Read transcripts of this page in different languages:

PANEL 1:

A) MAVEN: YOU INITIATED A SEXUAL RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR TARGET AND YOU FELL FOR HIM!

PANEL 2:

B) MAVEN: AND TO THINK: YOU SAT HERE, IN FRONT OF ME, CODE-COMMANDED NOT TO LIE, AND TOLD ME WITH A STRAIGHT FACE THAT YOU WERE A "GOOD SOLDIER."

C) MAVEN: INCREDIBLE.

PANEL 3:

D) DEACON: I AM A GOOD SOLDIER!

E) MAVEN: OH, YES! AND A VERITABLE HEALTH AND SAFETY OFFICER WHEN YOU CHOKED THAT GUARD'S THROAT!

PANEL 4:

F) MAVEN: FORGIVE ME IF I DON'T PLACE MY TRUST IN YOUR SELFASSESSMENTS.

PANEL 5:

G) DEACON: THESE FEELINGS.... I HADN'T EVER EXPERIENCED ANYTHING LIKE THEM... I WAS… UNPREPARED FOR HOW POWERFUL THEY WERE...

PANEL 6:

H) DEACON: BUT THAT DOESN'T MEAN I'M NOT A GOOD SOLDIER!

I) MAVEN: OH, DOESN'T IT?

English transcript submitted by Alex Woolfson on

PANEL 1

A) MAVEN: SIE HABEN EINE SEXUELLE BEZIEHUNG MIT IHREM ZIEL ANGEFANGEN UND SIND IHM VERFALLEN!

PANEL 2

B) MAVEN: UND UM NUR MAL DARAN ZU DENKEN: SIE HABEN HIER VOR MIR GESESSEN, DARAUFPROGRAMMIERT NICHT ZU LÜGEN, UND HABEN MIR INS GESICHT GESAGT, DASS SIE EIN „GUTER SOLDAT“ SEIEN.

C) MAVEN: UNGLAUBLICH.

PANEL 3

D) DEACON: ICH BIN EIN GUTER SOLDAT!

E) MAVEN: OH, JA! UND EIN WAHRHAFTIGER GESUNDHEITS- UND SICHERHEITSOFFIZIER ALS SIE DIESEN WÄCHTER GEWÜRGT HABEN!

PANEL 4

F) MAVEN: VERZEIHEN SIE, WENN ICH MEIN VERTRAUEN NICHT IN IHRE SELBSTEINSCHÄTZUNG LEGE.

PANEL 5

G) DEACON: DIESE GEFÜHLE... ICH HABE SO ETWAS VORHER NOCH NIE ERLEBT... ICH WAR... UNVORBEREITET DARAUF WIE MÄCHTIG SIE WAREN...

PANEL 6

H) DEACON: ABER DAS BEDEUTET NICHT, DASS ICH KEIN GUTER SOLDAT BIN!

I) MAVEN: OH, TUT ES NICHT?

German transcript submitted by ckazka on

Quadro 1

A)Maven: Você começou um relacionamento sexual com o seu alvo e se apaixonou por ele!

Quadro 2

B)Maven: E pensar que você assentou aqui, diante de mim, sob código-comando para não mentir e me disse, com essa cara séria, que você "foi um bom soldado".

C)Maven: Incrível!

Quadro 3

D)Deacon: Eu sou um bom soldado!

E)Maven: Oh, sim!

F)Maven: E um autêntico oficial da saúde e segurança quando sufocou a garganta daquele guarda!

Quadro 4

G)Maven: Perdõe-me se eu não confio em suas autoavaliações.

Quadro 5

H)Deacon: Esses sentimentos... Eu jamais havia experimentado nada como eles... Eu estava... despreparado para o quão poderosos eles eram...

Quadro 6

I)Deacon: Mas isso não significa que eu não sou um bom soldado!

J)Maven: Oh, não?!

Portuguese transcript submitted by Naya Yukida on

Artifice Page 59

Yikes. Looks like Maven’s bringing on the red-outlined speech bubbles. I’d cringe too, Deacon…

We have new Fan Art, “Artifice Kiss” by long-time commenter and friend of Artifice, Enkidu! It’s Deacon & Jeff, half-naked and yes, kissing! Closet yaoi fan-girl Maven says you should totally check it out. Thanks, Enkidu!

The donation bar is now at $224, just $26 away from a new bonus page for this Wednesday. Special thanks to long-time supporters Queenie C. & Virginia H. (who is making their 4th donation in a row! Thank you, Virginia!) and a warm welcome & grateful bow to new supporter (yet long-time commenter) Erica B. for their generous donations over the last few days!

And big hugs to long-time Artifice superhero Larisa V. for their super-generous $25 donation! Thank you all!

So… we all know what it means when Maven starts to get this impatient. It means we’re about to get some answers to another burning question. And this time, revealing those answers will show off some different mad skillz from Winona. I’m looking forward to that. :)

DING! DING! DING! DING! DING! DING! DING! December 17, 10:50 AM: Yay! We’ve now hit (and exceeded!) the donation target, so in addition to the regular Saturday update, there will be a bonus update next week on Wednesday, page 60! Thank you all so, so much for your generous support—it really is a huge help in making this comic. Hope to see you all there!


