"I know, why don't we find one of Leonardo Da Vinci's flying machines and soar up the ventilation pipes?" - Zee, LockdownZee Hatcher is an inmate first introduced in Lockdown as a boy who was sent down on the same day as Alex. He later becomes one of Alex's main conspirators and good friends.
Zee Hatcher is described as shorter than Alex, but wider, and slightly broader-chested than him. It is mentioned that he has dark hair, but not specified whether it is brown or black. It's mentioned on multiple occasions that Zee has an accent. It is also mentioned that Zee has bright blue eyes.
"Christ, Alex, what have they done to your brain? You don't remember Star Wars?" - Zee, Death SentenceZee is quick witted and makes a great comic relief. Even in very stressful times, like in the pursuit of the Blacksuits, he's always got a quip ready. Alex describes on many occasions that he couldn't have escaped without Zee, not only because of his physical contributions, but because his optimistic attitude towards life overall kept everyone's spirits high. When even Zee gets quiet, either with sadness or nervousness, you know you're pretty much screwed.
Aside from his almost constant optimism, Zee is very hotheaded. If when he's annoyed, he can snap very easily. When he comes into contact with Simon, this becomes a problem. Though the two are forced to work together, they don't always get along the greatest. As a side effect of his hotheadedness, he's very protective of those who he cares about. He volunteers to stay behind in the control room so that his friends to get out, while Alex and Simon fight about who stays behind. Despite his strong reactions Zee is still very analytical and sharp, sometimes needing to be the voice of logic to Alex's plans. His love of documentaries seemed to have made him pick different skills to come in handy; from carjacking to rewiring electrical currents and the occasional piece of trivia that gets the gang out of tough situations.
Main Story Edit
Back Story Edit
As confirmed in Fugitives, Zee had a track record of carjacking before his incarceration, despite the fact he's a terrible driver. This was one of the main reasons as to how he was framed for killing an old woman in a stolen car. Zee is the fifth and youngest child of his family. According to him, he was named Zee as his mother was adamant that he would be the last Hatcher child in his family. And he was.
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Zee Hatcher is first introduced out of his court hearing, where he had been struggling with his bailiffs. His refusal to compliance left him getting tazed. It just so happened that he'd shared his hearing on the same day as Alex. The two first meet after Zee gets taken, and meet again on the prison bus. Once crossing onto the threshold of the prison outside, Zee breaks away and calls out the blacksuits for framing him. Before he can get away, a blacksuit knocks him back, almost hitting the electric fence. Zee is then dragged back into the prison.
On the elevator ride down when Alex confesses that he'd been framed, Zee joins in and explains how the blacksuits had gotten him. Zee is incredulous that he, Alex, Jimmy and Monty had all been framed by the same men. Zee, Alex and Jimmy swear to get out of Furnace together if they ever find a way out. Once the elevator had made it's descent, Zee and Alex stick close together as they're greeted by the Skulls, followed by the warden and the blacksuits. They eventually separate once the warden begins making arrangements, assigning Zee to the fourth floor with his new cell mate Carlton Jones. Zee leaves to follow his new cellmate.
Shortly afterwards Zee catches up with Alex again in the trough room, expressing his panic over his new lie. The two are shortly joined by Donovan, who introduces himself and Zee pries for information on the prison. Donovan confirms there's no other secret ways out, and to watch who to talk to about escape as the punishment for doing so is the hole (solitary confinement). The conversation is cut short however as a fight breaks out in the trough causing a lockdown, forcing Alex, Donovan and Zee to sprint back to their respective cells.
The next time Alex catches up with Zee it's in the trough room again after their first full morning of hard labour. Horrified, Zee tells Alex about how he had been posted to scrubbing every toilet on the first level. Alex notices someone getting harassed and picked on behind the canteen, and once Donovan joins them at the table Alex asks who it was. Donovan admits that the victim is Monty. Alex fumes at the idea that nobody would help Monty, but Donovan and Zee confess that neither of them wanted to go and help a scapegoat. Donovan and Zee try to convince Alex not pursue the matter, but ultimately fail as Alex jumps into the canteen to stop the Skulls. Donovan leaves the trough room without stepping in, but Zee rushes and whacks a couple of Skulls with a lunch tray, saving Alex.
