Cleaners are genetically engineered insects that greatly resemble centipedes.They were originally created by genius Dr. Harding. Cleaners live on both the Dark Planet (Earth) and on Atherton. Originally created to clear pollution, Cleaners can and will eat anything, including wood, trash, and other living things, while requiring very little water to survive. They can't eat stones, although cleaners can break through a variety of barriers given enough time. Cleaners are also known to be very stupid, running directly onto spears and being unable to find their way in the dark. Notable examples can reach up to 11 feet, although the ones on Earth can reach over 30 feet long. In the first book, they are described as being twice the length of a man. As cleaners walk, they produce a sound similar to breaking bones.
Appearance in books Edit
Cleaners are first shown in the House of Power, when they surround Edgar after he falls from tabletop to the flatland. Almost being eaten by them, Edgar is saved by Dr. Kincaid and Vincent. Kincaid and Vincent eat the cleaners raw for sustenance, and although Edgar is reluctant to do so at first, he follows suit, realizing that they are delicious. Due to the coloring of cleaner flesh and blood, the food is known as "Red and green," and is reported to have a salty and sweet taste.
In Atherton: Rivers of Fire, the cleaners have invaded the center of Atherton, and are attacking the villages. Warned by Edgar, Vincent and Dr. Kincaid, the humans are slightly prepared. In the fight, the humans used slings and figs as weapons. Along the way, humans learned that cleaners could be killed when they reared up to bite by stabbing them through the mouth. Unfortunately, there were still many casualties, especially against the larger cleaners. Eventually the humans escape to the flat lands, while all the cleaners are trapped in the rising water. The water causes a metamorphoses to occur, removing the cleaner's legs and teeth and making them a non aggressive source of food.
In the Dark Planet, Edgar journeys to earth, only to discover that Cleaners have taken over a large part of the planet and are constantly in battle with Spikers and Humans. Eventually, all the cleaners are killed when "Winter" comes and the Centurion Gossamer eradicates all earth-based cleaners and spikers. This is most likely that end of the cleaner species as a whole.