land.”
“All that will change,” Damar declared. Looking at the PADD Rusot delivered, he asked, “Are you sure we can trust these officers?’
“And the troops under their command. Still, we will need to know the location of the Dominion weapon emplacements on Rondac Three.”
“Leave that to me. I will need you to get a message to each of these officers.”
“It is not a very long list.”
“It will get longer. With a victory or two, all of Cardassia will rise up with us.”
Gul Revok of the Ninth Order commanded one of three squadrons of Cardassian Galor-class warships sent to attack Rondac Three. Revok wondered to himself what went wrong. Perhaps it all started when the Dominion reinforcements from the Gamma Quadrant entered the Wormhole, but never emerged on the Alpha side. Weyoun was willing accede to Dukat’s wishes when the alliance was made. Since the Federation Alliance gained a foothold into Dominion territory, the Dominion was acting more unilaterally. The treaty of alliance with the Breen was one such act many in the Cardassian military found intolerable.
“In weapons of Rondac Three,” Glin Corak reported from the weapons station.
“Signal the rest of the fleet,” Revok commanded.
“All squadrons report ready, sir.”
The attack on Rondac was the first step in liberating the Cardassian Union from an outside power. Damar had personal reasons for targeting Rondac first. The only Vorta cloning facilities in the Alpha Quadrant were on Rondac. The death of the Vorta he butted heads with from day one would mean no more Weyoun clones.
Ultimately, the attack on Rondac failed. Revok and the other squadrons were forced into retreat with the Jem’Hadar eliminating two thirds of the fleet. The attack against the Dominion was still enough to turn other military units against the Gamma Quadrant invaders.