Page 6 reveals that this story takes place in the summer of
Page 6 mentions the
Transamerica Pyramid. This is the name of a building in
San Francisco completed in 1972 for the Transamerica
Corporation, an insurance and investment firm. Page 7
describes the building as being 286 years old in 2255; this
includes the construction period of 1969-1972.
Page 8 mentions that the Transamerica
Pyramid's 48th floor is a conference room featuring a
360-degree view of the city. This is true.
On page 11, Jackie tells Will to call Aviation Safety
Systems to repair the pyramid beacon. This is probably
intended to be a fictional company made up for this story,
though there is a current-day company called
Aviation Safety Systems.
On page 12, Kirk, McCoy, and Glorak are clubbing on Chestnut
Street. This is a real street in San Francisco.
Glorak is a Tellarite, a species first seen in the original
series episode "Journey to Babel".
On page 14, the new holo-karaoke bar is called Delta
Quadrant. Presumably it is named after the so-called Delta
Quadrant of the Milky Galaxy, best known as the setting of
the TV series Star Trek: Voyager.
Page 18 describes a slushy green drink that Gaila orders at
the Delta Quadrant bar. This may be a Slusho drink as
mentioned in "Parallels" and
which has appeared
in two previous J.J. Abrams productions, the 2001-2006 TV
and the 2008 movie Cloverfield.
Page 19 describes a character named Braxim, a member of the
Xannon species. This does not appear to be a species
previously seen in the Star Trek universe.
Page 19 also describes the Starfleet Academy campus as being
on the grounds of the Presidio. But this does not appear to
be the case as described in the chronologically earlier
novel, The Edge.
Also on page 19, Uhura mentions the Powell Street shuttle.
This is likely a reference to Powell Station, which in
current times is a rapid transit and light rail station near
Market Street in San Francisco.
On page 20, McCoy remarks, "Good god, Jim, I'm a doctor, not
Page 23 mentions Russian Hill and the Marina District. These
are both real areas of San Francisco.
Apparently, you can still call 911 in an emergency in the
23rd Century, according to page 24!
On page 27, Dr. McCoy tells Gaila to take her hospital gown
off and Gaila tries to seductively insinuate he wants
something more by asking, "Is that a Code Seven medical
directive, Doctor?" Hospitals use various types of codes to
indicate different sorts of emergencies; in our own
time-frame though, I'm not aware of a standard meaning to
Page 32 introduces a Starfleet Academy scenario called
Derelict Cairo, involving a powerless
Constitution-class starship, the U.S.S. Cairo.
There was an Excelsior-class
U.S.S. Cairo in the ST-TNG episodes "Chain of
Command" Parts 1 and 2, and the ST-DS9 episode "In the Pale
Page 41 mentions that Kirk doesn't believe in no-win
scenarios. This references both
Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan, where Kirk tells Lt. Saavik
that he doesn't believe in the no-win scenario and the
rebooted timeline's "Parallels",
where Captain Pike tells Kirk that Kirk's father didn't
believe in no-win scenarios.
Apparently there are still paper magazines in the 23rd
Century, because Uhura is reading one on page 44. Print
Page 47 reveals that the Starfleet Academy motto is Ex
astris, scientia: "From the stars, knowledge."
Page 50 introduces SFPD Homicide Detective Harve Bogenn.
Possibly the name "Harve" comes from the producer/writer of
the original Star Trek films II-V, Harve Bennett.
On page 54, Detective Bogenn comments on attempting to
deconstruct voice patterns in the police department's VOX
database. VOX generally stands for data related to
On page 58, Dr. Reyjik mentions Amoeba proteus.
This is a common species of amoeba which behaves just as
depicted in the story.
Page 64 reveals that Kirk's favorite low-key off-campus
hangout is the beat-era coffeehouse Brewsky's at the corner
of Union and Fillmore. In our time, there is no "Brewsky's"
there, though there is the
Union Street Coffee Roastery, so that may have been
author Barba's inspiration for "Brewsky's".
Page 64 mentions a LiquiLED light box.
"LiquiLED" is a term used to describe liquid-filled LED
(Light-Emitting Diode) bulbs.
