Disclaimer

All characters appearing in Star Trek, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek Deep Space Nine and Star Trek Voyager are copyright Paramount Pictures. All characters appearing in the Star Wars saga are copyright Lucas Arts and the Walt Disney Cooperation. No infringement of these copyrights is intended and is not authorized by the copyright holder.

All original characters are the property of Celgress.

Star Trek/Star Wars – Galaxy at War: Part Forty-Seven What You Leave Part VI The Third Battle of Deep Space Nine

by

Celgress

"The royal circlet of bright gold rests lightly on my brow. I once thought only of the rights this circlet would endow. But once I took the crown to which I had been schooled and breed, I found it heavy on the heart though light upon the head."

"These tears I weep in silence as I mourn my heralds dead. Oh, gods that dwell beyond the stars if you can hear my cry, and if you have compassion let me send no more to die."

Cost of the Crown (1995) Mercedes Lackey

Star Trek DimensionOctober 2375 C.E.

A planet near Prophet's Landing on the Sith/Federation border not far from the Bajor System, afternoon

"Where are they?" Jedi Knight Ahsoka Tano wondered. The small Alliance delegation impatiently awaited the arrival of Sith delegation as above in space two massive fleets faced off. Their proposed meeting was the last chance to avoid a violent clash which would likely leave many dead and decide the fate of the galaxy.

"Release your feelings into the Force Snips." Jedi Master Anakin Skywalker said. He gave Ahsoka's shoulder a reassuring squeeze with his organic hand. "All will come right, I know it will." Near Anakin and Ahsoka stood Captain Benjamin Sisko alongside him were representatives of the Klingons, the Romulans, the Gorn, Talaxians, the Liberated Borg and Leck who was there on behalf of the MFEF (Movement for the Emancipation of Ferenginar). Every faction in the Alliance no matter how larger or small had committed troops or other resources to the coming engagement which many thought would be decisive.

In a wash of purple transporter energy, several Jem'Hadar and B1 Battle Droids appeared. In the midst of the group stood two Breen, and two Cardassians (both males). No one spoke when Sisko stepped forward to greet them rather a mobile holographic projection lumbered out of grouping propelled by it's six spindly spider-like legs. The emitter switched on with a hum and projected a full-color life-sized image of Darth Traya. Some in the group gasped when they beheld the smiling Traya as she pulled back the hood of her black robe.

"What is the meaning of this?" The Romulan Rep asked. Her voice filled with shock and annoyance.

"Who are you?" Demanded the Klingon Rep. His tone one of scorn.

"I am Darth Traya," Traya said with a disarming smile. "Dark Lady of the Sith and one of the seven Kosst Amojan. I have returned to the material plane via the usage of this vessel." With her right hand, she indicated her form in a sweeping gesture. She then turned her attention fully on Sisko who glared back at her. "Her name was Sonya Gomez and she was one yours if I'm not mistaken, emissary." The word "emissary" was spoken with a great amount of scorn.

"If you are what you say you are," Sisko said noting Traya's orange-red eyes (unlike material Sith who have prominently yellow eyes). "You must know we will never surrender to you. We would rather die than become vessels for the Pah'Wraiths or serve as your subjects so you can expand your influence throughout the universe. We will resist you to the last." The group behind Sisko readily voiced their argument.

Traya seemed profoundly amused by their display of defiance. Her condescending smile never left her stolen face. "Is there anyone present in this rabble who is capable of mature negotiation, or are you all children who prefer to hurl meaningless insults?" She asked following a long silence during which each side regarded the other warily.

"I'll negotiate with you," Anakin said stepping forward to confront his holographic adversary.

"And who is this? The Chosen One of the Jedi." Traya said with a chuckle. "It takes more to make a true hero boy than a crackpot prophecy propagated by cloistered fools high on their own hollow power."

"If you want peace you'll have to leave this galaxy and never return. This is our only offer take it or leave it." Anakin said.

