“I know, dear. But it’s not like we have much choice. The company wants me to go there for a survey and I’ll be away from Earth for at least a year, probably longer.”
“But you know how those colonies can be. I don’t want you to get lonely and end up getting a disease from some companion.”
“Don’t worry babe, there are ways around that.”
“Like the Venus-10 Gene Doll! A genetically-engineered companion that’s completely disease-free and completely barren, so no risk of pregnancy!”
“I don’t know, I still don’t like the idea of you being with another woman.”
“That’s the beauty of the Venus-10 Gene Doll, honey. It’s not really a woman! And with the cybernetic enhancements added to each and every Gene Doll, I can stay in constant contact with you!”
“Oh wow! And since the Venus-10 can be custom-made to look exactly like me, it’s not really cheating!”
“Now you’re getting it!”
“Oh sweetie, now I feel so much better about you going to the colony! With the Venus-10 Gene Doll’s communication capabilities, it’ll be like I’m right there with you!”
“Well, you’re right there with me now, so why don’t we take advantage of it?”
“I thought you’d never ask!”
The Venus-10 Gene Doll, available for all your off-world companionship needs! Venus-10 Gene Dolls are made to order and 100% customizable, so visit venus.com for more information!
Alchemax – Tomorrow Comes Today!
Hellfire Club, New York Branch, Earth
The Hellfire Club. For centuries, it has been an association where only the exceedingly wealthy are even considered for membership. Even then, one never applies for membership. Either it is inherited from a relative who is a member or the Club offers membership. In other words, you don’t choose the Hellfire Club -- it chooses you.
Atop the fifty-story high-rise was one of the Hellfire Club’s infamous locations. Its lounge area at the top floor serves as a place for relaxation for many of the masters of the world. In the world of tomorrow, it is they who rule supreme.
However, power does not come without a price. As one such poor soul discovered as he was thrown through the glass window to fall fifty stories to his death on the pavement below. His screams were heard all around, especially by those in the Club’s lounge.
One of the Club’s waitresses, dressed in a tight, skimpy black corset and knee-high leather boots, stood by the shattered glass. Her hair was short and red and her eyes were green. She spent most of her short life wearing outfits just like this, made specifically to satisfy the perversions of rich men.
“Anyone else want to grab my ass?” she asked.
The patrons of the Club all gazed upon her in stunned silence. Each of them was afraid to speak or offer any retort to her question. They simply thought of the one man who had tried to get fresh with her, who thought he was being cute. Everyone got a laugh out of it—before she picked him up and threw him out the window with very little effort on her part.
“Good, then let’s get down to business,” she said. “I know one of you degenerates has to work for Alchemax. I want some information on them.”
The only sound Vendetta could hear was ice settling in drinks, or the rustling of clothes as the men in the room fidgeted uncomfortably. Her gaze passed along each of them. Despite her slender frame, she was obviously a force to be reckoned with. And one none of these men were brave enough to take on.
“No answer, huh?” she asked. “Then I suppose we’ll just have to do this the hard way.”
Grabbing the closest man to her, her fingers wrapped around his neck. He gasped for breath while she lifted him off the ground as if he weighed nothing at all. Her eyes locked onto his and then she turned her gaze to the other patrons.
“If someone doesn’t talk, I’m just going to start throwing people out windows.” She looked back at the man in her grip. “Starting with this jackass.”
“N-no, please!” he pleaded. “I have a family! A wife—kids!”
“Guy like you probably has a great life insurance policy—they’re better off on their own.”
Vendetta expended little energy as she tossed the man out the broken window. Like the one previous, his screams filtered in to the ears of everyone in the lounge as he dropped fifty stories. Eventually, the screams faded, but they were quickly replaced by the sound of a loud CRASH.
“I could do this all night,” said Vendetta. “So who’s next? Any takers or do I just choose at random?”