On page 65, Kirk asks for directions to Fisherman's Wharf.
This is a famous neighborhood and tourist draw on the San
Also on page 65, Kirk meets a Hupyrian, largely known as
servants of the Ferengi. The Hupyrians and Ferengi appeared
in episodes of the ST-TNG and ST-DS9.
On page 68, Hannah tells Kirk she's a graduate student in
botany at San
On page 77, Kirk reads an old news article about the serial
killer called the Doctor. It mentions an attack on a student
from USF. USF is
of San Francisco.
On page 79, Kirk jogs past the Palace of Fine Arts. This is
a real structure in the Marina District of San Francisco,
originally built as part of the 1915 Panama-Pacific
Exposition. After the exposition, it served a variety of
purposes over the decades. It was recently renovated
(completed in 2009) and continues to be a major attraction
for both tourists and locals.
Page 82 mentions Mount Zion Hospital. This is a real
hospital in San Francisco, officially known as
Page 84 reveals that Uhura has an Aunt Uhnu.
On page 92, Dr. McCoy says to Dr. Parag Chandar, "Parag, I'm
a doctor, not a computer scientist."
On pages 93-94 Kirk and Chandar discuss Clarke's Three Laws
and it's author, Arthur C. Clarke (1917-2008). Clarke was a
real world inventor and writer of science and
science-fiction; he was also famous for Clarke's Three Laws:
1.When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something
is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states
that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.
2.The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to
venture a little way past them into the impossible.
3.Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from
Page 95 describes Kirk's realization that he could always
count on McCoy to look at the human side of any equation.
This goes towards setting up the eventual triumvirate of
Kirk, Spock, and McCoy as officers aboard the Enterprise,
where McCoy embodies humanity and emotion, Spock logic, and
Kirk making command decisions between the two.
Page 103 mentions Nimitz Hall on the Academy campus. The
hall's name is probably a reference to U.S. Navy Fleet
Admiral Chester Nimitz (1885-1966).
Page 105 relates a 15-year ongoing campus prank involving
stealing a holo-bust of 22nd Century naval Rear Admiral
Carleton Schiller and displaying it personally, however
briefly, to earn prestige among one's fellow cadets. This
prank appears to have been borrowed by author Barba from a
tradition at the current day
College in Northside, Minnesota, to steal a bust of
Friedrich von Schiller (1759-1805), a German poet,
philosopher, historian, and playwright.
Page 111 reveals that Kirk's dorm is in Farragut Hall,
possibly a reference to the original timeline in which Kirk,
as a lieutenant, was posted to the U.S.S. Farragut
under Captain Garovick as revealed in the original series
episode "Obsession". In the rebooted timeline, it would seem
that Kirk did not serve any time on the Farragut,
instead graduating from the Academy to the rank of Captain
and taking command of the Enterprise (although the
Farragut does appear in The Gemini Agent
as part of the Zeta Fleet Training Exercise at the Academy;
in addition, Yi Sun-Sin Hall is said
to be Kirk's dorm in that book).
Page 113 reveals that Kirk's family grew wheat on their
Throughout the book, the Starfleet communicator is depicted
more like the modern-day cell phone than was seen in the
original series; it can receive voice calls, display the name of
who is calling, receive text messages, etc.
On page 118, Spock reflects on how the Academy cadets spend
an inordinate amount of time devising ways to humiliate each
other, but when one of them is imperiled, they become as
protective as a Hyborian mite colony. There does not appear
to have been any previous mentions of Hyborians in Star
Trek; possibly it is a reference to the prehistoric world of
the fictional Conan the Barbarian, who lived in "the
Page 126 reveals that Hannah likes to hike in the Marin
Hills north of the city every weekend. The Marin Hills
actually exist north of San Francisco in Marin County.
Page 126 also reveals that one reason Hannah broke up with
her former Starfleet cadet boyfriend is that he didn't like
the movie Casablanca.
Casablanca is a classic film noir romantic film from
1942 starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman.
Page 127 reveals that Kirk was born in Medical Shuttle 37
(as depicted in "Rebirth").
On page 128, Kirk and Hannah travel along Hyde, the
Powell-Hyde cable-car line, the Powell-Mason line, and Nob
Hill. These are all real parts of San Francisco.
