2000 years ago, the planet told the Cetra race that something had fallen from the sky and hit the Earth. Thousands of Cetra gathered and struggled to heal the wound it had left, but it was too deep. There was no choice but to give the planet time to heal itself.
The energy spent to heal the wound took it's toll, the land began to die, and the Earth told the Knowlespole Cetra to leave that land.
When the Cetra were preparing to leave their beloved homeland, "IT" -- Jenova, the "terror from the skies" -- appeared. To the Cetra, it would take on the form of those most beloved to them: their dead mothers, dead brothers and sisters. It could show them illusions from their past.
It approached them with a warm, kind face, and then it betrayed them utterly, inflicting them with a terrible sickness. The infected Cetra lost their minds and hearts and soon became monsters. The being known as Jenova eventually found the remaining Cetra worldwide and also passed the virus onto them.
"This planet belonged to the Cetra. Cetras were nomads... they travel... they unlock the planet... and they travel again. After their long and painful journey, they reach the Promised Land and find their final happiness. However. One day, a few of them started to hate this journey. They chose the easier life, they built houses, they took from the Cetra the gifts from the planet, and never returned them. These... are your ancestors."
-- Sephiroth (Kalm Flashback)
In Final Fantasy VII, we are told of the virus and how it was spread not only to the Cetra of the Knowlespole, but also to those of the Cetra who had decided to settle down and leave the planet to tend to itself.
What do we actually know about the sickness called Geostigma in Advent Children?
- What is it? We are told that Geostigma is the result of the body trying to cleanse itself of Jenova Cells, such as the reaction of our immune system. Our immune system attempts to push out the virus and while doing so, causes side effects initiated by the virus itself.
- What are the symptoms? While the exact details are not known at this time, it seems that the deeper stages of Geostigma may give the victim a distant and almost "possessed" glaze over their eyes; the patient may also become very ill. Yet it seems there are very few deaths caused by Geostigma, for reasons unknown.
Could it be that Geostigma is related to the disease that Jenova had set upon the Cetra two thousand years ago? We do know that Meteor has been summoned, causing devestating damage to Midgar, enough for the planet's lifestream to flock towards it to try and heal the wound...
"The planet told the Cetra race that something fell from the sky and hit the Earth. But the wound was too deep. There was no other way than to give the planet time to heal itself."
We know that Cloud and Denzel have Geostigma and although they are going through symptoms of pain, we do not know for sure if they are having delusions or hallucinations yet. It should also be noted that there are scenes where Cloud has "met" Aeris; could she be an hallucination caused by Geostigma?
"To the Cetra it would take on the form of those most beloved to them, their dead mothers, dead brothers. It could show them illusions from their past."
We also see the apperance of two wolf-like monsters. Bearing in mind that there have been very few reports of death by Geostigma infection, could these creatures be victims that have actually succumbed to the virus?
"The infected Cetra lost their minds and hearts and soon became Monsters."
Is Geostigma related to the cause of the deformations in the creatures inside the Reactor at Mt. Nibel? Were those failed SOLDIER experiments imprisioned in those pods because of their disturbing reaction to Jenova's cells?
Remember that Sephiroth was infused with Jenova cells in his mother's womb -- in this way the cells were made a part of his body, rather than being rejected as they would have been by the body of an adult. It seems that in this way he gained Jenova's ability to influence and decieve the minds of others, to a limited extent.
What follows is a hypothesis that would explain the obvious parallels between the virus which Jenova infected the Cetra with, and the new disease known as Geostigma:
As the final battle with Sephiroth ended and his body was destroyed deep inside the planet, the Jenova cells contained inside his body were dispersed, contaminating the flow of the Lifestream. When a wave of Lifestream was sent to counter the damage caused by Meteor, all those who were touched by the Lifestream were thereby infected with small amounts of Jenova cells, resulting in the disease now known as Geostigma. This would explain why the symptoms seem so similar to those suffered by the Cetra two millennia before.
Now, there is a scene revealed from Advent Children where Cloud is confronted by a man known as Kadaj, who bears a clear resemblance to Sephiroth, and is widely believed to be another of his clones. Kadaj has been rounding up children infected with Geostigma and getting them to follow him with promises of a cure for their illness. He tells them that by giving themselves to Jenova, they will be "cured." This also seems to point toward the existence of Jenova cells in these children. What purpose could he have in gathering all of these infected children up?
Is the real threat finally about to begin? The final Jenova Reunion? From what evidence we have, it certainly seems to look that way.
-- Written by Digital Holocaust, with supporting theories by Diamond Weapon.
-- (Sept. 28th 2004)