RP [Ser] Doki-Doki Channel!


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Last time on the Doki-Doki Channel!
DDC: Ser Archive
Now back to your regularly scheduled programming!

Next hour only! Half off all marked meat and vegetables!”

“Fresh fish! Live crab! Made to order Takoyaki for three hundred yen!”

“Looking for a gift for that special someone…!”

The bustling sounds of the market followed Hanta in as she pushed open the old glass door. A door chime chirped overhead as she passed through the threshold, a short ‘ping pong’ that sounded like it had been lifted from a convenience store a decade prior. The interior has a similar just-out-of-date aesthetic, a mishmash of shelving units, some old and dented and others new and scratched, each set up and filled in vague sections. Over there? Computers and parts. That section there? Some consoles that had seen a lot of love. Stacks of CD’s sitting under a table. A large monitor she could easily bump and drop onto Serp.

And along the back wall under a bunch of battered movie posters was their objective. A wire rack stacked with VHS tapes, some still in cardboard sleeves while others had not much more than a piece of tape with the movie’s name scratched on with a pen. A goldmine of some of horror’s best just in time for Halloween.

Or so the rumor went.

The skirt of her dress swished around her legs as she took a step forward. Light, airy, a strange feeling. Like being unrestrained. Like being — her right hand clenched instinctively and Hanta released a breath. She didn’t need to be her now. But it did feel… nice?

“Should be. Something good here.” Hanta said, crouching down next to the rack and running her finger along the row of tapes.
Beside the tall girl dressed in tattered, exposed clothes was a sharp counterpoint - someone who looked more like a homeless man's closet than a living person. But if you looked past the oversized, stained hoodie, mismatched sneakers and baggy sweats, you'd find the tiny bit of human the outfit revealed - a small, pale face and a pair of apathetic pink eyes.

"Seen most of this shit," Serp muttered, pulling out a battered copy of 120 Days of Sodom, giving it a disgruntled look and tossing it haphazardly to the side. "Few Mondos I haven't seen, but that's always the same crap, you know? Ohhh, look, some Indian guy got hit by a car, and this tribe in New Guinea drinks bat piss! No fucking clue why they consider half that shit horror, only thing that comes close is Cannibal Holocaust and that's not even a real Mondo."

Digging through the racks, she found a unboxed VHS and read the label.

"Jackpot. Dagon. You speak any Spanish?"

The girl grinned, slipping the movie into her hoodie pocket.
Cardboard sleeves chewed soft by time, battered plastic and faded stickers, Hanta’s red eyes followed her finger as she ran it along a stack of tapes. She listened to Serp’s running commentary as VCR tapes were tossed aside, offering up an agreeing hum here or there. Hanta picked her way down the line, sliding a movie out of the stack here or there to look at dogeared sleeves of mostly-dressed women screaming or masked men splattered in red. Good? Bad? From what she'd seen watching them with Serp it was an oddly fuzzy line.

“Spanish?” Hanta said, her lips twitching as she looked up at the tape as Serp stashed it away. Hanta dropped a copy of Carnival of the Souls back into place as she stood. “No, I don’t. Is the movie good?”
"No clue," Serp replied, reaching up to stretch and looking idly from side to side to see if any employees had seen her pocket the tape. "Supposed to be a cult classic or some shit, though, so I'm finna give it a shot."

Her eyes drifted down to the pile of movies, lips curling.

"Besides, bound to be better than half of this shit. How the fuck did enough people watch "The Beckoning" for it to get two fucking sequels? Literally the least inspired crap I've ever seen. Oh, yeah, let's shove a billion tropes into a boring exorcism story. Swear to fucking God, Christian horror always has the same three fucking plots."
“Mm.” A noncommittal hum escaped her lips as Hanta flicked idly through the final few tapes in the row. Nothing there that really piqued her interest, and Serp didn’t reach out to snatch one up so perhaps there wasn’t anything worth taking. With a sigh she stood back up, straightening the skirt of her dress with the back of her hand as she did. She looked back down at the smaller girl — the shelves were lopsided, it would topple right over with a kick — and tilted her head towards the door.

“That all?” She asked.

The front door chirped as it swung open and two rough looking men entered. The lead man was stocky, a few day’s worth of stubble on his chin with a (purposefully) ill-fitting shirt, and tattoos covering what skin was exposed. The man following was thinner, sharply dressed in something silk, and eyes that were always moving. The duo made their way over to the front counter, the lead man with a swagger to his step as he bumped into this and that. Hanta frowned, a check of her shoulder and that wrack of old gaming consoles could drop just right.

She looked back to Serp. “What do we want to, pick up to eat on, our way back?” She asked, something mechanical slipping back into her voice. “Think the, udon shop has, as special today.”
"Yeah, that's all," Serp muttered, leaning forward to hide the shape of the pocketed VHS in the folds of her hoodie. "Udon's fine. We can get the extra spicy shit, they're like, one of the only places around here that actually puts heat in their food."

