"Any last words?" asked the sergeant, once he had tied Jehan's hands behind his back.
"Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn," Jehan exclaimed, with clear, manly resolution.
"Sarge, you forgot to take out the gag!"cried one of the men forming the firing squad.
"Cthulhu fhtagn," Jehan added helpfully.
"He's not wearing a gag," said the sergeant. "Hit him too hard on the head. Act of mercy, this."
Though Jehan was a little disappointed that his last words would be so misunderstood, the Great One to whom these words were addressed certainly knew what had been said. The cobblestones seemed to be vibrating.
There was a confused murmur from the firing squad. The ground was certainly shaking and now there was a dim, heavy, metallic sound coming from the other side of the barricade.
"How'd they get a canon?" muttered the sergeant.
"They didn't," Jehan said proudly, entirely pleased that his late night dabbling in mysticism seemed to have paid off so well. He couldn't have been having such dreams out of chance. "Guess again!"
"SCREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!" said something from the other side of the barricade, to the confused shouts and yells of the revolutionaries around it. Jehan could dimly make out Enjolras's fierce, "Everyone inside now!"
Jehan had mentioned it to everyone, and had just said yesterday that the Great Old One had told him in a dream that it had moved from the sunken city of R'leyh and was moving its way up the Seine. Jehan had tried to memorize a map of the sewers before going to bed that night, and was very pleased to see that his hard work had paid off. It wasn't his fault if no one else had listened. What a society, so bereft of poetry so as o be so ignorant of the Great One's coming!
"What the hell is that?" demanded the sergeant, as something finally worked its way out of the sewers. Jehan turned to look up at the great, writhing shape that shot up out of the ground to block out the sun. After a moment the silhouette solidified, but it defied mortal comprehension. One could begin to see that the shape was green, but there was nothing to compare the shape to, except as a monstrous amalgamation of other creatures that was somehow greater than all of these creatures combined. It could have surpassed even Fuseli's wildest nightmares.
"Holy Mother of God!" exclaimed the sergeant. "Run for your lives!"
"SCREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!" said the creature.
Jehan looked up at the creature contemplatively. It was vaguely humanoid, only green, scaly and rubbery, with long, diagonal wings trailing behind it like a medieval seigneur's cape and an enormous, octopus-like head with moving tentacles in the place of facial features and enormous flabby pincers in the place of hands or feet. When it moved, it gave the impression of a mountain tottering over the barricade. It set one enormous flabby pincer on top of the firing squad, causing the sergeant to scream in abject terror and scramble for safety.
Jehan felt himself in the presence of the sublime as the awful squid-head with its writhing feelers bent down to pick up the sergeant with one with one enormous tentacle.
"That is not dead which can eternal lie./ And with strange aeons even death may die!" Jehan declaimed, and was rewarded with a slimy pat on the head by one of the tentacles before the creature began shoving buildings out of its way.
There was a sharp tug at Jehan's bound arms and he stumbled backwards.
"Not really the revolutionary apocalypse most of us were expecting," said a very pale Courfeyrac, dragging Jehan behind the omnibus making up part of the barricade.
"You must admit there will be a very different society after this," said Jehan, watching with interest as Courfeyrac took off his cravat, wrapped it around the bottom of a shard of glass and began sawing off the rope binding Jehan's hands together.
"Very true," said Courfeyrac. "God, I should have just let Marius come out and dealt with thi…. Jehan?"
"All those dreams you had about, and I quote, 'an octopus, a dragon and one of Gillray's caricatures'… um…."
"Not quite dreams after all," Jehan replied cheerfully, flexing his hands. "I'm surprised you thought they were, when I wrote that poem called The Earth and Stars are Aligned and I kept telling you that the poet is the visionary of the nineteenth century."
"I see we should have interpreted that a bit more literally," said Courfeyrac. "To be fair, most of us interpreted the Great Old One rising from the deep being the French Revolution, not… that… thing."
There was a towering creak then a rising crescendo from screams from the National Guards and terrified whinnies from their horses as the Indescribable Thing began chasing after them and grabbing at them with its great, flabby claws.
"This may be the wrong time to ask this," said Courfeyrac, "but how did it fit through the sewers?"
"The Great Old Ones aren't made of matter," Jehan scoffed. "Also, now Paris no longer has sewers."
"We ought to run out to the others," suggested Jehan, quite matter-of-factly, "while the Elder God is feasting on the unworthy."
"Jehan, that secret society of yours," Courfeyrac said, as they ducked past one of the Indescribable Thing's writhing, squid-like feelers. "Not the Freemasons after all, was it?"
"Not really, no," said Jehan, apologetically.
"SCREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!" said Cthulhu.