The Deleted ThreadEdit
The Party contained a post made by Gui which prompted the thread to be removed from Dead on Arrival due to a violation of the TOS. The post itself was considered too graphic and violent to be present on proboards, which could have resulted in the forum being closed down. There was much controversy around the content of the post, which gathered mixed reviews from members of the forum.
Regardless of the controversy surrounding the thread, the events that took place within it are still considered an important part of the DOA timeline, namely due to its essential role within the Arashi plotline and the array of character development that took place.
And they ran. For all intents and purposes they had forgotten they were ever at a wedding. They tumbled over one another in hope of reaching the exit, neither noticing nor caring for whomever they stepped on. Some fell, their blood-curdled screams drowning underneath their own maggot-filled faces before being stomped by the possessed crowd. And they ran. They saw the opalescent drapes on the tables fade to black darker than night. The crystalline glasses fill with blood. Every breath, heartbeat… Every one of their frantic steps brought them inches further way from sanity. The electric lights shifted, exploding into movement and coiling around many like vicious snakes. The wires were barbed with thorns. Wrapped around arms, feet and neck they propelled those who had looked back up into the air – they were ripped apart in an instant only to be put back together thereafter from the parts of their friends and families. Grotesque and misshapen; blood rained down on as the flames of the candles roared with inferno, lighting everything ablaze. Those surviving knew – what they saw was not meant for mortal eyes. And they ran.
And the doors shut.
‘‘It shall come to pass that in the last days It will pour out its essence on all flesh.’’ Came the voice a second time; its intensity raking the mind.
The panic was tangible. Laments infested the air like a locust: Those same haunting and dissonant screams that had once echoed across the pristine and hallowed grounds of Aircano. Those same tortured cries that had rung in all their minds when the Arashi had walked through the holy gates of the white lands… It brought with it the same affliction that had once shattered the minds of the kingdom of heaven and brought it to its knees. It heaved on them like a burning cross. The agony transcended description. And then they realized – the screams came not only from the nightmare that had taken over the city.
It came from them.
They banged on the hard, metal gate of the reception in hope someone on the other side would save them. They yelled and clawed at it until their bones shattered and spat blood. Injury added only to desperation. Husbands threw wives against the doorway; their heads smashing against the cold surface, only to be picked up and used again and again until little more remained than a bloody, unrecognizable pulp of what was once a human being. Still they continued painting it red, breaking their arms. The door sprung to unnatural life and the blood of their woman swallowed them whole; spitting out their guts and stringing their skeletons as though crucified in cruel displays of their martyred dead. Those far enough from the scene backed away. They turned back to where all this hell had begun. They were surrounded by terror. Trapped. With nowhere left to run.
The sudden awareness of that fact was accompanied by a strange distortion of their vision; a black mist swirled in the center of what had once been the reception area where Sazan and Michael had shared their first dance. Amidst the flames, amidst the blood, it took form. Slowly the shape became recognizable; towering over any man, the being was draped from head to toe in black with not a shred of skin discernable beneath. It had no face, nothing to associate this thing with anything human beyond its silhouette. There was only a mask carved from a skull, ornate with a golden jewel in its center and blood-red lines above its eyes. Its eyes… They were nothing. Hollow, empty and black. Most terrifying of all however was how it just stood there; and effigy for all their madness. Never had mortal eyes seen such horror. Never had mortal eyes seen The First Aspect in such manner. In turn, never had It ever laid its gaze on men. It looked at them, and they understood. It was death.
Their carcasses fell to the earth in silence; they had all died.
Blood now covered the entirety of the premise, bringing Amoura back to that place in her mind – that sea of blood where she had drowned and been raped hundreds upon hundreds of times. The tables had turned to pillars made from the bones of the dead. They surrounded Veran as if It was their focus. Still, the Arashi looked at the bodies of the first humans It had ever killed before their bodies sunk beneath the red sea. They resurfaced before Amoura before being broken down, torn into pieces and their bones twisted into a white stairwell connecting her to the instrument of her fears. Her words were filled with rage and desolation. They remained unheard. The Arashi merely looked at her, standing below the blood-raining sky.
