Lethbridge-Stewart's nephew, Owain Vine, and a group of eco-protestor friends, are attempting to oppose an operation undertaken by Rolph Vorster, a ruthless South African mining magnate with his own private army, who is out to harvest as much Atlantean riches as he can.
Lethbridge-Stewart, along with Anne Travers, is called in to investigate a missing Russian submarine that appears to be connected to Atlantis, recruiting the colourful eccentric archaeologist, Sonia Montilla, along the way. All the while, Captain Bugayev and an undercover Spetsnaz team are investigating the fate of their governments missing submarine. A complication that could light a major fuse on the Cold War.
Meanwhile, Atlantis grows, and its reach is utterly inimical to human life.
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- Brigadier Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart
- Anne Travers
- 2nd Lieutenant William Bishop
- Regimental Sergeant Major Samson Ware
- Owain Vine
- Lance Corporal Sally Wright
- Sonia Montilla
- Rolph Vorster
- Captain Grigoriy Bugayev
- General Timarov
- The USSR has become aware of alien life and that the United Kingdom has a more advanced counter-alien response than then. They plan to catch up.
- The Mutalith is not of alien origin. It is a silicon based life form native to Earth.
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- The story featured the character Grigoriy Bugayev from the BBC Eighth Doctor Adventures novel Emotional Chemistry. In that novel, he works for the Russian branch of UNIT; this story is his first encounter with aliens.
- Samson remembers his time fighting in the Cyprus Emergency. (PROSE: The Showstoppers)