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  • melinda stumpf

    it dose he has someone to fight for now instead of nothing

  • http://twitter.com/lilianajoo Liliana Joo

    Wow, she’s meannn :/!!!!!!!!!! Also, he’s sooo cute :3 <3 <3 <3 And my finals are over, NOT SUCCESSFULLY but now I can enjoy this in peaceful mind :)

    • http://webcomics.yaoi911.com/ Alex Woolfson

      Glad to hear the finals are now behind you, Liliana—and I hope they went better than you’re expecting. I hope you have a great, relaxing weekend. :) 

  • Erica

    LOVE IS POWERFUL lol wow, im up at 3:40 in the morning because i can’t sleep. damn me. lol n e way damnnn Maven’s face in panel 4 XD that is a look of “bitch, please.” XD gooood job. :D

    • http://webcomics.yaoi911.com/ Alex Woolfson

      Hehe. Thank you, Erica. Yep, Panel 4 is one of my favorite Winona expressions. No secret what’s she’s thinking there… ;)

  • http://tatatroses.blogspot.com/ Tatat Roses

    i love how frightened Deacon is =)))) oh goooood laughed so much at the first panel :))

    • http://webcomics.yaoi911.com/ Alex Woolfson

      Glad to hear that got a chuckle, TatatRoses. :) Is Maven still reminding you of your Mom?

      • http://tatatroses.blogspot.com/ Tatat Roses

        Yes, she really does :)) and Deacon reminds me of myself when I’m reprimanded =))

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1472043705 facebook-1472043705

    He should do the same health check on Maven’s throat…

    • http://webcomics.yaoi911.com/ Alex Woolfson

      Heh. She does evoke strong feelings, huh?

  • krissdevalnor

    Excellent expressions! :D Love this comic so much!

    • http://webcomics.yaoi911.com/ Alex Woolfson

      Thank you, krissdevalnor! And yes, I think Winona is really knocking these pages out of the park. She makes what would otherwise be a very static scene of two people talking in a room into something very visually compelling. :D

      • krissdevalnor

        Exactly :)!

  • Emily Hood

    Was having a crap night, remembered it was friday night, saw this. Maven’s sneer returned the smile to my face. Thank you Alex and Winona!

    • http://webcomics.yaoi911.com/ Alex Woolfson

      LOL. It has the same effect on it, actually. And you’re welcome—I’m glad a little Maven brightened your night!

  • shinashiasusual

    Snobby Maven is snobby. And I come across some things that establishes that being a good soldier is having to be good at following orders. I don’t like that idea- It’s more along the lines of working to do what’s right, following *some* order, not just with the people in charge. Maybe that doesn’t make any sense, but that’s what I feel.

    • http://webcomics.yaoi911.com/ Alex Woolfson

      I think there would be many others who would agree with you. Whether the board of directors at NoNeCo would, well, that’s another question. ;)

  • http://emergencyuseonly.deviantart.com Emergencyuseonly

    In times like this the nickname “bitchy-mcbitch bitch” comes to mind. Lovin’ the facial expressions and once again I can’t wait to read the next one >w<

    • http://webcomics.yaoi911.com/ Alex Woolfson

      Heh. Glad you’re looking forward to the next page, Emergencyuseonly. ;)

  • mikakitten

    Maven scares me too Deacon…she scares me too ;_; … LOVE the sneer she gives him in the fourth pannel!! Brilliant! Awww….I miss Jeff now though…when is Deacon gonna escape this interrigtion and bust Jeff out and kiss him passionately and run away to their own secluded planet and keep doing naughties until all the bad stuff goes away. And Maven can watch….cos she’s secretly a yaoi fan girl. ;) Don’t pretend Maven!

    • http://webcomics.yaoi911.com/ Alex Woolfson

      LOL. I like your ending. I want to watch that episode of Artifice. :D

  • Aikka

    I overslept for the update aaa O_O

    Blame people i met yesterday, should be sleeping to wake up in time in the morning, not talking with them to late hours ;-;”

    Anyway now i’m here *-*

    Is it weird that i feel like i understand both sides here? Maven and Deacon.
    I mean as far as i side with Deacon etc, this and previous page Maven reminds me what i feel, when some of my friends tell me about their lovelife -_-
    And for her here he is just someone that decided to complicate everything too *sigh*

    Also, 1st panel… i just feel like if there would be a spiderweb coming from her wrists, you know like spiderman “XD Deacon even have the right impression too o..o

    • Travis

      Thank you now I can’t stop laughing at the thought of Maven as Spidey and Deacon cowering from the web-rage. XDDDD

    • http://webcomics.yaoi911.com/ Alex Woolfson

      Boy, y’all are cracking me up this morning. Maven as Spider-Psychologist. OK, Aikka. Fanart or it never happened. ;)

      And as far as I’m concerned, it’s not weird that you can understand both sides; it’s actually a huge compliment. I’ve tried my best to make sure that all of my characters have motivations that are at least believable, and hopefully feel real. If you can understand why she might feel the way she does, even when she’s not on the side of our heroes, then I’ve had some success with that. So, thank you. :)

      • Aikka

        Haha, if it continue, all i will do will be drawing fanart… “XD

        btw. you dissapeared from FB… just answer me when you can ^^

  • http://twitter.com/junyoungftw Erica Joseph

    I want to reach through the screen a sock Maven in the face O.o

    • http://webcomics.yaoi911.com/ Alex Woolfson

      Yep. Love her or hate her—Maven is meant to evoke some strong feelings. Jeff and Deacon appreciate your vote of support. :)

  • fujoshifanatic

    The snark! The sarcasm! The overall uber-bitch mode! I really love Maven here. Panel 4 is my favorite; it’s the perfect marriage of art and dialogue! I want it as my icon, avatar, on a T-shirt, as a tatoo–on everything!

