Read transcripts of this page in different languages:

PANEL 1:

A) MAVEN: WHILE I'M SURE YOU COULD PROVIDE MONTHS OF INTERESTING RESEARCH FOR CORPORATE A.I., YOU ARE SIMPLY TOO DANGEROUS TO BE ALLOWED TO REMAIN FUNCTIONAL.

PANEL 2:

B) MAVEN: AND THEN THERE ARE THE FAMILIES OF THE MURDERED RETRIEVAL TEAM OPERATIVES TO CONSIDER –

C) MAVEN: -- AT THE VERY LEAST, YOUR DESTRUCTION MIGHT OFFER THEM... SOME CLOSURE.

PANEL 3:

D) DEACON: DOCTOR -- PLEASE!

E) MAVEN: SORRY, D3763. THERE ARE SOME THINGS YOU JUST CAN'T TALK YOUR WAY OUT OF.

PANEL 4:

F) DEACON: BUT YOU CAN'T DO THIS!

PANEL 5:

G) MAVEN: DEACON, HOLD!

PANEL 6:

H) MAVEN: KNEEL!

I) SFX: SMASH!

English transcript submitted by Alex Woolfson on

PANEL 1

A) MAVEN: AUCH WENN ICH SICHER BIN, DASS SIE ÜBER MONATE EINE INTERESSANTE FORSCHUNGSMÖGLICHKEIT FÜR DIE UNTERNEHMENS-K.I. BÖTEN, SIND SIE EINFACH ZU GEFÄHRLICH, ALS DASS MAN IHNEN ERLAUBEN KÖNNTE, IN BETRIEB ZU BLEIBEN.

PANEL 2

B) MAVEN: AUßERDEM SIND DA NOCH DIE FAMILIEN DER ERMORDETEN MÄNNER DES RETTUNGSTEAMS ZU BERÜCKSICHTIGEN --

C) MAVEN: -- NICHT ZULETZT WÜRDE IHNEN IHRE ZERSTÖRUNG SO ETWAS WIE EINEN ABSCHLUSS BIETEN.

PANEL 3

D) DEACON: DOKTOR -- BITTE!

E) MAVEN: TUT MIR LEID, D3763. ES GIBT NUN MAL DINGE, AUS DENEN SIE SICH NICHT HERAUS LAVIEREN KÖNNEN.

PANEL 4

F) DEACON: ABER DAS KÖNNEN SIE NICHT MACHEN!

PANEL 5

G) MAVEN: DEACON, ANHALTEN!

PANEL 6

H) MAVEN: HINKNIEN!

I) SFX: KNALL!

German transcript submitted by ckazka on

Artifice Page 68

Some readers were concerned that Maven was putting herself in danger by revealing her intentions to Deacon. She wanted me to let you know that she warmly appreciates your concern. ;)

We have new Fan Art from Mewta! Something sweet and colorful and funny to balance out the drama we’re getting on these pages. Thanks, Mewta!

Also, after I posted a link to Patrick’s film last time, a couple readers were curious about my own film work. So here is the link to my very first film made back in the day—”Pitch”. It’s got a demon and naked people and snarky humor and it’s very “indie” and NSFW and I wrote/directed it a long time ago. But if you’re curious, you can check it out. :)

And….

***THIS IS A BONUS PAGE!***

The 18th bonus page in a row! And your generosity has been incredible! Thanks to your super-generous donations, in addition to our regular Saturday updates, we will not only have a bonus page next Wednesday the 25th but there will also be a bonus page on Wednesday, February 1st! Woo hoo!

Special thanks to long-time supporters Brian d. (who has just made their sixth donation in a row!) & Micheal B. (who has now donated for the twentieth week in a row! Twenty weeks! You’re amazing, Micheal!) and a warm welcome and grateful bow also goes out to new supporter Federica B. for their generous donations over the last few days.

Big hugs go out to long-time friend of Artifice Emily M. for their super-generous $25 donation (their 3rd donation in a row!) and also to new friend of Artifice Safiya M. for their super-generous $35 donation! Thank you, Emily and Safiya!

And finally, I’m sending out an android-strength, jaw-dropped to the floor, deeply heartfelt hug to new super-friend of Artifice Caitlin R. for their record-breaking $170 donation which put us over the top for the February 1st bonus page! OMG, Caitlin, thank you so much for your stunning, superhero, rock star support! You rule!

Thank you all so, so much! :D

So… it looks like Maven has Deacon well in hand. What do you think is going to happen next?

DING! DING! DING! DING! DING! DING! DING! Edit 1/20 6:00 AM: You’ve done it again! Your jaw-dropping generosity has made us hit (and exceed!) the donation target, so that means that in addition to our regular Saturday updates and bonus updates on the 25th and 1st, there will also be a bonus update on Wednesday, February 8th! You all RULE!


If you particularly enjoy any of these pages and use Facebook, please click the Like button on that page. It’s useful to know what’s working and it helps me get the word out!

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  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_AJUHDYHMSGTLC6CTQYV64PSIJQ Blitzava

    Oh you’re goooood ;)

    MAKE HIM DANCE MAVEN!!!!!!

  • http://twitter.com/tsuki_is_sarang Paula Bortoletto

    I’m gonna cry. SHE CAN’T DO THIS. On Saturday I turn 20 AND I HOPE I GET A BETTER PAGE AS A BIRTHDAY GIFT >: Seriously, Maven, now that I was starting to like you…

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

      Well… I’ll try… ;)

      PRE-HAPPY BIRTHDAY! :D

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

    …okay, first off, I’m very happy that a new page is posted so early!  I hope work goes well for you tomorrow, Alex!

