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TCE VS. THE UNIVERSE

ISSUE 11

MUSASHI vs. BATMAN

Written by Christopher Ikpoh

Illustration by Logan Carroll

          “I hate this shinobi shit,” Musashi uttered to Masako, the artificial intelligence program that ran his suit of armor. “Scan the area. Map it. Save it to memory, and then find him. He’s benefitting from us being in his city, and he’s setup the surroundings in anticipation of our encounter.”

          The rooftop was cold and damp. Below were the lights of Gotham City illuminating the edges of the skyscraper, and above them was a full moon. After a few seconds, Masako said to Musashi, “He’s behind…” However, before she could finish her statement, Batman had already descended upon Musashi and struck him in the back. The super samurai fell forward but used his own momentum to roll and immediately spring back to his feet. Next, he prepared to engage the Dark Knight. Alas, the Caped Crusader descended back into hiding again.

          Batman was reeling from the fight with Musashi. Initially, the two squared-off directly in combat. The battle was hard fought and evenly contested. Their punches and kicks were met with equally skillful blocks and counters. Yet, before long the super samurai began to outclass Batman. Even with all of the dark knight’s extensive combat and strategic expertise, Musashi’s martial and weapons skills – combined with his enhanced physical abilities from mastering his chi – were simply too much. Thus, Batman sought to employ stealth and ninjutsu tactics learned from his time with the League of Shadows in order to gain the upper hand. And it had been working, until…

          “Masako, switch to Iga mode.” Musashi was all too familiar with battling elite ninja. At his home of New Japan in Platinum City, he faced-off with the deadliest group of ninja to ever exist, the Iga Clan. He also eventually fought side-by-side with two of their greatest members, including Grandmaster Danzo. This provided him invaluable insight, enabling the super samurai to create an entire combat program dedicated to helping to deal with the formidable ninja techniques. Musashi spent years researching all aspects of ninjutsu, including the fighting styles, as well as the effectiveness of their strategies and methodology. Combined with Masako’s artificial intelligence program, Musashi had the technology, wisdom, and strategic blueprint to help defeat Batman. 

          As the super samurai stepped carefully around the rooftop, a group of smoke and gas bombs exploded around him. They were meant to confuse Musashi, blind his vision, and debilitate him with poison. However, these are all tactics the Iga already used against him. Thus, the suit was prepared. His mask automatically filtered the poison out of the air as Musashi breathed, and his vision adjusted amidst the smoke, enabling him to see any oncoming figures. He was fully prepared for whatever the Dark Knight was going to do.

          So, when Batman fired his grappling gun in an attempt to tie-up Musashi, the super samurai caught the tip of the projectile and pulled Batman forward at an accelerated rate. Not one to be manhandled, the Caped Crusader timed his approach with a flying punch, using the force Musashi pulled with to increase the power and speed of his counter. However, Musashi was used to fighting opponents with elevated speed and strength. This enabled him to counter Batman’s maneuver, and when they were close the super samurai ducked the punch while swiping his katana across the abdomen of his foe. Normally, Batman’s armor would be able to withstand such a strike. However, with Musashi’s supernatural speed and strength, combined with the increased velocity of Batman’s movement, as well as the superior forging of the super samurai’s weapon, the edge of the katana sliced through the Dark Knight’s armor and lacerated his abdomen.

          Batman crashed into the rooftop like a boulder falling from a cliff. He immediately grabbed his stomach as the blood gushed out and yelled in agonizing pain. Musashi wasted no time after seeing the Batman felled. He did not want his enemy disappearing into the shadows again, so he launched himself into the air to descend upon Batman with a killing blow from his katana. The end was near.

          The Caped Crusader had one more trick up his sleeve, though. While laying on the ground, he pressed an earpiece and called out a name. “Alfred!”

          Suddenly, a voice emerged inside Batman’s helmet. It was his butler and assistant. Alfred replied, “Locked in. Firing now.” Within seconds, multiple rounds were fired from a mounted .50 caliber machine gun on the roof. The bullets slammed into Musashi as he flew through the air, flinging him to the ground. They continued to rain down on him, as well. It did not look good for the super samurai.

          “Suit integrity at 65% and dropping,” Masako said, giving a status update on the damage being taken as his suit’s protective energy shield rippled ferociously from the impact of all the bullets. Musashi fired the jet boosters in his boots and flew into the air once more. Then, he aimed his wrist and fired a massive laser blast at the machine gun, blowing it up. The super samurai then landed on the rooftop and turned to finish off Batman once and for all. However, the Dark Knight used the opportunity to reach the edge of the rooftop and fire his grappling gun. He flew from the skyscraper and began escaping. Masako then asked, “Should I track him?”

          Musashi replied, “No. We have what we came for. The psytanium is ours. Besides, I have a feeling we will be seeing him again soon. Let’s go home.”

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