Emerson Francis Whitman, whose parents are great admirers of philosophy - and philosophers - has the distinction of being the technical representative of Primary Pulse Energy Systems of Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. As a tech rep, Emerson travels to a variety of trade shows and exhibitions to assist distributors and dealers of the company's product line to learn the equipment and to sell more of the same. The work itself is pleasant and relatively undemanding. It allows him to travel across the country in a leisurely fashion, accompanied by his spouse and partner Priscilla Jeanette, aka PJ. In addition to his technical skills, Emerson also has an unfortunate propensity for becoming entangled in sticky situations, through absolutely no fault of his own.
Sent to a Navy supply depot in the Pacific Northwest to investigate the cause of an inordinately large number of submarine battery failures, Emerson finds more than either he or the Navy bargained for. Determining the problem with the batteries is child’s play. Deciding what to do about the discovery could have shocking - and possibly deadly - results.