Benjamin 'Ben' Cohen, also known as Archer or Stretch, is a former member of the Mossad, assigned to join the Coalition of Minnows, but has since been designated a Category 5 Enemy of the State of Israel.
Some time after turning 18, Benjamin Cohen joined the Israeli sniper force known as the Sayaret Matkal, become an expert at sniping and eventually earning the call-sign Archer.
During 1991, Cohen was part of the forces participating in Desert Storm, and he met Jack West Jr during this time. One of his missions was to assassinate Mustapha Zaeed, but Cohen only managed to nick his earlobe, "a rare miss" on his part, as Zaeed later put it.
Sometime between the mid-1990's and 2003, he transferred to the Mossad. It is most likely that Cohen was secretly chipped by the Mossad while he worked for them, if this hadn't already been done to him while he was in the Seyaret Matkal.
Before Seven Ancient WondersEdit
In 2003, Cohen was tasked to join Jack and a coalition of small nations in putting together the ancient Capstone, primarily because the Mossad knew that Jack would be more likely to accept Cohen rather than turn him away or kill him on sight.
Once he approached the farmhouse at Victoria Station, Cohen greeted Max Epper, revealing he knew who he was and introduced himself. As Jack confronted him, Cohen told him about his orders to join their team, or else the Mossad would inform their European and American rivals of the mission and the Oracle's daughter, Lily. Though Jack reluctantly agreed to let him join the team, he demanded that Cohen not report back to the Mossad; Cohen was reluctant to accept this at first, but quickly relented.
Though this was at first hard to accept by other team members, particularly the Arabian Pooh Bear, Cohen gave no indication that he cared. He eventually began helping out on the farm, and after several months most of the other members of the team came to accept him (though Zahir remained suspicious of him). After observing Cohen practising his sniping skills on several occasions, Lily came to nickname him Stretch because of his height.
When Lily turned ten, she managed to decipher the first part of the Callimachus text, and soon afterwards Jack led Stretch and the rest of the team to the Sudan to locate the Colossus of Rhodes Piece.
The team made their way into the ancient mine, and once the team entered the cavern and initiated the Warblers, Stretch and the others moved to make their way through the Master Snare trap. After Jack and Lily retrieved the Piece, they began their retreat, however Stretch was very nearly brought down by their European pursuers, and it was only because of Pooh Bear that he made it out of the slipway safely. Unfortunately, once they made it back outside, the team was surrounded by Cal Kallis's CIEF team and forced to hand over the Capstone Piece, but luckily they were able to escape on the Halicarnassus.
The team began preparing their next move to recover the Alexandria Lighthouse Piece, and soon Jack located Hamilcar's Refuge in a concealed inlet. They were forced to race against Kallis and Judah's teams through the trap systems to the Refuge, and Stretch bickered with Pooh Bear along the way and accused Jack of killing them all when it appeared they were going to drown in one of the traps. He helped to provide cover fire for Jack, Zoe and Lily as they entered the Refuge and hold Judah's team off to give them a head start. Unfortunately they were unable to retrieve the Piece, and so while Jack pursued the CIEF, Stretch helped to fend their enemies off by firing his sniper at incoming RPGs until they were able to make their escape.
In the wake of their failures, Jack called a team meeting to discuss the difficulties they were having with the clues for the Statue of Zeus and Temple of Artemis Pieces, during which Stretch expressed his disdain and Pooh Bear berated him for his lack of faith in Jack and Epper's ability to solve the issue. Soon, Jack reluctantly decided they needed to liberate Zaeed, who was an expert on the Capstone, from Guantanamo Bay to help them identify the location of the Zeus Piece. Stretch was outraged by this idea, but soon relented and provided details on Zaeed's cell and helped fire rubber bullets at the defending Marines to distract them while Jack and Zoe retrieved the terrorist.
Once they had Zaeed, the terrorist taunted Stretch with his near-miss shot from years earlier and suggested that the Jewish soldier treat him with respect while he was the team's "guest". Soon Zaeed revealed the Zeus Piece was kept unknowingly in the Louvre, Stretch was a part of the team that deployed to Paris to retrieve the Zeus Piece. Stretch drove their stolen double-decker bus through the streets once the Piece was obtained and the measurements from the Paris obelisk noted, at one stage reluctantly following Jack's suggestion to roll the bus over a guard rail to help fend off their pursuers until he purposefully crashed the bus into the river so that team could swim into the maze of catacombs and escape.
