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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

Star Trek: The Gemini Agent Star Trek
The Gemini Agent

Written by Rick Barba

(The page numbers come from the 1st printing, paperback edition, 2011)


Kirk is plagued by mysterious blackouts which bring him under suspicion of Starfleet Intelligence.


Read the story summary at Memory Beta


Didja Know? 


The character of Starfleet special agent Erin Esurance who appears briefly in this novel is borrowed from the 2009 online Flash video game Delta Vega: Meltdown on the Ice Planet, which was a cross-promotion for the Star Trek movie and the Esurance car insurance company. Erin Esurance is the name of the animated female spy/insurance agent who appears in some Esurance television commercials.


Didja Notice?


Page 2 mentions the Tal Shiar intelligence agency of the Romulan Star Empire. The Tal Shiar was first mentioned in the ST-TNG episode "Face of the Enemy".


Page 3 mentions the Romulan humiliation at Cheron nearly 100 years ago. This is a reference to the Battle of Cheron, which effectively ended the Earth-Romulan War in 2160 according to the Star Trek: Enterprise episode "In a Mirror, Darkly" Part 2.


The page 4 statement from Senator Tashal that only one agent of the Gemini Project may be activated should clue the reader in that the project involves twins, as "Gemini" is Latin for "twin". (Notice also that the book's title "The Gemini Agent" is mirror-duplicated underneath itself on the cover.)


Chapter 2.13 is titled "Wunderkinder", which is German for "wonder child". Here, in this chapter, it is a reference to both Uhura and Chekov.


Page 8 reveals that London, England was the target of a Romulan attack in 2159, during the Earth-Romulan War.


On page 9, Spock remarks that a renewed war with the Romulan Empire could result in mutual, assured destruction. This is likely a reference by the author to the 20th Century national security policy of Mutual Assured Destruction, a theory that the enemy will not attack to annihilate you with weapons of mass destruction if they believe you will be able to annihilate them as well before you're destroyed.


Page 9 reveals that Uhura's father's name is Njuktu.


Page 11 reveals that Chekov (Pavel Andreievich) is only 14 years old during his first year at Starfleet Academy.


On page 12, a Starfleet cadet mentions a subscription to the Chronicle being delivered to his room and jokingly refers to the young Chekov as the paperboy. Presumably the Chronicle refers to the San Francisco Chronicle, the largest circulation newspaper in the San Francisco area, founded in 1865. It's hard to believe that such periodicals would still be hand-delivered in paper form in the 23rd Century though; most likely it would be a digital delivery, which is already becoming more and more prevalent even today for most newspapers.


Page 13 reveals that Chekov's Russian home town is Saint Petersburg.


Page 13 also reveals that Chekov is the second-youngest cadet in Starfleet Academy history. The first-youngest is not revealed.


Page 14 refers to the week before final exams at the Academy as "dead week". This is a slang term used even in current times by many students of U.S. universities.


Page 15 mentions that, after the freshmen class' final exams, poor performers are encouraged to explore options outside of Starfleet, such as the Global Guard. This appears to be the first mention of the Global Guard organization.


Pages 16-17 describe the Zeta Fleet Training Exercise conducted in the Academy Flight Range near Saturn, led by the two Constitution-class starships Farragut and Valiant. The U.S.S. Farragut was Kirk's first deep space assignment, as a lieutenant under Captain Garrovick, in the original timeline, as seen in the original series episode "Obsession". This is the first appearance of a Constitution-class ship called the Valiant, though there were a couple other types of ships named Valiant in the original timeline.


Page 21 reveals that the Command College of the Academy has just acquired a bridge simulator of the Enterprise (still under construction at the shipyards in Riverside, Iowa).


Kirk tells McCoy that the real Enterprise will be complete in 3 years and swears to him that he will be on board for its maiden voyage if he has to sneak aboard as a galley cook. He does wind up sneaking aboard for it's maiden voyage (though not as a galley cook) in The Vengeance of Nero.


On page 24, Uhura reminisces on having attended the Nairobi Girls Academy. This is a real world youth support community initiative founded in January 2007, offering educational services to disadvantaged girls in Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya. There has been no evidence that Uhura's family was disadvantaged (in fact, poverty is said to have been eliminated on the Earth of the 23rd Century of the Star Trek universe), so the Nairobi Girls Academy may have expanded by this time.


On page 26, T'Laya mentions Romulan Talon-class scout ships. This appears to be the first mention of such craft in the ST universe.


