The Atlantis Gene
S. A. Beck
Contributed by Greta Venegas
Chapter 8
Summary

Otto, Vivian, Dr. Yamazaki, Dr. Yuhle, Edward, Grunt, and the Tohono O’odham sit around a campfire. Although sharing the same fire, the Tohono O’odham men spoke among themselves and in their own language. They kept their firearms always at the ready, an indication that danger could arise in the desert at any time. Grunt introduces the men and women as being part of the Tohono O’odham tribe; they broke off from their original tribesmen because of disagreements related to cultural preservation. The men and women are set on protecting their native practices and resisting modernization. Edward stands up to explain what he had retrieved from the Pentagon website, and Otto notices that Edward has social anxiety disorder. 

The Atlantis gene was found written on the remains of a crashed UFO, and that the different government bodies working on research related to the Atlantis gene are seemingly trying to get all their forces together. Dr. Yamazaki confirms Yuhle’s and Edward’s findings on the Atlantis gene, stating that they had sequenced the entire Atlantis gene in the government agency laboratory. Jim Running Horse shares a legend passed down by his ancestors to the group. Their tribe referred to the Atlanteans as hekhiu kekelbad, which meant old ancestors, and the Atlantic Ocean as a big lake in the story. He also explains that sagacious people lived on the island, where the people were some of the greatest descendants of the first man and woman. This accords with the legend that the Atlanteans lived on an island in the Atlantic Ocean; although they had different superpowers, they had a weakness. 

Their creator killed them because they developed pride. Noble rulers were replaced with tyrants, and their relationship with their neighboring nations was replaced by bloodshed and conquests. Otto nods in agreement, as he had been reading the legends from the time he joined the Atlantis Allegiance. Jim Running Horse speaks of how a terrible earthquake had destroyed the island, killing most of its inhabitants. As the Creator did not want them to establish a new kingdom, he made the four winds blow at the same time, which scattered the boats to the four corners of the world — which explains why the Atlanteans could be found in small groups across the globe. According to his ancestors, the Atlanteans were to reunite again in the future when the world was in danger and save humanity after seeing signs in the skies, waters, soil and fire. As he finishes his narration, Otto notices a lighter that had been dropped on the ground by one of the Tohono O’odham, of which he hid in his pocket.

Analysis

The author uses oral literature through the Atlantean legend, narrated by Jim Running Horse, to present readers with the Native American version of the belief about the existence of ancient tribes. Just like Dr. Yamazaki’s scientific explanation used to describe the similarities between the Atlantis and human genes, which disproved the assumption that Atlanteans were aliens, the legend provided a local story that offered a simple explanation about the existence of Atlanteans around the world. It also explained why the Atlanteans were located in different parts of the world despite their belief that the island of Atlantis was located somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

The legend also has aspects of Christianity through its connection to the creation theory. Jim Running Horse refers to the Creator as the provider of life and views him as a higher power. His reference of the First Man and the First Woman can be compared to the Bible’s reference of Adam and Eve, who were the first humans to be created by God (Jenkins 220-221). Furthermore, he also states that the Creator was displeased with the Atlanteans because they developed pride, so he scattered their boats; — which is similar to the story of the Tower of Babel in the Bible explaining the effects of pride and God’s punishments. In the Bible, God scattered the people who were building the Tower of Babel and made them speak different languages to ensure they did not understand each other (Walsh 94): “Come let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other. So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city” (New International Version, Genesis 11: 7-8). 

Jim Running Horse’s story explained why Jaxon had supernatural powers despite being dyslexic; the Creator had given each of the Atlanteans a weakness to teach them the value of their strengths. The chapter also reveals that Otto is still struggling with his addiction, which explains his inability to resist picking up the lighter that had been dropped by one of the Tohono O’odham men.

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