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The Delta Anomaly was the first book in the Starfleet Academy series. A young adult novel, by Rick Barba, the book was published by Simon Spotlight in trade paperback, hardcover and eBook formats in November 2010. The novel was the first original prose publication set in the Kelvin timeline.

Publisher's description

From the back cover
After a rough week at Starfleet Academy, James T. Kirk and his friends blow off steam at San Francisco's hottest new club. Their good times come to a screeching halt, however, when one of the cadets is attacked by someones who seemingly appears out of thin air.
Bones and his medical team save the cadet's life, but they uncover the horrifying consequences of the attack. Meanwhile, Starfleet's investigation reveals the assailant is actually a brutal serial killer from the past - a mysterious entity known only as the Doctor. Who is the Doctor, and why has he returned after disappearing more than twenty years ago?
At the urging of Commander Spock, Cadet Uhura is called to decipher a message from the Doctor. Spock has no idea that by enlisting Uhura's help, he has placed her firmly in the Doctor's sights.
Before long Kirk, Uhura and Bones are caught up in the Doctor's dangerous web as they race against time to stop the killer before he strikes again.


San Francisco, summer 2255: Jacqueline Madkins, head of security at the Transamerica Pyramid, investigates when the beacon chamber camera goes offline; a cloud of black smoke renders her unconscious. Starfleet Academy Cadets James T. Kirk, Leonard McCoy and Glorak, a Tellarite, visit a new holo-karaoke bar, the Delta Quadrant. Also at the club are Cadets Uhura and Gaila; the Orion woman is extremely drunk. Kirk, McCoy, Glorak and the Xannon Cadet Braxim plan to escort Gaila to her dorm, but Uhura discovers that she has left through the restroom window. The five cadets search for her; Kirk and Braxim find her in an alley being attacked by a huge figure of black smoke. The creature attacks Kirk, but when Braxim approaches with his open communicator, having called 911, the creature speaks to Braxim in an unknown language and then vanishes.

At Starfleet Medical College, McCoy examines Gaila, discovering a black residue on her skin and a contaminant in two of her internal organs, one of which is unique to Orion females. At Command College, Team Delta, led by Kirk, takes on Cadet Viktor Tikhonov's Team Alpha in the Advanced Tactical Training Security mission final, the Derelict Cairo scenario. McCoy and Dr. Naamba Reyjik analyze a sample of the substance from Gaila's body, which tries to escape the quantum containment chamber; meanwhile, the remaining contaminant vanishes from Gaila's body. Tikhonov wins the Security challenge, distracting Kirk while sneaking up on him through a turbolift shaft.

Uhura and Kirk are summoned to Vice Admiral Tullsey's office, where they meet Homicide Detective Harve Bogenn of the San Francisco Police Department. Another Orion woman was attacked the previous evening and did not survive. Bogenn tells them of a serial killer known as the Doctor who terrorized San Francisco in 2237, removing internal organs without leaving incisions. The dead Orion woman is missing two organs. On the recommendation of Commander Spock, Uhura's instructor, Bogenn asks her to analyze the language spoken by the creature in the recordings of Braxim's and the dead woman's 911 calls. McCoy, Reyjik and two other scientists observe the alien substance through a quantum microscope as it destroys an amoeba and then recreates its shape.

Kirk visits Brewsky's, a coffeehouse, where he flirts with Hannah, a barista and grad student in botany. Kirk tells Hannah about his upcoming Science mission final, the Tanika Station scenario, in which the Alpha and Delta teams will explore a "discovery setting". Hannah warns Kirk that his presence in a "discovery setting" changes it. Near the Palace of Fine Arts, Kirk sees and chases the Doctor, which addresses him by name before moving away too fast to follow.

At Mount Zion Hospital, a black haze emerges from the unconscious Jackie Madkins. Uhura realizes that the Doctor's phrases have Romulan rhythms, although not Romulan words; sixty-two Romulan phrases match the rhythms in question. McCoy introduces Kirk to Dr. Parag Chandar, a nanotechnology expert. The black particles are nanites, each with massive computing power and bearing a white glyph on one side. When linked together, the swarm of particles is a powerful supercomputer that can scavenge organic materials to create new nanites. Uhura narrows down the possible phrases to variations of "Your [NOUN] has already been [PAST TENSE VERB]." She does not notice a thin cloud of smoke entering her closed window.

