Read transcripts of this page in different languages:

PANEL 4:

A) DEACON: MAY I SAY SOMETHING TO HIM FIRST?

PANEL 5:

B) MAVEN: THIS IS STALLING, DEACON. YOU CAN EITHER COMPLETE YOUR MISSION OR YOU CAN'T.

C) DEACON: SO, THAT WOULD BE "NO"?

PANEL 6:

D) MAVEN: YES, I SUPPOSE YOU MAY SAY SOMETHING TO MR. LINNELL.

E) MAVEN: IT IS IMPORTANT FOR YOU TO BE FULLY CONSCIOUS OF THE IMPACT OF YOUR ACTIONS.

PANEL 7:

F) MAVEN: BUT MAKE IT BRIEF.

English transcript submitted by Alex Woolfson on

PANEL 4
A) DEACON: DARF ICH IHM VORHER ETWAS SAGEN?
PANEL 5
B) MAVEN: SIE HALTEN AUF, DEACON. SIE KÖNNEN ENTWEDER IHRE MISSION ERFÜLLEN ODER SIE KÖNNEN ES NICHT.
C) DEACON: ALSO, DAS WÄRE EIN "NEIN"?
PANEL 6
D) MAVEN: JA, ICH DENKE, SIE DÜRFEN MR. LINNELL ETWAS SAGEN.
E) MAVEN: ES IST WICHTIG, DASS SIE SICH DER AUSWIRKUNG IHRER AKTIONEN VÖLLIG BEWUSST SIND.
PANEL 7
F) MAVEN: ABER MACHEN SIE ES KURZ.

German transcript submitted by ckazka on

Artifice Page 80

Boy, that’s a lot of guns…

So! We have new Fan Art by Buukkin, showing Jeff and Deacon. Together. And, um, naked. It’s a bit steamier than usual. Well, it’s a lot steamier than usual. It’s called “Jeff Takes Charge” and you should really check it out.

Oh, and…

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

And we’re now at $63 towards the next bonus page!

Special thanks go out to long-time supporters Bernard S. (who has made their 2nd donation to Artifice!), Esperanza V. (who has made their 6th donation to Artifice!) & Brian d. (who just made their 14th donation to Artifice! Wow, Brian!) and a warm welcome and grateful bow go out to new supporters Jessica M. & Mordecai L. for their generous donations over the last few days!

Big hugs go out to new friend of Artifice Emanuel S. for their super generous $25 donation!

Thank you all so, so much! (This has been kind of a low-morale week for me for whatever reason and your generosity has really been a big boost. :D )

All right. Your comments and speculation over the last few days have been exceptional. Some of you think Deacon has a plan up his sleeve to save Jeff (with perhaps a little assistance from a certain doctor we all love), some of you aren’t sure what’s going to happen and at least one of you is so certain Deacon has dark motivations, you’ve listed it as a “spoiler” on Artifice’s main TVTropes page along with the audience reaction to his choice! :D

Well, it is a candy-like red button. And few can resist the power of Maven’s arched eyebrow. I wonder what Deacon will say…

DING! DING! DING! DING! DING! DING! DING! Edit: Thursday 1:20 AM: Thanks to your generous donations, we have yet again hit the donation target, so there will be a bonus page (page 82!) on Wednesday, March 7th! You all ROCK! Hope to see you there! :D

 

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  • nao_tan

     Oh gosh, this page is making me shiver with anticipation. I love how Deacon keeps holding off as long as he can. I wonder what he’s going to say :)

  • ErykaSoleil

    GAAAAAH!

    O.k., so I’m totally focusing on what Maven is saying in that second-to-last panel.

  • ErykaSoleil

    And I notice two things: 1) That chick in purple is watching Maven (or maybe something else we can’t see that’s also on that side of the room?), not the android action. 2) Do those guards really think they’d stand a chance against a rogue android who’s -that- close?

    • darbanville

       Maven knows his codes right? So why do they even really need the guns? Unless they fear that he’s had some sort of super glitch that may cause those to malfunction?

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/A6LXNDBF65PDZYZ7FYMBBRFGXI Alex S

        Considering what he did to their buddy in the first few pages, I don’t really blame them. Though I agree with Eryka. They’re way too close.

    • Kel Z

      Maybe the chick in purple is admiring Maven’s fine fashion sense and coordinated contacts? :D

  • Emanueru

    Ah!! Another cliff hanger! You do know how to get us to come back~

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

      :)

  • thisboybroken

    Alex, I hate you right now!!!! Please do not let him hurt Jeff!!!! Ok, so yes I hated Jeff because he looked like my ex but Deacon cannot do this!!!! Please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Aikka

      Haha so i am not the only one..?
      I simply tried to not think about that later because i like Jeff and the comic… xD
      But if i would find some older photos of my ex they would probably pass as a Jeff cosplay… “xD

      -don’t worry i do not plan to actually show them o_o-

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/A6LXNDBF65PDZYZ7FYMBBRFGXI Alex S

    I thought Deacon wasn’t allowed to talk in the room? And I wonder what’s going through Jeff’s mind.

    I swear, I’m going to staple Maven’s eyebrow down. And she has matching earrings! She may be a soulless hellbitch, but the doc knows how to accessorize.

    PS: Hmm, I’m not the one who edited the TV Tropes page. How many tropers are here?

