- A brief history of the Banshick – note this history is not complete as yet.
Editors note: This history contains MANY graphic spoilers for readers yet to get through Suspended Earth. You have been warned.
The Banshick are a species with several genetic “classes”, which has caused them some trouble with human understanding due to the events that followed them exiling their warrior class in roughly the 22nd century on Earth’s Gregorian calender.
At this time, a military faction had sought to claim right of leadership over the entire FSC, seeking to rule the galaxy in the name of the Banshick. The peaceful intellectual classes fought the smaller numbers of the Warrior class, and exiled the entire class into deep space on rule of honor to never return to FSC space.
The Warrior Classes were genetically disposed to respond to ideologies of war, however if trained from a young age could be made model citizens. The FSC forbade the Banshick to impose a proposed law to send all warrior class that were born into exile, demanding that they instead educate them and give them meaningful roles within Banshick society. This was done, though the roles tended to be more menial labor or mining and factory work than anything of cultural significance.
While the Banshick who remained within the FSC continued to prosper and grow as valuable members of galactic society, the exiled warrior classes took on the title of Armada, and sought to rebuild their shattered pride after being “defeated by a bunch of bookworms and aliens.” (Memoirs of Claarktch, pp233)
- The Armada:
On leaving FSC territory, the Banshick Armada lost access to the Hyperway network that the FSC relied upon for interstellar travel. They had a limited access to primitive hyperdrive technology, with a single yacht that could go ahead of the armada to spread a hypernet when building new links to the network. This was not always sufficient, but they leapfrogged across deep space until reaching an area inside human space and creating two colonies for themselves, one called Modus Major, and one called Modus Minor.
It was shortly after their arrival that the Banshick Armada first encountered humanity. The Warrior classes being agressive in nature, and having for generations been trained as hardy fighters and ruffians in the old fashioned style of pre-FSC Banshick, were instantly hostile, wanting to claim the prosperous Human Empire for themselves. War was devastating for both sides, and in their rudimentary military intelligence gathering, consisting of massive amounts of torture of Human prisoners, the Banshick Armada learned something.
***SPOILER, if you have not read Suspended Earth, do not read this paragraph!****
The Banshick technology operated by drawing psychic energies, known as Phishlaark, from it’s host, ie the user or operator. The warrior classes were weak in their generation of this energy. They discovered that Humans possessed vast, untapped spiritual energy compatible with the Banshick Technology. They hatched a plan to harvest that wasted resource. Embarking in stealth and subterfuge previously unheard of for the warriors, they made many hundreds of clandestine visits to Earth, after ostensibly surrendering their war to the “puny humans.”
Under the rule of a string of leaders, culminating in CLaarktch at the the time of Suspended Earth, the Armada displayed uncharacteristic forethought and cunning in their own way. They embarked on a campaign of massive misinformation, deceiving humanity as to their origins, and their status in the galaxy. They used endless lies to create a situation ripe for invasion. They led humanity to believe the Banshick Armada from outside of the milky way galaxy, and then through a lengthy process of assimilation and control, eventually conquered the Human Empire without the empire even realising. Until it was too late.
A handful of meager battles did occur, but the armada easily overpowered those who opposed it, and rewarded the ones who aided them with high ranking posts in the restructured empire. However, those they kept outside of the tanks formed the start of the Armada’s new false Human Empire, and they were forced to undergo extensive brainwashing that shortened their lives considerably, removing any recollection of the Banshick insurgency. The bulk of humanity was installed into the tank systems, where they lived out their lives in virtual worlds, the machinery siphoning that Phishlaark the Armada needed so badly. The human empire continued, in unknowing thrall to the Banshick. The humans were used to run and maintain the tank systems, as the amount of phishlaark leaked into the area around them quickly sent any banshick attenders mad. This period is now known in human space as “the Tank Era”. It was ended when an unassuming group known as the ‘Tank Heroes’ brought the tank system down and assisted the ragtag remnants of the Human Resistance Movement in defeating the Banshick and revealing the true situation to the Empire.
After their defeat in the resulting second Banshick War, the Armada was once again exiled, its remnants a sad, broken force of defeated warriors, limping through deep space. They were found by the FSC, who interrogated them, learning of their deeds. The armada was disbanded, and it’s members sent to work in prison mines as punishment for their many crimes. The FSC then sought out Humanity and invited them to join the FSC, led to them by the Librarian who had been the failed “babysitter” of the armada.