A lockdown siren sounds and Alex and Zee find themselves in pursuit by the warden's hell hounds. The two run up the level platforms, by the time they reach the sixth floor all the cells are locked tight - except Alex's thanks to Donovan propping the door open with a toilet seat. They don't have enough time to run down the platform to get in, as the dogs were gaining quickly on them. Instead, Alex and Zee run up to the seventh floor, jump down a level to grab onto the sixth floor platform and are helped by Donovan to get back into his cell safely. All three make it after the close call, but Zee is removed and taken back to his own cell as per lockdown rules.
The day after the chase, the warden closes down the trough room for the day and puts out a warning for a week in the hole if there are any more skirmishes. Zee meets up with Alex and Donovan for chipping duty that morning. Alex confronts Monty who'd also been posted in the halls as well but to Alex's surprise, Monty is angry with Alex for stepping in to save him. When Alex leaves Monty alone and tells Zee and Donovan what just happened, both agree that they should've left Monty behind. The remainder of hard labour that morning the prisoners quickly fall behind in work from hunger and exhaustion, though Alex, Zee and Donovan find themselves refreshed by a mysterious rush of fresh air from Room Two.
Later, the three head up to Alex and Donovan's cell only to be stopped by Kevin and two other Skulls. Donovan straightened himself out to intimidate them, but the Skulls claim they were only there for Alex's business. They leave with a threat to Alex, who in turn realized that the Skulls came by to piss on his bed. Disgusted, the three leave the cell behind to sit down somewhere else. Zee asks if the warden will lift his warning. Donovan says that it will be lifted in time, otherwise there'd be a riot, but there will be no formal announcement as the next time a skirmish breaks out it will just be a lockdown. The conversation changed into a discussion about who the warden is, and what his deal was running the prison.
Four days after Alex's fight, Alex, Donovan and Zee are in the kitchen for hard labour. They reminisce about their lives before prison, Donovan remarking that the one thing he wished he could've learned was how to cook a proper meal, Alex and Zee agree. Monty, who had been posted with them overheard the conversation, admitting that cooking was the only thing he could do well. As an action of kindness, Monty prepares a homemade meal for the three boys. Alex, Zee and Donovan are so overwhelmed by the quality of Monty's meal that they thanked and praised Monty endlessly.
The euphoria ends quickly that night as the blood watch claims Monty as its victim. With Donovan angry at Alex and leaving him alone, Alex meets up with Zee in the yard and discuss the events of the previous nights. Zee theorized that the prison is using its inmates for human experimentation, much like the Nazi Party and Japanese army did in the second world war. Alex is doubtful, but agrees that nobody on the outside seemed to know what was actually happening in the prison. Alex changes the subject to the idea of escape, sure that there is a way out. Alex presses Zee for information on Room Two in the chipping halls, Zee says that he heard there was a cave-in in that room months ago, and that thirty inmates had died in the room. It's Zee's turn to be doubtful, but Alex is adamant about checking it out the next time he can. Zee mocks Alex's ideas as if they were something absurd and obvious as the hand of God plucking them out of prison.
Their conversation is cut short with the arrival of three new inmates: an older boy named Gary Owens, and two younger boys named Toby Merchant and Ashley Garett. Afterwards, Alex returns to the cell with Zee (who continues to rag on Alex with more ridiculous escape plans) and apologizes to Donovan for what he had done in the night, then not really realizing how serious the blood watch was. Donovan accepts the apology, but is still wary. Zee brings up the conversation he had with Alex beforehand about escape to Donovan, personally disbelieving in it. Alex asks Donovan about Room Two and tries to get him into considering a way out, but is met with rejection. Before he could interject more, the conversation is interrupted by a commotion in the yard from the new kid, Gary taking on Kevin and the Skulls. Almost every inmate is enthused that somebody finally taking down Kevin.The enthusiasm is turned upside down once Gary declared himself as Skull leader.