    Beautiful work as always, Alex and Winona! Thank you for making my Saturdays and Wednesdays (for the last 3 months! Woot!) so much better.

    • http://webcomics.yaoi911.com/ Alex Woolfson

      Yay! I love that panel too. Let me know when you get that tatoo. ;)

      And thank you very much for the props. It makes me happy to hear that you’ve been enjoying Artifice and that it’s helped to make those hump days a little better. I certainly always love to hear from you in the comments. :D

  • Yukiness

    Holy shit that sneer! Even my mother sitting behind me was like (and I quote), “Oh my god, who shit in her morning brew?!”
    I took that as an opportunity to advertize this comic and how she should read it to find out what could produce such a face.

    I must say that for something so unsightly, it is very beautiful. I know from experience that it’s difficult to draw an ugly face on a beautiful person. Winona wins.

    • http://webcomics.yaoi911.com/ Alex Woolfson

      LOL!!! Oh, my God. Getting a chuckle out of me is difficult, but your Mom’s quip cracked me up for a full minute. That’s awesome. You’ll have to let me know if she decides to read any of the pages. :)

      • Yukiness

        will do. Happy to give you a laugh

  • tom1988

    Alex, I must say I’ve fallen in love with this story. I first saw a Artifice skyscaper ad on A Distant Soil many months ago. Didn’t click one until repeated exposure and curiosity got the better of me about a month ago. Damn, what I’d been missing out on!

    It’s incredible, the writing is fantastic and Winoa, your art totally draws me into any setting – even Maven’s office at the height of her rage. Beautiful tones and wonderful style, it truly captures the atmosphere, let alone the expressions/body language of these captivating characters. Besides, it’s so refreshing to see high quality western art work.

    You’ve both created an ongoing masterpiece and after the mere first few pages of the comic, it’s clear that this is something special. Definitely deserves the labels “Smart” and “Science Fiction” with which you advertise it.

    So, how do I feel about the story? For a long time I was relatively cold toward Deacon; even now there’s a little distancing from him since he’s an android; I feel like if some neural pathways in his brain were to snap somehow, who knows what he could be capable of? It’s just a niggling thought at the back of my mind. I’ve also always imagined him with a very light Russian accent for some reason… Don’t know how anyone else hears his voice?

    That said these past few pages (which were brilliantly executed btw) have warmed even my cynical heart and Deacon has proven his humanity in my eyes ;) As for Jeff, I had ambivalent feelings about him. At first I couldn’t believe he didn’t care about his entire colony being wiped out by the same guy he eventually took to bed. His backstory makes me somewhat sympathetic but in the end, the fact that he’s just such a nice guy is enough to redeem him. Especially in addition to his mature romance with Deacon.

    Finally, I think Maven is lucky Deacon can’t throw her out that lovely window as I’m sure most people would want to at this point. We love to hate her though, don’t we? She’s been my favorite character this whole time – who can’t appreciate her witty lines and great personality? For me, it’s only at this page that she’s starting to push her luck.

    • http://webcomics.yaoi911.com/ Alex Woolfson

      Wow, tom1988, thank you so much for your thoughtful and detailed comment. It was so interesting to read about how your attitudes towards the characters changed and I really appreciate all the kind words. Definitely put a big smile on my face.  Glad you’re loving to hate Maven—as I’ve mentioned elsewhere, she’s a lot of fun for me to write. And yes, her tone is definitely changing—whether that will have any consequences for her, well, we’ll just have to wait and see. I, for one, would never underestimate her. ;)

      I’m delighted you decided to click that banner. :D

      • tom1988

        The delight is all mine ;)

        It’s not flattery or an exageration to say that I really can’t think of a webcomic with higher quality, in *every* area of direction, than this.

        • http://webcomics.yaoi911.com/ Alex Woolfson

          That’s a huge compliment. And it has me smiling even broader. I hope you continue to enjoy our work. Thank you again! :D

  • http://vampyremelayah.deviantart.com/ Jeni

    LOVE the sneer in the 4th panel! It says it all!

  • leorising

    I had to laugh so hard at Deacon’s “OMG YIKES WHOASHIT” face. ‘Ware the red speech bubbles!

    Maven is killing me with her persistent non-understanding. Not in a good way, either, grr.

    Great work, Team Artifice!

    • http://webcomics.yaoi911.com/ Alex Woolfson

      Yes, grr indeed, leorising. ;)

      Thank you for the props!

  • CommodoreZelda

    Poor Deacon, trying so desperately to insist that he’s a good soldier… I can’t imagine how it feels to be created for the sole purpose of following orders and then being told that you failed because of emotions that they programmed into you.

    • http://webcomics.yaoi911.com/ Alex Woolfson

      That’s a good insight, CommodoreZelda. Not very fair, huh?

  • http://twitter.com/irenicPie Lucy

    Wow, what a bitch. Looks like someone’s never been in love.