Later, after they had landed back at Victoria Station, Stretch and Pooh Bear were in the middle of escorting Zaeed off the Halicarnassus when they suddenly came under fire from the Judah's men, and so the pair took cover on the air-stairs. After Big Ears sacrificed himself to get Lily closer to the air-stairs, Stretch and Pooh Bear both reacted with the same intention to protect Lily by simultaneously breaking cover and firing back at the Americans as they dropped their guard, grabbing Lily and getting themselves onto the Halicarnassus so that they could escape.
With the loss of Big Ears and the Capstone Piece distressing everyone, and the additional revelation that the rest of their team had been captured by the Europeans, and Pooh Bear accused Stretch of selling them out. Before tensions could escalate, Jack ordered them to stop and, rather than give up, decided that they had to locate the Hanging Gardens of Babylon and retrieve its Piece.
They soon managed to determine the Gardens' location, however shortly after they got past the first trap they were confronted by a group of Sayaret Matkal led by Avenger, who requested the safe sequence of the rungs from Stretch. Avenger praised him on his work, and apologised for surprising him with their unexpected arrival, while Pooh Bear sarcastically congratulated Stretch for selling them out at their lowest ebb. Lily was confused by Stretch's apparent betrayal, but before he could try and explain himself Avenger ordered the group to make their way to the Capstone Piece. Once Jack and Pooh Bear retrieved the Piece, Avenger cut off their escape and ordered Stretch and the others to head for the alternate exit.
However, when Lily became trapped in the quicksand of the second Well of the Winged Lion, Stretch hesitated to abandon her as Avenger ordered. Instead, he decided to stay with her and allowed her to stand on top of his end as the quicksand rose, while he himself used the barrel of his rifle like a snorkel to breathe until the Americans arrived and reset the trap. Ultimately, Stretch's decision to save Lily saved his own life as he and Lily were taken into Judah's custody, while Avenger's group were executed and their Piece taken by Kallis.
Stretch and Lily were brought by Judah to Luxor, arriving just after the Europeans were ambushed by the CIEF, and were soon reunited with the similarly-captured Epper, Zoe and Fuzzy. Soon afterwards, Stretch, Zoe, Fuzzy were kept in a Black Hawk at the base of the Great Pyramid, to be used as hostages that Judah would order killed if Lily didn't comply to his commands.
During the ritual of power, however, the remainder of the Coalition team assaulted the CIEF on the scaffold from the hovering Halicarnassus, and in the confusion Stretch and the others escaped from their bonds and took control of the Black Hawk, from which Stretch sniped at the CIEF forces on the Pyramid's platform. After the battle was over, Stretch rejoined the rest of the team on the Halicarnassus and, once they had taken the used Capstone, left the area. After Stretch told Lily that he was glad he had taken her side to keep her safe, Pooh Bear made up his quarrel with the Israeli, affirming their new friendship.
In the following weeks after the battle, Stretch assisted Jack in retrieving the Pillar from the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus and Mirror from the Lighthouse of Alexandria from Hamilcar's Refuge.
Between Seven Ancient Wonders and The Six Sacred StonesEdit
Shortly after the Capstone mission concluded, Stretch's superiors learned of his decision to ignore Avenger's order to abandon Lily and instead abandon his countrymen. While it is unclear how this information was discovered, it most likely came up during the meeting of nations that Israel attended following the Capstone mission (Avenger is unlikely to have been able to inform outside operatives before his death). As a result, Stretch was deemed a Category 5 Enemy of the State of Israel, and a 16 million dollar bounty was set up by the Old Master, Mordechai Muniz, for Stretch's capture.
Unable to return to his home country, Stretch often stayed with his former teammates in their home nations, usually staying with Jack and Lily at Jack's farm or with Pooh Bear in Dubai. Though the absence of most of her former guardians, including Stretch, was hard on Lily at first, she in turn took to visiting them whenever possible.
Stretch later attended the New Year's Eve party held atop the Burj al Arab along with the other members of the team.
After an attack on Jack's farm by the Chinese military, Stretch and the other Coalition team members were asked to meet up with Jack at the Burj al Arab. Meeting up with Pooh Bear along the way, the pair were greeted by Lily upon their arrival, and waited with the rest of the team until everyone had gathered for the meeting.
Stretch listened as Jack revealed what he had learned from Wizard's notes; a zero-point field referred to as the Dark Star was due to enter the solar system, and unless it was repelled, then its deadly energy would destroy all life on Earth. To this end, they needed to gather six oblong diamonds called Pillars and set them at various locations around the world to rebuild an ancient machine. In order to find the Pillars and Vertices, determine when each Pillar had to be set and cleanse them, they would need to find the Six Sacred Stones.