Zee meets up with Alex and Donovan the next day in trough room, right after Alex snooped inside Room Two. Zee greets Donovan normally but is immediately concerned by Alex's worn appearance. Alex explains what happened in Room Two to Donovan and Zee. Zee is beginning to be more convinced of escaping by Alex's story, but Donovan remains uninterested. The discussion is cut short by Gary coming over to their table, threatening Alex and then leaving once more. However, Alex is struck with the idea that what he heard in Room Two is an underground river. Alex, Donovan and Zee all argue over the theory for the rest of lunch. Donovan made a point that nobody would've built an underground prison and not notice a river. Alex is adamant that it's the most logical explanation for the noise, and that a river must appear up top somewhere. Zee and Donovan disagreed with him admitting even if there was a river, they were better off trying to get by rather than investigate.
During downtime, Alex and Zee hang out in Alex's cell while Donovan went down to the gym. He ended up back up into the cell, fuming about how he wasn't allowed in again because Gary made the gym out of bounds for anyone who isn't fighting. To pass the time instead, Alex and Zee began to recite their favourite movies and TV shows, eventually waking Donovan out of his bad mood. Alex sticks to the Indiana Jones saga while Zee tries to explain a triology about kid inventors, but keeps getting lost in story due to his bad memory.
That night the bloodwatch returned with the creature formerly known as Monty who kills Kevin. Donovan is finally on board with the escape plan and plots with Alex and Zee at their table again. Donovan distracts the blacksuits by setting up a fake cave-in while Alex and Zee sneak into Room Two. Inside the abandoned room, Zee is able to hear where the source of the river is coming from. They do discover that the cave-in cracked a huge rift in the hall, but that the rift was not wide enough to jump into. Alex and Zee returned, bearing the bad news that the river is too small to get into. Donovan is adamant that there has to be a way out. Alex snaps at Donovan and falls into a debilitating depression.
Despite Alex's resignation, Zee and Donovan spend more time alone together trying to figure out ways to get inside of the river. A couple weeks later, Donovan tries to initiate conversation with Alex again, hurt and angered by the fact Alex had completely given up. He then slaps Alex with a meat filled rubber glove, which unintentionally triggers a plan in Alex's head of using gas filled rubber gloves to blow up the rift.
Zee's closest friend, they first met on the same trial day after Zee had gotten tazed for struggling against his sentence, and instantly clicked together once they introduced themselves on the elevator ride down. The are a ride-or-die duo for each other, making sure that neither one gets left behind. They work well together, joking and standing up to one another. Zee often helps motivates Alex to do better and still stay true to himself.
A mutual friend between Zee and Alex, who Zee got along with in Lockdown. Zee and Donovan enjoy teasing and making fun of each other, but stick to each other well after Alex had been depressed in order to try and think of an escape plan. Throughout the rest of the books, Zee thinks of Donovan often and joked in Fugitives that if Donovan were out and free "he'd be out of town with everyone else behind to clean up the mess."
A kid in Solitary who had partly undergone the blacksuit transformation. Zee didn't trust Simon at the start, questioning all of his actions and intentions. He begrudgingly accepts Simon's help and is rescued by Simon and Alex in Solitary. By then Simon's tough loves grows on him as they begin an unlikely friendship throughout the books.
Lucy is a civilian Zee, Alex and Simon encounter in Fugitives. She was stuck in a subway station that was being guarded by Skulls and trapped inside due to the berserkers roaming in the streets. At first, she hates the three inmates, resenting them due to the fact her father, a police officer, had been killed in the Summer of Slaughter. She reluctantly tags along to their group as they try to navigate through the city. Zee was nervous from the resentment she holds for them, but sticks to her side and endures "boyfriend/girlfriend" jokes to their annoyance.
- Zee's family has a pet cat.
- In a tweet, Alexander Gordon Smith says that he envisions Zee having an American accent.
- Originally, Zee's name was actually pronounced "Zed" as by the English pronunciation of the letter "Z", by Alexander Gordon Smith says that he had to change it due to the amounts of "Zed said" began to sound too much like a Dr. Seuss story
- Along with his love of documentaries, Zee is a big sci-fi fan and alludes to Star Wars and Star Trek in the books.
- Zee's eyebrows were burnt off in Death Sentence