The Doctor has ended up on Earth with Jake, a young man from 1939, 50 million years in his future. The only species left on Earth are two species of large robotic ants and a cattle-like species that the Doctor claims are the descendants of humans.
Jake and the Doctor are taken by the black ants to their nest, and the Doctor communicates with the queen, learning that the ants are about to go to war over the last source of food. The nest is attacked by a red ant. It is chased off, and the Doctor and Jake follow it. At the red ant colony, the Doctor communicates with the queen there, while Jake explores on his own and finds a time capsule that survived far longer than its creators intended.
When the two ant species confront each other, Jake takes the sonic screwdriver from the Doctor and threatens to deactivate all the ants. The Doctor wants to prevent this but is at a loss until he realises that stuck to Jake's shoes are some wheat seeds that the ants can plant to grow new crops.
The war averted, Jake and the Doctor leave.
- Earth was home to two warring species of robot ants in the year 50,000,000.
- The Doctor mentions the Menoptera.
- The Doctor compares the volcanic surface of the Earth to a Crème Brulée.
- Jake has heard of a giant meteorite crater in Arizona.
- The Doctor gives Jacob a sticking plaster to put on his carotid artery.
- A version of the story was self-published by the author in the anthology The Book of Shadows, under the new title Baby Grand vs The Queen of the Bug–Eyed Betties.