Kirk helps some other cadets place a live chicken in Tikhonov's room. Kirk and McCoy learn that Uhura is in intensive care after a fire alarm went off and two cadets heard her coughing; all three suffered "smoke inhalation", but there was no fire. At the hospital, a black haze emerges from Uhura's body and disappears. Kirk returns to Brewski's; he and Hannah go for a cable-car ride. Spock visits the recovering Uhura in her hospital room to review her lab work. Walking down Columbus Avenue, Kirk and Hannah see silent flashes of light near the top of the Transamerica Pyramid; they are then approached by three members of a gang called the Mongol Saints. The Cheetah3000 processor in the Academy cryptology lab decodes the glyph on the nanites as a date and origin stamp containing a 3-D image of the Milky Way Galaxy. The map marks Earth as the swarm's destination and a location in the Delta Quadrant as its point of origin. The bottom quarter of the glyph represents the number 5618. Kirk uses an emergency transporter band to beam Hannah to the Academy shuttle hangar while he defeats the gang members.

As Team Delta prepares to head to Tanika Station, Braxim mentions that his people migrated to New Xannon from the Delta Quadrant. McCoy gives Kirk a present from Hannah, a botanist's eyepiece. Tanika Station is full of lush alien vegetation around a central lake. McCoy and Chandra have realized that the Doctor used the swarm to remove the organs from within his victims' bodies, and is probably an alien from the Delta Quadrant. After the attack on Gaila the Doctor spoke to Braxim, whose species is from the Delta Quadrant. Uhura realizes that the killer's words consisted of scrambled fragments of Romulan and Xanno. Kirk's team discover complex, fast-growing plants along the lakeshore, amalgams of species from elsewhere in Tanika Station. Kirk orders his team not to take samples from the plants, which may be intelligent. He realizes that the Doctor is a scientist collecting specimens. Kirk's team are alerted to a hull breach and evacuate the station.

Uhura translates the Doctor's words to Braxim as "Your species has already been absorbed" or "assimilated". The Doctor's words from the Orion woman's 911 recording describe her species as unknown and order the swarm to regroup at a place specified by a holo-image: the Transamerica Pyramid. Kirk's team receives the assessment of their test's programmer that their actions were "the most correct and most logical response possible"; the plants were indeed highly intelligent. On Kirk's return McCoy tells him they have found the Doctor's lair.

Kirk, McCoy and Uhura head to the Transamerica Pyramid. McCoy gives Kirk a phaser pistol modified to vaporize the nanites, an ultrasonic sound emitter that freezes them, and a portable vacuum unit. Uhura has customized a computer to translate the Doctor's speech. Kirk and McCoy enter the spire and fight the nanites; at the top of the ladder to the beacon chamber, the hooded Doctor and four similar figures await them. Kirk fires on the figures, revealing that they are coalesced swarms of nanites. As the nanites overcome Kirk and McCoy, the remaining "Doctor" figure metamorphoses into Kirk's likeness; Kirk loses consciousness. The figure speaks; Uhura translates its words, heard through Kirk's microphone, as "Assimilation is not advisable at this time... proceed to recharging chamber." Recovering, Kirk realizes the tower's aviation beacon is a disguised starship; he fires at it, blowing off the top of the spire. The swarm forms itself into a cube and flies away too fast for Kirk to fire again.

Uhura's computer is unable to identify the significance of the number 5618. Spock tells Uhura that the alien ship left Earth at a high transwarp velocity, possibly on its way back to the Delta Quadrant. Hannah invites Kirk to "study" with her at her apartment.



BartleyBeekerHarve BogennBraximParag ChandarDetroitThe DoctorGailaGlorakCharles GriffinHannahSam KalarJames T. KirkJacqueline MadkinsMarcusWallace MarstonLeonard McCoyBen MillerDat NguyenPatricia ParkRaynorJudy RenfieldJoseph RevierNaamba ReyjikRodriguezWill RosenSpockJack StetmannSweeneyJohn TelemarkViktor TikhonovTullseyNyota UhuraVanderlick
Referenced only 
Leonard BernsteinPamela Branch (not identified by name) • Arthur C. ClarkeAlbert EinsteinEmily KarcherGeorge Samuel Kirk, Sr.Winona KirkDawn MadkinsMadonnaCarleton SchillerSimmonsUhnu Uhura

Starships and vehicles

cable carUSS Cairo (Constitution-class) • Gilliam (class F shuttlecraft)
Referenced only 
medical shuttle 37Romulan Bird-of-Prey


