Dominion (Star Trek)

Dominion (Star Trek)
The Dominion
Founded circa 7600 B.C.
Founder The Founders
Home world Founder's home planet, Gamma Quadrant
Official language(s) Dominionese, (see: universal translator)
Currency Isik
Affiliation Vorta

In the Star Trek universe, the Dominion is a ruthless and militaristic Gamma Quadrant state consisting of many different races. The Dominion wages war on the United Federation of Planets and its allies in the late 24th century, acting as an antagonist in the TV show Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.


Pre-contact constituents

The Dominion was created over two-thousand years prior to the events of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, when the persecuted Changelings (a non-humanoid race of shape-shifters) decided that the only way they could defend themselves against the "solids" (as the Changelings call all other races) was by bringing them under their control. Unwilling, or unable, to trust existing "solids," the Changelings genetically engineered new slave races to be their diplomats and soldiers. In so doing, they became known as the Founders to their new slaves.

Their main fighting force are shock troops known as the Jem'Hadar, fanatical super-soldiers who require no sleep or food and whose loyalty is ensured by a genetically pre-programmed addiction to the drug ketracel white, which only the Founders can provide, as well as an innate genetic veneration of Changelings and a heavy system of indoctrination that prepares Jem'Hadar for lives of devoted service in the interests of the Changelings. The Vorta serve as the Founders' cloned intermediaries acting as Dominion administrators, diplomats, command staff, and scientists. Vorta are known for their duplicity and Machiavellian treachery, though they maintain ultimate service to the Dominion. It has been said that the tree-dwelling ancestors of the Vorta once protected a changeling, and they were elevated to their new role in gratitude. Both the Vorta and the Jem'Hadar have been conditioned to see the Founders as living gods.

Other races in the Dominion include the Hunters, the navigators and trackers of the Dominion (a Hunter was supposed to appear on a Dominion ship in the episode "Broken Link" but the idea was dropped so as not to confuse new viewers [1] ), and their prey, the Tosk (which are rumored to come from the same 'root' species as the Jem'Hadar). These races appeared in the Deep Space Nine Season One episode "Captive Pursuit". Other Gamma Quadrant races fled their home worlds after being conquered by the Dominion. The Skrreea, for example, flooded Deep Space Nine with refugees after fleeing from their conquered world in the Season Two episode "Sanctuary." Still other races subject to the Dominion provide logistical support: one race manufactures torpedoes for Jem'Hadar ships, another race builds those ships. Only the Vorta and Jem'Hadar have direct contact with the Founders.

The actual organization and operation of the Dominion within their Gamma Quadrant empire has not been widely revealed. What has been specified suggests that the Dominion operates like an old fashioned "protection racket" with the Vorta/Jem'Hadar keeping the member worlds in check with a combination of platitudes and violence - in the episode The Jem'Hadar, Eris explains "The Dominion decides that you have something that they want, and they come and take it, whether by negotiation or by force.". By dominating the Solids, the Dominion believes that they are preempting the Solids' natural urge to persecute and kill the Founders. One race was condemned to slow decay and death for refusing the Dominion (The Quickening episode).

First contact and escalation

The first mention of the Dominion is in "Rules of Acquisition" when Quark was seeking 100,000 vats of tulaberry wine. There were various vague references to them as a major Gamma Quadrant power throughout Deep Space Nine's second season.

The Dominion was unknown to the Alpha Quadrant powers until the discovery of the Bajoran wormhole in 2369, which facilitated exploration of the Gamma Quadrant. In 2370, Jem'Hadar troops annihilated numerous Bajoran and Federation colonies and ships in the Gamma Quadrant and captured Commander Sisko, as the Dominion demanded the Federation stay on their side of the "anomaly". The lead Federation starship, USS Odyssey, was destroyed by a kamikaze attack, as the Dominion demonstrated not only an alarming ability to penetrate shielding, but a fanatical devotion to their cause as the suicide attack was made on a retreating ship, solely to drive the point home to the Federation. As a result of this incident the Federation pulled the Defiant out of storage, complete with a Romulan cloaking device, and began preparations for a drastic increase in Deep Space Nine's defensive capabilities.