    Second…I am looking at Maven’s face in the last panel.  That is not someone morally connected with her patient, and I for one want to know what’s going on.  Earlier, she was calling him by his NAME, not his designation, and referring to him using more human terms, and now she’s treating him literally like a humanoid dog.  What’s going on with that?  Also…much as I hate to say it, she does have a point regarding closure for the families.

    This is rapidly getting very dramatic and very confusing.  I’m looking forward to seeing what happens next.  I hope Deacon’s very well-drawn and justified outrage will get an outlet.  Whether or not it involves one of Maven’s arms making repeated and devastating assaults on her own body while held by Deacon, I leave up to the talented minds of Winona and Alex.

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

      Thank you, Summer—for the props and for the well-wishing about work tomorrow. You’re asking good questions. :)

    • Kel Z

      I think using his name is a bit of a ploy along the lines of what he claimed to be doing with Jeff; building a bit of a relationship, a trust. Treating him like someone that mattered, so that he would open up and tell her. She’s done it many times before in her job, and you can see the edge of a kind of sadistic nature in there. I think the control factor is huge for her. I’d think he’s also a bit fascinating to her; this isn’t a common occurence. Heck, it would make an amazing research study!

      Once she’s got what she needed from him, she has no reason to be nice. He is, in the end, an asset from her point of view.

      Much as I’d like to see her bite it, she’s interesting enough to be an ongoing conflict, and is right now the only “face” given to those that have the power to carry out the threats she is making. I can’t say I like her, but she’s… useful. :D

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

        I like your analysis here, Kel. Well thought out. :)

  • ScreamingFurby

    SIT, BOY!

    • HannahDJA

      Sorry, I have to comment. I immediately thought of the anime Inuyasha. xDD

      • strangeangel24601

        Ha! Me too! :D

  • K O

    She probably knew someone on the retrieval team.

    She looks -happy- about being rid of Deacon, and she must have had somewhere to pull the frustration she used to interrogate him with. Just because she controls emotion doesn’t mean she has none.

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

    yep, she’s a bitch.

  • Kel Z

    As promised: We love you , Alex (and Winona of course)! Hope the rest of your week goes well!

    I love Maven’s expressions and postures here; she really comes off as someone a bit caught up in the control she can have over another. Maybe her parents beat her as a child or something. ;) She treats him like a dog, which just underscores, to me, how alone he must really feel. Great work, again. :D

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

      Thank you very much for the love, Kel! ;) (And yes, Deacon is very alone right about now…)

  • http://dauwdrupje.deviantart.com Dauwdrupje

    It’s probably because I’m only just awake. But. Perhaps Maven is Jeff’s mother, and now she’s angry because Deacon stole his innocence.

    Ahum. I know, I fail.

    • Ayella

      Naaah, you don’t fail. You’re hilarious! (In a good way!!!)

      • http://dauwdrupje.deviantart.com Dauwdrupje

        x’D Thank you so much! But now the image of teary-eyed Jeff, clinging to Maven and screaming: ‘Please spare my one and only love, dear mommy! My love for Deacon doesn’t change my love for you!’ -now this image is stuck in my head.

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

          Y’all crack me up. You really do. :D

        • Ayella

          LOL! Could you do me a fan art of that, please? XD

          • http://dauwdrupje.deviantart.com Dauwdrupje
          • Ayella

            It’s awesome. Lolling my ass off.

            And wow! Fan art on demand. You are amazing! I’m not worthy!

            (You know Alex, now you’ll *have* to make Maven Jeff’s mom. C’mon, I know you want to.) 

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

            Thank you very much for your enthusiasm over NoNeCo Artificial Life’s latest (and most provocative) transgenics project. In truth, we have been a bit overwhelmed by the outpouring of positive reaction to this new line of research! As it turns out, many of our best clients (such as yourself) have expressed great interest in our efforts to combine the common sus domesticus with velociraptor DNA. (In retrospect, I suppose we shouldn’t have been so surprised— the benefits of such a working animal to both household security and family entertainment are, of course, obvious and exciting.)

            That said, I regret to inform you that we don’t have a specific release date for the the VelociBoar at this time. But I have taken the liberty of adding you to that project’s status update mailing list. So, as soon as we can get those pigs to fly, we’ll definitely let you know! :D

          • Ayella

            Hahaha, you’re killing me. You should be a writer! Eh wait… you are. Erm… let me get back to you after I have come up with some more brilliant ideas.

          • http://dauwdrupje.deviantart.com Dauwdrupje

            :D You’re very welcome! It was so much fun to draw.

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

            Hehe. That’s awesome! :) Can I post it in our Fan Art section? If so, could you email me with how you’d like to be credited?

          • http://dauwdrupje.deviantart.com Dauwdrupje

            Of course! :) Thank you so much, Alex!

  • http://www.facebook.com/dkkauwe Daniel Kauwe

    maven is so evil

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_EC2PGGNT5DWMNBDD6ZGQ5LHFGQ Jaiden

    I just want to cry for him…god, she’s so evil. And what is poor jeff thinking of all this? I want to hear from him!

  • Joshua Kline

    This is the point where you wish Jeff had these commands for him… not that evil evil woman >.> it would be more fun… but hey look with the right context… you could get back to the whole her trying to seduce him! lol I also hate her majorly >.>

  • Aikka

    o_o
    Ok… she is not enjoying this at all. *sigh* -..-”

    Poor Deacon… [again] -..-
    I know people can be manipulated too but it’s not so… direct as with him.
    *wants to just steal him and Jeff from there and put somewhere safe “XD*

    And back to Maven:
    What she said on last page was my IM status “XD
    I may not really like her as a person [hah]
    but as a comic character she’s interesting XD

    I remember that fanart from comments before… so cute *-*

    And Alex, as for Pitch…
    will i sound very stalkerish if i say i already saw it months ago? “XD
    hard to suprise me now o..o

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

      Hehe. Glad you’re liking Maven, Aikka. Her chardonnay line is one of my favorites, actually. ;)

      (And you’ve definitely surprised me by having already seen Pitch “months ago”! Heh.)

