Ye Wenjie wakes up to find that she is being transported on a helicopter. She meets Yang Weining, a former graduate student of Ye’s father, with whom they would disagree about theoretical vs. applied physics and which makes a bigger impact.
Upon arriving at Red Coast Base, Ye is given the choice to remain there and work on what they refer to as a “large-scale weapons research project” or take the helicopter back and face a 6-10 year sentence for her supposed crimes. She quickly agrees and enters the base. She witnesses a test of the base... one that seemingly generates a transmission of large amounts of electrical energy that lights up the sky.
Forty years later, we’re introduced to Wang Miao, who is met at his house by police and members of the army, asking if he has spoken with members of the Frontiers of Science. Wang Miao is told that a general has requested that he attends a meeting later that day.
At the meeting in Beijing, Wang Miao along with Shi Qiang (nicknamed Da Shi) meets with an international group of scientists, military, and police. We find out that Wang Miao is working on nanomaterial, a technology that can be made into a string as thin as one-hundredth of a hair and cut a speeding car in half if it were to pass through it.
Wang finds out that the reason they have asked to meet with him is that several high-profile members of the Frontiers of Science, including one he was familiar with, Yang Dong from his time at the Liangxiang particle accelerator, had recently committed suicide. The Frontiers of Science is a well-known group of academics that asks the question, what is the limit of science?
Yang Dong had said in her suicide note “All the evidence points to a single conclusion: Physics has never existed, and will never exist.” After some goading from Da Shi, Wang agrees to join the Frontiers of Science to find out a potential cause.
Wang leaves the meeting and General Chang gives him an ominous warning... life as he knows it will be changed, and he should prepare for the worst.