The Thirteenth Order was a combined Cardassian-Starfleet rebel force founded in 2375 to combat the Dominion. Though Legate Damar contacted at least one of the four guls who would later create the Thirteenth Order, the organization operated wholly autonomously, never apprising any other rebel cells of their actions. (Star Trek: Sigils and Unions--The Thirteenth Order)
- The name "Thirteenth Order" assumes that the main body of the Cardassian Guard is organized into twelve Orders.
History and Actions
The idea for what would become the Thirteenth Order arose in early 2375 when a group of four guls, discontented with the Dominion absorption of the Cardassian Union, sought a way to increase their manpower without garnering the suspicion of their Dominion minders. Learning from the unfortunate mistake of another disgruntled gul, who attempted to make Dominion-unsanctioned personnel moves across the fleet and got executed along with his senior staff for his trouble, the conspirators hit upon a novel solution: why not draw from the ranks of Starfleet instead?
Thanks to the use of stolen Dominion sensor masks and other methods of avoiding detection, the four guls were able to take Starfleet prisoners aboard their ships, and relay them to an abandoned Cardassian Guard training camp on the planet of Lessek. To man what was for now a prison camp, a certain number of personnel were successfully transferred off of their ships--presumably by faking their deaths in combat.
The most senior of these was Glinn Zebreliy Va'Kust, who was placed in charge of overseeing the Starfleet prisoners. In part to sow the seeds of trust--or at least reduced suspicion--that would be necessary later for getting the buy-in of the Starfleet troops, Va'Kust ran the primitive, though adequate camp in accordance to the Seldonis Convention.
Following the introduction of the Breen energy-dissipating weapon, the main body of Starfleet was knocked out of the battle. By this time, the Trager had participated at Damar's behest in the Battle of Rondac III, requiring repairs at the Lessek drydock; the Romac and Sherouk were already present due to damage sustained at the Septimus Massacre. With the arrival of the Ghiletz, the time was right to give the ranking Starfleet officer, Lieutenant Commander Makis Spirodopoulos, the choice: join the rebellion, continue the fight where the rest of his people could not, or take refuge in the kelbonite-fistrium-laced hills, hopefully undetected by the Dominion until the end of the war.
Though furious at first, Spirodopoulos eventually decided to go for it, and won the acceptance--albeit grudging in some cases--of his fellow POWs. The Cardassian rebels then revealed the original nature of the training base...including weapons, military uniforms, and other accoutrements "accidentally" left behind by the Cardassian Guard's Vigilance Corps when they pulled out. The majority of the Starfleet soldiers adopted Cardassian armor from this point forward, though some refused for personal reasons.
That night, the Thirteenth Order was born in a traditional Cardassian toast Va'Kust designed along the lines of a boot-camp graduation ceremony. The name arose from a description in Gul Macet's speech that Spirodopoulos picked up on and thus immortalized.
The Battle of Lessek
The Thirteenth Order's first objective was to seize the Lessek shipyard, and from there, the orbital platforms and the newly-built Galor- and Laghur-class ships berthed there. The groundwork for this was laid by programmer Curam Iymender's extensive computer sabotage, which diminished the ability of base personnel to respond to the attack or call for help from the orbital platforms and Jem'Hadar vessels in orbit. Once Iymender's sabotage was detected, however, the base went on high alert. (Star Trek: Sigils and Unions--The Thirteenth Order)
- For further detail, see the Battle of Lessek.
The following commanders founded the Thirteenth Order:
- Gul Akellen Macet of the Trager
- Gul Tayben Berat of the Sherouk
- Gul Zejil Rebek of the Romac
- Gul Surtak Speros of the Ghiletz
- Lt. Cdr. Mike Spirodopoulos of the Petraeus
- A listing of Thirteenth Order members is available here.