"Schrie ich - du stirbst!" ("I scream - you die!")
BANSHEE is not the average Decepticon, if such a thing ever existed. Honourable, artistic, and with a passion for opera, Banshee is more cultured than most of her kin, painting portraits of her commanders and singing opera in her spare time. Her anachronistic Ju-87 altmode is surprisingly effective in the modern warzone, superior in agility to most jets in a dogfight, though of course she's much slower. Banshee packs a punch, carrying 250kg and 50kg bombs, R4M incendiary rockets, two Bordkanone 27mm cannons and a rear-facing 7.62mm machine gun, eschewing energy weapons in favour of old-fashioned cannons and bombs 'from a more noble era'. Unfortunately, her focus on agility and punch leaves little spare weight in her frame for armour, meaning she goes down easily... if you can hit her. In robot mode specially-modified vocal subsystems, originally designed to grant her perfect pitch and an enormous range for opera singing, have been turned into the fearsome, shattering scream that gives her the name Banshee -- systems she can use in both modes...
Banshee is a tall, somewhat 'shapely' Femicon, with a sharp, authoritarian style. Her anachronistic altmode is made obvious by the folded wings of the Ju-87 Stuka on her back, and the fact that her head is the engine, gearbox, and propeller - the blades of which are folded, almost looking like pigtails. Her face is found between the two heads of the Junkers Jumo 213 engine - its inverted-V design forming the perfect place for it. She has red eyes, with the Junkers Motorwerken logo below her left eye as one might find the fleur-de-lis on a warrior-nun, and she's most commonly found with a pair of purple-tinted goggles pushed up onto her forehead with the straps dangling down on either side of her face - obviously held there magnetically. The straps wouldn't fit around her head anyway, due to its unusual shape. Her is head supported on a thick, cog-ringed neck and several hydraulic cylinders- an archaic, out-dated pattern that she seems to prefer.
Banshee has her own (themed) team of three Gumby attendants. As well as being excellent singers in their own right, the three help Banshee maintain her rather specialist ammunition stocks, as well as obtaining for her the very best refined energon whiskeys and brandies. They echo her Germanic styling.
Unteroffizier (Corporal) Sprocket is the smallest of the three. He is perhaps twelve feet tall when walking on two legs, and his altmode is an SdKfz 2, more commonly known as a Kettenrad. As well as the smallest, Sprocket is the strongest of the three, able to haul long trains of bombs, shells, bullets, rockets and fuel between the ammo dumps and Banshee's revetment. His first response to danger is to try and get the supplies he considers his responsibility out of danger. He also operates as Banshee's Ordonnanz, or Batman.
Gefreiter (Private 1st class) Hannah and Flieger (Private) Magnus are a mini-combiner pair. Together, they form an SdKfz 251/17 Schützenpanzerwagen (2 cm) "Hanomag" half-track, configured as a light anti-aircraft gun. Individually relatively weak, when combined they can tow Banshee around, if she is unable to move under her own power for any reason. When combined, they are armed with a 20mm KwK 30 flak gun. When danger threatens, they cover Sprocket's escape.
Banshee was, once, one of the many generic legions of Seekers, assigned to Megatron as he pursued the Ark - her perfect pitch and singing ability were the only defining feature that set her apart from the others; not important, in the grand scheme of things. Somehow, her stasis chamber was knocked loose and remained buried under Germany, until she woke up during the late 1930s. Unable to pick up any Decepticon signals - or any Cybertronian signals at all, Banshee heard the call of war, and decided it was best to blend in and find out what was going on... at least for a while. Assuming the form of a Stuka to remain hidden, Banshee flew for Sturzkampfgeschwader 2 (StG 2) Immelmann, flown by a barely-competent crew whose colleagues (thanks to her assistance) thought them gifted, while waiting to hear from others of her kind. As the war progressed, Banshee's crew began to pick up on certain little hints that she wasn't what she seemed, and by 1943, they were keeping her secret from their commanders. By 1944, the rest of StG2 Immelmann were keeping her a secret from the rest of the Reich. Ironically, had she been found out it is likely she would have survived and joined Axis and Blitzkrieg in flying for the Luftwaffe in her own right.
