Electronics executive Samuel Hammond runs into his study as whip-like noises sound in the house behind him. He locks the door and barricades it, but something easily breaks through. Hammond loads a hunting rifle and shoots it, but the intruder keeps coming and breaks Hammond's neck with one blow.
The next day, Steed and Emma investigate the crime scene. The rifle's barrel has been twisted around entirely, an impossible feat of strength. Emma confirms that the heads of two other electronic companies have been recently killed with fractured skulls, and Steed wonders if there will be a fourth victim.
A trenchcoat and suit-wearing figure strides into an electronics company. When a security guard tries to stop it, the figure effortlessly knocks the guard back down the hallway. The figure smashes its way into an office and kills the executive Robert Lambert's neck with one blow after Lambert shoots it with no effect. The figure then picks up a pen lying on the floor and breaks it to pieces.
Later, Emma and Steed arrive at the office and check the witness statements. Each one describes the killer as a tall man wearing spectacles. Steed points out that the killer knew exactly which office to go to, and points out the spent bullets on the floor. Emma determines that Lambert had an appointment at the Hitachi Corporation, an electronics firm. There's a letter from Hitachi saying that one of their representatives, Tusamo, will meet with Lambert at 3 that afternoon. Hitachi was recently in the news for making a circuit element to replace the transistor, and Emma figures that Lambert was competing for the European concessions. She determines that Lambert was hit from the front but no bruising, and says that it's a karate executioner blow. There are only a few experts in the technique in all of Europe.
Emma goes to a karate dojo and as she peers in at the fighters, a woman---Oyuka--secretly watches her. Emma turns and sees the woman.
In the dojo, Sensai calls everyone to attention. Oyuka comes in and tells Sensai that they have a visitor, and he has the students sit at the matt. Emma comes in, removes her shoes, and says that she's interested in karate. Sensai tells her that karate is a science and a discipline, and describes how one of his students can shatter a door with one blow. Emma says that competition appeals to her and tells Oyuka that Emma is leaving. Sensai says that Oyuka is known as the unmovable one, and Emma asks what happens if she can move her. He tells her that she's welcome there if she can. Emma and Oyuka fight, and Emma pins Oyuka. Oyuka attacks Emma's knee, but Emma blocks the blow and Sensai says that Oyuka attacked as a woman but Emma has the skill of a man. Emma bows and leaves.
Steed goes to Hitachi and talks to the receptionist, Mrs. Smith. He claims that he's with Lambert's company and Lambert is indisposed, and presents his letter of authority. Tusamo meets with Steed and a man emerges from hiding. Mrs. Smith writes something down on a piece of paper and gives it to the man.
Steed says that he's there to negotiate rights with Hitachi, and Tusamo says that it will take a capital outlay of 50 million. When Steel asks if there are any other offers, Tusamo refuses to discuss other offers. As Tusamo talks about Hitachi's industrial facilities, Steed uses a hidden camera in his umbrella to take photos of the transistor files. Mrs. Smith calls to say that Tusamo's next appointment is there, and Tusamo ushers Steed out through a side door. The man in the outer office comes into the office.
At her apartment, Emma tells Steed about Oyama. Steed develops the photos and discovers that all of the murder victims worked for companies that met with Hitachi. That leaves them two companies, and Emma picks Jephcott Products while Steed goes to United Automation.
At Jephcott, the owner Jephcott meets with Emma. She claims that she represents a department store and is looking for electronic toys. Jephcott talks about new advances in electronics and quickly leave for an appointment.
Later at the dojo, Sensai calls Oyama up to demonstrate his skills. Oyama shatters a board and Emma realizes that he's Jephcott.
At his apartment, Steed meets with Gilbert for information about Automated. Gilbert confirms that a Dr. Armstrong used to work there, and was let go after he presented a theory of building machines that would clear debris from radioactive areas. His superior refused, but Armstrong built the machine anyway. There was an accident that wrecked the building, putting Armstrong into a wheelchair. Armstrong has disappeared, and Gilbert says that he will have to pull some strings to find him.
The man at Hitachi, Benson, returns to his office and talks to Armstrong over a television. Benson says that there are two competitors to dispose of and Mrs. Smith is trying to get the names, but Tusamo keeps them in a confidential file.
Steed returns home and Emma steps out of the kitchen and says that Jephcott has a board meeting and she wasn't going to wait. Her partner says that United Automation is impenetrable and he's going in as a reporter with a punch card he "obtained" to gain entrance. Steed goes to UA and inserts his appointment card in the slot. The elevator doors open and Steed steps in, and the elevator transports him to an office. Armstrong comes in and introduces himself, and says that their meeting will have to be brief. He says that his factory is entirely automated and only a few humans work there as maintenance and sales. Armstrong demonstrates everything from the controls on his wheelchair, and demonstrates how his computer could supplant the human brain entirely. He claims that he's merely theorizing. A buzzer goes off and Benson calls to say that the offer is from Lambert's company and Steed made the offer. Armstrong puts Steed on the television screen and Benson confirms that it's the same person who was at Hitachi.
