Stardate 49545 (Earth year 2372):
While being ferried to a diplomatic conference at the Cardassian outpost on Korma aboard the Groumall, Kira wound up teaming with Dukat after a Klingon Bird-of-Prey had destroyed the outpost. Though the freighter was tactically inferior to the Bird-of-Prey, Kira had suggested a guerilla warfare tactic of integrating the outpost’s weapon arrays into the freighter’s to take on the Klingons. The Bird-of-Prey was still able to overpower the freighter, but Kira and Dukat boarded the enemy vessel, beamed its crew to the freighter, and then brought the freighter’s crew to the Bird-of-Prey.
Kira had accused Dukat of only having an interest redeeming himself to his superiors. He got in touch with the Detapa Council to inform the ruling body of his latest victory. He regained rank of Legate and position as senior military advisor. But he had bad news upon his return to the bridge. “You know something, Dukat?” Kira asked him. “These computer logs are even more valuable than I thought. They contain status reports on Klingon ships and outposts throughout Cardassian space. With information like this, Cardassia could launch a major counterattack against the Klingons.”
“They could,” Dukat replied, “but they won’t”
Kira seemed mildly amused by that statement because that didn’t sound like the Cardassians she once fought against. “Why not?” she asked with a grin.
“The Detapa Council has something else in mind,” Dukat explained. “They’ve ordered me not to engage the Klingons in any further conflicts. The Council is looking for a diplomatic solution. They’ve ordered me to return to Cardassia Prime to resume my ‘post’ as military advisor.
“What is the point of being a military advisor to a government that won’t fight? There was a time when the mere mention of my race inspired fear. Now we’re a beaten people, afraid to fight back because we don’t want to lose what little we have left.”
“Not the Cardassians I know.”
“What Cardassians? They’re paralyzed. Beaten and defeated. I am the only Cardassian left. If no one else will stand against the Klingons, then I will.”
Dukat had tried unsuccessfully to convince Kira to join his one-man war against the Klingon Empire. He even appealed to her past as a resistance fighter citing her ability to organize resistance cells and expertise in guerilla warfare. Dukat began to rethink his statement to Revok that Cardassians do not resort to the actions of terrorists. Losing Bajor was a humiliation to the Cardassian people and especially Dukat. He even sought retribution against a political rival by passing off Detapa Council member Kotan Pa’Dar’s son as one of the war orphans. But part of him admired the Bajorans and their ability to defeat a superior adversary.
After dropping off Kira and his half-Bajoran daughter Tora Ziyal at Deep Space 9, he contacted Revok. The two hadn’t spoken since Revok’s sabotage of the Orinoco. That made Dukat’s communiqué somewhat of a surprise to him. Dukat had hoped to use diplomacy to his advantage in order to inspire others in a time societal change on Cardassia to join the True Way’s cause and looked to distance himself from Revok. After learning that the Detapa Council was not going to take aggressive action against the Klingons, he realized that more aggressive action was necessary on his part. After Kira turned down his offer, Dukat had no choice but to turn to Revok.
“This is a rather pleasant surprise, Dukat,” Revok said with a sheepish grin. “We last spoke after that unfortunate business two months ago.”
“A minor misunderstanding,” Dukat replied from the captain’s quarters of the Naprem, his name for his captured Klingon vessel after the late mother of his half-Bajoran daughter. “I’ve learned that despite scoring a major victory against the Klingons, our inept leaders will not strike back. We are on our own.”
“We will be defying the Council’s authority if we went off on our own private war,” Revok warned.
Dukat let out a loud laugh. Hadn’t he just described his own government as inept? “Please,” he said. “The Detapa Council is a group of political opportunists more concerned with keeping their political rivals from exposing their corruption than with the best interests of the Union. The Intelligence Bureau is not nearly as effective as the Obsidian Order. Even so, one ship is hardly a match for the entire Klingon Defense Forces”
“I see your point, Dukat,” Revok answered. “I will contact several guls to find out who would be willing to support our cause.”
“ Even those claiming to support our cause may not be genuinely interested. Do not turn your back on them.”
“But you just said how inept our government is.”
“Overconfidence was my undoing on Bajor. I do not intend to repeat that mistake.”
Stardate 50503 (Earth year 2373):
Close to a year to the day that Dukat had seized the Naprem and embarked upon his one-person campaign against the Klingon Empire, numerous of military leaders joined the cause. As the Cardassian economy continued to deteriorate, and these rogue military leaders achieved inspiring victories, much of the population became increasingly disenchanted with the civilian leadership. Those who had been rallying for the rightful restoration of the Detapa Council’s political power were now calling for more effective and stronger leadership.
Dukat had been reading reports of food riots in Lakarian City while the Naprem was on course for the Karmiat Nebula. Revok had called Dukat there for an urgent meeting. But why inside a nebula, Dukat wondered. Perhaps this meeting was regarding a matter so sensitive; he could risk involving a large number of people, especially those who may be secretly acting against them.
