The runners met with Axel and the other six escapees from Project Kali (see report), who have started a bakery, Praetorian Pastries. The escaped Ares experimental subjects needed help with supplies for their bakery while they were setting up longer term supply contracts. They needed chocolate, coffee, mochi rice, and flour.
The team found the supplies, with a bit of mayhem on the way, and equipped the bakers with what they needed.
The Project Kali escapees are Axel, Widow, Chonk, Viper, Hellhound, Spook, and Ghost. They are permanently fused into their heavy armor, and carry heavy weapons. They are mentally linked. They brought some baking supplies with them from Madagascar. Once they escaped Ares and reached Seattle, they set up their bakery, Praetorian Pastries, on the edge of Marymoor Park in Touristville.
Legion was part of the team who helped them escape.
Each has their own specialty in the bakery. Axel makes the tea and coffee and other beverages. Widow makes the puff pastry, including croissants. Chonk makes mochi. Viper makes the breads. Hellhound makes the cakes. Ghost makes the pies. Spook makes the custards and also does the majority of the cleaning.
The bakery itself is set up so that the customer does not interact with any of the ex Ares subjects. There are digital vending devices. The customer orders and pays, and their meal is dispensed to them through a window in the machine.
The meet was at 9 am in the morning. Moth arrived first and ordered a croissant and a lavender tea. She found the croissant to be alright. Supermarket quality. Legion ordered the troll-sized croissant and coffee. Mission Control ordered the hot breakfast special which was a chocolate croissant. The coffee and chocolate were of noticeably excellent quality. The best ingredients from Madagascar.
Axel sent them a DNI inviting them back to the employees only area, where they got to see the seven men working on their bakery specialties. The men were still wearing their armor and carrying their heavy weapons, but using their lasers and hydraulics to good effect. Axel explained that they needed a few supplies to keep going while they negotiated more permanent supply contracts. The best quality chocolate and coffee could be acquired from Aztechnology. The best rice for mochi was imported by the Yakuza. The best flour was on a farm in Snohomish.
The runners agreed to help out. Though Moth was able to talk the subjects into paying them almost twice the original offer, they realized it would make it hard for the start-up business to survive and agreed to the original price (6,000 nuyen).
The newly dubbed Croissant Crew was ready for culinary supply acquisition.
Chocolate and Coffee
Mission Control did a tier 6 matrix search to learn where Aztechnology stored their chocolate and coffee supplies. He learned that a shipment of particularly good quality was coming in to the downtown Seattle docks, to a warehouse there, that evening. The team planned to physically scout the warehouse, to determine how the theft could best be managed. The team could see two guards at the front door, and that the warehouse was next door to an Aztechnology barracks. If anything went wrong, many more guards would appear.
Legion sent his fly spy to explore alternative exits/entrances. There was a sea gate, facing the dock, where small boats could sail in and unload their wares. The fly spy could get in through the sea gate, which was grate-style. It conveyed footage that showed that the gate did not extend all the way to the bottom of the inflowing water channel. Inside, there were no guards. There were cameras. The team considered several options involving coming in through the sea gate with diving equipment. Meanwhile, the fly spy camera feed went dark. Had they been discovered? Its other sensors were still working. There was a swallowing sound. And then it traveled up towards the rafters. It had been eaten by something! A bird? Legion was able with particularly keen driving skills to fly it back out of the bat's throat. As the fly spy fled the bat, it caught footage of another entrance as an automated forklift came in from an external loading area and picked up a pallet.
New plan! Mission Control had a data tap they could put on that forklift, and then Legion could take it over as a rigger and bring the pallets of chocolate and coffee out to the loading area, drawing no suspicion, since it was a routine activity there.
A well-disguised Moth noticed signs that the warehouse was open for tours to the public, and went in her journalist for Elf Tips at Ten persona, taking advantage of her press pass. She was able to learn that the shipment was bringing in a very valuable new Yucatan chocolate that Aztechnology was quite proud of. She was able to palm the data tap onto the forklift without getting caught. She confirmed the exact time of the shipment. They needed to do this job first, since it was so time sensitive.
They were ready for the heist!
Between Mission Control's matrix searching, and he and Moth's knowledge of syndicates, they were able to determine that a faction of the Yakuza was using a mochi store as a front to launder the money from their illegal operations. There were no less than six guards armed with katanas, sitting on the mochi rice.
The team considered several options, but there seemed to be no way to avoid a direct fight. They would need to be quick. Legion's Roadmaster could potentially breach the wall of the store room, and Mission Control had a pepper grenade that would help. Moth could make them Halloweener disguises since they would be seen, taking advantage of some increasing tension between the Halloweeners and Yakuza after a failed ham theft; see report. Would the Yakuza believe the Halloweeners were trying to show they were still valuable with a successful food-related heist, after the ham incident? It would at least keep them guessing, and not looking for runners for revenge.
Given that the pepper grenade would go off after one round, they would have a narrow window to remove the bags of rice safely to the Roadmaster before the grenade went off, messing with opfor, and making it hard to follow them.
They planned to hit this warehouse second. (Note: scouting of this site occurred after the Aztech heist was finished.)
This seemed to be the easiest objective. There was a warehouse in Snohomish, in a farming area, that did not look like it would have any guards.
It looked like they could just walk in and take it. They planned to hit this warehouse last.
