Following a failed attempt on his life at the New Penance Trading Post in Gongaga, Benjamin Fitch was transported to Midgar by ShinRa's SOLDIER Division in compliance with his request for assistance in investigation. With a moderate stipend from the Company for his services, Benjamin makes do with what few resources he needs to stay afloat while they need him.
Despite his history with the ShinRa Science Department, Dr. Fitch and wholly and truly be described as a kind-hearted man. He cares deeply for those he holds dear and in many instances has found himself far more attached to his work than would be typically permissible. Dr. Fitch treasures the lives of others, while simultaneously finding himself in a perpetual state of guilt and self-damnation for what he perceives is his life's greatest failure--the death of the subjects of Project CHIMERA. In spite of his friendliness, he is an extremely private person when it comes to matters of his personal life.
Benjamin Fitch was born into a moderately wealthy family in the quaint little town of Nibelheim. Throughout Benjamin's youth and adolescence, ShinRa's scientific endeavors at the mountainside manor captured his continued interest. With the encouragement and support of his parents, Benjamin chose to pursue science as a career. His captivation with the delicate balance of life prompted him to devote his studies to biology.
Ben acquired his first degree in Biology at the top of his class. His academic successes prompted ShinRa's Science Division to recruit him shortly after graduation. Benjamin therefore found himself relocated to Midgar, given that operations at the ShinRa manor had ceased following the construction of newer facilities within ShinRa's freshly established Sector 0 headquarters. At the the age of 22, Benjamin began his career as a greenhorn biologist, eventually obtaining his doctorate with a primary focus in Genetics while interning primarily under the tutelage of Professor Henrik Klamp.
Ben's working relationship with the senior professor was particularly strained from the very beginning. Despite their evident differences, Klamp was unable to deny Benjamin's exceptional skill, eventually choosing the younger scientist to help him in laying out the plans for his next longterm study: Project CHIMERA.
During the seventeen years in which Project CHIMERA was underway, Ben continued to suffer unrelenting abuse from his senior, long after the younger of the two had established himself as a well-respected member of the scientific team. Professor Klamp's unrepentant bigotry during Ben's time spent working with him is largely responsible for his propensity to keep his personal life far disconnected from his work.
Much to Klamp's endless frustration, on the CHIMERA Subjects' tenth birthday, Dr. Fitch took it upon himself to bestow each and every one with a proper name, turning Subjects A-Z into respected, humanized creations. Their names, all representative of various gemstones and minerals, were chosen to represent the persistence of matter even in the absence of life. Moreover, they gave the subjects unmeasured permanence and value, the likes of which none of them had ever experienced before.
Story So Far
Termination of CHIMERA
In [ μ ] – εуλ 1999, an executive order was handed down to cease study in what had become both Dr. Fitch and Professor Klamp's life's work. Professor Klamp passed down orders to euthanize all living subjects remaining in the project. Stricken with grief at the potential of so much loss, Ben desperately reasoned with the senior Professor, managing to secure the lives of only three subjects from the Project: Jade, Opal, and Amber. The guilt of his choice weighed heavily upon him, and Dr. Fitch actively refused to be involved in the process of euthanizing the remaining subjects, instead taking it upon himself to coach the survivors in their transition into the outside world.
Dr. Fitch watched in stricken silence as the three remaining subjects were auctioned off to recuperate the losses sustained by the Project's duration. Shortly after the records were sent for archival, Dr. Fitch made the decision to retire from the ShinRa Science Department.
New Penance Trading Post
Ben's post-SSD wandering brought him to the Western Continent during the tail end of the Wutai War, providing him with ample opportunity to begin his trek towards redemption for his self-perceived failures. Using his scientific expertise to provide medical advice and treatment to the continent's many wounded and ailing residents, Dr. Fitch eventually took up ownership of a small, dilapidated compound in the dense vegetation of Gongaga's jungle outskirts. News of his establishment spread quickly across the continent, providing Ben with ample distraction through a steady stream of visitors. By the clinic's first anniversary, the surrounding area had developed into a small, yet bustling bazaar and trading post. On this day, Ben officially named the area the New Penance Trading Post and continued to work diligently for the disadvantaged community and various cities surrounding.
At the start of [ μ ] – εуλ 0004, SOLDIER operatives Greg Cabonias and Ace Dawnbreaker arrived on the scene with Alecto Sciarri, with keen interest in missing documentation on Project CHIMERA. Benjamin relented, surrendering the only copy of the Project's subject manifest at their behest, an item he had deigned to keep simply for sentimental reasons. Due to an ongoing investigation, Ben's presence was subsequently requested in Midgar for questioning, prompting SOLDIER to escort him from New Penance, though not without issue.
As the team was extracting Benjamin from the scene, an unknown assailant attacked with a clear focus on neutralizing Dr. Fitch. Through the strength and skill of the present SOLDIER and Turk, Benjamin's life was spared and he was brought into ShinRa custody. The following day, Benjamin agreed to offer his assistance in their investigation, as information came to light that Professor Klamp could not only be behind the attempted assassination, but also the fates of three additional subjects missing from the CHIMERA records.
Tragedy in Gongaga
Just days following Benjamin's arrival in Midgar, the Mako Reactor just outside of Gongaga suffered a devastating and destructive explosion, rendering great portions of Gongaga and its surrounding settlements into rubble. New Penance Trading Post was utterly decimated in the disaster, resulting in innumerable casualties of men, women, and children that had taken up temporary or permanent residence in the clinic. Once the news hit Midgar, Benjamin Fitch found himself spiraling into a seemingly irreversible bout of guilt and misery.
Despite the onslaught of immense depression, Ben opted to work tirelessly in his attempts to assure that Professor Klamp was brought to justice. The investigation continued.
Skills & Inventory
Skills & Flaws
Reeve Tuesti: Compassionate, thoughtful, and well-meaning. A man unwaveringly true to his moral compass. I sincerely didn't expect that.
Rufus ShinRa: We have to play the cards we've been dealt, and I'm not surprised to see how well you've played your hand so far. You might have your shortcomings, but there's a good kid in there, somewhere.
Jade Lycanthyr: It's remarkable to see how much you have been able to accomplish for yourself. I'm incredibly proud of you.
Opal: I don't know what has happened to you or where you've gone. I just wish I had been strong enough to prevent you from being hurt like this. Please be safe and be happy, wherever you are. And please, don't let them catch you.
Ace Dawnbreaker: It's good to see that SOLDIER's ranks are full of kind-hearted, conscientious people.
Alecto Sciarri: Brilliantly concise. I look forward to continuing this investigation with you.
Gabriel Lycanthyr: Thank you for taking such great care of my Jade. You deserve each other.
Greg Cabonias: You're quite astute and clever. Working with you has been a pleasure.
Dr. Henrik Klamp: I should have ended this when I had the chance. The reckoning will be upon you when we catch up.
Opinions and Impressions
- "You never had a penance to serve. We are all grateful for you." - Jade