    PPS: When I saw the button I immediately pictured Deacon pushing it causing falling balloons and confetti, flashing lights, and everyone to sing happy birthday.

    • Kel Z

      He’s allowed to speak and push the button, and that’s it.

      Man now THAT would be my kind of button!

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/A6LXNDBF65PDZYZ7FYMBBRFGXI Alex S

        Oh yeah. I misread that. Kinda looks like the button fires off a missile or a nuke. Maybe it’ll blow up Alderaan.

        • Kel Z

          It looks awfully serious business for what it’s for doesn’t it…? :D

    • ErykaSoleil

      I’d love to see some fan art for the button causing a balloon drop, etc. :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1005076852 Sheva Bree

    Nooooo!  Don’t push the big red candy like button!

  • YangYueLan

    wait, why do the guards have their guns drawn (wrong ‘drawn’ I know, sorry, I dont know how to spell it right.) ?

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/A6LXNDBF65PDZYZ7FYMBBRFGXI Alex S

      No, guns drawn is correct. Lol you had me worried that I was using “drawn” incorrectly all this time, so I Googled it to be sure. I learned that today is Gioachino Rossini’s birthday though.

      • ErykaSoleil

        And thanks to you, I’ve now looked up Gioachino Rossini. Education all around! :)

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/A6LXNDBF65PDZYZ7FYMBBRFGXI Alex S

          Oops. Double post.

          • ErykaSoleil

            That made me laugh so much. Thank you. :)

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/A6LXNDBF65PDZYZ7FYMBBRFGXI Alex S

            *is confused* Okay I distinctly saw that there were two links. I deleted one and now they’re both gone. Hmmm.

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

            I’ve noticed that sometimes Disqus tricks you into thinking you double-posted when in fact it’s just a display issue. This especially seems to happen around the Read More button…

            So, before I delete an unexpected double-post, I often refresh the page just to make sure there really are two posts.

      • YangYueLan

        Oh good, thank you. My English is bad (even though its my first language). Happy Birthday to Rossini. 

        • ErykaSoleil

          If it makes you feel any better, I do editing work for a writer friend, and I’m continually having to look up and double-check things to make -absolutely sure- I really am correcting it correctly. :)

  • lolabola1

    I’m already about to pee my pants here because of my anxiety over this comic – DON’T DO IT DEACON!!!

  • Kel Z

    Alex you are such a tease! (and low morale, I will have none of it! :: shakes fist ::)

    I have to wonder what Jeff is thinking; he hasn’t said anything, but he’s watching. What he’s got to think about it, about Deacon being that close to the button. Is he with it enough to know what’s going on?

    So another observation, not necessarily meaning anything, could just be artistic quirks, but since I make my entire career about noticing odd details… I noticed there’s clearly a pole connected to the machine, I really don’t see anything that’s actually attached to that IV. But, again, could just be how it’s drawn. :)

    And as has been noted: that button looks awfully serious business. What if it actually deactivates Deacon…?

    In going back and rereading, Maven actually appears to take a positive interest (at least, it appears to be) when she notes that Deacon showed empathy (page 28). There’s always a chance that trying to evoke such a reaction out of an A.P. has been an actual goal; someone noted at some point that we don’t know if Deacon and the others were specifically designed for what they’re used for (which is very possible). No idea what that all might mean yet though.

    • ErykaSoleil

      I’m not sure, but doesn’t a typical IV bag have only one tube? I see two in the first panel, and I’m not sure if I’m remembering incorrectly from when I’ve needed an IV bag (which is very possible), or if it varies by manufacturer, or what.

      Your observation that the button may deactivate Deacon made me gasp a little and think a lot. :)

      • Kel Z

        It depends; it kind of jumps around in terms of how it looks, but even so, it looks like it’s only hung up. Now, there could be some kind of tube that goes through the machine and out up near the hook, but something like that with a big red button seems like a super weird thing to have laying around. Just in case we have to inject people with a big red button. :D

        However, as I said, it can just be how things are drawn. If they were to inject something, it would be under the saline bag, and the tubes aren’t set up that way. I’m also a ridiculous medical randomness nerd, so grain of salt. I need to get out more.

    • ErykaSoleil

      By the way, Kel Z, what is your career that requires noticing odd details?

      • Kel Z

        Software tester. My entire life is spotting weird stuff like “omg that animation was too fast!” or “those pixels shouldn’t be there!” It’s a good job for OCD people.

        • ErykaSoleil

          Ahhhh. It can also drive you -absolutely insane- if you are a perfectionist. :p

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kristi-Schoenhaar/100003523327316 Kristi Schoenhaar

      I love the idea about it deactivating Deacon. Not that I would want him to be zapped, but I dig that plot twist. (Claps.)

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

    Oh my God, reading this before going to bed was a TERRIBLE idea. This comic is going to show up in my dreams, I swear. 
    Also, Jeff’s face in the 3rd panel is breaking my heart. He’s so confused, he has no idea what’s happening, why all the guns are on Deacon, why his hand’s on that button… All he knows is that something really serious is going down. …I have no theories as to how this could possibly end well, so for now I am content to wait for this to unfold, as pain-staking as it’ll be…

    I am curious as to what the lady in purple is looking at though. The two men seem to be watching Deacon with interest, but the lady is turned away toward something else. …Maybe it’s just Maven, but it looks a bit to me like she’s looking /behind/ the good doctor…

    Maybe at a Deus ex Machina? :D …no, probably not.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/A6LXNDBF65PDZYZ7FYMBBRFGXI Alex S

      Oh oh! The purple lady (or one/all of them) is an android! She’s posing as one of the higher ups and she’ll save the day!

