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The Perplexity of Engram

The Perplexity of Engram

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The Perplexity of Engram

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5 ore
Feb 17, 2020


The Perplexity of Engram, (engineered responsive analytical monitor) was the absolute instrument for the re-introduction of man. The new society of Belcare was derived from secured vials of ancient DNA samples from the 22nd century. The Engram was programmed to co-mingle these samples to form the perfect human. However, the computer matrix got corrupted and  malfunctioned, causing a failure to recognize the Earth's stabilizing atmosphere. During periodic adjustments, the population underwent genetic transformation. Fortunately for mankind, by the third generation of procreation, some of the citizens were without the Engram's strain.

Madame Noir, who was a perfect clone of her ancestor, and along with her devoted Nalhsian friend, Master Leumas, together weaved the intentions of their loved ones to pursue their discoveries, and to find for themselves, the missing link to survival.

Laced with humor, love, intrigue and self-discoveries, our hero, Relaeh 'The Healer' from Nalhs, foregoes his adopted Nalhsians to discover his human destiny.

The year: 15,082 AD.

Feb 17, 2020

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The Perplexity of Engram - John F Russo


John’s fictional novel debut

The Perplexity of Engram

(A futuristic fable)


Enjoy Angela Fournier

Adventure Thriller series


Tabula Rasa

Darkness After Midnight

Compromised Interests


Other titles in this series coming soon!


(including excerpts from La Journal)

La Journal – A Novella

(e-book only)



Instagram: @johnfrussoauthor

Facebook:  John F Russo Author


Sale of this book without a front cover may be unauthorized. If this book is coverless, it may have been reported to the publisher as unsold or destroyed and neither the author nor the publisher may have received payment for it.

The Perplexity of Engram is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.


Copyright © 2013 by John F. Russo

Photo Credit back cover: Lori A. Russo

Revision 2020


All rights reserved.



E-book: 978-1734645712

Paperback: 978-1734645705


This futuristic fable inspires man’s resilience after being re-born through computer propagation some 15,000 years into the future. Without the plague of religion and the locust of governments to impede their dreams, discoveries and decisions, they cope with life and nature on their terms.

They embody the quintessential spirit for all to succeed without prejudice. They display their humor, their love, their passion and their fears, while others prefer the treachery of the past to despoil these dreams. Hardships are overcome with the camaraderie and respect that is afforded to every man, woman, and child.

Each character voices their own story which unites man’s re-birth on a new world – EARTH 15,082 AD.

Fore Warning

There is no need for a Preface to this truth.

We are our own breath of destruction. We are living and dying the Prelapsarian Era. We choose of our own free will to kill, maim, destroy, deface, lie, cheat, ridicule, humiliate and disrespect our fellow humans with no recourse or candor.

Our inner sanctum of life is probed, prodded, dissected, recorded, analyzed, categorized, and in some cases, the cause of our demise.

Our religions are based on fear, greed and impropriety.

All of our governments have failed us! 

They have created a moral precept to govern, manipulate and quench any deceptive contradiction they imply.

We are being held hostage mentally, emotionally and physically.

The Author


The Journal

"The discovery of this journal, the reading and comprehension of information transcribed within its pages, can only have one positive outcome. The negative outcome, and worst possible scenario, would be that an invasion from Aliens has claimed your world, and as they systematically destroy anything of value, they accidently came across this journal. More than likely, they neither understand what has been written within these pages, nor do they care. Mankind has lost its soul and probably depleted its last breath of air. This Journal, as man, will become dust.

The positive, and I hope the actual discovery, is that man has now taken upon himself to procreate, self-regulate, govern and take on the challenges of developing a better world.

Please learn from our mistakes! 

In the 21st and 22nd Centuries scholars believed that the Prelapsarian Era would have been the summation of conflict throughout vast areas of the globe. The continuing conflict of the Middle East over land and religious issues pre-dated even the Julian calendar. The Asian population explosion that threw countries into turmoil over water rights, food regulation and boundary disputes, should have exploded into massive destruction. The immigration, health and governmental control laws that defined the North American Civil Rights Revolution caused severe internal strife and mass amounts of bloodshed; it sheared the countries not only from north and south, but from county to county. Any one of these conflicts would have been enough to change the face of the earth. But the nuclear bombs stayed safe, the missiles did not fly and the armies were at stand down. No, it was Mother Nature herself that precipitated the fall of man.

