- This article concerns the Emissary of the Prophets. For other meanings, please see Emissary (disambiguation).
The Emissary of the Prophets is a pivotal figure in the Bajoran religion, who according to prophecy will save Bajor by finding the Celestial Temple and speaking with the Prophets. The Emissary has the authority to perform several Bajoran ceremonies and blessings, and is often looked to by the people for guidance. The annual holiday of Ha'mara celebrates the arrival of the Emissary. (DS9: "Emissary", "Starship Down", et al)
In the early 2330s the Prophets brought about the existance of Benjamin Sisko by possessing a woman named Sarah and having her bring about a child with Joseph Sisko. The resulting offspring was the pre-ordained Emissary of the Prophets.
The ancient texts concerning the Emissary say that the Prophets will "call him to them" and that they will "give him back his life." In 2369, Kai Opaka told Commander Benjamin Sisko after his arrival at Deep Space 9 that he was to be the Emissary, after reading his pagh. Opaka told Sisko that he must find the Celestial Temple, and warn the Prophets about the Cardassians. Shortly after, Sisko fulfilled the prophecies and became the Emissary by discovering the Bajoran wormhole and making contact with the beings within. During their contact, the Prophets helped him recover from the loss of his wife Jennifer Sisko at the Battle of Wolf 359, essentially "giving him back his life". ("Emissary")
As the Emissary, Sisko gained some much-needed legitimacy in his assignment to prepare Bajor for Federation membership. Although he was at first uncomfortable with being revered as a religious icon, he felt obliged to respect the Bajorans' beliefs, as did Starfleet. However, some Bajorans doubted the Prophets' choosing of a human as the Emissary, in particular Kai Winn Adami, who resented the fact that she must share the leadership of the Bajoran faith with an outsider and non-believer. She and Sisko would have an adversarial relationship, although she eventually begrudgingly admitted that he was the true Emissary. ("In the Hands of the Prophets", "Rapture")
For a brief time in 2372, Sisko willingly stepped aside when Akorem Laan emerged from the wormhole, having been transported two centuries into the future by the Prophets, and claimed himself to be the Emissary. The move was supported by Kai Winn, as Akorem was a native Bajoran and shared her orthodox beliefs. However, Akorem called for the reinstatement of the D'jarra caste system, which would have voided Bajor's application for Federation membership. An orb shadow experience and increased violence following Akorem's reforms prompted Sisko to challenge Akorem's claim to the title of Emissary. The two travelled into the wormhole, where the Prophets told them that "the Sisko" was their chosen Emissary, and that they sent Akorem into the future to remind him of that fact. ("Accession")
The role of Emissary took on a new, more crucial light in 2373, after Sisko received a series of pagh'tem'far, which allow him to discover the lost Bajoran city of B'hala. These visions also lead him to warn the Bajorans against accepting Federation membership, advice which would prove prophetic later that year when Bajor is spared from a Dominion invasion. The unearthing of B'hala would a year later yield an ancient stone tablet, bearing the inscription "Welcome Emissary." When Sisko approached the tablet, he received a vision which initiated the Reckoning, a cosmic duel between a Prophet and the Pah-wraith Kosst Amojan. The Emissary's purpose was to initiate this battle, as Sisko did when he shattered the tablet on Deep Space 9 (the "Gateway to the Celestial Temple") and released the beings inside. Sisko was willing to see the battle through to the end, but the battle was interrupted by Kai Winn. ("Rapture", "The Reckoning")
The next phase of the Emissary's path took place at the end of 2374, when the wormhole disappeared after Dukat released a Pah-wraith into the Orb of Contemplation. Promising to learn what had happened to them, Sisko returned to Earth and received a number of visions, leading him to find the Orb of the Emissary on the planet Tyree. The orb contained a Prophet who had once inhabited the body of Sarah Sisko, Benjamin Sisko's natural mother. From her, Sisko learned that his birth and role as the Emissary had been pre-ordained by the Prophets. When Sisko opened the Orb, the Prophet was released back into the Celestial Temple, where she cast out the malevolent being. ("Tears of the Prophets", "Image in the Sand", "Shadows and Symbols")
The Emissary's last and most difficult task came at the end of 2375. Dukat, who had became almost Sisko's antithesis through his connection with the Pah-wraiths, planned to release them from their prison inside the Fire Caves, an event which would unleash a new era of destruction. Disguising himself as a Bajoran named Anjohl Tennan, Dukat convinced Kai Winn to turn away from the Prophets and use her authority as kai to obtain the Book of the Kosst Amojan, the key to opening the Pah-wraiths' prison. Together, the two of them nearly succeeded, and the Pah-wraiths selected Dukat as their Emissary. However, Sisko was able to destroy the book by plunging it, himself, and Dukat into the flames, thus forever imprisoning the Pah-wraiths. As he was falling through the cave, Sisko was taken into the Celestial Temple to join the Prophets. The Emissary's task had been completed, though Sisko's own destiny was far from over. ("Penumbra", "Til Death Do Us Part", "Strange Bedfellows", "The Changing Face of Evil", "What You Leave Behind")