The Gaiaphage also known as The Darkness is the main antagonist of the Gone, young adult book series by Michael Grant. It is a mad-Alien entity that acts as the main villain faced by the characters in the FAYZ and the overall antagonist of the entire series.
In its first state, the Gaiaphage resembles a green, glowing crystal-like mass with hundreds of small, ink-like blotches moving around. In its female avatar of Nerezza, it takes the form of a young teenage girl with bright, glowing green eyes. In its Gaia form, the Gaiaphage appears as a young, normal looking girl with blue eyes.
The Gaiaphage was created by a life worshiping alien species millions of years ago and planted on a dead moon as a virus which had the ability to affect the fabric of reality and bring life. The Moon exploded and the Gaiaphage along with 1000s of other seedlings were sent out into the universe by the alien species in hope of bringing life to where they land. After millions of years in space one of the seedlings crash landed at the Perdido Beach Nuclear Power Plant facility in California, killing a man called Taegan Smith and dragging his body with him death beneath the earth along with uranium material.
Taegan later turned out to be the father of Main characters Sam Temple and Caine Soren. The seedling then merged with the mans body and the earth around it, allowing it to gain a physical form as well as a consciousness, the mixed alien-human DNA then rendered the resulting Hybrid insane and it soon began calling itself the Gaiaphage and set out to rule the planet.
15 years later, The Gaiaphage then put its plan into motion, it began by using its powers to genetically alter a pack of Coyotes to capture a young girl called Lana Lazar in hopes of using her power healing power for his gain, this occured straight after every human under the over the age of 15 were teleported out of the town and area of Perdido Beach in an area the children and young people left behind called it the FAYZ.
Later after Lana managed to escape from the Coyotes, she was kidnapped by Drake Merwin, a psychopathic student from the nearby Coates academy and brought to the Gaiaphage in hopes of the creature healing him after having his armed burned off by Sam Temple.The Gaiaphage possessed Lana and used her power to give Drake a hideous tentacle-snake like whip in place of his missing arm, the Gaiaphage then sent the Coyote pack to assist Caine Soren in his attack on Perdido Beach, resulting in a massive battle between the Coates-Coyote Army against the Perdido Beach children. After the Battle Caine went to the Gaiaphage's mine shaft and allowed himself to be briefly possessed by it.
Later in the Second novel Hunger, the Gaiaphage psychically tortures Caine to attack the Nuclear Power Plant to steal uranium rods for the it to feed on as it has become weak due to hunger. It also begins to Psychically Lana once again telling it to come to her. Lana enough of the creatures Torture tried to destroy the Gaiaphage but ends up injuring herself and the alien entity possessing her once again and forcing her to shoot Edilio.
The Gaiaphage also begins to manipulate 'Little' Pete Ellison, a 5 year old boy with Autism and powerful reality warping abilities to create for him a new body so it can achieve a proper physical form. In the end a young boy called Duck Zhang, who can change the weight of his body jumps on the Gaiaphage and drags it further into the earth, seemingly killing it.
In the third novel Lies, the Gaiaphage survives and returns by creating itself a female human avatar called Nerezza to manipulate Orsay Pettijohn, a girl with the ability to see dreams to tell people if they Poof out of the FAYZ when they turn 15 they will return to their parents. It also uses Brittany, a young girl with the ability to regenerate all injuries and essential immortality to resurrect Drake by merging him and Brittany into one body.
As Nerezza she manipulates Zil Sperry, a Mutant hating young man to start a riot and uses this to her advantage to try and kill Little Pete but is stopped by Pete's brother Astrid, in the confusion Pete's gameboy is destroyed causing him to scream and the barrier to become see through for a brief second revealing the military presence and the adults outside of the barrier. It is also revealed that Nerezza killed Orsay after she refused to listen to her. The Drake-Brittany Hybrid is captured and imprisoned in Perdido Beach guarded by Orc.
In Plague, a flu-like fatal disease is spreading throughout the FAYZ causing infected people to literally cough up their organs. The Gaiaphage remains in the mine shaft until Drake-Brittany manages to escape and makes it way to the creature, there the Gaiaphage makes Brittany believe that it is God and worship him.
The Gaiaphage also creates a new species of insects that burrow into the skin of humans, It also reveals to Drake and Brittany (now Blindly Loyal to it) that it plans to kill everybody in the FAYZ so it can break free and invade the outer world 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 bugs which have now grown to monstrous proportions are placed under Drake-Brittany's command and the Gaiaphage sends them to attack and kill everything in the FAYZ, the bugs are divided into two groups, one to attack and kill Sam Temple and the rest to attack Perdido Beach. The bugs are seemingly indestructible and are even immune to Caine's telekinesis and Sam's Green Light attack. They quickly make their way to Perdido Beach where they begin to massacre the defenseless children.