Page 129 mentions Jackson Street, which is a real street in
Page 131 mentions the San Francisco National Cemetery. This
is a real cemetery in the city.
Page 133 mentions
Lights Bookstore on Columbus Avenue. This is a real
bookstore (and independent publisher) since 1953.
Page 134 mentions North Beach, the Financial District, and
Washington Square. These are all real parts of the city.
Page 135 has Kirk and Hannah on Green Street, another real
street in the city.
While Hannah comments on the Transamerica Pyramid on page
135, Kirk remarks that pyramids make great tombs and
casinos. He is referencing the many ancient historic
pyramidal tombs of Egypt, Central America, etc. and the
Luxor Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Page 138 reveals that Starfleet Academy's cryptology lab is
the best code-breaking unit in the known galaxy.
Page 138 also reveals that the Academy's science center is
called Hawking Hall. This is probably named after renowned
modern-day theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking.
Page 143 mentions that the Mongol Saints street gang is from
Oakland. Oakland is a real city on San Francisco Bay.
On page 147, Dr. Chandar suggests that the mysterious
nanites are interested only in human cells, investigating,
but not attacking, other types of cells. Then why do they
attack and devour the Amoeba proteus
on page 58?
On page 148, Dr. Chandar introduces McCoy to the concept of
gray goo, the idea that nanites could escape and devour the
entire world by consuming the matter of Earth (or other
planets) in order to produce more and more copies of
themselves. This is a real world concept originated in 1986
by molecular nanotechnology pioneer Eric Drexler. This, in
combination with the Amoeba proteus,
may be a nod to the original series episode "The Immunity
Syndrome", in which a stellar-sized amoeba is found to be
devouring planets by the crew of the Enterprise.
Page 150 reveals that Academy cadets wear a medallion on
their arms, underneath their clothing, that can be activated
to instantly transport them to an Academy transporter room
in an emergency.
Page 151 reveals that Starfleet Academy trains its cadets in
the martial art of Krav Maga, from the old Israeli Defense
Force combat system. This is an actual martial art taught to
IDF agents, developed by Imi Lichtenfeld in the 1930s.
On page 153, Kirk's team boards the Class F shuttle
Gilliam for the Tanika Station Scenario test. The
Gilliam later appears in the Star Trek movie,
shuttling cadets to the Enterprise to respond to
the distress call from Vulcan.
The cadets in the book make a few pig jokes at the expense
of the Tellarite, Glorak.
The description of the Tanika Station arboretum on page 163
is somewhat reminiscent of the Genesis cave seen in Star
Trek: The Wrath of Khan. One of the cadets on Kirk's
team who enters the station is even named Marcus, perhaps an
homage to the character of David Marcus in the
afore-mentioned film, who was revealed as Kirk's son.
On page 166, the vivid colors of the plant life of Tanika
Station remind Kirk of a Matisse watercolor. Henri Matisse
(1869-1954) was a French artist known for his use of color
Page 187 mentions an old Romulan military code cracked by
the United Earth Intelligence Agency almost 100 years ago. I
think UEIA was first mentioned in the Star Trek:
Enterprise TV series, but I have not been able to
On page 202, a group of SWAT units has surrounded the
Transamerica Pyramid. SWAT (Special Weapons And Tactics)
teams are elite units assigned to law enforcement divisions.
Page 211 mentions the nadion discharge of Kirk's phaser.
Nadions are fictional artificially-generated particles
produced by phasers and some other technologies of the
Star Trek universe.
Page 213 suggests that the Borg term for humans is Species
5618. This designation also appears in the
Star Trek: Voyager
episode "Dark Frontier".
Why was there a 20-year gap from the original killings by
the Doctor and those in the current story? It's never
Although it's not specifically stated, clues throughout the
story hint that the killer and his nanite
swarm in San Francisco may be an early indication of the
approach of the Borg (note such trigger words and phrases as "assimilated",
"Delta Quadrant", Species #'s, etc.). The Borg
appeared or were mentioned in all of the spin-off Star
Trek TV series of the original timeline: Star Trek:
The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine,
Star Trek: Voyager, and Star Trek: Enterprise.
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