May 20, 2019 3:02 PM
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She gasps in a breath.

"Oh," murmurs Isabella softly, after recovering a semblance of normal breathing rhythm. "Oh. He let go. We hurt but I think he let go."
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Kas sniffles.

"I'm sorry you hurt," he says. "I'm sorry you ever had to feel that."
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"If I can - do a spell - ahhhh - something - revise the one that - bring him back - kill the - nnnf - bastard - ow fuck ow -" says Isabella.

(Whether Path is currently in contact with a human or not, she's obviously not in good enough shape to get out the snow-circle, let alone something as complicated as the spell that brought her the alethiometer or the death curse.)
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"My sweetie's gonna get him," Kas says softly. "I asked the alethiometer, it said that's how."

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"You don't have to send - fuck - you don't want that - Metis could - no she's gone - doesn't have a - aaaaaaaaaaaahhhh - focus - to do it," pants Isabella. "If I could sit up -" It's not clear if she knows that Petaal has already left or not.

She seizes up, full of tension, again. "Path, Path," she moans.

The respite is apparently over for the time being.
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Kas just hugs her.

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There's another break - if removing a single component of what is obviously multifaceted torture can be called that - an hour later.

"You already sent her," pants Isabella. "Didn't you. She's gone already."
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"Yep," he says. "I don't know how long it's gonna be."

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"Took Path - my Path, my Path - all day," whispers Isabella. She twitches. "Nnnnnnng fuck fuck fuck she'll kill him right when she gets there right she'll kill him?"

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"She will," Kas promises. "And she'll get Path out and bring him home and he'll be safe."

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Isabella twists, trying to get away from a pain that isn't even there, and descends into gibbering misery again.

It's a little under an hour before she can talk again. "How - fucking - much - can - fuck - one - tiny - owl - take - before-we-just-fucking-die-already," she shrieks.
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"Oh, honey," he says, and starts very quietly crying again.

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"Tell me again," Isabella whispers.

(That it'll be all right. That Petaal will kill the bastard. That Path will come home. Anything. She can't specify, there's sharpness and heat and twisting all over her.)
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"It's gonna be okay," he sniffles. "My sweetie's gonna fix it."

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She squeezes his hand.

And convulses again.
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Petaal, meanwhile, has been going maximum speed on her cloud-pine for hours. But she knows all the landmarks; when she gets close, she drops until she's skimming just above the trees, and when she spots the log cabin with the crooked roof like a broken tooth, she dives to get out of sight and shifts squirrel to bolt across the remaining distance. Then cockroach, to wriggle her way in through the walls.

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There's an easily audible mixture of panicked screams and exhausted, hopeless pleas in Path's voice echoing through the cabin.

And a deeper voice snarling mocking versions of the same words, with additions. "Oh don't hurt meeee, I'm only a poor wittle witch-owl, I'm too aloof and powerful to be hurt like anybody else - not so much now, little fucker, huh? Shut up!"

There's a squeak and then more screams.
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Cockroaches are good at getting into places where no one wants them, but their eyesight is for shit. Petaal shifts housefly. Houseflies get a great view.

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She may not want her great view once she sees hundreds of facets across her vision of what's going on.

The man and the scorpion daemon accompanying him have Path rigged up in something that is obviously specially designed for holding birds. With less than zero regard for the comfort of those birds. Path is pierced in a few places through both wings, held spread open. Many of his feathers are no longer attached to him and the ones that are have been crushed by miscellaneous abuse. There are spots of blood dotting the table beneath him; his beak has been cut clear through like a battery cage chicken's and his talons are all severed at the quick. Assorted ominous implements stand in neat rows nearby. In the torturer's hand is, currently, a small serrated knife. It looks like he's going for an eye, but he's taking his time about it, feinting and laughing and never taking his other hand off Path's weakly struggling foot.
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She wants that view, oh yes she does, because with a good view comes good aim.

What's the fastest kill from here?

Jaguar.

She shifts and launches herself into the man from the side, tackling him away from Path; on the way down, she gets her jaws around the back of his neck and crushes his spine in one bite. She knows she's done it when touching him stops feeling like some integral part of her is being shredded.
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The scorpion vanishes.

Path can talk even with his beak mangled. Daemon speech isn't much about how they're physically made.

"P-petaal?"
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"Sweetie," she says, shifting witch and getting to her feet, reaching for him hesitantly. "I wanna fix it—I don't know how to fix it."

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"J-just - Isabella - can - she can, my Isabella, she can," Path moans, feet twitching. "There's clips - on the frame - holding the - things -"

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"I see it, I see it," she breathes, and she carefully carefully carefully disentangles him from his prison.

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Path whimpers, but it's nothing like the screams from earlier. He doesn't even try to fold his wings; he lets them hang limp from his shoulders.

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