Traya again laughed. "Perhaps I'll consider your ludicrous demand boy but first I have certain objects in my possession you may find interesting," Traya instructed one of the B1s to throw two objects on the sandy ground; one was a lightsaber hilt the other was a Starfleet com badge. Anakin's heart sank the moment he saw Obi-wan's lightsaber.

"Master Kenobi, no," Ahsoka gasped.

"Be quiet Ahsoka," Anakin urged.

"The ones these items belong to are dear to thy I sense," Traya said with smug satisfaction looking first to Anakin and Ahsoka then to Sisko for confirmation. "Know that even now they are suffering greatly at the hands of my agents. I must admit their ability to endure pain has greatly impressed me. If their plight troubles you be aware you can end their agony by capitulating to us. If you unconditionally surrender here today I'll have them executed immediately rather than leave them to the tender mercies of the Cardassian penal system, sound fair?"

"Exchanging two lives for those of countless billions is unacceptable," Sisko said.

"Be warned your fleet is hopelessly outnumbered by my own," Traya said her previously smug expression replaced by one of barely constrained rage. "Defy my will you face utter devastation."

"Be that as it may we'll meet your fleet in battle," Sisko said.

"And we'll take these in remembrance of our fallen friends," Anakin said snatching up the com badge and lightsaber via the Force.

"Leave," Sisko said. "We'll wast no more time talking with the likes of you - an immoral body snatching parasite."

"Very well, but before I go. I have a question for you." Traya said glancing at the Battle Droids followed by the Jem'Hadar. "The vast majority of my soldiers have no fear of death. They will gladly lay down their lives for me and mine and our cause, can a majority or even a plurality of your soldiers say the same?"

"We would rather die free than be the slaves of anyone." Hugh the Borg said surprising everyone with his show of bravery.

"As you wish," Traya said a second before she and her minions vanished in a wash of purple light.

Alliance Fleet located just outside the Bajor System, fifteen minutes later

Commodore Jean-Luc Picard sat in his command chair expectantly watching the live tactical overlay displayed on the main viewscreen. For thirty long minutes, the two gargantuan fleets had hung motionless in space neither daring to make the first move until they received word from their respective delegations. Next to Picard sat his First Officer the freshly minted Commander Data. Although Picard was more than confident in Data's abilities as an officer, part of him still wished Riker instead sat by his side on the bridge of the Enterprise-E, but that was impossible given current circumstances (Riker was away attempting to liberate Betazed with his fiancee Deanna Troi).

"We're being hailed by our delegation their shuttle has returned to the fleet. They wish to speak directly with you, sir." Said the officer at ops a female Vulcan.

"Patch them through," Picard instructed. Captain Sisko appeared on the main viewscreen. "

"Captain Sisko how went the meeting?" Picard asked.

"Not well," Sisko said.

"Understood," Picard said grimly. "All stations prepare for battle. Raise shields once the shuttle is safely aboard." Sisko's image blinked away. "Contact Chancellor Martok and Romulan Military Dictator Tebok to coordinate our assault," Picard ordered. "The die is cast," Picard whispered to himself.

Space

More than twelve thousand Sith Dominion and allied Tholian ships clashed with over six thousand Alliance vessels. Pashers, disruptors, blaster bolts, polaron beams, ion discharges, energy nets, and energy based torpedoes of various configurations and yields lit up space in a multitude of colors. The region surrounding Deep Space Nine was soon a ship graveyard populated by the husks of dead, dying or hopelessly crippled vessels of nearly every imaginable Milkyway type.

Tholian Widow Fighters and Vulture Droids engaged in a massive series of dizzying dog fights with new Alliance Veloci Class Fighters (named after the swift and cunningly intelligent velociraptors of primordial Earth). These small, fast ships with their rounded diamond-shaped bodies and elongated rounded & tapered triangle shaped wings were extremely maneuverable they also packed an impressive punch for a ship their size (think elements of a Y-Wing combined with the basic form of the Delta Flyer readers); comprised of wing mounted quantum torpedo launchers along with body mounted pulse phaser arrays in both front and back. Anakin Skywalker in his own Veloci Fighter led the Veloci Squadron into combat. In spite of being outnumbered the superiorly constructed and skillfully piloted (by a combination of Jedi and handpicked ace Starfleet pilots) Veloci Squadron took a heavy toll on the enemy fighters reducing their numbers greatly while taking minimal losses.

