Fluffy Cloud Enterprises
Fluffy Cloud Enterprises (Officially Cloud Enterprises, LLC), is one of the largest private weapons manufacturers in the Known Worlds, producing arms for both the Alliance and Foundation. Fluffy Cloud has factories in multiple dimensions and owns many subsidiaries in multiple industries. Though arms and munitions are their primary focus, the company is quite diverse.
The company got its start during the Kamian Succession Wars, making nine-millimeter ammunition for the Gudersnipe Foundation. Leonard Carrington, the company founder, already had an extensive background in large-scale manufacturing, and invested most of his fortune in the largest factory ever built. He was able to make more bullets, cheaper, and at a higher quality than Foundation-owned factories. Located adjacent to a GATE hub, his factory easily sent bullets all over.
Because of their high quality, the Alliance started buying Leonard's bullets as well, and he quickly opened a second factory, followed by six more in three years. By then, one out of every fifty bullets fired from the standard-issue handguns used by 90% of the soldiers came from one of his factories.
As the war progressed, Leonard's company branched out into other areas. The Foundation was a good customer as they used only three standardized bullet-sizes, and the Cloud Enterprises factories were extremely proficient at turning out massive quantites. The Alliance was a little pickier and used dozens of different types of ammunition, so Cloud simply started building their guns.
The company would build guns, ammunition, storage boxes, ammo containers, and even knives, and distribute them en masse. Arms for an entire battalion could be be delivered in a single shipping container. The Alliance enjoyed this modularized approach so much that they began awarding the company contracts to make other equipment. By the end of Leonard Carrington's life, his company and its subsidiaries were making a third of the field equipment used by Alliance forces, and selling even more to coalition troops.
Leonard was a keen businessman, and while he borrowed money many times in order to expand, he always paid it back promptly, and ended up dying as the sole owner of the entire company. He passed this along to his daughter, Henremai Carrington, who had been heavily involved in her father's buisness dealings for the past twenty years.
Henremai forsaw the end of the war and took steps to diversify the company. She was the first to order vehicles and larges pieces of hardware. Her strategy was to keep the company producing weapons to meet the massive demand, but to shift into other areas whereby the factories could easily produce consumer goods.
Of course, the war did not end in Henremai's lifetime, so Cloud Enterprises simply morphed into a more diverse version of Weapons-'R'-Us. When Henremai retired, she passed stewardship of the company to her younger brother, Pattington Carrington. Pattington believed it would be best to find skilled businessmen, place them in charge of the subsidiaries, and let them handle things. This worked out well, as the company saw its greatest expansion and diversification under his leadership.
Pattington also took the company into another new direction: research and development. Previously, Cloud had been focused entirely on winning contracts and simply manufacturing items designed by other people on an extremly massive scale. This worked out well for the bulk of the company; but Pattington felt his grandfather's vision could be better realized if the company designed things on its own.
Pattington therefore assembled a team of engineers and businessmen, and toured his grandfather's massive factories, where the company had developed many new techniques and systems to achieve the high rates of production, and Pattington's team worked to identify, patent, and perfect these systems. There were concepts that only worked on the extremely massive scale of Cloud's production, and new ideas that might not have been considered anywhere else. Under Pattington's direction, production was increased two-to-seven fold.
Pattington's own son, Marcus Carrington, would eventually succeed his father, and brought Cloud's most notorious product to market: armored mecha.
By the end of the Succession Wars, Cloud Enterprises had diversified enough to have little trouble adapting to the disarmament. Unprofitable subsidiaries had been sold off, and the remaining company had enough orders to stay in business. They were still the number-one ammunition manufacturer in the known worlds.
Stewardship of the corporation would eventually fall to Cloud Carrington, who was named for the company. Cloud often prefixed the "Fluffy" to the company name to differentiate it from himself, and the name stuck.