The Legend of Cloud Niners
You'll get a glimpse of Satoshi's 2nd or 3rd cousin (from here on out referred to as his pilot call sign: Boomship) every now and then, but he's an elusive one. He doesn't like to draw too much attention to himself, but the crazy part is that there's a good possibility that you've seen him or interacted with him and not even known it. There's way more to this man's story, like his excitement for the Taco Bell Mexican Pizza to finally make a comeback. We didn't want to include everything, but we'd like to think that we've pulled together a decent synopsis. There's more out there… You just have to explore.
Someday we'll try to record Ryan Reynolds reading this aloud and it can be a bedtime story for your grandkids. Until then, you'll just have to imagine Mr. Reynolds sitting in the Faramaz bar tucked secretly in Tokyo… He sips some overly well-placed label out at a ¾ angle Aviation gin, he opens up a leather-bound notebook that he found while hiking Mt. Fuji in search of someone that cares about what Mint Mobile is….
And begins to read:
CLOUD NINE: A feeling of well-being, happiness, and/or euphoria.
Cloud Niners was born from this feeling and wanting to help others experience it more often.
-The Boomship
Have you ever been stuck in a place that felt like it wasn't for you, a place you mentally didn't think you could escape from? Satoshi's 2nd cousin (Aviator call sign: Boomship) felt that way for a long time. Back when he was growing up, you'd need a microscope to find his self-esteem level. He always felt like an outsider in his hometown. Unfortunately living in that little town in the middle of nowhere with his mom and golden retriever “Hemingway” is all he knew. The idea of “getting out of your comfort zone” never really crossed his mind. Even if it did, he'd made a promise to his father that he'd do everything he could to take care of his mom so staying close to home was just always a part of the unspoken plan. His mom was a big believer in finding happiness and the feeling of “Cloud Nine” in even the smallest things. As long as Boomship can remember, his mom was trying to teach him to live with that mantra. It helped him make it through some hard days.
When he wasn't bouncing between shitty jobs trying to keep food on the table (Hemingway eats a lot), he and his close frens spent their time making skate videos or building rockets to launch in the back yard. Counter Culture was something he and his friends lived at the time without realizing it. Even if he did have a Gonzo Fist poster up on his wall. Boomship wasn't a natural leader, but he certainly was the sarcastic comedy relief. His love for messing with people is evident in their old skate videos. Just know that, if he teases you, that's a pretty good sign that he at least thinks you're cool.
Although they never went “pro”, all that time shooting/editing skate and snowboard videos over the years paid off in an unexpected way. He and his 2nd cousin (Before being known as Satoshi Nakamoto) used to tinker around with upgrading their computers to help make video editing easier. Oh, and this little side experiment called Bitcoin - ya ever heard of it? The two of them transferred tens of thousands of BTC back and forth as a way to test transactions on this new network and the name Satoshi Nakamoto was born. Imagine mining thousands of Bitcoin for pennies back in 2010 — yeah we beat ourselves up about missing that boat too. Over the next few years, the price of Bitcoin actually started to rise as it caught on throughout the dark web.
The dark web can be a scary place full of deception. One time, Satoshi had gotten robbed and beaten up pretty badly while trying to buy a grenade (yeah, it's a whole other story) for one of their skate videos. He was stranded near Canada with no way to get home. Satoshi obviously couldn't tell his parents so he called his favorite cousin for help. Boomship grabbed the cash he had hidden under the mattress and went straight to the local airport. All that enthusiasm was great, but he'd barely ever left town in a car, let alone flown on an airplane! Imagine showing up to the airport for the first time without even knowing what your destination is… Our little fish-out-of-water managed to put the pieces together and rescue his cousin. The whole trip was an intense mix of excitement and fear, but this first flight experience opened up a whole new perspective for Boomship. He'd fallen in love with the idea of flying. Just ask him what super power he wishes for.
Now, here we are nearing the end of 2013 and BTC breaks over $1,000/coin. Boomship sells 1,000 of them. The first thing he did was make good on the promise he'd made to his father and bought his mom a new house. He also did the same thing most high school seniors would buy… “a braaaand new car”. In his case, an Porsche 991 GT3. This was a big step up as he could finally use his senior parking pass on something better than his 3 speed bmx. Six months later he graduates high school in the summer of 2014. His mom promptly kicks him out (in a loving baby bird leaving the nest sort of way). You've seen it right? Where the bird just kicks the baby out when it's time to “fly birdie, fly.” Where did the little baby bird and his puppy Hemingway fly? The thriving metropolis of Des Moines, Iowa. (or Kansas City — again, we're piecing this together from what we've gathered over the years.)