“Wait!” said one man. He stood from a high-backed leather chair and slowly approached Vendetta. He was only in his twenties or thirties. Young executive, probably very good at what he does. Either that or his daddy’s a vice-president. “I work for Alchemax. What do you want to know?”
“Gene Dolls,” said Vendetta.
“You mean the new legislation?” he asked.
Vendetta cocked her eyebrow. “What new legislation?”
“That’s not what you’re after?” he asked.
“No, but you’ve caught my interest.” Her hand shot out and gripped his throat. “So talk. What’s this new legislation?”
He gagged as he strained to speak. “Ack… th-the lobbyists… they’ve convinced Congress t-to introduce legislation… legalizing Gene Dolls…”
“So they’d be available on Earth?” asked Vendetta.
“Th-that’s the plan…”
“What about Zero?”
Vendetta squeezed harder and the young executive coughed, feeling her fingers tightening around his throat, making it harder to breathe.
“The primary donor!” said Vendetta. “She’s still alive and being held in an Alchemax facility, isn’t she?”
“I—I don’t know! I’ve only been with Alchemax a short while, I don’t even work with the Venus division!”
Vendetta pulled him closer to her. Their faces were only inches apart now. “Then who would know?”
“K-Kurt Marshal’s the chief lobbyist for the Gene Doll legislation! Maybe he knows more about it than I do! Probably knows more about Gene Dolls than anyone else at Alchemax!”
“And that’s all you know?” asked Vendetta.
“I don’t believe you.”
“No, really! I swear! Please, just give me a break!”
“Fine,” said Vendetta. She sharply twisted her wrist and the executive’s neck snapped with a loud CRACK. Her grip loosened and his lifeless body slumped to the floor. Vendetta looked up at the patrons of the Hellfire Club and simply walked past them.
No one made a move to stop her. Not even the security guards.
She stepped into the elevator and her fingers moved between her breasts inside her corset. She pulled out a small, cylinder with a flashing red light. She pressed a switch on it and the light stopped flashing and turned solid red. Right as the doors were closing, she tossed it into the lounge. The metal doors of the elevator protected the cables and the shaft, but the explosion took out the top floor and all the patrons inside.
Vendetta’s hand moved to her ear. “Micro, I want you to get me everything you can find on a Kurt Marshal. He’s a lobbyist for Alchemax, trying to get legislation passed that will legalize Gene Dolls in America.”
“I’m on it.”
Washington, DC office
Meanwhile, Kurt Marshal sat in his home office in Washington, D.C. Or rather, his body did. His mind, however, was in a conference call of sorts. In the virtual reality environment the Internet had grown into, Marshal stood in a room, addressing several members of the United States Congress, both Senators and Representatives.
“Now, I understand that some of you ladies and gentlemen are morally opposed to the legalization of Gene Dolls in this country, and that complaint is understandable,” he said. “However, I have to stress the fact that there is already talk of legalizing Gene Dolls in other nations across the globe. Regardless of what decision Congress comes to regarding the Gene Dolls, they will soon be legal on Earth. The question is, does America strike while the iron’s hot or do they simply allow other countries to gain a foothold on us?
“Think of it this way. Prostitution can be a big problem in our society. It’s the world’s oldest profession after all, and the results of it are drug use, poverty, unwed mothers, abandoned children, and not to mention a high rate of disease.
“Gene Dolls offer an acceptable solution. Beautiful women made to order to specification. Completely disease-free. No risk of pregnancy. And they do whatever their owner wants.
“Now, this product won’t completely eliminate prostitution. Nothing can really do that. But what it will do is significantly lower its effect. Plus, since we’re talking about a legitimate enterprise, that means the sale of Gene Dolls can be taxed, which means more money coming into the government.
