Before possession of Gaia: Invasion of minds; After possession of Gaia: Telekinesis from Caine Soren; Light/fire from Sam Temple; Superhuman strength from Computer Jack; Superhuman speed from Brianna "The Breeze" ; Healing from Lana Arwen "Healer" Lazar; Gravity cancellation from Dekka Talent; Invisibility from Bug
Gaia Soren-Ladris (Body; Deceased); Diana Ladris (Mother of Gaia); Caine Soren (Father of Gaia; Deceased); Sam Temple (Uncle of Gaia); Connie Temple (Paternal grandmother of Gaia); Mr. Temple (Paternal grandfather of Gaia; Deceased)
The Gaiaphage (also known as The Darkness) is the main villain of the Gone series. It was the most powerful force in the FAYZ, fearing no one and nothing except Little Pete, who is the only force stronger than the Gaiaphage.
The Gaiaphage initially appeared as a mass of glowing green crystals which seethed along the ground in the hole it lived in. When someone poofs, the Gaiaphage appears before them as a being with green eyes and a fanged mouth. In Hunger, the Gaiaphage attempted to create a new body for itself out of millions of monsters, but was thwarted by Duck Zhang.
More than a million years ago, a race of life-worshipping aliens infected a dead moon with a carefully structured virus with the ability to affect the fabric of reality. They then exploded the moon, sending thousands of seedlings out into the universe. They hoped that the virus would land on lifeless planets and create life, but on the planet Earth, 1 million years later, one of the seedlings hit a nuclear power plant. The impact killed a human called Taegan Smith, the father of Sam Temple, and dragged his corpse underground, along with a pile of uranium. The uranium, as well as Taegan's DNA, caused the virus to mutate into a radioactive, part-human, part-alien monster, which went insane and called itself the Gaiaphage, or World Eater. Instead of creating life, it started to cause other living things to mutate - for example, human beings began to gain powers, animals began to evolve into bizarre monsters. Some humans were more vulnerable than others - because of the genetic connection, Sam and Caine were the only four-bars, and because of his autism and youth, Little Pete became immeasurably powerful.
Powers and abilities
The Gaiaphage, who later becomes Gaia, is the most powerful force in all of the FAYZ. It doesn't fear anything and does not hesitate to torture its enemies. Little Pete, whom the Gaiaphage calls Nemesis, is slightly less powerful, except in conjunction with Caine Soren. The Gaiaphage has ALL the powers ever discovered in the FAYZ, as long as the person that has the power remains alive. If the owner of a power is killed or for other reasons dies, the power will fade away from the Gaiaphage, which is why Gaia is reluctant to kill powerful humans during Light. Due to the fact that the Gaiaphage has all available powers, this means it has all the following powers;
- Superspeed (Formerly, as Gaia killed Breeze during a fight)
- Firing light beams with her bare hands
- + all other available powers and abilities, weak as well as more powerful.
- The Gaiaphage does however NOT have the powers owned by Little Pete as he was killed in Plague. The Gaiaphage does not have the power of teleportation either, as the Gaiaphage can only take power from other human mutants, whereas Taylor, the owner of that power, is not human.
In Gone, the Gaiaphage manipulates a pack of mutant coyotes , directing them to capture Lana after it discovers her healing Power, and uses her to give Drake his whip-hand after Sam used his Power to burn off his arm.
In Hunger, the Gaiaphage begins mentally manipulating Little Pete into giving it a body. It uses Pete's imagination to come up with a body similar to that of a Russian nesting doll - endless bodies, each inside the other, each completely lethal. Lana attempts to kill it, but the Gaiaphage possesses her and uses her to shoot Edilio in the chest. In the end of the book, Duck Zhang sacrifices himself to stop the Gaiaphage from gaining a body, dragging it down a hole kilometers deep using his power.