  • Lusidicious Milk

    I like her she keeps the story SPICY

  • thisboybroken

    ok now I hate her again :D Oh my poor little Deacon, you are a good soldier! 

    • http://webcomics.yaoi911.com/ Alex Woolfson

      I imagine he could use a hug right about now, Mark. ;)

  • HermeticallySealed

    Heh, Maven seems very good at leading Deacon into giving what her what she wants. For all of his skill and inhuman strength, I think it’s her deftness with manipulation that makes her a far scarier opponent. 

  • Dex X.

    Maven better watch her tone. That large window is awful close and I have a lot less self restraint (and a lot MORE temper) than a certain cyborg. 

  • ithilloke

    Good grief! Over-react much? He’s more human than she is!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_JKZDFEVVYS36MYZ4R4YM75F5QQ Emma

    I strongly dislike her!!! lol :P

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_YAXQQXNPHAO6BREKB5NSGKV7NU Kari

    I hope you’re not trying to make me like this woman?

  • sincostax

    Maven, you cheesehole – dun be angry at Deacon for being in fluffeh-luff :c

  • HermeticallySealed

    I think with Maven, the over-reaction is the point. It’s not what Deacon is expecting, and thus keeps him off balanced and easier to manipulate. Before, when he felt he could control the situation, he was smug and not just a little bit obstinate. Maven has kept him unsure as to what she is likely to say or do, preventing him from reverting back to feeling he was the one in control.

    I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that her behavior was all part of her plan.

  • http://twitter.com/Its_me_Alis Alis~~

    Maven is pushing all Deacon’s buttons (oh well LOL)! She’s manipulating him beautifully! I can’t stop laughing looking at the first panel! Look at Deacon! He’s cringing, looking almost afraid of a woman he could easily snap the neck in other circumstances!  How can I not love her?

  • Kittery Brazelton

    Incredible page.  Great emotional charge.  Awesome. 

  • wasEnkidu

    Poor Deacon. If he admits that he’s not a “good soldier” he may as well be asking for them to kill him. Being a good soldier is his entire purpose for living as far as the company is concerned. If he’s not good at that, then he’s worthless. :(
    He’s basically pleading his case for why he aught to be allowed to live after disobeying commands ONCE.

    • wasEnkidu

      And Yay! There’s mah fanart! Though could you credit me as Enkidu? Just for the sake of consistency.

      • http://webcomics.yaoi911.com/ Alex Woolfson

        Of course! Done. :)

        • wasEnkidu

          Yaaay! :D

    • qu_gon_robot

      Oh god, I have a feeling you’re on to something O_O
      But if we’re lucky Jeff will sweep in, recharge Deacon and save the day! Wooooooo

  • Ryn

    Maven has a nasty sneery face. Deacon’s ‘Oh SHIT!’ face in the first panel is hilarious. he’s ripped dozens of armed men and women to pieces and he’s scared of one little skinny chick *I* could break in half. XD

    *pokes Maven* and that “guard” deserved it. In fact i vote we all break his fingers one joint at time.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Abbi-Orenstein/100000436550169 Abbi Orenstein

       she’s got his codes if she were an innocent colonist she’d be dead too. She’s got the keys to the cage.

  • timeaesnyx

    I can understand where Deacon’s coming from, but really, it is dumb. 

  • eleutherios

     A soldier’s business is killing.  Dress it up in whatever language you like about duty and honour and following orders, but at the heart and soul and centre of it, soldiering is about killing who you’re told to.

  • Lithekitty

    She seems to be mixing soldier up with mindless drone. Good soldier, bad mindless drone.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Abbi-Orenstein/100000436550169 Abbi Orenstein

      most people do dear.

  • eetr

    LOL her snooty face is pricelesss

  • T Tran

    LOL her snooty face is just priceless XDD

  • TheWOL

    The more I see of that doctor, the more my hand itches to just b*tch-slap her across the room.  Grrrr.

  • qu_gon_robot

    How did it come to be that a male villain (as long as he’s
    good looking, and sometimes even when he is not) is always justified by the reader, while a female antagonist is never as lucky? Is it because girls can
    only sympathize with the Purity Sue (seeing that society places such a value on all ‘good girl’ traits), while men don’t even want to imagine a world where a woman can be a threat to them?
    Whatever the reason for this ridiculous double standard, Maven is an awesome
    villain, a great ‘plot dump’ for moving the story along,  and I’d love to
    see more of her >:)

    • LadyRhapsody

      No, girls can sympathize also with Crazy Sue (the one who said F.U. to society and murdered her husband on the grounds of his infidelity.) And, while I can completely get behind a fellow woman make her presence known through threats, intimidation, and violence… I, really….just don’t like this doctor. She is acting like a b*tch (though it may be required to not be intimidated by her clients, i.e. naughty robots), and the idea of only being seen as powerful by being one doesn’t sit well with me, ya know? Especially when her only ‘power’ is a set of codes. >:/ This is less about men and women’s roles in society and more about this lady going through a power-trip.
      Though, making a killing machine jump at the sound of her voice does earn her my respect. :3

