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.
Shinobu had apparently not noticed Liya at all until Shinobu's hug brought them face-to-face over Yoshi's shoulder. Shinobu stared at her a moment--and Liya stared back--before abruptly standing up and moving Yoshi over absently to get a better look.
"A Palace healer?" she said skeptically, and made a face that seemed to be trying to convey a raised eyebrow, without actually having eyebrows, "Aren't you a little young for that uniform?"
Liya shrank a bit, immediately defensive. "I'm fifteen," she mumbled.
"Fifteen," Liya said again, "I'm fifteen."
Shinobu's ears flicked back. "Incredible accent you've got there," she said, and stepped past Yoshi, who looked suddenly embarrassed, "What tick-infested part of Earth are you from, then?"
Liya drew herself up, shoving her hands deeper into the pockets of her jacket, and said, "I'm not from Earth. I'm from Violetta."
"In the Symphony Archipelago?" Shinobu asked, curling her lip somehow, "That Violetta? How unfortunate."
"Shinobu," Yoshi interrupted, quietly but fiercely, "This is Liya. She's my friend."
"A friend??" Shinobu asked him, sounding somewhat taken aback. It was impossible to tell if this disgusted her, or if she was merely surprised by it. "Really, Yoshi??"
"Please be nice," Yoshi told her. Liya hung back against the door, unable to help the uncomfortable flush creeping up in her face--she didn't have much time to meditate on it, though, because the door had slid open behind her and Vlad had reappeared, a mug full of liquid in each hand.