Iliana Ghemor is a Cardassian female, the daughter of Tekeny Ghemor and the cousin of Alon Ghemor. She was an operative of the Obsidian Order and disappeared on Bajor in 2361 while on an assignment to infiltrate the Bajoran Resistance. Ghemor was held prisoner for fourteen years by Gul Dukat until she escaped. Ghemor later became leader of the Ascendants.
Iliana Ghemor was born into the privileged upper class of Cardassian society, the daughter of Tekeny and Kaleen Ghemor. After her father, Tekeny, was promoted to Legate and made a member of Central Command, Iliana made him a bone carving. Her father believed she was a gifted artist. (DS9 episode: "Second Skin") Ghemor led a sheltered life, had idealistic visions of Cardassian society, of the controversial occupation of Bajor, and other similar issues. Despite societal expectations that she would go on to public service, Ghemor, with the blessing of her parents, moved to Pra Menkar to continue her artistic studies. Shortly before she moved there, Ghemor became betrothed to her childhood friend, Ataan Rhukal, who left for a military rotation on Bajor around the same time. Two years into his rotation, Rhukal was killed in a bombing carried out by the Shakaar resistance cell. Ghemor was shocked by the news, and following up on an earlier encounter with Corbin Entek, she returned to the capital to enlist in the Obsidian Order. (DS9 novel: Fearful Symmetry)
The Obsidian OrderEdit
Iliana joined the Order as she wanted to serve the Union and do her duty for her people as a way to atone for, in her mind, the blindness and arrogance that resulted from her idealistic early years. (DS9 novel: Fearful Symmetry)
Corbin Entek supervised Iliana's training for a position in the Order during her training. In 2361, Ghemor volunteered to become a sleeper agent for the Order on Bajor. Ghemor was uniquely qualified for this assignment, as she shared some similar biological morphologies with the Bajoran she was intended to replace: Kira Nerys. The Order used Mindur Timot's technology to erase her memories and replace them with Kira's. (DS9 episode: "Second Skin", DS9 novel: A Stitch in Time, DS9 novel: Fearful Symmetry)
After being surgically altered, but before the switch with Kira was made, Skrain Dukat intervened on behalf of his former lover, Kira Meru, whose daughter he had been watching over for most of her life. Dukat took Ghemor to a Cardassian prison on Letau, knowing exactly who she was while Ghemor still thought she was Kira Nerys. (DS9 novel: Fearful Symmetry)
Dukat kept Ghemor completely isolated in a secret sublevel of the prison of Letau that was known only to himself and the warden of the prison, Dal Rokai. Dukat used her as a sexual plaything, raping and beating her to satiate his sadistic cravings, for the next fifteen years. Ghemor had nothing to hold onto, except for the certainty of who she was: Kira Nerys.
The last time that she saw Dukat, he was in the guise of Anjohl Tennan, and this prompted memories in Ghemor that she could not tie down to a time or place. These memories were from her life as Iliana Ghemor, whom she had no knowledge of at the time, still believing herself to be Kira Nerys.
On the final day of the Dominion War, Letau came under attack by the Jem'Hadar, under orders to exterminate the Cardassian people. The attack damaged her holding cell enough for her to escape. Ghemor joined forces with four other escaped inmates to find a way off the moon. A captured Dal Rokai gave them entry into a locked room on the sublevel where Ghemor had been held, which was a failsafe Dukat had installed when he was warden of Letau, providing all the comforts he could want, along with various other technologies and information of interest. Ghemor discovered records of Kira Nerys, and learned about a life that she felt she had been robbed of. She also found files labeled 'Iliana,' which prompted her memories of Iliana Ghemor to return to her.
Though she now remembered her life as Iliana Ghemor, she still retained her memories as Kira Nerys. Ghemor threw off her old name and old life, taking the name Kira Nerys for her own, and making a personal vow to kill any other Kira Nerys she could, feeling that they had intruded on her right to exist as who she was. A Dominion transporter took Ghemor and her four companions to Harkoum, and none was heard from again for over a year. (DS9 novel: Fearful Symmetry)
In 2371, the Order kidnapped Kira Nerys and told Tekeny she was Iliana. They hoped he would help her escape, giving them the opportunity to interrogate him and expose his links to the dissident movement. (DS9 episode: "Second Skin")
Soon after, Skrain Dukat and Weyoun arrived on the station, hoping to get Tekeny to return to Cardassia Prime, before he revealed important information to Kira. Dukat told Tekeny that Iliana was alive and that he knew where to find her.
In 2376, Ghemor used hired mercenaries to attack Sidau village in Hedrikspool Province on Bajor, where she kidnapped Ke Hovath, his wife Ke Iniri, and stole the Paghvaram. (DS9 novel: Bajor: Fragments and Omens)
Ghemor took the Paghvaram because she believed that it was the key to unlocking other parallel universes, by which means she could reach and kill the Kira Nerys of every reality. In 2377, Ghemor appeared in the mirror universe, having gained Taran'atar as her new ally by controlling his thoughts. She ordered the Jem'Hadar to kill Intendant Kira Nerys and took her place. (DS9 novel: Warpath).
According to Ghemor's mirror universe counterpart, she intended to fulfill Trakor's First Prophecy, becoming the Emissary of the Prophets instead of Benjamin Sisko, who had been killed in 2371. Ghemor arrived at the Terok Nor in command of a fleet of Klingon-Cardassian 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 and the mirror Illiana, in an attempt to stop her, were sucked out along with Iliana into the Celestial Temple, where the mirror Illiana was chosen as "the voice" or Emissary. 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)
- DS9 episode: "Second Skin"
- DS9 - Worlds of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine novel: Bajor: Fragments and Omens
- DS9 novel: Warpath
- DS9 novel: Fearful Symmetry
- DS9 novel: The Soul Key
- DS9 novel: Sacraments of Fire
- DS9 novel: Ascendance