With a fat bank account, Porsche, and living on (almost) his own for the first time, this was quite the change of pace for our guy. It was exhilarating and the first glimpse of how breaking out of his comfort zone gave him a new version of the Cloud Nine feeling. Boomship now finds himself hanging out with all sorts of self-appointed important people of Des Moines and even a few elusive influencers. They were all going to restaurants that don't have a drive-thru (except Taco Bell), staying at the bowling alley after hours, and even walking around the mall dressed in the latest trendy fashions. All of this new excitement caused Boomship to develop an expensive champagne and tequila habit, not that we've ever complained. The problem he began to realize, was that these new “friends” of his kind of sucked. They liked when he paid for things and had no problem flaunting his money around to impress the town, but they had this ironic talent of emotionally cutting him down to build themselves up. It started off as a joke because he was the new guy to the group, but the hazing never really went away. Not all of them were terrible mind you. His buddy Jeremey from flight school is still pretty cool in an absurd Chris Farley kind of way. I'm sure we'll hear more about him down the road.
So here he is again feeling like he's stuck in place he doesn't want to be. If the mediocrity of his routine, crummy weather, and no real sense of purpose wasn't enough, the toxic relationships, bullies, and fake mfers (that part would be good if it was read by Samuel L. Jackson, but we still like Ryan Reynolds… Aviation Gin) sure was enough to drive anyone a little nuts. The feeling of Cloud Nine that he had when he first moved there had begun to fade. Finally he snapped after his “friend” Andrew made a drunken scene while out on the town and publicly humiliated him. They were supposed to be celebrating Boomship getting his pilot's license, Andrew is Canadian and always “out for a rip,” which is just a bad justification for treating people poorly. Total red flag. So late into the night, after a smoke break where he put a dart out on The Boomship's new jacket, Andrew climbed on top of the table of the restaurant. He screamed at Boomship in front of everyone: “You're a loser who hides behind everyone including your cousin Sartoshi of whatever. Seriously WTF is Bitcoin anyways. How about I make something called 'shitcoin' and we can mint them in public bathrooms just like your mo…….” Unfortunately, he was cut off at that, we all love mom jokes but there's a line. Also, Andrew is saying this to our boy who, during his 4 week stint working the McDonalds drive-thru, put 11 chicken nuggets in every 10 piece McNuggets meal. That's pretty legend status in our book, but… Anyway, 'ol Andrew wasn't tooootally wrong about everything. There were some good points woven into his otherwise incoherent rant that luckily served as a bit of a wakeup call.
One of his childhood best friends, McKinley, invited him to come hang out in Nicaragua and blow off steam. But that was way too far away. His mom wouldn't let him move back in with her and staying in Des Moines seemed like a dumb idea. The Boomship was again stuck in what he thought was a never-ending circle. His love of flight still lingered in his thoughts, but it always just felt like a cool hobby rather than a potential career. Life was comfortable and just the right amount of predictable, like Groundhog's Day … but the calendar actually changed. It was 2017 now and he'd turned 21 not long ago, which opened up a whole new set of possibilities when it came to a social life. This stuck was a new type, and happy hour was the light at the end of the tunnel every day.
Boomship asked himself - “Who cares about a nobody from small town nowhere? Could I actually do something special?” Probably not. But being happy for one hour a day never really sat well with our man. It seemed that every day he was emotionally stuck and only falsely letting loose during the so called happy hour.
We all have a pivotal moment in our lives that we can identify as the catalyst for a new path taken. This was it for him. He wasn't going to be stuck and stand behind anyone else. He was going to jump into the unknown. It was autumn 2017 and he'd just sold another one thousand of his BTC as the price was mooning harder than Buzz Aldrin's right hook! So he finished his last drink in the smokey room with the smell of wine and cheeeap perfuuuume. He took the midnight train going aaaaanywheeeeere. (yes we know that's not how the song goes, but it feels so right). So .. Dooont stop belieeeeeving … okay we will stop now. .. and it goes on and on and …..CUT! (Jeremey steps in) …. For the Looove of god!
Fueled by his love of Hunter S. Thompson and Gonzo journalism, he sold all of his stuff including the Porsche and the apartment. But not his desk, we still don't know why he is soooo attached to that desk. He found the desk at an estate sale years ago. It was weathered, a little beat up, but sturdy. The dark wood and steel stood invoked a sense of history and fortitude when you looked at it. He loved that desk and always felt like he drew creativity out of him when he sat down. Okay, so maybe we do know.