      • qu_gon_robot

        That makes sense; the guards in the first chapters acted much the same, so I see where you’re coming from.
        But then like the guards, she is not sexually appealing to the readers of this web comic (seeing that most of us are either heterosexual women or homosexual men) and so an analogy between sexual appeal and immunity to criticism starts
        to become quite apparent to me. Just look at any story where the male villain is hot; We turn him in to a ‘Draco in leather pants’ because it is a part of our sexuality to want to be dominated now and then, so we make excuses for what
        that villain does because it’s hot, it’s not rape if you like it, and we’re too kinky to torture anyway (TVtropes consumed my life, yes *V*’).
        I was simply wondering whether we are really taking those characters at face value and whether our sympathy for them just a step away from a Freudian complex. >_>

        • Virginia Hull

          I don’t know if this really applies to the convo ya’ll have got going on – but… I see this is a human vs nonhuman thing, rather than woman vs man. Is that weird? When does AI, hologram, etc., ever gain the same rights as a human? (This was explored many times in Star Trek Voyager with their holographic doctor).  Personally I love Maven’s character – I think the whole bitch thing could be a part of her own anger at a loss of control over a machine. Though I was thinking the other night, “wouldn’t it be amazing of Deacon was somehow actually a brainwashed human being with a few cybernetic implants (like perhaps a salvaged almost-corpse) and Maven was more pissed off about the brainwashing not being effective” …er, something like that.

          • qu_gon_robot

            Ha! I like that! Then he could realize that eventually, de-plug himself and be like “Biatch I’m free at last!” lol
            And maybe even after freeing himself he could still regard himself as an android out of habit, showing some major signs of PTSD or something like that…>>
            On another note, your observation is quite relevant to the in-universe events unfolding within the Artifice world- there is without a question a man vs machine thing or perhaps a man vs slave conflict going on (which would be an awesome twist btw), but what we’re talking about is kind of like the fandom reaction, where we examine the way different readers relate to the characters.

            Oh and sometime ago, I read this young adult book called ‘The House of the Scorpion’. It’s all about man vs clone, with the clone’s rights being the centre issue there.
            You might have read it in junior high, but if you didn’t, it’s totally worth checking out. :D

          • JM

            See, I would totally buy into that theory (as its so awesome), except for the fact that there was that one page of like 2 dozen Deacons salvaging Da Vinci Four. To me, thats irrefutable proof that Deacon is an android…unless they were all modeled after his likeness and he’s the only human one??
            Whatever, I’m getting carried away with these conspiracy theories….

        • http://www.facebook.com/singstoimaginarybeings Amber Lynn O’Connor

          As a bisexual female I’ve got to say: Maven is pretty damn hot in a strange sense. She’s got the dominance, the assertiveness, the lack of fear to do what she must to get what she wants. And I suppose that totally supports your theory :P

    • KBatty

      I enjoy a good villain of any gender. The problem with Maven is that she doesn’t seem to have any particular wickedness about her, or any motive for her badgering. She has no evil scheme or plot. She’s just incredibly manipulative, bitchy, and unprofessional in her job as a psychiatrist. If anything, I think she’s an extraordinarily cliché female character and she speaks as much to societal values as a scantily-clad bimbo would. Good or bad, if a woman is in power, she for some reason must be an irrationally angry, (often) suit-wearing, control-freak. She’s not physically unattractive by any means; she’s just got a repulsive personality and a seeming lack of motivation for her behaviour.

      In the same line of thought, there are plenty of extraordinarily stupid male villains that people coo over for no reason and I’m not entirely sure why.

      I like my villains to be level-headed, cunning, and determined. Appearance or gender has never been particularly relevant to me. I want a smart villain, and someone I can root for. I want a bad guy (or girl) who works hard for whatever it is he or she wants, and who never gives up despite defeat after crushing defeat. It seems that no matter how many times you beat down the bad guys, they get back up. They are determined to persevere against all odds and that’s why I love them.

      …and honestly I completely forget what my point was. If I manage to remember what I was getting at, I’ll come back and finish this thought. In the meantime, BACON!

      http://yocheck.ca/bacon.html

      • JM

        Hmm, why do think that Maven is so cliched? I personally don’t see her as being bitchy and manipulative at all – we’re all sympathizing with Deacon and seeing him as a person, as we’ve been along for the ride as he’s developed emotions and a conscience….but Maven only sees him as a machine. I think her “unprofessionalism” is simply a reaction to having to conduct a therapy session with said machine – it’s completely out of the ordinary, and I think her bullying tactics are actually very effective. She knows that emotionally he’s nothing short of a child, so this is the only way she can get him to open up and become vulnerable enough to admit his mistakes.

        Jeff got him to open up and shed his android-like persona through compassion, love, and relatability, while Maven is using a parent-child scolding approach. It may come off as mean, but it’s getting him to talk. I think she’s just doing her job, and I don’t for a second believe that this is how she would treat a human patient.

        • KBatty

          Here’s what I said in reference to why I think she’s cliché:

          “Good or bad, if a woman is in power, she for some reason must be an irrationally angry, (often) suit-wearing, control-freak.” How often do we see a woman in a position of power in fiction where she’s NOT portrayed as a borderline maniac in a perpetual state of bitchiness with little or no emotional self-control? It seems like a rarity, and I can count on one hand the female characters I know of that defy the stereotype.