Brewsky'sChestnut StreetCity LightsColumbus StreetDelta QuadrantEarthFarragut HallFillmore StreetGolden Gate BridgeHawking HallHyde StreetMarina DistrictMarket StreetMount Zion HospitalNimitz HallPak's GroceryPalace of Fine ArtsPowell StreetPowell Street shuttle landingPresidioRussian HillSan FranciscoSan Francisco cable car systemSan Francisco National CemeteryStarfleet Academy campusTanika StationTransamerica PyramidUnion StreetWashington Square
Referenced only 
Delta QuadrantFisherman's WharfFresnoHellIowaMarin HillsMississippiNew XannonOaklandOlympic PeninsulaOmahaRomulan Neutral ZoneSeattleSoma District

Races and cultures

AndorianBetelgeusianBorg (not specified by name) • Human (Chinese) • HupyrianOrionTellariteVulcanXanno
Referenced only 

States and organizations

Mongol SaintsSan Francisco Police DepartmentStarfleetStarfleet AcademyStarfleet Command CollegeStarfleet Medical CollegeTeam AlphaTeam DeltaUnited Federation of Planets
Referenced only 
Aviation Safety SystemsFederal Bureau of InvestigationIsraeli Defense ForcesRomulan Star EmpireSan Francisco State UniversityStarfleet OperationsStarfleet Orbital OperationsUnited Earth Security AgencyUniversity of Mississippi

Science and technology

3-D holographalienbeaconbeacon conecameracamera control consolecandelacloaking devicecomlinkcommunicatorcomputerconcussion grenadediseaseemergency hotlineevolutionfeed buttonfoggalaxyhairHalo3000hand-held communicatorholodeckholographic projectionhourLED aviation warning lightmedical tricordermethaneminutemonitornaniteneonneon signphaserquantum containment chamberquantum molecular microscopereceiverretinascannersecondSecureCam OmegaspacespineStarfleet databasestrobesurveillance cameratimetransportertranswarptricordertricorder read-out screenVOX databasewatt

Ranks and titles

admiralbabysitterbartenderbosscadetcaptainchief medical officercocktail waitresscommandercommunications officercomputer lab techconductordetectivedoctorguardmedical officerphysicianscience officerscientistsergeant

Other references

9112161223722472249Advanced Tactical TrainingamoebaAndorian aleaway team tactical trainingBattle of CheronbirthdaycampusCasablancachickencityClarke's three lawscloakCode Seven medical directivecoffeehousecommand voiceconference roomcrustaceancurfewdayEnglish languageexamining tableexam prep roomFederation Charterfire escapefirst contactfishnet tightsFleet Command and Control Methodsghostglassgodhaircutholo-karaoke barhospital gownHyborian mitejacketjewelkaraokekevlarkissKobayashi Maru scenarioKrav MagaladderlobsterlogiclumenitemilitarymusicnadiumNobel Prizeoceanofficial reportpigpocketpolicePrime DirectivepyramidrestroomRomulan languagerubber-bandsand fleasandpapersearch partyshoeshuttle landingsidewalksongstaircasestoolSwahili languagesymphonyTellarite languagetendrilwaterfowlxenolinguisticsyear