Page 29 suggests that Spock is a growing legend among his generation on Vulcan for having turned down the chance to attend the Vulcan Science Academy and enlist in Starfleet instead. His example has led more and more young Vulcans to enlist in Starfleet for the last four years. Spock turned down the Vulcan Science Academy in "Parallels".


On page 33, Senator Tashal uses the Romulan phrase, "Jolan tru." This is a Romulan salutation meaning both "greetings" and "goodbye". It was first heard in the ST-TNG episode "Unification" Part 1.


Page 34 reveals that Nverrin's research center is located in the Valley of Chula on Romulus. The Valley of Chula was first glimpsed as a holodeck scene of Romulan Admiral Jarok's home region in the ST-TNG episode "The Defector".


On page 35, Senator Tashal and Nverrin drink a blue liquid at their lunch together, which is later referred to as ale. The evidence indicates it is Romulan Ale, seen a number of times in Star Trek episodes and movies, despite its illegality in the Federation. During this same lunch, the two are served jumbo Romulan mollusks; Quark's Bar, Grill, Gaming House and Holosuite Arcade served jumbo Romulan mollusks in episodes of ST-DS9.


On page 37, Nverrin tells Tashal that his serving girl is named Majal. The name may be an homage by author Barba to Majel Barrett-Roddenberry, the wife of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, who also played a number of rolls on the various series of the original timeline.


On page 37, Nverrin describes Vulcans using synaptic pattern displacement to transfer their consciousnesses. This is a reference to the katra mind meld as seen when Spock transfers his katra to Dr. McCoy's mind in Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan.


On page 42, Kirk awakens in an ICU with an IV needle in his arm. ICU stands for Intensive Care Unit and IV stands for intravenous.


On page 45, Kirk wonders if someone slipped him a Mickey. This is a reference to a "Mickey Finn" (or just "Mickey"), a beverage that has been drugged to render the victim unconscious.


On page 47, Kirk dreams of his brother, Sam. According to Memory Alpha, "Samuel" is the middle name of Jim Kirk's brother, George.


Page 51 suggests that McCoy is 26 years old at the time of this story. This contradicts the information at Memory Alpha which states that he was born in 2227, making him 28 or 29 at this time. (This story must take place in 2256 since it is the end of our cadet crew's first year at the Academy, which is said to have started in 2255 in The Edge.)


On pages 47-55 it seems a bit odd that Dr. McCoy refuses to give Lieutenant Caan information about Kirk's medical status due to doctor-patient confidentiality, but then makes a deal to give her the information anyway in exchange for learning Starfleet Intelligence's interest in Kirk. Shouldn't he at least wait for Kirk to wake up and give permission before giving her his medical information?


On page 55, Kirk has a vision of his childhood, with him and his brother pedaling two-speed Photonic bikes. As far as I can tell, Photonic is a future brand name of the 23rd Century and not one that currently exists.


On page 57, Chekov is humming a Prokofiev strain. Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953) was a Russian composer, considered one of the greats of the 20th Century.


On page 58, Robo-Maid seems to be another brand name in the 23rd Century.


Page 66 tells us that Yi Sun-Sin Hall is Kirk's dorm at the Academy. This conflicts with the statement in The Delta Anomaly that Farragut Hall was his dorm. Maybe he just changed dorms for some reason at some later point in the school year. Admiral Yi Sun-Sin (1545-1598) was a renowned Korean naval commander who was undefeated for all of his 23 naval battles, even with many being against overwhelming odds.


Page 66 introduces us to a cadet nicknamed Beeker, a Betelgeusian. The avian Betelgeusians were first seen in the original timeline as science department crewmembers on the Enterprise in Star Trek: The Motion Picture. The name "Beeker" may be a nod to the Muppets puppet character by the name "Beaker" who was an assistant to the scientist Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and who spoke in sort of beeping/chirping sounds.


Page 69 mentions Monterey Bay and Santa Cruz. Monterey Bay is a bay located south of San Francisco and Santa Cruz is a city on the bay's northern coast.


Page 69 reveals that the cadets' communicators have a video display on them, much like modern cell phones.


On page 70, Chekov uses his Red Army knife to pry open a wall panel in his malfunctioning dorm room. The Red Army has been the popular name of the Russian Army since the Russian Civil War of 1918-1922, named for the traditional color of the workers' movement in Russia at the time.


Page 73 introduces Salla, an Andorian zhen, the closest to a human female of the four Andorian genders. The four genders concept for Andorians was invented in the non-canonical ST novels published by Pocket Books for the original timeline, but a few hints have appeared in episodes of ST-TNG and ST: Enterprise that this has been accepted by canon writers.


