This book depicts a future in which scavenging from beached, ruined ships has become big business. Teenagers crawl thru the ducts of the old ships collecting copper wiring for their crews to try to make quota. They live on the beach in conditions worse than poverty. They are in constant danger from infection, getting lost and trapped on the ships and growing to big to continue on light crew. There is always someone waiting to take their job if they can't keep up. When Nailer & Pima discover a "lucky strike" that could take them out of these conditions, Nailer must decide what kind of person he is. Will he save the young rich girl's life or will he take the scavenge and end his fear and worries about money for good. Nailer wants to be a good person, he wants to do the right thing. But will his worries about his life and his fear of his drug-addicted, violent father make the decision for him. Who deserves his loyalty most?