|“||It's surprisingly tough to go from being the guy who knows everything that's going on at school to some dumb jock who didn't even realize there was a war going on around him. I can fix that. I just have to gather info.||”|
-Return to Paradise
Mark James was the ex-boyfriend of Sarah Hart. He was a Senior, and the star quarterback, at Paradise High School at the time that John (Number Four) attended and was instantly jealous of the relationship he formed with Sarah.
Mark later redeems himself by fighting alongside Number Four and Number Six during Battle of Paradise High School and remains in Paradise when they leave. After the battle, Mark becomes involved with an online alien conspiracies and investigates the intentions of the FBI, which have swarmed the town after the incident.
Mark is described as the school's tough guy. He has black hair, usually full of hair gel and styled carefully with meticulously trimmed sideburns. He has bushy eyebrows and dark eyes. At school, he wears a Letterman jacket with his name written in gold letters across the back. He is tall and loves football (I Am Number Four).
When Six sees him again in Mexico she notices that he has retired his 'gel-haired-jock' look and that his hair is longer and scruffier. She also notes that he has lost weight and looks overtired (The Fate of Ten).
Paradise High School
Mark was a popular student at Paradise and was a talented football player. His activities gained many awards and attention from the Paradise Gazette, something the Principal, Mr. Harris, was very proud of and favored him as a result.
At an unknown time, Mark began dating Sarah, a cheerleader at the time. They were together for two years before Sarah realized that she was becoming like Mark, drinking at parties and being nasty to people. She broke up with him after her trip to her Aunt's in Colorado and he couldn't get over it, believing that she would come back to him.
The Arrival of Number Four
- Main article: I Am Number Four
When John Smith comes to Paradise and becomes friendly with Sarah, Mark grows incredibly jealous and taunts him. On separate occasions, he trips John, steals his phone, throws meatballs at him and Sam and puts manure in their lockers.
During the Halloween parade, Mark plots to ambush John on the haunted hayride. Equipped with night vision goggles borrowed from the Police Department, Mark's friends surround the group, tackle John and force Sarah to Shepherd Falls where Mark plans to beat John up in front of her. John is assaulted by members of the Football team and forced to defend himself with his Legacies.
When confronted by John himself, Mark tries to fight him but is beaten easily. John threatens him into giving up his vendetta and forces him to apologize to Sarah, who slaps him, before throwing him into the brook.
Mark invites John, Sam, and Sarah to his house party, where he greets them both cordially. When a fire breaks out in the basement, he attempts to fight it, before being told by John that it is too late, and to start evacuating the house. Once everyone is outside, he is left to watch his house burn down in a daze. John returns to the burning building and rescues Sarah and Mark's dogs.
Mark, his Parents, and the dogs move to his Nana's house in the country.
Battle of Paradise High School
- Main article: Battle of Paradise High School
When the YouTube video of John rescuing Sarah and his dogs is released on the internet, Mark goes to John's house in order to warn him. He is present for the ensuing argument between John and Henri and witnesses John's Telekinesis.
After John leaves for the school, he follows with Henri who gives him John's Loric Chest to hold. When the group converges in the kitchens, he, along with Sarah, arms himself with various kitchen supplies, including several knives. When they are ambushed outside, he saves Henri's life by tackling a Mogadorian attempting to sneak up on him. John then orders him to take Sarah and hide inside the school. After this he takes part in the battle alongside Sarah, at some point he is almost crushed by the Piken and says that Sarah almost died beside him. He later tells Four that Six had saved his life on three separate occasions.
As John watches Bernie Kosar fighting with the Piken, Mark appears and tries to drag John away from the fight. John refuses and attacks the Piken in order to save Bernie Kosar's life. Later, when John asks Henri where Mark is, he says he didn't see him anywhere.
After John slips into unconsciousness following Henri's death, Mark carries John to the truck and later into the motel. When John prepares to leave he shakes Mark's hand and tells him that he owes Mark for saving his life, but Mark argues that Four doesn't owe him anything.
Life after the Mogadorians
- Main article: Return to Paradise
Mark adamantly denies that Four had anything to do with his house fire, even though blaming him would have got him off the hook completely.
After John leaves, Mark struggles to go back to his old life. Since Paradise High School was destroyed he and Sarah attend Helena High School in the next town. Mark is still in love with Sarah and sometimes becomes angry with Four, believing he would find a way to keep both Sarah and the world safe and happy.
Mark spends his afternoons on a blog named 'Aliens Anonymous' instead of partying with his friends. He befriends the editor, going by the name GUARD and shares what he knows about the destruction of the school. Flicking through news stories, they discover that people, with the same description as John, Six and Sam, were stopped by police in Tennessee a day or two after they left Paradise. They also find a story from Miami, a girl admitted to hospital after claiming that a boy used "mind powers" against her boyfriend.
