2020/01/31

The Mammon Mob

Mammon

This blog has covered the Death Cult and its attendant Pop Cult in some detail. Recent interactions on social media surrounding the renewed public interest in student debt forgiveness have made me aware of a third heretical offshoot vying against Christianity for the West's soul: the cult of Mammon.

And unlike the openly Leftist Death Cult and the implicitly Leftist Pop Cult, the Mammon Mob claim allegiance with the other side of the aisle.

It's no secret that members of the younger generations, especially Gen Y and the Millennials, lag far behind their parents' financial attainment at the same age. This brewing economic crisis threatens Baby Boomers housing, pensions, and entitlements. Aging Boomers are having trouble finding buyers for their large, single-family homes because younger folks aren't earning enough to have families, much less buy houses.

That's just in the short to mid-term. In the long run, the economic drain of having multiple generations whose standards of living fall far below their parents' invites a disaster to make the 2008 crash look like a picnic.

Understanding the problem gives you the solution. Why are Millennials, Ys, and even Xers economically underperforming?

Is everybody younger than the Boomers possessed of weak character and a shiftless work ethic?

That's not what the data show. Ys and Millennials forfeit more vacation days and work more overtime than Boomers. Most of the differences in generational work habits arise from members of those generations being at different stages in their lives with correspondingly different goals.

Is the earnings discrepancy caused by Millennials choosing majors like interpretive dance and underwater basket weaving instead of tried and true STEM fields?

Again, no. Only 26% of STEM graduates actually work in their field of study, STEM jobs only account for 6% of the US work force to begin with, and the influx of H1 visa workers further increase competition and depress wages. Telling Millennials to get STEM degrees is like telling everyone on the Titanic to cram into a single leaky lifeboat.

A major cause of younger generations' impoverishment, besides the aforementioned insane immigration policies, is the student loan racket.

US student loan debt currently stands at $1.5 trillion. Much of that debt is unrepayable. We're not just talking Starbucks baristas with studies degrees. There are doctors and lawyers pulling down six figure salaries barred from buying homes because their minimum monthly payments exceed mortgage payments for even modest houses. These kids would have to become millionaires to pay down the principal.

Massive fiscals disasters like the student loan crisis don't happen for no reason. Those who chalk the entirety of the problem up to Millennial students being too lazy and stupid to research lucrative majors or the perils of usury are blithely ignoring another problem. The people they glibly assume are too dumb to stave off personal financial ruin will soon be in charge of the nation's finances.

The truth that certain quarters don't want to admit is that these kids were conned. A functioning society relies upon the young trusting their parents, educators, authorities, and elders in general. When absolutely all of those authorities give their charges wrong information and urge them to take actions that later prove ruinous, the correct conclusion is that the students were defrauded.

Based on many of my interactions with self-professed Christian Conservatives, a shocking number of them just don't get this. When you confront them with the reality that these aren't lazy punks deferring their job searches to play Fortnite, but young professionals busting their humps just to tread water, it just doesn't penetrate. The usual excuses they give for ignoring their fellow Americans' suffering are bromides about harming the free market, paeans to individual responsibility, and even snide, "I got mine!" vitriol.

It's that thinly veiled contempt for the young and the poor that outs this cult as thralls of Mammon. Christ exhorted his followers to sell half their possessions and give the proceeds to the poor. He endorsed fraudsters repaying those they defrauded fourfold. Christians are to exercise a fundamental preference for the poor--especially the poor among their own countrymen.

You cannot sneer at someone who is impoverished--even by his own bad choices--and at the same time say that Jesus is Lord with any shred of integrity.

Indeed, defrauding workers is one of three sins, along with murder and mistreating widows and orphans, that cry out to Heaven for vengeance.

That's right, Libertarians and BowtieCons, we have a new Witch Test parameter here.

What sets the Mammon Mob apart from political ideology and into the cult category is its adherents' elevation of practical political matters to articles of faith. Student debt relief is a practical economic measure necessary to stave off catastrophe. It's also so popular with the electorate as to be inevitable. You'd think Republicans would embrace student loan forgiveness out of sheer self-interest.

Warren Loan Forgiveness

Millennials are suffering the most under the student debt burden, and they're about to become the largest voting bloc in the country. Whichever party convincingly offers to break their debt shackles is guaranteed to dominate at the polls. Yet when I've pointed out that the GOP is foolish for ignoring this issue, Conservatives have recoiled like vampires splashed with holy water because they say student debt forgiveness violates their beliefs.

It's the exact same aversion to winning and wielding political power you see from Republicans on the immigration issue. And once again, they invent a false principle out of inaction instead of acting on the genuine moral principles of justice, prudence, and compassion.

Politics is the art of the possible. It is about winning elections and then using that political power to help your friends and crush your enemies. The Death Cult gets this. The Mammon Mob unwittingly helps them by refusing to use their last scraps of power even to help themselves.

Student debt forgiveness is going to happen. The only choices afforded Conservatives is whether to jump in front of the parade to implement debt forgiveness on their terms, or to keep doing nothing, hand this winning issue to the Death Cult, and let them continue leading Millennials into socialism. And as go the Millennials, so goes America.

Republicans have to wake up and propose their own serious student loan forgiveness plan. It's a rare case in which the politically savvy move is also the moral course. We'll see what happens, but based on the BoomerCons' screeching, I'm not holding my breath.

UPDATE: For those who've asked for solutions, see this new post.

2020/01/30

Mel's Hole

Mel's Hole

Mel Waters had always flown by the seat of his pants, and in the summer of 1995 his freewheeling lifestyle was catching up to him. With his finances circling the drain and his marriage on the rocks, Mel purchased a tract of rural land west of Ellensburg,Washington where he hoped to turn his life around.

Soon after moving onto the property, Mel and his wife set out to explore their new spread. The wood-ringed scrub land initially presented them with nothing but a couple of rundown outbuildings. But the couple pressed on to a far corner of the plot. There they stumbled upon a mystery whose increasingly bizarre turns would change their lives forever.

In the middle of a small clearing, the Waters found a gaping hole. It measured nine feet across, and hand-placed brick clad its first fifteen feet from the rim down. Mel took the hole for one of the old wells that dotted the area, whose springs had run dry when the water table had shifted. The presence of odd metal bits, rotted tires, and small animal bones littering the shaft's mouth indicated that locals had been using it as a dump.

The Waters soon put their hole to the same use. Household garbage, yard waste, and even an old refrigerator, soon joined decades of other neighborhood refuse in the abyss. The first real oddity Mel noticed was that he never heard a thud or splash emanating from the depths when he dumped something in. Shouting down the hole also failed to return an echo.

