"'That’s Mark James. He’s a big deal around here. His dad is the town sheriff and he’s the star of the football team. He used to date Sarah, when she was a cheerleader, but she quit cheerleading and dumped him. He hasn’t gotten over it. I wouldn’t get involved if I were you.'" -Sam Goode, I Am Number Four
Mark James was a human from Paradise, Ohio. He was a minor antagonist in I Am Number Four, but became an ally to the Loric over time. He was the main protagonist of Return To Paradise and The Fugitive. Mark was the ex-boyfriend of the late Sarah Hart.
Mark's appearance changed over the course series. When John Smith first meets him, Mark's black hair is well-groomed, "full of hair gel, carefully styled so it goes in all directions. He has meticulously trimmed sideburns, stubble on his face. Bushy eyebrows over a set of dark eyes." He is presumably six one, and has a similar build to John. When Number Six sees him again in The Fate of Ten, "He's retired the whole gel-haired-jock thing. Mark's dark hair is longer and scruffier." He has lost weight by The Fate of Ten, his muscles leaner than before. Mark also has an overtired look now, with squinty eyes. He has a scar on his left arm from where he was shot in The Fugitive.
Mark has a very arrogant attitude, believing that he is better than everyone else. He has a strange obsession with Sarah, and has not gotten over her even after they broke up. He still resents John because of Sarah, unable to believe that, "Sarah has fallen for someone who could be classified as another species." Mark does, however, have great focus. When he puts his mind to something, he will stick to it. After finding out about the Mogadorians, Mark dedicates himself to getting the word out in secret. He can sometimes withhold important information that may be detrimental to him, like when he does not tell Sarah about his infected bullet wound. Mark blames John for Sarah's death.
Mark, being a human, was born on Earth, in Paradise, Ohio. His father was the sheriff in Paradise. Mark attended Paradise High School, where he became quarterback in football. He was one of the most popular kids in Paradise, and many of the adults thought highly of him. Mark started dating Sarah in his sophomore year of high school. However, she broke up with him his senior year after realizing how boastful and self-absorbed he was. Mark has still not gotten over their breakup.
When Sarah started to become close to John, Mark started bullying him, and was more hostile to Sam Goode as well. Mark bullied John on his first day of school, unaware that John was developing his Legacy of Lumen. He also stole John's phone after the fact. Mark continued to torment John and Sam; he threw meatballs at them and filled their lockers with manure.
Mark and John had more confrontations at a Halloween festival, and during a haunted hayride, Mark and the football team stole night-vision goggles from the police station and attacked Emily Knapp, John, Sarah, and Sam. They let Emily and Sam go, but held Sarah hostage at Shepherd Falls because "he wanted her to see him beat the crap" out of John. John, being a Garde, easily overpowered the football team and defeated Mark. He made Mark apologize for threatening Sarah.
Mark later threw a party at his house, inviting John, Sam, Emily, and Sarah. He presumably invited them to make amends for tormenting them. During the party, Sam and Emily accidentally knocked over a candle while making out, setting fire to the basement. The fire quickly spread, burning down the whole house. Mark tried to stop the fire, until realizing it was too late.
The next day, Mark came to John's house, and showed him a video of John leaping from the burning house, holding Sarah and Mark's dogs. He began to ask what was going on, but John's "father," Henri returned home, yelling at John for lying to him. After Mark continued to ask unanswered and unnoticed questions, he was amazed to see John hold Henri in place with telekinesis before running to rescue Sarah from Paradise High, which was now under assault by the Mogadorians.
When Henri and Bernie Kosar went to go and save John, Mark came with him. Along the way, Henri apparently told Mark about Lorien, about how he was John's Cêpan, and about the war that was about to begin. Arriving at the school, Mark and Sarah fought alongside the Loric. Mark killed a Mog with his debating trophy.
After John tells Mark to look after Sarah, he managed to escape the high school as a piken started to destroy the building. He tried to save John from being caught in the middle of a fight between a piken and BK. Mark went with the Garde to a motel after the battle, and even cried when Henri's body was cremated.
The Power of Six & Return to Paradise
According to the news, Mark denied that John had anything to do with the house fire. Mark tried to go back to his old life. Growing more and more paranoid everyday after learning about the war, Mark went on a blog called "Aliens Anonymous" and befriended another user, GUARD. They looked for possible stories about the Loric. While going to lunch with Sarah, Agent Walker approached them, trying to get information about John from Mark. Later she gave him a contact number. Mark sent the contact number to GUARD, who called it and spoke to Agent Purdy.
Mark went to a drinking party with his old football team, but left early and broke into his father's office. He tries to steal information about the Mogs, but is caught. His father reads a text message from Sarah that John has returned to Paradise. Mark tries to contact Sarah and tell her that the FBI are coming for John, but is too late. At one point, Mark and GUARD discuss renaming "Aliens Anonymous" to "They Walk Among Us," making it easier for true believers to find them.