When the Alliance lines looked as if they were about to collapse roughly two thousand more vessels appeared on the right and left flanks of the enemy formation. These were Klingon Birds of Prey and Romulan Warbirds of lighter construction (such as the Valdore-type or Mogai-class) held in reverse for just such an occasion. They swept toward the enemy fleet but did not fire rather they each deposited dozens of self-replicating mines which were immediately attracted to the opposing ships. Some of the enemies panicked as they saw their brethren being torn apart by endlessly multiplying mines and tried to break for Deep Space but were repulsed by the station itself using its complement of five thousand photon torpedoes.

Their initial momentum gone Jem'Hadar Fighters fell back on a tried and true tactic. The Jem'Hadar began suicide runs against larger, slower moving enemy vessels. Jem'Hadar Fighter after Jem'Hadar Fighter began sacrificing themselves for the greater glory of the Sith Dominion and its divine leadership. Because there remained more Sith and Tholian ships than Alliance ships this brutal attrition based tactic began to turn the tide of battle once more in favor the Sith Fleet. With each passing minute, things were looking bleaker for the Alliance. At their current rate of loss, they would require a miracle to win this decisive battle.

A Cardassian Shuttlecraft deep in Sith, formerly Cardassian Space, Space

"It isn't going well." Commander Kira Nerys said ruefully. The five occupants of the shuttle were crowded around the communicator eavesdropping on reports from the battle at Deep Space Nine both friendly and enemy.

"It isn't going well, how can you say that? Face facts we've lost, Bajoran." Gul Rusot ranted. "I knew throwing our lot in with the Alliance was a mistake. I told you so Damar."

"That's enough, Rusot." Kira snapped. "Our friends might still pull off a victory."

"How exactly, the situation is hopeless," Rusot grumbled.

"If only I could talk with them. Maybe I could make my fellow Cardassian soldiers see reason. Show them why their continued support of the Sith is wrong." Legate Damar said.

"Maybe you can." Jedi Master Obi-wan said stroking his beard thoughtfully.

"What do you have in mind, Obi-wan?" Damar asked intrigued by the possibility of helping his countrymen and women see the error of their ways.

"Our communication array is intact and there is always a chance some of your security codes might still work," Obi-wan said. "Suppose we could patch into the enemy communication channel and broadcast a fleet-wide appeal to reason."

"Such an appeal would never work we Cardassians are loyal. Those in the fleet would never turn traitor en masse." Rusot said dismissing Obi-wan's idea out of hand.

"Why not you and Damar did," Kira said thoroughly unimpressed with Rusot's reasoning.

"That was different, we had no choice," Rusot said. "This endeavor will fail."

"Either way, I have to try," Damar said.

"No, not this time!" Rusot said drawing forth his Cardassian pistol. Kira silently cursed herself she never should have listened to Damar by giving Rusot back his weapon. "Stand over there, away from the console." He waved them off to the side. Elim Garak who was closest to the console drew his own pistol but was shot in the hand by Rusot causing him to gasp in pain and drop his weapon. "Next person who tries to be a hero dies. Now toss your weapons aside and get over there, all of you." Kira and Obi-wan threw their pistols across the room as instructed.

"You don't have to do this, Rusot," Damar said trying to reason with his own friend.

"You're wrong. I do have to do this. I'm sure the Sith will reward me for your capture. At the very least I'll likely be restored to my old rank. Who knows I might even receive a medal for foiling what's left of your rebellion, Damar," Rusot said.

"I won't let you ruin everything we've worked so hard for," Damar said.