Being an inquisitive sort, Mel set out to measure the hole's depth. He gathered a sturdy rod and a reel of high test fishing line from his marlin angling days. Mel tied a standard one-pound lead weight to the line and lowered it down the hole.

He paid out the entirety of the five thousand-foot reel without the line going slack.

He spliced a second reel of equal length to the first line and sent it down, too. At ten thousand feet, the line remained taut.

As it did as Mel added reel after reel. He finally gave up after exhausting his last foot of fishing line--at a total of 80,000 feet.

Curious as to whether the hole was partly filled with water, Mel tied a roll of lifesavers just above the lead weight and repeated the experiment. The candy returned topside bone dry.

Despite possibly having a hole on his property that delved a significant distance into the earth's crust, Mel initially went on with  his business. He'd turned one of the old shacks into a workshop where he made handcrafted jewelry. The metal odds and ends scattered around the hole's rim often provided interesting raw material, so Mel made a habit of scrounging through the bits of detritus for proverbial hidden gems.

One day, a friend to whom Mel had gifted a handmade belt set with old coins came to visit and brought up something peculiar he'd noticed about his gift.

"It's this Roosevelt dime you set into the buckle," Mel's friend said.

"What's wrong with it?" asked Mel.

"Look at the date."

Mel squinted at the small silver coin. "1943. I don't see a casting error. What's the problem?"

"Roosevelt was still alive in 1943," said Mel's friend. "The first Roosevelt dimes weren't struck until 1945."

"Maybe it's counterfeit," said Mel.

"If you're going to all the trouble of passing funny money, how do you fudge a simple detail like the date? And there's more." He pointed to the mint mark.

"It's a B," said Mel.

"That's right," his friend affirmed. "But the only US Mint facilities are in Philadelphia, Denver, San Francisco, and West Point. Their mint marks are P, D, S, and W. There is not now and never has been a B."

The mounting strangeness prompted Mel to do some digging into the hole's past. The locals told him that the place had been used as a dump since time out of mind. It had been known to the local Indian tribes even longer.

One local hunter confided a story in Mel that chilled him to the bone. One of the man's beloved hunting dogs had died a few winters before the Waters had moved to Ellensburg. The bereaved hunter had wrapped his deceased hound in a tarp, carried him to the hole, and tossed the carcass in. He never explained precisely what had possessed him to dispose of his late canine friend in such an unorthodox manner. Indeed, Mel's own dogs were terrified of the hole and would dig in their paws if he tried to lead them near it. The small bones strewn about the edge were the only signs of any animals' presence Mel ever saw near the hole.

Regardless of live animals' fear of the hole, the hunter had thrown his dead dog in and considered the matter laid to rest. The winter had passed uneventfully, and in the spring, he'd returned to his favorite pastime in the surrounding woods.

One day, while out hunting alone, the hunter had heard the rhythmic swishing of paws through the underbrush. His eyes had darted toward the sound's source just in time to catch sight of a dog running through the budding woods. The hunter knew his dog's dead body had gone into the endless hole--he'd thrown it in himself. Still, he said, it was that same dog he'd seen running through the woods that day. He'd have recognized his old hunting companion anywhere--right down to the square metal tag dangling from his collar.

Mel's growing obsession with the hole further strained his deteriorating marriage. At his wife's pleading, they took a long vacation away from the property.

When Mel returned, he found a roadblock overseen by two uniformed men who claimed to be soldiers barring the road to his land. The men, whom Mel assumed to be from the nearby Army base, at first said a plane had crashed on his property, and access was restricted until further notice.

Mel told the soldiers to pound sand. He was about to drive around them when they changed their tune and offered him a deal. The government wanted to set up a research facility on Mel's land. They were prepared to lease the property from him for $2 million a year. The only condition was that upon acceptance of the deal, Mel had to leave the country immediately. If he refused, he'd be arrested for running a meth lab, which the agents hinted would be only too easy to fabricate.

Mel took the deal and left for Australia in the summer of 1997. There he established a wombat rescue charity. The lure of the hole would prove irresistible, though, and Mel would eventually find his way back to the States and into even weirder and more sinister misadventures. But that's a story for another time.


For more mind-bending horror, buy the first book in my award-winning Soul Cycle!

2020/01/29

QAnon Unmasked

Ever since the national security insider known as QAnon first started disseminating his cryptic messages to legions of patriots online, web sleuths have scoured the deepest corners of the internet in search of his identity.

Their efforts were repeatedly thwarted. But as history shows, the best-laid plans and most closely guarded secrets are often undone by random turns of fate.

So it is in a way fitting that a sudden disaster--some would say, intelligence gaffe--like the Chinese coronavirus outbreak would supply the keys needed to crack the code of Q's identity.

First, Business Insider takes a cheap shot at Q but reveals a little too much in their hubris:

QAnon Bleach

That unwitting slip might've gone unnoticed on its own, but Breitbart's Allum Bokhari provides the missing link.

SamHydeFactCheck

How much does Bokhari know, and when did he know it?

For those who still don't see the full picture, consider this video from 2017, near the start of the Q phenomenon:


That is Macedonian separatist, school shooter, and futurist Salam Hai'id (AKA Sam Hyde) recommending Chinese bleach more than two years before QAnon did the same.

This blog's regular readers don't need me to hold their hands. For newcomers, this video explains it all:



For more brutal action and pulse-pounding intrigue, read my mech thriller Combat Frame XSeed!

2020/01/28

Corona-Chan

Happening - Coronavirus

Fortune makes fools of us all.

The impeachment show that everybody thought would dominate the news indefinitely has taken a back seat to the rapidly developing story of the Chinese coronavirus outbreak.

Though nobody trusted the Chinese government's patently bogus infection numbers or the blue checks making vapid comparisons to the flu on Twitter, most assumed this epidemic would go the way of SARS. It would fizzle out, and there's be a South Park episode we'd all have a good laugh over.

The hopeful predictions of a non-event have already been thwarted as the infection has spread to a dozen countries despite China's quarantine of over fifty million people.

Meanwhile, the disease's infection and death rates are on pace to equal or overtake those of SARS.

Perhaps most overlooked and most troubling, the number of patients confirmed to have recovered from this coronavirus is significantly lower than the number who've succumbed to it.

Even worse, this virus is capable of asymptomatic infection.

That's not to say I'm predicting a civilization-ending pandemic. The vast majority of cases are still confined to mainland China, and most deaths have been among the elderly and those with compromised immune systems. This outbreak is already a tragedy, and it's on track to become a major one, but the worst disaster here is the catastrophic failure of leadership.

