This information is not yet available in character, but is being made available for players to understand their adversary and to write appropriately.
Following its harrowing defeat at the end of the War, the Dominion returned to its territory to rebuild and rethink its policies governing the interactions it had with other races both from within and without. This was largely in part to the knowledge and new experiences from the Alpha Quadrant that the changeling named Odo shared with the Great Link upon his re-integration with it. During this period of change in the Dominion, there were some who began to doubt the true power that the Founders had over them. This, coupled with the tales of the final weeks of the Dominion War where the Cardassians fought back against their 'allies', led many to begin questioning whether or not they really wanted to be part of this vast empire. The Founders quickly discovered the dissent amongst its citizens and they sought to use that to their advantage.
Freedom does not always come easily though, and since the Dominion's withdrawal, the region has been plagued by rising and falling governments, ever shifting alliances and a slew of enterprising marauders, all looking to take advantage of the tenuous situation for their own interests. Starfleet consequently stepped in by deploying Task Force 9 with an ever-increasing number of assets at their disposal. While some Gamma Quadrant denizens have welcomed this, hoping it will bring peace and stability to the region, many other see the Federation as nothing more than another power attempting to take control of the region.
It is in this context that the Consortium was born.
The Dominion had a habit of using dead planets, and some not so dead, for weapons tests. The Dominion even used one of the Dosi moons as a prison, Internment Camp 219, for members of the Federation Alliance, including members of the Romulan Empire, the Klingon Empire and the Federation. Given the proximity of 2 of the Dosi moons, they would use the other moon for secret weapons tests, some including large scale weapons. They would often bring prisoners to the moon to test effects of weapons on them. This gave the observers a rare insight into the into the Dominion ways, and how they treated Federation Alliance members. Those who saw what happened here accepted it as part of being in the Dominion, but to some it changed some of their beliefs in the Dominion.
The Dosi government remained complicit during these darks times, having been a servant race of the Dominion for thousands of years. Though with every servant race, there were people who didn't agree. A small group of Yaderan’s, disillusioned with the Dominions continued aggression to the Federation organised a secretive summit, on Dosi, to try and come up with a way to remove their races from the war. They were not affiliated with any of their governments, but still decided that they had to do something to preserve their futures.
The government on Dosi heard about this ‘summit’. They wanted nothing to do with it, to ensure that there were no retaliatory strikes on their homeworld they publicly disgraced those who were part of the summit. This new group used this publicity to try and rally people to their cause. Some Dosi, even in the government sympathised with them, albeit quietly. Those who publicly declared that the ‘renegades’ had the right idea were disgraced, some even publicly executed by the Dominion themselves. Some of these disgraced leaders were forced from their positions into hiding and some even took the step to join the renegades themselves, using what friends they had left within the government to help acquire materials for this new group. This was happening on both Dosi and Karema. Taking lead from something in the Alpha Quadrant called the ‘Orion Syndicate’ they formed themselves into a group known as the Dosi Consortium. They gathered what they could from the Dosi and Kareman homeworlds and began to acquire enough wealth to purchase ships and equipment. At first they had only 30 or 40 members, but within months they had well over 250.
They started off smuggling illegal items to planets around their system including Stakoron and the Wadi. Though the Stakoron still remained friendly with the Dominion with their production of mizinite ore, used in Dominion starship production, they also had people who were interested in this new Dosi Consortium. Pretty soon they had friends in the Stakoron and invited those into the Consortium. Having remained under the radar, working from secret locations on the Dosi and Kareman homeworlds, it was around this time that the Consortium on the Dosi government’s radar. Though the Dosi government knew of the ‘Consortiums’ existence, they left them alone, they didn't bother the Dosi so the Dominion did not intervene. This changed when the Consortium attacked a Jem'hadar weapons facility on Dosi. The Dosi feared retribution from the Dominion, and made every effort to hunt down and capture any Consortium members they could find, to give them to the Dominion for execution. This was when the group realised that they would have to move off planet in order to effectively run the consortium. They decided that instead of having one headquarters they would have four, located within the Chamra Vortex. Containing millions of asteroids of various sizes, it proved the perfect hiding spot. And with the volatile toh-maire gas located through the vortex, it had added security.
This went on for several years, and in early 2383 the Orion Syndicate heard about this so called ‘Consortium’. They were intrigued to hear about this group and dispatched several of their members to contact them to establish a relationship with them, which would make it the largest crime syndicate in the galaxy, spreading 2 quadrants. It was during this friendship that their membership opened up to non-gamma quadrant races, going so far as to include several humans from the Orion Syndicate who were to remain there as a ‘gesture of will’ to the Consortium. It was also during this time the name of the group went from being the Dosi Consortium to ‘The Consortium’.
Once members of the Syndicate were added to the mix, it was only a matter of time before the Consortium's activities expanded once more to include piracy and even assassination. The Dosi government publicly declared it had no involvement in any way and even threatened to execute suspected members of the group on its homeworld. By early 2384 the group went on the defensive, and began to remove any mention or trace of the ‘The Consortium’, striking only when they needed too. They retreated as much as they could, lying in wait for the time when they could strike without fear of Dominion reprisal. They began to steadily build up their forces, still hidden within the Chamra Vortex. They themselves even went to the point of helping propagate the rumour that they had disbanded. Then they lay dormant, waiting for just the right moment. Then the Dominion surrendered to the Federation. And the Consortium was on the move once more.
Originally thought to be a power taking advantage of the power vacuum created by the Dominion sealing their borders, the origins of the Consortium are known to very few people, and many of those who did know and weren’t loyal had been swiftly eliminated over time or rendered harmless through other means.
