Just then, another man in black (everyone seemed to wear that color around here) walked in. Everyone turned to look at the man in the doorway.

"I see they've arrived," he said. "Sorry I was busy until now."

"Dysan!" shouted Sam, leaping up. He took a couple steps toward him, then stopped. He thought about Jake and mirror-Jennifer Sisko. Sam retook his seat and mumbled, "Hello."

M-Jax got up, went to Dysan, and whispered in his ear. Dysan looked startled for a moment. He looked at both Sams, started to say something, then closed his mouth. m-Jax got him a coke from the replicator, and refills for the others. They sat down, and the conversation resumed.

"You say I was right," said Jax. "Please expound on that."

"Yes. The Dominion. Well, I'll start out...or maybe now that he's here, I should turn the story over to our leader."

Dysan now began speaking. "I'll start out, as Jax was about to say, with the history of this quadrant. Bengaal has told us alot about it, or as much as he knows. The Dominion tries to keep real history under wraps, of course, but some of it leaks through their version of it. Thousands of years ago, this was a very peaceful, happy place. All races were rather friendly. And the best of the bunch were the changelings. They were simple, largely planet-bound folk, but were visited often by other races. They were closest to the Vorta, of course. Occasionally changelings would travel on Vorta ships to visit other worlds. Oh, everyone loved the changelings, yessir. They wanted to explore the galaxy beyond this quadrant, so they sent representatives out to distant corners of space, not expecting to hear back from them for many centuries. And so far, they haven't. At one point about two-thousand years ago, they decided to establish a more intimate link with their solid neighbors. They decided to create their own race of solids. They had help from the Vorta and the Karemma."

"The Jem'Hadar," said Jax.

"Exactly," said Dysan. "I don't really know how they did it, their genetic engineering. But they did. And they did a surprisingly good job, albeit far from perfect. The bodies grow to adulthood very quickly, within a year, less even. Of course they don't live very long, as humanoids go. But as it turns out, that's sort of a good thing. You see, while the changelings did a fairly good job of designing the bodies, they had problems with the psyches, and the souls. It is unclear whether Jem'Hadar even have souls. Most of us believe they do not."

"Yeah, well, souls ain't so great," mumbled Boulder.

"Anyway, their psyches were further screwed up by their rapid aging. Fine for some animals, but rarely for sentient beings, especially those created by other sentient beings. No divine spark, you know. Or no millions of years of evolution, whichever theory you ascribe to. Whatever, they dont' have it."

"Mad, are they?" asked Jax.

"After a fashion. At any rate, they weren't the nicest fellows. But they were very strong and fast and cunning. made for surprisingly efficient warriors, considering they were never meant to be. They tried to kill their creators, but there weren't enough of them to finish the job. They were exiled to a planet away from civilized races, and left to fend for themselves.

"But they were fairly clever, as I said, despite their insanity. They learned to create more of themselves, and they developed their own technologies over time. After a hundred years or so, they managed to get off their planet. They wanted revenge against the changelings, and all natural-born solids. A Jem'Hadar scientist named White had developed a weapon which could kill changelings by freezing them in one shape."

"We have something similar in our universe," said Jax. "It was first created by Romulans and later perfected by a Cardassian named Jakal. Funny it should be created in your universe by a Jem'Hadar named White. In our universe, the changelings control the Jem'Hadar with a drug called 'ketracel white.'"

"Yes. ...Of course, they had more conventional weapons as well. They had some very powerful warships; in fact, they had the only warships in the quadrant, the other races not being terribly warlike. Their first targets were the changelings. They killed many of them, and enslaved the rest. Over time, they trained the changelings to think of them as masters. The Jem'Hadar turned the changelings into fighters, spies, saboteurs, guards... enforcers. The Jem'Hadar and their changelings went on to take over most of the other races in the quadrant. They allow the Vorta some freedom, as administrators. And some others, like the Karemma, work for them too. Over the past centuries, their Dominion has grown constantly larger and more powerful, and people have begun to forget things were ever different.

"But some remember, like Bengaal. And they fight against the system, wherever they can. They don't have much hope against the Founders, but they try. The primary objective for now is to free the changelings and retrain them to our side. But it proves nearly impossible. Even the few changelings who've been captured by our side still maintain loyalty to the Jem'Hadar, and all attempts to retrain them have so far failed."

Jax couldn't help smiling momentarily. He liked being right. "So, we're gonna overthrow the Founders, who in this universe are the Jem'Hadar. Kool. Let's go."

"Don't you need some sort of plan?" asked m-Alex.

"Plan-shman," said Sam. "We do our best work off the top of our heads."


"Plus, we sort of have some vague plans."

"Vague plans are not going to stand against the Dominion," said Dysan. "Not in this or any other universe. We all need to sit down and work together for weeks or months on a complex plan. And you have to help us upgrade all our systems, ships, and weapons. You can't rush in like idiots hoping for miracles. And by the way, Jax, in case you didn't get the general idea, I'm the leader around here. Not our Jax, and certainly not any of you from the other universe. You all take orders from me and my people. Your help is greatly appreciated, but it is you who are helping us, not the other way around."

Jax stood up and smiled for a few seconds, trying to decide whether to laugh. He didn't. Instead he stopped smiling and said, "Look, I ain't in this for your revolution, and I'm not in it for you, Dysan. I expect to have a lot of fun. I'm in it for the adventure."

Sam smiled and explained, "He's kidding, partly at least. We'll be happy to follow your lead, at least nominally. But we do our best work as I said before with a lot of leeway as to what we do. We try to work off the cuff, to a degree. But we'll accept your lead. Now, let's get to those upgrades..."

part four