“Ladies and gentlemen, Alchemax has been very good to you. We’ve contributed great sums of money to your campaigns. And this by no means should be taken as an implication that we believe you fine men and women owe Alchemax something, that you are somehow indebted to us. Instead, we just wanted to remind you of the fact that Alchemax placed our money and our faith in you because we believe you are the best politicians who can continue to make America great and keep the economy moving. Voting against the Venus Bill will prove detrimental to the economy of this country. So I urge you to please consider this when it comes time to vote.
“Now, I have uploaded details of the Alchemax Venus-10 Gene Dolls to your various e-mails. If you would please look over the information we have provided you, as well as the statistics laid out, I think you will all agree that voting in favor of the Venus Bill will be a true act of patriotism. If you have any additional questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me. My contact information is in the information you’ve received and I will take your calls day and night. Thank you for your time.”
Marshal disconnected himself from the network. He pulled the virtual reality helmet from his head and set it down on the desk in front of him. There was a part of him that felt bad about giving that speech. He wasn’t particularly fond of the Gene Dolls, but he believed in the information he gave. Not only that, but it was his job as a lobbyist and it paid the bills and kept his family fed, clothed and sheltered.
“Good evening, Mr. Marshal.”
Kurt felt the cold steel of the gun barrel pressed against his temple. As he slowly raised his arms, he turned his eyes to the side to see the woman who held the gun. She was tall, with short red hair, green eyes and a very shapely body. She was clothed completely in black, and there was a giant, white skull emblazoned on her shirt. It was a mark Kurt—and everyone at Alchemax—had learned to fear.
“So you’re the Punisher,” he said.
“Are you going to kill me?” asked Kurt.
“Depends on what?”
“On how helpful you are.”
“I’ll tell you anything you want to know. Just please, don’t kill me,” said Kurt. “I have a family.”
“Ask me if I care.”
“But my wife… my kids…”
“You show no compassion for the women you grow in your labs and then force into a life of sexual slavery, so why should I show any for you or your damn family?” asked Vendetta.
“But you don’t understand—the Gene Dolls, they’re not—“
Vendetta forcibly grabbed Kurt’s hair, nearly yanking it from its roots. “If the next word out of your mouth is ‘human’, I’m painting your office with your brain matter. Got it?”
Kurt winced in pain and mouthed the word yes. Vendetta released her grip on his hair.
“Now, tell me about Donor Zero.”
Kurt looked at her in surprise. “Who?”
“The woman who’s DNA Alchemax has been using to create the Venus-model Gene Dolls,” said Vendetta. “I know she’s alive and I know Alchemax is holding her prisoner.”
“I don’t know anything about that,” said Kurt. “I’m just a lobbyist.”
“So who at Alchemax would know?”
“I’m really not sure,” said Kurt. “Look, even if there is a Donor Zero, why would Alchemax keep her imprisoned? There’s absolutely no reason for it. We’d have her DNA on file already. Why would we need to keep her around?”
“What are you saying?” asked Vendetta.
“I’m saying someone’s been feeding you false information,” said Kurt.
“That’s not possible.”
“Gene Dolls are made to order,” said Kurt. “They come in all shapes and sizes, all races. Different body types, hair colors, eye colors, skin tones, all that stuff. Do you honestly think we’d only use DNA from a single donor?”
“No I’m not. There are literally millions of donors for Gene Dolls. We pay them for a sample of their DNA and then they go on with their lives. We don’t keep them imprisoned. Why would we do that when it’s far cheaper to give them a few hundred bucks and send them on their way instead of going to the effort of financing security, food, shelter, all those things?”
Vendetta paused as she allowed Kurt’s words to sink in. She hated to admit it, but he was starting to make sense. Why would Alchemax keep women imprisoned just for DNA samples? They could easily replicate them. And he was right, it was far cheaper to just pay donors and send them off than to keep them imprisoned.
She slammed the butt of her gun against Kurt’s head, knocking him out cold. Quickly, Vendetta made her way out of his home and was running through the city of Washington, D.C.
“Micro, I’m coming back to base. We need to talk.”