Talking in the quintessential dog voice* “Hey Hemingway, should we fly commercial or charter a private jet?” Hemingway of course ran around like a psycho with excitement when given the choice and of course giving ZERO answers to the question. Neither of them had ever flown in real style before! Imagine all the doggy treats, champagne, and tequila (once again we are not complaining!). Plus private jets kinds of planes ever. So that was that. He invited a group of his worst friends (Andrew included) to a “quaint hangar party” at the local private airport. As expected from any Concourse De Elegance style event they had jets, fancy cars, loooots of booze, one of those cool champagne pyramids, and of course an up-and-coming local DJ influencer. We won't talk too much about how the night went but the only person willing to go on record for this part was a flight attendant. She said that nearing the end of the night, Boomship popped a bottle of champagne, sprayed it everywhere, yelled “BYYYYYIIEE” and hopped on the jet. As expected everyone was stunned, except Andrew, no one likes Andrew anyways. We can't imagine how it felt as Boomship watched their faces out the window as he taxied away. He and the pup were finally off. And Andrew was walking home that night because all of his tires we “mysteriously” flat.
Ok, ok, now we're getting to the good stuff. How the pinche does this story relate to the NFT collection?
Boomship wasn't sure what to expect when he got to Nicaragua. McKinley was working in a small town outside of the capital city of Managua where he was building water wells to help provide clean water to the community. Boomship's newpilot license came in quite handy as he could help McKinley transport materials much more quickly from other parts of the country. It was hard manual labor, but feeling like he was making a difference to a community of people was his new Cloud Nine. Plus the food was good, he got jacked from all the physical labor, Hemingway had made some friends with the local dogs, and the lifestyle was a welcomed change after Des Moines.
Boomship asked himself - “Who cares about a nobody from small town nowhere? Could I actually do something special?” Probably not. But being happy for one hour a day never really sat well with our man. It seemed that every day he was emotionally stuck and only falsely letting loose during the so called happy hour.
One day, he emerged from the depths of the well to see Luna, a photographer documenting their process. Her beautiful dark skin, piercing eyes, and the way her personality commanded the room stopped him in his tracks. This was a bit awkward because he was completely covered in mud, which ruined her picture of Hemingway. She said “Your dog looks so majestic.” And he responded with “you too.” Good one pal. Good one. She was a documentarian and traveled the world for assignments, but was staying in Nicaragua for a month or two. Of course, she would need a place to work while she was there. So Boomship offered up his beloved desk, which was looking even more distressed after bouncing around in the belly of the plane. In addition to his normal daily routine, he became a professional at manufacturing reasons to spend time with Luna. Needless to say, Boomship ended up staying in Nicaragua for much longer than anticipated, and even Hemingway began to reluctantly approve.
A few months later, upon completion of The Great McKinley well (version 9), it was time for a bitter sweet goodbye. The bitterest of the bittersweet goodbyes was when Luna left weeks prior for Antarctica to document polar bears for an endangered species awareness campaign. #friendzoned.
Boomship was feeling energized from his time in Nicaragua and decided to visit Europe. His mission was immersion and to get in the thick of it with the locals. It wasn't about staying at the Ritz and going to the touristy places, although he may or may not have stayed at them from time to time. After all, they usually have a lavish pillow menu and you never know who you'll meet while waiting for that extra fancy “road soda” in the lobby speakeasy. It didn't happen overnight, but he was practicing saying “Yes” to opportunities when they came up. Not in a Jim Carrey “Yes Man” sort of way… he still had to have some reservations. He talked to people. He was kind, curious, and helpful whenever possible. He never lost his sarcasm and affinity for messing with people though. Which brings us to an important point - Don't be fooled into thinking his travels were all easy peasy. American sarcasm doesn't always translate in foreign countries and this was a recipe for some pretty wild stores. His Flight Log can prove that. Many of which should probably be redacted … You wouldn't believe half of what's in there. We can confirm that Boomship never left anyone he was with behind, no matter how deep they were!
*Side Note*
Most of his Flight Log entries contain more than just the route that the plane took. They also contain stories that tell of the debauchery along this whole journey. Woven throughout the stories are clues that help Cloud Niners NFT holders get closer to uncovering the mystery behind The Legend Of Cloud Niners. As you solve some of these clues, you'll unlock rewards. Rewards come in all shapes and sizes including a chance to re-live (virtually or IRL) some of Boomship's coolest experiences.
