Isabella Martin was born a hundred years after an economic crash, which changed the whole world. Countries fell, and others rose up in their place. Debt is now genetic. There is no escaping one’s family without special dispensation.
With the help of a few patrons, the government began a Program which oversaw private contracts between the rich and the poor, contracts that would pay off chunks of debt, or even allow a person to remove themselves from their family and hold a private debt.
Each contract has very clear terms dictating what is to be expected of those who sign it. Each one has several escape clauses. The government employed private workers to check in on the contracts to prevent abuse of power.
Isabella was a tomboy. She worked as a labourer alongside her father and brothers until she was hurt in a workplace related accident. The other skills she developed in the slums were not exactly marketable, leading her to the Program building in search of a contract to bring her family’s debt down any way she could.
She was presented with a ‘blank slate’ contract. No rules, no guides, no escape.
This is her story.