We don't know how or exactly where the outbreak started, and odds are we never will. Too many people in high places are invested in saving face. That's part of the problem, since serious people are considering the possibility that this is an escaped bioweapon.

Could the presence of not one, but two infectious disease research facilities within a short train ride of the first reported case be a huge coincidence? Sure, but Chinese officials' frustrating habit of keeping vital details close to the vest isn't helping to resolve the question.

This virus could just as easily be a freak product of the unsanitary preparation of bizarre foods as a black project cooked up to muzzle pesky Hong King protesters. The folks in charge aren't telling us. Even the World Health Organization was bafflingly slow in taking the outbreak seriously. Add in the possibility of cloak and dagger shenanigans involving the Canadians of all people, and the news starts to look like a dime spy novel.

That's the real cause for alarm. We knew the global ruling class was peopled with mediocrities going through the motions of operating machinery built by better men. Now they appear too dull-witted and effete to even pull the levers they long ago stopped understanding.

Corona-Chan probably isn't the harbinger of the apocalypse, but she has revealed that when the actual happening comes, our rulers will have no idea how to respond.


If you want an intelligent, exciting, and fictional spy story, check out Combat Frame XSeed!

2020/01/27

The End of History

The End of History - Francis Fukuyama

One perk of being a science fiction writer is that you get to decide how the future turns out. The oligarchical Systems Overterrestrial Coalition from my mecha thriller series Combat Frame XSeed seek to make the future the end of history, as Superversive Live Stream host Benjamin Wheeler correctly observed.

Superversive Press may be gone, but the stream goes on. I joined Ben last night to talk XSeed, why we haven't run out of history quite yet, and democracy's rather poor track record.

Watch it now!


CFXS fans will also get the latest insights into the future of the series and the inside story on the ever-popular BaMs.

How popular? Let's just say we're five months for the Combat Frame XSeed: S crowdfunder, and we already have two Build-a-Mech proposals. The fun never stops!

2020/01/24

The Inverters

Civilized Society

The recent news that the Anglican Communion is still notionally Christian drew some sniping from Libertarian pagans on Twitter.

Civilized Society 2

Readers familiar with this blog's treatment on presuppositional apologetics will know where this is going.

Civilized Society 3

The West is currently beset by outsiders who possess the corrosive combination of beliefs antithetical to our foundational morals and an unwarranted sense of entitlement. This is the force that is driving the West's inversion from Christian civilization to Pagan dystopia.

Yet, as I've pointed out, the inverters always use appeals to Christian morals they don't subscribe to as clubs to bludgeon Christendom.

Civilized Society 4

This is the Caine-Hackman proof of culture war as holy war and diversity + proximity = war in one tweet.

In point of fact, yes, the Church claims universal moral authority. That is why she calls herself Universal. Christians hold that Christianity is true, Boomer-grade solipsism notwithstanding.

But more to the point, Christendom is Christian. It doesn't take a genius to see why living within Christian society while denying Christian moral authority instantly nullifies one's moral lecturing.

Expanding the First Amendment beyond the Christian denominations was a mistake.

The 1A was written to keep Christian denominations who are in 90% theological agreement from killing each other over what the sacraments mean. Anyone who thinks it suffices to keep adherents of alien creeds from over the horizon at peace is contradicted by logic and history.

Civilized Society 5
Civilized Society 6

I don't yet consider effeminate replies like, "So you think that ...", "So what you're saying is ...", etc. positive proof of witchery, but I'm noticing a strong correlation between Redditor speak and Witch Test failure. As it stands, trying that odious kind of psychological projection framed as mind-reading will earn you a swift block/ban.

The good news, as reported in the lead article, is that Christians are finding our spines again. And it's got the inverters justifiably worried.


Well-crafted, with that indie punch!

2020/01/23

Someone Is Aiming for You

Author J.D. Cowan announces the launch of his latest pulp romp.

Someone Is Aiming for You - JD Cowan
SEVEN TALES OF MAYHEM IN THE MAGIC CITY! 
Vigilantes fight from the shadows. In Summerside, Dark Magic poisons the dying city of cultists and gangsters. This is where heroes are made. 
A man with a deadly touch, an ex-hitman, a concrete teenager, an invisible myth, and an indestructible knight, are but a few of those who stalk the midnight hour.
In these seven stories you will meet those fighting for the soul of the city, and those hoping to bring it to a brighter future. But is there anything left worth saving in a world of death? 
Powers or Magic. Only one will win this war.
From the reviews:
n Something is Aiming for You, there are far worse fates than death. Which isn’t necessarily obvious to the people of Summerside, who assume that robbery and graft are still the prime movers of the city. It is probably easy to pretend, at least until they come to drain your blood, or worse, you find that you are on the blood detail when you thought you were just shaking people down for protection money.
For all the wickedness of Summerside, a major theme of this collection is the possibility of redemption. Most of the guys in a gang with an apocalyptic name like Sunset Red, looking forward to taking advantage of the chaos of the End Times, really aren’t nice guys. But, a few might be good, if given the right opportunity.
But not everyone chooses that opportunity, when it arrives, and so there is evil to be vanquished in Summerside. Conflict abounds, between powers and dark magic, between good and evil, between rivals just squabbling for turf. If you want to know what happens, you are just going to have to pick up this volume. I suspect you’ll have a hard time putting it down.
Support creators who are working hard to entertain you! Buy it now!

2020/01/22

Fumes and Leftovers

Evidently our little project to reclaim Generation Y from the Madison Avenue Boomer memory hole is gaining some traction in the wild.

Fumes and Leftovers1

Millennials do not remember the pre-internet, pre-9/11 world. By and large, they celebrate the cultural apocalypse of Clown World as the first generation to be fully indoctrinated at school to believe that tradition is bad.

Ys, in stark contrast, mourn the murdered traditions, families, countries, and world.

Fumes and Leftovers 2

And whereas Millennials' generational vice is extractive self-centeredness, Gen Y copes with their grief by retreating into an inner world of nostalgia and neglecting harsh reality.

Fumes and Leftovers 3

Boomers got the whole buffet. Jonesers got dessert. Xers got the last dry, rubbery chicken breasts. Ys got fumes and leftovers.

Critics of my generational theory have objected that it's a self-indulgent attempt to arbitrarily separate younger Xers and older Millennials from two generations they don't like. The result, they accuse, is a generation which conveniently happens to be "better" than the preceding and succeeding cohorts.

