Diana Brackley secures a job as a research scientist working for Francis Saxover, a somewhat eccentric private researcher. By accident they discover (independently) that a specimen of lichen sent to them for analysis has the ability to extend human life by many hundred years. They both see the implications of this (that many institutions will try to repress this knowledge) and are careful to keep the substance secret, but Diana decides that it must eventually become available to all humans and sets up an organisation designed to introduce it by stealth.
Unfortunately Francis decides to let his immediate family in on the secret, and his daughter-in-law gives away part of the secret for money. As a result criminal forces begin to take interest in both Francis and Diana.
They meet in secret and Diana tells Francis that she is now ready to reveal all in a carefully manipulated media campaign, but the criminal element get involved and things go terribly wrong.
This report prepared by Alan Tompkins