      • Kel Z

        So maybe Maven is an android and can change her eye color, which is why her eyes match what she’s wearing. After all, would it make much sense that she’d wear contacts *and* glasses?

        • ErykaSoleil

          A surprising number of people do just that, actually. It’s usually because they love how they look in glasses, but hate -needing- them. I really want to get LASIK done sometime in the next few years, and my husband is already insisting I get a pair of lensless or non-corrective lenses simply because I apparently look awesome in glasses.

  • http://www.bwascomic.com/ Tanako

    i never commented until now. damn shes a devil. how is he going to get out of this situation? i feel bad for him. hopefully he has some kind of way to get him and jeff out of there. :(

  • melinda stumpf

    *is already crying* DON’T DO IT DEACON

  • http://twitter.com/PockyPuck Meghan

    My brain is running around in circles screaming like a little girl. ;_;  I wanna know what happens neeeeeeeeeeeeeeeext. *wibble*

  • http://dauwdrupje.deviantart.com Dauwdrupje

    Telling Jeff you love him and killing him afterwards wouldn’t be good for my poor little heart… God, Jeff’s eyes… *cries*

  • 00Cristelle00

    Wow, such suspence here, what will Deacon say ?
    I don’t kow for you, but the logo of the comic (2 guys holding guns and at the same time hugging/kissing) is giving me hope and I can’t help imagining stuff… Lately it’s : Jeff dies; his mind is transfered into an android and both him and Deacon escape………………..Well just a theory.. :)

  • Yukiness

    I’m gonna have to comment later once my nerves calm down. Reading this page makes me tense, yet the wonderous fan art sets my heart at ease. Toggling back and forth between the two has now left me at a loss for cohesive thought.

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

    words cannot describe the amount of overwhelming anxiousness I feel… Alex, I hope you’ve watched a lot of Disney movies and believe in a happy-ever-after ending! Please, let it be so! :'(

  • Hyperminimalism

    Very much excited for the page on Saturday–that is all. 

  • B_u_b

    My heart stopped beating for a moment when I read the 2nd panel

  • Clockworkkefferson

    I was showing this page to my friend, and talking about what he’d say and her guess is;
    “JEFF, I’M PREGNANT WITH OUR BABY.”
    xDDDDD

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

      LOL. That’s awesome, Clockworkkefferson. :)

  • Roletta

    Although happy endings are always nice. I’m kind of hoping for a romantic, love-filled, tragedy ending. Because even if they escape, which seems pretty much impossible, it’s unrealistic. I suppose there could be a possible, “Oh Deacon, you were actually gonna do it, you’re a good soldier, we set you and Jeff free now.” But he’s killed a man. He wouldn’t just be “free to go.” In a perfect world I guess they can just forget the loss of allied soldiers, but ehhhhh.

    I love Maven, any extremely creative way she could save both of them would please my preferences as well. This is all my opinion, of course! Can’t wait for the next couple of pages. So suspenseful! 

    • ErykaSoleil

      I’m telling you, Maven is an undercover agent.

  • Roletta

    Eek, sorry. Double post. First time posting my thoughts. I was a bit nervous!

  • ErrorTime

    I haven’t posted in a while, since I been busy with RL stuff, but Jeff’s hair! Oh no! I hope Deacon doesn’t push the button, and it’s strange seeing the doc in anything but purple.

  • tom1988

    This is art. I can’t praise it enough. Take however much you enjoyed seeing this page for the first time and multiply it by these factors:

    *The tension surrounding Deacon, which is sublime.
    *The attention to detail, with so much going on, so many different perspectives, it’s stunning.
    *Maven.

    That’s how much I enjoyed this page.

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

      Thank you, tom1988. :)

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

    I honest to god don’t know what to say.

    This is getting really, really painful to read. If anything happens to jeff…I’l be so upset. :'(

    As for you, Deacon…this is where we see if you really are just a robot…or if you really are what Jeff hoped you to be.

  • Aikka

    Hm o_o

    well, i do not think it would be that simple.

    I mean, no matter if you planned a happy or not happy ending for them,
    it won’t just end like that. Am i right…?

    Can’t wait to see what will happen. o..o

  • AnyOtaku

    Ok. All together now let’s take a deep breath and hope that everything works fine…
    I knew Deacon wouldn’t do it! Well, i know he is only going to speak with him but seeing Jeff puppy face he will… I don’t know how is he planning to do it, but he will succes!

    P.S: too much guns…

  • ErykaSoleil

    O.k., so I keep going back to Maven’s line, “It IS important for you to be fully conscious of the impact of your actions.” I think this line is incredibly important; but a few moments ago, I suddenly had a mental picture of her as Jiminy Cricket, and it makes me giggle (esp. as it is closely followed by Deacon clapping and dancing around shouting, “I’m a REAL BOY!”).