There were warnings!

The subduction of the Juan de Fuca Plate under the North American Plate was showing more activity than any previous scientific documentation. Reports of abnormal shifts in weather patterns from around the world had the news channels buzzing, while the science community, on high alert, dealt with facts, not conjectures. The most astute scientists who were studying the ramifications of plate displacement gathered at a summit, and it was of their opinion that engineered the survival of man.

Most governments collaborated with these scientists; some did not. As the data poured into the International Center of the Humanity Defense Console ‘ICHDC’, the time line for action kept getting shorter. The expense of engineering an ‘Ark’ like the biblical Noah was cost prohibitive as no one knew what would be considered safe passage. In response, the scientific community drafted a plan to fortify at least one solid structure in each city with a computer matrix that would protect all internal and external interferences. They also picked these safe havens for what they deemed most likely to survive a major catastrophe. These safe havens were a time capsule for future off-spring, where computers safely and carefully maintained DNA samples of the surviving few scientists and the selected DNA from computer profiles of its citizens.

Computers wrote survival guides called the T series. These books were distributed to all of the sequestered sanctuaries and set with a DIN number referring to its standardization in populating information and format. Not all of earth’s knowledge was included in these books as each source had to be combined to re-start the world as we knew it.

A Tabula Rasa for mankind!

As predicted, the shift of tectonic plates moved more than 180 centimeters, compared to the usual 3 to 4 centimeters, thereby causing massive earthquakes, eruption of volcanoes of which the largest reaction was at Yellowstone National Park. It blanketed the sky in ash and blocked the sunlight for decades. The trigger of these movements set the stage for every other plate to collide and volcanos to erupt around the world. The Axial Seamount, a mere 480 Km from Cannon Beach, Oregon and only 1400 meters below the surface of the sea, boiled the ocean with its magma. The desert of Afar, Ethiopia was the birth place of a new ocean as the African and Arabian plates split in half. The earth as we knew it changed in every possible configuration!

Geological teams across the globe, at least the ones that survived, were instructed to check the atmospheric pressure and radiation levels daily, weekly, then monthly, and finally yearly, but without fail, all in vain.  We lost satellite contact with the remaining voices around the globe. This end of time was of the Gregorian calendar 2192.

We at the ‘International Community of the Humanity Defense Console’ wish you all good luck. We are hopeful that the computer systems have been faithful to their task. The Engram (Engineered Responsive Analytical Monitor) is programmed to handle all tasks and assist in the rehabilitation of the human life form.

If we have presumed too much for the computer or the catastrophe was so heightened that we miscalculated the outcome, look to the North American Legacy for Human Survival (NALHS) as they professed the earth would heal itself in time. They took refuge in the many government silos around the world. The scientific community was not in alliance with their ideals, but a treaty was signed by the 355 participating governments as a safe guard, in case their assumption transpired.

We examined every possible scenario. The NAHLS Coalition has knowledge that needs to be incorporated in the T book series. We have implemented a safe switch in each known region that may prevent adverse conditions to the development of human life. Once life has been restored, the Engram will delineate the division between resources, habitat, and reproduction. Its energy will be derived from, what we call, Neuergy Stimuli Compression (NSC). In its dormant period, little energy will be consumed; as earth’s conditions favor reintroduction of creature establishment, it will absorb energy from its surroundings. Our prediction for introduction of life as we know it could span up to 15,000 years or beyond.

The dawning of a new civilization ultimately depends on the resourcefulness of its citizens." 

Signed Dr. Marion Michaels, Chief Science Officer of ICHDC

Act I



The Fourth Rising

It was the beginning of the Fourth Rising of the Blue Moon and everyone in Belcare was basking in the energy, absorbing as much as they dared, before the words were shared by the Engram. It was duly noted in the scriptures that the Engram required unaltered neuron energy. They were not to overindulge, as this could lead to optimal denial of future favors, and no one wanted to challenge the Engram’s wrath.

