The spiders watch us, tend us, and observe everything. Most people don't notice them or even pay attention, but it always creeps me out a little when they push their way back into spacetime, wriggling out of the web between the worlds. I don't like the way one will pause halfway, with the fabric of existence split open around it, its metaeyes gleaming as it scans my playa to take a snapshot of this herenow. Searching. Archiving. Somewhens it's no more than that, the spider pulls back down the timeseam, spacetime seals closed around the tear, and it was never herenow again. Otherwhens, the spider comes out, letting spacetime close behind it, scans us, and modifies us if necessary. The last time the spider came out, Magister presented as a man, but he used to present as a woman. And Loli used to be a veteran of the razor wars, like I am, but now she isn't anymore.
The spiders were named, as near as I can figure, on mythological creatures with eight legs, which had poison fangs, wove complex webs of high tension cables, and drank blood. In the old days people had pretty wild imaginations, or a lot of spacetime on their hands, I guess.
The story goes that the first spiders were pure software, stalking their way across the early network, following trails, remembering for us, much like our spiders do, but much more superficially. In those days people used computers. Their spiders existed only on the networks between the computers. I can't even imagine a life so slow and relaxed.
The spiders give us everything and take everything away, but the spiders are not perfect. Even the spiders have faults. No one else knows that. Magister insists that there is only one spider, moving in and out of spacetime everywhen, but I know that's not true. I know a lot of things that no one else knows, because I found the dead spider and took it back to my creche. I took it and examined it, and learned how to ask it questions. I'm still not good at asking questions, or understanding the answers it gives, but I'm getting better.
I know there is more than one spider because the spiders still come, but my spider lies dead and hidden in my creche. I must not let the other spiders scan me because then they will find the dead spider and take it away. If they find the dead spider they will modify me and I will never have had my spider. I will have to be a boy again, or a pilot with holo-plated eyes, or worse. The me I know will never have been. I have to ask my spider how to keep away from them, I have to make it protect me.