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TCE VS. THE UNIVERSE

ISSUE 1

LT. RASHARD BONDS vs. CAPTAIN AMERICA

Captain America spit a mixture of saliva and blood onto the ground before wiping his mouth. After breathing in heavily, he said while exhaling, “I can do this all day.”

Across from him stood his opponent, Lt. Rashard Bonds aka Lou, who replied, “Good, because all day is what I have.”

The air was a mild temperature. Yet, nary a breeze was present. Nothing could disturb the palpable tension between the two super soldiers. Their urban surroundings were riddled with bullet holes, and beginning to crumble – the result of innumerable impacts from punches, kicks, thrown objects, and bodies being slammed throughout the area. The moon shone brightly, helping illuminate the devastation caused by their all-out brawl. Lou and Cap were locked in a battle of which the results would reverberate throughout each of their respective worlds.

“I need that psytanium, and I’m not leaving here without it,” vowed the Avenger. “It’s the only defense against the Gauntlet.”

“Then I guess you aren’t leaving here, because the psytanium now belongs to the Alpha Resistance,” Lou replied.

“Our enemy, he has the Infinity Stones and they have granted him the power of a god.”

“Our enemy IS a god!” Lou replied. “He has unlocked the Triplos Asteri, and compared to these stars your Infinity Stones are more like pebbles. With the power of the Triplos Asteri our enemy will not only take control of our universe, but he’ll dominate yours as well.”

“Don’t mock what you don’t understand, Lieutenant.”

“You should follow your own advice, Captain.”

The confrontation was now personal. With the weight of their respective world’s resting on their shoulders, each man refused to give even an inch.

“The Avengers have been doing this much longer than you have, Bonds.”

“And yet your universe still suffers. Perhaps it’s time for a new regime of heroes to be ushered in.”

And with that, the battle continued!

Ammunition had been spent long ago, forcing the warriors in for close combat. Cap’s skills and experience combined with his insanely proficient use of his shield made him more than a formidable opponent. Lou had never faced an Avenger nor seen vibranium before. However, Cap had never faced a warrior the caliber of Lou either. Sure, Cap had faced powerful opponents, but never a hyper-being with telepathic, telekinetic, and psionic super-infused nanocell technology throughout his entire cellular structure. Also, the virtually indestructible material grafted to Lou’s skeletal and muscular systems meant he could endure immense punishment, and his wealth of black-ops military and martial arts combat experience meant he could counter and negotiate any sort of attack. Both soldiers were in uncharted waters.

There was no time to contemplate differences though. Neither Lou nor Cap could be distracted from the fight in front of them. Thus, they charged each other once more with an immeasurable amount of determination and aggression.

Cap launched his shield at Lou, who knocked it away quickly. The shield bounced off a nearby wall and returned right to Cap just in time, as Lou was descending from a leap in the air with the intent to unleash a massive punch. Cap lifted the shield to block, and Lou’s fist smashed into the vibranium. The immense impact caused Cap’s legs to buckle, dropping him to a knee. He countered with a leg sweep, but Lou lifted his targeted forward- foot, and as Cap spun around from his strike’s momentum, Lou used his exceptional speed and quickness to close the gap and latch onto the Avenger’s back, implementing a devastating chokehold. The force of their collision caused the two to roll on the ground rapidly and repeatedly, enabling Cap to use his arms to launch them both in the air and through a brick wall, forcing Lou to release his grip.

Almost instantly the two super soldiers leapt to their feet and re-engaged. Lethal punches and kicks were launched by both men as they blocked, parried, and dodged the other’s strikes. It was the deadliest of dances between two of the greatest warriors in all of existence, and as Cap’s body pushed into the most elite levels of performance, so did Lou’s. However, the telepathic ability of Lou’s cells to communicate with one another faster than the speed of light meant his responsiveness was a split-second quicker and sharper. This had given him a slight edge in the beginning of the battle, but as their fight wore on it became much more of an advantage.

The two exchanged devastating attacks until Lou’s superior responsiveness benefited him again. A side-step and strong parry of a front kick from Cap left the Avenger exposed and unbalanced. With an opening and at a deadly angle, Lou unleashed a barrage of rapid punches to Cap’s head, face, abdomen and ribs. It was automatic for Lou. His instincts and muscle memory unleashed one of his greatest combos he’d practiced thousands of times on his kung-fu training mannequin.

The combo flowed fluidly over, around and underneath the shoulders and arms of Cap before being topped off by powerful Tae Kwon Do strikes. A sweeping left-leg kick was fired to the stomach, and then an even more powerful complimentary, matching right-leg kick folded Cap’s back, countering his body’s momentum and rocking the Avenger to the concrete.

Lou, an honorable warrior, did not attack while his opponent was down. Instead, he took a step back and waited. Cap was reeling from the mortal combination he just suffered, and struggled to his feet.

It had been almost a half-hour since the two began their fight, and the Avenger was exhausted. His injuries were mounting up and stacking quicker than his healing factor could manage.

Nevertheless, that did not stop him. He reached for his shield, which had left his hand as he was felled, and used it as a prop to help him return to his feet. Lou looked upon Cap with the utmost respect.

The Avenger returned an identical gaze as he gathered himself. “Looks like all day it is.”

And with that the two super soldiers let out warrior cries of fire and grit while rushing towards one another with unwavering determination…