      • Aikka

        (haha ^_^”
        Maybe not so many months…
        maybe…3? do you remember when i started to read Artifice?”XD
        *too lazy to check now*
        I knew the title soon after i discovered Artifice
         - i just googled everything i could find ^^”” -
        and watched it a little later when had time,

        hope i did not scare you XD)

  • Sequinn

    Sit Deacon.  Staaaaaaay.  Good Robot.

  • eleutherios

    Maven, where exactly did you do your doctorate?  Mengele University?

  • YangYueLan

    Every time Maven shows up I am soooooooooooooo glad that my therapist is not like her. So Glad. 
    That said; GO ALEX AND WINONA for making Maven such an amazing and mysterious character.

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

      Thank you, YangYueLan! She’s a ton of fun to write. ;)

  • http://paperfrenzy.tumblr.com Nance

    And her inner dominatrix emerges at last.

  • http://twitter.com/PockyPuck Meghan

    …yeah, not gonna lie.  I know this is all tense and upsetting and god knows what’s gonna happen next, guh poor Deacon…

    …but that’s totally hot. <3

    ;_; Maven I'll still love you if you're evil but please throw a wrench in the corporation's works?  For me?

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_OOZREC24TBHQEHSLTZFA6UW2ZU Sephi J

      ^Wish I could like more than once.

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

      Heh. I was wondering if Maven having this kind of power over Deacon might not be hot for some… :D

      (And I’ll make sure that Maven sees your request. ;) )

  • melinda stumpf

    I just picture Jeff walking Deacon like a dog thanks a lot Maven for throwing me into the gutter

  • Ayella

    Alex, you’re amazing for putting it up so early! Thank you, thank you, thank you. It really brightened my morning. With Wikipedia on black (whose cause, by the way, I wholly support) I can’t look it up, but I’m sure there is a word for robot hate and I’m sure Maven has it! Equal right for androids and humans now! (And for our world, a free and uncensored internet.)

    • http://twitter.com/Planetes_Aster Maeglin Bashimoto

      automatonophobia maybe? :D

      • Ayella

        ^.^ That’s such a beautiful word, it SHOULD be it. (No matter what anyone else thought of first.)

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

      Yay! Glad to brighten your morning, Ayella! Always fun to post a little early when I can. ;)

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_UY6MFIQ4LQ3HPB5HGWNERIAKFU Noah

    …you bitch. He’s not a dog! *shakes fist*

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_OOZREC24TBHQEHSLTZFA6UW2ZU Sephi J

    *Whip-crack!*

    Damn girl. Lookit her perfect stance. Is she a domme in her free time?

    • Soppingrag

      All signs point to yes! 

  • AnyOtaku

    It’s really hard for me to say this, but Maven actually has a point: Deacoj killed some persons and there are their families, but it was like self-protection.
    Deacon is kind of scary when he is mad… Oh and the moment when she controls him is just so hard… I mean, it nakes me sad to see how Deacon is forced to stop and stay calmed, it looks like she is controlling a dog

  • Jessica Holladay

    Maven: “Hold!  Kneel!  Play dead!  Ahaha!  No, but seriously, I’m having you destroyed.  Ta!”

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

      Heh. :)

  • C K

    Well, dammmnnn.  There goes my dead!Maven theory.

     As much as I hate to say it, since I love Deacon to bits, she does kind of have a point.   He *has* been behaving dangerously, and he *has* been consistently violent.  If you’re in the corporate mindset of Jeff being worthless because he’s a colonist, having your killer robot graphically murder seven people (and choke a  guard) is indefensible.  If a dog killed seven people, even if it was in defense of his/her puppies, the dog would be put down. (I know Deacon’s not an animal, but he’s still a non-human being they can’t fully control.)

    I’m wondering if this is going to wind up with a jailbreak scenario?  Even if Maven has his codes, she isn’t destroying him right away — she’s making a recommendation.  So perhaps he’ll bust his way out of wherever they wind up keeping him.  (Or so I desperately, fervently hope.)

    Once again, amazing comic!  Maven’s facial expressions are fantastic (and wonderfully condescending/sadistic) and I love her blunt, taunting dialogue.

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

      Thank you for the props, C K! I’m delighted that you’re enjoying this scene!

      (And also for appreciating the different layers of morality here. We might ultimately side with Deacon but that doesn’t mean that his actions are above reproach—particularly from the perspective of the Corporation.)

  • Yukiness

    Although I understand where she’s coming from, and all the points she raises are valid, I still think those commands are fucked up. It has well been established that Deacon is capable of feeling a wide range of emotions that are as simplistic as anger to as complex as love, so I’m sure that he would be able to process the sense of humiliation that comes with such forcable commands.

    Though I may have stated that not all sadistic characters come with whips, Maven is skimming that line.

    I’m also conflicted with the desire to see what her bedroom closet looks like.

    Awesome work Alex and Winona.

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

      Thank you, Yukiness! (And Deacon is absolutely able to feel a sense of humiliation.)

      • Yukiness

        Considering that he’s a deadly, highly intelligent three year old makes me worry for Maven’s safety. I’ve worked with kids like that and humiliation doesn’t bode well with them. The only difference between kids in Day Care and Deacon is that they will throw Cheerios at you and think it’s funny.

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

          It’s not out of the question that Deacon might find that funny too…

  • RustyBurrell

    Quick! Someone hit Maven with a brick!

    • strangeangel24601

      That someone should be Jeff, methinks.

  • James Williams

    I love that woman, though I don’t know why.

    • tom1988

      I understand.

