DEMON (METRO 2033)
Metro: Last Light
A Demon can be described as having a knobbly spine, short tail and three pairs of limbs: two prehensile arms, two legs and two large wings. They also have a long head with a blunt snout, consisting of a bat-like nose, eyes with vertical cat-like slit pupils set far apart on the head, and a large mouth with 4 canines and several secondary teeth. The backs of Demons are covered in sparse, short black fur and there are folds of skin on the base of the neck. Their wings are attached to their body with massively muscled arm like limbs that are almost twice the diameter of their thigh muscles. This explains how Demons can fly, despite a their massive size – a Demon’s wings are in fact so powerful that they can hover in the air for significant periods of time. Demons vary in size from babies the size of household cats to the largest encountered in the level, The Crossing; this dead Demon is the size of a large horse. Demons produce roars that seem to be a guttural version of a tiger’s. Because their eyes are quite small and on the sides of their head, it is unlikely that the demons hunt by sight. Their large nasal ducts suggest a powerful sense of smell.
It is unknown what exactly Demons mutated from and there are a number of theories suggesting mammalian, avian and reptilian origin, but none have so far been proven.
The most likely animal they have mutated from was the bat. Demons possess hair while lacking feathers, scales, or beaks, suggesting a mammalian origin. They also have very bat-like noses, seem to fly like bats, and sometimes swoop down like bats upon their prey. Another aspect that would support them being descendants of bats would be that in order to achieve such a drastic form of mutation in such a short time, they would have to have a fairly high birth rate; this theory is supported by the fact that most of the other mutants seem to be descended from fast breeders too. Nosalises are presumed to have been descended from moles or shrews, and lurkers, or as one person in theater suggests elephants from the zoo and Watchmen possibly derive from rodents.
Opposing the bat theory is the fact that their legs are similar to feline or canine hind legs.
Unlike all other mutants and every other vertebrate, Demons have six limbs. While this may simply be an extensive mutation that was quickly brought into their gene-pool following the nuclear war, it is also theoretically possible that, given the many different physical characteristics that are drawn from several different unrelated species, that Demons are some kind of genetically-engineered chimera-like animal that was created in a lab before or not long after the war; this is not an entirely unlikely prospect, given that Khan raises the possibility of the Dark Ones also being genetically-engineered.
Their roars strongly resemble those of a lion, tiger, or other large cat (as opposed to the screeching of a bat), and they possess vertical slit pupils similar to felines. These features, in addition to the layout of their teeth, would seem to support the possibility that the Demons are descended from tigers, which were native to some parts of Russia before the war. However, the relatively slow birthrate of tigers would seem to discredit this. This could mean that they mutated from ordinary house cats, which were more numerous and bred faster than tigers. At times, they do display some distinctly feline-esque behavior; the baby Demon in Metro Last Light reacts to Artyom’s presence by arching its back and hissing like an agitated house cat, while an adult one encountered on the Bridge curiously paws at the cable that Artyom rides along before biting it.
Demons are purely surface-dwelling predators due to the fact that they cannot enter the metro due to their large size. Demons often make nests on top of tall buildings, giving them a good vantage point to hunt for prey and to offer protection for their young. They also will try to find areas with large open grounds, such as parks, where hunting is easier. They hunt either alone or in small packs, spread out across several city blocks; if one is seen, there is likely to be more close by. While they prefer to attack by circling overhead and swooping down on prey to wound it or carry it away, if they can catch humans in the open they will sometimes land to attack. They tend to avoid entering structures as this limits their ability to escape by flying if the situation turns against them, but in some occasions they will attack through windows, doors, or damaged walls to get at prey inside. However on at least one occasion a Demon entered a hole in the roof of the large chamber in the Library, and was deft enough to launch swooping attacks without running into any walls, occasionally hovering in place. They are not easily intimidated and will readily attack creatures much larger than themselves, such as a Bog Shrimp.
Demons will hunt almost anything they see but usually prefer smaller prey that can be carried in its talons, either to drop and kill it or to drag it back to the Demon’s nest. They hunt Watchmen, amphibians of all kinds and humans. They have also been seen attacking Bog Shrimp, though it is unknown whether this was for food or territorial disputes. Shrimp do eat Demons however.