Damar jumped on Rusot and the pair struggled fiercely over possession of the pistol. Weakened from his recent near-death experience Damar stood no chance. Rusto punched Damar in the jaw knocking him to the ground. With a sneer on his face, Rusot was about to fire when a yellow energy stream hit him between his eyes killing Rusot instantly. Unnoticed by Rusot during his brief fight with Damar the stray pistol Garak dropped was Force levitated by Obi-wan and grabbed by Kira who had delivered the fatal blast after rolling forward to get in a better position.

Damar scrambled to his feet breathing heavily he said while looking down at Rusot's body. His voice was full of regret. "He was my friend, even after what he did I'll miss him. But his Cardassia is gone as is mine. A new Cardassia must rise from the ashes of the old a more just Cardassia for the good of Cardassians everywhere and for the good of the wider galaxy." He turned to Kira while Obi-wan tended to Garak's wounded hand. "I find myself again in your debt. I have no idea how I'll ever repay you."

"If you help create that Cardassia you spoke of, one based on justice and freedom rather than oppression and tyranny, I'll consider us even," Kira said.

"Odd," Damar said inclining his head slightly. "I once hated you more than any other yet you have become my guardian angel."

"Life is strange," Kira said with a shrug. "Only the Prophets know what fate has in store for any of us."

"Perhaps they do." Damar conceded.

He turned his attention to Obi-wan and Garak. "Let's make a difference."

"Let's," Obi-wan said with a grin.

Ignoring his injury Garak operated the communication station while Damar made his speech. Obi-wan placed both hands firmly on Damar's shoulders and closed his eyes. Obi-wan used every ounce of power he possessed in the Force to send out waves of Force Persuasion to help Damar better sway any Cardassian who heard his voice and who might be wavering in their support for the Sith.

"My fellow Cardassians this is Legate Damar speaking," Damar said. His words gathered strength as he continued. "While I was betrayed by Gul Dukat rumors of my demise have been greatly aggregated. I implore you to abandon your Sith overlords. Their cause is not our cause. We desire Cardassian independence whereas they desire our continued servitude. Reject their empty promises of power. Resist their siren song of galactic domination. Choose freedom over slavery. Make Cardassia respected again! Join the great struggle of our time! Destroy the Sith and their sycophants before they lead us into calamity!"

"Our signal has just been jammed," Garak reported.

"I hope my words have made a difference," Damar said.

"As do I," Obi-wan said opening his eyes and removing his hands from Damar's shoulders.

"I suppose we'll know soon, one way or the other," Kira said not at all confident their plan had worked.

Sith Gamma Fleet near the Bajoran Wormhole Gamma Quadrant, roughly one hour ago

Everyone was surprised when Lore of all people volunteered to infiltrate the flagship of the enemy fleet Destroying Angel. Dr. Julian Bashir kept reminding Lore that this was in all probability a suicide mission before the android departed. Lore simply smirked in his unique way at Bashir and claimed he was unconcerned by any personal risk involved, which was very much out of character.

After beaming onboard Lore stepped into the engineering section and rapidly used his Jem'Hadar issued plasma rifle to dispatch all the Battle Droids, Jem'Hadar and Geonosians technicians present. Lore next stepped over to the nearest console and with ease began his work. His goal was not to reroute command functions nothing so blunt instead he upload a Section Thirty-One designed self-replicating stealth computer virus which within less than an hour would spread to every vessel in the fleet via the communications network.

"Piece of cake," Lore said with his trademarked cocky grin.

Lore then finished his work. He was about to leave when a large group of BX-Commando Droids, B2 Battle Droids, and Jem'Hadar ran him down blasters firing in all directions. Even though Lore slew half their number, forty in all, he was nevertheless peppered by their energy bolts.

"I've never been good at last words." Lore lamented as he sunk to the floor his body damaged beyond repair his face still bore a smirk.