Nobody who's read my posts honestly would reach that conclusion. I've never argued that Gen Y is somehow superior to Gen X or the Millennials. In one key way, Ys are demonstrably worse. It is malignant Gen Y nostalgia that drives the hollowed out Hollywood franchises and helps spread Pop Cult agitprop worldwide.

Break the nostalgia cycle. Support creators who tell exciting new stories that put entertainment first!

2020/01/21

Tea Party Tactics

Boomer vs Soiboi

The Virginia gun rally has come and gone. Blessedly, my fears of a potential bloodbath went unrealized. Our rulers were hoping for Charlottesville, and instead they got the Joker opening.

Most commentators ascribe the event's relative uneventfulness to the sheer number of protesters who showed up. Accounts vary, but we know this rally dwarfed Unite the Right. Many participants also open carried in defiance of Governor Northam's executive order. What we saw yesterday was a proof of concept in miniature that the Framers were right about guns protecting people from their government.

A little-reported-on aspect of the orderly protest is the protesters' refusal to take the offered bait. Here's an obvious plant trying to play "Let's you and him fight!" getting shut down by demonstrators who aren't having it.

You can sum up the pro-2A protesters' approach yesterday as Tea Party Tactics. And yes, they cleaned up after themselves. Most of all, they took pains to play by the Left's rules.

lolbertarian

That's why the rally is already being memory holed by mainstream media outlets--even nominally Conservative ones like National Review and Breitbart. Don't let the Beardy McOperator cosplays fool you. The protesters clearly signaled that they pose no threat to our elites. What the rally achieved was to reinforce normies' conditioning to play by the rigged rules and cede the moral high ground to the Left.

The Death Cultists still think white gun owners are extras from Deliverance. Ralph Northam is still going to sign vindictive, nonsensical gun legislation aimed at punishing rural whites. These laws will end up before the Supreme Court, where most of their provisions will be struck down--but what remains will ratchet the erosion of gun rights another step leftward.

Some are lauding the Richmond rally as proof that street-level grassroots political action still works. Those people aren't looking at long-term outcomes. Here's the Catch-22 of Current Year dissident street action:

  • If you get infiltrated, have bad OpSec, and violence breaks out, your whole movement is destroyed, everyone associated with you becomes a pariah, and the Left gets a bloody shirt to wave in normies' faces.
  • If you carefully observe the rules, keep your rhetoric within the Overton Window, and leave the lawn cleaner than you found it, you get ignored and the needle keeps moving leftward.
This is what dissenters need to get through their heads. The media is controlled by people who have a firm, fixed view of the world wherein you are an irredeemable oppressor. You're not going to talk them out of it, and cognitive dissonance is going to make them purge anything that contradicts their biases from memory. Your protest will only get attention if something goes wrong and draws negative attention. Not all press is good press. Ask anybody who's been cancelled for stepping outside the Death Cult's arbitrary lines.

In short, street protests are just thousands of people talking to the corrupt media at once. If you ran around waving an aluminum rod in a thunderstorm twice and were struck by lightning once, that doesn't mean it's safe and fun for the whole family.




2020/01/20

The End of an Era

Jason Rennie, editor-in-chief of Superversive Press, took to Facebook to share some sad news.

For those who don't know

Jason broke onto the scene as a publisher during the Sad Puppies saga when his magazine Sci Phi Journal received a Best Semiprozine nomination. It was an honor having Jason publish my short fiction in SPJ and in Superversive Press' breakout hit, the best selling Forbidden Thoughts.

One small publisher made a lasting mark on science fiction during an era of rapid change. One result of those changes is the end of the publishing house as a business model. One publisher, one man, could no more change that than hold back the tide.

Superversive Press will be missed, but rest assured, the torch has not gone out. A generation of independent authors dedicated to overturning the status quo from above by putting readers first forge ahead bearing that flame.

2020/01/17

Croglin Grange

Vampire Woodcut
Image by Jason McKittrick

Back in Cromwell's day, the Fisher family left their ancestral home in Cumberland and moved south to more spacious accommodations. Loath to sell their old farmhouse called Croglin Grange, they leased the one-story home to Amelia Cranswell and her two brothers.

The Cranswells enjoyed a peaceful first winter in their new country home.The summer came hot and damp, and on one especially stifling night, the family retired at moonrise to sleep through the heat.

Amelia lay atop her bed sheets, hovering on the edge of sleep, when a strange fancy moved her to sit up and look out her window. A pair of lights like red fireflies flickered in the dusk through the grounds of the old Norman chapel adjoining the grange.

The young lady sat anxiously spellbound until the twin lights vanished near the churchyard wall, only to reappear on the near side. Amelia's unease grew as the red lights darted through the small copse of trees between the wall and the yard. The spell broke, and Amelia lay back down in the hope of putting the unwholesome vision out of sight and mind.

Sleep still eluded Amelia. Still, she resisted the growing urge to rise from her bed until the scratching of sharp claws on glass sounded from her window.

Amelia sat bolt upright. The sight that greeted her outside her window moved her to dash from bed to her chamber door. A swarthy scarecrow of a creature stood hunched outside her window, scrabbling at the panes with the long nails of its bony fingers. Its crimson eyes burned blue afterimages into the young woman's vision.

Faint but definite clattering reached Amelia's ears from across the room. Terror froze her at the door as she realized that the nightmarish visitor was picking away the lead that held the mullioned panes in place.

The chime of breaking glass roused Amelia from her trance. Her numb hands fumbled with the lock as she watched a clawed withered hand reach through the opening it had made and unlatch the window. With predatory speed that belied its shriveled form, the intruder lunged across the room and sank its teeth into Amelia's neck.

Their sister's scream woke Amelia's brothers, who raced to her room, only to find that in her fog of fear, she'd actually locked it. By the time they broke down the door, Amelia lay bleeding on the bed, and her attacker was fleeing across the lawn.

One brother remained to tend his sister's wounds while the other gave chase. The intruder outran him in the gathering dark and soon disappeared into the churchyard.

The thwarted pursuer returned to the house where, thankfully, he found Amelia lucid despite her serious wound. She recounted the grisly incident, speculating that she'd fallen prey to an escaped lunatic.

The Cranswells decamped to Geneva to aid Amelia's recovery. While there, she engaged the services of a Swiss gunsmith to obtain a pair of pistols and a number of bullets. The iron of the region bore large traces of copper, giving the pistol balls a novel green hue.

