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: Chapter 1
Veronica means the bringer of victory. Victory will not come willingly. Victory needs to be brought, dragged kicking, screaming, choking down blood and cursing the name Veronica. She didn’t feel any victory in this sickly warm prison. She was bound in a purple, organic cocoon that held her arms behind her back and left her tight at the shoulders. They positioned her body to keep it strained. Her toes were pointed under the mess of mucus-like sinew. Everywhere itched and burned. Something broke skin under the restraint that felt like boiling. Something that made her body tender and soft. She had never been in so much pain but she felt euphoric. She would have felt her bleeding, strained and tired body but it was cloudy in her would-be-aching head. There was a glass between her and her pain like watching a family meal though a window.
She almost lost her mind. She had almost given in, like the others. Girls all, their breasts swelled, exposed. Veronica found them doe-eyed. They forgot where they were. They forgot the men that fled with them. Some fought terribly and died easily. All, at the hands of pigs and thick lizards. She tried to blame them but the complaints started to fade as hysteria melted into complacency.
The room was wrapped in a viney purple and red film’ like the inside of a tude. It made wet noises and stands would twitch like tugging on a line.
After being restrained, dozens of creatures, with six legs that drug a long thin abdomen, were released. They crawled up each girl, fighting each other to balance on chest and shoulder, to get to the throats. Their abdomens, long and arm like. forcefully penetrated the mouth, moving deeper with rhythmic crawling ribs.
They are hiding in the corners now or inside the walls. They scurry around the floor. Prowling like insects guarding a kill.
Veronica bit the first one, who got too close. Killed the little rapist by it’s knobby head. She was barely able to shake the taste of it’s balmy blood before there were more. Despite swelling head, she could never forget the blunt limb protruding from the beasts and it’s force. It punched and shoved itself down her throat, cutting off her air for for an eternity. She cried, choked and lost color. Resisting was all she had but she was too slow. Her body could not raise to her will, while naked and suspended upright.
The other girls, skinny and beautiful as she once considered herself, gave into whatever drug or hormone they had been pumped with. They smiled with weak joy. So far gone Veronica wanted to end them. They said the most horrible things.
“My baby,” they moaned in earnest but the bumps moved deep and violently within their skin proved a perversion of their instincts. Veronica wasn’t sure if her skin was crawling or if she had passengers of her own.
Brenda was a blonde with short quirky hair and bright blue eyes. They were restrained facing each other in a nook where a water fountain was ripped out to make space for the horrifying purple hive to spread. She had cried that first night. They were taken together off the main street from their hiding place between an overturned sign and slab of highway. In hindsight, the things were looking through some sort of goggles and probably could detect them. It would have been better to run.
“Next time,” Brenda said as she raised her head for the first time hours, “Next time, we hide in a fridge.” Snapping to attention, full of zest. She decided to stop grieving her boyfriend or brother, Veronica didn’t know. Whoever thought they would save her by stashing her away and fighting.
“There is no way we could have known,” said Veronica.
“I’m not going to die displayed like some life-sized barbie, set to stand in a fucking dildo, without a shirt!”
The crying eventually died down. Whether it was nighttime sleep or just passing out from pain, some girls went limp in their restraints. Brenda was concerned for some of the girls she could see with bullet wounds. Even a non-fatal wound will kill you eventually, she said. She was an army paramedic. Once stateside, she was going to become a doctor in L.A. Even when recounting Iraq she was never strayed away from talk of escape. Then they were violated by the alien’s gray insects.
Brenda uttered, “Is this what it feels like to be pregnant?” Veronica’s mouth went dry under shallow breath as she tilted her head back. She struggled to keep the tears back. She didn’t want to speculate about something being inside of her. Her body felt a wave of hesitation and felt lighting as her head swam in the consequences of her thought. She knew.
“This is nothing like pregnancy.” Her eyes burned. “The hormones and feelings are the same but pregnancy is nothing like this. Pregnancy is beautiful. A little peace of yourself grows and it takes your whole body and mind to care for it.”
“Were you pregnant, once?”
Veronica Venom will continue next Monday!
Article by contributor Ray Richards.