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 look Yoshi gave her was hard to parse--a little incredulous, maybe. "Why do you think no one's ever punished for harassing me? He reads the reports. I don't understand," he added, "wasn't your brother mixed, too? Didn't he get the same?"
Liya stared at him. In the silence that followed, her head filled with unbidden images--being submerged in cold, clear blue water, catching a glimpse of the wake of a bullet boiling inches from her hand, which was locked in her brother's--the fear on Hawk's face as they both flailed at the surface of the water, groping for land while overhead someone screamed threats--a bloom of heat and light and horrible noise, washing over her as Hawk kept them both tucked in a crevice, just out of the explosion's range, telling her it was okay--
They had been children, or at least, even younger than they were now--
Yoshi broke the silence.
"I'm sorry," he mumbled, sounding embarrassed. "I shouldn't have brought that up. I'm sorry."
Liya shook herself a little bit. "They din't usually make a distinction, that's all," she said, and rolled her shoulders a bit, trying to sound casual about it. "If you had any magic or if you just ran with monsters, you waren't no better than monsters themselves. We all got the same. But I guess real monsters don't see it that way," she admitted. It was Yoshi's turn to flush now, and he avoided looking at her.
They lapsed into silence for a long moment, and then both seemed to give up on their hurt feelings at the same time.
"It was pretty cool how you set that dragon guy's arm on fire, though," Liya remarked.
"I think your disconnecting his jaw with the shovel left an impression too," Yoshi answered, very diplomatically.