Stretch was skeptical of the reality of such an advanced machine being made by ancient humans, asking if it was alien technology, however Jack couldn't be certain based on Wizard's notes. When the Burj was set to be struck by a plane, Stretch and Astro helped Jack to gather up their notes before being forced parachuting off the building's helicopter pad to safety.
Because Wizard was been held prisoner by the Chinese at Xintan prison, Stretch joined most of the team in preparing to liberate him and Tank. Using one of the team's Gull Wings, Stretch landed on top of the prison's transfer train during transit, helping Jack to hijack it and drive it forward as Jack retrieved their friends, before lifting Tank to safety while the train crashed.
Stretch and the others then made their way to Witch Mountain to retrieve the Philosopher's Stone from Laozi's trap system. Stretch teamed up with Pooh Bear's brother Scimitar to navigate the lower path, awaiting Jack, Wizard and Astro's clearance of their traps. As they made their way through the crawling tunnel, Scimitar noted the Old Master's bounty for Stretch's capture and how he wanted to make an example out of him. Stretch replied that he had done what he had out of loyalty to his teammates, including Scimitar's brother, and upon affirming that he would lay down his life for them, questioned what Scimitar believed in. After they encountered the final trap guarding the Philosopher's Stone, Stretch prepared to back Jack up as he raced through the speed-trap to retrieve the sacred stone, and caught hold of his teammate before he fell into the mercury lake.
Reuniting with Zoe, Lily, Alby Calvin and Julius and Lachlan Adamson at Mortimer Island, Stretch joined the procession as they identified the location of the First Vertex at Abu Simbel, learned the Pillar-laying dates from the Killing Stone of the Maya, and cleansed the two Pillars they had with the Philosopher's Stone. With the first components they needed in hand, Stretch joined the rest of the team as they headed out to lay the first Pillar.
While the team went to lay the Pillar, Stretch remained onboard the Halicarnassus with Sky Monster, but soon they noticed an invading force heading towards them. After they eventually made contact to warn them and prepare a pickup, Stretch was dropped in a Land Rover near the team's location to drive them to the nearby highway. In the course of the ensuing chase, Stretch helped to fight off their assailants, but soon Jack realised that they would not make it onto the Hali in time and ordered Sky Monster to take off without him, Stretch and Astro. As they reluctantly took off, Stretch, Jack and Astro were surrounded by the enemy, knocked unconscious and captured.
Along with the rest of his captured teammates, Stretch was taken to an Ethiopian mine run by Jack's father Wolf, who was leading their opposition, however Stretch was kept separated from others. It was revealed to Pooh Bear by the traitorous Scimitar that Wolf intended to send Stretch back to Israel so that the Old Master could deal with him appropriately.
After Jack and Pooh Bear later escaped, Pooh Bear resolved to find and save his friend from the Mossad.
While his teammates were being held captive in the mine, Stretch was kept tied up and blindfolded in a truck outside. When Wolf returned, he mocked Stretch regarding his choices to stand by his friends rather than his nation before informing him of his decision to take him to the Old Master.
Stretch was personally taken by Wolf to Muniz's headquarters at the Dimona Nuclear Research Centre, later awakening after the journey's end to find himself being imprisoned in a tank filled with formaldehyde. Muniz told him that his punishment would be worse than death, and would be forced to suffer inside the tank and never be allowed out.
Nearly two months after being imprisoned in his tank, Pooh Bear figured out where Stretch was being held and broke into the facility to try and free him, only for Muniz to paralyse him and told Stretch that he would get a rare event in watching Pooh Bear die. But then Jack and Zoe attacked the facility, freed Stretch and escaped with him and Pooh Bear to an old salt mine, where Jack had them traverse it to safety while he tricked the Israeli forces into believing they were trying to escape another way. When it was over, the sickly Stretch was looked after by his team mates, and thanked Jack and the others for rescuing him.
Once the whole team was reunited at Sea Ranger's base in Zanzibar to prepare their next move, Diane Cassidy suggested they focus their research on a prophecy in which five figures throughout history known as the Five Greatest Warriors would affect the Machine, the Pillars and the Vertices. As Cassidy explained, Moses, Jesus Christ, Genghis Khan and Napoléon Bonaparte all fit the descriptions in the prophecy, while the Fifth Warrior was unknown and set to be present during the Dark Star's return. Cassidy's suggestion turned out to be quite fruitful, and Stretch, even as he continued to recover from his time in the Living Tombs, helped the rest of the team research the Five Warriors' connections to the Machine over the next two months.
