Her closest companion is the entire world is her son. She herself was raised by her mother: a drug-abusing prostitute who was often beat by her pimp and customers. All the while, Ishi, as a little girl, would see this and rationalised it as how people got by (augmented by memories of her mother giving her a little smile after being viciously mistreated). Ishi's mother stabbed her pimp when she caught him grooming her daughter (thirteen at the time). Fearing for her daughter's life, she faces the backlash alone as she marches into the local mob boss' tower and goes on a suicidial rampage. Eight are killed, as is she. Other members of the gang are happy to dismiss it as the actions of a "crazy whore". Ishi's fleeing goes unnoticed.
She ends up running into the farms. Taken in by a family, she works as a farmhand. By fifteen, she falls pregnant by a boy from a Parryman farm. Kicked out, she settles up further the canal in a more remote and smaller farm. Living there is an old woman and her son. The old lady agrees to take Ishi in if she marries her son and gives her grandchild, preferably a grandaughter. Ishi is only eight weeks pregnant at this point so it isn't obvious that she's already carrying a child. She agrees. She succeeds in convincing her new husband that the baby is his. Ishi plays the part of wife, daughter-in-law and mother for four years. The war breaks out and the farms are attacked. The old lady dies and because of the damaged crops, there's barely any food on the trable. They start growing coca and withing six months have a small operation running.
Two years later, Ishi's husband is conscripted to fight the Vulcans. Ishi takes charge of the operation completely. Through her husband, she has access to a whole other market in the arny and business expands rapidly. Ishi becomes known in parts of the city for her reliability and quality goods. She starts being able to diversify and put her money into something more lawful. Unfortunately, at around the same time, her success and reknown earn her the attention of a major gang from the Grid who try to extort her. She agrees to pay. Her husband comes back from the war three years later and is angered to find that his enterprise is no longer his. He rallies other farms and businesses to form a rebellion against the mobsters controlling the Grid. He is beaten to death in public. Both Ishi and her now nine-year-old son see this.
To the present day, almost two years later, and Ishi is in charge of expanding the Grid's business in Pandem. As a born and bred Pandemonion herself, Ishi is felt to be the perfect choice in leading the gang's expansion into Lasef.