The Galactic Empire is still strong, though not as it was centuries before. The emperor Cleon II ruled the empire. One of his military officers, Bel Riose volunteered to annex the Foundation. He learns that the foundation possesses striking new technologies that can be used for military purposes. For instance, the people in the Foundation use personal nuclear shield which can deflect any direct hit and leave a person under shield unharmed. Their small ships are also shielded, while Riose’s army could afford a very bulky shield the size of a planet. Imagine every soldier wearing that mini shield. His army and battle ships could have been undefeatable.
The scientists on the Foundation have their secrets of winning too. Remember the psychohistory? They know human behavior perfectly well. They could handle the problem with The Galactic Empire and they did. They used a simple formula. The stronger the emperor is, the lesser his empire tends to grow expansively. And vice versa. In this case with the emperor Cleon II this vice versa worked. Well if more precisely it could have worked if it were not for the Foundation people knowing about it.
Let me put it in a concise way. The emperor Cleon II was of a weak sort. One of his generals, Bel Riose wanted to be famous and nobody can give a guarantee that he didn’t want, after winning many battles, to take a liberty of seizing power right from the weak Emperor. Well The Foundation just played with this rule and they won. The emperor Cleon II prevented his would-be-in-future demise. He court martialled Bel Riose and killed him. By this way the Foundation has won.
A completely new and devastating crisis arrives. A crisis that even the strongest scientists in the Foundation couldn’t win. The crisis comes with a guy called The Mule. A distinctive feature of this guy is that he’s not a normal man. He’s a mutant. He’s got mental abilities to manipulate masses in any way he wants. He wants a war against the Foundation. Only he could put an end to the Foundation. Planet by planet he captured the worlds belonging to the Foundation. By using psychic power he turned devoted officers of the enemy into traitors who gave up their struggle against The Mule and joined his army. The only thing that he could not do was to capture the Second Foundation established by the famous Hari Seldon. This book was kind of prelude to enter the Second Foundation which I’m about to read...