Book 1 Plantanimus "Awakening"

Plantanimus “Awakening”

The genesis of the Plantanimus Trilogy came from a recurring dream that Joseph M. Armillas experienced over three consecutive nights during the summer of 2000. Though some of the complex aspects of the story changed over the eleven years that it took to write the three books, the basic plot has remained close to the original “dream”.


The story of Plantanimus “Awakening” begins in the 27th century in the year 2619, four hundred and eighty six years after the “Dark Period”, an environmental holocaust that nearly wiped out the entire human race on Earth in the late 21st century.

After humanity’s “2nd Renaissance” in the late 23rd century, mankind resumes the course of progress and eventually colonizes the Moon and Mars.

In the year 2485 a pandemic breaks out on Mars caused by a previously unknown virus in the ground water supply. The virus, called MV Recessive, kills every single adult on the planet but spares all Martian born children under the age of sixteen. Scientists eventually develop a genetically manufactured vaccine and inoculate the entire population of the Solar System.

The pandemic brings about a conflict that culminates in a revolutionary war between the mother planet and its two territorial possessions, the Moon and Mars. As had occurred with colonies of patron nations on Earth many times in the past, Mars and the Moon eventually declare independence from the mother planet in the year 2486 and secede. The Moon and Mars become independent states and Earth has no choice but to grudgingly accept their independence.

A few decades after gaining its sovereignty, Mars becomes the industrial and technical powerhouse of the Solar System, a situation that Earth resents. Unbeknownst to all, the MV Recessive vaccine causes a mutation in the DNA structure of the young Martian survivors of the pandemic. However the populations of Earth and the Moon are not similarly affected. The genetic mutation gives rise to a new generation of Martians with extraordinary abilities. From 2485 on, an unusual amount of psychically gifted children begin appearing within the Martian population. The average I.Q. of these children is unusually high.

The main character of the story is Kelem Rogeston, a member of that generation of children born after the pandemic. He is a descendant of an illustrious family of Martian scientists and explorers that were instrumental in the colonization and development of Mars dating back to the 23rd century. In 2633, at age sixteen, Kelem is a genius with an immeasurable I.Q., already working on his doctorate in Interdimensional Physics and is slowly becoming aware of his psychic powers.

Since the age of thirteen, Kelem has been experiencing a bizarre and unsettling recurring dream every night. In the dream he finds himself in a strange forest populated by enormous trees that tower several hundred feet above him. The trunks of these bizarre looking trees have golden bark and emit strange vibrations that sound like music. Searching for an answer to his problem, he seeks out famed physician and psychiatrist Professor Nicolas Alfano, one of Mars’ eminent medical figures.

Nicolas Alfano is the leader of a secret but humane and ethical Martian society, called The Brotherhood of the Light. The Brotherhood is a one hundred and forty four year old organization made up of Martian psychics who formed the group more than a century before to protect Mars from The Phalanx, an evil, fascist society from Earth, bent on ruling the entire Solar System under its fanatical right wing, authoritarian dogma. The organization now controls many aspects of the Terran government and plans to take over the planet and install one of their own as leader of Earth in order to accomplish their goals. One of the organization’s main goal is to re-conquer Mars as a colony of Earth.

When Nicolas Alfano, a skilled mind reader meets Kelem Rogeston, he realizes that Kelem is the most powerful psychic that he’s ever encountered. The boy is capable of sensing other people’s emotions and read minds even at a distance. His ability to “lucid dream” is further proof of his amazing talents.

A Martian prophet named Thorgen Kutmeier, also a member of The Brotherhood of the Light, has foretold of the coming of a new race of human beings many years before. He refers to these “new” humans as The Sixth Root Race. Nicolas Alfano is convinced that Kelem is the first member of that “new” race, the next step in the evolution of the human species. He takes Kelem under his wing to guide him and train him so that he can develop his psychic powers to their full potential.

A few months after Nicolas Alfano meets Kelem, a murder and theft is commited at the Stephen Hawking Center, a government sponsored scientific research facility on Mars that is the most advanced in the Solar System. The scientists at the facility have been experimenting with a new technology called n’time. They have built a device designed to transport an object from a specific location in three dimensional space, onto other dimensions and back again to three dimensional space, but at a different location. In theory, this interdimensional engine will allow mankind to travel several light years’ distance in mere hours, instead of centuries or even millennia.

Because of his amazing talents and intellect, Kelem becomes instrumental in solving the murder and
subsequent theft of the research data. He also prevents the destruction of a large part of Mars when he has a dream in which he “sees” the criminal insert a virus in the Stephen Hawking Center’s computer designed to cause the n’time to self-destruct. With his help, the authorities discover that the Phalanx is responsible for the plot to steal the technology.

Afterwards he is invited to join the scientists at the Stephen Hawking Center as a member of the research team. He soon becomes the leader of the project and takes over the development of the technology, advancing its progress with amazing speed.

Kelem eventually perfects the technology and designs an n’time ship that will carry mankind to the stars.

Soon after turning eighteen, Kelem finds love in the form of Carlatta Del Mar, the beautiful and exotic daughter of the Terran ambassador to Mars, Don Francisco Del Mar. Their love affair is short lived when The Phalanx interferes and kidnaps Carlatta and her whole family and imprisons them on Earth.

After Kelem travels to Earth and fails to rescue Carlatta and her family from the clutches of The Phalanx, he returns to Mars and completes the construction of the Solar Nations, the n’time ship that he designed. Together with a crew of one hundred, brokenhearted Kelem leaves Mars on the first voyage that will take humans beyond the confines of the Solar System.