After Alby's investigations into Napoléon led him to discover that the final Sacred Stone, the Basin of Rameses II, was at the British Museum under a different name, Stretch, Pooh Bear, and then twins were dispatched to steal the Basin from the Museum. As the twins snuck the Basin out in the commotion Pooh Bear caused, Stretch waited in a nearby van and drove away once they had obtained the Stone. When they finally got in touch with the rest of the team, Stretch and the others were saddened to hear of Wizard's death in Mongolia, and Jack set them the task of locating the Spring of the Black Poplar to obtain the water they needed in the Basin.
Stretch and the others made their way to Loch Ness, where some research into Isaac Newton suggested the Spring resided. After nearly a week, they finally found the Spring of the Black Poplar and collected enough of its water to give the remaining Pillars their second cleansing. Despite the lack of word from Jack's team since the laying of the third Pillar, Stretch and the others began making their way back to London. However, moments after Julius uncovered the fourth Vertex's location, their train was halted and Royal Marines led by Iolanthe moved in to surround the group.
Stating she was only there as a messenger, Iolanthe established a video-call to Siberia, and Stretch and the others learned that the Russian royal Carnivore had imprisoned most of the people involved in the Machine's restoration, including Jack's team. Carnivore revealed his intention to take the Pillars and their rewards and manipulate everyone else into completing the Machine's restoration for him, offering them the chance to free Sheik Abbas, Alby, Lois, Zoe and Astro if Stretch and his team placed the fourth Pillar and gave it to his British relatives.
Reluctantly agreeing to Carnivore's demands, Stretch and the others were escorted to Lundy Island by Iolanthe's Marines and made their way into the Vertex. However, as he and Pooh Bear were figuring out the trap system, they got caught on a separate ledge and forced to guide Julius and Lachlan down to the inverted pyramid's peak, which Stretch complained about due to their comparative lack of fitness. Once the Pillar was laid, Stretch and his teammates left the Vertex, and were surprised to find themselves being rescued by their Irish liaison Cieran Kincaid.
Establishing contact with Jack, they made plans to reunite and find the Tomb of Jesus Christ to recover the final Pillar before Scimitar, Vulture or Mao Gongli. Upon arrival in the Dead Sea, Stretch and the others found the Halicarnassus and disabled the guards before he and Pooh Bear made their way into the abandoned Roman salt mine. Following Jack's trail of glowsticks, they soon found their teammates at Vulture and Scimitar's mercy. Engaging Vulture in close-combat, Stretch was outmatched, worsened by continued sickly health after being entombed by Muniz, and was soon stabbed brutally in the back and manacled to an old slave wheel. Luckily Pooh Bear was able to overcome their foes and release Stretch and the others.
Jack, Lily and Iolanthe helped the injured Pooh Bear and Stretch out of the mine, only to find that Carnivore and his forces were waiting for them at the Halicarnassus, led their by Kincaid. In his injured state, Stretch could do nothing to stop Carnivore from taking the final Pillar and Lily, and once Jack had patched up the team as best he could, opted to head to the final Vertex on Easter Island himself. Stretch watched with the others as Jack took flight on the damaged Halicarnassus, and then they prepared to make their way back to civilisation.
Despite his injury, Stretch joined Pooh Bear and the others in venturing to Carnivore's base and releasing the captives from the Living Tombs. A few weeks later, Stretch was present as Jack and Zoe got married in a small civil ceremony.
Between The Five Greatest Warriors and The Four Legendary KingdomsEdit
During the course of the next eight years, the members of the Coalition team continued largely as they had before, returning to their home nation (aside from Stretch, who continued to stay with other members of the team) while making the odd visit to one another. At some point during this time, Stretch met Jack's mother Mabel Merriweather, who couldn't help but comment on his thinness and suggested he eat more.
In 2016, after Jack's presence was requested at Pine Gap for his expertise in relation to something they had discovered through the Square Kilometer Array, Stretch and Pooh Bear agreed to meet Jack and the others there as soon as they could.
Cohen is an expert sniper, prefering to use his huge Barrett, and is desribed as tall and thin, hence Lily's nickname for him. He initially lacked of faith in other members of the team, but while he would now trust them with his life, his dreary personality has never changed.
- The name Benjamin is traditionally given to the youngest son of a family.