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I was trying to word the question so the title is not a spoiler, but also so it was not too vague. I am assuming that any person concerned with spoilers would stop reading at this point.

In Deep Space 9 S3E21, the Romulan/Cardassian fleet realize they have been tricked when 150 Jem'Hadar ships appear from a nearby nebula. Their 20 ships are vastly outnumbered and they are annihilated in battle. Why didn't the Romulans re-cloak and leave? They stated earlier in the episode that the Jem'Hadar cannot detect them as long as they keep their warp speed low. They had plenty of time to cloak and leave before the Jem'Hadar ships arrived from the nebula, so why did they sit still and allow themselves to be destroyed?

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  • If you want to hide spoilers you can hide paragraphs of text with spoiler markdown, add >! at the front like you would with quotes. Though only hide anything spoilerish, if after reading the episode they see spoilers by clicking on them then that's their own fault. – TheLethalCarrot Jan 11 at 9:47
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A possible explanation was offered by 'Colonel Lovok', when Garak suggested they withdraw:

GARAK: The Jem'Hadar will destroy every ship if we stay. Our only hope is to return to the Alpha Quadrant.

LOVOK: There's no way out of here, Garak. The Jem'Hadar have cut us off. We need to consolidate the fleet and make our stand here.

However...

... we can't overlook the fact that 'Lovok' was subsequently revealed to be a Changeling imposter, whose mission was to ensure that the Romulan and Cardassian ships fell into the Dominion's trap. And since he was also ostensibly in command of the Romulan ships, all he had to do to ensure that they didn't cloak and withdraw was not give the order for them to do so.

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    Lovak's true nature contributed but star trek is notorious for not maneuvering in 3 dimensions like this as well. – lucasbachmann Jan 11 at 16:56
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    This was precisely my thought. He ordered them to the firing squad and then ordered them to stand their ground while being shot at. – Valorum Jan 11 at 18:43
  • Yeh, that's the risk when you fight changelings. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Jan 12 at 1:27

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