Damocles Montgomerie, a pathetic small-time criminal, cowers like a wounded animal in a darkened alley. He is trapped, seriously wounded, and about to be finished off by a vicious hitman. As seconds stretch into eternity, the hitman raises the .32 caliber Beretta and pulls the trigger. Suddenly time seems to stop and the soon-to-be fatal bullet freezes in mid air. A dapper old gentleman appears and whisks Dammy away to a fantastic alien complex hidden deep within the arctic. Once there, the astonished Dammy is treated for wounds by Xoraille, who turns out to be an observer for Consensus - an intergalactic organization monitoring the progress of developing planets - in the hope that one day they may have advanced sufficiently to take their rightful place in the galactic community. . . or to be subjugated and stripped of their wealth. Xoraille's rich-uncle appearance proves to be a disguise as he proceeds to put Dammy, his human guinea pig, through his paces to determine the true intellectual capabilities and development of the human race over the centuries. In the process, Dammy discovers the awesome power of the human intellect and masters virtually every human intellectual and physical skill. Dammy is at first mystified and then thrilled. . . until Xoraille announces that the study is over, and the time has come to dispose of his human "sample." But Xoraille finds that he has created something of a monster, who has assimilated much more than human knowledge, who he is incapable of destroying, and who has discovered Consensus's real plans for Earth. So begins a remarkable adventure as Dammy escapes and embarks on a journey that takes him to fantastic alien planets, towards an inevitable confrontation with the Supreme Intellect of the Universe.