night, 14 year old Alex Rider finds out from a police officer that his uncle has
died from a car accident. He hears from the officer that if he had been wearing
a seatbelt, his uncle might have had a chance at survival, which doesn't make
sense to him because his uncle is a very careful person. Throughout the first
few chapters, Alex discovers little clues that point to a different death,
including bullet holes in the windshield, and his uncle's boss appearing at his
funeral with a handgun.
A little later on, Alex is called down to his uncle's work building to talk about his uncle's will with one of the employees. When he leaves for a moment, Alex finds this to be his perfect chance to do some investigating. He decides to sneak into his uncle's office and look at some of his documents, but he is caught and shot with a tranquilizer gun.
When Alex wakes up, he finds himself in a strange building. He finds his uncle's boss, Alan Blunt, who begins to explain the situation to Alex. Alex finds out that his uncle didn't work for a bank, but as a spy for British top secret intelligence agency, MI6, and that Alex is inside one of their training centers. Alex is then told of the mission his uncle was working on. He is briefed about a man named Herod Sayle, and that he is working on a computer system called the Stormbreaker, which he is going to donate thousands of them to schools all across England. Alex is forced to work for MI6 to investigate the production of the Stormbreakers, because it seems suspicious that he is donating so many. He will be going as Felix Lester, a boy who won a contest to take a tour of the Stormbreaker production and be the first to test the Stormbreaker system.
Alex is given two weeks to begin training at the MI6 training facility. During the training, he is pushed to the limits by the tests he must take, and is constantly harassed by the other people in training. He eventually finishes his training, and is sent back to be given some special items to help him out during his mission.
Soon later, Alex is sent to Sayle Enterprises. Alex quickly makes his first mistake by telling Sayle to call him Alex instead of Felix. After meeting a few of the employees, Alex goes to bed. The next morning, he is called down to begin testing the Stormbreaker. After testing for a few hours, Alex decides to start sneaking around, but he is quickly caught though. After some more investigating, Alex discovers Herod's plan from his own investigations, and some clues left behind by his uncle. Herod plans to infect all of the school children with smallpox hidden inside the computer systems.
When his plan is discovered, Herod attempts to kill Alex, but fails, and Alex sneaks into a helicopter heading for where Herod is going. Alex manages to stop Herod just in time, with the help of former enemy Yassen Gregorovich.