  • http://twitter.com/Planetes_Aster Maeglin Bashimoto

    This must be so humiliating for Deacon :(

  • DarthVector

    I want to introduce that woman to my set of doll needles. Òó She makes me discover sadistic urges I didn’t know I had.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_4DLOB4FUGXCGAVWL4ENV5G2NOM Vincent

    I think she’ll teach him to roll over, play dead and shake hands. Give him a treat, then immediately have him destroyed. I haven’t felt this bad watching artificial life die since I saw the Companion Cube get incinerated. Luckily, however, Deacon has “plot armor” as a main character.

    • Clockworkkefferson

      THANK GOD FOR THE PLOT ARMOR. TT3TT

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

        It is good protection. Of course, it doesn’t always work… ;)

        • RustAndStardust

          Plot armor may not always work, but if it doesn’t work here and now, I think that Deacon will have pretty much the worst and most unsatisfactory character arc for a main character that I have ever seen. I don’t think it would make any sense qua narrative.

          Though undoubtedly an important character, Jeff simply can’t fill Deacon’s protagonist shoes right now, especially since all of our interactions with Jeff have actually been through Deacon.

          I’m hesitant to rag on a comic that I accidentally love–because I do love it–but, for example, something about the first sex scene threw me off a little bit. I showed the comic to a friend (because I do love it! Really! I feel bad for criticizing your writing, Alex!) and she had similar feelings. I thought about it and I realized that I think I felt a little weird because I had no knowledge of what Jeff was thinking. As a character, I don’t think we know him very well. He’s sort of… Like the character Lolita (in Lolita)? The story, to a large extent, focuses on him, but our interaction is mostly with Deacon’s feelings about him, not with him? So, his thoughts and feelings are very mysterious and unknown to us?

          Anyway. Deacon will live because we can’t actually focus on Jeff right now.

          god i’m sorry for doing this, i’m a narratologist. sorrysorry

          • W Nelson

            I loved reading your analysis!  Don’t apologize for going in-depth, it’s so fun to see :D

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

            A very nice analysis, RustAndStardust!

            And you’re right—since this is Deacon’s story (and from Deacon’s perpective, at least in flashback), we don’t have the opportunity to get inside Jeff’s head. (As Deacon himself noted. :) ) It would make sense that for that reason the first sex scene might feel a bit awkward or weird—we really don’t know what this means for Jeff. (And frankly, even if we could be within Jeff’s head at that moment, it’s unlikely he would have a coherent answer to that, either!)

            I do hear that this one-sidedness threw you off, though. And as far as I’m concerned, that’s a completely valid reaction. While I certainly hope that Jeff doesn’t come off as a complete cypher (and also that readers root for the romance between him and Deacon), in the end, it is Deacon’s arc we are following and not knowing what Jeff is thinking is supposed to be part of the fun. :)

            Thank you very much for your kind words. Always nice to get props from a narratologist. :)

  • yellowrock

    I hope she makes him dance next!

    I bet Deacon’s body gets destroyed, but his mind gets transferred to another, identical body.

    • strangeangel24601

      Yeah, that sounds like something the doctor might do so that she can continue her research; *officially* have him destroyed to please her superiors, then put him in a new body that can’t be tracked. If it weren’t for the sheer joy she seems to get out of tormenting him, I might even expect her to do it for his benefit…

      • krissdevalnor

        I really like your ideas :D

  • tom1988

    Maven, the voice of reason. As long as she’s not angry and making scary faces, I like her… (Actually who am I kidding. I like her enough to switch places with Deacon (for a bit) in this scenario – “You don’t need to code command me babe,” XD)

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

      Heh. :)

  • llbutters

    Woah, Maven has superpowers! Awesome.

  • tom1988

    Apparently Disqus doesn’t like me today. I’m sorry for all the posts, I was trying to reply to yellowrock and for some reason it posted twice instead of replying. And I even apologised already but it wouldn’t save my Edit…

    Aaaahh I see the edit eventually shows up. I’msorryi’msorryi’msoorrrryy!!!!

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

      No worries, tom1988. Sometimes Disqus messes with me too. All taken care of. :)

  • timeaesnyx

    Crap!

  • krissdevalnor

    Thanks for the page :) Hope his mind and feelings  somehow survives this as Yellowrock suggests.

    Can’t wait for the next page^^

    (and I have a new job! :D So next month I can start donatign a bit again)

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

      Thank you! (And yay for your new job! I hope it’s a lot of fun! :D)

  • http://twitter.com/Jeshuea Felicia Phillips

    Hmmm…. *thinks about this* Deacon is probably going to get destroyed. Then Jeff lives and finds another automin. Or they load deacon’s memories into another automin or destroy a fake one. He’s not human so he has a lot less rights than regular humans do. 

    • Lucia Guynot de Boismenu

      Hmmm… It’s funny you should think of that. All my mind focused on was that if Jeff gets his hands on those control commands it might make for very interesting games in bed. I have such depth of thought.

  • AJTheShifter

    More degrading than the Forsaken, Graendal, using Compulsion on multitudes and enslaving them as her entertainment, at least they have some semblance of free will: “Woof! Let me be with and love my mistress!”

  • Winterlove

    :(

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_BFUFQTQJJXDJJDICVGRLIYIW64 My lifei

    Oh man, this is so NOT GOOD.

    Dammit, Jeff, you better bust through that door pretty soon and save your AI boyfriend!

  • DOVE

    I think it’s time Jeff bursts in to rescue Deacon. And then we get the story of what happened to Jeff, and how he is rescuing him……

  • Krondor2000

    Maven may have a point but I totally disagree. How can the deaths of 7 members of the retrieval team take precedence over the massacre of an entire colony? Sure its okay to wipe out bunch of people on their command, but turn around and kill their own…eliminate!
    Yeah, this is so not ending well.

