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Series: Deep Space Nine (DS9 relaunch)
Author(s): Olivia Woods
Editor(s): Marco Palmieri & Margaret Clark
Publication information
Publisher: Pocket Books
Published: Paperback - August 2009
Pages: 301
ISBN: ISBN 1439107920
Date: 2377 & 2376

The Soul Key is a Star Trek: Deep Space Nine novel by Olivia Woods, published by Pocket Books in 2009. It is a continuation of the narrative in the so called DS9 relaunch series and brings to a conclusion the Iliana Ghemor/mirror universe story arc begun in the Worlds of Deep Space Nine novels "Bajor: Fragments and Omens" and "The Dominion: Olympus Descending", and continued in Warpath and Woods' previous novel Fearful Symmetry.


Publisher's description

From the back cover
There is a void in the alternate universe that demands to be filled. Iliana Ghemor, the Cardassian operative who years ago was altered in both body and mind to replace Kira Nerys, dreams of fulfilling a prophecy that will mark her as the one true Emissary of that other reality -- a messianic figure who could lead her followers into an era of renewed hope...or an age of deepening darkness.
Ghemor's claim to the mantle of the Emissary is by no means certain, however, as the inexorable pull of providence tugs also at other souls who are swept into the vortex of the Prophets, the remote and timeless beings who have set these strange events in motion.
But the stakes are higher than anyone imagines: for the outcome of this struggle for the fate of one universe will ripple across many others, and become the key to unlocking a future that will prove to be the greatest trial yet for the heroes of station Deep Space 9.


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In 2377, Ghemor appeared in the alternate universe, having gained Taran'atar as her new ally by controlling his thoughts. She ordered the Jem'Hadar to kill Intendant Kira and took her place. (DS9 novel: Warpath). According to the alternate version of Iliana Ghemor, the Intendant's impersonator intends to fulfill Trakor's First Prophecy, becoming the Emissary of the Prophets instead of Benjamin Sisko, who was seemingly killed some years prior. Ghemor arrived at the alternate Terok Nor in command of a fleet of Alliance ships, still under the guise of the Intendant.(DS9 novel: Fearful Symmetry) She then destroyed Bajor's capital of Ashalla and threatened continued destruction of the planet if the rebels did not capitulate the station, which they immediately did. Once in control of the station, she moved it toward the wormhole and placed herself in the airlock that would first touch the wormhole's event horizon in the hopes that she would complete the prophecy and become the Emissary. However Kira Nerys along with the mirror universe's Illiana Ghemor, in an attempt to stop her, were sucked out along with Iliana into the Celestial Temple where the mirror universe's Illiana was chosen as "the voice" or Emissary and Ghemor herself was chosen as "the fire" and was later summoned in an Ascendant's ritual where she was once more Cardassian. (DS9 novel: The Soul Key)




Primary universe characters
Julian BashirSam BowersEzri DaxEtana KolIliana Ghemor • Gordimer • Ke HovathKe IniriKira NerysMazagalanthiMikaela LeishmanAaron McCallumFellen Ni-YaleiiNogRaiqRo LarenShing-kurQuarkTariq RahimKrissten RichterBenjamin SiskoTaran'atarSimon TarsesTelalPrynn TenmeiElias Vaughn
Mirror universe characters
Dakahna Vaas • Skrain DukatMichael Eddington • Endar • Corbin EntekIliana GhemorKeiko Ishikawa • Jaro Essa • KurnMiles O'Brien • Opaka Sulan • Natima Lang • LeetaL'HaanMartokPennakLuther Sloan • Prynn Tenmei • Thirishar ch'Thane • Ezri Tigan • Elias Vaughn • Winn Adami
Referenced only 
Akorem LaanDakahna VaasDava NikendeCenn DescaCorbin EntekKaleen GhemorTekeny GhemorKira MeruKira PohlKira ReonKira TabanLi Nalas (mirror)Akellen Macet (mirror)OdoDrune Omek • Morad Pirak • Ataan RhukalShakaar EdonBenjamin Sisko (mirror)TrakorStrell Vekeer


Primary universe locations
Bajoran wormhole/Celestial TempleB'hava'el systemDeep Space 9Gamma QuadrantGrennokarhabitat ringHarkoum
Mirror universe locations
Akorem's RockBajorBajoran wormhole • Betreka Nebula • Raknal V • Raknal Station • Regulon • Terok NorVekobet • Yolja River
Ashalla • Ashalla (mirror) • Empok Nor (mirror)Fire CavesHedrikspool ProvinceIljarIreland • Korvat (mirror) • LetauTarluk V'hel

Starships and vehicles

Besinian freighter • Chutok-classDefiant (mirror)USS Defiant (Defiant-class) • Even OddsIKS Negh'Var (Negh'Var-class) • USS Rio Grande (Danube-class)
Referenced only 
Trager (mirror)

Races and cultures

Primary universe cultures
Mirror universe cultures
BajoranCardassian • Human • Klingon • Talarian • Vulcan
Referenced only 
BesinianChangeling • Mizarian (mirror) • Pah-wraith • Tzenkethi (mirror) • Eav'oq

States and Organizations

Bajoran Dissident Movement • Federation StarfleetKlingon-Cardassian AllianceObsidian Order (mirror)Terran RebellionUnited Federation of Planets
Referenced only 
Bajoran ParliamentDominionDominion (mirror)Federation AllianceObsidian OrderTerran Empire • Tzenkethi Coalition (mirror)

Ranks and titles

Emissary of the Prophetsintendantkaioverseer • Regent of the Alliance • supreme legate

