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Jessi Banda

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Jessi Banda[3c] was a Guardswoman of the Tanith First and Only regiment.[2a]



Banda was a Vervunhiver of the planet Verghast who worked as a loom-girl when Vervunhive was attacked by the fallen Hive Ferrozoica.[1b][2a][3c] She managed to survive the Zoicans' initial artillery bombardment of the hive in the outer habs and, along with a number of other civilians, met up with a unit of the Vervun Primary led by Captain Olin Fencer.[1a][1b]

Fencer recruited all of the able-bodied civilians he found to reinforce his company's defensive position, knowing that the Zoicans would soon lead an infantry advance. Sure enough, the Zoicans initiated their first infantry assault on Vervunhive. Fencer's company's position was overrun and Fencer himself was killed.[1a] The survivors, including Banda, regrouped as a Scratch Company led by the miner Gol Kolea.[1b][2a][3c]

At the conclusion of the war on Verghast, Vervunhive was reduced to ruins and planned to be demolished. Warmaster Macaroth issued an Act of Consolation, allowing any surviving Vervunhiver to sign up for the Astra Militarum and reinforce one of the Sabbat Crusade's regiments that had been sent to aid the hive.[1c] Kolea's scratch company all took the offer and were recruited into the Tanith First and Only, the legendary "Gaunt's Ghosts".[1c][2a]

Sabbat Worlds Crusade

As a Trooper in the Tanith First, Banda had to overcome a number of obstacles - she was a Verghastite (and therefore a newcomer, seen by some of the Tanith as unworthy of being Ghosts)[2a][3a] and a woman (prior to the Act of Consolation, the Tanith had been an all-male regiment).[2a]

When she signed on, Banda applied to the regiment's sniper corps. She was not accepted, however, as there was a strict limit on the number of available marksman slots and priority was given to those Verghastite recruits who already had experience with sharpshooting (usually from service in the Vervun Primary).[2b] Despite this, Banda was regarded as an excellent shot even with a standard las-rifle.[2a][2b] Even the Tanith Major Rawne was impressed by her after she saved his life on Hagia by scoring a headshot on an Infardi cultist while the Tanith were engaged in street fighting in the Holy Doctrinopolis.[2a]

During the Battle of Bhavnager on Hagia, Banda and Trooper Cuu were providing support for two of the regiment's snipers (Larkin and Twenish), as part of an attempted flanking manoeuvre on the Chaos-occupied town of Bhavnager. When Twenish was killed by the Infardi, Banda took up his long-las and again proved herself extremely proficient.[2b]

By 771.M41, around the time of the regiment's deployment on Phantine, Banda had been elevated to official sniper status.[3b][3c] For the assault on the city of Cirenholm, she was attached to the third platoon under Major Rawne.[3c] She was later among those Tanith whom Colonel-Commissar Gaunt selected to participate in Operation Larisel.[3d]