Agent Walker and the FBI
Mark and Sarah meet for lunch; She tells him that she is being followed by the redheaded woman sitting behind her. Agent Walker introduces herself and her associate, Agent Noto, and sits with them, asking questions about John. She tries to bribe Mark with the reward money. Both of them leave and Walker gives Mark a number and tells him not to let Sarah drag him down. When Sarah leaves, Mark calls the number and doesn't get a reply. He sends the number to GUARD who rings and speaks to an Agent called Purdy and gets his attention by mentioning the Mogadorians.
Having agreed to go to Alex Davis' house party, Mark takes his Father's truck. He leaves the party early and notices that he has his Father's office keys as well as the truck keys. He sneaks into his office and looks through files to find out about the High school destruction. His father catches him, deletes the photos that he took and reads his messages from Sarah that tell him that John has returned to Paradise. He orders Todd to take Mark home. Mark frantically contacts Sarah, telling her that his father is calling the FBI and coming for John.
Mark meets Sarah when she is released from interrogations from Walker, Noto, and Purdy. They sneak out of School and go to Sam's house where they see evidence of the battle the previous night. That night Mark gets a text from an unknown number asking whether he has heard of any sightings of John. He assumes it is Sarah and asks her to call him back since he has the stuff to talk about. But she doesn't.
Following the events of recent days, Walker and Noto come to Mark's house, she tells him that Sarah didn't return home from school and asks whether he knows where she is. Mark wonders who had texted him the night before. He feels that he failed to protect Sarah and failed to keep his promise to John.
Days go by without a word from Sarah. He goes back to Sam's house and breaks in. He comes across the 'They Walk Among Us' magazine with the article about Mogadorians taking over Earth. He manages to get hold of the editors who explain that the Mogadorians look everything. Mark suggests that they should change the blog's name to "They Walk Among Us' making it easier for true believers to find them, GUARD agrees.
After leaving notes for his family and creating an automatic blog post of his draft Mark sneaks into the police office with thanks to GUARD creating a distraction. Mark sees Purdy exiting his father's office with a Mogadorian who says that they will be taking over the operations in Paradise. When they leave Mark sneaks into the office and hacks into Purdy's laptop. He sees an email which mentions that Sarah is in Dulce, New Mexico. When he hears Purdy coming to the office he steals the laptop and escapes.
Mark sits in a dinner a few hours outside of Paradise and checks the laptop. He sees a file named 'MogPro' and when he tries to open it he accidentally deletes the hard drive after three failed passwords. He decides to keep the laptop thinking tech savvy GUARD can recover something from it. He gets in his truck and drives to New Mexico to save Sarah.
Life as a Fugitive
- Main article: The Fugitive
The Dulce Ruins
On the way to Dulce, GUARD tells mark to head to a gas station as he has something for him. Mark thinks he may finally meet the elusive GUARD face-to-face but instead a female courier messenger waits for him. She gives him a package and leaves. Inside he finds a netbook, smartphone, a USB drive to revive Purdy's laptop, a stack of cash and a grenade type object with strange symbols with a note not to press the button.
Mark makes it to Dulce to find the base has been destroyed and evidence of a major battle. He is soon surrounded by FBI agents before he can reach the base. They put a bag over his head and drag him into an interrogation room where he meets Agent Walker again, she tells him that Sarah was rescued by the Garde and Purdy is dead. She says that things have changed in the last few days and orders Noto to gather as many assets as possible before they leave. Mark is released and advised to lay low.
GUARD tells Mark that he (she) can set up a base for him to work from in Alabama if he is still serious about fighting the Mogadorians. He takes a long way, hopping from motel to motel while GUARD sorts things out for him.
On the road he works on writing TWAU blog posts on his experiences and keeps a close eye on his e-mails, praying that Sarah will let him know that she is safe. Mark soon learns the John Hancock Center in Chicago is on fire and on a news report he sees a Mogadorian blaster on the roof. He deduces that either the Mogadorians had a hideout there, or their enemies did which means Sarah could have been present. He writes a blog post titled "Mog Attack in Chicago: Is this the Zero Hour?" with screen grabs of the blaster which has since been digitally removed from all news reports.
GUARD's software manages to unlock Purdy's laptop; the MogPro file is still missing but Mark manages to access Purdy's e-mails and finds evidence that the Secretary of Defense Bud Sanderson is involved with the Mogadorians and injections that make him appear younger.
Near Capture in Louisiana
Mark wakes in the morning to find a message from 'GUARD' on his old burner phone telling him to meet him at a location on the other side of Shreveport, Louisiana. As he enters the location, an abandoned warehouse, he gets a call on the new phone that GUARD gave him. A computerized voice tells him that their communications have been compromised and that he has been led into a trap.
It is too late for Mark to escape and he is surrounded by FBI agents that are still loyal to the Mogadorians who had tracked him through his old phone. Thinking on his feet, Mark tells them that he is undercover for Agent Walker. Mark learns that this faction of the FBI has labeled Walker a traitor and they try to detain him when he tells them that her location is classified. Mark manages to avoid capture by tricking them into activating a modified grenade given to him by GUARD, telling them that it was a homing beacon that would bring Walker to them.
The grenade lets out a telekinetic blast and EMP which knock the agents off their feet and deactivates their electronic weapons. They open fire with their pistols and Mark is hit in the arm as he flees to his truck.