Part of The Dominion itself had a hand in the original creation of the Consortium. A group of rogue founders secretly broke away from the Founders on the homeworld, claiming to be exploring unknown parts of the Gamma Quadrant. The summit was that was called on the Dosi homeworld in was aimed at creating a group who protested the war. Having been a member of the Dominion for thousands of years, the Karemma were not invited to this summit. Though it was held in secret, with attendees utilizing a wide range of security means to ensure the security, the reality was that the rogue founders In reality the founders themselves had been aware of this group for quite some time and had already infiltrated the summit. Once this summit was concluded, the rogue founders had many of those who attended killed, or replaced. It was here that they thought of a way to infiltrate the highest levels of Starfleet without directly using themselves or letting the Founders find out.
With promises of power, the Rogue Founders manipulated the Consortium like a puppet, from within the shadows. Even some of the highest members of the Consortium do not know who their orders are coming from. The Consortium began to recruit people, civilians, and Starfleet alike. There were even rumors that they had got people into Starfleet specifically as sleeper agents, waiting for the one day that the Consortium would issue its ‘final directive’. During these years there were hundreds of Starfleet officers who willing joined the Consortium or were influenced into doing so by telepathic species used by the Dominion for hundreds of years. This left the Consortium with assets throughout Starfleet, who influenced the direction of Starfleet within the Gamma Quadrant.This placed them in a position where there would be Consortium operatives throughout TF9 command and throughout TF9 ships in the region. Once rumours started to air about this infiltration Starfleet Intelligence commenced a massive intelligence gathering operation to get to the bottom of it but with only limited results. As such the Consortium could move efficiently within the ranks of Starfleet even with significant scrutiny.
With the Rogue Founders wanting to take control back of their quadrant, their only way to take back territory that was to use their ability to manipulate the solids. They wanted to get their own territory back before resuming their expansion. The goal of this group of Founders is to let those now not under Dominion control enjoy their freedom, before subtly influencing the Consortium to make their lives harder and harder. Once the people have had enough of the Consortium, they would cry out for Dominion rule, where life was better, leaving them ripe for the Dominion to take over again.
With Odo still attempting to dissuade many of the Founders from their views of the Federation, and the solids, he eventually gets through to enough to want them to reach out and talk to the Federation. They eventually invite a Starfleet to send a few vessels as part of a peaceful mission. It was at this time the Dominion formalized their relationship with the Federation, by signing the Jankata Accord. Though the Treaty of Bajor granted unfettered passage through the wormhole, Starfleet has only one colony in the quadrant: New Bajor, which was established by the Bajorans before they were admitted into the Federation and thus was not subject to the Jankata Accord. Following this meeting between the Dominion and the Federation, both sides formally agreed to abide by the Jankata Accord.
The Rogue Founders were, naturally, not happy with the sudden turn of events. It was here that they decided that whatever they needed to do, it had to be done now.
The first ship to fall to such sleeper agents was the USS Galavant. The USS Galavant was an Excelsior class ship, which was refitted as a cargo ship. Starfleet Command had elected several such converted ships to deliver cargo as they 'deemed a regular cargo vessel would be at extreme risk' in the Gamma quadrant, given the number of unknowns in this quadrant. Several sleeper agents were on this ship, including the Chief Security officer of this ship. At some point during its regular cargo run through the Finnean Convergence Zone, the Galavant received a transmission from a Karemman ship, simply saying “To the future of the Dominion”. It was at this point the Chief Security officer and several other offers on the ship took control of the vital systems. The Consortium had the Human Chief Security officer kill the Captain and XO and imprison the rest of the senior staff. Most of this was unknown to Starfleet at the time. According to reports following this incident, the USS Galavant was lost with all hands.
Months later an ‘Event’ happens [A major attack on DS11 as well as several Starfleet ships being taken over, some of their crews killed or left marooned on uninhabited planets]. With the TF9 Command staff decimated, with many of its leaders killed in the coup the remaining loyal officials are forced to escape on a ship in orbit that managed to survive the initial attack. With the comm relays the first target of the Consortium, DS11 had no way to warn the Alpha Quadrant that anything had gone wrong. Once the TF9 Command staff were either killed, or in hiding, the Consortium is in charge of the Starfleet assets within the Gamma Quadrant, and there are more than a few who don't suspect a thing.
To further legitimize their take over there were several ships in the Gamma Quadrant that had sleeper agents on who were destined to fail in their takeovers. This would put the power of doubt in the minds of many Captains, meaning those that took over DS11 would be able to count on support from those who remain loyal to the Federation. These officers who took over DS11 declare those loyal to Starfleet as renegades. Meanwhile those loyal to Starfleet must consolidate their interests and strike back at the Consortium to restore their power.
With DS11 in enemy hands, they effectively close the wormhole, leaving those few starships loyal to the Federation cut off from the rest of the Federation. Odo himself even held out an olive branch, disgusted by the sudden turn of events. He offered some of those still loyal to Starfleet a safe haven, in the form of a hidden system. With only 4 or 5 starships completely under Starfleet control, those that remain alive are forced to coordinate from a secret base of operations, in a system unknown to most of Starfleet, indeed most of TF9. From here they conduct a resistance against the illegitimate Starfleet.
The above was written well before the first part of Episode 1: The Beginning of the End. It was co-authored by Aio and Jelim_Mar, then TF9CO and TF9XO respectively. The Consortium Background was discussed and modified by the COs of TF9 and later approved by Bravo Fleet Senior Staff. It went into effect of January 31, 2015.