Plague is the fourth book in the Gone series.
Back of the book excerptEdit
It's been eight months since all the adults disappeared. GONE.
They've survived hunger. They've survived lies. But the stakes keep rising, and the dystopian horror keeps building. Yet despite the simmering unrest left behind by so many battles, power struggles, and angry divides, there is a momentary calm in Perdido Beach.
But enemies in the FAYZ don't just fade away, and in the quiet, deadly things are stirring, mutating, and finding their way free. The Gaiaphage has found its way into the mind of its Nemesis at last and is controlling it through a haze of delirium and confusion. A highly contagious, fatal illness spreads at an alarming rate. Sinister, predatory insects terrorize Perdido Beach. And Sam, Astrid, Diana, and Caine are plagued by a growing doubt that they'll escape or even survive life in the FAYZ.
Sam, the main protagonist, is sent by Albert to Lake Tramonto, a nearby source of water because Perdido Beach is running out. He takes Computer Jack, Dekka, and Taylor with him, therefore opening up the town to attack by Drake/Brittney, the immortal creature caged in a basement, who escapes after Orc breaks through the ceiling, releasing it. It has been speculated if Albert was under order by the Gaiaphage to do so, because with Caine on Jennifer Brattle's private island, there would be no one to stop the attack, since many Gone fans have regarded Charles Merriman, also known as Orc, useless in a fight not because of his mutation, but because of his chronic alcohol addiction. Soon after Sam leaves, some kids of Perdido beach develop a deadly illness, the Plague, that causes them to literally cough up lungs and cough so hard they break their necks, in some cases. Once the lake seeking group sets out, they encounter a herd of "greenies", flying snakes that spray a deadly liquid, as thought to be bug eggs. The first person to be sprayed by the snakes was Hunter, who eventually begs Sam to kill him (which he does). Dekka gets sprayed, and soon she finds the bugs consuming her from the inside. Brianna hunts down and attacks Drake, but ends up almost killing her self when Drake reassembles himself and attacks her. Edilio catches the plague. When Sam nears Tramonto, he finds a mutant named Toto, with truth-telling powers. Toto is mildly insane, as he talks to an invisible spiderman head most of the time. He shows the group to a bunch of train containers, some containers carring Pepsi, shrimp flavored noodles, and Nutella, as well as many missiles. Toto joins the group as they scope out the very promising Lake Tramonto, but the group hits trouble when they run into Drake and his army of SUV-sized roaches. Sam plans to blow them up using the missiles, but fails. Quinn goes off in search of Caine, sent by Edilio, to get help for the dying town. Caine and the kids of Perdido Beach join forces to save the town, but Caine's "help" ultimately comes at a price. The book ends at yet another cliff hanger when the kids of Perdido Beach are split in two and truly shocking partnership is made because an even more exciting reason. The ending will leave you very excited for FEAR to come out on April 3, 2012.
The Book starts with a short chapter about Little Pete which describes life from his point of view, describing his sickness. Then Sam Temple is revealed to be drunk after seeing Brittney /Drake earlier in the day and feeling particularly low about his and Astrid's relationship decline. Sam had obtained the alcohol from Orc and Howard, stating that he was "confiscating" it but later succumbing to the temptation. In a blind, drunken rage, he attacks the FAYZ wall, but his efforts yield no result; whilst he is up on the clifftop Taylor "bounces" up to see him and they end up kissing. In the end, Sam feels guilty and pulls away. Taylor tells him to come back when he gets bored of Astrid's frigidity.
The next chapter focuses initially on Diana at the island home, who has qualms about what she has done and decides to become a better person and perhaps reform Caine as well. In the end she figures out that this is all Caine is going to be and gives in to him and they make love. Caine then comes back several times after before the night was out. The second half of the chapter deals with three previously unknown girls, Jennifer B, Jennifer H and Jennifer L; all three are suffering from a new strain of flu which causes the victims to literally cough up their lungs. After Jennifer H dies from the flu, Jennifer B crawls to the makeshift hospital to warn Dahra Baidoo of the deadly disease, but Dahra mistakes her warning as feverish hallucinations. Lana, the healer, finds that her healing powers are ineffective against the fever.
Meanwhile, Hunter is stalking a lion, but he is distracted by a growth on his shoulder - he notes he can feel it moving around inside him. The lion notices him and pounces, but is startled when bitten by the growth, allowing Hunter to kill it. Later, Hunter delivers the lion meat.
