|Fenspace Infinities material. Fenspace Infnities material hasn't "happened" by the current timeline, though it's already been referenced in future-history or alt-history Fenspace stories and discussion. Here there be dragons of questionable canonicity, you have been warned. --The Mgt|
|Benjamin M. Rhodes|
Wilford Hall Hospital, San Antonio, Texas, United States of America, Earth
|Died||September 30, 2780|
|Cause of death||Sudden Existence Failure?|
|Residence||36 Atalante, Main Belt|
|Citizenship||Honorary Japanese Citizen|
|Home town||San Antonio, Texas, United States of America, Earth|
|Years of service||2012-2148|
|Known for||Asteroid Racing Legend and 1st CINC of the Roughriders|
|Religious beliefs||Pagan (Worships Skuld, Norse Goddess of Technology)|
|Spouse(s)||Regina 'Gina' Langley|
|Children||Mayonaka Langley-Rhodes, Mikhail Langley-Rhodes, Kyoko Langley-Rhodes, Andrew 'Ender' Langley-Rhodes|
|Parents||Kaitlyn and Johan Jones|
|Awards||Knight Commander of the Order of Endymion the Protector|
|Missions||To make the Universe a better place, through Guardianship, Diplomacy, and the Power of SCIENCE!|
Primary Writer: BlackAeronaut
From the years 2012 to 2148, Benjamin Rhodes was the first Commander-in-Chief of the Roughriders. Benjamin got a late start on things and it is debatable whether or not he is the last of the First Fen. He once held the title of “The Most Awesome Man in the Multi-verse,” an annual special in a Midchildan men's magazine, “But only once!” says Benjamin to anyone that teases him about it. He then goes on to say that Chuck Norris held the title for ten years straight and Old-Spice!Gendo_Ikari for twenty years straight.
- Age: 32 (circa 2012)
- Height: 5'8”
- Weight: 165lbs.
- Build: Athletic
- Hair: Dark-chestnut, shoulder length, wavy
- Eyes: Dark-brown
- Other Notes: He has a narrow face with high cheekbones and almond-shaped eyes that are clear indicators of his Native-American ancestry. Prefers to dress casually in ordinary clothes – the only caveat he'll give to name brands is Levi's classic 501 Jeans and Doc Martin steel-toe boots. He also has a penchant for trench coats, dusters, and leather jackets.
Biomod: He has Kazuma Torisuna's Right Arm, complete with transformation ability. He also has a reinforced musculo-skeletal system to cope with the stresses. This biomod generates a speed-drive field around his body to grant 'instant motion' to a person or thing he strikes with a Shell Bullet attack. The Shell Bullet attacks operate much like a camera flash, with energy for three rapid attacks on standby.
- Kazuma Torisuna's Right Arm
- Batteries Not Included: the energy supply for the Shell Bullets comes straight out of Ben's personal energy. No one knows for certain how this works, but upping his blood sugar works wonders in recovering the spent energy.
- Derivative Strength: the protective armor around his right arm is created by a matter conversion at the molecular level – pretty much anything can be used, but the resilience will only be as good as the source material.
- Do No Harm: the Shell Bullets do not directly transfer kinetic energy. Instead, the drive field the Shell Bullet generates is transferred from Ben to whoever/whatever he hits, sending them/it flying. Any damage done is upon their impact with something else. However, if Benjamin strikes someone/something that out-masses him by at least an order of magnitude (say, the surface of a asteroid for example) the drive field rebounds on him and he is sent flying instead.
- Magic Words: In order to use the special Shell Bullet attacks, Ben has to use Kazuma's attack lines, "Shocking Fist **Bullet!**" etc...
- Idle Hands: when his Alter State is active his arm has a mind of its own... and a rather perverted one at that. Ben must keep conscious control over his arm, or at least restrain it, or else it will grope any attractive woman that happens to be in reach.
- Dramatic Breeze: in effect only when his Alter State is active – bleed-off from his drive field in its stand-by status causes his hair and any other article (such as a scarf) to flap dramatically as though he were standing in a stiff breeze.
- Tenchi Masaki Syndrome: an unrelated handwavium quirk that makes him irresistibly attractive to most girls from puberty to the age of nineteen. Some are either unaffected or able to resist.
- Part-Time Mad Scientist: like A.C. Peters, Benjamin is prone to Blue Hair Moments where he goes into a Mad Science state. This is when he usually creates his most useful inventions, such as the quadruple-helix ion emitter focusing element used to massively improve the efficiency of reactionless ion drives.
Benjamin is a person who prefers to look at the lighter side of things – in this respect he is a survivor, always keeping in mind that there's something better over the horizon if you keep working towards it. He is also known for having a long fuse, but he can bark out orders like any other commander in the field, giving the appearance of an angry person. He does have his share of rage buttons, but he generally keeps a lid tightly clamped down on it. When he does have a melt down, it is not a pretty picture in the sense that somebody is going to be physically harmed.
Diplomacy, in Benjamin's eyes, is something dealt with a sidearm on your hip – preferably one with explosive ammunition. He subscribes to Theodore Roosevelt's saying, “Speak softly, and carry a big stick.” He is direct, unsubtle, and is not afraid of twisting arms.
In a leadership role, Benjamin has a habit of leading from the front whenever he can get away with it, especially if he gets to do something incredibly flamboyant, thus affirming his Texan heritage. Otherwise, he only spends a few hours a day in his office, using the rest of the day's time to connect with his staff and work on his own projects. He leaves all the day-to-day operations in the hands of his capable executives.
