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A "soul" named Fords Dark Waters and his less colorfully named assistant Darren are performing a procedure on "a wild human. Still soulless" (Prologue.10).
It looks like they're implanting a soul into this human.
Fords makes an incision at the base of the human's neck, revealing the spinal column.
They stick the soul, a silvery ribbon with "thin, feathery attachments" (Prologue.46), inside the unconscious human, where it attaches to the human's brain. Grooooooss.
Once it's all squirreled away in there, Fords closes the incision, seals it, minimizes the scar and whispers into the human's ear: "Good luck, little wanderer, good luck. How I wish you didn't need it" (Prologue.58).