  • leorising

    Oh gods. D:

  • SteveMcSheffrey

    I’d like to see anyone justify Maven’s actions here.  I think you need rose colored glasses that are opaque to do that!  And am I the only one dreading coming here now?  Not in a bad way but  I expected Maven to be treating Our Boy even worse.

    • HermeticallySealed

      Well, she is right, though. He is dangerous, and had he been human he would probably have been executed, or jailed for a great many years. His own actions, no matter how sympathetic we may be, were wrong. She can’t simply go to the company and say “Yes, he violated his orders and killed the retrieval team, but he did it out of love.”  Romantic as that is, I somehow don’t think the higher ups, nor families of the soldiers would agree.

      • http://twitter.com/airboyobsessed Airboy Obsessed

        Darn your logic! >_> lol. Logic…makes horrible things true. :/ Haha

      • SteveMcSheffrey

        Being right doesn’t mean she isn’t evil.  The monstrous faces she’s making and the positive glee she’s showing at destroying a sentient creature no matter what his deeds or origin is just wrong…

  • Clockworkkefferson

    …And this is when all the fangirls and boys burst in and beat the crap out of Maven.
    LET’S GET ‘ER.

  • Syanana

    BITCH!! -RAGES-

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

    I am reminded of InuYasha where all Kagome has to do is yell SIT!

    Bahahahahaha.  I love Deacon so much… but there is a delicious part of my female power center that is going bananas for Maven =3

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

      :)

  • danigirl921

    MAVEN, EXPLODE!

    *waits to see if it works*

  • http://twitter.com/irenicPie Lucy

    Deacon noooo D:

    This is when Jeff bursts in and saves the day, right?

    …right? ;o;

  • justjmarie

    Maven…Cold, unforgiving Maven.  Someone needs to teach the frigid she-beast all about the joy of an irrational, reckless love affair.  Seriously, who hasn’t gone a little crazy in their pursuit of love?

    Having said that, a little adversity will do our boys well!  It can’t be all rainbows, butterflies and hot man on man loving right?  These things tend to make a reunion that much more…interesting.

    I would like to officially volunteer to *ahem* “STUDY” Deacon.  You know, purely for “scientific” purposes.

    Freaking amazing work Alex and Winona, it makes me so very happy to see more yaoi related works out there!

    I am very excited to see where you take this project!

    I am also keeping my fingers crossed for the new and improved infallible plot armor!

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

      Thank you, justjmarie! I’m glad to hear you’re enjoying Artifice!

      (And you’ll be happy to know that NoNeCo Military is constantly working on improving plot armor. We hope to be able to announce some exciting developments in the 2nd Quarter! :) )

  • Lorescien

    Ugh. I wish SHE would be deactivated… >>;

    • sincostax

      Agreed. ;n;

  • https://profiles.google.com/102079010287477493920/about crow

    Destroying D3763 for the sake of the innocent families whose members he killed is a legitimate concern. But the fact that she gets pleasure out of wielding control over him is an excellent contrast and narrative technique for conveying the ironic/unexpected evil.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_M4UNUNBBI3JFHQ76SLIHCI6Y3A December

      Yes, that’s very true. On the one hand she keeps demonstrating that she considers him an inanimate thing, but on the other, the way she carries herself with him is very sarcastic and clearly aimed at hurting and insulting him as though he were a human.

      • https://profiles.google.com/102079010287477493920/about crow

        Right on. That’s interesting. I like your comments on here as well as a lot of other people’s comments on here. I’m happy to have found a group of thoughtful people. Cheers!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_KNBCTG2TULCHY4DQISWB7HUNRQ caddy

    I would be very relieved to find out that  “Maven”is one like Deacon and this storyline is a nightmare that Jeff is having.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_M4UNUNBBI3JFHQ76SLIHCI6Y3A December

      Imagining Maven as a droid for some reason is infinitely horrifying to me…

      • wasEnkidu

        She’s too subtle. Like a pod person. She’s as human as they get and she seems to have a sadistic streak. She’s a puppet-master type. If something as manipulative as Dr. Maven was also a super-powerful and super-intelligent robot, humanity would be boned.
        That’s why.

  • RustAndStardust

    Goddammit. I came here for boykisses, not for well thought-out sci-fi with interesting moral dilemmas and endearing characters. Why must you engage my brain instead of my loins?

    I second everybody who has come before me. Maven has a point, Deacon’s been behaving like a crazy, etc. Plus or minus the fact that he was defending somebody’s life? Also, the level of morality that the corporation acts on is not gonna care, for sure.

    Though… I wonder if it’s the case that the point we’re making here is something like Deacon actually IS a good soldier… He’s just not a solider for the corporation and that, in general, human life is so fragile and fleeting to him that a mission becomes a mission and he can just slaughter people and not worry about it regardless of whose side their on? Deacon is, perhaps, a character who is able to feel emotions and develop them, but essentially lacks empathy for most of humanity partially (maybe?) because he is not one of us and partially because he’s pretty much been killing us as a job?

    Likewise, despite her good points, Maven’s taking it over the line. “Stay” is one thing. “Kneel” is quite another.

    Whatever, thinky thoughts. Whatever. For serious, I came here for porn. Now, I’m hooked on plot and characters I care about. Why would you do that to me? Thank you for doing that to me, Alex and Winona.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_M4UNUNBBI3JFHQ76SLIHCI6Y3A December

      Yeah, definitely no need for Kneel, it’s not as though he tried to attack her, he just stood up. I mean, who wouldn’t protest when told flat to the face, hey, we’ll cut you up and put you through a shredder (or whatever it is they do to destroy droids…)

      I think the fact he’s been treated like crap by every human in his lie did not help him develop much love for humanity in his heart. For al we know, Jeff’s the only one who saw a living man in him, and even Jeff not straight away (remember the I’ll torture you with my hands thing).

