A Summary of Cupid (Parts 1 through 3)

For serial readers who want to refresh before Cupid part 4 comes out, I’ve put together a synopsis of the first 3 parts. It has most of the main plot points, though some details might be left out.

cupid cover final




  • Sofia lives in the Earth-launched space colony (tube) called Lutalica with her father and her pet Belly. They live in Sector 6, known for factory jobs and sex workers.

  • Triumph has just been elected to the presidency. He plans to clean up the tube by bringing back eugenics and a roundup to put everyone back in their proper Sector.

  • Sofia has been addicted to extract, a more potent version of the government-issued drug, and is finishing up her last school year at Mastery.

  • She is heartbroken over the loss of Harley and, prior to that, the loss of her mother. Harley left abruptly to pursue a rare and lofty position in the new Triumph administration, while her mother died from HTV, a deadly STD.

  • Triumph invades sector 8. Sofia’s friend who lives in Sector 8 calls to let her know what’s happening there, but the line goes dead.

  • Sofia wants to see if a plan she overheard about assassinating Triumph is real, as she hates his philosophy, known as Generational Determination Theory, and she also fears for the lives of people in the lower Sectors.

  • She sees one of the gang members from The Dirty Boys, named Clue, on the bus ride to school. She speaks to him to determine if the assassination plot is real.

  • Clue tells her to come to their band show, which also serves as a gang meeting, this upcoming Saturday.

  • At school, she hears students arguing politics, most side with Triumph.

  • Sofia gets into a few fights, she has a lot of anger about her mom’s death, compounded by Harley leaving her.

  • The Checker Squad, Triumph’s personal military, comes to the school and injects everyone with something. It turns out the injection is the deadliest strain of HTV, the STD that killed Sofia’s mother.

  • No one knows what the Checker injections were about, but Sofia learns soon: it’s a mass kill-off of Sector 6.

  • Sofia’s dad gets fired for his ailing health.

  • The next day at school, many people are absent, due to sickness, though no one knows it’s because of the HTV injections yet.

  • Government begins to shut down the sector: there’s a new curfew, the TVs are turned off, phone lines go dead. Checkers appear on every corner, keeping watch over the dying.

  • Sofia’s dad is missing when she gets home from school—he had gone out searching for a new job while she was at school.

  • She can’t look for him after dark because of the new curfew. She tries until the Checkers tell her to return home.

  • A package comes on Saturday morning—it’s from Harley—for some reason, he’s sent her a cure for the HTV that only the highest sectors have access to. She takes it and is a cure—she is no longer going to die.

  • Clue planted a cellphone in her house because of the military takeover, a way to signal that she must join them earlier now on Saturday—to meet at the bridge. It seems he really was looking for her, instead of the other way around. He needs her to join The Dirty Boys for some reason.

  • A Checker breaks into Sofia’s house and tries to find out what Harley mailed to her. She hides the package and lies, saying it was drugs, admitting to be on extract, but concealing the fact she dodged an HTV death.

  • With her father gone, the last of her family, she voyages out with Belly toward the Nomar rail line, nothing left to lose.

  • Guards are everywhere, eyeing her as she walks to where The Dirty Boys are supposed to meet.


  • Sofia sees that on Saturday, Sector 6 is in full lockdown mode—armored vehicles everywhere and guards on each street corner. She walks with Belly hoping she won’t start barking at the guards.

  • She reaches the forested area underneath the Nomar rail bridge and sees Clue, Claire and Warren there: three members of The Dirty Boys who survived the mass-injection.

  • Sofia finds out the plan really is to Kill Triumph. Shortly after they introduce each other, they are discovered by Checkers.

  • Clue uses higher-Sector technology in the form of a laser gun and energy shield to buy some time against the Checkers, including one Red Checker, who seems more powerful than all the other White Checkers.

  • They are outnumbered and jump into the canal to escape. Clue holds Belly up above the water so she won’t drown.

  • They are pulled into a wide bay and climb out on the shore—in the distance is the landmark building that Sofia knows as a secret route to get into Sector 7, which she has used in the past to get her extract drug. The route is also the same one her mother had used after-hours when the Nomar rail was shut down.

  • They decide that, instead of their original plan, which was to go to the higher sectors, get closer to Triumph to assassinate him, they will instead go down a sector because it seems the only escape. The Red Checker is leading a party in chase, and there’s no way to access the Nomar rail anymore.

  • There’s a battle against the Red Checker. Clue tells everyone else to flee, and he takes on the Red Checker and his army all alone. Sofia realizes Clue has technology way more advanced than anyone born in Sector 6 should have, and she becomes suspicious of his origins.

  • They make it to the tunnel that leads into Sector 7—it turns out the borders (mirror walls) are less secure the lower you go in Sectors

  • Though Sector 8 was attacked, and Sector 6 was placed on lockdown, they find sector 7 unaffected by Checker Squad takeover.

  • They make their way to a bar, hoping to get information, and possibly an electric charge for Clue’s gear, which runs on a powerful battery. Sofia also finds that the Psynode, Clue’s earpiece, not only produces an energy shield, but also allows Clue to read people’s thoughts.

  • Sofia picks a bar to enter, knowing it can take her to drugs—she’s almost into extract withdrawal at this point.

