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.
"Let him be, girl," a voice said coldly from behind Liya. Breathing hard, she looked back at the speaker--he was very tall, like an overgrown rooster, but with acrid yellow eyes and a wound-up neck like a snake. He wore a black shirt over his feathers, and uniform pants. The other soldiers ranged on either side, arms tucked neatly behind their backs. "There's nothing more you can do."
Liya suddenly felt very small. She clung to Hawk's side, and could not keep the tremor out of her voice. "You s-stay away from me," she said.
Gunfire sounded from beyond the fire again; the snake-rooster-man turned towards it, but one yellow eye stayed trained on Liya. For a long moment he said nothing, but then he started to step lightly towards the fire, brushing the shoulder of the soldier to his left (bony, with odd grey skin.)
"Restrain her and let's go," he ordered, just loud enough for Liya to hear him. "Leave the dead."
"Sir," the soldier answered. Liya's hand found Hawk's and held it tight. She was horrified to see the soldiers around her begin to move towards her, the firelight sharp on their edges.