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kristi-Schoenhaar/100003523327316 Kristi Schoenhaar

      I’m not sure why you thought this, but I’m glad you did. :-D

      • ErykaSoleil

        If I could draw half as well now as I could when I was in high school, I would SO make that as fan art. :D

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kristi-Schoenhaar/100003523327316 Kristi Schoenhaar

    Maven’s girlfriend is just as fashionable as she is! She’s wearing purple today~ For HER~

    Aww, she looks worried for “Claire baby’s” safety. Also, I think the gf’s name is Cheryl.

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

      Also, I think the gf’s name is Cheryl.

      LOL. So noted. :)

    • ErykaSoleil

      I love it!

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

    Alex, you’re torturing us. Have some mercy, please. Surprise us with a page tomorrow, the day after or right now. I don’t care what happens anymore, I just want to know…

    Dang, this story is just so engaging: the plot, the characters, the art… everything.

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

      Thank you for the very kind words, Maeglin. It makes me happy to hear that you’re enjoying the ride. :D

      And believe it or not, the suspense is a bit torturing for me too! LOL Of course, I did write this scene to be suspenseful. And I think for reading the comic all in one go, the scene well paced for that—after all, the tension just lasts for a few minutes at most. But as a webcomic, this has been weeks! And you all are so dear to me that I feel all your tension myself! I so much want to just share the last pages with you like right now! Gah! :)

      So, if it makes you feel any better, know that I’m right there with you…….

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kristi-Schoenhaar/100003523327316 Kristi Schoenhaar

    I wonder if Deacon intends to talk Jeff through what’s happening?

    Hmm. It’s unlikely a loving moment between the two men would sway the minds and hearts of the watchers into letting them stay together. My mind still goes there, though.

  • Male25Aut

    Just found this comic an houre ago. Wow, its so intense. I love the story, but I fear that there is no room for a happy ending. Alex Woolfson (sounds somehow swedish) you will break the hearts of your readers. But still they love you. You are awesome and have created something great. Greetings from Austria, a new Reader.

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

      Thank you, Male25Aut! I’m very glad you found us. :) 

      And Swedish, huh? I’ll admit, that’s a first for me… :D

      • Male25Aut

        Your last name, so it’s not a stage name, has put me on it. Earlier in Sweden names were createt like this: Elmer Nilsson (= Elmer, son of Nils) and Nils Holgersson (= Nile, son of Holger)…
        So Woolf-Son made me wonder.
        I’m glad too. Can’t wait till saturday. Your really know how to tell a story.

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

          Ah, I see. :)

          Well,  thank you again for the props! ::blush::

  • http://hacktheneverland.blogspot.co.uk/ enchantedsleeper

    Hmmm, I’m a new reader to this webcomic and so far I like it :3 At first I had some misconceptions about it, thinking that it would’ve been better to just tell the story of Jeff and Deacon in real-time rather than in flashback form where it gets constantly interrupted by what’s happening in the present. But now I see where the story is headed, and that it’s not meant to be a super long-form ongoing webcomic, I can appreciate the narrative choices :3

    I’m still not sure how I feel about Maven’s character; I don’t like her, and she feels like a bit of a ‘standard’ antagonist, a heartless corporation worker; but if she were to pull some sort of miraculous escape plan out of the bag, I’d feel very differently. xD At the moment though, it doesn’t seem like that would be possible or consistent with her character and her interactions with Deacon. So we’ll see.

    Maybe this whole thing will turn out to be an elaborate simulation designed to test the emotional capacity of the D-model. X3 Maybe Artifice’s ‘red button’ is the equivalent of The Matrix’s ‘red pill’. XD Let’s see how deep the rabbit-hole goes!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ODTYRNLPDTIZWUVMJBCDAFY27E DivaLady

    I don’t know what you’ve got up your sleeve, Alex, but you haven’t failed me, yet.  Honestly, though, I’d be more intrigued if you actually DID kill Jeff off and continued the story with Deacon in other circumstances, just because noone DOES that!  Also, can you box up bukkin and mail them to me?  I could use more Jeff/Deacon sexing in my life.

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

      Thank you for the vote of confidence, DivaLady. (I’ll see if I can accommodate you about killing Jeff. ;) )

      And yes, Buukkin did a really great job with that Fan Art, huh?

      • http://twitter.com/RyanEly1 Ryan Ely

         NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ODTYRNLPDTIZWUVMJBCDAFY27E DivaLady

        *flail* Well, I don’t actually WANT Jeff to die, but it’s the only thing that I’m really NOT expecting to happen, hence it would be the most interesting thing to happen.  *more flailing*

        And yeah, I want a Bukkin of my very own.  I’d take a Winona, but if I steal her, the story stops updating!  ;-;

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/A6LXNDBF65PDZYZ7FYMBBRFGXI Alex S

          Now if Alex kills Jeff we know who to blame.

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

            Now, now, let’s all play nice.

            Jeff’s fate was determined by Alex years ago…

            :D

  • fujoshifanatic

    Another cliffhanger! What could he possibly have to say to that confused, puppy-like face in this situation? I’m surprised he can even look Jeff in the eye. It’s so funny you mentioned the TV Tropes page, because I was just on it before I came here (I guess to psych myself up for what happens next), but I wasn’t the one who added that.

    At least this week’s fan art was a lovely distraction from all the tension and angst over what’s going to happen next. In fact, I’m going to go reread those related pages, reminisce about happier Deacon/Jeff times, and prepare myself for Saturday.