A Federation mission the next year to find and make peace with the Founders ended disastrously, when the peace expedition was captured and subject to hallucinogenic manipulation to test the willingness of the Federation to appease the Dominion. As a result of this incident, it was discovered that the reclusive Founders of the organization (previously unseen) were the Changelings. The Changelings justified their actions by the need to protect their species against persecution by Solids, and also spoke of a duty and inclination to "impose order on a chaotic universe."

As a result of the continued Dominion threat, numerous Alpha Quadrant powers acted with increased preparations and paranoia, one expression of which was the Romulan attempt to collapse the wormhole forcibly. Despite the Dominion's warnings, the Federation continued to chart the Gamma Quadrant. Founders began infiltrating the Alpha Quadrant, even wreaking havoc on Earth itself. In 2371, the combined intelligence organizations of the Cardassian Union and Romulan Star Empire attempted a strike into the Gamma Quadrant with a cloaked fleet, seeking to destroy the Founder's home planet and cripple the Dominion. Due to intensive Changeling manipulation, this attack force was ambushed while assaulting an abandoned planet that was believed to be the supposed Founder homeworld, and was completely crushed. It is later revealed that the main advocate of attacking the Dominion was a Changeling infiltrator. This failure weakened the Cardassians and Romulans and paved the way for Dominion intrusion into the Alpha Quadrant.

The quadrant was plunged into conflict when the Klingon Empire accused the Cardassian Union of being under the control of the Founders. When the Federation condemned the Klingon attack on Cardassia, Gowron banished Federation citizens from Klingon space, recalled their ambassadors and withdrew from the Khitomer Accords. The Federation and Cardassians fought months of armed combat against the Klingons. It was later revealed by Benjamin Sisko, Worf, Miles O'Brien and Odo that it was the Klingons themselves who unknowingly had a Changeling in their midst, pretending to be General Martok. Gowron rejoined the Khitomer Accords and joined to fight the Dominion.

Dominion War (2373–2375)

See main article: Dominion War

The Dominion gained a foothold in the Alpha Quadrant when Gul Dukat announced that the Cardassian Union was joining the Dominion in 2373. Open hostilities began a few months later, when the Federation mined the wormhole to prevent further Dominion ships from arriving. In response, the Dominion attacked and occupied Deep Space Nine while a Federation and Klingon task force destroyed a Dominion shipyard. The Alliance suffered brutal losses for over three months, until Captain Sisko organized a task force to retake Deep Space Nine. Forced to move early because of intelligence that the Dominion was on the verge of taking down the minefield, the Federation departed before a full force could be assembled and found themselves blocked and outnumbered by a Dominion-Cardassian fleet. After hours of bloody fighting, Dominion ships were outflanked by the arrival of a large Klingon fleet, which won the running battle and allowed the Defiant to break through to Deep Space Nine. By the time it had arrived, the minefield had been deactivated, but Dominion reinforcements were stopped in transit by the wormhole aliens known as the Prophets at Sisko's request, at a price. As a consequence of this military loss, the Dominion fleets withdrew to Cardassian territory. Deep Space Nine remained in Federation hands for the duration of the war.

After this action, the war's intensity diminished, and for a time peace negotiations were seriously discussed. Eventually, the Dominion went on the offensive again, capturing Betazed in a surprise assault. Threatened with Dominion penetration into the inner sphere of the Federation, the Alliance forces were at a disadvantage, but were saved when the Romulan Star Empire entered the war on their side in response to an alleged, but faked Dominion plan of assaulting the Empire that Sisko and Garak created. With the three main Alpha Quadrant forces fighting against them the Dominion was forced back, with the Alliance even seizing the Cardassian planet of Chin'toka.

