Name: Benjamin James "Ben/Squirrel" Lichter
School: Cochise High School
Hobbies and Interests: Kite flying, romance novels, tabletop games, climbing (trees, rocks, fences), hiking, pop music
Appearance: Benjamin is a 5'5" boy of slight build and narrow shoulders. His skin is cream-colored, with the parts of his arms and legs that stretch out from beneath his t-shirt and shorts a slight tan. His hair is chestnut brown and always has a somewhat ragged appearance, due to it being rather thin and less than cared for on a daily basis. A monthly visit to the hairdressers keeps it short, no part of it ever falling further than an inch below his ears. His face is pinched and lacks both a chin and cheekbones, with a round yet narrow jaw. His appearance resembles that of a fourteen year old more than a seventeen year old, with the small amount of perpetual black fuzz on his upper lip serving to affirm his youth more than his being near adulthood. He has a small but pointed nose.
His eyes are mud brown. He dresses himself for comfort, with his usual outfit being shin length cargo shorts and a t-shirt, adding a dark blue hoodie when the weather turns colder. His shoes are usually one of two pairs of sneakers, one black and white and the other red, but when going on trips, hikes or a kite flying session he instead pulls on a pair of old and worn hiking boots.
On the day he was captured he was wearing a faded green t-shirt, his cargo shorts and his boots.
Biography: Benjamin was born to parents Melissa and James Lichter in Coolidge, a town just outside Phoenix, Arizona, and spent the first eight years of his life living relatively peacefully. His father was a car mechanic and his mother a clerk at a local convenience store. They had met in 1993 while his mother was on a road trip with two friends that passed through Phoenix. After checking in at a motel they drove into the city to find a bar, where they had met James and a couple of his friends. They were both twenty two and struck up a conversation on the basis that they were the only people in the bar who weren't getting drunk. This was because Melissa was the designated driver of her group and James was a seventh day Adventist. At the end of the evening they exchanged numbers and parted ways. This was the start of a relationship that culminated in her marrying him two years later and them moving into a house in Coolidge. Benjamin was born two years later on 22nd May, 1997.
Though his mother wasn't church-going, his father, James, insisted on taking him to church every Saturday from the age of three, which, as well as talks he had with him, instilled a belief in God in Benjamin. He also had a few religious morals imprinted on him this way, of which generousness, modesty and a distaste for homosexuality in particular lasted. Though James raising Benjamin as a seventh day Adventist was a matter of contention at first, Melissa relented after she noticed Benjamin displaying the first two morals and giving credit to the pastor of the church's lectures when asked. The fact James never tried to convert her and resisted pressure from the pastor to do so also made her more lenient.
At age six Benjamin's sister Minnie was born, who had asthma and an extreme dust allergy, which forced his mother to take more time off work than expected and led to her getting fired. The reduced income put a strain on the family, with Melissa having trouble finding work that would allow her enough time off to care for Minnie adequately. After two years and reduced affection between Melissa and James, James had a two week affair with a teacher at Benjamin's school. While initially angry at James, Melissa realised that their love had disappeared and they mutually decided on a divorce. Melissa and her children then moved in with her father, Horace, who lived in a spacious three bedroom apartment in Kingman. The apartment was spacious due to his wife, Melissa’s mother, dying of lung cancer ten years previously and him not wanting to move out.
James, meanwhile, stayed in Coolidge and visited his children every second week. A year after the divorce, however, he was involved in a crash on his way to visit his children. He died two hours later of internal bleeding. This left Benjamin without a father figure, so he turned towards his grandfather for support while his mother grieved for the man who was not her husband but who she still considered a good friend. In order to bond with Benjamin and take his mind off the tragedy his grandfather introduced him to his hobby of kite flying, which Benjamin immediately took to. The peace of watching it soar gave him a reason to like it, but the fact he had some talent for maneuvering the kite through the air- the first time he really had that for something - settled the deal. Horace and Benjamin went kite flying in Sumac Park or outside of town once a week for the next several years, though Horace had to stop when his back started to fail him and he was forced to walk with a cane.