    • wasEnkidu

      “Goddammit. I came here for boykisses, not for well thought-out sci-fi
      with interesting moral dilemmas and endearing characters. Why must you
      engage my brain instead of my loins?”
      I think you have just uttered (or typed as it may be) the most flattering complaint ever made! XD

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

      You’re very welcome, RustAndStardust. ;) Thank you very much for your awesome and thoughtful comments!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_BBHOWFDLZLECVVMJZBJH6FHR7U Toki

    Maven, Maven, Maven, stop making it so hard for me to justify your actions! She does make a compelling point about the murdered men’s family, but as one of the commenters below pointed out, somehow massacring an entire colony and attempting to murder an unarmed captive is totally justified. 

    Hey, wherever there’s money, right? 

    I am curious why they had a strong need to murder the colony though. Somehow I suspect it’s not as clear-cut as we’re expecting.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_M4UNUNBBI3JFHQ76SLIHCI6Y3A December

      Maybe they knew that Jeff is the Chosen One…

  • qu_gon_robot

    Cool film Alex! Love the music and hilarious credits. Very indie indeed.

    As for the page, Deacon freaks me out with his Hulk-outs, I like him more as a woobie (Law one of robotics Deacon, or gtfo).

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

      Thank you for the props about Pitch, qu_gon_robot! I’m really glad you liked it!

      (And yes, Deacon can indeed be scary….)

  • Erica

    :O OMG. OMG OMG OMG, poor deacon ; ^ ; definitely wolf in sheep’s clothing ; ^ ; lol

    arghhh that’s just… HE’S NOT A DOG DAMMIT!!! ; ^ ;

  • Bien Batol

    Hmm, I wonder.  Did Jeff use these same commands?  Oh, the mind wanders.

    • qu_gon_robot

       It doesn’t seem likely to me; remember Deacon was the one making advances on Jeff, plus he remained conscious when paralyzed by the retrieval team, and now they sent him to ‘therapy’ to try and re-program him because they don’t seem to be able to simply order him to think the way they want.

  • jen hemstreet

    wow she reminds me of a dominatrix XD 

    also i LOVED your movie, you took  the potentially cliched idea of devil and angel on your shoulder and made it new and exciting! 

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

      Wow, thank you, Jen! I made that movie a long time ago. It makes me happy to hear that y’all are enjoying it. :)

  • ithilloke

    *snarl*

  • http://twitter.com/airboyobsessed Airboy Obsessed

    *waves hand at Maven* This is not the droid you’re looking for.

  • LadyThanatos

    Ah, so THIS is what code commands look like. Eeeek.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_M4UNUNBBI3JFHQ76SLIHCI6Y3A December

      Nah, that’s just Maven’ personal magic :)

  • fujoshifanatic

    Alex, I loved your film! You have such a talent for dark humor! Did you submit this to any festivals? If not, you definitely should.

    As for Maven, after the last panel, now I can’t help but picture her green, dressed in black with a pointy hat, and saying, “I’ll get you know my pretty, and your little Jeff too!”

    Maybe Deacon has a pair of red sparkly boots on underneath those black ones, considering he’s a friend of Dorothy’s and all? He could sure use them right about now. :-

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_M4UNUNBBI3JFHQ76SLIHCI6Y3A December

      For my part, I have no trouble at all picturing Maven as a dragon-queen-thingie with black scales and 5 heads and all xD

    • wasEnkidu

      Wouldn’t Deacon be the Tin Man though? Then Jeff’s Dorothy.

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

      Thank you, fujoshifanatic! I’m glad you appreciated the dark AlexHumor. ;) I did submit it to a few festivals, but by the time it was ready for that, my heart was much more into making comics and the expense of festival applications plus travel was not something I could justify. But hopefully folks will still be able to enjoy it on the Interwebs! :)

      And now I want fan art of Deacon in red sparkly boots. 

      Then again, maybe not… ;)

  • Cass Small

    XD I love you Maven. Srsly. How can you not love this woman? She’s… not stereotypical. She’s not scary dominatrix, either. SHE’S AWESOME IS WHAT SHE IS.
    FINALLY, A DECENT FEMALE CHARACTER.
    BRAVISSIMO!

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_M4UNUNBBI3JFHQ76SLIHCI6Y3A December

      I would agree with that. Much as my own personal sympathies in this story lie with D & J, I can certainly relate to her point of view on all of this, and the way she goes about things is just fascinating…

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

      :)

  • cjfrankie

    …Maven. Love the character, hate the individual.

  • akagenki

    No, she’s not scary. Just revolting.

  • Jacqi Smith

    will we ever get to see from jeff’s pov?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_M4UNUNBBI3JFHQ76SLIHCI6Y3A December

    Funnily enough, he just proved her right in that he’s too dangerous…

  • Dex X.

    Why are all the webcomics i’m following making me sad today

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jennifer-Bishop/1746401527 Jennifer Bishop

    So…..Maven’s a Jedi?!

  • wasEnkidu

    Dr. Maven ” appreciates” our concern? Is she trolling us??O.o
    And now after reading the page, I get the feeling that Dr. Maven wears dominatrix underwear beneath her mauve suit. XD Someone said a WHILE back that Dr. Maven was probably far more colorful underneath than she lets on, and I agree with that. I’m not trying to justify her actions per-se, but I can see how (Just like Deacon) she can be a good person with a colorful and interesting personality and yet do horrible things in the name of her employers.
    I think the real villain here is of course the corporation who puts their employees in these positions and discards them all so callously.