          Other than that, we may have to agree to disagree. I don’t agree with your assessment that the best way to get information out of him is to bully him because he’s got childlike emotions. If that were the case I imagine she’d also use the same tactics on a child (whereas you disagree and feel that she would never use the same tactics on any human), and if she ever did use those tacitics on a child she’d probably lose her license to practice. Of course, that opinion falls to the matter of whether not an android has any rights at all.

          Furthermore, I don’t entirely understand her role to begin with, aside from standing in to serve as an emotionally antagonizing presence. I would think that if Deacon can be programmed, the data stored in his “mind” (whatever configuration that may be) should likewise be accessable. That’s heavy speculation, of course, but if he’s hardware and software, they should be able to get inside his mind without a visit to a psychologist.

          One could argue that this issue also falls to a matter rights and whether or not he has any, or if doing so would voilate his rights as an individual. The unethical treatment he’s already experiencing would indicate that he doesn’t have rights at all, which makes the exercise of interrogating him somewhat moot in my eyes.

          I guess I don’t like her predominately because she seems to be a villain without a cause. She brings nothing important to the table (at least not yet). She may do so farther down the road, but until she presents herself with a particularly useful purpose and/or stops having uncalled-for outbursts/mood swings, I’ll probably continue to dislike her.

          Of course I still like Artifice. I just think Maven should die in a fire.

          • http://www.facebook.com/singstoimaginarybeings Amber Lynn O’Connor

            This may seem obvious, but clearly they can’t access Deacon’s information at their leisure, or else why would they be going about it this way? I mean, obviously they never anticipated this sort of behavior in the first place, which is why I think Maven is so stunned by Deacon’s answers and how human his thought processes are becoming.

            And this may only seem to happen in the movies, but ‘unethical’ treatment in these scenarios doesn’t necessarily involve a loss of license, not when death and other such weighty matters are involved. I’m sure her instructions went somewhere along the lines of “Get a confession out of him no matter what you have to do.”

            Do I think Maven has some crazy mood swings? Yes, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to be quick to judge her as cliche or without purpose.

          • JM

            I totally see what you’re getting at re: the power-suit wearing female cliche, but I just don’t think Maven falls into that category in such simple terms. She may be wearing a suit and in a position of power, but notice how her appearance differs from that cliche – she’s wearing a pink suit-skirt and her hair is down. She isn’t the pants-wearing tight bun type (think Portia De Rossi in Better Off Ted). That’s why I won’t write her off so easily as a villain and as an emotionally antagonizing presence. She has her own motives and loyalties, and is a more complex character I think.

            We may also have to agree to disagree with her lack of emotional control – I personally don’t see her as having “mood swings” like most people do. I do believe that she occasionally raises her voice out of frustration, which is an unprofessional reaction in normal circumstances, but these aren’t normal circumstances. I actually think that when she bursts out she does it on purpose so that Deacon will lose the upper hand. Someone else commented that he tends to act rather smug and throws a lot of jargon at her when he thinks he’s in control, and I say she’s trying to throw things off balance because he doesn’t know how to keep himself composed when being attacked. All in all, not your regular therapy session, that’s for sure.

            As for her role, I would say she’s just as important as Jeff, in terms of the plot. I know that for a yaoi comic this is a rarity, and that’s precisely why I like Artifice so much. Her purpose is to present the other side of the spectrum – she’s the spokesperson for the Corporation and really the only link we have to any information about them. With more therapy pages I think we’ll start to learn more about the plan behind Deacon and all of the models. I find it all fascinating, as we get to learn more about why Deacon was built in this way and what he was meant to do. She also gives us a very real portrayal of the lack of rights that AI machines have in this world, so we get to see it firsthand rather than just have Deacon tell Jeff about it. Not that I don’t love all the Deacon/Jeff stuff, but I like the added third dynamic to this story.

      • http://www.xenophobia-theambassador.com Blythe Jove

        Disqus seems to have it out for me today.

        “If anything, I think she’s an extraordinarily cliché female character and she speaks as much to societal values as a scantily-clad bimbo would.”

        I disagree. Her behaviour is entirely consistent with an interrogator, which is her primary function at this point in the story. Whenever Deacon becomes evasive, she gets angry. She’s doing it to wear his resistance down and it’s quite rational on her part.

        Remember, from her point of view, this android murdered quite a few people in order to save what likely amounts to a terrorist in her world.

        Thinking that she would behave this way around a child or a human patient is silly, IMHO.

        I would like to know more about her own personal motives, yes, but right now I buy into her motive as an employee to do the job she’s paid to do.

  • http://twitter.com/xBriarRosex Amberella Kissafella

    Oh sweet Deacon!! I will protect you!  *cuddle shield~!*

  • http://twitter.com/mekishikoraptor Araceli Lopez

    i am so late to this. but LOOK AT HIS CUTE WITTLE FACE. i just want to take him and hug him and tell him it’ll be ok. but then at the same time i want horrible things to happen. angst is my personal brand of heroine. 

  • http://profiles.google.com/michanforever A. V. M.

    Panel 4. DAT FACE. It’s like Maven’s saying, “Deacon…you disgust me…” without actually saying it aloud. If that makes sense. Ah, I’m rambling, aren’t I. >__<
    Anyways, poor Deacon, getting yelled at by Maven like this. Cut him a little slack, I mean, the guy fell in love with his target and…

    Okay, lemme change that a bit. As much as I love Deacon and his romance, falling for his target was still a pretty bad idea xD

    One more thing before I shut up. I feel like Maven will tell him something like , "Good soldiers are always professional. Good soldiers never fall in love with people they are supposed to kill!" or some such thing.