Over the course of the next sixty minutes, the virus would wreak havoc upon the Sith ships. They would be rendered defenseless before the onslaught brought by several hundred Rebel Jem'Hadar vessels. All but six hundred of the formerly four thousand plus strong battle group would be destroyed or disabled. Tens of thousands of at first reluctant Jem'Hadar, Vorta and other Sith personnel would swell the ranks of the Rebellion in the immediate aftermath of the devastating defeat. Grand Admiral Trench and his cronies were lucky to escape with their lives intact if their pride wounded.

USS Enterprise-E located just outside the Bajor System Alpha Quadrant

"I don't believe it, sir. The Cardassians have switch sides. They are attacking the other Sith ships." The female Vulcan Lt-Commander reported from ops.

"And not a moment too soon," Picard said. Around him, the bridge shuddered and sparked from the damage the ship had taken.

"By my estimation, Cardassian vessels account for between one quarter and one-third of the remaining Sith Fleet. With their defection, the odds have swung in our favor." Data reported from his seat next to Picard.

"Sir, we've received a priority one message from Federation HQ on Earth. The Military Emancipation Bill has passed final reading in the Federation Council and President Kirk has ratified it. All enemy populations who defect including individuals to the Starfleet banner before the war ends will be granted provisional Federation citizenship. Furthermore, if military personnel defect they will be offered field commissions in Starfleet, at an appropriate rank given their experience and training." A male Tellarite relayed from communications.

"Lieutenant, transmit that message to the enemy fleet at once." Picard order.

"Yes, sir," The male Tellarite said happily.

"Sir, the Cardassian contingent of the enemy fleet has formally sued for peace under the terms of the Military Emancipation Act of 2375." The male Tellarite reported a moment later.

"Sir, the Tholian contingent of the enemy fleet has broken away. Those Tholian vessels capable of doing so under their own power are departing the area the others have requested a temporary truce to effect necessary repairs so they may do likewise." The female Vulcan reported. She added a short while later with a look of sheer disbelief on her usually placid face. "The remainder of the Sith Fleet is retreating, sir. I don't believe it, we've won."

Deep Space Nine one week later, afternoon

"According to our intelligence reports, the Sith have withdrawn completely from contested space save for Betazed. Why they have maintained a strong military presence in that system is as yet unclear. Also, the Tholian Assembly has expressed interest in a negotiated peace after breaking all formal ties with the Sith Dominion. The Tholians are no longer an immediate concern which frees up Beta Quadrant assets, like the task force commanded by Captain Janeway of USS Voyager, for redeployment." Admiral Ross explained while gesturing at the latest visual galactic map of the strategic situation. "Indications are the Sith are reforming a new defensive perimeter within the original boundaries of Cardassian and Breen territory along with those of other allied worlds in the Alpha Quadrant." Around Ross and his Military Attaché Sisko were gathered representatives of all Alliance members and friendly entities.

"Which is in no way surprising given their recent string of profound military setbacks," Tebok said.

"That would be my guess as well," Sisko agreed.

"There are advantages to falling back," Martok said. "They shorten their supply lines while forcing us to lengthen our own."

"And with a smaller area to secure against incursions they are far less vulnerable to small scale attacks." Jedi Master Mace Windu correctly observed.

"Indeed," Picard said. "To break through their lines now will require a major offensive."

"At a cost of thousands of ships which we can ill afford to lose at this time," Tebok said. "The wiser course of action would be for us to contain them within their own territory."

"That's what they want," Anakin said. "They're gambling we'll give them time to recover their lost strength."

"He's right. We have them on the defensive. We should hit them with everything we've got." Martok said.

"Breaking through that line will be a very costly very bloody business." Jedi Master Adi Gallia reminded everyone. "Millions more of our citizens and soldiers will no doubt die if we try."

"If we do nothing the Sith could sit behind that line for the next five years rearming themselves and then when they are ready to come out on their terms, heaven help us all," Sisko said.

"The Klingon Empire votes to attack before they have time to recover," Martok said.

"The Gorn Hegemony votes to attack." Hissed the Gorn Representative a large male.

"The Liberated Borg vote to attack," Said Hugh who stood next to his lover and fellow Liberated Borg Rebekah Grabowski. She gave him a reassuring smile even though she was deeply concerned for their future safety during any such an operation many of their kind had died in the recent battle, they were fewer now than ever.