When Amelia recovered, the family returned to Croglin Grange--but not before she issued a pistol to each of her brothers with instructions to keep them by their bedsides. They passed another placid winter at the grange, but one night in March, Amelia spotted a grimly familiar pair of red lights flitting through the neighboring graveyard.

This time, Amelia immediately summoned her brothers, who burst in when the shabby creature broke into the room as it had before. The intruder took flight, but not before one brother shot it in the leg.

All three Cranswell siblings set out in pursuit of the housebreaker. Spatters of blood led across the yard, through the trees, and over the wall. The red trail ended at the closed doors of a crumbling crypt.

Amelia advised her brothers that the wounded ghoul wasn't going anywhere and to defer further investigation till morning. At first light, the Cranswells returned to the churchyard and breached the ancient crypt.

Several coffins lay jumbled about in the tomb's musty confines--only one intact; its lid ajar.

The brothers opened the coffin, and there lay a blackened, desiccated corpse.

With a bloody wound in its leg, from which Amelia's brother dug the same telltale green ball he'd fired into his sister's attacker.

The body was summarily taken from the crypt and burned, and the Cranswells enjoyed many years of peace at Croglin Grange.


For more eerie horror, read my award-winning Soul Cycle!

2020/01/16

The Kill Box

Charlottesville Map

Everybody remembers the disastrous Charlottesville rally from back in 2017. Not everybody remembers it the same way.

Ask most people, and they'll tell you how a bunch of neo-nazi troublemakers descended on the town and started a riot that ended up getting innocent people killed. The Left loves this narrative, and they wave it around as a call to action against the fascists they say are overrunning the country.

People who actually investigated the debacle have a vastly different picture of what took place. They know, for instance, that officials herded the right-wing protesters into what was essentially a kill box with only one way in or out. Police stood down, putting the protesters in direct contact with the Antifa counter-protesters, who were conveniently bused in for the occasion. A Lefty with a gun spooked James Fields, who drove into a crowd. Soon afterward, a morbidly obese girl died of a heart attack. Fields was duly made an example of with a life +419 years sentence.

If it looks like it, sounds like it, and smells like it, you call it what it is--a setup.

A setup that worked so well, the powers that be are now roping a new set of protesters into round two. Only this time, it won't be twentysomething dissidents, but NRA Boomers, in the Left's kill box.
Gov. Ralph Northam on Wednesday declared a state of emergency in Richmond ahead of a rally Monday that is expected to bring thousands of Second Amendment activists to Richmond.
The state of emergency will be enforced Friday evening to Tuesday evening. It includes a firearms ban on Capitol Square, as well as a general ban on weapons that includes bats and knives.
Northam cited safety threats “similar to what has been seen before other major events such as Charlottesville,” a reference to the deadly Unite the Right rally in August 2017 in which white nationalists clashed with counterprotesters and one woman was killed and more than 30 people were injured in a car attack.
How much do you want to bet that the firearms ban won't be enforced against mail order Antifa thugs like Dwayne Dixon, who carried a rifle as he chased James Field's car?

The Left has a playbook, and it's blatantly obvious that they're running the Charlottesville offense at Richmond. The demonstration area has one entrance, just like at Lee Park. Virginia's governor, who was lieutenant governor in 2017, has declared a state of emergency, just like before. He's even basing his decision on, "credible threats of Charlottesville style violence."

Of course, precipitating Charlottesville style violence is exactly the point of these measures. Leftist politicians and media mouthpieces orchestrated the Charlottesville riot to discredit Trumpian nationalism. Now they plan to run the same op on gun owners.
And much like the Unite the Right organizers, the folks in charge of the Richmond rally are playing right into the state's hands.
VCDL President Philip Van Cleave said in an interview Wednesday that he has encouraged peaceful demonstrations by rally participants. At the same time, he said the group plans to challenge Northam’s decision, which he believes goes beyond the governor’s legal authority.
“We believe it is illegal what he is doing,” Van Cleave said. “At this point, we’re going to try to take the governor to court. So it may mean guns aren’t banned on Monday.”
“The rally is going on no matter what.”
The smart play for Van Cleave would be to hold an impromptu march the day before and then not show up on the 20th. Say what you will about the Charlottesville tiki torch parade, it freaked out the Left with no casualties. If the protesters pull a no-show in Richmond, that will leave the Antifa goons with no one to fight but the police, and the normies at home will get a good close look at the soy army's true colors.

Unfortunately, the mainstream media coverage of Charlottesville was tailored to keep guys like Van Cleave from learning anything that might actually help defend the second amendment. So in all likelihood, we'll see another riot with the blame placed squarely on "gun nuts".

The up side is that power-drunk Leftists don't realize that giving Joe Boomer and his AR-15 the same treatment as torch-bearing weirdos won't play well on Main Street. Dissenters' main problem right now is that not enough normies understand that our rulers hate them. A big swath of them are about to learn.

For a thrilling fictional account of underdogs fighting back against an oppressive nanny state, read my explosive military thriller series!

2020/01/15

HBO Hates You

Don't give them money.

From Black Pilled via Twitter:

The New Pope - HBO
The New Pope is a drama television series created and directed by Paolo Sorrentino for Sky Atlantic, HBO and Canal+. It is a continuation of the 2016 series The Young Pope, originally announced as its second season.[1] The nine-episode series stars Jude Law, reprising his role as Pope Pius XIII, and John Malkovich as Pope John Paul III, the titular "New Pope".[2] It was co-produced by European production companies The Apartment, Wildside, Haut et Court TV and Mediapro.[3]
The series premiered on 10 January 2020 on Sky Atlantic Italy, on 12 January on Sky Atlantic UK and on 13 January on HBO and Canal+.
Game of Thrones proved HBO's allegiance to the Pop Cult. The smirking blasphemy on full display in The New Pope documents their purposeful funneling of viewers into the Death Cult.

If you still subscribe to HBO, you are a proximate material cooperator in grave intrinsic evil worthy of the eternal torments of Hell. I trust I don't have to spell out what to do.

And let us hear none of this, "But Catholics aren't their target audience!"

For fuck's sake, what do you think the odds are of HBO producing a series called The New Caliph featuring Mohammed's daughter Fatima performing the Dance of the Seven Veils?

Stop supporting people who hate you. Support creators who want to entertain you!

2020/01/14

Like Vampires Hit with Holy Water

A Tik Tok account by the name of Nurse Holly is righteously triggering Death Cultists. Their reaction will be instantly recognizable to anyone who's familiar with the Witch Test.

Courtesy of Pax Christus via Twitter:

Nurse 1

Like vampires hit with holy water, indeed! The enemy besieging the West is not a political ideology, but a fanatical anti-religion. And their fiercest hate is reserved for the Christ.