The Grounders, as the Belcarians called Nalhsians, were believed to be the only clan allowed to bask longer; their pinkish, thin skin and red-rimmed eyes mandated more nourishment then the Belcarians. It was only fair. They were the ones responsible for keeping everything in order, and properly functioning, that is, they were the sub-servants of Engram law. However, there were whispers that the Nalhsians were the true heroes of the eco system and with that adulation, they were often asked to appear at communal unification ceremonies. Their favors were in much demand, but unfortunately, the timing of the ceremonies was not as kind to the Nalhsians as all would have liked. In truth, the citizens of Belcare owed them a great debt!


Books T1 – T10

A grey-haired man, known as Din1289, of medium height with a portly girth mostly hidden by his shoulder to ankle tunic stood on the upper level of the Androicropulous, transfixed at its beauty, remarked in his usual oratory fashion.

"As far back as the first Transition Series entry, all have been at peace. The Engram guaranteed prosperity and salvation as set forth in the first T1 book, Gestures and Commands. As a student of ancient studies, I, Din1289, have read the verses and set to memory all ten books with each implication that might befall us if order was compromised and the risings were allowed to reshape."

Everyone was excited to be part of the fourth and fifth risings, as this time of year offered the freshness of air that drifted from the mountains, and even though flowers and trees were always in bloom, there was still a feeling of re-birth. These two particular risings were the gateway for the introduction of the Sixth Rising of the Twin Moons. This special rising had only been documented five times since the keeping of the books. Hence, the celebration of this fruitful time, with the full blue canopies of our great trees and the luminous waters filled with a cornucopia of yellows, reds and soft browns, yielded such excitement.

Yes...a wondrous time indeed! I have heard the whispers that one of the Clans had diminishing ideals about our benevolent beliefs. We cannot let their acquisitive manner influence our nominal numbers of our fold.  As I stand on the upper level of the Androicropulous and marvel at its unique composition, I am caught in awe of the exceptional location for benefiting from all of the information one needed to satisfy their continuous training and self-regulatory compression. This is such a magnificent structure.

His hand followed the peaks and crevices of its towering multi-columned entry.

The beauty of the carved scripted blocks and opulent archway beset with the rays of the sun welcome our citizens to pass through its revolving doors. It is our gateway to all we know and understand. A place of learning for the most respected of our peers. I tell no misconception or boast any infatuation onto myself, the truth be told, I am a learned man and a keeper of these books. I am the Din Master.


Chance Meeting

The Nalhsians had no capacity for digestion of self-regulatory compression; therefore, on these lunar events they had free will to travel about and to admire their arduous works of labor. Din1289 recounted on one of these chance meetings.

"I had personally met one of the Grounders, a mere boy by his size, whose name, I believe, was Relaeh. His speech, I presume, was not of ours, but he seemed to be attuned to his environment and his surroundings. It was by chance we met, at the steps of the Androicropulous after an Engram revelation. He seemed perplexed, but also, at the same time, predisposed to enter the Androicropulous. No Grounder has ever stepped forth into this most reverent place.

I exchanged pleasantries with him and showed him the placard illustrating direct restriction on Grounders entering. He appeared to understand and left with no further incident. I spoke of this with my peers and they too agreed that it was a peculiar action, but since no harm was done, we simply went on with our readings.


Relaeh as a Young Man

Relaeh was the name he heard from time he could remember. Jesting, his friends in Nahls referred to him as a ‘mutant topsider’, but it was only his close friends that could speak in this jocular manner. He was taught the language of the Nalhsians and had been protected since he was a small boy by his mentor, friend and father figure, Master Leumas. Relaeh thirsted for knowledge of the Belcarians, but was harnessed by Master Leumas who advocated patience, and instructed him of the inner workings of the Nalhsians, their social order, the science of man and his complexities, and a commanding vocabulary of the Belcarians. Before Relaeh entered the festivals, Master Leumas chalked his skin and laid lines in red about his eyes, a type of ritual, as it were, and protection against the sun’s intense rays before the rising of the blue moon.