    Normally I wouldn’t stand for this kind of plot pain, but you make it hurt so good Alex! Between the page itself and your penchant for understatement in the page summaries (those are a lot of guns indeed!), you are a Master at torturing us with this incredible story, and we are but your humble slaves, begging for more…

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

      Hehe. I very much appreciate your patience, fujoshifanatic. (And your very kind words!) I look forward to ending your pain soon. :)

      • ErykaSoleil

        But . . . but . . . that means the end (of Artifice) is nigh! No!

  • C K

    I love the absolute lack of trust Deacon has with the guards.  Which is, I guess, the most likely result when you tore seven people apart.

    I kind of wonder if the people outside the glass have really thought this through.  I mean, the guards are trained for security purposes and Maven…is Maven, but do you really want to be in eyeline when its time for the killer robot to go kill his boyfriend?

    Also, seriously, Jeff, this would be an excellent time to cry as pitiably as possible because his hand got very very close to the button for a second there.

    Anyhow, I am still on the edge of my seat, mainly to see what Jeff says/does.  Oh Saturday, please arrive quickly.

  • Snarkyred

    “Close your eyes baby”

    Then the sound of a thousand breaking bones was heard across the planet.

    • http://twitter.com/CarlatheZombie Carla Zombite

      …why would you suggest that. Oh god…now I’m picturing it. OH GOD NO. 

      • Snarkyred

        Oh no, no, no… it’s in reference to a quote from “Aliens”.  And right after Ripley says it the Alien gets the crap beat out of it.  Or in this case…all the douche bags in the room and outer room.

        • ErykaSoleil

          I just watched that last night, and it is still TOTALLY awesome! I got what you meant. :)

  • grinsekatze

    I have tears in my eyes already. How Jeff looks at Deacon, it is so sad and even though Jeff says nothing to stop him.
    I fear that these tears will stay until I see the next page on saturday. These will be a few very dramatic days for me.

  • Fulgin

    Don’t push the button.  The big, red, SHINY button.

    (Sorry, had a Ren and Stimpy moment there.)

    Also, love how Deacon pays absolutely no notice to the three guns pointing at him.

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

      Yes. Ren and Stimpy. :)

    • strangeangel24601

      “The jolly, candy-like button! WILL he hold out folks? CAN he hold out!?”
      …And it turns out to be the History Eraser Button. Now THAT would be a twist.

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

        :D

  • AJTheShifter

    Ooooh.  I wonder if my theory of stating the codes out loud will come to be.  One of two things.  His codes to set him free….Or his codes to destroy himself.  A deletion.  A factory reset, to put it coldly.  Hmm?  *gold tooth evil grin of a doctor ;)* 

    • coyoteconscious

      I’m betting on Deacon giving Jeff the codes, so Jeff can order him to protect them both.

  • Kayla

    The weekend can not come quick enough.

  • Lorescien

    *RAGE*

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

    I love Dr. Maven.  I could’ve sworn she was gonna say no.  And so much attitude on “But make it brief!”  You guys have had me ready to burst with emotion these past few pages!  *explodes*

  • http://nebulia.livejournal.com/ nebulia

    I misread your comment as “Maven’s arched eyebrow is eye candy.”

    Which is true, but it was kinda weird there for a moment.

    I’m really interested in where this is going to go. Can’t wait for more!

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

      Heh. That is true, isn’t it? :)

      Glad you’re enjoying Artifice!

  • http://twitter.com/_BrantM Brant Martin

    AAAAAAaaaa

    The suspense!

    It is killing me!

    I think the button doesn’t actually do anything, Maven just wants to test Deacon.

    Because Jeff can’t die, right?

    RIGHT?

    Deacon has to have calculated the possibilities. He has to know it’s a trick.

    I am going to die without this next update.

    I will actually die.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/O6VCPYHL73JNVRFRIORKNIXR7E Kel

      Maven has worked out that this is all amoral – she is a shrink after all.  She and Deacon have it all planned.  The guards will probably have their shoulders pulled out (again) and the watchers/witnesses will be brought down by an army of arresting Govt. soldiers.  Jeff, Deacon and Maven will be heroes.  Jeff will ride off into the sunset on Deacon’s back!  That’s all folks.

  • Lawrence A

    So am I the only one who’s actually hoping for Deacon to kill Jeff? Then the comic could end with Maven lovingly shouting “I knew you could do it!” and then Deacon and Maven highfiveing over Jeff’s corpse.

    • QuestionableSanity

      That would be epic.

    • tom1988

      I don’t want Jeff to die but I do like your ending ;)

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=507562543 Matt Ayrton Johnson

      I laughed out loud at the thought of that. How about people donate for 2 endings! the real one and the comic relief one! :D

      • ErykaSoleil

        Ooo! Oooooo! Or it could be like those movies where they film two (or more) endings, and people can believe whichever one they choose! (Clue and Mr. Sardonicus come to mind.)

  • http://www.facebook.com/seth.nicholson Seth Nicholson

    Maven’s line in panel five could just as easily be directed at the writer.

