She nods curtly and begins sorting out components. She lays out her choices in silence like sanctifying a ritual array to some technological deity. They sit between the unmoving (but not unseeing) eyes of the daemon and hers that never rest for a moment, constructing mental diagrams of circuits that will mesh with her maimed and twisted hand. A vision of her hand laying opened on the counter, oozing and sparking and altogether useless flashes in her mind's eye and she shakes her head to clear the memory.
A system backplane, long and thin and bristling with connectors. This will be the spine of EMBER.
Chips of volatile refreshable capacitive cells stacked on sticks ready for slots. These will be its memory.
Power conditioners and voltage converters, octopus-like, converting the raw energy that flows through a tether she'll be bound by until she finds something else to sate it's hunger. These will be its heart.
Several processors of varying kinds, laden down with heavy heat sinks shaped like electronic urchins lest they burn themselves out, floating-point and tensors and analog interfaces and one central. These will be its mind.
Myriad jumpers and patch wires, mems detectors and photodiodes, lights and piezo buzzers. These will be its connective tissues, its eyes, its voice.
Finally, she picks up a large copper bar split in twain by a heavy resettable switch across the width of it. This isn't for EMBER. This is for her. A kill switch.
Brings a new meaning to ARM architecture, she thinks to herself.
She arrays her tools as well: a soldering iron, heat-shrink tubing, flux and solder and bowls of non-conductive disinfectant, teflon spray to limit her body's own knowledge of this perversion of its systems. Superglue and a needle and thread. Scalpels and clamps of all sizes, a bone saw. Restraints. A single syringe that glints full of something toxic.
She's ready, there isn't any more preparation she can do. She closes the Wikipedia page for blood, swings over a boom mic and starts a recording.
"This is no_such_volition. Today, I'll be trying something new. I hope I'll make it to the other side. This video serves as record, should I succeed or should I fail, of my challenge of the Phage. If you're watching this for your own battle - good luck."
She licks her lips, breathes in, and starts to cut into her left wrist.