    For me, I feel that Dr. Maven is the ultimate puppet master. In the end things will start going right and she’ll have been nudging everything in that direction the whole time. I could be wrong, but I get the feeling that eventually I’ll be stunned into slow applause going “Maven, you glorious bastard I read your BOOK!”
    Also: Robo-tantrum averted. When I was Deacon’s age, I would have been flailing around and throwing a FIT. I used to throw tantrums that registered on the Richter Scale.

    • RustAndStardust

      Dominatrices do it consensually, though. I’m pretty sure she’s just meeean.

  • wasEnkidu

    And it’s a combination of causing BOTH the weighty thoughts of Felicia and the smutty thoughts of Lucia that make this the greatest comic ever.

  • Mundaati

    Goddamn, this is my first time commenting just to say that. Goddamn. Maven, you stone cold bitch, you are utterly perfect. Her absolute control over the situation is beautiful especially when it highlights just how helpless Deacon is as a character. The only thing he can ever really own is his own mind (and even THAT is questionable) because even though he is a thinking being he can lose control of his own body at a moment’s notice.

  • milo

    hah, i love how you all think Maven is “clearly” the evil one. 
    I mean, she should definitely be showing more interest in exploring this wonderful man made wonder that is experiencing emotions but give her a break. She hasn’t had much experience with these. 
    However!!!! truth be told, deacon did kill a lot of people. Whether he is human or bot he still killed a lot of people!

    and this is awesome: 
    Bien BatolCollapseHmm, I wonder.  Did Jeff use these same commands?  Oh, the mind wanders.

    • Pat Reed

      Yes, he killed a lot of people.

      Mostly *before* he started thinking for himself.  Killing a lot of people doesn’t seem like much of a problem for Maven or her employers.

  • Spirited_Dreamer

    I have to say…Maven’s actually really hot. Sure she’s got that bitch in her but she’s obviously intelligent, she can handle someone like Deacon (even though it’s obvious he can’t help but be controlled). But then the Good Angel on my right shoulder cries foul, telling me that Deacon doesn’t deserve such treatment and Maven should go straight to the Bad Angel on the left shoulder. Of course I am immensely worried about Jeff and what’s become of him and how will Deacon save him? Will they run off and live happily ever after? Or will this be that amazingly rare comic where there is no true happy ending? Will it end in a mind bending, universe altering cliffhanger? I was kind of rooting for Maven to turn over a leaf and join in with Deacon and help him and Jeff. I’m not sure if that is where this is going (current and last page would suggest not). Though I do hope Jeff is alive and…well alive if not unharmed. I do hope Deacon rescues him because I am a “and they lived happily ever after” kind of girl. But, as my own personal writings would show…I am all for the unexpected because it brings out some of the deepest reactions from readers. I’m at the edge of my seat here, waiting patiently, to see where this all is leading. 

    • tom1988

      “I have to say…Maven’s actually really hot.”

      I have to agree. And yeah, for me this is one story where I think a bittersweet ending could actually be much better than a happy one. But of course I’m up for either and I’ve no doubt it’ll be great whichever way it plays out.

  • MeatyStakes

    I’m saying, “Maven, what a bitch you are” but on the other hand, I think that she is completely right.

    Hearts or minds?

  • Didak

    I think regardless of the fact that Maven does appear to have an evil streak the one at fault here is mainly Deacon.
    I think many people are forgetting that Deacon had every power to immobilize the men on that ship and yet he chose to kill them. Sure, he had a justification and he was not himself but the fact is that he made a choice and (in their perspective) the moment he made it he became a danger not only to corporate employees but to society in general. Of course we can argue to which extent the choice was his, since he was made to kill and not to immobilize targets, therefore he would use the knowledge he has rather than suddenly acting more human.
    Anyway, they clearly lost control over Deacon, he even disobeyed orders that he wasn’t supposed to be able to disobey. So right now they feel as if they made a killer robot and they have no control over him whatsoever, which is kind of true. I think we can all see the problems with that. That’s why I think Maven and the company’s actions are completely justifiable. Do I agree with them? Absolutely not. 

  • yellowrock

    Upon reading the author comments, I see someone has beaten my donation record.

    Well, we can’t have that, can we?  DUN DUN DUUUUUUN!

  • Sam King

    The force is strong with this one…but no really, I don’t like her, put a Darth Vadar outfit on her then we’ll talk. -___-

  • http://twitter.com/a_ngua a_ngua

    I’m not here to love or hate this… lady or justify her actions (have that too much in RL)
    I’m here for some boys love ;)

  • scifi_ai_fan

    While I don’t disagree with her decision, informing him of her decision and taunting him with it reveals a lot about her character. She’s got more than a power trip going on. Maven is a full on sadist.

    • Amerou

       Personally, I think Maven is such a troll that she’s telling him all of this, then going to turn around and give him a clean bill of mental health (or something of the sort) because why pass up the chance to make someone stew in torment?

      • wasEnkidu

        O.o That never occurred to me, but now it’s all I can think about. “Psyche! Naw I was just messin’ with you. You’re free to go.” XD

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

    I certainly don’t like Maven, but that’s because I’m rooting for Deacon. I’d probably like her more if she was a wife/daughter/niece of one of the men Deacon killed, it’d make her taunts and anger easier to understand. As of now she’s just a representative who after this will probably go have tea before she interrogates someone else. I’m not hoping for much, but I do hope Deacon is at least able to trip Maven and she falls on her face. Because I’m petty like that.

    • Sharon Kerr-Bullian

      As of right now, we don’t know she’s not a relative of one of the men Deacon killed. In fact, we know almost nothing about her, except that she works for NoNeCo, and has an office in one of their corporate buildings.

      • Ryn

        you’d think if she was, NoNeCo would have brought on a neutral party. She can’t be the only psychologist they employ. then again they had Roy “guarding” him.

        • Sharon Kerr-Bullian

          I don’t think corporate has an interest in her neutrality, really. If they can make one Deacon, they can make another, otherwise they wouldn’t be considering making a complete product line of them.

