"The Killing Hand" is a story involving time travel and murder. It was written by Dream Theater guitarist John Petrucci, who isn't totally sure what it's about. In a 2020 Songfacts interview
, he said: "That's very sci-fi. I don't remember the exact details I wrote, but it was something about somebody coming back from the future and killing somebody."
Petrucci added: "From the very beginning, I was really into writing fiction and coming up with stories. The kind of music that Dream Theater does - prog - is just the perfect backdrop for that because it can have long song forms with all sorts of eclectic arrangements, and it really lends itself to storytelling. So that was another fictional story I wrote."