The Cloud originated from the government R&D complex that dealt with acquired alien tech, later identified as Big MT, located in a classified crater South of Hopeville/Ashton complex (The Divide) and between State Routes 127 and 88 that likewise connect to the Divide.
There they fabricated a gaseous version of a red crystal (Cloudium (g)) found only in the vicinity of Big MT. This gaseous version revealed properties of the crystal that were inert in its solid form. These properties were discovered in Big MT's test city, the Sierra Madre and its surrounding Villas.
These properties were put to experimentation in the year 2222 by a ghoul named Ever when he later investigated the Sierra Madre after digging up an invitation he received from Frederick Sinclair before the war and scattered rumors he heard about it whenever he traveled West.
If left un-checked, Cloudium (g) will deposit itself on any surface over time and accumulate, resulting in clogging and immobolizing open joints and cracks on the surface area of whatever it touches. It does not seem, however, to go deeper from a residue, becoming inert upon solidifying into Cloudium (s) (or its crystalline form). In its gaseous form, Cloudium can regularly interfere with natural body functions that can result in medical ailments if it comes in contact with human tissue, including the tissue of internal organs affecting most prominently of which the lungs.
Because of these properties Cloudium (g) is able to get past all forms of natural filters, including rebreathers of filtered CO2 and de-activated charcoal used in gas-masks.
Due to these properties, Cloudium (g) will harm any caught in it, but will not kill them beyond being coating with a light film of it, adopting a sort of glassy surface that easily flakes off taking whatever it was attached to with it.
Cloudium (g)'s composition and molecular re-activeness were never fully detailed until Ever enacted multiple experiments with it and discovered its secrets.
Upon several experiments with cloudium (g) it was determined that the source of its reactiveness wasn't in simple chemical reactions, but in controlled emissions of subatomic particles or radiation. The elemental make-up of cloudium in its solid form (Cloudium (s)) was that of a lattice crystal structure composed of heavy elements that would retain its shape by adhering to a strict pattern and a naturally occurring electro-magnetic field generated by the cystrals structure and composition in massive forms from their collected ions. Cloudium would become inert in its crystalline solid form due to its larger surface area to volume ratio with limited emissions from its stablized lattice in that state.
The source of energy of all Cloudium's reactions seem to come from direct usage of energy from the sun, not breaking it down and storing it into Adenotriphosphate (ATP) like plants, but instead directly using the sun's energy, refracting it virtually. Once it gets into cystalline form (Cloudium (s)), the amount of energy absorbed by the limited surface area for its acquired volume is used up generating its natural electro-magnetic field and not absorption of matter, accounting for its becoming inert upon entering that state. Cloudium can retain a charge from the sun for well over the course of the night, up to 10 hours, meaning that it would become inactive in times with lessened sunlight.
Converted into its gaseous form revealed that Cloudium would literally emit subatomic particles on its own, attributing it to a near-impossible natural phenomenon regarding biology and instable isotopes as a result of perhaps mutation or molecular assembly, being able to knock off subatomic particles of whatever it is it comes into contact with and incorporate it into its own design via its natural electro-magnetic field and into its cystalline-latice shape.
Ironically enough, these controlled emissions do not appear on lesser geiger-counters as the ion indication is disrupted by Cloudium's electro-magnetic field.
Attempts to medicinalize cloudium by Ever have yielded miraculous benefits.
When grafted into a live test-subject's anatomy, i.e. DNA or implanted reserves, Cloudium appears to adopt a symbiotic relationship with the body where in exchange for housing, Cloudium will absorb nutrients from the surroundings when exposed to its energy source, the sun, much in the same way Mycorizae helps plants absorb nutrients at the cost of some extra water except. Meaning that any changes made to the host's body, i.e. injury, is aided in nutrient acquisition for healing purposes by Cloudium's absorption properties. This means that cloudium, when symbiotically fused, can keep its host from dying under abnormal circumstances so long as the body remains in tact and has either direct contact with sunlight or reserves to fuel it. Since the Cloudium is stored within the body, it only expresses its properties when the host's internal flesh are exposed to light such as in case of injury.
- This is supported by the Ghost People's ability to rise from the dead from minor wounds (not getting maimed).
- It can also be deduced that the Courier's immunity to the Cloud after the events of Dead Money means that he/she may have undergone a symbiotic relationship with the Cloud although no healing properties are gained from the experiences gained at the Sierra Madre.
- Even the Sierra Madre Martini supports this claim, as the Cloud would absorb useful elements and nutrients the body needs and would concentrate them once consumed. Once consumed, Cloudium (aq) (particulate form) has little reserves of energy to assist in instantaneous nutrient absorption, being outside of direct sunlight, before it runs out of energy to do any more work.
According to Ever's logs, medicinalized cloudium is kept in a unknown location inside of an electro-magnetically sealed room. Those afflicted with the medicinal strain are unknown but it is undoubtedly certain that Ever himself afflicted himself with it... and those closest to him are not beyond suspicion of it either.
Behind the ScenesEdit
- Cloudium's likenesses and properties are identical to the fictional crystalline substance, Tiberium, that plays a central focus in Electronic Arts' Command and Conquer: Tiberium series.
- The Symbol used to designate Cloudium in Ever's electro-magnetically sealed room is a red version of Tiberium's Hazard symbol, furthering Cloudium's homage to it.