Although Nalhsians were very much respected, they nonetheless, were forbidden to colonize with the Citizens of Belcare. The purity of all blood lines was imperative to the survival of all, as interpreted from the T books. This was something Relaeh did not understand, but truly felt in his beating chest, that someday all would be equal. It was obvious to him that his shape was more likened to the Belcarians, (Topsiders), than the taller and wider physique of the Nalhsians. Even at an early age, he had grown to a standing height of 178 cm, but wished he could be at least 188 cm. His young friends, the twins Dugar and Regor, were at least 200 cm and much wider between the spread of the arms. He felt although, even as a child, that he possessed good shape and strength for moving things, leaping from the ground, and stepping like the wind. Master Leumas had taught him well. The young Relaeh had great capacity for understanding mechanical instruments and could manage the ancient excavators of the ground.

As an adolescent, he could support himself between long cables that stretched between two landing positions; he had no fear of heights and often swung from support columns to test his adventurous character. Master Leumas would scold him on his precipitateness, but at times, when Master Leumas was hidden in the shadows, he would smile with delight as Relaeh displayed his aggressive playfulness. He reveled in the thought that Relaeh, when he became a man, would embark on a wondrous journey.


Clan N13 and Inception

Clan N13, as they called themselves, found they were neutralized to the influence of the blue moon’s energy and the Engram’s revelations. They had escaped during one of these revelations, but some bore the disfigurement, as the distance of travel in the restricted zone was prohibitive for one of many years. They spoke freely amongst themselves of past traditions, present surroundings and future idealisms. They kept their isolation as an outcast clan to a point of mysticism. Their claim to the hidden truth could not be mentioned from the lips of supportive clansmen of Belcare. N13’s existence and whereabouts was unknown by the Masters and ordinary citizens of Belcare. 

Clan N13 divided on their escape to explore the treasures of their new world. One of the clans lived freely in the hidden valleys of the far mountains at water’s edge, and caught what they needed to survive and nothing more. They called their home Inception. They were not warriors but hunters; although, the younger men believed they could hold their own, as witnessed by their physical games.

The Clan of Inception kept the ancient art of planting the land, and brought forth fruit, vegetables, and a sturdy selection of crops to which they fed themselves and their four-legged animals. They mastered the melting of ores and turned them into utensils for hunting, cooking and fishing. They also devised a cistern system that cleansed their drinking water gathered from the crystal-clear blue sea. Their trees, covered in green foliage, afforded them shade and protection from the afternoon sun. Their huts were made of thick bamboo and dressed in many colors made from crushed berries, the color of which, indicated the prominence of each elder and his family. Some of the clansmen built their huts to stand on stilts at water’s edge to take advantage of cool breezes that blew on shore.

Leinad, the leader of Inception, was a man of many years with long greying facial hair, weathered face and kind blue-green eyes. Even though at the time of their exodus, his years were not many; he now walked with a distinctive limp. His daughter, Eittam, was a young twenty-three years and a ravenous beauty with dark complexion and eyes as deep in color as her father’s.

This day, Leinad sat at his table reading his journal when he heard the swish of footsteps. He looked up and turned to see Eittam as she entered his structure. He hailed, Ah, my daughter, you are as beautiful as your... and before he could continue with his inveterate verse, Eittam interrupted him.

...Mother. You say so, but I cannot gaze upon my own likeness. Your truth may be misguided.

Leinad laughed, Would you then possess my eyes for your adornment, or take the word of truth to solace your impertinence?

Father, you make my face flush with such words.

Then my dear, it is the truth of an old man that you must hold nearest to your heart. Now, what is this whisper of intent from the boy, Bocaj? Is he the one to harness your mischievousness?

Father, he makes unusual eyes with me and I have not returned his favor. He is much more suited to my minor, Aivila.   

Well then my daughter, would you like me to speak to his father, Councilman Nephets?

No... I will confront the matter on his return from the inner world.