Other references

ablative armoralternate universeAutarch of the Tzenkethi CoalitionBajoran prophecybaseballbaseball bat • Book of Ohalu • chesscloaking device • Code Black • Dal'Rokdeka tea • democracy • d'k tahgDominion WarFerengi Rules of Acquisitionfusionstonefusion coreholoframeholosuite • kellipate • ketracel-whiteklin zhakotralatinum • messiah • Neuropulse device • nya • nyawood • Occupation of Bajororb • orb fragment • Orb of Prophecy and ChangePaghvaramphaserplasma injector • porli • pulse phaser • pulse phaser cannon • quantum resonance signaturequantum torpedoShri-talshroud • situation table • Speculations on the Architecture of the Celestial TempleTarkalean teaTerran • The Troubles • turboliftwarp drivewarp fieldverteronVithi bulbvole • Yarim Fel Syndrome


Solicitation cover
  • Early solicitations for this book used a basic stand-in cover, featuring the USS Defiant in battle. Later promotion of the book utilised an unfinished version of the final cover; refinements made to the final included a more refined image of the wormhole in the background; a wider crop of the hand, with more forearm on the cover; and making the "The" in the title the same size as the rest of the title font.

Related stories

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine relaunch publications and stories
Novels A Stitch in TimeAvatarAbyssDemons of Air and DarknessTwilightThis Gray SpiritCathedralLesser EvilRising SonThe Left Hand of DestinyUnity • "Cardassia: The Lotus Flower" • "Andor: Paradigm" • "Trill: Unjoined" • "Bajor: Fragments and Omens" • "Ferenginar: Satisfaction is Not Guaranteed" • "The Dominion: Olympus Descending" • WarpathFearful SymmetryThe Soul KeyThe Never-Ending Sacrifice
Miniseries and anthologies The Lives of DaxDivided We FallMission GammaWorlds of Deep Space Nine (Volume One, Two & Three)
Short stories and novellas "Horn and Ivory" • "The Officers' Club"
Comics N-Vector • "Crossfire" • "No Quarter" • "All Fall Down" • "United We Stand"
Omnibuses Twist of FaithThese Haunted Seas
Stories featuring the mirror universe
Enterprise episode: "In a Mirror, Darkly" • prose: Age of the Empress • "Nobunaga"

The Original Series episode: "Mirror, Mirror" • comics: "... Promises to Keep" • "Double Image" • "Deadly Reflection!" • "The Tantalus Trap!" • "Masquerade!" • "Behind Enemy Lines!" • "The Beginning of the End..." • "Homecoming..." • Fragile GlassMirror Images ("Issue 1" • "Issue 2" • "Issue 4" • "Issue 5") • prose: SpectreDark VictoryPreserverThe Sorrows of Empire • "Ill Winds" • "The Greater Good" • video game: Shattered Universe
The Next Generation comic: "Mirror Images, Issue 3" • prose: Dark MirrorThreeThe Worst of Both Worlds • "The Traitor" • "The Sacred Chalice" • "For Want of a Nail"
Deep Space Nine episodes: "Crossover" • "Through the Looking Glass" • "Shattered Mirror" • "Resurrection" • "The Emperor's New Cloak" • comic: "Enemies & Allies" • prose: Dark PassionsWarpathSaturn's ChildrenFearful Symmetry • "A Terrible Beauty" • The Soul Key
Voyager prose: The Mirror-Scaled Serpent • "Bitter Fruit"
New Frontier comics: Turnaround ("Part I" • "Part II" • "Part III" • "Part IV" • "Part V") • prose: Cutting Ties • "Homecoming"
Klingon Empire prose: "Family Matters" Titan prose: "Empathy" Vanguard prose: "The Black Flag"
Miniseries and anthologies comics: The Mirror Universe SagaTurnaroundMirror Imagesprose: Mirror Universe TrilogyMirror Universe (Glass EmpiresObsidian AlliancesShards and Shadows)


The novel is set in 2377, starting concurrently with the final chapter of Side One of Fearful Symmetry. The novel also includes flashbacks detailing Iliana Ghemor's activities; these begin "nine months ago", shortly after Avatar and run through to "two days ago" with events parallel and adjacent to Unity, "Bajor: Fragments and Omens", "The Dominion: Olympus Descending", Warpath and Fearful Symmetry.

Published Order
Previous novel:
Fearful Symmetry
DS9 novels
Next novel:
The Never-Ending Sacrifice
Previous story:
Fearful Symmetry
Stories by:
Olivia Woods
Next story:
Chronological Order
Previous adventure:
Fearful Symmetry
Side One: Chapters 1-4, 6-9
Memory Beta Chronology Next adventure:
The above chronology placements are based on the primary placement in 2377.
The Memory Beta Chronology places events from this story in 5 other timeframe(s):
Previous adventure:
Nine months ago
Chapter 1 (sections 1-3)
Next adventure:
Previous adventure:
Always a Price
Three months ago
Chapter 1 (section 4) & Chapter 2 (section 1+2)
Next adventure:
Collective Hindsight
Previous adventure:
Bajor: Fragments and Omens
Chapters 3-4, 6, , 8-9, 13-14, 16-17, 19-20 & Epilogue

Chapter 2 (section 3)
Next adventure:
Previous adventure:
A Burning House
Eight weeks ago
Chapter 3
Next adventure:
Where Time Stands Still
Previous adventure:
Fearful Symmetry
Side One: Prolouge
Five-two days ago
Chapter 7-10
Next adventure:
Unimatrix Zero
Part II

External link

This article uses material from the "The Soul Key" article on the Memory-beta wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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