  • Snarkyred

    It’s all a dream!   :)

  • Finzz

    I have to say I almost wish he’d just push the button, to prove his loyalty.  Then they’d reveal it’s a fake and Jeff’s alright and being inducted in as a soldier, THAT would be an awesome twist (sorry if I ruin it ^^).  Otherwise, wow, this is either gonna be incredible action coming, or a pretty cheesy unrealistic sequence.  Alright Alex, let’s see what you came up with, time to reveal!!

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/O6VCPYHL73JNVRFRIORKNIXR7E Kel

      Ahhh you mean the “… God asks Abraham to sacrifice his son, Isaac, on Mount Moriah …” test!  I reckon that that is it too. Hmmm

  • http://contagiousoup.tumblr.com/ contagiousoup

    TT^TT Is it strange that this page is giving me a slight anxiety attack? Idk if it’s healthy to be this emotionally attached to a comic… 

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=549667300 Hayden Dominick

       I was just thinking that myself.

  • http://cathcer1984.dreamwidth.org/ Cathcer

    I’m getting a bit nervous here, I hope Deacon has something up his sleeve…

  • http://twitter.com/irenicPie Lucy

    I can’t help but notice Deacon going to press the button with his thumb, how strange. Who presses buttons with their thumb? I’ve never pressed a button with my thumb o_O (except like, handheld stuff like mobiles and remote controls obviously, but you know what i mean)

    • ErykaSoleil

      I assumed he was using his thumb to flip open the button’s cover.

  • http://twitter.com/femme_ke Femme Ke

     
    I second the thought that Maven’s actual goal is for Deacon showing emotions. By setting him on the wrong track, she can find out what he’s really about  …

  • Chrome_chan

    OOOOUUU…OUU….. This is getting nasty…. Sooooo much tension….

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_OXPDZNZ3FTN6UW4AS7F33Q4U4U AeryonSun

    I really hope Deacon has something up his sleeve and I still don’t trust Maven one bit.

  • pwnjolras

    the suspense is absolutely killing me..

  • LukaTisus

    Gawd, Deacon’s gotta be fast enough to make some lightning quick moves that the average human can’t react to quick enough. 

    I seriously wish he’d just punched Maven in the throat and went to town on every one of those soldiers, grabbed Jeff and skipped off hand-in-hand into the sunset with him. :( 

  • Saberri

    Jeff is gonna die. I can feel it. And then Deacon will die. 

    The end.

  • crimsonkiss22

    AND THEN SUDDENLY, BATMAN COMES TO SAVE THE DAY?
    No? 
    Why? ;A;

    (That’s some shiny, shiny fanart right there *___* Oh ho)

  • crimsonkiss22

    And also, keep it brief? Okay.

    “What kind of shampoo do you use? Oh, also, I faked every orgasm. Yes, most men can’t do that, but like I said, I’m not most men. GOODNIGHT THEN.” See, I just made myself sad there.

    • CookieMonsterer

      You may have made yourself sad…But that made me laugh x.x 

  • CookieMonsterer

    I waited the entire week….for more suspense! I am having like an anxiety attack. Gosh. I just want him to push the button, and it be a dummy thing or whatever. Just to show that he did it over all, and Jeff fucking liiiiiive. x.x

  • ithilloke

    Looooooooove the fan art!

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

    Deacon is going to tell Jeff that he could have saved his life by killing him and then he’s going to refuse to kill Jeff and submit to being turned-off and dismantled. 

  • TheWOL

    I want to bitch slap that blond so bad.

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

    I can’t even think of something to say… I’m anything could happen. From Deacon killing everybody in the room from sacrificing himself to keep Jeff alive… Or he can just press the button and… Oh damn.

    Alex, dear, you’re killing me here! Deliver the final blow, will you? End my pain! //dramatic reader is dramatic//

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mikal-Rowse/100000890463266 Mikal Rowse

    Huh. Intravenous death. Well at this point all I can really hope for is that it’s not going to be physically painful for Jeff.
    Oddly enough I can’t hate Maven, at all. People seem to forget that this is her job and Deacon murdered their own men. If he were human, it’d be a pretty cut-and-dry trial ending in his execution on grounds of treason. :P

    Though someone did mention that “it’s all a dream,” below. XD On that note, doesn’t anyone else think it’s weird for Maven’s eyes to change color with her outfit? This might very well all just be a virtual simulation, and as a computer, how would Deacon tell the difference? (Ha, or maybe he’s figured that out at this point and the button will end the simulation…)

    • Superjenny

      You have given me new hope!  ~tears welling up~

  • Ryn

    ohGod, i think i need something better that my shirt to hide in at this point! And i have to say, WTF Deacon? you are about to kill him, why the hell would he want to talk to you? If i were Jeff there would be imminent spittage about to happen. but i’m a vindictive little shit, but i’m hoping Jeff will at least summon some last feisty attitude.

  • Karina Nakrokhina

    And then the comic stopped and suddenly the donation demand went up to $1000.
    And we all pulled out our money.
    And Alex became rich forever.
    The end.

    • ErykaSoleil

      Wow. I almost spit hot tea up my nose on that one. :)

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/A6LXNDBF65PDZYZ7FYMBBRFGXI Alex S

      I like it!

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

      LOL. That is both hysterical and very flattering all at the same time. :D

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/circasassy/ Boweneer

    Wait, what? I thought Maven was going to give Deacon a little time to talk to Jeff? What the f….

    Is this really almost over? 

