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|Invasion of Septimus III|
|Part of Dominion War|
|Kalandra Campaign||Breen Attack on Earth|
The Invasion of Septimus III was a battle fought during the Dominion War. In 2375, the Klingon Empire launched an attack on the Septimus III, which also served as the headquarters of the Cardassian Union's Eleventh Order. The planet fell in a matter of days due to a lack of Dominion reinforcement. This event displayed that the Dominion was willing to sacrifice the Cardassians to win the war, coupled with their recent alliance with the Breen Confederacy fueled Legate Damar to actively plan to rebel against the Dominion. (DS9: "Strange Bedfellows")
Referred to by the Cardassians as the Septimus Massacre, it was a Klingon assault on the base of the Cardassian Guard's Eleventh Order that resulted in the slaughter of all five hundred thousand Cardassians and the complete infrastructural and ecological destruction of the planet. The invasion's horrific outcome served as the impetus for Legate Corat Damar to turn on the Union's Dominion overlords. (Star Trek: Sigils and Unions: The Thirteenth Order, "Those Who Remain")
The Federation did not participate in this campaign. It is unknown how a Federation presence might have affected the conduct and outcome of the battle, had it been possible.
The Eleventh Order, according to Klingon general Martok, consisted of "old men and walking wounded," a contingent he promised to destroy with ease. More damning for the Cardassians was the fact that the Dominion ignored Damar's pleas to send reinforcements to hold the system--a fact that, although he did not speak it aloud, Legate Met'Orn of the Eleventh Order was aware at least an hour before the battle. (DS9: "Strange Bedfellows", Star Trek: Sigils and Unions--"Those Who Remain")
Three against fifteen...divisionsEdit
Instead, three Galor-class cruisers in the area, the Romac, Sherouk and Prenkar, formed the planet's entire spaceborne defense; surface-to-space batteries also existed on the planet below, but there were no orbital platforms to aid them. Slow transit times for interceptor missiles meant that most of the Klingon barrage cut straight through to the planet below. ("Those Who Remain")
The Klingon assault, fifteen divisions strong, was devastating. The three Galors immediately came under withering fire and despite their valiant intentions, were forced to turn and run for their lives without a single chance to lower their shields and rescue any of their fellows from the planet's surface. The Prenkar was quickly destroyed. (The Thirteenth Order)
The Romac lost shields and would have perished like the Prenkar but for a bold, extremely risky maneuver by the commander of the Sherouk, whose intuitive engineering sense allowed him to tractor the crippled Galor and tow it to safety despite severe damage to both vessels--even though this meant engaging his warp drive in a planetary gravity well.
But for the quick thinking of Romac chief engineer, Glinn Serain Meray, the Romac's rescue by the Sherouk would have meant nothing. At the same time, the Romac faced assault from within as well as without: the ship's Vorta was knocked comatose by the explosion of a plasma conduit under the command platform and the Jem'Hadar troops aboard went on a rampage, bent on slaughtering the Cardassian crew--a massacre only stopped by Meray's quick thinking, who used the ship's transporters to destroy the out-of-control enemy. ("Those Who Remain," The Thirteenth Order)
The Klingons landed ground troops on Septimus--at some point, however, the Klingons decided not to expend any more manpower in personal combat on the surface (perhaps due to the age and infirmity of some of the order, or perhaps as a slight against Cardassian honor). This combat was gruesome while it lasted, however, with Klingons mutilating the bodies of the Cardassian dead to take trophies for themselves. According to security camera footage transmitted from the planet below, the body of Legate Met'Orn was virtually unrecognizable after this. ("Those Who Remain")
The remainder of the 500,000-man Eleventh Order were slaughtered in a thunderous orbital assault. One eyewitness, Gul Tayben Berat of the Sherouk, described the orbital bombardment as so severe that it nearly "blasted the atmosphere off the planet," and the "nuclear" winter from quantum torpedo impacts was expected to impact the planet for thousands of years. (Star Trek: Sigils and Unions--The Thirteenth Order, DS9: "Strange Bedfellows")
The Septimus Massacre, as the Cardassians quickly took to calling it, weighed heavily upon the few who had escaped with lives and ships intact. Despite his brave actions to rescue the Romac, Gul Berat of the Sherouk was deeply haunted by his inability to save even a single soldier from the Eleventh Order or the Prenkar. He, similar to Gul Rebek of the Romac, found his decision to prepare for rebellion justified by the horrific episode.
Also sickened and horrified by the Dominion's willingness to sacrifice entire Cardassian worlds whenever they saw fit, Legate Damar rebelled at the same time as Guls Macet, Berat, and two of their fellow guls prepared to put their own plan to turn against the Dominion into action. (DS9: "Strange Bedfellows", The Thirteenth Order, "Those Who Remain")
On a more personal note, it was in the wake of the Septimus Massacre that Gul Rebek first recorded in her permanent record the fact that she was an Oralian believer. ("Those Who Remain")
From the testament of a survivorEdit
- "Remember, Cardassia. If someday I am no longer there to bear this dreadful burden…remember. This is where the centuries have ultimately led. This is what compelled us beyond any legate, any Founder, why we took this fateful leap. To the rest of the galaxy, if you should hear this—remember. This, but for the hand of grace, could have been you. And it is only by grace that it shall not become you, for the demon waits upon your own threshold as well to see what you decide. Evade or confront, as the Ferengi say: it is your choice, and that choice will come to define you."
- — From the permanent documentation file of Gul Zejil Rebek
|Major battles of the Dominion War|
|Second Battle of Deep Space 9 (2373) | Battle of Torros III (2373) | Battle of Rumarda (2374) | Battle of Tyra (2374) | Operation Blue Room (2374) | First Battle of Vulcanis (2374) | Operation Return (2374) | Raid on Coridan (2374) | Kalandra Offensive (2374) | Battle of Betazed (2374) | Second Battle of Vulcanis (2374) | Battle of Benzar (2374) | Battle of Sybaron (2374) | Liberation of Benzar (2374) | Battle of the Tibor Nebula (2374) | Raid on Tohvun (2374) | Third Battle of Vulcanis (2374) | First Battle of Chin'toka (2374) | Battle of Ricktor Prime (2375) | Battle of Chudala (2375) | Kalandra Campaign (2375) | Invasion of Septimus III (2375) | Breen attack on Earth (2375) | Second Battle of Chin'toka (2375) | Battle of the Three Suns (2375) | Liberation of Betazed (2375) | Battle of Getha (2375) | Battle of Cardassia (2375)|