She hurried for the door, not quite looking where she was going, and clipped one of the two men - the lanky, shifty man in silks - with her shoulder as she passed. A moment's pause. Serp glanced up, and mumbled something - probably more along the lines of watch it, asshole than an apology - before slipping out of the front of the store and into the mall proper.
“Extra spicy is fine. Just don’t blow your nose on my sweater again.” Hanta said. She took her steps light as she trailed behind Serp to the doorway. The man turned sharply as she passed, and Hanta shifted as she moved, lithely sliding through the space between the lanky man and a haphazard stack of electronics as a misplaced elbow missed her side by a hair’s width.

“Hey! Hey! Where's the manners?” The man called after Serp, his posture dipped forward as if he were trying to make himself look bigger to the smaller girl, but Serp was already out the door. Hanta pivoted on her heel, her weight settling smooth and easy on the balls of her feet as she looked down at the man. Eyes met and she stared.

“Mm?” The questioning hum escaped her lips. The man straightened, pulled his spine as high as it would let him go. There was a spot he was trying to comb over, wasn’t there?

“Your uh,” the man paused a second, recollected his indignation, “your sister bumped into me.” A smile creeped onto the edges of Hanta’s lips.

“Oh? I’m sure she apologized.” Hanta said. She traced the tip of her finger along the curved handle of a scuffed tea pot. A soft chin. Thin bone. The man again seemed like he was trying to draw himself up, but in his eyes she saw something flicker.

“No, but she uh…” words trailed into a mutter. Hanta forced her breathing even as she lifted the pad of her finger from the pot. Nerves tingled with the phantom of touch. The man looked back as Hanta raised her hand in a wave.

“Have a good day, gentlemen.” Voice came easy as she turned away. That tape deck is sharp. The thought made her slow, just for a moment as she passed the table, made her run her finger across the top leaving a line in the dust, then she forced her legs to continue moving to the door.

Whispered words brushed against her from behind, though she only heard a part —

’wasn’t that hoody from that academy?’

— before the words were washed away in the sounds of the mall proper.
It was only a matter of time before the two girls had found themselves at the small udon stall. It stood out from the other restaurants of the marketplace - taking a page out of the street vendors' books, it was a simple bar with wooden stools and a bamboo awning overhead. Serp shifted in her chair, fidgeting, toes straining to touch the footrest, before she finally resorted to drawing her knees up instead.

"Really need to get better fucking chairs," she grumbled to the cook, giving them an ornery glare. "Gonna give your customers fucking hemorrhoids."

It was a bit of a routine - she always complained about the stools every time she came here, and they always completely and utterly refused to listen. Still, the food was good (or, at least, Hanta said it was good, and they could make it spicy enough that she could actually taste something) and, more importantly, it was cheap.

"You paying?" she asked, turning to Hanta.
“Seems fine to me.” A smile found its way onto Hanta’s lips as she slid onto the stool next to Serp, tapping the heel of her shoe against the ground. The smile didn’t last long, however, and soon enough her posture once more stiffened as the udon stand’s cook, a lean man in his mid-thirties, stepped over to the two girls.

“Maybe finish all your food this time and you’ll be as tall as your sister.” The man said, placing down two glasses of water and a plate of edamame before walking back over to the stovetop. “The usual?” He called back over his shoulder as he placed a generous helping of noodles in two bowls.

“Extra ginger.” Hanta said. The cook nodded as he went about his work.
"Fuck off," Serp grumbled, wrapping her arms around her legs and glowering at the cook. Still, she didn't seem all too irritable, or at least, all too irritable for Serp, and the man was doubtless used to it, by now. They'd been eating out of this place routinely for - about six months, now? Had it really been that long? Idly, the girl picked at the edamame, peeling it apart instead of actually eating it. By the time their bowls were up, she had a little pile of green skins perched haphazardly on the counter in front of her. She swiped it to the side, grabbed the bowl, and took a bite.

"Needs more -" she began - but the cook was already setting the bottle of chili sauce beside her. She hmphed, and couldn't help but smile a little.

A little.

Drowning the noodles until they turned a bright red, she took another bite and coughed.

The cook only chuckled as he picked up the edamame plate before vanishing into the back. For a moment Hanta stared at Serp’s lips, her own slightly parted. A phantom of a smile, something that brought a breath of heat to flush across her cheeks. She turned her head away, willing her quickened pulse to slow as she picked up her chopsticks and dipped them into the bowl. She brought the noodles up to her mouth and blew on them to cool the rising steam. She slurped them down, a pleasant burn with the sharp cut of ginger, with a contented sigh.

Hanta watched Serp out of the corner of her eye as she ate, trying again to catch that little flicker of a smile. Her flush lingered on her cheeks, though it might have just been the heat.

“Could. Probably. Find some, chili sauce in the market.” Hanta said, cutting her soft boiled egg in half and mixing the yolk into the noodles. “Did you need, to find, anymore chemicals while, we’re out?”
Serp drained the rest of the bowl, pushing it back across the counter and stretching with a noisy groan. Scratching at her nose, she glanced to Hanta and frowned.