    I also hope he doesn’t kill Jeff. I hope he says I love you and I won’t kill you. Goodbye.

    Is that brief enough, doctor?

    • Ambler

      I totally thought your name was bow-weiner. I laughed for like half a minute before realize that I’m an idiot…

  • ErykaSoleil

    Oh! Oh! I know!

    The red button rolls out a device for killing Jeff that would make Rube Goldberg smile. :)

  • Ambler

    And then they hug one last time. Jeff cries, and a few tears land on Deacon’s shoulder where it falls into a small particle of skin that they forgot to graph, works into his circuitry, and shorts him out. Jeff is perceived as a God with the ability to command robots at will and kill anything with one touch. He becomes rich, builds an army of hot Deacons to please him well into the night, every night, forever.

    Roll credits.

    I should totally be writer…

    • Yukiness

      I’m crying right now, you don’t even know

    • Alex B.

      hahah nice XD

    • ErykaSoleil

      I like it up until he builds the army of Deacons. I don’t think he could recreate that connection with just any android; I honestly think Deacon is special.

  • Yukiness

    Alright, now that I’ve finally had a good nights sleep I can leave a proper comment on this page.
    I find it almost comical how he barely moves and gun are lifted out of no where. For a split second, I could imagine the beat-nick guard shouting, “Watch out! He’s got a button!” On the flip side I can empathize with airing on the side of caution. Just because Doc Maven has a verbal “kill switch” doesn’t mean that all hell can’t break loose in the hospital room. What’s the use of a verbal kill command when you’ve too busy screaming cause a body was just thrown at you? I have a feeling that something/someone is going to interupt the proceedings in a way that would make the Monty Python cast proud.

    Maven has expressed mercy in only four words proving that although we have no idea where she has the space to store all that evil, a microscopic partical of humanity still remains within her. Either that, or she’s putting up a damn good front considering that they all have an audience. The more Doc Maven speaks, the more we learn about her and the more convincing she becomes. Bravo Alex and Winona.

    This is the worst time to find out something trivial about Jeff. “Holy shit, he does have a last name!” turned quite a few heads in my living room. Even worse now that things might get really sappy and so tragically sweet that every fan here will need cavities filled along with therepy themselves. What sucks even more is that Jeff is still restrained, so a last parting embrace is a no-go.

    Overall, thanks for another awesome page you guys. Still on the edge of my seat; my ass is still cold because of that.

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

      Thank you for your thoughtful comment and kind words, Yukiness. And I was wondering if anyone would notice about the last name… :)

  • keisha prioleau-martin

    This isnt fair. The susense, the twist. i have to wait a WHOLE week too see what happpens in the next six seconds of deaconds world AHHHHHH

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

       yes, 3 years to us is like 5 minutes in Deacons world. now I know how a fly feels.

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

      Next page up in less than 15 minutes. :)

  • Erica

    OMG WHAT’LL HE SAY?!?!?! D: D: D: D: >:U OUT WITH IT!! lol but HA HAAA i knew it had to be along the lines of “can i have a word with this beautiful young enticing cute adorable man?” XPPP

  • lolcat baka

    me says button is a fake, it won’t kill him

  • http://twitter.com/hauntressdivine joyciepikeyohehmgee

    I can’t think of a decent comment because I’m too excited for the next scenes. What will happen? omg omg omg

  • http://www.facebook.com/morenikek Morenike Kelly

    I just pooped my pants

  • Ryn

    just check out the new fanart cause i forgot, and can i just say “yumyumyumyum” so much one of my favorite positions.

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

    *leans over the edge of her seat, falls over, and gets up rubbing her nose*

  • Alex B.

    >_<; Urg the suspense is killing me. 

  • Alex B.

    Maybe Jeff knows Deacon’s codes or something? Maybe he’ll be able to lock Maven out or something so Deacon can kill everyone so that Jeff and Deacon can live happily ever after :3 ♥

  • xenie

    I am REALLY hoping that Deacon taught Jeff his override code or something so Jeff can undo everything that Maven did.  Oh please oh please let this have a happy ending! 

  • Eriennexton

    I got it! 

    I KNOW HOW THIS IS GOING TO GO DOWN!!!!

    Okay….Jeff had something implanted in him, right? So Deacon just has to say the code word…..and then Jeff will EXPLODE IN A FIERY FRENZY AND HAVE SUPER HUMAN STRENGTH! HE WILL SCOOP DEACON IN HIS ARMS AND FLY THROUGH THE CEILING! TOGETHER THE TWO OF THEM WILL PROTECT GOTHAM CITY!

    :3 And this will become a superhero comic! 

    • Superjenny

      I think the only thing Jeff’s had “implanted” in him is a whole bunch of android semen…

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/A6LXNDBF65PDZYZ7FYMBBRFGXI Alex S

      Oooh! Jeff becomes Northstar and Deacon is practically Cyborg already.

  • https://twitter.com/#!/nakitsura Kate P.

    Oh god oh god oh god oh god!!!!! *Gets tissues ready and moves all breakable objects off desk just in case*

    • ErykaSoleil

      Don’t forget to have the laptop at a safe distance. :p

  • ErykaSoleil

    Maybe it’s a test to see if Deacon can tell he’s being tested?

