Ben as seen on the front cover of Seizure.
|Affiliation||The Virals Pack|
|Occupation||Student at Wando High School|
|Previous Occupation||Student at Bolton Preparatory Academy|
Ben Blue is one of the main characters in the Virals series. He is the oldest of the group and is described as having shoulder-length black hair (though the Seizure cover features him with short hair), dark eyes, and coppery tan skin. He claims to be partially Sewee Indian, despite having no way to prove his heritage. As Ben doesn't smile very often, but when he does, he is described as transforming from a sullen boy into a charming young man.
He is a blunt character who never wastes words. He has quite a temper and tends to butt heads with Chance Claybourne and Jason Taylor. Ben owns a boat (a 16ft Boston Whaler named, Sewee) and he uses it to ferry himself and his friends to wherever they need to go. He also gets a beat-up Ford Explorer later in the series to drive the gang around on land.
Ben's flares do not come as easily as they do to the other Virals. Being the last to contract Parvovirus XPB-19 may have had a factor in this. In the first book he needed to get angry (which usually resulted in Hi aggravating him) in order to flare. In the second book, he had improved but still needed to rely on his temper. In the third book, he improves measurably and is able to flare more readily, but he still isn't capable of doing it with the ease that his fellow Virals can.
In Virals, he is usually pretty quiet, but is very loyal toward the rest of the group. His boat is vital to some of the expeditions they do to solve the mystery of Katherine Heaton, such as going to Loggerhead and going to the Morris Island lighthouse.
However, in Code, Ben's jealousy comes to a head he starts picking fights with Jason and making snide remarks. In the story, the Virals attended a party at Jason's house. Jason was messing around, chasing Tory around the pool and attempting to throw her in. Ben was a little drunk and his jealousy got the better of him as he became upset and angry. He got so emotional that he flared, and ended up attacking Jason. Once on the boat on the way home, he told Tory that Jason is no good for her and that he doesn't know her like he does, the real her.
In the ending of Code, it is revealed that Ben is the cause of the catastrophic events the Gamemaster had caused. He had confided in the man while aboard Sewee because of his crush on Tory. The Gamemaster told him that he needed to impress Tory, for her to like him, and came up with a big plan to create a series of codes and puzzles that would make him seem like a hero. Ben pushed Hiram to purchase a metal detector and started to make fun of geocaching, all the while knowing that Hi would eventually want to play. However, after a cache was rigged with diesel fuel and a bomb detonated in Battery park, it turned out that the Gamemaster had played Ben. He then reveals that his distaste for Jason stems from the intense jealousy he felt when he appeared to be flirting with Tory. Tory doesn't know how to react after the near death experience that she and the Virals had just faced and remains unable to forgive him until Exposure.
In Exposure, Tory has trouble forgiving him for his actions in Code at first. As their relationship has been strained due to unresolved conflict. She later forgives him, after he is accused of kidnap and breaks down in his arms. Later, Tory kisses Ben to make him leave, which shows that she might be returning his affection.
During Terminal, whilst hiding from an unknown chopper and boat, Ben kisses Tory and tells her that he wasn't going to hide his feelings any longer. Ben insists that Chance is just trying to sneak into their pack and insults him by pointing out that he has no friends and is just bored of being lonely. Then Tory kisses Chance in his office. He and Chance get into a fight over Tory because Ben thinks that Tory is leaving with Chance just to shack up with him. He then turns to Tory and tearily tells her, "You can't. Please. Not with him," and is so distraught that Shelton doesn't let him drive. In the end, Tory is forced to choose between Chance and Ben and chooses Ben to be her boyfriend.
In Spike (Found in Trace Evidence: a collection of Virals short stories set after Terminal) they are forced to face the fact that Ben goes off to college in a few months and they are going to be separated. At the end of the story, Ben then surprises Tory with the news that he joined the Cadet Corps (despite not fully being passionate about it) as to have more time with her. When stumbling for words he blurts out that he loves her, and is embarrassed about the way in which he told her. Shortly afterward near the end of Spike Tory tells Ben she also loves him.
- Tom Blue - His father. Little about Ben and Tom's relationship has been revealed, though it is written in the final book, Terminal, that Tom is a pretty hands-off dad, with the novel actually stating that he rarely notices when Ben is home, let alone a guest.
- Myra Blue - His mother. Little about Ben and Myra's relationship has been revealed. When he attends Wando High, he spend most of his time at her house in Mount Pleasant.
- Tory Brennan - Ben and Tory have a mutual, romantic interest in each other, which was revealed in Code and later expanded upon near the end of Exposure. Ben is very loyal to Tory and is usually a key figure in convincing the rest of the pack to participate in her more extreme plans. After defeating the Game Master, Ben's relationship with Tory is strained due to unresolved conflict between the two of them. In 'Exposure' on page 399, Tory kisses Ben to make him leave, which signals she might be returning his affection. They kiss a few times after that. In 'Terminal' Tory has to choose between Ben and Chance and she chooses Ben as her boyfriend.
- Shelton Devers - Ben and Shelton were friends a few years before the beginning of Virals, and have known each other the longest out of the pack. They share a strong bond and were able to remain good friends even after the events in Code.
- Hiram Stolowitski - Hiram often provokes Ben, which puts a slight strain between them in the first book. They become closer throughout the course of the series to the point where Hi still completely trusts Ben after he betrayed them to help the Gamemaster.
- Chance Claybourne - Ben and Chance don't get on very well and Ben gets jealous of Chance because of his feelings for Tory. They argue and fight through out the series and Ben seldom wants to help Chance at all.
Physical Description / Appearance
Ben is the oldest of the Virals at 16 years old. He is described as being handsome, standing at a height of 5'10" (1.77m) and boasting a muscular build and broad shoulders. He has dark brown eyes and copper or bronze skin depending on the season. He has thick, black, shoulder length hair.
Ben gained many canine-like abilities due to his exposure to the parvovirus which he contracted from the wolf-dog pup, Cooper. He uses these super-human abilities to aid him and his friends in their often dangerous investigations. These 'powers' are not always at Ben's disposal. Strong emotions trigger 'flares' which 'switch on' the powers. When the Virals flare their irises glow, gold in colour. Ben struggles to trigger his flares, especially earlier in the series but becomes better at it with practice.
Some of the effects of the mutation are:
- Enhanced vision - He can see better than the average human while flaring, also giving him the ability to see very well in the dark.
- Enhanced hearing - With canine-like hearing Ben can listen-in to conversations from a great distance.
- Enhanced stamina/strength - Each of the Virals has one particular sense that is heightened more than the others. When flaring Ben has the greatest strength, speed, and endurance. He becomes stronger and does not tire easily.
- Enhanced smell - While flaring Ben has an enhanced sense of smell.
- Telepathic communication - Like the others, Ben is able to project his thoughts to the other Virals, and can hear/detect their presence in his own mind. He can also look through their eyes if needed.