Benjamin didn't stand out in elementary school and got passable grades, though he had a certain mischievous look that made teachers keep an eye on him. His grades dropped dramatically in grade 9 following the death of his father, though he managed to pass anyway thanks to the intervention of his grandfather. He made a few friends while in elementary, though he lost contact with most after starting at a local middle school. He never went to church again following his move to Kingman, since his mother was willing to let James take him, but not to do so herself. Both in elementary and middle school Benjamin became known for clambering up trees and other vertical objects, which, along with his face, earned him the semi-affectionate moniker "Squirrel". He didn't do this to impress his friends, but because it was fun, and did it even when they were not around. He reduced this habit after starting at Cochise, however, and the nickname was only remembered by some of the friends he kept from middle school. Benjamin had discovered he liked to hike in middle school as well, after a field trip had gone wrong and the entire group had to walk for three hours back to the bus. While most of the other children slumped, dragged their feet and complained, Benjamin had noticed he loved taking in the nature and views around him, waiting to see what was over the next hill and simply threading along methodically without responsibility, though he couldn't put that into words at that age. He begged his mother to allow him to go hiking outside of town, but she wouldn't let him go alone at his age and didn't have time to go with him that often. Going hiking with his mother became a rare treat.
After moving to Kingman, Melissa did odd jobs before landing a job at a convenience store in the town with an owner who was sympathetic to her plight. She still worked there at the time of writing. Minnie grew up not knowing her father, him having died when she was three, but with lots of love from her mother, brother and grandfather making up for that. Benjamin developed a bond with his sister that was stronger than that of most siblings - her being sickly made him very protective and her not having a father made her look up to him instead. This did, however, make it more difficult for Benjamin to make friends, due to him spending a lot of time with her. He would accompany her to the jungle gym in Sumac park and watch her while there, read her Dr. Seuss, go and get ice cream with her, play dolls with her and a host of other things. His mother was glad that he looked after his sister as much as he did, since this gave her the ability to put more hours into work and earn more money for all of them. At school Benjamin was mocked for hanging around with his little sister so much, and while this made him unhappy, he never resented her for it. It did make him resentful of the people mocking him, however, and this made him prone to be flippant with people who didn't take him or his actions seriously, which carried over to later in his life as well.
One refuge he had, besides kite flying, was music. The radio had always been on in the Lichter's household, and Benjamin liked to listen to whatever was popular at the time because of that. This was the only real strife between him and his grandfather, who preferred the radio off and hadn't even owned one himself before his daughter and her children moved in with him. The conflict was resolved when his grandfather got him an Mp3 Player for his eleventh birthday as well as the album of the top 50 hits of the year. He also promised to by him the new album every year, as long as the radio stayed off when he was home. Benjamin agreed. Other electronic devices he was exposed to were his mobile phones, a cheap flip phone from 2008 first at age twelve, a hand-me-down from his mother, and a Nokia Lumia at age fourteen, neither of which he could use for games, and his mother's laptop, which he was only allowed on for school projects. His mother didn't like the idea of him playing video games or using the internet for fun and took steps to make sure that didn't happen.
While his patience was great while babysitting his sister, it wasn't in regards to other areas of his life. He started a few projects, amongst them building a large kite, but gave up on them all rather quickly. He worked when he needed to, such as for school or when his mother insisted, but didn't carry through when he had to motivate himself and would go and listen to his music instead. This attitude made him continue not standing out in middle school either, with him getting a GPA of 2.73. He had an equal disinterest in in most subjects, though his favorite and best by a small degree was geography whenever climate was the topic, since his kite flying made him somewhat interested in why the winds blew as they did. This was averaged out after the field trip where he had discovered hiking, however, as topographical maps distracted him from the lesson by making him imagine himself wherever they showed.
At age thirteen, Benjamin discovered romance novels. One sweltering and windless summer afternoon, when his mother was at the doctor's with his sister for a check up and his grandfather was at city hall for jury duty, Benjamin was poking around in some cardboard boxes in his mother's bedroom looking for batteries for the TV remote. What he found instead was his mother's small collection of romance novels from her high school years. Not finding the batteries and not willing to depart from the air conditioned apartment, he flicked one open at a whim, the "Scent of the Sea". To his surprise he was soon engrossed. He saw the prose was generally flowery, hyperbolic and uninspired, but despite that was intrigued by the idea of a story set around a romance with a happy ending being certain. His own romantic feelings towards girls he had met hadn't become concrete yet, with him becoming smitten with a girl and forgetting her the next day, and he was confused and frightened by them. The book both comforted him and invigorated his imagination.