Condolences, NRx bugmen. Once you understand the problem, you have the solution. And the solution is indeed more Jesus.

Classical Theist demonstrates how the Dominican inquisitors would deal with today's Death Cult heretics:

Nurse 2

Somebody call the burn ward, because he just lit up that witch!

It's my pleasure and my solemn obligation to unmask internet witches. But I can't do it without your help! Support my work!

2020/01/13

Boromir Did Nothing Wrong

Boromir Ring

Conservatives are fond of invoking the Ring of Power from J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings as a symbol of government power. It's easy to see the attraction that metaphor holds for them. Having raised individual liberty and limited government to cardinal virtues, a talisman of ultimate control fits their image of the shadowy, vaguely superhuman bureaucracy in Washington.

In Tolkien's masterpiece, the plot was a type of anti-quest wherein the heroes had to overcome long odds--not to recover some powerful artifact, but to destroy it. Meanwhile, a Dark Lord seeking world domination was after the same prize. The spoils were winner take all with no silver medal for second place. Those conditions set a nuclear doomsday clock-sized timer that kept the tension high.

Conservatives' penchant for equating the One Ring with government explains itself when you consider that it lets them cast themselves as the underdog Fellowship striving to destroy the source of tyranny--or in their case, return America to Constitutional government. It's a highly flattering image.

There are a couple of problems with that allegory, though. First of all, the Fellowship's goal wasn't placing checks on the Ring. They were out to destroy it, specifically because its power was illimitable. Following the analogy to its logical conclusion, Conservatives actually propose something more along the lines of Frodo's original idea: managing the Ring by keeping it out of the wrong hands. Due to its corrupting influence, that also meant refusing to use it himself.

Tolkien staunchly resisted attempts to frame Lord of the Rings as an allegory, and here we have a good reason why. Plugging "government" into the story for all values of the Ring results in something more like anarchism. The story itself contradicts this reading, since one of the good guys' victory conditions is crowning a new king. Tolkien's opus can more readily be seen as two groups of monarchists slugging it out with a small faction of distributists deciding which monarchy wins.

The other issue is that it's far too late to destroy the Ring. Proposing a return to the Constitution is closing the barn door after the horses have not only left, but have been shipped to China for stew meat.

Here's Conservative commentator Bill Whittle declaring that the Enemy already had the Ring way back in 2012:


If a normiecon like Whittle considered Obama-era shenanigans a Game Over scenario, we have to see runaway tech censorship, the jailing of political prisoners, and police snipers enforcing the corruption of children as the Eye of Sauron triumphant.

The Conservative project might've had merit while there was still a chance of bringing the state to heel through grassroots organizing and voting in the right people. Now, by their own measure, Conservatives are about as relevant as the Whigs. The folks running establishment Conservatism know this. That's why their operation has shifted toward milking Boomers for cruise money while pushing butt stuff on college kids.

Point this out to Conservatives, and they'll often quote from Lewis' Abolition of Man or Tolkien's line about fighting the long defeat. That attitude makes sense coming from British men of letters who held a vestigial fondness for pagan stoicism and who'd seen the two apocalyptic 20th century wars. One wonders what they'd say if they saw that England will be minority English by next century and heard that the state can rip children from their fathers' arms for summary castration.

Tolkien never showed us what would happen if Sauron won. Now we're seeing it firsthand. Clown World thwarts the Ring metaphor.

Perhaps an alternate timeline sequel to LotR would have seen a daring burglar stealing the Ring back from under the Dark Lord's nose. 2016 actually gave Conservatives the chance to play out that scenario--to try Boromir's way and use the Ring now that all bets are off--or else destroy it. They squandered their last chance to do both. The urge to languish on the sofa and sigh about the long defeat proved irresistible.

Conservatives' utter and repeated failure has taught us at least one thing: The Ring can be wrested from its wielder's hand. Unlike Tolkien's preternatural talisman, government is a human institution meant for human use.

The rising tide of dissenters won't make the same mistakes. Our task is to slowly scale the mountain until we stand where Boromir did. And this time, we'll use the Ring.

For a story where the heroes put this strategy into practice, check out Combat Frame XSeed: CY 40 Second Coming.

2020/01/10

Silver Lining

Looking at the following charts in light of salvation history, it's hard not to see a divine hand in the West's onrushing demographic winter.

Theistic Orientation 1

Theistic Orientation 2

Population Projections

Not only are atheists already a tiny minority, their ranks overwhelmingly consist of white men, whose numbers are steadily dwindling relative to the overall population.

If there's any consolation to be found in the browning of America, it's that it's also the de-atheisting of America. And our smrt atheist friends have no one but themselves to blame:

Votes by Religious Affiliation

It's an old story. A people turn their backs on God, and He raises up their enemies to chastise them.

Europeans conquered Aztecs who performed industrial-scale human sacrifice; now the tables have turned as Europeans who perform industrial-scale human sacrifice are conquered by Aztecs.

I'm sure the fedora tippers will have great success plying the new majority with flying spaghetti monster memes.

Then again, they wouldn't have to if Christians weren't the better Darwinists.

Possibly related:

Autism Rates

John Milton, Thomas Aquinas, Tom Clancy, and mecha walk into a bar ...

2020/01/09

Witches' Most Brain Dead Argument

Indignant Christ


A witch showed up in the comments over at author Alex Hellene's blog to throw his unearned moral weight around. The host and other commenters responded accordingly.

James 1

Freqnent Kairos commenter Xavier took the first swing at the witch piƱata.


James lies about Planned Parenthood's well-documented baby part trafficking and doubles down on the charge of hypocrisy. He's clearly an SJW, but it's the sarcastic jab about Jesus being proud and the later mention of, "your Christian faith" that gives off the whiff of brimstone.

Alex correctly intuits James' infernal influence, replies with a meme that shows he's got James' number, and bans him. But like the cat who probably serves as his familiar, the witch comes back.

James 3

Author JD Cowan with the bonus mockery.

My Catholic systematics grind slower than Orthodox intuition, but I finally arrive to administer the Witch Test.

James 4

It's been almost twenty-four hours with nary a peep from the suspected witch, though the host and another commenter easily pass with flying colors.

The verdict: James tests positive for witchery. Recommended actions: ban and spam.

It's a great comfort and a sign of God's blessing that the Witch Test continues to gain traction among the Christian faithful online. Its power springs from denying our enemy the unwarranted moral authority his arguments rely on. Wield it with justice and charity!