    /gah long comment is long I mean I never type comments this long I can't believe it augh I'll stop typing now I think

  • Superjenny

    Wow.  Maven is a real C-U-Next-Tuesday.

    In other news:  I see a guy that looks so like Jeff on the bus every day that I work that I just want to snap a pic to send you guys, then glomp him to pieces!  X3

    • Lance Gilroy

      Covert photo snapping operation!

      • Superjenny

        When next I see him, I will try my best!  >.<

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_J7W4JMZ6MXCVA6KKCFVAMW44OU Summer

    Since things are kind of weird right now (I ended up not having to travel after all), I think I’ll just post one very simple fact that our dear doctor seems to have forgotten; SHE was the one who coded him not to lie.  If he’s overcoming it as you seem to think he is, does that mean you, Dr. Maven, made a mistake in doing it, or that he is, in fact, telling the truth?

    Something to mull over.

    • http://webcomics.yaoi911.com/ Alex Woolfson

      Hey Summer, I hope you’re doing OK, in spite of the weirdness. You’ve been in my thoughts. :)

      (And yes, that is something to mull over.)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Fir-Rahman/510690841 Fir Rahman

    Yayness

  • crimsonkiss22

    Urgh, red-rimmed speech bubbles of RAGE. Maven-zilla is baaack! 

    Pretty happy to see the disparate reactions to Maven, though. As a fellow writer I know that it doesn’t necessarily matter what people feel about a certain character, just that they feel something. Apathy is the absolute WORST thing.

    I am on the Maven train, whooping it up, dodging her icy glares and occasional red-rimmed speech bubbles. I tend to appreciate her for what she is: A person who stands in opposition to our heroes (though I tend to think of Deacon more of an anti-hero personally, what with all the killing and everything…even if it’s not wholly his own choice) and provides lots of conflict and drama.

    Anyway, long post is long! Loving this page, loving this webcomic, loving these characters. Loving you, Alex and Winona. <3

    • http://webcomics.yaoi911.com/ Alex Woolfson

      Well, love right back, crimsonkiss22! And I agree, as a writer, it is very gratifying that folks are engaged enough by Maven to want to engage in such thoughtful debate. Apathy is the worst thing. And Maven is meant to be a bit provocative… ;)

  • qu_gon_robot
    • http://webcomics.yaoi911.com/ Alex Woolfson

      Really, really nice fan art, actually. I look forward to putting this up. With your permission, of course. :)

      • qu_gon_robot

        Of course you can! Thank you!! If you are going to post it, can I be credited as qui-gon-robot? I hang around here way more often then DA anyway <3.

        • http://webcomics.yaoi911.com/ Alex Woolfson

          Absolutely. :) And thank you again!

  • ForeverForking

    Aaaaa, I do love comics where the people look and act so real. The expressions and little details, I mean. Like when Jeff first appeared and we could see his little forehead crinkles.  :)  It’s not typically something people like to see on their own forehead, so they don’t appear in drawings very often, and that jumped out at me as a cool thing. <3 And what I call Deacon's 'monkey face' when he's being so cute and earnest in the last panel here. I love it.

    I'm gonna stop rambling, though. I probably make no sense. Just wanted to say I've been watching this one and it makes me happy. I would do fanart, but my style would look ridiculous.

    • http://webcomics.yaoi911.com/ Alex Woolfson

      Thank you, NightingaleMuse. IMHO, Winona is the mistress of power when it comes to facial expressions. Her work stuns me every time.

      And, FWIW, I think we have a lot of disparate and interesting styles in the fan art section, so if that’s what’s stopping you, don’t let it. I love to see different interpretations of our characters. :)

      • wasEnkidu

        In fact, the more ridiculous, the better Amairight?
        Yeah, I was really worried when I did my first fanart because of the standard set by Winona, but even if it’s a silly little dickgrab doodle. they’re appreciated.
        I know I was over the MOON the first time someone online drew one of my characters to surprise me. Honestly, you don’t critique fanart. You just fangasm over getting it. :)

        • ForeverForking

          But it was the most epic dickgrab I’ve seen in a good while. D:

      • ForeverForking

        Haha, I guess you’re right enough. Mayhaps I’ll give it a go if I can think of something to do with the boys. :)

        And you’re to blame for the awesome too, mister. Way to think up a fun story. *grin*

  • http://twitter.com/lilianajoo Liliana Joo

    Thanks, Alex! I failed one of them, like, FAILED. I am praying for a C. Now that I am in Korea, I will be having a cold X-mas. I hope everything’s well :)!

    • http://webcomics.yaoi911.com/ Alex Woolfson

      Ah, heck, sorry to hear that one went so badly. May you get a C or better in that class!

      And thank you, everything is really busy for me right now, but I’m well. I hope you have a great Xmas in Korea, despite the cold! :D

  • Marlyn Wood

    Ugh! I have totally been neglecting reading this lately… :( At least I got to read a couple of weeks’ worth today, now that I’m not so distracted by my mom’s health, though! 