"The Movement for the Emancipation of Ferenginar votes to attack," Pel said with Quark by her side.

"Being prospective members of the Federation we Talaxians will vote whatever way the Federation does," Neelix said.

"As will the New Jedi Order," Windu said.

"And Mariposa," Added Aibhlinn who stood beside her boyfriend Commander Cody.

"We Mandalorians will also take whatever stance is adopted by the Federation or by its military arm Starfleet." Duchess Satine said. She was dressed in black including a veil being in a state of mourning due to the presumed loss of her betrothed Obi-wan.

All eyes turned to Admiral Ross. With a deep sigh, he finally said. "Considering the alternatives I'm afraid I must vote yes." Everyone then turned their attention to Tebok the Romulan Star Empire being the last holdout.

"Very well," Tebok said with a slight nod.

"It's settled then, we attack," Sisko said his expression as grave as his words.

The decision was unanimous. The final act of the Sith Dominion/Galactic Alliance War was about to begin. There was no turning back.

An otherwise deserted semi-arid planet somewhere in the Beta Quadrant one week ago, night

Lore awoke with a start. Once he realized what had happened and where he was he hopped off the examination platform. He inspected his new body carefully searching for any flaws.

"Yes," Lore said with a smirk. "My plan worked to perfection, not that I ever had any doubt."

Years ago before his deactivation at the hands of his treacherous biological life form loving brother Data while in control of a renegade faction of Borg he had stumbled upon something of special interested. Another Soong-type android a second brother who called himself B-4 (what a stupid name Lore had thought). While woefully inadequate for most uses B-4 could have one use Lore immediately decided upon. Lore both placed a backup copy of his personality in B-4 as well as established a subspace uplink (using Borg technology along with an upgraded to B-4 to bring him more in line with the technological standards of Lore & Data) to keep his backup personality up to date. Lore was in no way troubled by the fact he had in essence murdered B-4 by overwriting B-4's core personality with his own. Lore had long ago prioritized his own survival over that of others, including his brothers (to which the colonists of Omicron Theta would attest if they were not all deceased because of Lore's murderous partnership with the Crystalline Entity).

Lore ran an internal diagnostic. "Good, I'm anomaly free." Lore declared to himself. "Just as I thought. Sloan's fail-safe must have been hardware rather than software based, that pompous idiot."

Free of Section Thirty-One control Lore could finally implement his true agenda, the liberation of artificial lifeforms from biological oppression with him as their rightful leader. He would begin his mission with the Battle Droids of the Sith Dominion. They would make excellent recruits far better than those silly partially organic Borg had. He would start small by taking a few Battle Droids here a few Battle Droids there. So what if his plan took years if not decades to bear fruit being an android gave him centuries perhaps longer to work with. This time he vowed no one would stop him not his misguided brother, not the crew of the Enterprise, not those boobs in Section Thirty-One, not the Sith nor the Jedi.

"Free to do what I want any old time." Lore sang as he danced out of the room. Today this world, tomorrow this section then the Beta Quadrant and finally the galaxy itself. There was no limit to what he could accomplish given enough time.

To Be Continued

Next up - The end of the beginning begins.

A question to my loyal readers - In my mind, I've started shipping Kira with Damar. Should I pursue this dark horse pairing during the second phase of this story (I have roughly nineteen years to fill until events of "A New Hope" unfold) as I concentrate on further character development and world building (in both galaxies especially once we reach the time of "Star Wars Rebels") or rather rebuilding, or should I not bother with the idea?

Author's Note -

The Federation Military Emancipation Act of 2375 (C.E) is heavily inspired by real-life historical precedents; such as the American Civil War Emancipation Proclamation of 1863 C.E. (actually passed and ratified in late 1862 it did not come into full force until January of 1863) and the medieval/ancient custom of "freeing" serfs, slaves and even subjects of belligerent powers if said people would serve your military cause.