The Darkness returns in Lies, having survived Duck's attack and used Little Pete's power to create a female avatar, Nerezza. It used Lana's healing powers and Brittney's regeneration ability to bring Drake back from the dead, although it was partially unsuccessful as Drake and Brittney share control of the body. Nerezza manipulates Orsay Pettijohn into believing that she could see visions of the world outside the FAYZ and the other children into thinking that the Big One-Five (the unexplained disappearance when one reaches the age of 15) would be an escape from the FAYZ. Towards the end of the book Nerezza ends up strangling Orsay because she refused to listen to her. Nerezza also persuaded Zil to start a riot at the end of the book.
In Plague, the Gaiaphage is shown to be residing in a cave at the bottom of the FAYZ sphere after being crushed through the ground of the mineshaft by Duck at the end of Hunger. Drake approaches the Darkness here after escaping from imprisonment, but changes into Brittney upon encountering it; the Darkness then persuades Brittney into believing that it is God. This way, it has the allegiance of both Drake and Brittney, whom it tries to use to destroy Sam and ultimately eradicate every human in the FAYZ - so that it can 'break free' from the FAYZ, which is described as an egg that the Gaiaphage grows inside, and be 'born' into the outside world; but in order to do this, it needs to assimilate the power of the person who created the egg: Little Pete, or as the Gaiaphage calls him, Nemesis. The Gaiaphage attempts to eradicate the humans by setting near-invincible mutant bugs on them and retrieve Little Pete with Drake/Brittney, but when Little Pete makes the bugs and himself vanish, Drake/Brittney appears to retreat. Also, after the Gaiaphage's 'Nemesis', Little Pete, loses his bodily form at the end of Plague, the Gaiaphage is shown as more hesitant in contacting the child's now bodiless, yet even more powerful (having lost his autism along with his damaged body and brain), mind.
In Fear, the Darkness is discovered to essentially be the barrier. When it started to turn black, that was a sign of the Darkness' weakness. Lana, Drake, Caine and others in contact with the Darkness can feel how desperate it is to be reborn. It later achieves this by taking control of Diana's baby, Gaia Soren-Ladris. At the end of the novel, Gaia, Penny, Drake and Diana travel through Perdido Beach and are challenged by Caine and Sam in the Battle of the Highway. The two of them fail to defeat Gaia, but the barrier becomes transparent following this and Gaia, Diana and Drake flee.
The Gaiaphage is extremely powerful and remains a huge threat to the FAYZ universe.
In Light it continues to use Gaia as a host and terrorizes the children at the lake, killing many. It also launches an attack on Perdido Beach, but is repulsed -- barely -- by Sam and Caine.
It is eventually killed by Little Pete when he takes over Caine's body and they burn each other to ashes. The FAYZ wall comes down, and everyone is free. During the aftermath, the Perdido Survivors, as they are being called by the world, are being brought to different hospitals where they can recover.
- When Penny attempts to use her power on Lana in Fear, Lana is unaffected, saying that what the Gaiaphage did to her is much worse than anything Penny is capable of.
- Astrid speculates in Hunger that the Gaiaphage was responsible for the almost meltdown at the power plant that Little Pete stopped. She believes that it "touched" the mind of someone at the plant and told them to cause a meltdown in order to feed on the radiation released by the meltdown.
- In the sixth and final book, Light, the Gaiaphage admits, as Gaia, that it had been created by mutation from an alien virus that was supposed to create and spread life throughout the galaxy. She says it wasn't her fault she became an egomaniac and a psycopathic, murderous monster.
- During the aftermath of the final Gone book, Light, the FAYZ wall comes down completely after Little Pete and Gaia focus their full power on each other and manage to cause a simultaneous disintegration of both LP and Gaia. Astrid assures a worried Sam that it is all over now that the Gaiaphage has been destroyed. However, in Fear, it was clearly being stated that not all of the Gaiaphage took over baby Gaia: some of the Gaiaphage's green, glowing, crystallized mass remained in the cavern deep below the mine shaft. This would mean the Gaiaphage is not gone completely, it is just severely weakened. This would explain why Taylor did not turn back into a human and why she didn't lose her power.