Young Peter, a student of Byzantine art forms at Moscow University, through a cryptic sentence in a lecture receives a message to buy two books of his choice at exactly 1.30 pm in the university bookstore. When he opens the package, a third book, 'The Life of Pushkin', a very special copy indeed, has been included. It is this third book that leads Peter to Armenia on a series of adventures of the sort that Fred and Geoffrey Hoyle know how to spin so skilfully and so spell bindingly. Peter's mission includes finding his father again after many years of separation. And from his father he receives the remarkable 'battery' - plus a very difficult task to perform.