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 silver light faded from Liya's nerves; the swelling and bruising had vanished entirely. "If no one does anythin' when Yoshi reports like he's s'posed to, why are we in trouble for finishin' a fight they started?" she wanted to know.
"Because," Helly said, "it does not matter to them if you were right to break the rules."
Liya blinked. Helly looked rather distressed now, and after a long pause, murmured, "Liya, it is very hard for an offworlder to immigrate to Aetheri. They do not like offworlders here. They do many things to discourage immigration, that's why they require sponsors like me."
Liya didn't answer nem, choosing to glare at her feet instead.
"You are very lucky to have a sponsor, Liya," Helly continued quietly. "But if your record is less than perfect when your citizenship comes into question..."
At this, Liya jerked her head up. "What?" she asked warily. "What'd happen to me?"
Helly gave an uncertain little shrug, not seeming to have an answer for her.