Androicropulous - The Revelation

As the sun slowly set, it illuminated the full moon that rose above the Androicropulous. The crowd began to assemble for the great lunar revelation. The Engram was the authoritarian who governed all of the revelations. As the magic of the music filled the Androicropulous with a soothing rhythm, the symphonic sounds added to the glorious colors of the descending sun. The Androicropulous’ lights flashed in waves further enhancing the festive mood, as everyone took their place and locked arms. They hummed and swayed to the music cleansing their mind for ingestion of the regulatory compression.

The citizens enjoyed this feeling of euphoria, the peace that settled their minds and the relief from built-up anxieties. This compression carried them through to the next rising and then it would all start again. As they anticipated the arrival of the Engram’s energy, their chanting heightened everyone’s awareness and readiness to begin. Suddenly - all was silent. Followed by stillness; as a whisper - only the whirring of the oxygen fans could be heard. A few moments past, and then, a scintilla of light followed by a chiming of bells. Ahhhhhhhh! The crowd collapsed in deep euphoria.

Within the tarriance of time, Din1289 and his fellow Belcarians were regenerated to their conceptual senses. They lifted themselves from the ground and their minds were at ease. The citizens of the dome city of Belcare, joyfully recounted their experience with each other, as if they alone, had manifested this revelation. Their satisfaction and clarity of their limited memories were now, once again, etched into their cerebral consciousness. They light-heartily continued with their business of the day.



Belcare was located high above the waters, south of the North Gorge. Fertile flat lands laid south of the warehouse district and beyond them, the treacherous sand fields stretched past the circumference of the energy dome. Majestic mountains rested to the west and east. It was said, that beyond the great rock formations of the west, lay a wild body of water that extended as far, in all directions that one could see. This was only a whisper as no one man had seen this truth.



After the revelation, Din1289 continued on his way, past the still intoxicated masses to the great doors of the Androicropulous. He stepped into the revolving metal encased doors, stopped, and again, marveled at the masterly design and workmanship of their predecessors. 

To have forged these incredible masses of elements is beyond comprehension. We have no tell-tale stories of these wondrous works in any of the T-Series books. Maybe the Grounders had the knowledge and tools to construct these opulent structures. But, if that were the case, why would they not be building now, and instruct us on these... He paused for a brief moment of jovial indulgence and then continued with his foreplay. Why would we want to build when we have the Grounders. They are much more adapted to that sort of work then we.

He continued to scrutinize his surroundings and voiced his opinion as if he were an ancient fore-teller.

Transition books were not the only books on display that one reflected on. He spun with his arms out-stretched, "We are a learned clan. There are many derivatives of the T1-T10 books that freely expressed the path of rectitude. How could one deny or even think about denying what was set forth before us? Our display of the Speculant Books are of immense popularity with our more, common folks and their children."

He proceeded onward to the Great Hall where his colleagues continued to gather after the revelation. The doorway was wide enough to fit four councilmen side by side, even with their girth; the massive carved doors stood at least two men high. The room was a light grey in color; a lengthy platform with several podiums simply placed, adorn its polished face. The main seating, dressed in padded fabric, tiered upward in a semi-circle for clear visual and oratorical awareness for all present. Din1289 entered his most beloved place -

I bid you all good will... He paused in speech, stepped up to the podium and turned to face the group.

It was a matter of discussion before the occurrence of the blue moon invocation that we, the cadre of our citizens, needed to establish a periodic instrument that demonstrated our cumulative experiences. A time-piece, as it were, to be constructed on the great square, so all could describe their periodic adjustments sequentially by equal segments.

His peers agreed with excitement. 

On the other hand, he continued, translated in T2.17, a time-piece would or could add anxiousness to the community; it was so advised, not to introduce such a device.

A lull commenced in the audience, he then proceeded.

"We talk of time, but of no relevance to our daily existence. I know, being Din1289, that it has been 1289 periods of time since the T1 books were inscribed into our great halls. But, what is that in relation to? The number of moons that appear, the number of revelations, or the number of times I awake after resting? If we assume that each Keeper lived a passing of twelve moons, times his resting days, times his Din numerical value well, I can see even now, I am perplexed beyond my normal contemplations. And if a commoner, with his diminished capacity for intellectual stimuli would set his eyes upon such a piece...I cannot imagine the consequences."

