Rawlins served in the Dominion attack on Char and subsequent rescue of the deinfested Sarah Kerrigan. When Arcturus Mengsk came to claim her and Valerian's forces rebelled, Rawlins sided with Valerian. During a gambit to avoid the Dominion fleet, Rawlins helped fake the suicide run of the battlecruiser Herakles into the Dominion fleet. Raynor's Raiders crewmember Annabelle Thatcher was unaware that the Herakles crew had been evacuated, and Rawlins held her as the ship exploded. Only after the fact did Rawlins inform her of their ruse.
Later, as they entered the Kirkegaard Belt, Rawlins and Thatcher debated arming the Fanfare. They expressed worry over navigating the Bucephalus through the belt, when Thatcher kissed him. The two set up a dinner after they docked.
Rawlins carefully navigated the Bucephalus through the field with minimal damage (though too slow for Doctor Emil Narud), and ended up as Asteroid 3958, the home of Space Station Prometheus. However, they were betrayed by the Moebius personnel within to the Dominion, and the ship's captain Everett Vaughn ordered Rawlins to plot a course away from the station.
In the aftermath, Thatcher was killed by stray psionic energy from Sarah Kerrigan. The crews of the Hyperion and the Bucephalus both stated that they would tell Rawlins exactly what happened to her, though they knew he would not take it well.