Chocolate and Coffee
With the data tap in place, Legion jumped into the forklift and began the operation. He quickly reported that the forklift did not have visual scanning of its own. Mission Control sent in his eye spy to help guide. In order to avoid drawing attention, Legion had to both correctly drive the forklift and bring the sense of drone etiquette necessary that its movements would not seem unusual to guards with a camera feed. Likewise, Mission Control had to make it look like the eye spy was a part of usual operations.
Mission Control was able to scan the barcodes on the pallets so they took the correct ones. In the process, he discovered the chemical composition of the special chocolate. With his keen knowledge of chemistry, he realized that it was a very dark chocolate and would have mild addictive and aphrodisiac properties.
Mission Control and Moth helped teamwork Legion's etiquette so that the forklifts movements would not be noticed, and it proved to truly need the full effort of the three person Croissant Crew. Rarely had the three runners held their breath more, or been so on the edge of their seats, watching a plan come so very very close to disaster. But they succeeded! Barely!
The forklift's movements drew no attention. Legion was able to bring his Roadmaster up to the loading ramp, and they loaded up the chocolates and coffee and were on their way.
In the Roadmaster, Moth and Mission Control studied the chocolate. It was wrapped in ten pound bars, baking chocolate. But it was so intriguing! Surely they had enough for their johnsons, and could spare one bar. They unwrapped one bar, and each had some. Neither became immediately addicted. But they were definitely a bit intoxicated by it. It was like a mild dose of Galak or eX. Sensation heightened. A yearning for touch. Moth tried to send a message to her boyfriend Dandy, but he did not immediately pick it up.
The plan for the mochi rice was considerably less subtle, and this had nothing to do with chocolate-impaired judgment. They did remember to drop off the chocolate and coffee with the bakery so they had plenty of room in the Roadmaster for the rice.
Legion successfully drove the Roadmaster like a tank into the back of the Mochi store. Moth gave a most inspiring speech to rally Legion and Mission Control to move very fast to secure the rice. This will be remembered as the 'Rice to Greatness' speech though that was definitely Mission Control's line. Mission Control hucked the pepper grenade at the yakuza. Legion jumped out, in his Halloweener disguise and gas mask, ready to face the defenders, minotaur-style.
The yakuza swarmed Legion, initially trying martial art punches. He shrugged off every blow, and continued moving toward the rice. Mission Control laid down suppressive non-lethal fire on the yakuza. The yakuza tried another round of katana strikes. Legion again shrugged off every cut, while gathering a minotaur-load of rice bags. Moth gave another rallying speech from the safety of the Roadmaster. Legion and Mission Control were so inspired - they had ample time to collect the rice from the increasingly stunned and action-less yakuza and get it into the Roadmaster, before the round ended and the pepper grenade went off, dropping the few yakuza who were still standing, and potentially contaminating the food supplies that were not stolen.
The runners drove north towards Snohomish, contemplating that these yakuza guards might have to commit seppuku over the shame of this defeat.
It was well after midnight by the time they made it to the Snohomish warehouse. Only to discover that the flour was already in the process of being stolen!
Rocket Raccoon was planning to take the flour as part of an eco-terrorist action, protesting farming techniques that impact the environment, including global warming resulting from the fertilizer applied to farmers' fields to increase their wheat harvest.
The runners had to make a quick decision - fight or negotiate?
Moth began to talk to Rocket Raccoon, to see if they couldn't work out a deal. The flour would still be just as stolen, just as good a blow for eco terrorism, if he shared half of it with the team. This might have been a really hard negotiation, but it turned out that Rocket Raccoon's very keen sense of smell made him extra vulnerable to her pheremones during the negotiation. Moth made a friend, and the team acquired enough flour for the bakery. Rocket Raccoon got some very good petting.
The runners delivered the full set of needed supplies to Axel and the other bakers at Praetorian Pastries. The very high quality ingredients, and slightly addictive, slightly aphrodisiac chocolate helped them build a base of very loyal customers.
The runners went on to celebrate their excellent teamwork with a drink at the Daze.
The Yakuza may be furious with and/or impressed by the Halloweeners.
employee discount at Praetorian Pastries
Mission Control and Moth each have 4 pounds of special Yucatan chocolate
Moth has Rocket Raccoon as a 3/1 contact
"Like dabbing on them?" - MC
Player After Action Reports (AARs)
Moth here! This was my 29th run. And what a great run! The smooth teamwork of the Croissant Crew is now a legend. I'd run with these two any time! And I made so many good friends on this mission. I'm always glad to meet fellow baking enthusiasts! Though they would cry if they could try my croquembouche. They have not yet begun to explore the heights of what is possible with baking. But maybe I can help them a bit with their technique and recipes! I can remember when I was just getting started. And Rocket Raccoon is my new friend also! Which may prove handy. Mission Control is so smart! He has really good ideas for plans, all the right knowledge skills, all kinds of useful equipment. Legion brought great rigging skills, the absolutely essential Roadmaster, and the ability to wade through six samurai without taking a scratch. It's a good thing I stayed in the van! Also, I am super happy that Dandy eventually saw my message and came to the Daze to hang out after. That chocolate did have me missing him a lot! And I still have four pounds of it!
It was a lovely crew who got the job done well, I would certainly work with the Croissant-Crew again!