And please, support my work so I can continue arming the Church militant in the holy war for Western culture!

UPDATE: Despite multiple bans and having his witchery unmasked, the witch just can't help himself.

James 5

This is the internet equivalent of his spinning head vomiting pea soup. Note the cognitive dissonance tells:

  • Jokeless laugh
  • Personal attacks
  • Typos indicating furious typing
  • Continued evasions
This is how you know that witches hate, hate HATE having their pretensions to moral authority stripped away, and why the Witch Test is an indispensable weapon.

2020/01/08

Loving Escalation

A common pitfall among sci fi and fantasy authors is series creep, wherein each installment becomes longer and less eventful than the last. It's a trap I strive to avoid.

As the rave reviews for Combat Frame XSeed: CY 40 Second Coming suggest, my XSeed series has surpassed even the Soul Cycle for raising the bar with each entry.

Nathan at the Castalia House Blog illustrates a few key ingredients that make the third XSeed book the best yet.

"Youv'e got to love escalation."--Faust Hayden

As usual, the XSeed roller coaster begins from there, taking readers through a whirlwind of change as factions unite and break apart with each new developments. Here in CY 40 II, the revelations are earth-shaking, as the XSeed pilots and the SOC must deal with an alien threat even as they fight each other. The tantalizing skeins of a 60 million year-old mystery first spun in the original XSeed CY1 now take shape with the addition of the alien Secta, beings who travel from one doomed world to the next to record what they find. Earth, Mars, and the space colonies of the SOC are the latest worlds to be doomed. But before a defense can be prepared, Arthur Wake and Sullia Zend, the possible reincarnation of former genocidal world leader Sekaino Megami, must deal with each other, and Arthur prefers grenades to mere words .
As always with Niemeier’s books, CY 40 II rewards a close reading. Careful callbacks to XSeed CY1 appear, adding to the mysteries surrounding Sekaino Megami and those who would challenge her. Familiar faces appear in the most unlikely places. For those readers familiar with the mobile suit genre, resonances to the Gundam series which inspired XSeed are present, including 1990s fan favorite Gundam Wing. The threat of alien invasion offers a splash of Macross resonances as well, although thankfully no one sings here. And beneath the crackle of lasers and hiss of rockets, there is the mounting cost as the various factions of secret kings push humanity past its limits in preparation for the alien threat. Unavoidably in such attempts, there is breakage, as each of the XSeed pilots discover, including newcomer James Trent.
So what make the third visit to the XSeed story the charm?
Everything that I enjoyed from the previous two books is present in a clearer more concentrated form. Niemeier continues to grow more comfortable with the action and intrigues required in a martial thriller, enough to step on the gas and pick up the pace from the already brisk prequels. CY 40 II offers all the mecha action, intrigue, and surprises of the previous two books combined in half the space. Perhaps Wake’s return to SOC space might have used a little more exposition for clarification, but otherwise Niemeier deftly juggles the demands of heavy metal action, multiplying intrigue, and the constantly shifting locations required in a mecha thriller. 
A dry wit comes into sharper focus. A few excellent one-liners emerge from the chatter of pilots not used to radio discipline. Fortunately, these are not delivered with camp nor does the book stop to admire their cleverness. However, the occasional relief allows the tension needed in battles between metallic knights of space to ratchet even higher than without it.
The reason that so many skilled authors fall pray to series creep is a combination of insufficient planning and venal desire to milk an IP beyond its natural conclusion. I avoid such excess by meticulously outlining my series beforehand, giving each a definite beginning, middle, and end, and resolutely sticking to the plan. One of the most frequent comments about both of my series is that they start at a high level of quality and only improve with each book. This is how I do it, and I do it for you!

Don't take my word for it. Read Combat Frame XSeed: CY 40 Second Coming now!

Combat Frame XSeed: CY 40 Second Coming

Already read the book? Share your opinion and help inform other readers. Leave a review now!

2020/01/07

Neo-Patronage

Lately a lot of folks have been asking me where I think the publishing industry is headed next. It's a fair question. After all, our society is undergoing runaway change, and publishing is a subset of the whole.

Many of these questions are prompted by the ongoing censorship campaign sweeping across Big Tech platforms. Here's a screencap from a reader whose reviews are being hidden behind Amazon's sensitivity filter. The dichotomy between which reviews are hidden and which aren't displays the usual biases.

Fiannawolf Reviews

Of course, it's not just readers who're getting muzzled. YouTuber Devon Stack recently announced that Amazon has removed his book from KDP and Audible.

Black Pilled DOTR

This renewed censorship push shouldn't be surprising. We know that the top brass at Google had conniptions over Trump's victory in 2016. A big part of the reason for their hysterics was that they'd gone to great lengths to prevent his election. The Silicon Valley bugmen know that grassroots support on social media helped get Trump over the finish line. They consider his win a personal failing, and they're determined to correct it.

The closer we get to the election, expect Big Tech to crack down ever harder on users who don't toe the official party line. Leftists shouldn't get too smug, because many of them are on the chopping block, too. It's often lost in the shuffle whenever a new round of deplatformings breaks, but lots of Leftist accounts get caught in the crossfire. The YouTube shooter, for example, was hardly a Trumpist.

And that was just friendly fire. As the Democrat primaries get underway, expect the Silicon Valley oligarchs to actively suppress Leftists who support anyone other than Joe Biden. Bernie Bros beware!

All of this is to say that our rulers have contracted censorship out to the Big Tech firms that control most mass communications and markets. Amazon stands at the forefront of the tech oligarchy, which means that in the long run they're only going to allow people with approved politics on their platform.

What's the future of publishing, then? Projecting based on current trends, I see it splitting three ways.

The Big Five become the Big Two--or One. Barnes and Noble's demise will force another round of New York publisher mergers. The remnant of oldpub's paper distribution cartel will shed the last of its midlist authors and exclusively cater to A list clients whose books reliably sell at Costco and Wal-Mart.

Amazon eats itself. By now everybody's figured out that the formula for success on Amazon is cranking out what are essentially the same books in a small cluster of high-selling genres on a monthly basis. The midlist oldpub refugees who will migrate to Amazon when their contracts are cancelled have proven unable to follow this model. At the same time, the newpub authors who are making a killing on Amazon tend to hold unapproved opinions.

Look for Amazon to go they way that YouTube is now. The best creators will be purged while attempts to prop up people with the right opinions fail since woke creators still can't make content anybody wants.