Bouncing around Europe, he saw some pretty cool things. London taught him that a fine champagne should always be enjoyed and never sprayed in a refined private lounge. Greece showed him how to set sail from island to island in search of the perfect olive oil to make his mom's spanakopita recipe. Italy proved to him that le tute di moda italiana su misura sono le migliori, and French showed him la vie commence apres la premiere tasse de café. The Flight Log shows us that the plane then ventured toward the Middle East and was parked for a short stint in Dubai. This is where Boomship got roped into skydiving with a guy whose nickname was “Porcupine” over the Burj Kalifa. Whew! And who could overlook all the exotic cars? Did you know that in Dubai, the fewer numbers/letters that you have on your license plate, the more it's worth? In this land of abundance, a Lambo with a 10-digit license plate is nothing compared to a Toyota Camry with a single digit plate. After all we all want one of the first few mints of each NFT collection right?.
Another few weeks of this and then it'd be time to continue west .. wait maybe south .. could be North... once again we don't really know. There are some missing pages from the Flight Log.
We were able to piece together the story again as he traveled to Costa Rica, Columbia, Chile, and then to the remote village of Jericoacara Brazil. We've heard that he'd go back just for a meal at Casa B&B. After seeing the pictures, we don't blame him. Time moves differently in Brazil. Things escalated quickly and a month flew by in the blink of an eye. One morning, The Boomship was sitting on top of the sand dunes with his new Friend, Caio. They were watching the sun come up over the ocean. It may or may not have been because they were still awake from the night before, but that's beside the point. The Boomship was writing down one of his recent stories in the Flight Log and realized that he'd forgotten to slow down and pay attention to the lesson his mom had taught him. Find your feeling of Cloud Nine in everything you do. The time he'd spent traveling the world was magical. He'd made such great friends on each of his stops even if he'd only been there for a short period of time. He'd found disjointed community of cool people from all over. “AAAAAAHHHH HAHAHAHA!” Contrasting Boomship's deep reflective moment, Caio was rolling down the sand dunes attempting to find the keys to the 6x6 G-Wagon they “borrowed.”
Boomship's phone was on 6% and 1 bar of service as always, but managed to pull a text in the middle of a desert. It was Luna. “Ushuaia and chill?” the first message read. Followed up by “LOL, but for real I have a week off here and it would be fun to see you.” For those of you who do not know, Ushuaia Argentina is nicknamed “end of the world” for being the world's most southern city. Also that text thread may fall under the category of; “Says no one ever!”
A few flights later and possibly a pit stop in Ho Chi Minh (more on that in the flight log), there they were; Boomship, Luna, and fucking Hemingway enjoying a pint in a pub in Ushuaia, Argentina. He was freezing his balls off while wondering why the region they were in was called Terra Del Fuego! Either way he was enjoying every minute of it. Luna wanted to photograph penguins, so they were on the hunt for a charter to take them to the islands dotted along the Beagle Channel where they lived. They also heard of some random village on an island that had the last living Yahgans (original inhabitants of the land)!
His bumbling un poquito Españo got them on a boat, but it was shared with some Americans. Boomship and Luna didn't travel all the way to the “End Of The World” to spend the day with some stupid Americans. Turns out, they were far from stupid. All but one anyway. They were a film crew and they were producing a TV series that starred Astronaut REDACTED. The rest of the group consisted of the Astronauts crazy manager (now known as The Astronaut wrangler), a couple of camera guys that were cool, and a photographer who was total dick. Boomship and Luna found it fascinating to talk with the Astronaut — He had incredible stories and was so Down to Earth. How cool is that to make friends with someone who has ACTUALLY gone to the Moon?! Did you know that a Space Shuttle creates Plasma when it re-enters Earth's atmosphere …. F*cking Plasma. Boomship and Luna found it very inspiring to talk with people who were doing such incredible things with their talents.
Guess who felt Imposter syndrome. It can be a deep hole that's hard to climb out of. Here Boomship had escaped the confines of his small home town to be on a boat off the southernmost tip of the world with Luna the brilliant documentarian, a f*cking Astronaut, BBC film crew, and a useless dick of a photographer that was more worried about the next pub than anything else. They talked about real issues and their contributions to society were apparent. Now Boomship has a lot of amazing stories to tell (and he's good at telling them), but it's easy to feel insignificant when you can't keep up in the conversation. He felt like the experience was a complete waste of an opportunity to grow.
Maybe Andrew was right? Maybe he was only there because he stood behind his 2nd cousin and was just a lottery winner with no real value. Coming off the party infused blur that Brazil had been, it was hard to find the same sense of purpose he'd gained while in Nicaragua. Overall, the past few years had been epic, which fueled his passion for flight and adventure. But what good is it if it didn't make any sort of impact? Maybe it was time to throw in the towel and head back to the small town where he belonged.
