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Soul Fragment
In Speculative Fiction, during a conflict or other key moments, a part of a person's Soul or Power Source is unintentionally transferred to another character via Applied Phlebotinum. This process will often provide Party B with a fraction of Party A's powers, memories, and mannerisms.

Similar to, yet distinct from, a Soul Jar. A relative of Personality Swap and In the Blood

If the two characters are enemies, expect a Not So Different speech at some point. May result in Synchronization.


Examples

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    Anime & Manga 

     Comic Books 
  • In The New Universe comic Star Brand, anyone who has the Brand transferred to them or is healed by the current wielder of the Brand will eventually have it completely manifest in them.
  • Fone Bone and Thorn have a piece of the Locust in them during their conflict in Bone.
  • In Fantastic Four #51, "This Man, This Monster", a scientist uses a "duplication device" to physically model himself after Ben Grimm, but when he sacrifices himself to save Reed Richards, Reed speculates that he may have gotten some part of Ben Grimm other than his skin.
  • ElfQuest:
    • Redlance and Nightfall join their souls together. This doesn't appear to have any outward effects (e.g., she doesn't gain his tree-shaping abilities) — they do it so they can never be parted even in death.
    • Later in Elf Quest, Rayek absorbs Winnowill's soul. This has far less benign consequences because Winnowill is thoroughly deceiving and malicious, and Rayek has to constantly struggle to prevent her taking control of his body. And he doesn't always win.
  • Rogue of the X-Men gets bits of people's memory and personality when she absorbs their powers.
  • During the DC Comics storyline Our Worlds At War, Wonder Woman rallies the other Amazons and Darkseid in helping Superman push Warworld into a Boom Tube to the beginning of time. When it's all said and done, Wondy tells Darkseid that she infected him with a piece of her soul, forever a reminder that if he does something nice, it's because a piece of her was in him. Didn't last, obviously.
  • Superior Spider-Man: Otto Octavius gains Peter Parker's memories and experiences through their "Freaky Friday" Flip.

    Fan Fiction 
  • In the crossover fanfic My Little Denarians, Harry Dresden giving each of the Mane Six (technically Outsiders in this setting) a piece of his soul is what protects them from Discord's meddling with their show's script back on Earth by endowing them with human-style free will. (And earns Harry a "what were you thinking?" reaction from the Gatekeeper when the latter learns of it.)

    Film 
  • Agent Smith attributes a bit of Neo in him to his survival and powers in The Matrix sequels.
  • The Steve Martin/Lilly Tomlin film All of Me.
  • In Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan , Spock puts his mind into McCoy.
    Spock: "Remember."
  • Data loads part of himself into his B-4 counterpart in Star Trek: Nemesis.
  • The Green Mile: John gives a "part of himself" to Paul.
  • Exorcist II The Heretic: Reagan has psychic powers as a result of her possession along with the spirit of Father Marrin.
  • Lifeforce: The Space Vampire gave a part of herself to Carlson in order to understand humanity, resulting in a telepathic connection.
  • Highlander: Endgame, after Duncan beheads Connor, he absorbs Connor's swordsmanship skills and perhaps a bit more judging my the morphing effect during the final fight were Connor's face is briefly seen over top of Duncan's.
  • In A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master, Freddy Krueger manipulates Kristen into giving her powers (which allow her to pull others into her dreams) to her friend Alice as she dies. This allows Freddy to use Alice's dreams to stalk new victims (he could previously only get at the ones whose parents killed him), and he starts killing off all her friends. It takes Alice a while to realize it, but a small part of each victim stays with her; she starts talking and acting like her dead friends and even develops some of their skills. This grants her a level in badass.
    Freddy Krueger: You've got their powers, I've got their souls. Come on!

    Literature 
  • Harry Potter has a number of Lord Voldemort's powers as a result of this. The reason for this is only explained much later: Harry became one of Voldemort's Horcruxes when Voldemort tried to kill him as a baby.
  • The Lord of the Rings
    • J.R.R. Tolkien's notes included the possibility that Morgoth had created the Balrogs and the Orcs out of the fragments of himself. There is some textual evidence for this. It is specifically noted that by the end of the war, Morgoth had become much weaker than he was initially- presumably due to spreading his soul too thin.
    • Morgoth's right-hand-man and ultimate successor, Sauron, did split off part of himself to make the One Ring. This part of Sauron will attempt to overwrite the personality of anyone using the Ring- and eventually, anyone in the general vicinity.
  • Lash in the Dresden Files is a copy of the fallen angel Lasciel, imprinted onto Harry's brain.
  • In Mistborn, hemalurgic spikes can confer upon their recipient a variety of abilities stolen from the person they were killed with, along with a fragment of their soul. They also can damage the bearer's sanity and subject them to control or influence via allomancy or the powers of Ruin.

