|“|| Hatch: This is your home.|
Taylor: For how long?
Hatch: For the rest of your life.
|~ Dr. C. James Hatch telling Taylor how long she will be in the Elgen Academy.|
Dr. Charles James Hatch is the main antagonist of the Michael Vey book series. He is the current CEO of the Elgen Corporation and the archenemy of the titular protagonist Michael Vey.
Hatch is shown to be a very manipulative man. He buys a Glow's loyalty by bribing them with expensive gifts. He then guilt trips them into giving in to his demands, regardless of how ethical they are or not. This is demonstrated in the first book when he forced Taylor to use her powers disorient a motocross rider while he's doing a dangerous stunt.
When manipulation does not work, he threatens a Glow's loved ones. One of his Glows, Tanner, was forced into using his powers to take down airborne planes after Hatch held his brother captive. He then forced Michael to electrocute his friend Wade to death in exchange for seeing his mother again.
He also has an intolerance of failure and insubordination that reaches violent levels. When threats and bribery don't work, he either tortures Glows or kill them. His favorite method of execution is sending them to the Bowl, which involves getting devoured by electric lab rats.
Hatch is, at heart, shown to be a coward in some situations, disregarding the well-being of others and concentrating on saving his own life. In the final book, his cowardliness is shown when Michael returns while Hatch is in the Starxource plant, he runs into a different room, ordering his guards to take care of Michael, and when finally grounded and cornered, he begs Michael for mercy. He is also paranoid, as he has his guards and Glows tracked with RFIDS (radio-frequency identification), is usually surrounded by bodyguards, and it is implied that he became the person that he is now because of his paranoia of the Glows.
Little is known about Hatch's early life, other than that he stated when developing the helmets used to resist Taylor Ridley's rebooting powers, he once did some work for the National Security Agency in his twenties. In Fall of Hades, it is revealed that Hatch was the CEO of a pharmaceutical company (presumably after his stint at the NSA), and was hired by the Elgen Corporation then. He was once friends and colleagues with Carl Vey, Michael's father. He was the CEO of the Elgen company until the MEI experiment malfunctioned and killed several newborn babies, causing him to be demoted. When he was ordered to gather the children that survived, he learned that they developed electricity-based powers. He saw their potential for world domination, and proposed to the board that they should build power plants using their newly bioengineered rats. This effectively turned Elgen Inc. into a massively profitable company.
Prisoner of Cell 25
Hatch is first seen on the phone to the Elgen chairman (Schema). He continuously promises to find the "last two".
He has learned that the last two Glows, Michael, and Taylor, live in Meridian, Idaho, after his internet spiders scan the Pasadena General Hospital Birth Records. He corners Michael at PizzaMax. He gets Nichelle and Zeus to kidnap Taylor and Michael's mother but failed to get Michael. Despite kidnapping Taylor, he almost convinces her that he's a good person by reuniting her with her long-lost twin sister and bribing her with expensive gifts. When she refused to use her powers to harm an innocent civilian, he imprisons her with Ian, McKenna, and Abigail, who have also rebelled against Hatch.
When Michael, Austin, Jack, and Wade arrive at Elgen Academy to rescue Taylor and Mrs. Vey, they quickly get captured. Hatch gives Michael a few days for him to decide if he should serve him, with the promise that he would free his mother and his friends. With no other choice, Michael feigns loyalty. As a test of his loyalty, Hatch forces him to kill Wade or else he'll electrocute his mother. When Michael refuses, he is held in Cell 25 and is tortured for almost a month. When he is finally let out, he sends Zeus to execute him, Taylor, and Austin. After reducing Elgen Academy to a wasteland by setting the self-destruct, Hatch and his Glows escape to the Elgen's office in Rome.
Rise of the Elgen
He goes against Chairman Schema's orders to release Michael's mother so he could fulfill his personal agenda. After Tanner attempts to commit suicide, he has him detained in the prison of the Peruvian Starxource Plant. On their way there, Tanner's sedatives wear off and he attempts to take down the plane he and the rest of the Glows are on. In a fit of rage, he orders the guard watching Tanner be sent to the Bowl to be devoured by electric rats.
Later on, Michael lets himself get captured by the Elgen in order for his friends and mother to escape the Starxource Plant. He attempts to get Michael eaten by the electric rats, but the Electroclan manages to shut down the plant, allowing him to escape.
Battle of the Ampere
Chairman Schema learns that Hatch disobeyed his orders and decides to fire him (and possibly kill him too). However, Hatch not only had his loyal followers stow away on the Ampere but also managed to manipulate some of the board members to help him usurp Schema, regaining his position of the CEO of the Elgen. After imprisoning him, he has Schema hung upside down. One of his board members and possible girlfriend offers to be hung upside down in Schema's place, much to Hatch's sadistic delight. She eventually died from having blood rush to her head.