But this was not before Boomship pulled one of his normal “tenancies” he's well known for… Messing with people. On the last night in Ushuaia, it was time to teach the asshole photographer who had crossed more than the “allowable” line with Luna, a lesson. As the story goes, Boomship and the other camera guys from the BBC crew waited for the photographer to pass out in his usual spot at the lobby bar. They knew he'd be waking up in a groggy/pissy state, which was the best time to get him. Endless laughs and maybe a few to many socialgram worthy photos later; Boomship had wrapped all of the photographer's gear in saran wrap. Then they taped them together to form the shape various animals and even added funny “accessories.” Lastly, they put them on display throughout the lobby of the hotel. It was a great ending and another incredible trip complete with some new friends.
The plan was to board his G650 and fly all the way back to the Midwest the next morning.
And that probably would have been where this all ended if Boomship's mom didn't do what all good mom's do in this type of situation. She told him to pull his head out of his ass and remember that he's come so far from the quiet, insecure boy he once was and that he's destined for some kind of greatness. Despite the much needed mom pep-talk, Boomship was still sulking. And ignoring a text from Luna to join on her next photo assignment in Taiwan. #confusedaboutthefriendzone. It took some maaajor convincing, some armchair therapy, and maybe a night out on the town with Jeremy that we're not allowed to talk about (Hemingway may have some insight), but our boy was ready to break out of the comfort zone once again. Flight might have been his first love, but Luna was… Luna. Boomship + Hemingway = Back on the plane. Time for more cowbell. Sitting in the comforts of the Global 8000 Express, Boomship screamed “Xiao long bao here we come!”
It's hard to believe that the plane was able to land in Taipei. You'd think all the butterflies in his stomach would have made the plane float away. Not to mention a few things on the plane that may or may not violate international treaties. During the trip, it was starting to feel like there may be something real with Luna. While riding the Maokong Gondola, they met an amazing couple from Taipei who gave them some restaurant recommendations that were best for “couples.” Both Boomship and Luna looked at each other with a long pause… To break the awkward silence, Boomship invited their new friends to join for dinner. One thing turned into another and the four of them ended up on a full blown champagne and dumpling extravaganza. He didn't have a lot of experience with dumplings, but it's safe to say that he's obsessed with them now. It was an epic tour of duty as they probably stopped at ten dumpling houses throughout the city. The waitress from one of the restaurants said he was trying to put the soup filled Xiao long bao loose in his pocket as he walked claiming “its takeaway for my dog!” At around dumpling stop number 8 (or at champagne house 4, we aren't really sure), one of his new friends shared that he'd never left the country. “Whaaaaa?! Let's go to the Philippines! I have a plane that can take us right now!” Who cares that its 2am! All that practice of saying yes to new experiences had paid off. His younger self would have never in a million years suggested a trip like that. His younger self never would have guessed that he'd someday be cruising Taipei chugging dumplings with Champagne backs on a private plane full of strangers either.
Hemingway spent the flight to Manila chomping down some of the left over bao buns, so the late flight didn't bother him at all. The flight attendant says differently.
Short story now quite long, the group of overly stuffed degens woke up in Boracay as the sun started to rise over the expansive archipelago. Hemingway's tail wag furiously at the top of the stairs of their jet and the group stood haphazardly on the tarmac. There was a moment of pure bliss as they stopped to take it all in. It was hard not to laugh at the absurdity of it all and the smile on Luna's face when she looked at him… #Maybenotfriendzoneafterall
Even though he hadn't been in the same geographical location for very long over the past 2+ years, he felt happier and more at home than ever before. Almost every city he visited, the people he'd met along the way had welcomed him with open arms. So the irony was that he had to get out of his comfort zone by leaving what he'd always known to actually feel at home.
It all clicked into place. The Boomship had the answer to the questions he'd asked himself back in depressing Des Moines, “Who cares about a nobody from small town nowhere? Lots of people. Could I actually do something special?” No doubt about it.
He had figured it out. He could his love of flight/airplanes and storytelling to embody the feeling of Cloud Nine that he'd felt while on adventures or even just something as simple as having a good laugh with friends. This combination could help push other people to break out of their comfort zone, and to bring people together from all around the world through a sense of community. Now obviously, we're talking about NFTs here and not actual planes, or are we!? But it's the idea that they represent and the encouragement to get out there and do cool shit. Boomship will help us along the journey so tear down your walls , build your own story, and find your community. Good chance they're somewhere else In the world looking for you as hard as you are looking for them.
And that's how Cloud Niners was born.
Now we have to figure out a way to put a tracker on the all-inspiring office desk that just magically pops up all over the world. Where will #Satoshiscousinsdesk go next?
Of course, the Cloud Niners collection lives on the Ethereum blockchain. Ether literally means: The clear sky; the upper regions of air beyond the clouds.