Legacy - an Alternate History of the Dominion War
First the boring stuff.
Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction. Bashir, Garak, Sisko, Kira, O'Brien and his family, Dax, Worf, Ross, Bajor, DS9 and any other canon person or place is the property of Paramount Studios. Cyrus and the people who lived there, along with the new crew persons of DS9 who come, and the Vorta who takes charge of the area are all mine.
This is a repost/reorganization with typos fixed of the three file posting done initially. It was too confusing and I'm just putting it all in one place. If all twenty-two chapters aren't loaded yet they eventually will be. If you like the story, I'm not adverse to some reviews, especially about how you feel about the characters as they make do in the impossible tapdance of loyalty. Especially Sisko.
Divergence of AU timeline: In Year 1, the time line begins between In the Cards and Call to Arms at the end of the fifth season. The war starts at nearly the same time, but it's a massive surprise attack by the Dominion and before they are slowed there is a swath of Federation territory under their control that Starfleet is not capable of reclaiming. The people of DS9 end up on the wrong side of the lines, and their battles are to survive with something that matters remaining. Unlike its sister AU Surrender, they have yet to be hardened by the early months of war.
In cannon, the Dominion war is clearly patterned after the Second World War, especially in the Pacific. We even have the last minute reprieve of millions of lives which would have been lost taking Cardassia (or Japan) one soldier at a time when the Founder surrenders in exchange for survival.
But what if it had been patterned after the First World War, with its trenches and huge death toll over so little ground? What if the Dominion war began early and took the Feds by surprise, then led to a stalemate. And then a treaty. And what of those who lived behind the line were abandoned in sacrifice for the lives of those who weren't? World War 1 with shades of Korea.
What if it resulted in multiple small colonies of former Federation citizens who must now live under Dominion rule, resettled or stranded in the rush to escape. What if the Dominion established little colonies with too many refugees and not enough food and didn't even need the Jem'Hadar to keep them under control when food could be used.? And what if you, Benjamin Sisko, had to dance the fine line between the contempt of your own people and the demands of the enemy because if you didn't do what they told you the Jem'Hadar would enforce the rules for you?
What if you see no Jem'Hadar but you know the control is still absolute? Tyranny isn't always delivered at the point of a rifle. Sometimes, it comes at the tip of a pen and a form left incomplete.
There have been real-life men who faced Sisko's dilemma in this story. I hope I've given him a realistic look without copying anyone and not lost the essence of the character. War is hard when you're a soldier. But it's harder, in its way, when your battles are to keep your family alive in what is in essence a ghetto, and walk a fine line between protecting your people and becoming the enemy when the price of failure is catastrophic.
This was first written in 1999, and shelved due to need for research. It was posted on ASC in 2003. Then LIFE got in the way of writing for awhile and when I retrieved it from old files, noticed all the mistakes. Eventually my website will get updated with everything new but for now its only got the old stuff. But I noticed other things too. Some of the characters have slightly different arcs because of that encounter with LIFE.
This is a sister story to Surrender, here in the stories rated M for the increased level of violence. It presents a similar situation, for in that story the Federation loses the whole war. They lack any illusion of choice. In Legacy there is an illusion of one. But in both the cost of visible resistance is very high.
Both have multiple "books". I hope to begin posting the second year of Legacy as soon as the first section (of year 2, being worked on) is complete. I am using a beta, so it takes a bit longer but is better in the end for the fresh eyes.
And many thanks, a few years later, to Gabrielle Lawson for ripping apart the first draft and sending it back with meaningful questions like a useful beta should. Also, I'd like to thank Paula Stiles and a few others who read bits and pieces. It's never wasting your time to get an independent review and eyes that only see what you wrote.
Rating wise, this is PG-13, or here "T". Year 2 will also be, despite greater violence. The control still rests with food and fear no matter what sort of an occupation it is.
May you live in interesting times.