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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 DS9 relaunch series, particularly 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.


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.


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 surrender 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 Iliana Ghemor, in an attempt to stop her, were sucked out along with Iliana into the Celestial Temple where the mirror universe's Iliana 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.



Primary universe characters
Julian BashirSam BowersDava NikendeEzri DaxEtana KolIliana GhemorGordimerKe HovathKe IniriKira NerysMazagalanthiMikaela LeishmanAaron McCallumFellen Ni-YaleiiNogRaiqRo LarenShing-kurQuarkTariq RahimKrissten RichterRo LarenBenjamin SiskoTaran'atarSimon TarsesTelalPrynn TenmeiElias VaughnVotiq
Mirror universe characters
Dakahna VaasSkrain DukatMichael EddingtonEndarCorbin EntekIliana GhemorKeiko IshikawaJaro EssaKurnNatima LangLeetaL'HaanMartokMiles O'BrienOpaka SulanPennakAtaan RhukalLuther SloanPrynn TenmeiThirishar ch'ThaneEzri TiganElias VaughnWinn Adami
Referenced only
Akorem LaanDakahna VaasDava NikendeCenn DescaSkrain DukatCorbin EntekKaleen GhemorTekeny GhemorJaro EssaKira MeruKira PohlKira ReonKira TabanLupazaOdoDrune OmekMorad PirakRo GaleAtaan RhukalShakaar EdonTrakorStrell VekeerKasidy Yates
Mirror universe references
Julian BashirDava NikendeTekeny GhemorKe HovathKira NerysLi NalasLupazaAkellen MacetNogQuarkRo LarenBenjamin SiskoSpock


Primary universe locations
Bajoran wormhole/Celestial TempleB'hava'el systemDeep Space 9Gamma QuadrantGrennokarhabitat ringHarkoumQuark's
Mirror universe locations
BajorBajoran wormholeBetreka NebulaRaknal VRaknal StationRegulonTerok NorVekobet
Akorem's RockAndorAshallaAshallaBerengaria VIIElemspurEmpok Nor (mirror)FerenginarFire CavesHedrikspool ProvinceIljarIrelandKorvatLetauSidauSindorinTarluk V'helVale of Mists


Besinian freighterChutok-classDefiantUSS Defiant (Defiant-class) • Even OddsIKS Negh'Var (Negh'Var-class) • USS Rio Grande (Danube-class)
Referenced only
AldaraDenorios (Perikian-class interceptor) • River of BloodTrager

Races and cultures

Primary universe cultures
Mirror universe cultures
Referenced only

States and organizations

Bajoran dissident movementFederation StarfleetKlingon-Cardassian AllianceObsidian OrderTerran RebellionUnited Federation of Planets
Referenced only
Bajoran ParliamentDominionDominionFederation AllianceObsidian OrderTerran EmpireTzenkethi Coalition

Ranks and titles

Emissary of the ProphetsintendantkaioverseerRegent of the Alliancesupreme legate

Other references

ablative armoralternate universeantimatter injectorarchquesterAutarch of the Tzenkethi CoalitionBajoran prophecybaseballbaseball batBook of Ohaluchesscloaking deviceCode BlackDal'Rokdeka teademocracyd'k tahgDominion WarFerengi Rules of Acquisitionfusionstonefusion coreholoframeholosuitekellipateketracel-whiteklin zhakotralatinummessiahmobaneuro-pulse devicenya treenyawoodOccupation of Bajoroperations situation tableorborb fragmentOrb of Prophecy and Changepaghpaghvaramphaserplasma injectorporlipulse phaserpulse phaser cannonquantum resonance signaturequantum torpedoshatterframeshri-talshroudSpeculations on the Architecture of the Celestial Templesubspace transporterTarkalean teaTerrantransparent aluminumThe TroublesturboliftUnnameablewarp drivewarp fieldverteronVithi bulbvoleYarim 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.
  • Cross Cult released a German language edition of The Soul Key in 2013. The cover featured Iliana Ghemor holding the paghvaram, the titular "soul key".