  • An alert has been issued that Sector 7 citizens should turn in anyone from out of Sector who didn’t work overnight.

  • Triumph is set to appear on TV to make an announcement—TVs are blacked out until then.

  • Sofia disappears in the backroom. Her normal drug connection is gone and she takes up the offer of another patron who is pedaling extract

  • They go downstairs to the sex booths and things begin, but Sofia is so repulsed by him that she turns around and decides to leave. He doesn’t let her, using force. She realizes he plans to force himself on her. She takes hit bottle of beer and smashes his head, grabs his extract baggy, and runs.

  • Upstairs, in the pool room, the other bar patrons lock the doors and quarantine her.

  • She calls for help but Clue and company have stepped outside to find an electric charge.

  • They pin her down, planning to take turns with her, until eventually her old drug connection comes in. He’s killed for interfering and the terrible situation is set to escalate.

  • Clue uses his new technology to destroy everyone in the room and they get out of the jam with the bar-patrons, but attract the attention of the police with their loud use of energy weapons.

  • In the bar area, Sofia is reunited with Belly, but the others are in a nearby alley hiding and waiting.

  • Police have blockaded the front of the bar. Clue fights them at the front door of the bar, destroying two squad cars with his weaponry.

  • After some more fighting, they run off.

  • They reunite with Claire and Warren in the alley

  • They climb a fire escape and break into an apartment, which turns out to be the apartment of Sofia’s deaf librarian from Mastery school.

  • They hide out in the apartment until he comes home, hoping to watch Triumph’s address on TV. The apartment has electricity to charge Clue’s device, and they take some of his food. Sofia lies down and falls asleep.

  • The deaf librarian comes home. After the shock of seeing people in his apartment settles, Sofia and company explain themselves. He allows them to stay and watch Triumph’s TV address. Despite more support for Triumph in the lower Sectors, the librarian is not a Triumph sympathizer.

  • Triumph makes his announcement—he will be restructuring the tube, from 8 Sectors into only 2 sectors—the Bright Side and the Other Side. It’s unclear what Sectors or people will survive the restructuring. It seems as if all the lowest sectors will be bulldozed and the people destroyed.

  • It turns out the librarian’s wife left him to go to Sector 8, as well as his daughters, to pursue a resistance and a scheme to get into the higher Sectors by drilling into the wall of the tube itself. The librarian helps them figure out a way to get into Sector 8—they descend there because they are now wanted in both Sector 6 and Sector 7. Sector 8 probably has Checkers, but it’s their only choice. Hints point toward an active resistance in Sector 8 that they might be able to join.


  • They make it through Sector 7 and reach the mirror wall to sector 8.

  • Unlike the news footage, which showed Sector 8 cleared and intact, the real situation is quite different: everything is rubble, and there is still hard fighting going on. It turns out it wasn’t a clean sweep of Sector 8, but that a resistance rose up and is trying to rebel against the invading Checkers. After only a few days though, the resistance is all but destroyed, leaving the city in ruins.

  • The Checkers are sending bodies down from higher sectors to be incinerated in Sector 8, which has caused the Center Sky ash spindle to become too large. Human ashes are dropping from the blackened sky.

  • Sofia and company meet Mean and Rizzik, leading resistance fighters.

  • Clue offers to use his powers to help Rizzik and Mean on their mission to destroy one of the furnace buildings being used to incinerate captives and the dead.

  • A Checker squad spots them near the furnace building and marches against them.

  • Clue manages to help ignite a bomb in the furnace building, blowing it up.

  • With help of Clue’s technology, everyone gets away and manages to escape into one of the underground hideouts.

  • There, at the hideout, we meet Les, an old man Benjamin, and others camped underground since the invasion started several days ago. The hideout is so far undetected by the Checkers.

  • The group investigates Sofia’s librarian’s wife and discovers that she is dead—the whole crackpot idea she was burrowing into the wall of the Tube is discounted.

  • The group decides to try to simply go on foot against the Checkers, marching toward higher Sectors in one last-ditch effort to reach Triumph.

  • When they get back to Sector 7, they’re attacked by helicopters, as a heavy crackdown has occurred in sector 7 now (Sectors 6, 7, and 8 now under lockdown).

  • After a long battle and chase, the group realizes they must turn back, there’s no way to advance forward, not even with Clue’s weapons.

  • Just before getting back into Sector 8, The Red Checker appears, descending from a helicopter at the border wall. Clue and the Red Checker battle, and Clue’s weaponry runs out of power in the middle of their fight. Clue is taken in the helicopter.

  • As he’s rising on a cable with the Red Checker, back into the helicopter, he drops his Psynode, which is the size of an earring, as he is taken up into the sky. This is the device that allows an energy shield and mind-reading. The device is dead though, as it’s battery’s run out.

  • Sofia retrieves the Psynode and the escapes with the rest of the group, reaching the underground hideout. Rumors have it that the Checkers are at last set to bulldoze the last remaining hideouts. With no choice but to confront the Checkers, everyone prepares for one last battle. Sofia hopes to somehow find a charge for the device Clue dropped, hoping it will give them a better chance of survival.

Part 4 of Cupid is just about finished, and the story goes in a totally unexpected direction! I’m excited to present the rest of Sofia’s journey to you soon.

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