Late in the war, the mysterious race known as the Breen joined forces with the Dominion, and launched a devastating attack against Starfleet Headquarters on Earth (DS9, "The Changing Face of Evil"). Even more disheartening was their use of a unique energy draining device that drained their enemies' entire energy supply, leaving them defenseless. Originally, only Klingon ships were immune to the effects of the Breen weapon. Late in the war, Kira Nerys, acting with the Cardassian Rebellion, stole a Breen weapon and delivered it to the alliance for reverse engineering.

A Cardassian rebellion against Dominion rule formed shortly thereafter under the leadership of Legate Damar, Dukat's successor. His most successful attack, which disabled the planetary power grid on Cardassia, was met with brutal Dominion reprisal in the annihilation of a Cardassian city and all its inhabitants. When word of that atrocity reached the Dominion fleet, in the middle of a fierce battle with Allied forces, the Cardassian ships switched sides and aided the Alliance fleet. Dominion ships retreated to Cardassia and, on the Female Founder's orders, launched a genocidal assault on the Cardassian people, ultimately killing over 800 million Cardassians in a matter of hours. Odo was able to convince the Female Founder to surrender, thus sparing the Alliance crippling losses and preventing the entire Cardassian race from being exterminated. (DS9, "What You Leave Behind")

The Founders themselves were nearly wiped out by a plague, which was revealed to be a biological weapon engineered by agents of the clandestine Federation agency Section 31, who deliberately infected Odo with it, in the expectation that he would pass it through the Great Link. The plague itself was reactive to shapeshifting and Odo's limited shapeshifting left him free of symptoms well after the Founders began to deteriorate from the condition. Julian Bashir was able to recover the knowledge of a cure from Sloan, an operative of Section 31, and manufactured a cure that saved Odo. While the Dominion was pushed back to Cardassia prime, Odo linked with the female changeling, curing her and simultaneously convincing her to surrender to the allied forces of the Federation. After the end of hostilities, the Founders were cured when Odo returned to the Great Link after a peace treaty was signed between the Dominion and the Federation.

After the War

The state of the Dominion as a political entity at the conclusion of the war has never been discussed in Star Trek canon. The terms of the final treaty ending the war were never shown. At the conclusion of the war it is assumed that the Dominion still held vast territories in the Gamma Quadrant. Odo's return to the Great Link is partially intended to share with the other changelings the information he has about how the war concluded and what he knows from living with solids; presumably, this is to change the goals and tactics of the Founders to a system that coexists with the solids as opposed to a strategy of domination.

In the non-canon relaunch novels published by Pocket Books, it is revealed that the Dominion and Breen forces withdraw from Cardassian space. Through Odo's efforts, the Dominion permits visitors from the Alpha Quadrant to resume peaceful operations in the Gamma Quadrant, in exchange for leaving its territory alone. Odo then begins attempting to change the nature of the Dominion by convincing the founders to reevaluate their views on other species, as well as encouraging certain Vorta and Jem'Hadar to behave more independently. The allied powers begin coordinating relief efforts to Cardassia, using Bajor as a staging point. The Cardassian Union is divided into separate protectorates to be occupied by the allies while the Cardassians recover. For her part in orchestrating the war, the Female Founder submits to any form of punishment the Federation wished to undertake.

Other appearances

The Dominion is seen in the Star Trek: Armada game. The first mission in the Federation campaign has the USS Enterprise-E defend a starbase from rogue Jem'Hadar ships. Later, the game had a Borg armada invade Dominion space to capture a cloning facility in order to resurrect Locutus of Borg as a clone of Jean-Luc Picard. They are seen to have two types of ships in the game, destroyers and battleships. The Dominion also make an appearance in Star Trek: Conquest as one of the major races and have three ship types a Jem'Hadar Scout, a Jem'Hadar Cruiser and a Jem'Hadar Battleship.


External links

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