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Before he was an officer aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise...

An android is found in the ruins of a colony on Omicron Theta. The crew of the Tripoli reactivate the android and discover his name is Data, a name that suits his incredible curiosity. With the encouragement of his new friends, Data applies to Starfleet Academy and is accepted.

Cadet Data begins his journey to Starfleet Academy aboard the science vessel, Yosemite. Even as he looks forward to the Academy, he struggles to find his own identity and to fit in with the other cadets.

But Data's worries are cut short when the Yosemite is suddenly attacked by an unknown vessel and suffers severe damage. When power is restored, Data discovers that the adult crew has mysteriously disappeared, and only Data and the other Academy-bound cadets are left to face the wrath of a new alien race... who are demanding that Data and his cadet crew surrender their ship, or be destroyed!


Data is discovered on Omicron Theta by the USS Tripoli and its captain, Thorsson, recommends he attend Starfleet Academy. After taking years to be accepted, he boards the USS Yosemite for transport, along with four Yann, members of a race of near-identical clones who have only recently become involved in galactic affairs.

During the voyage, everyone on board apart from the five disappears during an encounter with the alien Opsarra. With the ship's propulsion also down, Data poses as the ship's commanding officer in order to negotiate with the Opsarra. The aliens transport a group of robot troopers onboard the ship but Data is able to disable them with help from one of the Yann, Sinna, by increasing the gravity in the parts of the ship where they are.

The Opsarra threaten to destroy the Yosemite and the other crew urge Data, who has restored phaser power, to fire first. However, Data deduces that the Opsarra have undergone a similar incident and the ones they have been negotiating with are inexperienced crew deprived of their senior officers, the threat to destroy them being a bluff. The two crews work together to locate an energy field they passed through when their officers vanished and Data manages to damage it with a concentrated phaser blast in order to attract its creators' attention.

The Yosemite is contacted by S'rannit of the T'chakat, who explains that their race set up the field as a defence against hostile aliens. Convinced of their benevolence by their concern for their fellow crew, the T'chakat agree to return all the missing crew and give them time to repair their ships and leave. Sinna thanks Data for giving her the courage to move out of her people's uniformity.



DataFelaiHerbert T. GriffithsLagonMcAvennieOdrilKathy Lou ReynoldsRumielTim SahmesSinnaS'rannitJon Jakob Thorsson
Referenced only
Frederick Ingraham


Omicron Theta
Referenced only
Starbase 93Tellarion IVYannora

Starships and vehicles

USS Tripoli (Hokule'a-class) • USS Yosemite (Oberth-class)
Referenced only
USS Agamemnon (Apollo-class)

Races and cultures


States and organizations

FederationStarfleetStarfleet Academy

Science and technology

artificial gravitybiobedcaptain's chairclonecommunicator badgecomputeremitter arrayenergy fieldgravityintercomlife supportpattern bufferphaserpositronic brainrobotsensorshieldssubspace communicationstransportertricorderturboliftviewscreenvirus

Ranks and titles

cadetcaptaincommandercommunications officerdoctorhelmsmannavigatorscience officertransporter chief

Other references

auxiliary controlbeardbridgecargo baycolonyduraniumfirst contactloungeready roomsectorsickbayStarfleet uniformthree-dimensional chesstransporter roomyellow alert


published order
Previous novel:
Atlantis Station
TNG books Next novel:
Secret of the Lizard People
chronological order
Previous Adventure:
Wildfire, Book 2
Chapter 8, Section 4
Pocket Next Adventure:
Secret of the Lizard People
The above chronology placements are based on the primary placement in 2341.
The Pocket Books Timeline places events from this story in one other timeframe:
Previous Adventure:
Well of Souls
Next Adventure:
Chapter 14, Section 6