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            I was reading the Hippocampus Herald today, and I came across this article. Am I the only one who’s worried by this?          


       Ah, the weapons of love. The moonlight serenade, the candlelight dinner, and this year, the titanium-fronted, 10 inch, hydraulic-powered “Heartstring” crossbow, the latest addition to the arsenal of over 15,000 cherubs including the boss himself, cupid. The bow is crammed with non-standard parts, including an optical sight, limited-range teleporter to automatically reload the arrows, and a durable but lightweight carbon fiber body, which keeps it out of the hands of all but the most discerning collector.
            The problems that lead to the conception and the delivery of the “Heartstring” have been growing for a long time, but remain largely unrecognized by the general public because Cupid himself has overshadowed them. It is open knowledge, for example, that Cupid has made a great deal of money from his online matchmaking businesses, and millions more from consultations and product placements. He has astounded the world by taking the gold for Greece three times in archery during the summer Olympics. Tabloids have publicized extensively his resulting rivalry with English archer Robert Locksley, who became a regular visitor to the present following the establishment of the Cross-Universal Temporal Transport (CUTT). And there are hermits living on distant mountains who have heard of his ironic (and very public) marital problems with Psyche.
            But becoming a household name, Olympic athlete, and celebrity playboy does not change that he has been struggling to do his job with a relatively small workforce in recent years. An individual cherub could have responsibility for hundreds of thousands of couples, yet traditionally is armed with a single bow and arrow. As a result, quotas are higher than ever and effectiveness rates are through the floor. Enter Lovestruck Ltd., Cupid’s latest startup company that promises to bring an end to the downward spiral of modern romance by raising exponentially the number of couples a single cherub can unite, by force if necessary. Lovestruck is a unique company, designed to combine the latest scientific advancements in romantic research with cutting edge military tech. The result, true to the company’s motto, really does appear to be “Where Mars Meets Venus”. The company’s specific headquarters are undisclosed, though they are known to be on a private island off the coast of Greece.
            The Herald, after an extensive security screening and a ride in a private helicopter, was allowed a sneak-peek at the latest weapons off of the Lovestruck line. The “Heartstring” is the foundation of this line. The auto reload gives it rapid fire capabilities not available in prior models, while the scope gives it a degree of precision that has been notably lacking for cherub mercenaries who have less skill with the bow than Cupid. This is good news for people who always fall in love with the wrong type of person, since accuracy rates are predicted to be very good with the new tech.
            The arrows will be remaining essentially the same, undergoing only minor tweaks. Traditionally, they’re just concentrated romantic energy locked in thaumaturgic matrix that aerosolizes on contact, integrating the energy directly into the target’s bloodstream. Lovestruck has modified the spell so that the matrix can hold a more concentrated dose, and is altering the mixture of energies to include slightly more lust, in an attempt to help catalyze romantic interactions. Cherubs normally carry “innocent”, “typical”, and “lustful” grade arrows, color coded pink, red, and crimson, respectively. The “heartstring” has relegated these settings to a thumb toggle, allowing quick adaptation to each situation.
            But in addition to the arrows, Lovestruck’s new spell contraction algorithm now allows for the first love bullets to be created. These early models have the highest concentration of energy possible to fit into the matrix, and even then require a fairly high caliber. But they have ushered in a new era of weaponry for cupid and his workforce. For situations with multiple targets, for example, Lovestruck has commissioned the “palpitation” semi-automatic teleporter-fed assault rifle, which should be in the hands of some high-ranking cherubs as early as 2012. For melee, there is discussion of a combat knife with the ability to be recharged with energy. A recasting of the matrix has also lead to research into the creation of an experimental grenade, for use in parties and dance halls, as well as a heavy duty rocket launcher guaranteed to effect even the most well-guarded, sheltered, or stubborn targets on Earth, playfully nicknamed the “penetrator”.
            In the meantime, Cupid himself is carrying this year’s pistol model, the “pacemaker” around in a hip-holster. Various concoctions of pheromones, perfumes, and chemicals have been specially concentrated in blast pellets that are being equipped on the belt of all of love’s little helpers, along with specialized pieces of S&R equipment, and even an emergency beacon. “You’d be surprised how many cherubs get tagged by an angry father holding a shotgun and some very particular views” quipped Cupid, grinning mirthlessly.
            When questioned about the rumors of “love rockets”, ICBMs capable of intoxicating an entire city, Cupid laughed. “Building something like that is quite difficult”, he said, before showing us to another room. Since establishment on the island, some portions of Lovestruck’s operations have been incredibly secretive, especially those surrounding two prominent silos in the northwestern corner of the island. Official secretaries have put forth statements strongly suggesting that these are emergency storage, but there has been no definite answer. I’m sure we are all comforted, therefore, by Cupid’s assurance that it is not an easy task to construct such devices.
            So for those lonely singles reading this, you can rest in the knowledge that Cupid is hard at work on solutions that will help change that. With the assistance of Lovestruck, cupid and company predict a 70% jump in efficiency for 2010, with a further 55% next year. Following the announcement, stocks in Cupid’s publically traded companies jumped dramatically, closing 12 points higher, in one instance.
            As for those of you who wish to remain alone this year, be it for reasons financial, emotional, or religious, it looks like your best bet is to invest in a bulletproof vest.

Combat Cupid


Cupid takes flight with a pair of "Heartstring" crossbows, and a "Pacemaker" support weapon.The new arsenal is a far cry from his traditional bow and arrow.

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