As Armstrong dismisses Steed, he gives him a souvenir pen with solid ink that is activated by human touch. Once Steed leaves, Benson comes in and Armstrong tells him that he will deal with Steed. However, first they have to deal with someone else.
Jephcott is in his office writing with his pen. He prepares to leave for the night, and hears glass break outside and a whip-like sound.
Emma and Steed are in the car last night waiting for Jephcott to leave. When Jephcott doesn't emerge, they go in and find Jephcott's corpse. He's been killed with a single blow, despite the fact that he's a karate expert. The silhouette of a tall man is in the back wall, and Steed figures that the field is now clear for Armstrong. One of Jephcott's robot toys activates on a sample table, and the agents get an idea.
Later at Steed's apartment, Steed cuts punch cards and Emma takes one. He writes down Tusamo's phone number with the pen, and Emma takes it. Steed points out that Armstrong doesn't seem interested in profit and leaves.
Steed goes to UA and uses the fake punch card to enter Armstrong's office. He finds a metallic humanoid figure seated on a chair, but it's inactive. The elevator doors close, and Steed quickly hides in a grille. Armstrong and Benson come in and Armstrong assures Benson that the robot--a Cybernaut--is harmless until he programs it. Armstrong insists that one day the Cybernaut will have a brain more efficient than his computer, powered by solar energy, and invulnerable to anything short of a nuclear blast. It homes in on a signal in the pen.
At Steed's apartment, Emma calls Tusamo and takes notes using the pen.
Armstrong sets the Cybernaut to home in on the frequency of Steed's pen. Steed realizes that he gave the pen to Emma. The Cybernaut activates and walks out, homing in on the pen, and Armstrong tells Benson that the concession is theirs. Steed goes out through the air vent.
Emma paces around the apartment working on her notes.
Steed reaches a grate and tries to move it.
Emma puts on her coat when Steed doesn't return... and puts the pen in her jacket pocket.
When Steed is unable to open the grate, he crawls until he reaches a hat. He climbs down into the factory and turns up the heat.
Armstrong and Benson watch on a monitor screen as the Cybernaut homes in on the pen.
Benson notices the temperature increase and Armstrong rings maintenance.
Steed hears footsteps approaching and hides. A second Cybernaut comes in and adjusts the valves, and Steed slips out.
Emma checks the time.
The second Cybernaut returns to Armstrong's office and uses a punch card to report that the thermostat was tampered with manually.
Steed finds a phone and calls Emma.
The Cybernaut smashes into Steed's apartment.
There's no answer on the phone, and Steed hears footsteps. He hides and the second Cybernaut comes in. Steed tries to slip out behind it, but it chops him in the neck.
Emma drives to UA.
Steed wakes up and Armstrong says that the Cybernaut was programmed to capture rather than kill. Armstrong rants about how human error could bring complete destruction, and the computer that he's designed with the new circuit elements is incapable of a wrong decision. Benson checks the monitor and sees the pen signal arriving at the factory. Armstrong figures that it's a chance to demonstrate his Cybernauts.
Emma uses the fake punch card to enter the elevator. It closes automatically on her, and delivers her to the factory floor where she finds more Cybernaut components.
Benson draws a gun on Steed when he attempts to move. Steed distracts them and hits the control panel on the chair they've put him in, knocking out the lights. He takes cover as Benson shoots at him, then knocks him out and runs.
The first Cybernaut homes in on Emma, entering the factory floor. It cuts off her escape as she tries to run.
Steed takes the elevator to the factory floor.
Emma finds herself in a dead-end hallway. Steed arrives and has her throw the pen to him. Armstrong arrives with the second Cybernaut and says that it has a brain of its own. It attacks Steed, and Steed puts the pen in its jacket pocket. The first Cybernaut attacks it, ignoring Armstrong's radio commands. The two Cybernauts fight, and when Armstrong tries to intervene, they kill him when he gets in the way. Steed confirms that Armstrong is dead, and the first Cybernaut finally "kills" the second one. It destroys the pen and goes motionless, and Steed and Emma look at it to make sure that it's immobile. Emma pushes it over with one finger.
Later, Emma drives up in her Lotus and finds Steed in his Bentley working on a crossword. His pen breaks and she gives him a new one, but he isn't interested in "newfangled things" and Emma drives off.
Written by Gadfly on Dec 25, 2018