"Uh, fuck. Let's see. Used the last of my chlorine last week, so we could prolly hit up one of the outdoor shops. Shit they have is gonna be diluted, but I can distill it. Potassium nitrate'd be nice too. Don't think we'd find any sodium thiopental here, but I can prolly make that at home if I get the right shit."

Sliding off of her stool, she sighed, shoving her hands deep in the pockets of her sweatshirt.

"Least it's getting quieter. Fucking hate crowds."
After a few minutes of slurping noodles and blinking tears away from watering eyes the chef reappeared to take away Serp’s bowl and place a carry away box for Hanta. In return Hanta scrounged a pair of crumpled yen notes out of somewhere in her dress and pushed them across the counter. With a well practiced hand Hanta guided what remained of her meal into the takeaway container. Something to eat her next nighttime patrol when she needed another pick me up. Food in hand she also slid off her stool and with light steps she fell in beside Serp.

“Catcha next time girls.” The chef said, picking up the bills. Hanta looked back over her shoulder, a faint smile on her lips before her attention returned forward.

“Easier to think when it’s quiet.” Hanta agreed, her red eyes scanning the thin crowd. A housewife with a parcel tucked under her arm hurried past as a pair of salarymen checked their watches while they sipped coffee on cheap paper cups. Hanta frowned, weren’t things seeming a little too quiet for the time of day? Not that she ever really kept regular hours, but still it felt off.

“Going to go use the bathroom, I’ll meet you at the store.” Hanta said, turning as they passed the restroom doors. “Sooner we can get back home. The better.”
"Yeah, s'nice. Fuck the crowds. Bunch of smelly otakus runnin' around bumpin' shoulders with tourists that act like they own the place."

Serp's eyes scanned the mall with lazy intrigue.

"Yeah, yeah - meet you there."

Dismissing Hanta with a wave, Serp began to move in the direction of the hardware depot, hands returning to the pockets of her sweatshirt in an exaggerated slouch.
With a wave over her shoulder, Hanta pushed through the bathroom door with her hip and stepped inside. A low hum filled the air as a light overhead flickered, and a bitter chemical tang hung in the air. The space was clean, but worn from years or use. She slowed as she passed by the sinks, pausing to inspect her own reflection in the mirror. She brushed her long hair out of her eyes as she leaned in, pursing her lips together before twisting her hips causing the fabric of her dress’ skirt to swish. A giggle bubbled in her throat, sharp and quick on her tongue.

It felt too strange to feel so light without her axe. Was it right to be like this? To just let herself feel so loose, like she could follow any whim? She turned away from the window, a shiver skittering between her shoulders as she slid into a stall.


The thin man nudged his partner as the tall girl vanished into the restroom leaving her sister to continue shopping. A mistake on her part, but all the better for them. His partner nodded and stepped out from behind the pillar. The two moved quickly, long strides allowing them to quickly catch up to their target in the empty hall. The two shared a glance and a nod, as the thin man drew a syringe out of his jacket pocket.

Not often revenge and work could go hand in hand so perfectly like this. The large man swooped in, catching Serp’s shoulder with one hand and clamping another hand over her mouth. The thin man moved quickly, pressing the needle tip into the juncture of Serp’s neck and shoulder before pushing the plunger.

“Not so mouthy now, bitch.” He hissed.
erp noticed them a moment before they acted. Someone behind her. Turning, mouth opening to tell them to fuck off, she let out a muffled yelp as a hand covered her mouth. Something stung her neck. The first thought crossed her mind - assassination attempt. Clenching her jaw, Serp drove her teeth hard into the palm of the large man, biting with enough force to draw blood. Then, she dropped, oversized sweatshirt giving her enough give to slip through the large man's grip. She reached up to her neck, hand closing around a glass cylinder.


Spitting blood out of her mouth, she was on the large man in his moment of weakness like a rabid animal, yanking the syringe out of her mouth and jamming it once, twice, three times into his side. All the while, a low drone rose and rose in volume, her sweatshirt billowing and shifting until - terrible insects like horseflies flies with stingers flowed from her sleeves, coating the injured assailant, biting and stinging every bit of exposed flesh they could find.

“The shit!” The large man jerked his hand back from Serp’s mouth, pearls of blood leaking through broken skin. Before he could recover Serp drove the syringe’s needle deep into his side in three quick stabs. The large man wobbled as he took a step back, a hand pressed to his side and his eyes out of focus. Before he had a moment to recover the man squealed as a swarm of insects washed over him, blindly swiping at the air in a vain attempt to drive them away. Which, if the blossoming red bites blooming on his face were anything to go by, was a losing struggle.

The shorter man recoiled in surprise as Serp fought back, his thin face going flush. There had been enough sedative to put a grown man on his ass, let alone some little girl.

“YOU BITCH!” The short man spat as he dove forward trying to tackle Serp off her feet.