After the False Reich was defeated, she powered herself down to hide. Her crew had a plan - their last act, before retiring to civilian life, was to have Banshee sent to the Imperial War Museum - to hide, as Cybertronians always have, in plain sight.
To this day, the night guards of the War Museum in London speak of hearing opera at night, around the Luftwaffe exhibit; legend states it's a ghost. It's not, though it might as well have been. Low on power, Banshee was unable to transmit out to her comrades, though she could hear them again, and sang of her loneliness every night. As the signals grew stronger, She gathered the last of her strength, preparing to try and contact her people one last time...
In 2013, the Imperial War Museum in London underwent a major building redevelopment, transforming the museum to mark the Centenary of the First World War. As part of the renovations, Banshee was moved out of the vault. Receiving signals from active Decepticons, Banshee used some of her last energon to transform, where she was assisted by Mistress Armada, Slugfest, and a German museum worker to refuel and return to the Decepticons. She took part in the fight against the Quintessons soon after.
08Sep2013 - Nightlash, following some errant Heavy Metal radio broadcasts, encountered the Decepticons Banshee and Rainmaker. Suspiscions between Rainmaker and Nightlash were high. However, there was only tense dialogue as Nightlash tried to find out the current Decepticon agenda. Rainmaker, however, refused to divulge any information on the matter and the two parted ways.
Aug 28 - Reportink for duty!
Banshee appears onscreen, freshly painted and repaired. She seems to be in the training room of Trypticon.
"Guten Tag. I am Banshee, formerly known as one of ze many, ze innumerable legions of Seekers we, er, used to have." She coughs. "As you can see, I no longer fit the description of a Seeker.
When... whatever happened to the Nemesis happened, I was shaken loose. Awaken durink ze 1930s, I hid amongst ze humans, adopting a new altmode. One I have found to be most effective."
Cut to a piece of black-and-white footage of a Ju-87 Stuka. The words on the plane's engine cowling make it clear who it is - Banshee. In some really nice editing, the footage fades smoothly into a video of her current look - she's wearing a variant of the German Home Defense livery, a smooth olive-green with yellow wingtips, nose, elevators and rudder, flying in the training room. Her Third Reich insignia is gone, replaced with Decepticon tags.
"Ze Junkers Ju-87 stuka. Ridicule me for retaining zis altmode if you vish, but first before you cast judgement, observe."
In the footage, she pulls a half-roll and dives, the sirens on her wings screaming as she lays a 250kg bomb square onto the top of the first training drone's head.
The image cuts to an image of her letting fly with the newly-installed R4M rockets, saturating a cluster of training drones with flame. As a Seeker-type drone flies at her with guns flying, but she banks hard - showing off her superior maneuverability to the far-faster jet. She sits herself on its tail and fills the jet full of 27mm fire before it can turn around. Finally she drops a 50kg bomb on another cluster of Autobot drones, dropping to the ground and transforming.
She starts to sing, a pure A-note as her moth-like wings spread to their fullest width, fresh R4M rockets appearing from subspace onto their racks. "Ich gebe zu, das Geschenk der Tod vom Himmel!" She sings, spreading her arms as the R4M rockets launch, nerbelwerfer-style - sounding almost like a church organ as the eight warheads whistle from their racks. The camera tracks them as they arc through the air to finish off the group that she'd previously bombed.
She steps smoothly towards the camera, smoothly wiping soot from her shoulders with a soft smile.
"As you can see, I am a capable airframe. Ja, modern Dusenmotor are faster, but you will be hard-pressed to find a modern airframe zat can carry as much hardvare as me in this compact a space, unt I have superior agility to your average seeker."
She salutes. "I look forward to fighting Quintesson unt Autobot abschaum with you. Auf Wiedersehen! Banshee out!"
8/31 - "The Final Phase"
The Quintesson Sevax is being put on trial for incompetence. He allowed a Decepticon to escape captivity and damage one of their Space Bridges. In retaliation, the Quintessons have chosen to advance their plans to the final phase.
- March 9 - "Autobot Break Out" - Cons will be Cons.
