- "The short rod was odder still. Embedded in its transparent casing was a violent glitter, looking decorative; Miles was sure microscopic examination would reveal fine dense circuitry. One end of the device was plain, the other covered with a seal which was itself locked in place."
- ―Miles' first close look at the Great Key[src]
The Great Key was a part of the Cetagandan regalia, along with the Great Seal. It was the sole repository of the keys for decoding the Cetagandan database of haut genetic information, and as such was used every day by the haut women of the Star Creche.
Its theft near the beginning of the events of Cetaganda was a major part of the story.