As our heroes await the results of various agencies and their attempts to track down the stolen SPARTAN suit, a call comes over the police band: "We have a bank robbery in progress and the robbers have superpowers. We have officers down and hostages inside the bank. ACPD requests any supers in the area please assist!." The three new heroes Wheels, Mento, and Soldier-X all arrive on the scene and are briefed on the situation, including the two officers who are trapped under their car near the entrance. The criminals are blasting anyone who comes near with flame, electrical, and ice blasts, stopping any rescue attempts.
Throwing caution to the wind, Mento decides he is tough enough to take the assailants on head-on, and Wheels agrees to back him up as does Soldier-X. They charge the main entrance to the bank and are met with the expected trio of energy blasts. Mento and Wheels shrug it off, but X is temporarily frozen by the ice blast, slowing him down. The Mighty Mental Hero tears through the three criminal defenders and the Handicapped Hero finishes them off as they tear off into the central lobby, followed shortly by X. They note in passing that all three of the perpetrators are members of the sluggers gang but instead of their characteristic baseball bats they are using large metal gauntlets that are the source of the various blasts - this old-school gang has suddenly gone hi-tech!
Roughly a dozen more gangers wait inside the bank, guarding hostages and piling up sacks of money, and roughly half of them have the new "power gauntlets". The team swings into action as the criminals open fire and bodies go flying everywhere - Soldier X uses his TK ability to throw opponents around, Wheels unloads with electrical blasts of his own, and Mento punches and kicks his way through the room. The gangers do manage to overload some of Wheels' systems with their electrical blasts, but he stays in the fight. Despite the Sluggers amped-up powers, the fight is one-sided and over in minutes.
As they assist with the cleanup, the police lieutenant on site tells the heroes that an undercover operation is underway across town and may reveal the source of the technology used in today's incident. He asks them to assist in case more powered types show up during that meet. They agree and are soon waiting near a police command post outside of a warehouse in another part of town.
Listening in to a wireless mic worn by the undercover cop, they soon learn that the Scaglietti crime family, specifically Joe Scaglietti, is trying to broker a peaceful settlement and alliance between the Sluggers and the Hellions and offering the power gauntlets as the incentive. As the discussion unfolds there is a crashing sound and the new hero "Atomic Roach" orders everyone to drop their weapons and surrender. The sound of gunfire, bats, and energy blasts is heard as is the officer's request for intervention.
Once again our heroes make a frontal assault, charging the nearest warehouse door and smashing aside the thugs who guard it, regardless of their blasts. Bursting in, they see the Atomic Roach blasted into a storage rack that then collapses on top of him, burying the unfortunate hero. Wheels blasts one group of Sluggers while Soldier-X begins force-tossing them into each other. Mento spots a man in a nice suit giving orders and wearing gauntlets and heads straight for him, only to discover the expensive suit is covering an armored exoskeleton, and that Joe Scaglietti can hit back! Mento duels with the mob scion while X and Wheels take down the other gangers. For a brief moment X manages to mind control Joe, causing him to blast one of his own minions, but Joe shakes it off and goes back to trading punches with Mento. Eventually the other gangers are down and Joe is backing towards an exit when Wheels hits him with an electric blast that staggers him back, leaving him open to a super-punch from Mento that takes him down for the count. As the police and SWAT team members take control of the building, the heroes attempt to find out the true source of the new weapons...
DM Notes: Our ICONS experience was stunted a bit by the holes in the Skeletron Key adventure I used as a starting point. Recently Adamant Entertainment released a new adventure, "Gangbusters", which looked a lot more like something we would like. I bought it, downloaded it from RPGNow, and ran it. It is a much better adventure, mechanically, and it also fits better with my players' experience as fighting various superpowered gangs is a common early mission type in City of Heroes, which colors some of their super-expectations. I like that it opens with stopping a crime in progress then throws some plot into the mix. These first two chapters went very well and I am quite happy with things so far.