When Astrid and Orc are attacked by the bugs at the now abandoned Coates Academy she reluctantly sacrifices Little Pete to the bugs and Little Pete, sensing the Danger to him uses his reality warping powers to make all the Bugs in the FAYZ disappear in a single second. But in the process dozens of children at Perdido Beach were killed and devoured by the Bugs adding to the already high death toll from the Famine, Plague and war in the FAYZ.
In Fear, The Gaiaphage is revealed to be the Barrier and now weakened begins to turn black rendering the entire FAYZ in an unnatural eternal night. The population of the FAYZ is now split into two groups, one living at Lake Tramonto on caravans and house boats under the leadership of Sam Temple, Dekka and Astrid while the rest remain in Perdido Beach town as Caine as their 'King'. Penny, a psychotic young girl with the ability to create insanity educing nightmarish illusions is banished from Perdido Beach after forcing a boy to claw out his eyes due to the visions she creates.
Diana, Caine's former lover is now pregnant with their child, the Gaiaphage sensing the child sends Drake to Lake Tramonto to capture the pregnant Diana. Drake is successful in capturing Diana and takes her to the mine shaft along with Penny who declares her loyalty to the Gaiaphage, where Diana ends up going into labor and gives birth to a girl. Brianna 'The Breeze' attacks them and attempts to save Diana but is defeated and Penny uses her illusion creating to trick her giving the newborn child to the Gaiaphage who proceeds to possess with the newborn child, merging their two personalities into one with Caine and Diana's cruelty and the Gaiaphage's goals, desires and powers.
The rapidly growing child, now calling itself 'Gaia' goes with Diana, Drake-Brittany and Penny to Perdido Beach and engages in Battle with Sam, Caine, Dekka and Brianna. Gaia almost kills Caine but is forced tor retreat when Sam sets her on fire and Penny is killed by Caine when he smashes her head with a Pavement block. As a result of this the barrier then goes completely transparent allowing the adults on the other side to see inside. Diana choses to stay with Gaia than return to Caine. It is also revealed that Little Pete is still alive but in a non-physical ghost like form.
In the final novel Light, Gaia sets out to kill every human in the FAYZ as to prevent Little Pete, who only has the power to defeat Gaia from taking a host body. Now suffering from extreme hunger she opens the FAYZ for a brief second to allow a young man called Alex who was taking photos of the FAYZ to enter where she proceeds to maim and Cannibalize him in front of a horrified Diana, Gaia then attacks the Lake with her new found abilities which include:
Sam's Green Light
Dekka's Gravity Negation
Computer Jack's Superhuman Strength
Invisibluty from 'Bug'
Superhuman Speed from Briana 'The Breeze'
She attacks the lake and kills over 70 of its inhabitants and sends the survivors fleeing to Perdido Beach, along the way she kills Alex and transplants Drake's head (after he was decapitated by Briana) onto his body. She then battles Sam and Caine on the Highway and cripples Sam and breaks Caine's spirit by torturing her/his own father and makes her way to Perdido Beach and is caught in a ambush organised by Edilio where she again battles Briana but manages to kill the 'Breeze'.
Gaia now unstoppable begins to kill every person she comes across in Perdido Beach as horrified adults on the other side of the Barrier watch in terror. During the massacre it is revealed if she kills the same person she has the same ability as she automatically loses that power, Sam finding this out, briefly considers killing himself to stop Gaia but is healed by Lana and makes his way to Perdido Beach. Caine allows himself to be possessed by Little Pete and engages in brutal battle with Gaia, Little Pete sacrifices himself to kill her. With Gaia/Gaiaphage dead the FAYZ wall comes down, causing everybody to lose their powers and killing Drake-Brittanny as the Gaiaphage's power was the only thing keeping them alive. With the Gaiaphage dead and the FAYZ wall down the children rush to their parents and to their normal lives, not that everything will be the same again. The FAYZ event having become a world-wide phenomenon and the survivors are treated as celebrities while they all try to readapt to society after 2 years in the FAYZ and the Gaiaphage's tyranny.
The Gaiaphage is a sadistic, power hungry, xenophobic, Merciless, cruel and Arrogant. This is show in many ways in the series, the way he refers to himself as 'God' and wants nothing but complete and utter control over the entire world and possibly the entire universe if he had the chance. He mercilessly kills anyone who will get in his ways or if their deaths will help him further his goals as shown in the way he/she as Gaia kills dozens to hundereds of unnarmed children simply because if they are allowed to live this would allow Little Pete to gain a body. His paranoid side is also shown a lot as he kills hundereds to stop his plans from being thwarted. He/She is shown to be very sadistic, shown when the Gaiaphage/Gaia attacks the Lake and lifts dozens of children in the air and picks them off and kills them with his laser abilities one by one with a large grin on its face and when Gaia tortured Cain for sheer amusement in LIGHT. He is not even above possessing newborn babies in order to gain power and a physical body.