He didn't even stop reading when he encountered the first part of the story that was about sex. His morals, as influenced by his Christian father, made him blush profusely, but he continued with bated breath. He had thought about sex before and felt bad when doing so, but couldn't stop himself, as most hormonal teenagers can't. He was halfway through the book when his mother returned with his sister. Minnie, only aged seven, didn't take notice, but his mother did. He was told off for rummaging through her stuff, but she was sympathetic to the fact he had become a teenager and started to teach him about sex. She also asked her father to instruct him on the changes she thought he'd be going through soon, which he did with some reluctance. She also let him keep reading the novels, though it was months before his curiosity for the books overcame his embarrassment at being caught.
His love of romance novels was something he didn't share with even his closest friends, but it still had a profound effect on his social life: At age fifteen he was invited to join a game of Dungeons and Dragons at Larson's and surprised his fellow gamers by getting the Dungeon Master to agree to his bard wooing and marrying a random shepherdess by role-playing it skillfully and tastefully. This experience gave an outlet for his romantic fantasies, as inspired by the novels, and made him good friends with the people in that game. This sudden influx of friends, when previously there were only two people he had really considered such (one of whom had invited him), was an eye-opener to him. This, combined with the fact Minnie was hanging out with her own friends more and more instead of Benjamin, gave him an impetus to be more active in making friendships and soon was part of a larger group. During the next years Benjamin would often be found in Sumac Park flying a sky blue box kite he had gotten for his sixteenth birthday, while his new friends picnicked nearby.
Benjamin stood out more in high school, but not to a significant degree. He briefly tried joining the Bible study in school and the writing club, but he found the former boring and the members of the latter intimidating. Not knowing for sure which subjects to take for how long he imitated his peers and chose all the core academic classes for all four years. He decided against taking a language class. His subjects started to vary from being average, with him becoming better at some and worse at others: English stayed average and he got a mean GPA score of 3.67 in history, a mean of 3.45 in physical education and a 3.37 in health class, but got a mean GPA of 2.24 in math and 2.11 in science. The overview course in freshman year had been average, but the significantly lower scores in biology, chemistry and physics pulled his GPA down. The electives he chose for freshman year and beyond were shop and cooking, since he thought they would be most useful in later life, but he swapped cooking for art in junior year after a particularly trying semester and was satisfied with the change.
At age seventeen, Benjamin still didn't know what he wanted to do with his life. He had two successful social circles, but neither gave him an idea which career might interest him. He had tried writing his own romance novel, since his role-playing was so successful, but he found it trite and lackluster and quickly gave up, as happened with his other projects. He couldn't see how kite flying or hiking could ever be anything other than a hobby. He looked into being a car mechanic like his father, but it didn't appeal to him as much as he had hoped. At the behest of his mother he applied for a couple of positions anyway to find something to do after school.
Advantages: Benjamin has past experience climbing trees and other things, though this has declined due to him not doing it regularly any more. He has learned to comfort people and be somewhat of a father figure, though his slight build and mischievous look does not give others the impression of a leader. His love for his family gives him a strong motivation to survive. He likes to hike, but has only ever done so for a few hours at a time and has no outdoor survival skills. He has some very limited experience in sewing, due to the kite making project he abandoned.
Disadvantages: His slight build gives him a disadvantage in a fight and his look of mischievousness can make people less likely to trust him at first glance. His connection with his family is a weakness as well, as it'll make him distraught the longer he is separated from them and more and more likely to betray others to see them again. He won't be good at hiding this and this will make him even more untrustworthy to his peers. The peers he himself distrusts or dislikes won't be treated with diplomacy, since he never especially tried to fit in or learned to be dishonest about his feelings. If there is a project that needs to be worked on its urgency needs to be clear to him, or he'll find it difficult not to get bored.
Designated Number: Male student No. 046
Designated Weapon: Etch-a-Sketch
Conclusion: The only way this kid’s making it far is if he finds a good tree to hide in. With such a lacking skillset and an even worse weapon draw, he’ll make for easy prey. - Trent Camden
The above biography is as written by Malloon. No edits or alterations to the author's original work have been made.
Handled by: Malloon
Killed By: Matthew Moradi
Collected Weapons: Etch-a-Sketch (assigned weapon)
Enemies: Matthew Moradi
Mid-game Evaluation: Benjamin awakened stowed away in the suspended vehicle located in the vehicle depot along with his supplies. He observed Kimiko Kao preparing glass into a weapon, staying hidden until she was gone before he carefully extricated himself from the vehicle and departed.
