Lisa’s bed is made out of clouds. It was expensive, and she had to agree to mow the lawn every weekend before her parents bought it for her. But it’s worth it. She’s never slept better. Her grades have improved. Her skin has cleared up. People talk to her in the halls at school. She’s writing a letter to the company that makes the bed. She hopes they will excerpt it in their ads. If she can help one other girl get this bed, she’ll be that much happier.
The location of the cloud farm is a secret. Roxy had to sign an NDA before she was even allowed to the site. She knows that she’d violate the NDA if she ever received an offer. It’s hard work, and the pay is just barely enough to live off of. Clouds are sticky, and wearing gloves dries out her hands. The catwalks wobble constantly, and between that and the smell (like sugar mixed with lightning), she always has a mild sense of vertigo. But unlike the factory she used to work at, it’s quiet, and she’s allowed to listen to podcasts while she works. She hates to admit that it’s probably the best job she ever had. But that doesn’t make it a good job.
The purpose of Project Cumulous is to remove the need for naturally produced clouds. Not only will we be able to cut back on the number of harvesters and other associates, but it will allow for greater diversity in product. Currently, we have to maintain separate facilities for different types of clouds. Pink fluffy clouds, like we use for the CloudSleeper, must be kept separated from the dark storm clouds we use for our weapons division. Using the Project Cumulous process, we create what is essentially a blank cloud. Only in the final stages do we add the necessary ingredients for cloud diversification. We expect the process to be completed within 5 years, though we strong believe that the work could reach a prompter conclusion with the additional budget we’ve requested. Please see attached pages.
It’s not hard. I mean, you gotta be careful. You fuck it up, and things go boom, so don’t fuck it up. But you’ve met Lem, and if that guy can handle it, well, you really want to be the guy who makes Lem look good? So, the first step is removing the clouds from the bed. Other guys have that handled, they’ll put it into one of these cannisters. They’ll bring the cannisters to you. The cannisters go write on the stove. You gotta get it up to a boil. Once it’s there, add this stuff. No, I don’t know what it is. You don’t need to know either. It’s just the stuff. You tell anybody ‘I need more stuff’ they’ll know what you need. The stuff lowers the temperature, so you need to bring it to a boil again. Let it boil for 10 minutes. Set up the cold-water bath during those 10 minutes. Then use the tongs to drop the cannister into the cold-water bath. Simple.
A new street drug called Cl0ud has been invading our city. Are your children on Cl0ud? Here are some signs to look out for. Cl0ud gives the user a euphoric sensation. Anything that suggests that your teenager is not in the midst of emotional turmoil, could be a sign. Are they smiling? Do they seem happy to see you? When you ask about their day, do they tell you? Have they started wearing colors? Do they whistle while doing homework or chores? These are all warning signs. If your child or teen is exhibiting any of these signs, please call the number provided.
Greta has been placing notes around the house. We find them in the medicine cabinet, taped to the coffee maker, slipped among the mail in envelopes addressed to us. The notes include “fun facts” about Cloudsleeper beds. One included terms for a loan, she calculates interest on how much she’ll pay us back if we buy her the bed. It’s cute, and annoying. One includes a testimonial from a girl named Lisa who lists all the benefits since she got one. My wife tells Greta we’ll look into it, and Greta is so excited, I know it’s already a done deal.