Neo-patronage takes shape. Ironically, Big Tech's efforts to enforce cultural totalitarianism will foster cultural tribalism as more and more people realize that the approved manufacturers of culture hate them. People who liked to read masculine adventure yarns won't stop liking those kinds of stories just because they're socially verboten. Like-minded groups of such people are already pooling their resources to fund books they enjoy, and this trend will only grow as the Death Cult consolidates its pop culture hegemony. If you dissent from the hive mind at all, directly patronizing creators who don't hate you will become your primary means of consuming stories you enjoy.

At this point, I usually get a couple of common objections, so I'll go ahead and address those now.

First, you get people who point out that the major subscription and crowdfunding platforms are just as pozzed as Amazon. That objection misses the point. Nobody's advising authors to set up shop on Patreon because it's less woke than the alternative. The point is that sites like Patreon and Kickstarter are in fact alternatives that have proven viable for indie creators.

Sure, we're probably going to get kicked off those services, too. That's just the short term. What matters in the long run is that readers have shown a willingness to follow their favorite authors somewhere other than Amazon. Various dissident entrepreneurs are always cooking up subscription and crowdfunding alternatives. One of these days, there's a good chance that one or more of them will stick. If not, there are guys right now making a go of it by accepting checks mailed to their P.O. boxes. Where there's a will, there's a way.

The second objection I get is people scolding me for still using Twitter/Indiegogo/Google despite those platforms' egregious wokeness. Besides, don't I know how Big Tech Firm X totally screwed over So-and-So?

Not only is such purity spiraling beside the point, it's a form of reverse virtue signaling. Making money I need to live by exploiting a platform whose employees hate me is a far cry from wasting money on agitprop vectors made by those people's fellow travelers.

The correct approach to dealing with woke platforms is:

  • Milk them for all they're worth.
  • Make them kick you off.
  • Make the rubble bounce.

The biggest adjustment will have to be made by writers, who will once and for all have to jettison the fantasy of becoming a Name author feted on cruises and signing tours. That paradigm was always a historical anomaly, it will soon be the sole domain of the Costco Club, and you ain't in it.

What you can do is build a relationship with your readers through your blog, establish a loyal group of patrons, and make a decent living by providing them with the stories they can't get anywhere else.

For a gripping mecha thriller you can't get anywhere else, check out the latest installment of Combat Frame XSeed!

Combat Frame XSeed: CY 40 Second Coming

2020/01/06

Gabbin' About Mecha

Combat Frame XSeed: CY 40 Second Coming

This weekend I returned to Geek Gab to talk mecha with my old partners in thought crime Daddy Warpig and Dorrinal.

Contrasting with and complementing my appearance on David Stewart's stream, which encompassed the whole mecha genre, Saturday's Geek Gab episode featured a deep dive into my own Combat Frame XSeed series. Whether you're a veteran XSeed reader or you've been waiting for a jumping on point, you won't want to miss this episode.

Watch it here.


One lesson CY 40 Second Coming reinforced--and which we touched on during the stream and expanded on in the post-show--is the rapid emergence of neo-patronage as the future of art. They say once is a fluke, twice is a coincidence, and three times is proof. If that's true, the fact that my three crowdfunded books are also my three most profitable books says something about the crowdfunding model.

That's not to say Amazon isn't still dominant by a wide margin. It's just that making the big bucks there means either churning out paint-by-numbers fare for the whale market or setting yourself up as a lifestyle brand. I'm really not into Heinlein-derived mech stories, and I have no business giving life advice. Since I'm not about to write Headless Highlander Abs chick porn, either, I need to find a third way. Based on the data I've amassed over the last year, a blog-driven microecelebrity plus patronage approach looks like the way to go. We'll see.

In the meantime, check out my third thrilling XSeed novel, CY 40 Second Coming!

2020/01/03

Combat Frame Data: HBC-40 Stapfen

HBC-40 Stapfen

HBC-40 Stapfen

Technical Data

Model number: HBC-40
Classification: general use combat frame
Manufacturer: Hainan Aerospace in partnership with Wehrbund Bavaria
Operator: Wehrbund Bavaria
First deployment: CY 40
Crew: 1 pilot in cockpit in chest
Height: 19 meters
Weight: dry weight 75 metric tons, full weight 83 metric tons
Armor type: titanium/palladium glass/ceramic composite
Powerplant: cold fusion reactor, max output 1850 KW
Propulsion: rocket thrusters: 4x 41,790 kg, 4x 20,910 kg; top speed 2668 kph; maneuvering thrusters: 21, 180° turn time 0.90 seconds; legs: top ground speed 195 kph
Sensors: radar, thermal, optical array; main cameras mounted behind visor in head
Fixed armaments: plasma sword, power rated at 0.50 MW, stored in recharge rack on back, hand-carried in use; plasma submachine gun, stored on back, graphcap magazine-fed, hand-carried in use

General Notes

When Hainan Island allied with Wehrbund Bavaria against the Coalition, Ivan Eckhart immediately realized the need for a new line of combat frames for both allies' mutual defense. He and his strategically gifted cousin Chaz Ritter worked with Hainan Aerospace personnel to design a mass production XSeed. Unfortunately, rogue CDF Lieutenant Frazer's assault on Hainan's space port in the One Series prototype destroyed the island's carbyne production facility.

With no time to wait for the factory to be rebuilt, the joint CF design team substituted industry standard titanium/palladium glass/ceramic composite armor for the originally planned carbyne laminate. They also removed the corresponding capacitors in favor of additional structural reinforcement. The resulting compromise was dubbed the HBC-40 Stapfen.

Though it fell short of being a true mass-produced XSeed, the Stapfen proved itself in combat almost immediately after the first run rolled off the assembly line. The SOC's standard Guardian units found themselves woefully outmatched by the faster, tougher Staps, despite having a significant numerical advantage.

The Staps' true test came later in the HALO conflict, when hostilities broke out between Wehrbund Bavaria and Astraea. Though Astraea CF force commander Malov Strauss--and even Sullia Zend herself--initially dismissed the ground-optimized units, the Staps soon showed themselves to be capable space combatants; even holding their own against Zeklov-Astraea's formidable Grand Dolphs. The Staps' plasma submachine guns helped them dish out more damage than their faster, more agile foes, and they proved almost as resilient in the face of kinetic attacks as the XSeeds that inspired them.

Despite their impressive early showing, the Stapfens' nature as a stopgap measure became apparent as the war neared its conclusion and more advanced units appeared on the battlefield. Improved Dolph models like the Heavy Armor and Dragonfly lines quickly made the Staps obsolete, though their valuable contribution to the war would not be forgotten.

Combat Frame XSeed