At some warehouse out in the industrial area of the city sat two guys inside a poorly-lit office looking over excel spreadsheets on some tablets. They were the founders of one of the first fluffy factories in the area, however as the initial fluffy breeder boom that came after the Georgia incident was petering out these two were going through some rough times. They didn't know it yet but they were about to come up with one of the biggest ideas in the fluffy business.
And one that would become a classic case of industrial fluffy suffering...
"Just give it straight to me John, how fucked are we?"
"Well Andy considering our burn-rate, the current price situation, the subpar breeders we got..."
"Dude, just say it"
"We got like 2 months of runway before bankruptcy, tops"
"Jesus fuck! seriously? 2 months? It took me two years to set this up, and thats not even counting when I started breeding fluffies on my garage"
"Yes well things have changed didn't they? how much did we get for a regular foal back then?"
".....$20....MSRP, we actually get like 3 bucks from the store"
"That's the problem Andy, it doesn't takes an accountant to see that our product went down in price drastically while costs are at least the same. I honestly have never seen anything get as discounted as fluffies have"
"Yeah, Hasbio really knew their shit when they had a monopoly right? the things breed like crazy so eventually even a home-breeder like me was able to set up a mill, and now we got a fluffy factory riiiight when prices took a nose dive. FML"
"Well it was to be expected, ever since these fluffies got out of Hasbio's hands everyone and their uncle has been trying to get into the breeding business. And with a shitty economy and automation going rampant a lot of people got into this just to survive. I mean think about it, how many of our employees are ex-truckers who got fired when self-driving trucks arrived? that wasn't a problem 10 years ago."
"We need to come up with a solution, how about setting up a store?"
"With what money Andy? we need to think smaller, how about selling them online and shipping them?"
"No way, tried it before and they die, fragile as fuck and broken by all. Stores don't care if they order 200 foals and 10 or 20 die, but consumers do care when they open the box and the one fluffy they ordered is a rotting pile of gore and fluff."
"Yeah and shipping can be as much as the cost of the foal. Better shipping is simply too expensive, I either get the stores to cut the middleman or get my own robo-trucks for the same reason, else I'm getting peanuts for these shitrats since I don't have any distribution of my own"
"I get it Andy I get it, let me think of something..."
"Maybe a fluffy truck? like a food-truck but foals instead of burgers, sell the things on the streets?"
"I don't know if it would be legal.......wait I got something!"
"What is it John?"
"Alright so like a month ago I took my kids to the county fair, had them over the weekend and wanted to do something fun before handing them to my bitch of an ex"
"We went to the games..."
"What this have to do with fluffies man?"
"I'm getting there! jeez..."
"Alright my bad"
"So at those games, you know the usual ring toss, darts and that crap, they were giving foals instead of toys. They came inside these flimsy transparent plastic take out boxes. People loved that shit, kids in particular wanted to play the damn dart game just to get a fluffy foal in a box. What's funny is that the foal was the cheapest prize, there were more expensive plushtoys to win but people for some reason wanted the foal more."
"Maybe its a gimmick?"
"Maybe it is I don't know, my point is why can't we make the same? just package a foal and sell it like that. People loved seeing the little foals jumping around inside the boxes and pleading for a new mummah or daddeh. Kids were crazy over the things."
"I don't think stores would like to sell those foals instead of placing them in pens and cages as usual. The box has less visibility and will take extra space."
"Fuck the stores then! they are the ones getting the lion's share of our profits when we do all the work breeding and feeding these shitrats!"
"John like you said we simply don't have enough money to set up our own stores, retail is really expensive"
"Then what if instead of stores we sold these things with vending machines? We can put them anywhere and sell directly to customers, get rid of the middleman."
"So like a candy machine? I don't know, how we keep the foals there for so long?"
"Look we already use plugs when we have to ship these things by freight so they wont die from living around their own shit. Some get a ruptured colon and die but those are way less than the ones that would die from diseases if they were surrounded by their poo. Point is we shove them in a box or can of sorts with the plug and one of those formula nipples that we put on the shipping crate so they can feed"
"You know now that I think about it this could work. Shelf-life should be two weeks give or take"
"That's the spirit! now, where can we get a vending machine..."
"What, like right now?"
"Dude we are about to lose everything!"
