so I might I go about popping the CMOS battery in a VM?
In the real world, we don't use VMs for production. VMs are for local/internally networked development and testing. So go ahead and pop all the CMOS batteries in VMs as you like. The VM disk is stored somewhere, and when found, can be mounted and broken into.
thou shalt treat all computers as thou wouldst treat thyself, for thou art the creator of thine own problems.