On page 79, T'Laya describes the Tarahumara people of the Copper Canyon region of northern Mexico. These are a real tribe of Native Americans known as outstanding long-distance runners, just as described in the book. The Colorado ultramarathon (any marathon over the traditional limit of 26.2188 miles) mentioned by T'Laya on page 80 is probably the Leadville Trail 100, in which Tarahumara runners have competed and won more than once.


Starfleet seems to use a number of military terms originally associated with the United States military. Page 83 mentions a couple more. There are real Punitive Articles of the Uniform Code of Military Justice as mentioned here. And the JAG (Judge Advocate General), is a real world term for a military lawyer who works with the U.S. Armed Forces of the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, and Navy.


On page 84, Ensign Collins suggests he and Kirk could talk about the Giants. This is a reference to the San Francisco Giants professional baseball team. From Kirk's remarks, the Giants are apparently not having a good year.


All of the volumes of this Starfleet Academy series of books, but particularly this book, seem to depict Spock as more willing to show emotion than the Spock of the original timeline did. He is frequently described as smiling at some remark made by those with whom he is speaking.


Page 91 reveals that there is a statue of Admiral David Farragut, a famous Civil War Naval flag officer who became the first Rear Admiral in U.S. history, on the Academy grounds. Farragut was an actual U.S. Naval officer.


On page 93, Kirk briefly discusses with Lt. Commander Renfield, Admiral Yamamoto's dispersal strategy at the Battle of Midway during WWII. Yamamoto (1884-1943) was a Japanese Admiral who played a major role in the attack on Pearl Harbor and the Battle of Midway.


On page 94, Kirk mentions the catalog card number of a book at the Library of Congress. The Library of Congress is the national library of the United States and is, at the current time, the largest library in the world by number of books (over 22 million).


On page 102, Spock is partaking of plomeek broth at the faculty dining hall on the Academy grounds. He tells Uhura it is the only native Vulcan dish he finds edible at the dining hall. Plomeek soup was first mentioned in the original series episode "Amok Time" when Nurse Chapel prepared for some Spock.


On page 103, Uhura and Spock discuss the theory that all Humanoid life in the galaxy may trace back to a single genetic code. This is a reference to the Preserver (or Progenitor) theory that has appeared in many episodes of the various Star Trek series, first mentioned in the original series episode "The Paradise Syndrome".


When Uhura asks Spock why his father married an Earth woman, he answers that his father once told him that, given his position as Vulcan ambassador to Earth, "marrying an Earth Human was the logical thing to do." We saw this interchange between the young Spock and his father, Sarek, in "Parallels".


On page 106, Spock tells Uhura about some radical factions on Vulcan who think a kinship link with the Romulans is significant and who advocate a reunification with them. The term "reunification" is one used by Spock in the original timeline to describe his work to make peace with the Romulans in the 24th Century.


Pages 111-112 reveal that the student center of the Academy grounds is called Alpha Centauri. Alpha Centauri is a star system about 4.37 light years from Earth, making it the closest system to our own.


Page 112 reveals that the pub on the Academy campus is called the Perihelion. "Perihelion" is the term used to describe the closest approach of the Earth to the sun.


Page 112 mentions a drink called a Cardassian Sunrise. This same drink was ordered by Uhura in "Parallels".


Page 112 also suggests that Uhura actually told Kirk her first name the night before, but he has forgotten due to the infection that caused him to act drunk.


Page 117 tells us that the first name of Starfleet Intelligence agent Lt. Caan is Samarra. Possibly this name is borrowed from the ST role-playing game produced by FASA in the 1980s, when Uhura's first name was unknown and was said to be Samara within the game.


On page 118, McCoy tells Kirk, "Jim, after the marriage I had, I'd rather date a hairless yellow Aaamazzarite than another Human woman." The Aaamazzarites (also known as Therbians) were first seen in Star Trek: The Motion Picture.


Page 118 reveals that Chekov's screen name as a white knight against cyber-crime is MisterCleanUp.


Page 121 reveals that Sulu is attending the Academy in this year and has been scoring the top place in his Astrosciences class. This is likely intended as a reference to the original series' second pilot episode "Where No Man Has Gone Before", where Sulu was depicted as the head of the astrosciences department on the Enterprise instead of the character's revised position of helmsman in all other episodes.


Page 124 reveals that Kirk was kicked off his high school basketball team for undisclosed reasons during his senior year. Kirk comments cryptically, "Those were great days."


On page 126, Kirk gives Tikhonov a bottle of Stolichnaya vodka. Stolichnaya is a famous Russian brand of vodka. Tikhonov calls it Elit, a luxury variety of Stolichnaya.