Related stories

Stories set in the Kelvin timeline
comics When Worlds Collide: Spock Confronts the Ultimate ChallengeNero (1234) • Starfleet Academy (12345) • Star Trek Movie Adaptation (123456) • IDW Star Trek: Volume 1 (Where No Man Has Gone Before: 1, 2The Galileo Seven: 1, 2) • Volume 2 (Operation: Annihilate: 1, 2Vulcan's Vengeance: 1, 2) • Volume 3 (The Return of the Archons: 1, 2The Truth About Tribbles: 1, 2) • Volume 4 (1314Mirrored: 1, 2) • Volume 5 (17181920) • Countdown to Darkness (1234) • Volume 6 (After Darkness: 1, 2, 324) • Volume 7: The Khitomer Conflict (1234) • Khan (12345) • Volume 8 (Parallel Lives: 1, 2I, Enterprise!: 1, 2Lost Apollo: 1, 2) • Volume 9: The Q Gambit (123456) • Volume 10 (Behemoth: 1, 2Eurydice: 1, 2, 3Volume 11 (The Tholian Webs: 1, 2Deity: 12Flesh & Stone) • The Spectrum War (123456) • Live Evil (123) • Reunion (12) • Legacy of Spock (1234) • Connection (12) • Manifest Destiny (1234) • Stranger Worlds (123456) • Boldly Go: Volume 1 (123456) • Volume 2 (789101112) • Volume 3: IDIC (123456)
novels Star TrekStarfleet Academy (The Delta AnomalyThe EdgeThe Gemini AgentThe Assassination Game) • Into DarknessThe Unsettling StarsMore Beautiful Than Death
video games Delta Vega: Meltdown on the Ice PlanetAcademy TrainerCadet Training FacilityD-A-CRace to DestinyThe Mobile GameStar TrekRivalsDark Remnant
board games Expeditions live-action shorts Transporter CommercialBrilliant Enterprise CommercialCollision insurance commercialBold Explorers
websites Starfleet ShipyardDossiersExperience The Enterprise apps Star Trek App
prequels in original timeline Countdown (1234)
Stories set in Starfleet Academy
Comics Starfleet Academy ("Prime DirectivesLibertyLoyalty TestWar and PeaceLove and DeathPassagesHide and SeekReturn to the Forbidden PlanetA Prelude to WarJudgmentTelepathy War (Part One) • Parents' DayT'Priell Revealed (Part OnePart TwoPart Three) • Culture ClashMangHom qaDBetween Love and Hate") • Starfleet Academy!Starfleet Academy (Issue 1Issue 2Issue 3Issue 4Issue 5)
Movies Starfleet Academy SCISEC Briefs (SCISEC Brief 001: "Mystery Behind Voyager" • SCISEC Brief 002: "Mystery Behind Ceti Alpha VI" • SCISEC Brief 003: "Mystery Behind the Vulcan Katra Transfer" • SCISEC Brief 004: "The Whale Probe" • SCISEC Brief 005: "Nimbus III" • SCISEC Brief 006: "Praxis" • SCISEC Brief 007: "Trilithium" • SCISEC Brief 008: "Temporal Vortex" • SCISEC Brief 009: "The Origins of the Ba'ku and Son'a Conflict" • SCISEC Brief 010: "Thalaron Radiation")
Novels Video game novelization1990s series (Crisis on VulcanAftershockCadet KirkWorf's First AdventureLine of FireSurvivalLifelineThe Chance FactorQuarantine) • The Best and the BrightestAcademy: Collision Course2010s series (The Delta AnomalyThe EdgeThe Gemini AgentThe Assassination Game)
Short stories "The Bottom Line" • "Best Tools Available"
Video games Starfleet Academy Starship Bridge SimulatorStarfleet AcademyStarfleet Academy: Strategic CommandStarfleet Academy: Chekov's Lost MissionsAcademy TrainerCadet Training Facility
Live performances Star Trek LiveThe Starfleet Academy Experience


  • The book was first announced when a listing for it, as "Starfleet Academy Untitled Paperback #2", appeared on Simon and Schuster's website in February 2010. The listing suggested it, along with "Starfleet Academy Untitled Paperback #1", would be published as a trade paperback in November 2010, and that both would be written by Rudy Josephs[1]. In March 2010 the website confirmed the book would be set in the Kelvin timeline of the movie Star Trek, depicting the characters' time at Starfleet Academy. By this time Josephs was only listed as the author for "Untitled Paperback #1"[2] Later in March the Simon and Schuster listings were updated, giving Rick Barba as the author of for "Untitled Paperback #2", and listing the book in both trade paperback, and hardcover, as well as ebook[3][4]. In May 2010 the Simon and Schuster listings were updated once more, the working title of The Delta Anomaly was listed, and the book had been moved up to the first in the series; with Rudy Josephs’ book, The Competitive Edge, which had previously been listed as "Starfleet Academy Untitled Paperback #1", being pushed back to a 2011 release date.[5].
  • Consistent with the movie Star Trek, Kirk and Spock never meet in this book and never hear each other's names. Spock does hear McCoy's name mentioned (p. 120), but Spock and McCoy also never meet.
  • Although never explicitly stated, it is clear that the nanite swarm in this book is Borg technology, scouting on Earth and investigating human biology. The swarm comes from the Delta Quadrant, where the Borg originated; "Species 5618" is the Borg designation for the human species (VOY episode: "Dark Frontier"); and the swarm uses the term "assimilate". Given that the events which altered this timeline from the Prime one did not involve the Delta Quadrant at all, it is unclear how exactly the Borg could have discovered Earth almost a century earlier than they did in the Prime universe, nor how they could have developed technology like the nanites, which are radically advanced compared to Borg technology seen in the Prime universe in the 2370s.




Published Order
Previous novel:
First book in the series
Starfleet Academy novels Next novel:
The Edge
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External link