Stuck On: Cloud Nests
Clouds don’t get bored easily, but when they do they build nests.
Developed by manifold species since the creation of your universe (Universe 7C), most nanobot swarms share certain characteristics:
- They are sentient.
- They are fast, reliable, and unless they’re shoddily built – like the cloud that installed kitchen appliances on the roof of the Afterthought – they obey orders.
- They remain at the same job they were created for, either because of programmed restrictions that can't be removed or – like the ones on Stuck Station – because of a sense of duty to a greater ideal.
- They don’t need payment or rest.
- They only ask for a few minutes off every century for vacation time to “expand their horizons.”
However, after eons and eons, some clouds become … eccentric. They develop odd habits, bizarre hobbies, and harmless mental disorders.
And they build nests.
Because it takes a long time for a cloud to become bored, the number of recorded nest sightings can be counted on one hand -- if you’re a species with 237 fingers per hand.
A cloud may begin to build nests when it has reached, at a minimum, 67 million years of age.
In each recorded sighting, the cloud nest varies in size and color, but each nest takes the shape of a tree made of glowing geometric shapes.
Cloud nests are also rare because they don't last long.
As soon as any other intelligent lifeform observes the nest for longer than 30 minutes or moves within a few feet of the nest's outer exterior, the structure falls apart.
Scientists don't know why clouds demolish their nests or why clouds build them in the first place.
There are several theories, but most of the theories are boring.