Later on, the Electroclan manages to sneak aboard the Ampere in an attempt to blow it up. However, Hatch caught on immediately and trapped them in the engine room of the ship. He gave them the sadistic choice to either turn themselves to the Elgen guard or let themselves die in the explosion. When reinforcements come to save the Electroclan, Hatch manages to escape before the Ampere blows up. At the end of the book, the Voice tells them that Hatch kidnapped a Chinese prodigy named Yu Long (or Jade Dragon) after she posted a theory on her blog about the formula needed to create more Glows.
Hunt for Jade Dragon
His plan to get the formula hits a snag when he learns that Jade is a deaf and mute Autistic Savant. In order to get the formula, he kidnaps Taylor and has Tara impersonate her so she could use her mind-reading powers on Jade. He once again captures the rest of the Electroclan with the help of a seemingly reformed Nichell (who actually was just deceiving Hatch because she became aware of Tara impersonating Taylor). After Tara's powers have developed enough for her to cause hallucinations, he uses it to trick Michael into giving him the location of the resistance's hideout.
Storm of Lightning
He learns from EGG Welch that Michael and the Electroclan managed to escape again. As punishment, he sentences Welch to death. When Quentin, a Glow of Hatch's, finds out, he, Tara, and Torsten arrange to help Welch escape because he and Quentin share a close relationship. Hatch is at first none the wiser about Quentin's treachery. He invades the small island nation of Tuvalu and has its former Prime Minister living in a monkey cage with his tongue removed to rub salt in the wound. After conquering it, he grants Quentin the position of king. However, Hatch eventually learns that Quentin was the one who set Welch free. He strips Quentin of his position and forces him into a monkey cage while he arranges to have Tara and Torsten executed.
Fall of Hades
He holds a $1,000,000 bounty for the capture of Welch, but Welch manages to elude the Elgen, and the military looking for him. He makes a deal with ship captain and Gulf War veteran J.D. to lead the Electroclan to him, where he plans to execute them all except for Michael, whom he plans to eat as a victory feast. He sends a vast majority of his security forces after Michael, who climbs a tower for the lightning, and watches the attack from an emergency escape boat with his bodyguards. When Michael is stricken by a lightning bolt, his electricity combines into a nuclear reaction, and the guards are all burned to death. Hatch, who was wearing special sunglasses, is not blinded by the blast, but escapes in his boat with his bodyguards.
The Final Spark
Minutes after Fall of Hades, Hatch and his blinded guards arrive at Funafuti in the escape pod. He is furious at Michael destroying his Navy, the theft of his personal submarine vault, the Joule, and Enele Saluni's uprising, yet ecstatic that Michael is "dead". He spends the majority of the book holed up in his bunker at the Tuvaluan Starxource plant. After learning of the Electroclan's takeover of the Joule, he calls the Philippine Navy leaders and alerts them about the supposed terrorists. When the Philippine Navy captain, Shool, arrests Welch and the Electroclan, Hatch appoints him as the chief admiral of the Elgen. During the Electroclan's detainment, he forces them to watch the crew members of the Joule get devoured by the electric rats. Later, he introduces the final Glow, Zara , who has the ability to copy the other Glows' powers. He orders Zara to read Cassy's mind, learning the location of both the Voice and the Resistance's base, as well as learn that Carl Vey is still alive. After capturing the Voice, he orders the destruction of the Christmas Ranch, the secret base, but not before holding Michael's mother and Carl's wife, Sharon, hostage to lure Carl out.
After convincing Carl Vey to show himself, he introduces him to the leader of the resistance to the Electroclan. In exchange for letting them live, Hatch forces them to pelt him with bricks as revenge for dragging them into his war. However, Sharon instead hurls one at him, causing a brief scuffle that Zara broke up. After being given false information that Enele Saluni, Jack, and Ostin have been killed, Michael reemerges from his metaphysical state. He orders Zara to attack, but Michael quickly fries her, as well as some of his soldiers. Realizing the situation he's in, he tries to flee, only for Michael to catch up to him. Michael gives him three choices: either spend the rest of his life in Cell 25, get sent to the monkey cage he forced the Tuvulan Prime Minister in, or be fed to the Electric Rats. Realizing that Michael has beaten him once and for all, he chooses the rats, but Michael soon realizes that he'd be stooping to his level, prompting Hatch to beg Michael to kill him. Michael decides to vaporize him quick and painlessly, effectively putting an end to Hatch's terroristic reign over Tuvalu.
- It was stated in The Final Spark that Hatch was born in Minnesota.
- Throughout the majority of the series, it has been suggested that Hatch is wealthy, presumably due to his role as CEO of a thriving corporate organization.
- In The Fall of Hades (during the flashback chapters), after Briton Hill's death, it was revealed that Hatch graduated from MIT, and was the CEO of an “upstart pharmaceutical company”.