Star Trek: Deep Space Nine relaunch publications and stories
Novels A Stitch in TimeAvatar, Book One‎Avatar, Book TwoAbyssDemons of Air and DarknessTwilightThis Gray SpiritCathedralLesser EvilRising SonThe Left Hand of Destiny, Book OneThe Left Hand of Destiny, Book TwoUnity • "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 SacrificeThe MissingSacraments of FireAscendanceForce and MotionThe Long MirageEnigma TalesOriginal Sin
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" • Lust's Latinum Lost (and Found)Rules of AccusationI, The Constable
Comics N-Vector • "Crossfire" • "No Quarter" • "All Fall Down" • "United We Stand"
Omnibuses Twist of FaithThese Haunted Seas
Related Star Trek: Section 31Star Trek: Terok NorStar Trek: DestinyStar Trek: Typhon PactStar Trek: The FallStar Trek: Coda
Stories featuring the mirror universe
Enterprise episode: "In a Mirror, Darkly" • prose: Age of the Empress • "Nobunaga"
Discovery episodes: "Into the Forest I Go" • "Despite Yourself" • "The Wolf Inside" • "Vaulting Ambition" • "What's Past Is Prologue" • "Terra Firma" • comics: Succession ("Issue 1" • "Issue 2" • "Issue 3" • "Issue 4")
The Original Series episode: "Mirror, Mirror" • comics: Hell's MirrorThe Mirror Universe Saga ("... 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") • "The Mirror, Crackedprose: SpectreDark VictoryPreserverThe Sorrows of Empire • "Ill Winds" • "The Greater Good" • video game: Shattered Universe
Kelvin timeline comics: Mirrored ("Part 1" • "Part 2") • "Parallel Lives, Part 2" • Live Evil ("Part 1" • "Part 2" • "Part 3")
The Next Generation comics: "Mirror Images, Issue 3" • Mirror Universe Collection (TNG - Mirror Broken comics: "Origin of Data", "Prelude", "Issue 1", "Issue 2", "Issue 3", "Issue 4", "Issue 5" • TNG - Through the Mirror comics: "Issue 1", "Issue 2", "Issue 3", "Issue 4", "Issue 5" TNG - Ripe for Plunder comics: "Chapter One", "Chapter Two", "Chapter Three", "Chapter Four", "Chapter Five" • TNG - Terra Incognita comics: "Issue 1", "Issue 2", "Issue 3", "Issue 4", "Issue 5", "Issue 6") • ST: The Mirror War: "Issue 0", "Issue 1", "Issue 2", "Data", "Issue 3", "Issue 4", "Geordi", "Issue 5", "Issue 6", "Issue 7" • prose: Dark MirrorThreeThe Worst of Both Worlds • "The Traitor" • "The Sacred Chalice" • "For Want of a Nail" • Rise Like Lions
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 • "Freedom Angst" • Disavowed
Voyager prose: The Mirror-Scaled Serpent • "Bitter Fruit" • comic: "Mirrors & Smoke"
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 RPG sourcebook: Through a Glass, Darklycomics: The Mirror Universe SagaTurnaroundMirror Imagesprose: Mirror Universe TrilogyMirror Universe (Glass EmpiresObsidian AlliancesShards and Shadows)


Published Order
Previous novel:
Fearful Symmetry
DS9 novels (post-finale) Next novel:
The Never-Ending Sacrifice
Previous story:
Fearful Symmetry
Stories by:
Olivia Woods
Next story:
most current work
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:
Invincible, Part Two
9 months ago
chapter 1 (sections 1-3)
Next adventure:
Previous adventure:
Always a Price
3 months ago
chapter 1 (section 4) & chapter 2 (section 1+2)
Next adventure:
Collective Hindsight, Book One
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
8 weeks ago
chapter 3
Next adventure:
Where Time Stands Still
Previous adventure:
Fearful Symmetry
Side One: prologue
days ago
chapter 7-10
Next adventure:
Unimatrix Zero
Part II

External link