The ship meets with disaster and most of the crew perishes in a tragic accident, leaving Kelem and one of his best friends, Ndugu Nabole, stranded on Plantanimus, an Earth like alien planet once ruled by a mighty race of humanoids, located many thousands of light years from the Solar System. On Plantanimus, he encounters the Dreamers an ancient race of sentient plants that help Kelem expand his psychic powers and teach him the true nature of consciousness. The Dreamers are the same “trees” that Kelem has been dreaming of every night since his thirteenth birthday.

To ease his loneliness from the heartbreak of losing Carlatta Del Mar, the Dreamers create a part plant, part animal facsimile of her. At first Kelem rejects the “plantanimal” because “she” reminds him of the real Carlatta. But eventually Kelem accepts the facsimile named Anima and develops a platonic and spiritual relationship with her.

Six years after arriving on Plantanimus an alien species, (The Kren) land on Plantanimus. The Kren, an ancient and peaceful insect species who live in a gigantic hive spaceship offer to return Kelem and Ndugu Nabole to Mars, their original point of departure.

Kelem is conflicted about leaving Plantanimus after growing so close to the Dreamers and Anima but decides to go back to Mars promising to return some day.

Follow the adventures of Kelem Rogeston in the other two books of the Plantanimus Trilogy: “Return To Mars” and “The Gulax War” coming soon.


In Book 2, Plantanimus “Return to Mars”, Kelem and Ndugu Nabole return to the solar system courtesy of the Kren. Harry, the insectoid that the Kren queen mother assigned to take Kelem and Ndugu back to Mars, will remain awake instead  of hibernating, which is their custom, in order to keep the two men entertained during the twelve months that it will take to arrive at the human solar system.

When Kelem and Ndugu return to Mars, they discover that they’re fifteen years out of sync with the timeline in the solar system.  To their dismay they find that it’s been twenty one years since they departed in the ill-fated ship, the Solar Nations, in the year 2638. Kelem theorizes that the explosion that damaged the n’time generator and killed most of the crew on the ship, must have pushed the ship forward in time by fifteen years. The current date is 2659!

As they make their way toward Mars they’re further shocked to learn that the hated Phalanx has taken over Earth’s government and that Mars is once again a colony of the mother planet.

Kelem suggests to Ndugu that they return to Plantanimus but his friend refuses, claiming that he’d rather face the Phalanx than go back to the alien planet. They halt their journey to Mars and assume orbit around one of Saturn’s moons to think about their next step.

While in orbit around the moon, they are captured by a strange group of Martians, claiming to be rebels fighting against the Terran forces. They are beaten and imprisoned by the rebels, accused of being Terran spies. Ndugu, originally from Earth, is a naturalized citizen of Mars and after six years of living under Plantanimus’ heavier than Earth’s gravity, Kelem now looks like an earthman.

After a violent struggle in the rebel ship, in which Kelem and Ndugu help eliminate a psychotic member of the rebel ship who was threatening to take over the vessel and kill the captain and his family, Kelem and Ndugu are accepted as Martian patriots.

Afterwards, Kelem finds out that Mars has become a slave nation, forced to manufacture goods and technology for their Terran oppressors. The Phalanx rules the planet with an iron fist and Martians are slowly being worked and starved to death. His beloved Uncle Nardo and Aunt Maggie have been murdered by the Phalanx and the Brotherhood of the Light is on the run, hiding amongst the Martian population.

The rebel fleet has been on the run for fifteen years and their ships are falling to pieces. It won’t be long before the entire rebel fleet, which is composed mostly of old and dilapidated Martian mining vessels, ceases to exist. Something has to be done and Kelem decides to be the one to take on the Terrans and the Phalanx and liberate his home planet.

He sneaks back to Mars to seek out the Brotherhood of the Light, knowing that if he can regroup the organization, the Martians will have a decent chance to repel the Terrans and regain their independence.  With his enhanced mental and psychic abilities, Kelem slowly begins to turn things around and becomes the leader of the Martian resistance.

He liberates his friend and mentor, Professor Nicolas Alfano, who was the leader of the Brotherhood of the Light and who has been a prisoner of the Phalanx for close to sixteen years. Together, they put the Brotherhood of the Light back together and slowly begin to make progress in regaining Mars’ independence. Through the miracle of the Quantum tide, the place where time and space do not exist, the Dreamers teach Kelem how to raise the spirits of the Martian rebels. 

For six months, Kelem fights against the Black Guards, the Phalanx secret police, run by Soltan Voltanieu, the evil leader of the Phalanx and the individual responsible for the invasion of Mars and the subjugation of its people. He also has to contend with his step son, Jude Voltanieu, who is a powerful psychic who has killed and tortured many Martians to do his stepfather’s bidding.

Six months after returning to the solar system, Kelem comes back to the rebel fleet with a hijacked ship full of weapons and supplies and begins arming and rebuilding the rebels to face the mighty Terran Space Navy. He returns to Harry the Kren’s ship, hiding behind a planetoid on the outer edges of the solar system, and asks for his help in the struggle. The alien agrees to help Kelem and the rebels with Kren technology that gives the Martians an advantage during the many battles soon to come.

After nine months of struggle, and several epic space battles, the Martian rebels succeed in liberating their own planet and defeat the Terran Space Navy while capturing many of their war ships.

Mars is now free but at a terrible cost. The planet has been decimated with civilian loses in the hundreds of thousands. During the struggle, Kelem has lost his childhood friend Billy Chong and many others close to him.

The Martians now ask Kelem to lead the newly formed Martian space armada to Earth, now practically defenseless after their defeat, to wreak havoc on the people of Earth.

Kelem pleads with the rebels and the people of Mars, not to take revenge against their human cousins and fortunately prevails. He knows that if the Martians do to the Terrans what the Terrans did to them, the solar system will never be free of war and strife. To the disappointment of many, Kelem resigns as the leader of the rebels and leaves Mars never to return.