In person, Benjamin comes off as one of two things: he is either a charming, emotive, talkative person with much on his mind, or a botheration with an annoying voice that simply talks too much.
In love and friendship, Benjamin is an overgrown child: sweet natured and affectionate, but also sneaky and mischievous. He loves to tease those he loves, but never with anything harmful. With Gina in particular, he is fond of telling her that she has a cute death-glare. He loves to play games, both real ones with a physical element such as tag and hide-and-go-seek, and cerebral (if quirky) ones such as Knightmare Chess and the Totally Insane Card Game (a cracked-out version of Uno).
Benjamin was born in San Antonio and is the proud inheritor of a long family history of Texans. In fact, his pride in his 'Fatherland' is such that it touches on most things in his life; for example, the Roughriders flying the colors of the Republic of Texas as their own.
Much to his dislike, his family traveled all over the continental United States after his Father's discharge from the US Air Force, primarily due to him taking short-term-high-paying contracts. In a space of time over seven years his family had moved sixteen times.
Not being the social butterfly that so much relocation would require, Benjamin eventually dropped out of high school. Until he was twenty-eight he stayed with his family taking odd jobs wherever his family stopped in an attempt to make enough money to take a GED exam and get his own place to stay.
It was at the outbreak of the First Fen that Benjamin finally saw his chance. While his family was working a 12-month contract in England, Benjamin remained behind as a care taker for their house. Left alone, he procured his first batch of Handwavium from a friend and lifted off about a month later.
Initially, he based his operations out of Sydney, Australia, making courier runs between Earth and whoever in orbit, on the Moon, on Mars, etc. When The Island was opened for residential tenants he rented a studio apartment and garage for his vehicle there, permanently moving his operations into orbit. It was after this move he began to spend his leisure time zooming around in the asteroid belt. Others began to join him on his jaunts and soon enough, Asteroid Racing was formally organized into a spectator sport amongst the Fen, with Benjamin being one of the game's pioneers and greatest champions.
One of his most heroic acts came as a precursor to Operation: Great Justice when he foiled an assassination attempt on Queen Serenity I of the Silver Millennium Empire, complete with gun fights, (space)car chases, and a pretty girl with a crush on him. In the aftermath, Benjamin was awarded the Order of Endymion the Protector for his actions and given an official title of Knight Commander, with all the rights and responsibilities entailed.
It would not be long until he had to make use of said title.
Soon after the SOS-Con was called and Operation: Great Justice began. Benjamin was recruited by Haruhi Suzumiya herself as their leading 'Bishounen Ace Pilot'. While she did get Benjamin into the Operation, it was not exactly what she envisioned.
As part of the deal, Benjamin was given a decommissioned SR-71 Blackbird. However, because it was the one on display at the parade grounds of Lackland AFB in San Antonio, Benjamin again incurred the wrath of the US Government – specifically the Department of the Air Force. (Later, when Benjamin shrugged it off, saying that his was really a Navy family anyways, he gained a cult following among the sailors of the USN.)
With his Blackbird he established a new base of operations on 36 Atalante with the help of the Rockhounds. It did not take long for Benjamin to realize that while many Fen had armed their vehicles, a truly organized 'space fighter' force simply did not yet exist. With this in mind, Benjamin, with the help of R. Regina Langley, set out to organize one.
And thus was the start of the Roughriders.
For the one-hundred-thirty-six years he was in command, Benjamin saw to it that the Roughriders had the whole of the Convention in its interests, thus becoming the Convention's version of the UN Peacekeeping Forces, only far more proactive. While Benjamin established a Diplomatic Corps, he always made sure that in the more volatile conflicts there was a suitable Roughriders task force not far away. Thus the message was clear: play nice or else. For this, Benjamin was often accused of trying to control Fenspace through force of arms. Benjamin would simply laugh and say “You really are naïve, aren't you? Any one of the major factions can go to war and there would be precisely dick I can do about it. It's happened before, you know. The Federation and the Alliance are always sore at each other on general principal. All I try to do is minimize the flare-ups.”
In the year 2037 Benjamin was critically wounded in combat. Fearing the worst, his daughter, Mayonaka Langley-Rhodes, did what is known as “The most bat-shit insane thing ever!” by nearly overdosing on Espresso-strain handwavium, performing a space-fold to the edge of the Sol-system's Limit, and coming in at 0.9 C to be 'caught' by Gabriel's Horn in an ingenious bit of gear-hacking performed over the Etherwave network. This had effectively ruined Mayonaka's Blackbird space-frame, but Benjamin's life had been saved, if only just barely.
In the aftermath, Benjamin decided to have his consciousness 'downloaded' into a bio-android body, since his wife and children were, in essence, immortal anyways. His original body was very much debilitated anyhow.
When Benjamin retired, he left the Roughriders in the capable hands of Mayonaka while he and his wife went on to go adventuring across the cosmos. Every other century he would check in to make sure that the Roughriders are still what he originally made them to be, and sometimes he has to set one of his descendants straight.
At some unimaginably distant point in the future, though, Benjamin had decided they'd seen enough of their universe and built a device he simply called The Door. The device, despite its unassuming looks and title, struck an ominous chord among the SMOFS (aka The Great Old Ones) because no one was certain where the door led.
Some, like Benjamin, suspected that it led to parallel universes using 12th dimensional travel. Others just figured it was singularity with a stable containment field and Benjamin was fucking nuts.
Either way, Ben and Gina were balls-up crazy enough to try it, and not even Skuld-sama knows for sure where they went.