     Live Action TV 
  • A Freaky Friday episode of Smallville had a piece of Clark left in Lionel after the Snapback swap which cured him and redeemed his character.
  • Doctor Who:
    • In the Hartnell-era story "The Savages", the Doctor encounters a civilisation which has eternal youth and great technological achievement through sapping life energy from an underclass. When he questions the morality of this they take him to the machine, drain his vitality and transfer it into a single test subject, who (unfortunately for him) ends up uncontrollably flipping in and out of a slightly garbled version of the Doctor's personality, memories and mannerisms as a result.
    • In series one, a Dalek uses Rose's DNA (altered by her being a time traveler) to repair itself. However, this also causes it to lose its "purity" and begin acting in a more human manner. This drives it to suicide.
    Dalek (horrified): You gave me life. What else have you given me?!
    • In the fourth series finale of Doctor Who, "Journey's End", Donna gets bits of the Doctor's mind mixed up with hers, and a part-human copy of the Doctor is created who has bits of Donna's mind.
  • Farscape:
    • John Crichton to Scorpius.
    • Also Aeryn ending up with residual Pilot DNA might count, as it gives her an instinctive understanding of Moya's systems and the ability to interact with Moya in a way that previously only Pilot could.
  • Babylon 5:
    • Sheridan carried a piece of Kosh for a period after being literally Touched by Vorlons.
    • Lyta Alexander was also touched by Vorlons, and on occasion served as a transport for fragments of Kosh and his successor.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • Ben and Glory. It also demonstrated that it went both ways, unfortunately.
    • Previously on Buffy, Willow suggests that perhaps The Master implanted a bit of himself onto Buffy. Xander refers to it as "Mystical Bad Guy Transference Thing".
  • In the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The Offspring", Data transfers Lal's memory core into his neural net after her emotional overload. He is able to use a contraction for the first time afterwards.
  • An episode of Eerie Indiana in which an Ill Girl fell in love with a risk-taking skateboarder. When he forgot to Look Both Ways, he died and she got his heart for the transplant she needed. She then proceeded to act like him, skateboarding recklessly and carving graffiti on the desks. Somewhat unusually for the show, this is treated as Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane up until the end of the episode.
  • Practically the premise of Max Headroom.
  • In the fifth season of Sliders, part of Quinn's essence gets absorbed into one of his alternates on a different world, due to an experiment by a scientist working on merging worlds. This plot device was the show's way of dealing with the fact that Jerry O'Connell had left the show.

     Tabletop RPG 
  • In Mage: The Awakening, mages can create physical objects which are fragments of their souls to gain certain powers. The major downside of this is the consequences should another mage manage to get a hold of your soul stone. Besides being able to drain your Mana, have a strong connection through which to do sympathetic magic, and a degree of access to your own powers, you become the other mage's "Thrall"; essentially, you gain a vague proclivity to performing any task you are set by the holder of your soul stone (although mage traditions hold that you have to give the soul stone back after getting three requests).
  • Mage: The Ascension, ties all magic and the existence of "consensus reality" to the Avatar, a fragment of divine consciousness that exists in all humans. The "Sleepers" are mortals whose Avatars merely filter consensus through to define reality, whereas the mages have "Awakened" Avatars that allow them to twist reality to their liking. There are also a couple of merits (Twin Souls, Shattered Avatar) where your Avatar is part of a matched set.
  • The titular Exalted receive their powers through a "third soul" that effectively grafts itself onto their consciousness. Solars, Lunars, Sidereals, Abyssals and Infernals all receive these shards, and usually experience memories from the lives of past shard bearers. Alchemicals have Exaltations made of refined souls that are "installed" with them at creation. The only exception are the Dragon-Blooded, who usually receive the Exaltation through familial lines.
  • The Illithids, aka Mind Flayers, of Dungeons & Dragons. They reproduce by inserting an illithid "tadpole" into the ear of a sentient humanoid. The tadpole then consumes the brain, commandeers the nervous system, and converts the body into a new Mind Flayer. This isn't supposed to result in this trope, as the new creature retains no skills or memories from the old, but occasionally one will retain a habit from the host, like cracking its knuckles when nervous, or catch itself humming a tune the victim knew. Illithids try to hide this behavior, as one of their most legendary enemies was a human whose personality somehow survived assimilation completely intact and used their Psychic Powers against them, and they don't want to think it's possible for this to happen again.

     Video Games 
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Zelda transfers her magical powers to Midna at a particular point in the game, which at the end allows Ganon to possess her.
  • Persona 3:
    • When Chidori dies saving Junpei from certain death, he gets a small piece of her life-essence. In-game, this translates to an automatic ability that recovers a small amount of HP.
    • And in a reverse instance: after spending ten years sealed inside the Main Character, the Appraiser of Death gained enough humanity to become sympathetic to their plight, giving them a choice about The End of the World as We Know It, and being rather benevolent and supportive for an Eldritch Abomination about to bring about death to them and everyone on the planet.
  • In Baldur's Gate II: Throne of Bhaal, the main character is forced to give a piece of his/her soul to fellow bhaalspawn Sarevok in order to enlist his aid. Alternatively, Imoen can part with a piece of her soul in the main character's place, which, provided you bring both along, causes a later banter about if the soul piece has made Sarevok feel any different, to which he replies that he's gotten slightly more fond of the colour pink than he seems to remember being previously, as well as fretting about his weight and possibly having an acne breakout. He also gets her memories of her treatment back at Chateau Irenicus, which naturally don't bother him at all... but does spook her when he brings it up.
  • The entire first half of Tales of Hearts is about what became of the various fragments of Kohak's soul. An astronomer absorbs her fear, causing him to fear that the moon is falling; an artist absorbs her doubt and thinks everyone is out to cheat her; a noblewoman absorbs her sadness and wants to commit suicide, etc.
  • In City of Heroes: Warwolves, Galaxy troopers, and Void Hunters are made by implanting a Nictus fragment into the body of a human being. These fragments are the remains of a deceased Nictus and are shown to still have a life of their own.

     Webcomics 
  • TwoKinds: After Natani's soul was fragmented by an evil mage, a piece of his brother's soul was used to hold the remnants together. Because one of the missing soul-fragments was Natani's gender identity, "he" thinks of himself as male—and does his best to ensure everyone else does, too. Though more and more people seem to be finding out the secret.

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