  • qui-gon-robot

    Oh Alex, you are turning me in to Tweek
    *spazzes out profusely* DX

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=48916620 Renee Vroom

    I just skimmed through a good deal of the comic, pretty much all of it from the beginning – Maven’s eye colour doesn’t really change.  It’s been a greyish-blue-purple through every panel.

    • Ambler

      Is it common for human eye color to change? Crap, I must be doing something wrong!

      • YangYueLan

        Some eye colors can change. Hazel eyes being the most likely. They can range from gold to green depending on the light or even the shirt color of the person. 

        • ErykaSoleil

          Depends on whether you’re using civilian or military definition. My father’s eyes were considered “hazel” while he was active duty because they varied between really light blue and dark grey (as do mine); at that time anyway, the military considered “hazel” to be any eye color that changed frequently. :p

          • YangYueLan

            I used the color hazel by the color definition (a color that contains both green and gold; can range from green to gold and when evenly blended make a muddy green). I also used this because my eyes are hazel and I have had people almost attack me because I had gold eyes one minute and green the next. 

          • ErykaSoleil

            Did they think you were a vampire or something?

          • YangYueLan

            Hah, yeah, I also got werewolf and just being ‘magic’.  (1990s! woot.)

          • ErykaSoleil

            Wow. I’m glad I just got asked if I was wearing new contacts on a weekly basis. :p

    • W Nelson

      Word of God from the artist: It does change.  Maven wouldn’t let something not match if it was in her power to change it.  She’s just subtle, because she’s also a woman of taste :)

  • Ambler

    I don’t really understand why Jeff is just sitting there. I mean, yeah, his hands are strapped down, but Deacon actually has his hand on the button and he’s just watching curiously? I’d be like “WOAH DUDE”.

    But, my new theory is that Jeff is pregnant. We shall see if this works out…

    • Erin Timberlake

      It looks to me like he’s just given up and is sad as shit that Deacon is doing this and yet is hoping he won’t. Maven even told Deacon they had no intention of killing Jess so it’s possible they told Jeff that too… and the choice of Deacon killing him vs being taken apart and studied. 

    • strangeangel24601

      I’m guessing Jeff’s either resigned to his fate, too drugged to really be aware of what’s going on, or in on whatever plot Maven undoubtedly has up her sleeve.

  • http://twitter.com/MiotaLee Desirée Eriksson

    If this doesn’t have a happy ending I’ll cry forever. I’m hyper emotional and there should be warnings posted all over these pages!
    The suspense is killing me, please, don’t break my heart ><

  • Superjenny

    Holy Testicle Tuesday!  That fan art…  O_O  Oooohhhh myyyyyyyyy…

    • YangYueLan

      ‘Testicle Tuesday’? Will you explain that for me, please?

      • Superjenny

        It’s a Jim Carrey movie reference.

  • http://twitter.com/ChaoticFayth Robyn π Jordan

    Personally, I really despise Maven regardless. Not because she’s “breaking up the OTP”, but because she’s a flat-out bully. Regardless of motives, all we’ve seen her do is bully and berate Deacon. I want to find out what happens, of course, but I can’t stand most of the pages with her presence.

  • Kel Z

    I’ll be camping like a ninja tonight; I can’t really post easily, but I’m here in spirit, and I’m leaving my legacy of bubblewrap for all of you! :: drops in middle of room ::

    • Yukiness

      *takes off shoes and dances upon it to the tune of “I’m so Excited”*

      • ErykaSoleil

        Isn’t your birthday today?

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/A6LXNDBF65PDZYZ7FYMBBRFGXI Alex S

        Why are you dancing on your shoes?

        Edit: Oh, the bubble wrap! Lol, yeah that makes more sense. *joins you*

    • ErykaSoleil

      Awwww. Thankees for the bubble wrap! :) I suddenly remembered it was Friday and lunged for my computer.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/A6LXNDBF65PDZYZ7FYMBBRFGXI Alex S

        Me too!

  • Emanueru

    Let the campin begin~

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

    Campity campity CAMP!  FROM HAPPY-DAY VACATION LAND!

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/A6LXNDBF65PDZYZ7FYMBBRFGXI Alex S

      Hey, Summer! Where are you vacationing at?

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

        Nowhere!  It’s a staycation!  But it means I don’t have to go to work!!!!!!

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/A6LXNDBF65PDZYZ7FYMBBRFGXI Alex S

          Oh! I thought Happy-Day Vacation Land was Disney or something. Staycations are cool. Going away is usually exhausting.

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

            I’m just happy  not being at work.  I’m kinda sad like that :)

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/A6LXNDBF65PDZYZ7FYMBBRFGXI Alex S

            That’s not sad. I’m the same way about classes. It’s nice to recharge :).

          • Kel Z

            I love being at home instead of work, often a lot more relaxing than actually going anywhere. :D

    • tom1988

      I’ve just been Sleepity sleep SLEEPING! Ah, 8:00 AM on a Saturday with a new Artifice about to be published. What a nice thing to wake up to ;)

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/A6LXNDBF65PDZYZ7FYMBBRFGXI Alex S

        Good morning! I’m about to get some sleep (and hopefully have sexy android dreams).

        • tom1988

          Where you supplant Maven no doubt ;)

          Sweet dreams~

  • Noriam Gutierrez

    Nnnnnnnononono! Keep your hands AWWWAAAYYYY from the big, red button. D':

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