Jun 09 - Insecticon Verschwörungen im Norden
Banshee's custom Luftwaffe-styled Decepticon eagle appears, followed by Banshee's face. She looks pretty beat up, with the exhausts on one side of her engine/head black and sooty.
"Guten Abend, Kommandeure und Führer." She snaps off a sharp salute, despite her battle damage. "I was out on rovink patrol today... zer simple north pole loop. I voz strugglink mit der vinds when I spotted somesink... upon movink to get a closer look I caught sight of two unknown insecticons unt Snaptrap... during vhot appeared to be ein prisoner exchange or meeting." She sags slightly. "Unfortunately, I vos not able to get further information due to beink discovered. Zey fired upon me unt I made to attack, however zer three of zem fired upon me unt... vell, I am not zer toughest airframe, unt heavily outnumbered I decided to vithdraw unt bring mein information back. I enclose ein sketch of zer two insecticons, and ein sketch of zer rough scene as I came upon it.
She straightens, and delivers a very politically incorrect salute. "Heil Megatron!"
- Decepticon Spinny.
Banshee's sketches show off that she is a very good artist. There are busts of Flashfire and Underfoot, and actually they look pretty good. The third sketch shows Snaptrap removing some kind of collar from around the neck of Flashfire while Underfoot waits to greet her, rendered from about 500ft up and 3/4 of a mile away. Banshee's wing is in the bottom of the scene, and somehow the whole scene portrays a slight motion, as if the viewer were flying at around 350mph.
September 11 - "Decepticon Royal Rumble"
Infighting continues among the Decepticons.
October 27 - "A Quiet Storm"
The beginnings of a beautiful friendship...
November 01 - "Imploring Shockwave"
Acid Storm and Banshee bring their proposal to Shockwave.
12 November - "Banshee Unt Viper"
Viper visits Banshee at her revetment outside DHQ.
November 29 - "Ideas Presented"
Acid Storm and Banshee present their ideas to Shockwave.
December 18 - "Attack on Autobot City"
Dec 19 - Operation Vengeance results
The Luftwaffecon crest appears.
It is replaced by the blond-haired, pale-skinned form of Banshee's pilot hologram, taken from the centre of her front console. Heavy damage can be seen on her tailplane through the windows, several of which are broken. She's also leaving a fairly steady trail of black smoke behind her.
"Reportink mission success!" Banshee says, cheerfully, turning so the camera can see Metroplex behind her, his command centre and repair bay, still trailing smoke. "Zer flash-pak performed as advertised, unt all three I was issued vere expended durink zer mission. Zer first vun struck zer repair bay, Metroplex' defensive batteries shot down zer second, vhile zer third took several hits but impacted zer command centre unt ignited. I don't know if it did zo at full power. I do not know if any of zer vitvicky family voz in zer facility at zer time, but if zey vere, it is unlikely zat zey vould able to survive. Even if zey did not perish, Führer Megatron's message has been delivered. Further vengeance strikes against other troublesome facilities unt individuals in zer coming months may not be a bad idea. Zat is all. Heil Megatron!"
Banshee banks away from Metroplex, then the Decepticon insignia re-appears.
Dec 20 - This is a Decepticon Propaganda Network broadcast for: Humanity!
Feb 10 - Zer Luftwaffecons are Recruiting!
Usually, between shows the Decepticon Propaganda Network's broadcasts show advertisements for weapons and luxuries, like most other channels - though of course with a more militaristic tendency than more 'open' channels.
- Occasionally, however, it's begun showing one that takes up the entire break. It begins with a marching drum beat that slowly builds into a rousing opera, praising Megatron and the Decepticons. As the opera builds, the picture fades from black to images of the recent Decepticon strike against Autobot City and other operations, focussing primarily on Banshee. Then the camera focuses on Luftwaffecon HQ, panning down past the big concrete flak tower to focus on the hangar, proudly displaying red flags bearing the Decepticon sigil in purple and white, and Banshee's mural of the great Decepticons across the main doors. The music fades a little as Banshee steps into view.
