Thanks to recently winning an award for his computer expertise, Ricky is interviewed by Arnold Jackson for his school newspaper. Ricky gives him some basic information about computers. But unfortunately Arnold is looking for a juicier story. Not wanting to lose the opportunity to get in the paper, Ricky lures Arnold back by hacking into a military computer. It's surprisingly easy to do, and after a few tries Ricky succeeds in getting his hands on top secret plans for a new military jet.
Arnold returns with a copy of the school newspaper, and he's ecstatic that he made the front-page story. But Ricky isn't so happy because Arnold published his name and also printed the pictures of the jet. Arnold assures him that there's nothing to worry about, and no one is going to care about a sixth grade newspaper. But a moment later, FBI agents arrive looking for them. Ricky and Arnold hide, and eventually Edward comes down to let the agents in. The agents tell him that Ricky and Arnold are in a lot of trouble for hacking into their computer, and in fact are guilty of treason, punishable by death. Hearing this, Ricky and Arnold panic, and decide to run. The only thing Ricky can think to do is for them to stow away on a tramp steamer and spend the rest of their lives traveling the ocean.
On board the ship, the two stowaways are quickly discovered and brought to the captain. They ask him if they can be cabin boys and spend their lives working on the ship, and he agrees and immediately puts them to work. As they toil, the captain tells them about life on the sea and having to leave his family behind. All this talk gives them second thoughts, as they don't like the idea of never seeing their families or friends again. So they leave the boat and decide to face the consequences of what they've done.
Meanwhile, Edward, Kate, and the FBI agents are frantically looking for the boys. To their surprise, Ricky and Arnold return, ready to pay for what they've done. But the agents were simply trying to put a scare into them earlier, and that they've already confiscated all copies of the newspaper. And now they only want to know how Ricky hacked their computer so that they can make sure it never happens again.