Kenneth Bulmer creates a character named Ferdie Foxlee, an ectoplasmic electronics expert, and his pal Mad Jake Herlihey, a galactic gadabout. If these names sound like a prelude to a send-up, it isn't. After Ferdie is set up for a fall, Jake helps him escape, but into the clutches of a con man. After arriving on the planet Knorvarday, Ferdie sabotages the spaceship and the two escape, only to be picked up by the local gendarmes.
Ferdie is put to work creating eepees, human-like beings with brains just large enough to acquire training to carry out simple tasks. What they are trained for is war. Historic battles are reenacted for entertainment. The battles are full scale and watched on site by the wealthy, who come to this planet as spectators. Those who can't attend watch on television. The current project is the Battle of Waterloo, and Ferdie has been set up to play the role of Wellington, with just one change; he is supposed to lose.