During their time in the Cambridge University, Franklin Hall and Ian Quinn befriended and spent a lot of time speaking about Gravitonium, a theoretical element of high atomic level capable of altering gravity around it. Quinn also designed the Gravity Field Generator which would rely on the element. However, due to Gravitonium's existence being highly hypothetical, the design was never put into practice.
Quinn never gave up on finding Gravitonium. Having built an immense fortune, Quinn dedicated years to open mines all around the world and finally found Gravitonium in one of them. In order to use it at its full potential, Quinn decided to enlist his old friend's assistance. Having figured out that Hall was a consultant for S.H.I.E.L.D., Quinn decided to stage his kidnapping.
While secretly transporting the scientist Franklin Hall in a truck on route 76 near Sterling, S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Mack was informed that his escort was on the way. Mack saw two SUVs approaching his truck. However, he soon witnessed a first SUV being sent in the air and violently crashing on the road. Mack informed S.H.I.E.L.D. about the situation and the second SUV was sent away as well.
Mack unsuccessfully tried to identify the threat, unaware that the attack was due to Gravity Field Generators. As the truck continued his journey, it was affected by another gravity field and began to fly. The truck then violently crashed, knocking Mack unconscious. Then, an armed squad forcefully opened the truck's door and abducted Hall, who had remained largely unaware of the attack.
Upon being informed of the attack, S.H.I.E.L.D. instructed Coulson's Team to head for Colorado in order to investigate. Once on site, Coulson's team questioned Mack so he could tell them what had happened. Jemma Simmons and Leo Fitz then located a Gravity Field Generator and took it back to the Bus for further study. In parallel, they also identified the connection between Hall and Ian Quinn. As a result, Coulson's team decided to sent his latest recruit Skye to infiltrate Quinn's compound in Malta to investigate.
Meanwhile, Hall was transported to Ian Quinn's Mansion, where he was reunited with his old friend, who explained his plan to build a full-size Gravity Field Generator and needed Hall's assistance to do so.