The Atlantis Gene
S. A. Beck
Contributed by Greta Venegas
Chapter 2
Summary

Jaxon is dyslexic and struggles to read a news article for her school assignment, and states how she would have preferred to be a gardener because of her supernatural powers that can  help plants flourish. She is afraid that if Stephen Grant, her foster father and a plant pathologist, learns about her special powers, he would want to conduct scientific experiments on her. Jaxon comes across a story in the newspaper about a mysterious teenager who was saving people and fighting criminals at night — a story she decides to use for her essay. Isadore Grant, her foster mother, reminds her to return the laptop after completing her assignment.

Having stayed with several foster families in her time, Jaxon has encountered foster fathers who have tried to abuse her sexually by looking at her inappropriately. However, at one point, she met her boyfriend, Otto Heike — a pyromaniac who was also addicted to cocaine. They were attacked at their previous home, and Jaxon fought off all the six men that tried to hurt them (she manages to do a handstand by using only a finger to support her body weight). While Otto was blamed and sent to prison, Jaxon was sent to a different home after Ginger, her roommate, organized it with the Child Protective Services.

Analysis

Although Jaxon is dyslexic, the chapter reveals that she possesses the Atlantean gene, which explains why she was able to defeat the six men who attacked her and Otto in the previous foster home. Her fears on what Stephen, her foster father, could do if he found out that she possesses supernatural powers are justifiable considering his career as a plant pathologist. Unlike her former foster parents, the Grants are kind to her — but Jaxon feels that something about them is out-of-place yet does not elaborate on her suspicions: “They were like actors playing a part. They obviously didn’t want a child of their own…” (Beck 14). Otto’s pyromaniac behavior and Jaxon’s supernatural powers could explain their relationship with each other; they might have felt different from the rest of the children in the foster home, a significant factor that could have led to their friendship and love.

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