The Duke Nukem series is all about being a crude action hero, but the terrible things that happen to women are shocking. “Get our babes back” was the motto at one point. But what if one of these damsels in distress wanted to escape by herself? This is the story of Veronica Venom. It isn’t humorless, hopeless, restrained, or meant to arouse. It’s a short story about survival and our place in a cold universe.
Plus, there are lasers.
Veronica Venom: The Final Chapter
She picked up the gun. Her thin fingers gripped the handle. The small textures pressed themselves against her had, making the gun heavier in protest. She aimed at the lock in the industrial door. The single nub, right between the rear two nubs, she thought as she held the gun in front of her. Two shots disappeared into the soft metal of the door, leaving holes and spidered paint. One to the left and one in the other door. She stumbled up and shot the lock point blank, closing her eyes several pieces of metal met and rung in quick succession that hit her ears all at once. She ejected the half used magazine onto the floor and slid one, that she found in his pockets, until it clicked. Guns weren’t so hard. She flipped the safety to red and whimpered as she pulled back the action to see the round in the chamber. She pressed her entire body against the door to get it open and made her way through the hallway, gun hanging low from both of her hands.
Light. A hole in the wall. Burn marks framed the exit. Someone made their own entrance. Someone could be on watch. She squeezed the gun handle. It was the only heat she could feel.
Light. She hadn’t expected to see the sun again. Another casualty of capture. The dry air hot air from the desert made the moist dampness of her skin start to crust.
Her eyes adjusted to see the hobbled figure of a six foot tall hog. It breathed through thick snot and growled at her. He carried a club but broke it in rage or as a display of aggression. The club splintered and the beast lowered it’s head to charge.
Veronica swallowed hard and raised the gun. Unable to breath she looked down the barrel placing the front single sight. Her aim was overcome by her desire to fire. The kickback knocked her down. She sat back and squeezed the gun. All her anger. All those girls now in pieces. This thing had to die. She steadied her her aim with her knees and weak arm. Another shit. The thing stumbled as the bullet went into its huge gut. Another shot in the shoulder. Three shots in rapid succession into the things chest.
The hog stopped running. It feel to its haunches. It coughed a thick red mist. It stared at her. Veronica looked down the sights at it’s once dark eyes now blue and wide. She released another round.
She walked through the war torn streets of LA. For having choppers and soldiers swarm and fight, the streets were relatively peaceful now. The aliens had attacked and taken a few strongholds but there was no large occupation. She was walking topless and didn’t have any annoying catcalls. It was almost an improvement. It would have been nice if there was an ambulance. She could just pass out and be woken up by a concerned, knowledgeable EMT that would calm her. If she could see him and his nerdy glasses once more. No, she couldn’t take anyone up on offers for help. She walked to the receptionist and ask to be taken to the emergency room for a fever, detox, and some clever surgery to pack in all of her guts.
“We’ll need you to surrender you weapon.”
“Considering what the last few days have been like, I would sooner hide it in my cooter than give it up.”
The receptionist found her a waiver instead.
Article by contributor Ray Richards.