It’s the end of the year and it’s time to go camping with your friends.
You are all teenage Venturer (Explorer) Scouts and have been waiting to go away for a week without your parents – just your friends and Venturer Leader.
Swimming in the rough surf and paddling around a figure eight lake in canoes dead are activities some teenagers never do. However for a group of intrepid Venturers hell bent on adventure, it is the norm on ‘holidays’.
The Venturers are organised. They have food in special plastic barrels with lists of menus on the outside and even rosters for who will do the cooking and washing and wiping up.
Their leader is Mike Hunter, a Captain in the Army Reserve and also a newspaper Journalist. He always looks after his Venturers and tries to teach them things so they can become self aware in relation to rescues and danger.
How would you react if you paddled as a group to a wreck of a submarine and while exploring the boat, found a series of packages full of drugs? How surprised would you be if a fast boat containing three armed Russian mafia arrive on the scene to retrieve their drugs and then argue whether to shoot you dead or take you prisoner?
This is the scenario facing Scott Morrow and his Venturer friends. The Russians had the drugs dropped off the night before by a special ship being secretly monitored by the Australian Navy. The Special Air Service Regiment are on standby and also monitoring the situation.
The Russians opt to bailing up the boys and their leader and taking them to a nearby disused convict jail with a lighthouse built on top. There, the boys and their leader can stay, and maybe, the Russians will tell someone, while they flood the Australian capital cities with their illicit drugs. Then again, the Russians could just escape as their youthful charges and their leader are all locked up in a jail no longer used. Who would find them and when?
Enter a teenager who never wanted to be a hero. Scott Morrow is your average teenage boy who is still finding his way in his Venturer Unit. In an adult world, Scott would be the ‘grey man’ – someone who is in the back of the crowd and does not stand out. All of us have hidden talents and sometimes it takes a disaster to bring them out.
Scott is kept separate from his other Venturers by the Russians as an extra insurance, high up in the lighthouse in a single cell. He employs some tactics his other Venturers never thought of and escapes from his cell.
The deft teenager looks for a way to use the lighthouse as a weapon against the Russians in a brave bid to save his friends before time runs out. What is at stake are the lives of his fellow Ventures and the thousands of people who could become hooked on the Russians’ drugs.