After Sarah is released, they try to go to Sam's house, but are followed by a black van. It is later revealed by Agent Walker that Sarah has been captured by the Mogs. He decides to drive out to New Mexico and find her, supplied by GUARD. Before leaving, however, Mark attempts to hack into Agent Purdy's computer after seeing him speaking to a Mogadorian about how the town is now under dominion of his people. Mark is unsuccessful, and the computer crashes.
The Fugitive & The Guard
Mark continues on his route to New Mexico. GUARD texts him to pull over at a gas station, saying there is something for him there. Mark is hopeful that he will finally meet GUARD, but is disappointed when he believes that GUARD has only sent a courier. She gives him a "care package" for his travels: a padded messenger bag, computer equipment, maps, a smartphone, netbook, a futuristic grenade, and $1,500.
He makes it to the Dulce base in New Mexico, to find it in ruins. Mark tries to sneak inside, but is discovered by FBI agents. While he fears for the worst, Agent Walker arrives. She tells him that she did not know Sarah was going to be kidnapped, and that her partner Agent Purdy has died. Walker also reveals that she is questioning her loyalty to the Mogadorians, and that the agents still serving MogPro are hunting Mark down. She lets Mark go, but threatens to send him back to Paradise if they encounter one another again.
GUARD tells Mark about a base set up in Alabama, and that it would be best if Mark switches cars, seeing as the FBI would have all of his information. Mark drives to Santa Fe and spends the night in a place called Desert Oasis. He finds it ironic that he is in "room number four." While there, Mark emails his family and Sarah, before leaving the next day.
Mark emails Sarah every night, but she does not respond. When he stays in a diner one day, after ordering his sixth cup of coffee, Mark tries to reactivate Purdy's laptop. He sees on the news that there has been an attack on the John Hancock Center. At first, Mark ignores it, before seeing on the corner of the television screen that there is a Mogadorian cannon sitting on the edge of the roof. When no one in the diner pays heed to the report, Mark decides to make a blogpost about it on "They Walk Among Us."
He finally gets Purdy's computer to activate, and reads emails from someone named "D," presumably Deltoch, the Mog Purdy was talking to before. It speaks of how Secretary of Defense Bud Sanderson has been making progress with the MogPro procedures. Mark texts GUARD about it, but he does not respond any time soon. Eventually, there is a message from "GUARD," telling him to meet near Shreveport. However, the real GUARD calls Mark and alerts him that their communications have been compromised, meaning that GUARD is not really where they are supposed to meet.
It is an ambush, and the MogPro agents attack Mark. He tries to convince them that he has been working for Agent Walker in some "dark black-ops assignment," but Walker has been labeled a traitor. The MogPro loyalists are trying to hunt her down. Before they are about to take Mark away for interrogation, one of the agents presses the button on GUARD's grenade. It releases an electromagnetic pulse, knocking out all of their Mogadorian weapons that rely on electromagnetism. They switch to live ammunition, resulting in Mark being shot in the arm as he escapes.
Mark's car breaks down when he makes it to a strip mall, and he is left hopeless. GUARD finally texts him back, and they use their code from "They Walk Among Us" to confirm that this is the real GUARD. GUARD tells Mark that the grenade that was used was a "combination specialized EMP and concussion blast," indicating alien origin.
When Mark stops in a hotel for the night, he is awakened by a delivery man. He is surprised to see that GUARD has ordered him a new car, aware of the location his last one broke down. Mark arrives at Yellowhammer Ranch, where GUARD has set up a safe house. Mark finally contacts Sarah, using their pizza order as a code. She plans to meet up with him, and they finally reunite in a parking lot. Mark is surprised to see Bernie Kosar there as well.
Sarah fills Mark in on everything that has been going on, about Setrákus Ra and the Vishnu Nationalist Eight. He types notes for future blogposts. However, over time, Mark's bullet wound gets worse, until the point where it is infected. They go the store, but Mark is unsure about his necessary medication. Mark and Sarah get into a stressful situation with a motorcycle cop, but make it through. However, the officer checks the plates, and Mark learns that GUARD has entered in Jolly Roger; the name that the MogPro loyalists have been searching for is now on record.
GUARD tells Sarah and Mark that they must pack up and run, but the Mogadorians have already arrived. BK manages to hold them off until they finally retreat. GUARD calls Mark, asking how far away he is, before detonating a firebomb he had hidden in the bunker. Mark is given coordinates to GUARD's headquarters in Atlanta, and they continue to drive away, distraught from the attack.