Yellowhammer Ranch and Reuniting with Sarah
GUARD provides Mark with a new truck and gives him the address of Yellowhammer Ranch, his new base in Alabama. Based on information from Purdy's laptop, GUARD and Mark work on posting blogs on TWAU designed to expose the Mogadorian presence and their involvement with the government and the Secretary of defense Bud Sanderson.
Mark and Sarah combine all of their knowledge with information scavenged from Purdy's laptop and FBI documents sent by John and Walker. Mark works on articles incorporating all of the information to post of TWAU.
With Mark's bullet wound still untreated his health deteriorates and Sarah plans a trip to the nearest town to get supplies. One the way home they are stopped by police who notes that the name registered to the truck is 'Jolly Roger'. The officer lets them off but reports the incident and Mark panics that the Mogadorians could link the truck back to his TWAU username. They decide to risk returning to Yellowhammer Ranch to retrieve their notes and computers and are ambushed by Mogadorians.
With the help of shot guns and Bernie Kosar in the form of a giant beast, they manage to escape to the truck. When they are a safe distance away, GUARD destroys the base and programs the trucks GPS to Atlanta, Georgia where his home base is located.
Guard's Identity is Revealed
Mark finally meets GUARD in person, a Loric named Lexa - he is confused as he had assumed she was male. He realizes that she was, in fact, the courier who brought him his care package. She is pleased to see Bernie Kosar, a Chimæra, who she speaks to in Loric and she tends to Mark's wounds.
When the Mogadorian ships begin to descend over New York and other major cities, they decide to publicize all of their information about the Loric and the Mogadorians. Mark sends Lexa a zip file that includes all the information he has on MogPro and the most relevant posts from TWAU which she adds he the 'info bomb' that she has compiled herself over the last few years. They create a video which included footage of John Smith healing Bud Sanderson and Sarah records a voice-over explaining the story of the Loric and the intentions of the Mogadorians (The Guard).
Mark Joins the Garde
- Main article: The Fate of Ten
Battle for the Sanctuary
In Mexico, Six, Marina and Adam are stranded and receive a warning from Ella that Setrákus Ra will be there by sunset. John sends Sarah, Mark, and Lexa to pick them up but they refuse and decide to stay to protect the Sanctuary.
Mark helps set traps to distract Setrákus Ra so that they can rescue Ella and attempt to steal the Anubis. Ra arrives earlier than expected and the group hides in the jungle ready for the fight. When it arrives the Anubis starts up its main cannon and destroys the Sanctuary. Mark tackles Marina when she runs towards it in anguish. One of the skimmers explodes and glass and debris rain on them, Mark is hit in the chest with a shard of glass and Marina instantly heals him.
Setrákus descends from his ship with an army of Mogadorian soldiers, Mark detonates the rigged Skimmers and the Mogs are distracted allowing Six, Adam and Marina to attack. Mark and Sarah remain at the tree line and cover them with blaster fire. In the crater, Mark manages to free Marina who is caught in Setrákus Ra's telekinetic grip and tries to carry her unconscious body out of harm's way.
When Sarah is severely wounded and bleeding to death Mark frantically tries to wake Marina who is badly injured herself. Adam has to pull him away from violently shaking her for fear that he could kill her.
- Main article: United as One
Final Return to Paradise
Setrákus Ra visits Mark in his dreams and apologizes for Sarah's death. He offers to revive her using the Loric energy that he mined from Mexico and Mark considers.
The Loric Ship touches down at Patience Creek and John comes to see Sarah. Mark is angry and blames John for Sarah's death and calls him selfish for knowingly putting Sarah in harm's way. He punches John but he doesn't react and asks him to return Sarah's body to her family.
Mark has second thoughts about taking Sarah's body to Setrákus Ra but he is caught by Mogadorians in Paradise and subjected to the twisted mind control legacies of one Mogadorian and forced to give them the location of Patience Creek. John finds Mark at the entrance and is quickly overwhelmed by Phiri Dun-Ra and her augmentations. Mark tries to fight the mind control and almost resists but is killed when Phiri pierces his skull with her drilling tentacles.
Portrayals and Other Versions
Mark James has been portrayed by two individuals.
- Jake Abel portrays the movie adaptation version of Mark James. See: Mark James (2011 Movie Version).
- Johnathan McClain voices Mark James' narration in Return to Paradise for The Lost Files: Hidden Enemy and later returns to voice the same for The Fugitive in The Lost Files: Rebel Allies.
- The official facebook page launched an online interactive game where the player interacts with a number of 'They Walk Among Us' bloggers searching for leads and collecting information. It also follows Mark intent on trying to find Sarah after she was kidnapped. These events differ slightly from the Novella, Return to Paradise. In both, however, Mark ends up in New Mexico.
- He goes by the name 'JOLLYROGER182' on 'Aliens Anonymous' blog. He mentions that he stole the name from the skull-and-crossbones flags flown at the Paradise Pirates football games and some of his grandfather's old navy stuff.
- His grandfather was a part of the Fighting 182nd in the navy.