8th Millennium BC
The Dominion is the major interstellar power in the Gamma Quadrant. Reigning over the region for millennia, the Dominion is controlled by the Founders, a species of shape-shifters or Changelings. The Founders genetically engineered other species, such as the Jem'Hadar, or genetically altered others, such as the Vorta, to serve as tools in their control over the Quadrant.
No contact between the United Federation of Planets and the Dominion was possible until the discovery of the Bajoran Wormhole in 2379, linking the Alpha and Gamma Quadrants. Some of the earliest ventures through uncovered rumours of a major local power known as 'the Dominion,' but first contact did not take place until late 2370.
Jem'Hadar soldiers massacred the Gamma Quadrant colony of New Bajor, and took Starfleet officer Commander Benjamin Sisko prisoner. Warnings were given that further ventures into the Gamma Quadrant would be met with that same violence. The USS Odyssey was dispatched to investigate and confronted the Jem'Hadar, but while accompanying vessels were successful in rescuing Sisko, a Jem'Hadar raider performed a suicide run on the Odyssey, destroying her.
Not long after, an investigation into the Dominion uncovered its true leaders: the shape-shifters known as Changelings, referred to as the 'Founders' by their followers.
The following years were marked with tension between the Alpha Quadrant powers and the Dominion. With the Dominion seemingly committed to unrelenting expansion, an invasion was seen as inevitable. The Dominion's initial action came through subtler means, Changelings sent to infiltrate the Alpha Quadrant powers, including Starfleet.
Recognising the threat, the Tal Shiar of the Romulan Star Empire and the Obsidian Order of the Cardassian Union joined forces to send a fleet through the wormhole to destroy the Founders. However, this turned out to be a trap, and the ensuing destruction of the fleet seriously crippled both organisations at a time when counter-intelligence was at its most invaluable. The fall of the Obsidian Order in particular opened the Cardassian Union to accusations of being compromised by the Changelings, accusations the Klingon Empire used as a casus belli to invade in 2372.
This was ultimately proved to play into the Founders' hands, both in terms of destabilising the Alpha Quadrant as the Klingon invasion drove a wedge between the Empire and the Federation, and proving the effectiveness of their infiltration when it was later discovered they had replaced ranking officer General Martok with a Changeling. The Federation was not immune either, its paranoia leading to internal conflict and an attempted coup d'etat. As the powers of the Alpha and Beta Quadrants raged against each other, members of the devastated Cardassian military turned to the Dominion to renew their strength and pride. This alliance would provide the Dominion with a key foothold when they invaded.
The Dominion War lasted from 2373 to 2375, the Dominion aided by their allies of the Cardassian Union. Early successes drove the combined forces of the Federation and Klingon Empire back, but Dominion successes were stymied by their failure to secure the wormhole. Starfleet mined it when they were driven back from Deep Space 9, and recaptured the station months later, forcing the Dominion to commit with only what forces they brought through at the initial declaration of their alliance with the Cardassians. This left them forced to breed Jem'Hadar soldiers and build ships in the Alpha Quadrant, and otherwise rely on their allies more than originally intended. With this rejuvenation of forces they were able to make decisive advances in the war, capturing Betazed among other key Federation systems.
This success seems to have emboldened the Dominion, who ambitiously intended to expand their invasion with a strike against the Romulan Star Empire. Word of these plans fell into the hands of the Romulans, who after months of neutrality declared war and joined the alliance against the Dominion. These and other setbacks made the Dominion look further afield for support, and they allied with the Breen Confederacy. This arrangement proved quickly valuable, the Breen's weapons devastating the allied forces and leading to a strike against Earth itself. However, to win the Breen's allegiance the Dominion promised Cardassian territories to the Confederacy, a deal which only stoked dissatisfaction among the Cardassian allies.
The rebellion of many Cardassian forces compromised the Dominion war effort greatly, and coincided with the Klingon Empire learning to effectively counter Breen weaponry. These losses led to the alliance gathering its forces and launching an assault on Cardassia Prime. It was successful, but not before the Dominion had ordered the retributive slaughter of Cardassian people, killing hundreds of millions. The Founder leadership surrendered only once Cardassia Prime had all but fallen, ending a war that had claimed countless lives.
After the War
The Dominion retreated to the Gamma Quadrant following their defeat. Under the influence of the Founder Odo, the Founders withdrew their forces within the borders of Dominion space. The borders remain tightly sealed, and no sightings of Dominion ships have been reported since. The borders are guarded by a tight network of powerful defence turrets.
In 2395, the Dominion started withdrawing from the territories under its control. Worlds that had been rendered dependent on Dominion support were now left to fend for themselves. In other cases, local warlords have started appearing, trying to assert their control over an area of space that is now experiencing a power vacuum.
There have been no Intelligence reports explaining the reason behind this sudden withdrawal. Some have speculated that the Dominion's attention could be turned toward a threat looming on the far side of Dominion space, while others hypothesize that the influence of the Founder Odo has led to a demilitarization of the Dominion. Indeed, since the Jem'Hadar are biologically incapable of procreation, if the Founders had ceased to clone Jem'Hadar soldiers, the species could be approaching extinction.
- Dominion borders are tightly sealed. Any ship crossing into their territory would be the target of defense turrets.
- New worlds are being abandoned by the Dominion, and are reaching out for assistance. Diplomatic missions are being dispatched from Opaka Outpost in an attempt to establish a Federation presence in the Quadrant.