Ayreon – Demon Hunter

One world ends, another begins

Preface

You may have been there, but I was in the heart of it…I was there 6 years ago when I was just 11 years old innocent not knowing how my life and everyone else's would change in a blink of the eye in the year 2021. I saw it with my own eyes, which now haunts me in my dreams.

I wish It would have taken me instead of sparing me, that was the day our world ended, and another started which I would not wish on anyone...

The night before the day now labelled The Gate, I hid around the corner from the living room that overlooked New York city. The windows were enormous giving breathtaking views of the busy city, and I was very lucky that I lived in such a great apartment which was bigger than most houses on the outskirts of the city.

I couldn't help but eaves drop on my parents, they were arguing about work again, this was not the first time it had happened but this was more serious, I could tell by the way my dad spoke, he never yelled and he never talked quickly he is usually patient, kind, understanding and soft.

My dad paced the windows back and forth talking with his hands as much as his mouth. "I told them it needs more tests, and more diagnostics before we turn it on" he said slamming a hand against the coffee table, "I said it would be at least 6 more months"

My mum was distraught, her husband she knew was on edge and she had never seen him like this, his rational calm demeanor was stripped he did not even smile like he usually would under his well-kept beard.

His glasses always complemented him, but tonight his eyes looked unpleasant and furious his glasses only magnified it.

"Honey just calm down" she pleaded with him, "I am sure they will not turn it on without you" she tried her best to get him to think with a clearer mind.

I still looked on at them both, but I have never seen my dad so flared up; something bad must be bothering him with his work.

My dad was one of the main scientists for the NHC (Network Hadron Collider). That explained why my mum did not work and how we could afford our luxury apartment. I asked her one day before school, because she got to drop me off and pick me up from school unlike some of my friends who had nanny's or carpooled with someone else's parents.

I held onto my good luck charm which we got on our last holiday at the Bahamas. It was a carved figurine made from white stone in the shape of a white owl's head. I loved it so much I got told by the man that carved it that it would bring me wisdom and great luck. No idea if it worked but I loved it none the less.

I kept peeping around the corner worried for my dad, and that is when he saw me, and my eyes met his, he tried to calm down as he approached me.

"Hey sweety" he said as he cautiously walked to me waving at a hand at my mum to tell her he was fine, my mum went to step forward but stopped and placed a hand on her chest looking worried for both of us. "Look sweety, your dad is fine I promise just a bad day at the office, look head to bed and tomorrow I will take you out for lunch just you and me, how does that sound? It is your birthday after all, so I'll let you pick any toy store and any restaurant in the city that you want to go to ok?" he bent down to my eye level and placed a hand on my shoulder, he smiled the best he could but I could see the cracks in how fake it was and his biggest give away was his eyes. "Do we have a deal?"

"Sounds great dad" I said giving him a hug and holding him so tightly so unsure of what was going to happen, but I trusted him he never let me down before.

The next day I woke up excited and I even chose my best clothes to wear, I just could not wait to go out with my dad. From in my room I could hear my mum probably talking to my aunt. I was sure mum, and dad was going to surprise me in the lounge room, they usually put up balloons and banners and make a big spectacle of my birthday each year.

I rushed around the corner with a big smile on my face… But there was no banners or balloons just my mum pacing exactly where my dad was last night doing the same thing when I hid around the corner.

My dad was nowhere to be seen. I knew something was terribly wrong, my mum, had tears in her eyes and she was yelling down the phone, she never raised her voice. She was the strongest person I knew besides my dad. "what do you mean they are not listening!" she blasted down the cordless phone. "Are they idiots? Do they not understand the complications this will have?"

It was like I was invisible she had not even noticed me stroll out,

"Ok, ok, I remember what to do if anything happens" she said now struggling to say any more words, the tears now streamed out, "Yes I will explain to her where you have gone, just come home! Do you hear me! Love you, bye…"

I was so frightened "Is everything ok mum, is daddy going to be ok?" I said trying so hard to be strong for her and hold back my own tears. I had no idea what was going on.

"yeah hun, everything is just fine" she said dabbing her tears with her tissue which she always hid up her sleeve, "Dad is just working you know how he is with his work" she said grabbing me and pulling me in for a hug, she then kissed me on the head, "I nearly forgot happy birthday sweety" she said while grabbing me even tighter than I have ever been held before.

"Thanks mum, I am going to have loads of more birthdays with you and dad anyway ", I said quickly. I was more concerned about my mum and dad than my birthday it was nothing special anyway.

"But why are you crying then mum?" I prodded wanting to know some glimpse of a truth, even though they did not think I was old enough to know grown up issues I understood more than they thought I did.

Mum wanted to say something, but she just insisted on not letting me go, holding me tight as we looked out the large widows at the busy city.

And that is when it happened…that's when there was a massive eruption from under the ground on the other side of the city. The power switched off instantly and there was a bright blue light that took over the sky blocking out the sun and shadows racing through the sky that were made from the blue light.

I saw the very things that changed our world and I vowed to take revenge on them and the men that did not bother to listen to my dad. They robbed me of my dad and my special day with him from then until forever. And the very things that killed my mum who saved me by giving her life in exchange for mine by hiding me in the underground bunkers. The blast had left its mark on me, a wave of light smashed buildings and unfortunately some unlucky souls such as me were affected by it. It left a skin scar like a birth mark running down the left side of my neck.

The things that poured out were Demons… they poured out from the blue aurora caused by the NHC. It may have only lasted a few brief minutes, but it was enough to change the world and how humanity lived and now we were no longer on top of the pyramid…