He traveled across the way to the staff's A dorm, where he loudly called for people, attracting the attention of Maxim Kehlenbrink and Lili Williams. They both attempted to hide from him, but he found them both and was quickly inclined to consider them both friends from his experiences with them in Cochise. They discussed possible threats they'd already met, including Kimiko Kao. They searched for a room to hole up in for the night, and Lili was the first to sleep. This left Maxim and Ben to eat and discuss, and Ben admitted his worries and anxieties about what was to come with Maxim, who did his best to allay them.
They spent the rest of the night searching for supplies and trading shifts to sleep. Ben was asleep and woke right when announcements started on Day 2. He observed that he knew few of the names mentioned, and that his assessment of Kimiko being a danger had been accurate. He then realized that Lili was gone, having fled early in the morning before he'd checked in on her. He ran to check on Maxim, who was still there, but Ben already felt betrayed and like he'd lost hope of escape with Lili's unannounced departure. Maxim once more calmed him, and prodded Ben into producing a plan. Ben's only clear response was that they had to avoid other people.
The duo were exploring the hunting cabin, or rather intended too, when shouting spooked Ben and he began to run, believing it was Kimiko. By the time he calmed he realized he'd lost Maxim, he spent the rest of the day searching for him, only exhausting himself in the process. He continued to stress as he tried to set up camp on the cliffs, ranting to himself and a wallet photo of his family. He had barely slept by the time Day 3 came around.
Benjamin found himself at the shoreline, where he was soon approached by a bloodied and armed Astrid Tate. He quickly backed away from her, fearing an attack, though Astrid herself was conflicted about whether or not she should try to kill him. She interrogated him some, threatening him with her body language, he eventually had to lie to continue the conversation safely, asking if she'd seen Lili even though Ben considered Lili as much a problem at that point as Kimiko or Astrid. Astrid's vague, ominous probing continued until she ran out of use for him, she left Ben to panic on his own as he debated whether he'd handled the situation appropriately, whether he owed Astrid an apology. He tried, failed to calm himself as his thoughts raced. Eventually he left the scene. He found the bell tower and decided to linger around, as the vantage point might have given him an advantage. Inside he found the corpse of Barry Banks, which once more set his mind racing as he contemplated how he could avoid Barry's fate, prayed for Barry, himself. He was rained out, away from the roof of the bell tower, and had to hide, miserable and cold, until it was time to move on.
Benjamin entered the asylum for the first time during Day 5, and stumbled upon Noah Whitley and Hannah Kendrickstone as they were leaving the wards. Fearful, he attempted to back away, but his noise alerted them and Noah called out to try and assess if he had friendly intentions. Ben confirmed that he meant no harm, but asked the two of them to stay away, as he didn't know them and he was beginning to cave into paranoia. They assured him they'd stay apart and he tried to initiate a conversation of some sort, but the conversation quickly went nowhere and Noah and Hannah were quick to leave. Ben inquired for Maxim in the seconds before they left him, but they weren't able to give him any information.
Later that evening Ben marveled at the morbid ambiance of the electroshock room, all the while he was beginning to hear nonexistent voices berating him. Clarice Halwood and Alessio Rigano were stalking around in the darkness, Ben heard them and in a quick conversation with the voices in his head realized he was prepared to fight. He stayed still when Clarice spotted his silhouette in the darkness and tried to greet him. Clarice tried to use a light to find either of the others, when she shone it on Al he ran, leaving her and Ben alone. Ben threw his shoe to win him a distraction to flee, he hit his mark and was able to escape.
Ben wandered outside the asylum that evening, arguing with the voices over whether considering Clarice a threat had been a good idea. He found the corpse of Wayne Cox, and after debating with himself over the morality took the shoes to replace his own now incomplete pair. He also found the corpse of Jane Madison, it's state of desecration and familiarity disturbed him, but he slept it off in the chapel. He continued to wander around the island, sleeping on and off, musing on what he was prepared to do to survive, especially as Day 7 announcements revealed the game had been changed with several notorious killers culled.