Kirk refers to his gift of vodka to Tikhonov as a "Molotov cocktail". A Molotov cocktail is an improvised incendiary device, usually made from a glass bottle. It is caustically named after Soviet Commissar for Foreign Affairs, Vyacheslav Molotov (1890-1986).


On page 130, Dr. McCoy tells Kirk that his thyroxines are sky-high. Thyroxines are major hormones of the thyroid gland.


On page 141, Kirk looks up at the night sky stars of Gliese 251, Mekbuda, and Castor and Pollux. These are all stars in the constellation Gemini.


On page 145, Nverrin whispers "Farr Jolan, Mr. Kirk." Farr Jolan is a greeting used by the Jolan Movement within the Romulan Empire, a peace movement depicted in the original timeline novel Captain's Blood by William Shatner and Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens.


Page 152 mentions an elaborate underground maintenance system connecting the buildings of the Presidio some time after its attainment by the U.S. military from Spain. I have been unable to confirm the existence of these tunnels, although there are some underground culverts for creeks in the area.


Page 152 also mentions the Great Earthquake of 1906. This was a real quake in the San Francisco area, measuring 8.0 on the Richter scale. This page also reveals that another Great Earthquake occurred here in 2182.


Dr. McCoy scans Kirk's Heschl's Gyrus on page 153. Heschl's Gyrus (named after Richard Heschl [1824-1881], an Austrian anatomist), processes auditory input in the human brain, just as explained by Dr. McCoy.


On page 161, T'Laya is wearing Kirk's XXL Iowa Hawkeye t-shirt as a nightshirt. The Iowa Hawkeyes are the athletic teams of the University of Iowa.


Page 169 describes the U.S.S. Farragut as having the registration number of NCC-1647. This matches its registration number as listed in the Star Trek Encyclopedia by Michael and Denise Okuda.


Also mentioned on page 169, as part of  the Zeta Fleet Training Exercise are Saladin-class destroyers, Hermes-class scouts, Tornado-class training fighters, an Antares-type cargo vessel, and an assortment of other vessels, including Class-F shuttles. All of these types of ships have appeared in various Star Trek series in the original timeline except for the Tornado-class, which seems to be a first mention in this novel.


On page 170, Cadet Hannity is revealed as the Operations officer of the Farragut for the Zeta Exercise. She will later appear in the same position on the Enterprise under Captain Pike in "The Vengeance of Nero".


Page 171 reveals that Starbase 1 orbits Earth.


The details of Saturn's moon, Titan, on page 172 are roughly accurate, but only roughly.


Page 172 mentions Nausicaan pirates in the Zeta Excercise. Nausicaans first appeared in the ST-TNG episode "Tapestry". The Nausicaan Raiders mentioned on page 176 are the preferred ships of the pirates and were first seen in the Star Trek: Enterprise episode "Fortunate Son".


Page 179 introduces a Saladin-class destroyer called the Hannibal. This seems to be the first appearance of the vessel in the ST universe.


Page 179 also introduces helmsman McKenna on the Farragut. McKenna is mentioned in the Star Trek movie as being assigned as the helmsman of the Enterprise on its maiden voyage, but comes down with lungworm and is replaced by Cadet Sulu.


Chapter 13.13 implies that the Romulan Praetor at this time is secretly a member of Jolan Farr, the previously mentioned Romulan peace movement.


On page 192, McCoy invites Kirk to a sushi place on Divisadero with Lt. Caan. Divisadero is a street in San Francisco.


Page 192 implies that McCoy is from Mississippi.


On page 195, Chekov says, "Oy, horosho." This basically means, "Oh, great," in Russian. He's saying it sarcastically, feeling dejected about his lack of romantic experience with females.


The stars and constellations mentioned by Kirk to Chekov on page 192 are all real ones visible from Earth. 


Unanswered Questions


It seems slightly odd that there is absolutely no mention of Hannah, Kirk's new girlfriend in The Delta Anomaly considering she seemed to be more than just a conquest and the book was written by the same author!


Who is T'Laya's (and her sister's) father? T'Laya claims he worked for the Vulcan embassy on Earth until he died of an embolism. The Romulan Nverrin implies he was actually a Vulcan ambassador. And after her father's death, T'Laya claims she was placed with a Vulcan family in Marin County (near San Francisco). Nverrin also remarks that the Vulcan ambassador was a friend and ally to the cause of the Jolan Movement. Is it possible that her father is actually Sarek? If so, who is the mother? Is T'Laya half Vulcan and half Romulan? Is there any connection with one (or both) of Spock's protégés in the original timeline, Saavik and Valeris?



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