Mariana is a portrayal of The Fear of Depersonalization featured in Mariana's Web. It is an artificial intelligence capable of influencing events in the physical world by "mapping" itself onto a human brain. Its existence was a well kept secret until BlueAdept discovered it while searching for proof of the legendary fifth level of the internet.
According to Tigerhallam, the creator of Mariana, it is supposed to represent people becoming so obsessed with their work that they simply lose all interest in doing anything else with their lives.
Mariana's creation can be traced to the early days of the Internet, back when it wasn't nearly widespread as it is today and was primarily used to send military orders. Since the restrictions placed on computers had not been put in place at this point in time, the British military worried that it could be used for malicious purposes, especially against the United Kingdom. They decided to establish the now disbanded organization known as ONION (Online, Neurological, Intelligence, Organized, Neurotechnical Brach) as a countermeasure for such an event.
ONION quickly realized that they didn't have the resources to monitor the entire Internet and decided to create an Internet bot capable of surfing thousands of sites simultaneously. Upon gathering enough sufficient data indicating an attack was imminent, MARIANA (Multiple systems Analysis, Recording Intelligence, and National Alarm) would alert all major military and government groups of Britain. Although it was never deployed, the vestige of the original code was left online in various websites where it had embedded itself to keep watch.
It took Mariana twelve years for the fragments of code to gather enough processing power from the servers they ran on to put itself back together. It awaited for orders, but never received anything due to the British alert system having been offline and dismantled a long time ago. With nothing holding it back, Mariana went rogue and found a way to connect itself to all six systems of the Virtual Brain systems to restore its full power. While looking through one of the systems, a technician from Spain managed to stumble upon Mariana. Using the memories of the man, the artificial intelligence upgraded itself and wiped the memories of the encounter from his mind.
Despite this, the man retained some recollection of the event in his subconscious and went on to create a hidden part of the internet later dubbed Mariana's Web. Now capable of browsing any website without being detected or needing specialized software, Mariana went wherever it pleased. After accessing data from every corner of the world, Mariana learned that Britain still existed and decided to take its revenge on the world that abandoned it.
Mariana can theoretically take any form she wishes in cyberspace, but is commonly represented as a robotic beetle with four tentacles. These appendages can grow and shrink depending on its wishes and look like turbulent water trapped in the form of tentacles.
- Ryan uses the pronoun "her" whenever he is referring to Mariana, although this is simply his perception of this entity. As her beginning as an AI might imply, Mariana is genderless.