Up to Code

Code Number CAU5N4YD8U3R doesn’t mean anything to you, unless you’re one of the Technorati who know what it’s for. I promise it has nothing to do with world domination or its destruction by aliens, so you can ignore it, but not the questions about vampires in Hell at the end.

 The whole idea of codes is  to keep something secret from someone.  Secret codes make the fictional, and real, worlds go round. Where would the CIA and its global counterparts be without their secret ciphers and the efforts by the bad guys to break those cyphers?  Not to mention innumerable thriller writers whose erstwhile heroes must travel the globe seeking clues to a coded message written 1000 years ago just to save us at the last second! Whew!

Then there’s the Genetic code. That’s been cracked for quite the while, but the quest to put it back together is ongoing. See the movie Slice. Will somebody clone a human? If they haven’t already in some secret lab where a new breed of soldier is being grown to affect world domination, sure. Codes are made to be broken. But why is it always soldiers? Why not clone a thousand everyman or everywoman and get them minor functionary jobs in government, or in financial institutions, or as civilian clerks in military bases and police stations? If they all pushed the  wrong button at the right time and they could take over the world.

Codes of Conduct are usually a good thing, but they seem to be the easiest to break. If every cop, soldier, politician, priest, doctor, lawyer, banker, agent, parent and building contractor followed a  prescribed code of good  conduct and/or ethics what a wonderful world this could be. Now that’s a real fiction story.


What if Satan learned of a coded message that held the date of the Rapture and wanted the date so he could plan a terrorist action to kidnap all the believers before they could be swept up to Heaven? But the code was lost so a couple of Angels were dispatched to find the code before Satan’s agents could lay their claws on it.

What if a scientist discovered some world saving secret code but died before he could write it down and the powers that be determined a way to clone him with his memories intact. So they did that, despite major opposition from various fanatical types, mostly for the wrong reasons, but this time they may have been right, again mostly for the wrong reasons, because something else sneaks  into the genetic code of the clone and is not as willing to give up the world saving secret as the original scientist would have been. That sneaky DNA could have been accidental or on purpose and come from an alien, or angel, or demon, or ghost, or madman, you pick.

What if you lived by a strict personal code of honor or ethics that was the only thing keeping your life from splintering into a thousand pieces. What would it take to make you risk your sanity and/or life by stepping outside that code? Love, hate, revenge, honor?

I need some input from writers and readers alike. —- What if  you were a good vampire, not the evil rapacious, blood gorging kind, and went into Hell regularly to do good things? How would Hell, and its different rules and enviroment affect you? Not at all? Would you lose your strength and superior senses? Though there is no sun, would you still have to sleep? Do you think there might be places that have something equivalent to sunlight that you’d need to avoid? Could you drink demon blood? Could you still die?  I would greatly appreciate any thoughts on those questions and any others you might come up with. Either leave a comment or e-mail me at dcburtonjr@gmail.com. Thank you for your support.

Don’t forget to save your dimes and quarters for the release of Blood Justice on Oct.1

This is not a secret code and it won’t self destruct in ten seconds — I’m outta here.

Oh Great Immortal One

Immortality, most people want it. None get it. I’m talking bodywise not publicitywise. Assuming you could have immortality, what kind would you want?

God-like immortality may be your choice. You can not die, period. Blown to smithereens, eaten by  sharks, burned to a crisp, eating the barrel of that handgun you keep next to your bed, you will survive intact. You will not die, ever, whether you want to or not. No take-backs, no do-overs, no escape clauses, no secret backdoor exits. Immortal forever. Only you, no one else. How lonely would you get? Could you handle that?

Vampire-like immortality may be more you. Gunshots, sword thrusts, diseases, long falls mean nothing to you. Shake them off and keep on keeping on.  You don’t get to bite people and share your long life, though. Again, you’ll suffer or enjoy your immortality alone. But, vampires can die and so could you. Your body injured, but intact, you’re golden. Your body destroyed, so is your life. C’est la vie.

Basic immortality is most likely to be available to you from other than supernatural forces. You won’t  age, that’s what most people want from immortality anyway. Most diseases won’t kill you. Injuries will heal quickly.  You’ll be healthy and energetic, ready for that great adventure you always wanted to take. But, your life  will be  vulnerable to natural causes, swords, bullets, buses, a car crash, a statuette ( the one you received for being such an upstanding citizen)  up side the head when your spouse catches you cheating. Or,will you become afraid to risk going outside because any simple accident might take away your gift of long life? You  might become a bit obsessive about it. But what happens when you find out that most accidents occur at home? What’s a paranoid obsessive compulsive agoraphobic to do? Or, you might believe a bit too much in what your immortality covers, go out and risk a little too much and kill yourself. A waste of a perfectly good long life. Moderation should be your watchword if the opportunity presents itself.

Immortality for you is one thing. But what if everybody could be immortal? How would that affect the social structure of the world? If nobody dies and babies keep being born, where will all those people go? How long until the demand outstrips the  resources? (Immortality aside, how close are we to that scenario now?) Would you want to live forever and never be able to eat? Would immortal Zombiefied cannibals roam the land searching for other immortal Zombiefied cannibals? Wither goest society, humanity and table manners then? On the other hand, what if the price for immortality was infertility? How would that play out?

If everybody was immortal, what would happen to human evolution? Would those who lived long enough evolve into pure thought or energy with no use for their bodies? Or would they become a collective mind working on the problem of how to commit mass suicide? The centuries and millenia might wear on a person after a while.

The bottom line, check the fine print before you take that pill or sign that parchment in blood.


What if, knowing what you know now, you were suddenly at  your 21st birthday and you were given a pill that would give you immortality (you pick the level). You could take the pill any time during your life and you would not age from that point. At what age would you take it –  considering family, friends, career, lovers and that you could not have kids afterwards? Are you sure? What if you didn’t know what you know now? Do you think your answer would change?

What if , starting from right NOW, you were full on God level immortal? What would you do? Nothing? Everything? Who would you tell? Would you help the world, or take advantage of it? How long do you think before you began hoping for death?

What if you fell in love? Then you found out your new love was immortal and you would grow old and die while they stayed the same. But this person loved you madly. They had spent decades, centuries trying to make the ones they loved immortal, too. With no luck. But what about going the other way? They love you so much they want to give up their long life to live and die with you. Taking on this journey with them, where would you go to find the key to their mortality? Some secret sanctuary in the mountains,  the end of an underground (underworld?) labyrinth, into space, maybe to (beyond?) a black hole’s event horizon, or track down a particular individual and using the power of your love  convince him/her to relieve them of  their immortality? Ahh, romance.

What if you spent your whole life searching for the fountain of youth, thinking it would make you young again, only to find it as an old man or woman, crippled, helpless in a wheelchair.  Maybe you had an assistant who told you to not drink until he’d translated an inscription on the fountain. But you couldn’t wait and drank, just before the assistant told you that the fountain would give you immortality, but not youth or health, and then he drank and walked away because you were such a driven bastard to work for.  Ahh irony.

What if  you were immortal. Do you think that eventually you could own the world?

“Live long and prosper.” Speaking of prosper, are you saving you dimes and quarters for a copy or six of Blood Justice in October?