Dukat was welcomed aboard Revok’s Hideki-class escort vessel for this all-important meeting that Revok said would determine the future of the Alpha Quadrant. That was enough to pique Dukat’s curiosity. His excitement was tempered by the presence of an old nemesis. “Gul Dukat,” Revok said with a smile. “Welcome aboard, I believe you know…”
“Korinas,” Dukat said. He had met this cantankerous and self-absorbed middle-aged woman two years earlier when she was a member of the Obsidian Order. She was the Order’s official observer when Dukat, along with Sisko, coordinated the pursuit of the original Defiant when the Maquis had hijacked it. Dukat’s dislike for the Order even after it was responsible for his father’s execution resurfaced when Korinas was determined to keep the Cardassian fleet out of the Orias System, even have a Cardassian ship destroyed to protect a fleet being built to launch a pre-emptive assault on the home planet of the Dominion’s leaders.
“We have met before,” Korinas said with her usual wry smile. “And I know you believe the Central Intelligence Bureau to be less effective than the Obsidian Order.”
Dukat did not need to ask Revok. He already let slip his remark about the Intelligence Bureau. “Nevertheless,” Korinas continued, “former members of the Obsidian Order are a valuable asset.”
“Korinas’s knack for locating individuals keeping a low profile has put us in contact with the Dominion,” Revok explained of Korinas.
“The Dominion?” Dukat asked. He didn’t know what to make of that. What business did they have with the Dominion? And why was a former member of the Obsidian Order involved? “And she is involved?” Dukat then asked of Korinas.
“Times have changed,” Korinas answered. “The Order believed the Dominion to be too big of a threat to the Cardassian Union to wait for the first wave of Jem’Hadar warships to come through the Wormhole. Over the last year, our government and the Klingon Empire have done a better job of reducing Cardassia to a third rate power.”
“That is one thing you and I have in common,” said Dukat, holding in a disgusted sigh.
“And you will find that the Cardassians have a lot in common with the Dominion,” Revok added, “more so than you may be aware of.”
Inside the conference room, a short stocky man waited for the delegation. He looked almost human except that his ears looked almost similar to cornhusks. His self-assuredness belied his small stature. “Ah, you must be Dukat,” he said. “I am Weyoun. I have looked forward to this momentous occasion.”
Dukat looked over at Revok, uncertain of what to make of this verbose little man. “And what is so momentous about this meeting?”
“Your colleague Gul Revok has told you this meeting will represent an important turning point for this quadrant,” Weyoun continued. “On behalf of the Dominion, I have a proposal for you that will usher in a new era for both our peoples.”
Dukat still was not sure what to make of the situation. “What kind of ‘new era’?” he skeptically asked.
“I understand how dissatisfied you are with what has taken place on Cardassia the last two years,” Weyoun explained. “Revok and Korinas have told me that the attack on our Founders’ homeworld was the idea of a group of misguided officers. Our two peoples have a common destiny, Dukat, and that destiny can be achieved better through cooperation.”
Suddenly Weyoun was making sense to Dukat and gave an approving nod. “You are correct on all counts,” he said. “My people have lost our way since the change in government and the Klingon invasion. Many of us have been desperately searching for something to give us hope for the future.”
“Exactly,” Weyoun replied. “Your people have risen from the ruins of an impoverished world to build a vast interstellar empire. That kind of accomplishment is worthy of respect. Once we eliminate your problems, we can come together to defeat our common enemies and fulfill both our destinies.”
Stardate 50562 (Earth year 2373):
A large armada of between fifty and one hundred Jem’Hadar warships and support vessels began pouring through the wormhole. In the event of a Dominion invasion of the Alpha Quadrant, the first battle being fought at Deep Space 9. Though outnumbered, the station had to mount some kind of defense. Captain Sisko dispatched the warship Defiant, the runabouts Rio Grande, Volga, and Yukon, and the Naprem to face the Jem’Hadar.
Upon entry into the Alpha Quadrant, the Dominion armada turned and headed for Cardassian space. The immediate assumption was that the Dominion was planning an attack on Cardassia, perhaps as retribution for the aborted attack on the Founders’ homeworld. One Founder had told Garak, “Your people were doomed the moment they attacked us.”
Dukat soon set things straight. “Your concern is touching, Major,” he said to Kira, in command of the Defiant. “but unnecessary. I’m not attacking the Dominion fleet. I’m joining it.”
“What are you talking about?” Kira demanded.
“I’m afraid I have a confession to make. Over the past few months, I have been conducting secret negotiations between the Dominion and Cardassia. As of last week, Cardassia has agreed to become part of the Dominion.”
“You can’t be serious,”
“Goodbye, Major. You and me on the same side: it never seemed quite… right. Did it?”