"Good point, there is one in the employee lounge past the breeding pens"
"Alright lets go, bring something to carry it"
"Don't worry I think it has wheels"
John and Andy went straight to the machine, on their way there they walked through aisles full of tiny wooden pens that where knee high. Each had a mare with its foals or a dam just about to give birth, the rest of the fluffies at the warehouse lived inside tiny cramped cages alongside the walls. They only got out for monthly checkups or 'speshul huggies'. Mares went to the pens when they were about to give birth since they could barely move inside the cages let alone have their foals without risk of crushing the product. Sure it wasn't that efficient to have so much floor space wasted on pens that weren't always occupied and Andy wanted to move to milkbags like other breeders were doing but he had already spent too much money on autofeeders for the cages so he didn't have to pay more employees to keep the shitrats from starving. And besides they had more stock than they could move at the time so production rates weren't an issue.
As they pushed the vending machine back to the offices John could hear some of the mares waking up and asking for sketties and toys. They were going to get none of that, the company couldn't afford such luxuries. Next week they were going to start copying some of the bigger factories and start "recycling" the dead fluffies to feed the living ones and save on kibble costs. A breeder down in florida found out that unlike cows and sheep fluffies don't get spongiform encephalopathy from eating fluffy meat. Nobody knew why specially not Hasbio since they had never intended to use their once super-expensive biotoys as kibble filler, but then again a lot of mammals didn't get prion disease either. With prices for foals going lower and lower breeders were on a race to the bottom so all strategies were being considered.
"Alright here it is" said Andy as they set the old vending machine in the middle of the office. It was an old as hell model, probably older than he and John were. It didn't have any of the fancy things newer units do, barely a coin slot and a money scanner. Some fake wood vinyl on the sides, a keypad to enter the number of what you wanted and the door on the bottom to get whatever junk food you just bought. The machine hadn't been refilled in a while and only had a few snackbars left which Andy quickly removed after opening the machine with the master key.
"Ok so we have to do this cheap, no custom crap since we can't afford it right now, any ideas John?"
"Well I was thinking we could use jars, those are cheap"
"Good idea, shall we test it? we need to know if foals can survive the fall" said Andy right before turning around and going back to the pens.
"Whu? wha daddeh wan? fwuffy so sweepy! hav nummie-EEEEEE! NU TAEK BABBEH!"
Andy plucked a brown earthie filly from the purple mare, a cheap foal since he wasn't going to risk a more valuable one for this.
"CHIRP! NUU! WAN MUMMAH! WAN MUMMAAAAH!" yelled the little filly, already a talkie babbeh with yellow eyes open wide and crying.
"Aight lets do this! hand me the jar!"
"Wait I didn't make holes on the lid..."
"Don't worry man its only going to be inside for a minute tops"
Andy then threw the filly inside the jar, it wasn't easy as the filly was no newborn and the jar wasn't that big. Besides the filly kept trying to climb back out until John flicked it on the nose.
"HUUU! smew-pwace huwties!" said the filly holding its snout as John placed the lid and closed the jar, then placed it inside the machine and closed the window.
"Ready, lets try this"
"Okay, inserting coins.....right select..A...1. Done" said Andy
The machine started whirring as the coil in the A-1 slot moved pushing the jar with the filly inside forward.
The jar falls........and it explodes on impact at the bottom of the machine. The filly's body is now a mess of bloody glass shards yet it stays silence for a few moments out of the shock until it finally reacts...
"SCREEEEEEEEEEEEEE! WOWSTEST HUWTIES! HEWP! MUMMAAAAAAH"
"Oh fuck! just kill it quick!" said Andy
"Its full of glass in there! I'm not cutting my hand over a broken shitrat bro..." said John
*haf *haf* "EEEEEEEEEEEEeeeeeeeeeee..."
"Screw it, its dying out already. So what we do now?"
"Gonna need some extra padding in there, and better jars"
"Forget jars, we obviously can't use anything with glass else the impact is gonna kill them"
"Maybe we could make a business out of that, people paying to see foals get glassed? lots of fluffy abuse sites popping out lately"
"Nah man too creepy, but we need something different, maybe plastic"
"You know we could use pneumatic tube capsules, those aren't that expensive and can take quite a beating."
"Now that's a good idea! too bad we don't have any of those here"
"We can buy some around town tomorrow"
"Tomorrow it is then, I have a good feeling about this man!"
"You think we might be able to save the company?"
"Save it? John we're gonna make a killing with this! trust me"