Until the anguished screams of the damned returned. This time in a manner even she had never experienced. They were so loud they silenced all else. The earth trembled before them; threatening to break the very foundations of the expanse. The walls of the city fractured, painting dark broken webs across every complex. And in one thunderous display it finally spoke. ‘‘Blood and fire and vapor of smoke…’’ The annunciation boomed across the nation. ‘‘The suns shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood before the awesome day of the End.’’ The deafening rasp of the Arashi echoed out in the burning horizon. The ear-splitting clamor so powerful it threw all who heard it off their feet. ‘‘Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy. Your young men shall see visions. Your old men shall dream dreams…’’ It threatened to bring them to the abyss. They could not muffle it with their hands; the sound reached their minds. And it grew louder. ‘‘And they shall prophesy.’’
It was heard across Genesis.
‘‘And it shall come to pass.’’
Resentment, bewilderment, hate – they were almost as intoxicating as the rotting smell that filled the air. Words fell upon deaf ears: Veran remained immobile as if carved from stone while a storm began to swell around the lord of terror. Nothing was left unhindered by the unnatural current; the bones of the strung corpses tinkled like cadaverous chimes while the red sea rose all around them like a hurricane, ablaze, trapping them in a swirling cage of blood and fire. The cacophonous disharmony was enough to make one’s ears bleed. And in an moment – it all stopped.
The thunderous dissonance was halted instantly from the detonation that had emanated from Zira’s weapon.
The bullet travelled with demonic speed. Its aim flawless. The silver gleam reflected against the crimson environment like a tear from the moon meant to wash away the Arashi from this earth once and for all. And it soared with all of Zira’s fury at the faceless visage of the one who had brought an eternal darkness to everything she had ever known. It struck with the faintest of resistance behind the impact – like she had shot through little more than a lone piece of parchment. The bullet passed right through, leaving nothing behind but an ominous black mist where it had pierced her enemy. It was only then she realized she had missed the mask; that she had in fact struck much lower into the dark cape that covered the entirety of It’s figure. There was a moment where the echo of the gunshot still rung, and she wondered… Why had she missed? Her focus had been impeccable. No notions of stress had overtaken her: Her arm had not wavered. Her weapon malfunctioned. So Why? And then there was silence and she was left with nothing but a quiet realization as she stared into that dark cloud where the Arashi had been shot. The confusion turned to disheartening fear. Her heart started to pound. And she saw that she wasn’t looking past her sister anymore… but that Veran now stood not inches away from her. There had been no transition – not even a shift in her vision to acknowledge it had happened – but in that instant, she felt those hollow eyes turn on her.
And in that instant, she knew what these men had felt before they had died.
The screams of the dead of all ages roared across the city like the gates of hell had opened within its premise. Its influence was maddening even within the temple, and Zira stood right next to the source of it all. The feeling was impossible to describe. Impossible to process. There was only that black hole she had been staring into in hopes of finding an answer for what had just become of her in that instant.‘‘Sister of the Herald.’’ Time itself was being dissipated by the Arashi: The scene became sporadic with flashes of an infinity of different nightmares happening all at once in her mind. Everything happened at a different pace, the chaos of it all engulfing her entirely. She saw refugees gutting themselves and wearing their own entrails in an effort to escape their torment. The whole of the temple fall under the most twisted of depravation; raping and feasting on their peers while Miracle stood stripped and nailed over the effigy of her LORD – a sentinel to the inhumanity of human creatures. And their flesh boiled, burning away their bodies until nothing but bones remained. They cried. They laughed. They screamed. And she could hear herself among them.
Veran’s hand ceremoniously from its side whist Zira stood paralyzed by the visions. She saw it beyond the veil of dread that surrounded her. Slowly. Methodically. It came closer and closer, until finally it caressed her face. ‘‘Let the truth abide in you; that you would hold arm against Arashi while it clamors that which is the heritage of the first exile.’’ Her blood turned to ice, and she saw the black hole pulse before the bullet traced its steps back in reverse, except she no longer held her gun up. The motion was quicker than the eye could see, but Zira was trapped in a world beyond either Genesis or the Night Angel. ‘‘Therefore let that abide in you that your essence is as divine as the End itself.’’ And the bullet continued, lodging itself in her thorax.
‘‘Sacrifice will redeem sacrilege.’’
Everything went black, and with that it exploded. Silver tendrils pierced Zira’s back like twisted angelic wings before attaching themselves to the nearby pillars and hoist her up with the rest of the victims of the First Aspect. There was a snap and an erratic twitch within the Firebird before the bones from her hands tore themselves from her in sickening display. Like a newborn escaping the womb, her skeleton continued on its way out; ripping the skin from her arms until there remained nothing but two lumps of flesh at either side of the hero of Mortis… and it stopped in its tracks. Limp. Dead. All under Veran’s watchful gaze.