Mark and Sarah arrive in Atlanta, and discover a peach-and-pecan orchard. They go to a large building outside, only to have guns pointed in their face when they walk through the backdoor. Mark is surprised to see that GUARD is a woman, and is even more shocked when she gets BK to heel by speaking to him in Loric. GUARD introduces herself as Lexa and shows them around the hangar, where she has been keeping the Loric ship that brought the Nine Garde Children to Earth. They treat Mark's arm, and when they learn of the Mogadorian invasion, post a promotional video for the Garde. Lexa gets the ship running on fossil fuels, and they prepare be the reinforcements for the Garde.
Mark, Sarah, and BK are flown down to the Sanctuary to be the reinforcements for Adamus Sutekh, Six, and Marina. He is startled to see Adam there, but is reminded by Sarah that he is on their side. While Six and Marina go to meet Lexa, Adam begins to explain Mark their plan to fight the Mogs. He is taken aback to learn that their main plan is a giant hole in front of the Sanctuary stairway, which is for capturing Setrákus Ra. Mark recommends leaving the Sanctuary behind, but all of them object, saying they need to stay and defend the Loric Entity.
When the Anubis comes and destroys the temple, he tries to hold Marina back, and ends up getting hit by her Legacy of Ice Manipulation, and also gets hit in the chest by shrapnel. Before Setrákus Ra can fully deplane the Anubis, Mark is the one to detonate the remaining Skimmers surrounding the crater. He fights alongside the Garde, and is one of the two at the battle to stay behind when the others are pulled into a mass telepathic link by Ella.
He saves Marina when Setrákus Ra is tossing her around with telekinesis, and shoots him in the face. Mark and Adam carry Marina onto the ship, away from the chaos. When Six and Sarah arrive, they depart. Sarah is mortally wounded, part of her midsection having been cut away during the telekinetic blast between Six and Ra. Mark shakes Marina, screaming at her to wake up, before Adam lunges at him and pins Marks against the wall, yelling at him to stop. Mark screams and says they never should have come back.
Mark, while asleep, receives a vision from Setrákus Ra. In the vision, he is at Paradise High, which has been bombarded by a Mogadorian warship. Mark sees Setrákus Ra dressed up as a school teacher, and attacks him. The Mogadorian leader actually apologizes to Mark for hurting Sarah. Mark corrects him and says that he killed Sarah. Setrákus Ra claims that the two of them have very different views of death. The heals the field, and claims that death to someone like Ra is a temporary inconvenience, and even goes so far to say that Sarah can be reborn by him. Setrákus Ra offers for them to end this war together.
When Mark wakes up, he asks Ella if Sarah was thinking about him when she died. Ella tells him that he crossed her mind, and he simply nods, trying not to show emotion. When they land at Patience Creek, Mark and BK stay with Sarah's body. John boards the ship, and Mark glowers at him for a long moment, before moving out of the way so John can say goodbye. After John is finished, Mark asks if John can bring her back from the dead, and John simply replies that he is not a god. Mark begins to yell at John, despite the Garde's warnings, and begins to ask why John chose her, why he brought her into the war.
After John says he does not care what Mark wants, he punches John in the face. When John does not react in any way, he punches him again. Eventually, one punch is so wild that he almost completely misses John, tripping over one of the cots. John asks if Mark feels better, but the question can actually relate to both of them. Before John leaves, he asks if Mark can take Sarah back to Paradise. Mark replies that he will do the hard part for John, since he is so "busy." John thanks Mark, and then he leaves them behind.
Mark changes his mind, not wanting the Mogs to tamper with Sarah's body, and refuses Setrákus Ra's offer. However, by then it is too late and the Augmented Mogadorians take him away. One of them apparently forced him to inhale a cloud of spores, controlling his mind. When John is on his way back to Patience Creek to take another vest, preparing to commandeer another warship, he sees Mark in the doorway, and notices the black veins underneath his skin.
Mark shakily apologizes, telling John that "they" made him. Phiri Dun-Ra, newly Augmented, sneaks up on John and extracts his Legacies. She ties the Voron noose, the same one that almost killed Setrákus Ra and may have possibly killed Pittacus Lore, around John's neck and forces Mark to hold it like a leash. When John does not tell Phiri where the Human Garde, she aims a blaster at Mark's head, who begins to fight their control. However, the Mogadorian's Augmentation is too strong, and Mark ends up hurting himself. John says that the Mogs will lose, and Phiri makes an example out of Mark by stabbing him in the head with one of her tentacles, killing the boy and proving to John that he cannot save them all.
A year later, John goes back to Paradise for a quick visit. He stops by where Mark's house used to be, before it was burned down. John reflects on how John and Mark hated one another for the longest time, but is saddened by Mark's death. He wishes he could go find Mark's father and tell him about his son's part in this war; all of the television broadcasts that talk about Victory Humanity Day never mention Mark.