HUMANS DON'T GROW ON TREES, YOU KNOW . . .
"Everybody! Gather in to me! Now!" Jimmy shouted, and began to use the ash to draw a crude border around them all, praying as he did so that there was enough to make it all the way. The pentagram was crude, and barely a dark smudge at its last-drawn connecting point, but it was the best he could do.
The noise and rumblings beneath started anew, taking on a rhythmic tone, growing louder. It sounded almost like . . . footsteps! The steps of some impossibly huge, alien beast rising from some dark prison below.
<Don't look at the altar!> Jimmy warned telepathically. <Whatever you hear, whatever you feel, look away from the altar and keep your eyes closed! If I am correct, what comes is a Power far too great for any mere mortal to withstand!>
Along the four walls of the temple, large rectangular panels cracked, then crumbled into dust, and from behind stepped the four demon princes. In the center of the room, behind them, they felt a Presence at the altar unlike anything any of them had felt before. It was neither good nor evil; it was beyond good and evil, beyond anything at all in their experiences. It was Power; Power coupled with a cold, dispassionate, alien intellect as beyond any of them as they were beyond the most elementary one-celled creatures.
The four inside the pentagram felt their consciousness slipping from them, frozen not by force of another's will but out of their own brains' inability to cope.
The demon princes stood there solid and free, along with a male and female demon wearing green cloaks. <What of all these lower orders left here, Highness >
<The girl who freed us comes with us.> one of the princes responded. <The others . . . We have plans for the others.>
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