          If NoNeCo does have an interest in neutrality, it’s possible Maven might have the ear, and favor, of the right people in corporate. She is a psychologist, so it’s likely she knows how to manipulate her higher-ups, when it suits her. If she was a relative of one of the killed men, and she could convince her boss that she’s still the right person for the job, I suspect the boss would agree, even if there might be a conflict of interest.

  • http://twitter.com/AyakoNoChou Nan (Deanna)

    I read your comments in the e-mail and was like “why are people worried for the doctor, she has his command codes, she can do what the people on the ship did to him!” and then I viewed the page and she did! *squee*  I was so excited!  I feel so bad for Decon, but damn, Dr. Maven is so awesome!

  • http://twitter.com/BecaSantanna Rebeca Santanna

    Now THAT is what I call submission!

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/N6WHZ662EP6NWEGJYJFHNNLFF4 Carlos Bernardo

    It all boils down to the conflict between the community and the individual.

    I am actually shocked I don’t see more comments in favor of the individual. Don’t take me wrong, though. I do understand that sacrifices sometimes have to occur.

  • Nohbodee

    So when you make robots so similar to humans that the robots feel like they are human… When do you start giving them basic human rights? Do you punish them like you would punish humans when they did something wrong?

    These are the things I think about… :/

  • http://twitter.com/aeroplang despina

    I have clearly spent too much time debating the rights of AI with my friends, because my stance is simply that if you’re capable of thinking for yourself and articulating it, you’ve got to be treated with the same respect and dignity as you would use with a human being. Especially if you’ve got the capacity for what we so selfishly refer to as “human feeling”. I’m not particularly worried for Dr. Maven as in this case, she seems (to me) to be willfully dehumanizing a thinking, feeling being. That is Nazi-level, mad doctor sadism. My only concern for her safety comes in the form of her surviving so she can be taught that she was wrong.

  • http://tetrakisses.tumblr.com/ Jupiter Lord

    I really do enjoy Dr. Maven, as much as I hate to admit it. There’s just something so… She’s just got that umf (not unf) that those antagonistic characters need. She has sooo got it! Long time lurker, been hoping to comment, but never has because of fear of people finding out my yaoi obsession but oh well. This comic is just too damn glorious! What really gets me is their BODY LANGUAGE. Absolutely love it!

  • GashlycrumbTiny

    I’ve been going through and reading the comments on how Deacon killed a lot of people and this is a logical reason why he needs to be decommissioned.  However, I’d like to remind everyone that Deacon (and the rest of his AI counterparts) were sent to that colony to KILL EVERYONE.  Corporate has killed a lot of people as well.  In this case, he didn’t kill the *right* people for the corporation, he killed a handful of men to save his love.  Corporate doesn’t like this free-thinking nonsense. 
    Don’t get me wrong…killing is not justified by any means.  But Maven’s decision is purely based on one-sided interests not justice.  (Plus I’m rooting for the hot yaoi protagonist.  Go Deacon!)

    • Maria Fernanda Santos-Ramos

      Who said her evaluation was supposed to be just? Her job was to determine whether or not Deacon was potentially harmful to the company, and the fact that the latter killed several men because he chose to follow his emotions rather than his assignment is a good reason for her to make the decision to destroy him. It’s not up to her to judge the actions of the company, but to preserve its integrity.

  • ViSovari

    Maven, Maven, Maven. Sweetheart, just marry me. I will make you vodka tonics and keep your flat picked clean of the tiniest flecks of dirt. You are just too fantastic. You’ve got to love a villain that draws you in just as hard if not harder than the protagonist, not that I’m saying she’s better than Deacon or anything ;P

    I’m on the edge of my seat for the next page!

  • Amerou

    Maven is totally about to head home to play her Sith Inquisitor on TOR, and has secrelty always wanted to do this.

    God knows I have!

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GMYN73B3KO74CMEO4KMWJIDQXM Sophia

      Your comment is seriously awesome Mr. Sith.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GMYN73B3KO74CMEO4KMWJIDQXM Sophia

    Niice. I’m sure Maven has a secret plan..

  • qu_gon_robot

    In light of current events…KBatty did an ‘Occupy’ parody/meme of Artifice, so someone should totally do something SOPA related…Like Maven sensoring out all the hot human on android action XD

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

    Camping!

    • Kel Z

      :: passes over a stick and some marshmallows :: Well if we’re camping, we may as well roast something on a stick. :D

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

        How about we roast some SOPA and PIPA?  They got the stick today.  Let’s finish ‘em off.

        • Kel Z

          They both sound delicious. With a bottle of chardonnay?

          • Pronombre

            Oh, Oh may I join? I  made this delicious creme brulee as a desert~ 

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

            Sounds delicious :)

          • wasEnkidu

            Am I too late for the camp? D: I didn’t realize there were delicacies!

  • http://twitter.com/RobanCrow Robyn Corbett

    In spite of all the srs bsns here, I’m sorry Maven, Deacon, I couldn’t on Wednesday and still can’t now get past DAT ASS. I don’t care what anyone else says, though. Maven, I love you. <3

  • kiteoni

    For a second when I read this, I shivered in a kind of in awe excitement thinking that we had just discovered that Maven had a bit of android technology within her as well.

  • http://twitter.com/buggyBY PerpetualSurprise

    Deacon, HOLD!
    KNEEL!
    NOW LICK MY BOOTS!
    Deacon: (Why the designers implemented that last command, I’ll never know.)

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/2FXEYYT4UYPRQBKRYEN72S5WFE Brandon

    she got the force of the master codes

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1488912128 Melanie Gonzalez

    *Maven while using the force*

    I find your lack of discipline disturbing, D3763

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