His peers stood and applauded. They all agreed to drop the subject of introducing such an adversary to their peaceful community, and that the continued readings of their T1’s were only meant, for their eyes only. Thus, another period of time was concluded.


Bocaj – The Journey to Belcare

Bocaj, Councilman Nephets’ second son, his first being swallowed by the great sand, was afforded the respect of an eldest son. At a mere twenty years, he stood 176 cm tall with a brawn physique. He contributed daily to the ongoing survival of his clan. His swift stride and dedicated aim had won him admiration from all. He had an argumentative personality, though not founded on arrogance or hearsay, but on truth. His belief was in seeing to understand, and his determination to set forth and follow his seed was only compromised by lack of age and experience. He, therefore, felt a need to ask his father to let him lead an expedition to the northern mountains, were he could gather knowledge that books and introspect could not foretell. His desire at this tender age was to return to his father’s homeland and guide those who wished to follow, to the freedom of Inception.

After being granted permission from the Council of Elders, Bocaj and five fellow hunters made ready to traverse the unknown, the unknown that only a very few had survived.

On the morning of departure, Leinad handed Bocaj a magic stone wrapped in a crimson sash to keep it safe and dry. Leinad peeled away its layers of protection and said to Bocaj, Use this to find your way. When you dip down into the valleys your direction will become disadvantaged. Dig a hole in the earth and find a broad leaf that you may position into the hole. Pour water from your sack onto the leaf so it may hold the water. Find again a lighter leaf. Take this rock and stroke this needle in one direction, Leinad demonstrated, ...and lay gently on the leaf. Be patient and then follow its direction. When you are in a clearing, you can use the stars at night or the sun during the day to guide your way. Be careful Bocaj. Do not let your whereabouts be known. 

After grappling each other’s forearms, he bid farewell to his father, and then Bocaj and his fellow travelers set out on their journey leaving the village behind.

Aivila, Leinad’s youngest daughter, approached Bocaj just outside the village. She stood in the water-soaked ground and reached for his knife. She trimmed a lock of her fiery-red hair and handed it to him. She smiled, gazed upon his eyes, and turned onto the path back to the village. Bocaj tightly held her locks in his fist as he watched Aivila disappear over a small ridge. His fellow travelers smiled but did not utter a phrase.


Master Leumas – the Philosopher

Master Leumas, a Nalhsian of great distinction and admiration, had the misfortune of a poorly designed body. His stature was incredibly short for Nalhsian standards and much more on the pudgy side. He walked with a waddle like that of the quacking birds found around the ponds of the Topsiders. But what he lacked in stature, he more than made up for intellectually. His astute and sagacious mind propelled him into the realm of Oracles. Respected by all, his mere presence was illumination for his followers. As the Master of Studies, it was his duty and right to teach the new breed of Nalhsians their rites of passage.

There was a mystery in the air that everyone in Nalhs felt. The elders requested that their off-spring be prepared in matters of negotiation, customs, language and social awareness of the Topsiders. Without the authority to actually study the Topsiders side-by-side, each time there was a revelation, Master Leumas instructed the young students to go above ground and observe the masses, but not to be so obvious as to spark any questions. At certain ceremonies, they were able to study the Topsiders first hand, and then returned to Nahls to speak of it in a study group.

Circulation was the key so as not to attend the same ceremonies, thereby observing their mannerism at each setting. The outcome was always the same, friendly, forthright, but as one of the students remarked, To me, they seemed a few stones short of a sack. And all the class would break out in cachinnation. Even Master Leumas had been seen to raise his cheek-line into a bubble. It was true that the Nalhsians were well advanced in their evolution, far more than that of the Topsiders. The Topsiders, however, were unaware, and in some circles, incapable of the thought that the Nalhsians were superior to them.


Master Leumas – The Friend

Many years ago, during one of the revelations, when a majority of the Nalhsian students were either being

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