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"You are thousands of your years behind the world. We are your chance to catch up."
Stephen Alcedrie

Unfettered is the Artifact Title of a large project by fishsicles, now used as the general term for The ’Verse he sets most of his work in. This page is mostly used by his current project, Gatekeepers.

The first few chapters focus on the lives of legally blind Knowledge Broker Iris Kempf and her latest client, architecture professor Dr. Leo Alperstein. A friend and student of Alperstein's, Alice Penn, recently vanished along with all traces of her existence, leaving him with a strange letter. Intrigued, Kempf starts the search for any sign of Alice's existence.

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Then the starships arrive and Earth is annexed by the Valde-Kevali Technate, a technocratic oligarchy based on the solar station of Testimony. The VKT are generally benevolent, offering the Earthlings the boons of their fabricator technology in exchange for bulk mass. On the downside, every single valuable item on Earth is now worth a little more than its weight in dirt.

Iris's manhunt draws the attention of Stephen Alcedrie, a former aristocrat from the VKT homeworld of Kevas. He proposes an alliance of sorts between Iris and himself: she uses his connections to allow him to establish influence on Earth, while he provides his resources to allow Iris to rise to prominence in the eyes of the new colonial administration. Stephen takes a particular interest in the search for Penn, which brings Iris and company into conflict with agents of the VKT's Sixth Division.

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