Ben found the staff library on Day 7, drawn there to investigate the aftermath of the Day 5 fire set by Clarice Halwood that had caused it to be declared an emergency danger zone. He encountered Raina Rose, Penelope Fitzgerald, and Johnny McKay while he searched, and he stayed on the fringes of the scene, awkwardly ignoring the emotional outburst Penelope was suffering despite feeling some degree of pity. He realized by finding residue from recently used fire extinguishers that the terrorists were on island as well, his paranoia continued to deepen and he started to prepare improvised weapons, all the while still being the awkward witness to the scene between the other three. They'd started to ignore him, as he left Ben was in a way glad for that.
He went to the warehouse, where he intended to finally put the plan he'd been working on for the past few days into action. Inspired by the library fire, he'd set fire to another place but this time safely hide, and ambush the terrorists when they declared a danger zone. He was searching the warehouse for good hiding spots when he ran into Wade Cartwright through a shelf, they recoiled from one another and hastily confirmed their mutual lack of hostility. Wade was kind enough to return the wallet Ben had lost in his surprise, and also even offered supplies, which Wade had plenty of extra. They stuck up a good alliance on that, spending an hour decompressing via conversation. Wade offered that they continue to stick together, and though it was contrary to Ben's plans he eventually 'caved' into the pressure of having companions and followed.
They spent the next day of Day 7 exploring the warehouse in detail and talking, and Ben's spirits were starting to lift. Unfortunately Wade went to explore and left his weapon with Ben, and by the time Ben realized the danger it was too late, Wade had been ambushed outside of the building and killed. Ben ran to his body and begged for Wade to stay alive, but it was pointless. He remained there for some time, shocked and wondering how to proceed, and then he decided on his plan, but with the added impetus of honoring Wade's memory, however short the time they'd been together had ended up being.
After searching for more supplies, weapons or tinder for the fire, he went to the supply depot storehouse, where he put his plan into action. He found a busted open crate and embedded the splinters from it into other crates, forming a small kindling pile. He remembered Wade, and the photo of his family, and set the fire, rushing off to his hiding spot while he prepared for the fight to come. But after some time the smoke was beginning to abate, he checked and realized the fire had only localized to his pile and hadn't spread, and that he had failed.
His thorough failure left him wandering the slopes nearby aimlessly, without plan or purpose. He saw Matthew Moradi try to casually approach him. Matt openly carried a bloody pipe, after some rumination on the disturbing implications Ben realized Matt could only have bludgeoned someone, the same way Wade had been killed. Ben started to interrogate Matt, growing only more angry and insistent as Matt tried to bluff his way out of explaining himself. Things came quickly to a head as Ben jumped to the conclusion- correctly- that Matt had been the killer, his anger overwhelmed him and he threw himself at Matt in a flying tackle. Matt was caught off guard and Ben was able to throw himself on Matt's back and start hitting him and choking him. Matt threw him off with desperate thrashing and Ben fell down the full way down the incline of the slope, but he recovered and charged valiantly. He imagined himself dodging a choreographed swing from Matt and seizing the pipe and winning the fight, but none of those things happened, Ben failed to dodge and died swiftly, rolling down the hill while he could only barely acknowledge what had happened.
Post-Game Evaluation: It looks like he got the boot. - Josh Baines
... - Matt Richards
In my defense Camden also made a shitty pun in his eval. - Josh Baines
Memorable Quotes: "I know we all have problems, flaws, sin, whatever. Nobody's perfect. But what if I'm weak? In my mind, I mean. Will this place get to me? Make me... (...) do... things....?" -- His admission to Maxim about his worries.
"Focus! Control yourself! (...) You have to control yourself!" -- Yelled at himself while he's completely alone.
"No! I won't stop!" -- Yelling out loud to shut up his own internal mental voice while trying to confront Matt about the truth about Wade's death.
Below is a list of threads containing Benjamin, in chronological order.
- Prince of Nothing
- Song For A Warrior
- "And feel the blackbird's sudden tug."
- You and me and the devil makes three.
- A sea view to rest the soul.
- Calvin and Hobbes
- If We Could Have Tomorrow in Technicolor
- The show starts at five. Bring snacks.
- Local Man Convicted of Suicide
- "Nope, it's not a dream. We're stuck with it."
- On open ground, do not block the enemy's way.
- Z3 ROADSTER FOR SALE
- Prey Empathy
- The Feather of Truth
- Sic Semper Sanguinus
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