American Iraq War veteran Ellie Cooper is down and out in Beijing when a chance encounter with a Uighura member of a Chinese Muslim minority at the home of her sort-of boyfriend Lao Zhang turns her life upside down. Lao Zhang disappears, and suddenly multiple security organizations are hounding her for information. They say the Uighur is a terrorist. Ellie doesn't know whats going on, but she must decide whom to trust among the artists, dealers, collectors, and operatives claiming to be on her side - in particular, a mysterious organization operating within a popular online role-playing game. As she tries to elude her pursuers, shes haunted by memories of Iraq. Is what she did and saw there at the root of the mess she's in now?