Ch. 16: The Silver Guillotine
"Never! Never! Never!" she cried, and backed against the wall to defend him to their death.
But they fell on her again, three big brutal men, and she was only a child, shocked and terrified; and they tore Pantalaimon away, and threw her into one side of the cage of mesh and carried him, struggling still, around to the other. There was a mesh barrier between them, but he was still part of her, they were still joined. For a second or so more, he was still her own dear soul.
Above the panting of the men, above her own sobs, above the high wild howl of her daemon, Lyra heard a humming sound, and saw one man (bleeding from the nose) operate a bank of switches. The other two looked up, and her eyes followed theirs. The great pale silver blade was rising slowly, catching the brilliant light. The last moment in her complete life was going to be the worst by far.
The guillotine itself was a bit hard to conceptualize; I had to look up the mechanisms of how real guillotines worked, and then I kind of fixed it between the cages. Not sure if I’d keep the design if I were to re-do this, but I like the solid metal better than that electric thing they had in the movie.