"Guten Tag, andere Decepticons." She says, with a slight bow. Captain's bars grace her 'collar' now, at the corners of her windscreen surround. "It hast come to mein attention zat mit zer increase in rescources ve are now enjoying viz Cybertron's renewal, many of us are now applicable for re-assignment of our alt-modes. I know zat zer current generation of vehicles hast many very good options, should you be vanting to change, but I vould like to show you a generation off shapes zat many overlook. I am talking about zose of zer second great var. I myself am exceedingly fond of zer Ju-87 Stuka zat I adopted for survival reasons back in zer 1930s unt 40s. Ja, I do not haff zer ability to jack zer sound barrier like some of you modern Kampfjets... but how long does it take Kampfjets to turn around?"
The image shows Banshee and an unknown Seeker training. The Seeker attempts to energy-fight, making high-speed passes on Banshee; she seems to dance around his firepower, dodging most of his shots - and every time he passes her, she deploys her dive-flaps and swings herself around on his tail, filling him full of 27-mm cannon fire. Although damaged, she wins the fight.
"Unt mit zat said, zere are several options with Düsentriebwerke, if turbines are to your tastes, from a variety of nations. I mein self am, of course, biased towards Deutschland"
The picture is replaced with a picture of the Me-262 - Blitzkrieg, in fact. It is followed by an Arado AR-234, a Gloster Meteor and a de Havilland Vampire. A P-80 completes the scene as Banshee continues talking.
"However I invite you to try zer instant power response unt surprising load capacity of zer verbrennungsmotor; I myself can carry more zan a third again more payload zan any similarly-sized kampfjet, vithout any detriment to mein turnink ability. Join zer Luftwaffecons. Bring ein new dimension of varfare to zose who would oppose our benevolent conquest of zer galaxy - history!"
The scene fades to black with more rousing music, then regular programming resumes.
April 17 - "Attack on the Metal Plains"
The Decepticons are at it again, launching a massive campaign in an attempt of take over the manufacturing base of the newly-revitalized Cybertron. Only Elita's squad of plucky Autobots can stop Shockwave's relentless march to the west from Helex.
Apr 21 - Report from Trucial Abysmia
Banshee appears on screen, apparently sat in a massive deck-chair on a Trucial Abysmian airfield, sipping from a small container of something. Hannah, Magnus, and Sprocket are visible behind her, building a model prisoner-of-war camp out of sand.
- "Führer Megatron, Decepticon Befehl. König Mohammed ist serious about his offer to become part of zer Empire." She reports. "He considers Cobra to be veak, unt ven he asked vot zer Decepticons could offer his country, I told him plainly - ve vould, if ve veren't busy vith other crises, respond to attacks against him unt his country. I told him zat ve haff bigger concerns, such as zer distinct possibility of Unicron's return, or vorse, zat may delay or prevent response... essentially, zat ve vould treat his land as any other part of zer Empire. Zis pleased him."
She smiles, sipping her drink. "Unt if zis is any indication of zer quality of ze fuels here, I am impressed. I suggest ve send some of our more... personable soldiers to patrol here occasionally... fly zer flag, so to speak, and send formal treaties to be signed unt finalize everysing to zer point vhere not even Earth's byzantine laws can give zer Autobots a path to unseating us. I alzo suggest ve start looking into zer local population, find ourselves a few mechanically-gifted engineers unt start training zem to assist our medical staff. Vith, er, friendlier medics, of course. Not some of zer... more var-veary, shall ve say. Humans are not a species zat responds well to coercion - trust me, I lived vith them for a long time. Be gentle vith zem; zey are as independent, proud, unt inventive as ve are, despite ze inferior physical form unt short lifespan... zer very traits zat make zem hard to..." She searches for the right word a moment. "Domesticate, shall ve say, are vot make zem such a good subject race."
- "I vould alzo like permission to put zese three flag designs before King Mohammed, to become the new official Trucial Abysmian flag. Zat is all."
Three variants of the Trucial Abysmia flag appear on-screen. In each one, the Decepticon insignia has been placed, prominently but not to the point of vulgarity.
The Luftwaffecon crest re-appears, and the screen goes blank. ____________________________________________________
- Banshee is played by User:HCIJess.