Luo Ji wakes from hibernation to find himself 170 years into the future cured of his illness. Humanity has significantly progressed from the time that he’s been asleep. They’ve moved largely into underground cities, every aspect of the environment seems to be personalized and connected together, and have a large fleet of spaceships that can travel up to 15% the speed of light.
People of the era believe that because of this progress and the fact that the Trisolaran fleet seems to have slowed down to even stopped except for a probe that they’ll have no choice but to enter into peace talks once they arrive.
Luo Ji also gets a recap of all the events that have happened to humanity in the past 170 years. Humanity focused all of their efforts and resources on defeating the Trisolarans plunging humanity into a period called the “Great Ravine” where billions starved and died. Humanity eventually decides that the cost of this preparation is not worth the cost and instead refocuses on the needs of the people, ultimately leading to technological breakthroughs.
There has also been a major political realignment with space fleets breaking off and forming three independent nations.
Another relic of the common era that didn’t survive is the Wallfacer program. The few people who even remember it think of it as an ancient joke, a relic of a time when humanity was easily scared. The Space Fleet Joint Council that now oversees the Wallfacer program officially ends the program and returns Luo Ji and Hines to be ordinary citizens.
Luo Ji’s Bad Day
A remnant of the past that does still exist, however, is the malware that the ETO installed called Killer 5.2 that turns technology against Luo Ji on multiple occasions to try to kill him, however because he’s now joined by our old friend Da Shi, he’s saved from being killed on multiple occasions.
Hines, also freed from being a Wallfacer, has his own bad day when his wife Keiko reveals herself as being his Wallbreaker. She tells the SFJC that not only was Hines’ plan from the start to build the Mental Seal, but he built 4 other machines in secret, which may still be operational today. Furthermore, in secret, he changed the operation of the machine to not implant a faith in victory, but to “imprint” an unshakeable defeatist and escapist mindset, a belief that Hines has imprinted on himself.
Finally, Zhang Beihai also is awoken from hibernation when the current commanders of the space fleet need to find commanders they can trust were not imprinted by the mental seal. Since Zhang Beihai has always shown a triuphialist spirit, they decide to temporarily give him control of the ship Natural Selection while they conduct their investigation into who’s been imprinted.
However, as they’re handing over control, they’re all shocked to learn that Zhang himself is actually an escapist and his plan the entire time has been to take control of a ship and escape the solar system as fast as possible.