In the early 1900s, the nation of Aetheri came out of its long interdimensional isolation and revealed to the humans of the Symphony Archipelago that they were not alone in the multiverse. Things swiftly got ugly after that.
In the early 1990s, Aetheri's leadership changed, and in the Archipelago, a tiny broken family of half-siblings banded together in the face of the bile and hate that was boiling up between the humans and the non-humans.
In the early 2000s, that family was split apart. Hawk Press and his sister Liya Kiski both begin a long and exhaustive journey towards understanding the difference between friend and enemy--and between the family you're given, and the family you make.
The radio began to sing in warped tones very quietly under the rain. Geneva's lights were lost on Hawk; he was somewhere else, enthroned by mangrove roots, dawn spreading beyond his fishing rod. Above him, Liya perched on thicker mangrove boughs.
"Hey, Hawk?" she asked.
"Why doesn't Em want you to learn to fly?"
"I dunno. Maybe he thinks I'll run of t' join up with the demons."
"...Well that's stupid."
The stoat glanced up from Hawk's bag, headlight eyes beaming. "Nearly there!" it said brightly. "Well done, mate, I didn't think we'd actually--"
The bag shuddered and dropped under Hawk. The soaked wings fell in a downstroke and stayed down. The stoat realized that Hawk didn't hear it, or couldn't--it peered up through the dusk to see Hawk's eyes shut, head dipping.
"Maybe he thinks you'll just run away."
Hawk's shoulder dropped first, dragged down by heavy wings and the bag. The stoat gripped the edge of the bag, alarmed. "Mate?" it said.
"Without you an' Emry? Why? I wouldn't--"
The water hit Hawk with nothing more than impact--he could not be any more soaked. Unceremoniously he sank, wings limp, reaching for the surface imploringly.