    And these pages have reminded me why I fell in love with this comic in the first place. I’m flailing all over everywhere and totally incoherent at the moment. I just can’t even express how much I enjoy the writing and art. The expressions are just so /real/, and the dialogue absolutely perfect to convey the emotion on the page. I seriously cannot recommend this often enough to my friends.

    • http://webcomics.yaoi911.com/ Alex Woolfson

      Aw, thank you, Marlyn! What wonderful, sweet things to say! You’ve put this huge smile on my face. :D

      And I certainly hope your Mom is doing OK. It’s hard when our parents aren’t doing well, health-wise. :/ 

  • yellowrock

    I love how condescending she is about this, and how she is more upset about the fact that he disobeyed his programming, than the fact that he did it with a man, which is apparently bad juju in the future.  I foresee her eventually becoming sympathetic and helping Deacon break Jeff out of jail or wherever he’s being held.

    Also, as a point of interest:  “The word “deacon” is derived from the Greek word diakonos (διάκονος), which is a standard ancient Greek word meaning “servant”, “waiting-man,” “minister” or “messenger.”
    One commonly promulgated speculation as to its etymology is that it
    literally means ‘through the dust’, referring to the dust raised by the
    busy servant or messenger.” (from wikipedia)

    Maybe Deacon will work to change the way that future people think about robots and stuff?  Lead a homolust revolution?  WHO KNOWS WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS!?  (besides the author, of course)

  • JM

    I find it fascinating that Maven thinks that her programming codes instructing Deacon not to lie aren’t working – if he truly believes that he’s a good soldier, then he’s not telling a lie, is he? I think Maven has been under the impression that the codes command him to tell the truth in an impersonal, textbook-definition sense. Good soldier = one that carries out orders without deliberating. Bad soldier = one that disobeys orders and has sex with the target. Yet, Deacon’s artificial intelligence is clearly so advanced that he’s able to turn the truth into a subjective thing based on his higher brain rationale. Does this mean that his model is so advanced that he can completely think for himself? I don’t think that’s what the Corporation had in mind when they made him….

    As much as I want to jump back to Da Vinci Four, I’m really curious to know exactly how Deacon has reasoned that he’s a good soldier, in his eyes. 

    • http://webcomics.yaoi911.com/ Alex Woolfson

      I really like your analyses, JM. Very trenchant and insightful. I don’t comment much on specifics, because I would hate to reveal a spoiler. But I like them a lot, actually. :)

      • JM

        Wow thanks! This is just such an intellectually stimulating comic, I can’t help myself :)

  • cjfrankie

    poor deacon…

    • HannahDJA

      I feel bad for Deacon… but I’m actually totally horrified to think about what could have possibly happened (or is happening currently during Maven’s interrogation) to Jeff! Poor, poor Jeff! Lol!

  • Lorescien

    Wow, Maven… way to be queen bitch there. -_-; He’s capable of being a good soldier and being in love at the same time. If anything, being in love makes sentient beings STRONGER in what they do, not weaker. Take that, you mean psychologist! :P

  • Kittery Brazelton

    I’m in suspense for the next page!!!!!  Can’t wait!!

  • Exile 755 is a Higglytown hero

    I thought today was Wednesday and was terrified of the no new page until I realized. XD

    -camps-

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_J7W4JMZ6MXCVA6KKCFVAMW44OU Summer

    Camping!

  • HannahDJA

    TOTALLY CAMPING. Teahouse is over for a little bit, and Starfighter chapter 3 isn’t starting for god knows how much longer, so COME ON ARTIFICE! YOU’RE MY ONLY DRUG FOR THE NEXT MANY WEEKS TO COME!!

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paula-Bortoletto/1407646639 Paula Bortoletto

      fadsfas DON’T SAY THAT ABOUT TEAHOUSE. I hope there will be on of those extra stories ;__;

    • CommodoreZelda

      It’s still Fan Appreciation Month at Teahouse, so there should still be two updates a week through next Friday. It’ll probably be extra backstory pages.

      As for Starfighter… I despair. I have spent so many weeks without it… *sob*

    • Subhadra Erika

      NO!!! TEAHOUSE!!! When did they say they were not going to be updating? I never saw that!!!!

    • http://twitter.com/Saknika Samantha Genier

      Pretty sure we’ll still get something from Teahouse. BUT OMG STARFIGHTER… FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF. /SOB

    • wasEnkidu

      Everybody calm down! Try Tripping Over You for some shonen-ai fix. They update Mondays and Thursdays. http://toy.the-comic.org/comics/

  • Whitewingtip

    her clipboard vanished again!

  • Subhadra Erika

    There is a typo! “Forgive me if lI don’t….”

    • http://webcomics.yaoi911.com/ Alex Woolfson

      Good catch! Fixed! :)

  • HoneyThistle

    Wow…  the look of utter disdain on the good counselor’s face in the fourth panel…  Literally made ME squirm in my seat; I can only imagine how Deacon must feel facing the full brunt of that…!

  • http://www.facebook.com/EmoHun75 Aoi Yamashiro

    Ya know. She reminds me of Peggy Hill.

  • SolrSurfr3

    At least he has a heart, lady; seems that’s more than we can say for you. XP

  • Ree

    I have mixed feelings about Maven. But she sure is interesting, so good job haha :)

  • Derkins

    The sneer is the only asymmetrical facial expression. It means someone has written you off. (learned it from a ted talk)

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