Perdido Beach is now being effectively run by Albert, whose scheme to introduce capitalism has been a success and has placed him in a position of considerable power. Albert sends Sam, Jack and Dekka on a mission to find a new water source over at Lake Tramonto, almost directly opposite Perdido Beach, as the town's supplies are running low. Sam and a few others embark on the journey and presently encounter Hunter. Multiple insects are hatching from within him and he is attempting (and failing) to commit suicide with his microwaving ability. Sam agrees to kill him out of pity; after Hunter and Dekka pray together, Sam incinerates Hunter with his power. The insects within Hunter, however, are unaffected. A new pack leader, who is also infected by the insects, is discovered shortly afterwards. He reveals he knows where the creatures that cause the infections live, and willingly leads Sam's party there, on the premise that Sam will euthanize him afterwards. During Sam's cleansing of the creatures (these are physically different from the insects, being described as flying snakes, and no not share the insectoid invulnerability to Sam's power) one drops a green slime on Dekka; Sam cauterises the area to prevent infection.
Brittney/Drake has been incarcerated in a house basement in Perdido Beach, with Howard and Orc on guard duty; whilst Howard is out, Jamal (Albert's personal bodyguard) visits and accidentally enrages Orc. In the ensuing melee, Drake escapes, and quickly secures Jamal's allegiance through threats of violence.
On their way to the lake, Sam, Jack, and Dekka come across a military base and search it in hope of food. They discover the base was containing and studying freaks, but only one remains: Toto, who has the ability to discern truth from lies. He appears to have mental problems and is constantly speaking to a plastic Spider-man bust, even after Sam grows angry and melts the figure. Toto leads the group to a derailed train, whose containers reveal many things; Nutella, Apple computer products, Pepsi, putrefied oranges and handheld missile launchers. When Sam and his friends finally reach the lake, they are confronted by the insects once more, which have grown to the size of SUVs and are being commanded by Drake. They escape, and learn the town will shortly be under attack. It is also revealed that Sam's cauterising attempt has failed; Dekka is infested with the insects.
Meanwhile, the flu is spreading in Perdido Beach, causing the inhabitants to effect a quarantine. Despite assistance from Sanjit and Lana, Dahra's hospital is being over-stretched, and there is still have no effective treatment. Edilio discovers the kid bitten by Hunter's growth, Roscoe, infested with the parasitic insects. He makes the decision to confine him to a heavily secured room and leave him to die, stopping the insects from spreading further. Between the flu and the water shortage, society begins to break down in Perdido Beach. Former Human-Crew members Turk and Lance attack Albert, leaving him close to death. Meanwhile, Pete - suffering from a fever - removes the walls and ceiling from his room and produces a raincloud to cool himself, revealing his powers to the FAYZ at large. Orc accidentally kills a boy in a drunken rage and goes to find Astrid for redemption. Turk and Lance reach Astrid's house and announce their plan to wound Astrid and murder Pete. A feverish Edilio turns up at the scene and a stand-off ensues - panicking, Edilio shoots both Turk and Lance. Orc takes Astrid and Pete to Coates Academy.
Back up at the cave, Brianna attacks Drake with a garotte, using it to slice him apart in a reversal of an idea Drake previously used to set up traps for her. However, Drake's body reassembles itself - he has gained Brittany's immortality - and Brianna only narrowly escapes. Edilio sends Quinn to get Caine, realising they need his power to offer a defence against the insects. Caine accepts, seeing the invitation as an opportunity to take complete control of the town and become a totalitarian king, ignoring Diana's pleas for them to remain on the island.
Sam's party formulate a plan to use Dekka's power to rapidly move themselves and the missile container back to Perdido Beach, intending to use the missiles to kill Drake's insects. Drake's insects attack the town and Caine attempts a defence, but is almost overwhelmed and has to be saved by Brianna. Sam's plan works and he, Toto, Jack and Dekka arrive back at Perdido Beach; however, the insects begin to emerge from Dekka. Brianna and Lana arrive and ultimately save her life. It is strongly hinted that Dekka reveals her attraction to Brianna before passing out.
Drake travels up to the Coates Academy with some of his insects; he has been ordered by the Gaiaphage to capture Pete, and personally wishes to murder Astrid. Orc attempts to attack Drake but is too drunk to finish the job and falls out of the window, where the insects swarm him. Jack runs in to help Orc. Acting on a gamble, Astrid throws Pete to the insects; he realises the danger and vanishes the insects, along with himself. It is suggested that this move by Astrid, adding to her concerns over Sam, are beginning to affect her sanity.
Caine and Sam hold a meeting in Perdido Beach, giving every citizen the option of staying in the town with Caine as king or moving to the lake with Sam. Toto is present to ensure that neither party make false promises. Albert stays in Perdido Beach on the grounds that Caine makes several concessions to him, making Sam note that despite his and Caine's abilities, Albert holds the real power. Quinn stays in Perdido Beach with his fishing team. Diana unexpectedly chooses to go with Sam, and reveals that she is pregnant with Caine's child. It is later revealed that this child is Gaia.
The book ends with a view from Pete's mind, who is apparently alive but without a body to inhabit. He revels in the fact that he has overcome the "limitations" of his mind, suggesting his autism disappeared along with his body.