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Artifice Page 67

217 Comments on Artifice Page 67

Oh, dear.

We have new Fan Art from long-time friend of Artifice, Suf! It’s a very nice painted portrait of Jeff, shirtless. You should definitely check it out. Thanks, Suf!

And another thing you should check out is my very good friend Patrick’s comedy short that he’s just posted up on Vimeo. Not yaoi, but funny and well done nonetheless. Please go there now and wish him a Happy Birthday from me!

We have yet again hit the target for the bonus page! So in addition to a page on this Wednesday (a bonus page!) and the regular update next Saturday, there will be an additional bonus page on Wednesday, January 25th!

Special thanks go out to long-time supporters Katie P., Guillaume P. & Brian d. (who just made their fifth donation in a row! You rock, Brian!) and a warm welcome and grateful bow go out to new supporters Savannah M. & Megan M. for their generous donations over the last few days.

Big hugs go out to long-time friends of Artifice Jennifer B., Daniel K. (whose donation—his fourth super-generous donation in a row—put us over the top! High five, Daniel!) & Larisa V. (who made their fifteenth $25 donation to Artifice and who contributed even after the target had been hit! You rule, Larisa!) and also to new friend of Artifice Jenny K. for their super-generous $25 donations!

You all are so awesome! Thank you so much!

So… we have a clear decision from Maven. How will Deacon react? And what will this mean for our hero? Tune in this Saturday to find out! 🙂

(Oh, and I have to say, y’all totally cracked me up on the previous page reacting to Maven in the last panel. It seemed like every other comment was “OMG! She’s stripping! Is she going to try to seduce Deacon?! O_O”. And then every fourth comment was an eagle-eyed reader noting that Maven’s jacket was unbuttoned in previous panels, so she was actually buttoning up, not unbuttoning. [True.]

I’ve often said that reading the comments helps me to see this comic with fresh eyes. Never before so much as this time—you had me thinking about this page in a way I had never done before. These comments created the image in my mind of Maven pulling some kind of Mrs. Robinson and it would send me into a fit of chuckles every time. It was a great pick-me-up during a very stressful week. So thank you for that too. 😀 )

DING! DING! DING! DING! DING! DING! DING! Holy cow! With a record-breaking $170 donation, we have yet again hit the donation target! So, in addition to our regular Saturday updates, a bonus page this Wednesday and a bonus page on Wednesday the 25th, there will now also be a bonus page on Wednesday, February 1st! I am floored! Thank you all so, so much! 😀

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!
  • AnyOtaku

    I’m sorry but I have to say it! She doen’t have a heart… After hearing all Deacon’s story she should be more like ” Wow we have created robots with emotions, such a discovery” but no.

    I don’t want it, poor Deacon! Come on run, find Jeff and escape from all of this and be happy together!

  • Bien Batol

    I’m am throwing the largest bitch-fit I have ever thrown in quite some time.
    How dare you!  Fight her Deacon!  Fight for your love!

  • Lolania

    In her position I would do the very same thing. Looking at him as a machine, he’s become a dangerous, uncontrollable killer. It would be time to put him down before he can do any more damage.

    Of course, since I’m not in her position, I can scream “No!” at the top of my lungs. Of which I certainly did. I’ve become very attached to Deacon, Jeff and even Maven. They’re all very well characterized and drawn. The pacing of the comic is fantastic, and I look forward to more.

    • Thank you, Lolania. I’m really glad you’re finding the comic well-paced and are enjoying the characters. 🙂

  • …is anyone familiar with how the the Tenth Doctor, David Tennant, would just yell “what?!” in different ways continuously?!  Well, that was me when I read this page.  Just endless reams of differently said “what?!”  Each with its own shade of meaning.

    Also, for the record, I do still like Maven…but I would very much like to lace her blasted chardonnay with some neurotoxin right about now.

    • I am familiar with that. Quite a funny image. 😉

      • Glad you liked it.  A different “what?!” comes out of my mouth every time I revisit this page now…

  • Pillamelai

    She is just about to give him a hint on how to escape; that’s why she’s telling him what will happen is he doesn’t run away with his lover, right? … Right?! D= 

  • melinda stumpf

    Deacon: NO!
    Doc: yes
    Me: Bitch!

  • HannahDJA


    To put it into more calm terms, I simply dislike her for the lack of emotion, nay, lack of empathy, towards the fact that their own AI machines could advanced to such complex levels and adapt pure human emotion. Anybody in true, pure love would defend their lover to the death, and do anything they had the power to do to help their lover in need. That is what Deacon did! He only killed to save the life of someone he valued, because (dare I say it) his creators gave him the the ability to value.

    I am very angry with this. As beautiful as an update as it is, that single statement has just… totally torn me apart in regards to the future I wanted Deacon and Jeff to have. Of course, that happy future could be realized, but it just makes me so upset that Maven is so… MEAN about their situation and is trying every tactic in her book to ruin their possible future. It it weren’t for Maven having his immobilization codes, I would scream from every rooftop and tell Deacon to toss Maven out the nearest window and go find Jeff, but alas, that cry would only be lost to the wind… I am so torn…

    Thank you for the lovely update… -sits in a dark, damp corner to await the next page-

    • Kel Z

      But just think of the story potential that will come next… and how satisfying it will be when it works out. 😀

    • You’re very welcome, HannahDJA. Thank you for sharing all your different reactions—lots of fun fo me to read. 🙂

  • RustyBurrell

    MY HEART!!!! *clutches pearls and faints*

    • My sentiments exactly. D:

  • ;.; … now I feel an ending like Oscar Wilde’s ‘Happy Prince’ coming on. God who asks an angel to collect the most precious thing from Earth, and the angel bringing the dead bodies of the two main characters. *sniff*

    • Thank you for getting me to look up “Happy Prince”. Very interesting… and yes, dark.

  • xenie

    OMG NO!!!!!  Gah!!!!  NO!!!!  Gah!!!!!  NOOO!!!!

    That look on Maven’s face is cruel, like she is enjoying this!  Gah!

  • Momo Javrotsky

    ;_; Why, Maven? I had hope in you for a sliver of a second…

  •  Deacon, this is prob the best moment to chuck Maven out the window. Just sayin. *shrugs innocently* If you’re feeling froggy, jump boy!

    • SigmundReimann

      ‘Feeling froggy.’ I’m going to have to use that in conversation at some point.

  • George Moore

    What, bitch!? Unbutton her throat~, Deacon!! Give her a seawater bath! It’s good for the skin! Anything to wipe that miserable smile from her miserable face.

  • Margaret O’Connell

    Is there any possibility that Maven’s cruel pronouncement is a final test to see how Deacon will react?

    • Stig Hemmer

      That’s my thought.  If he doesn’t attack her at this point, he is declared salvageable.

      On the other hand, she is subjecting herself to a lot of risk here.  This makes me wonder, maybe she isn’t human.  It would make sense to use android handlers for potentially dangerous specimens like Deacon.

      And with THAT thought… maybe is she recruiting for an AI underground or something like that.

  • Ottertastic

    Hrmm, that grin at the end. Methinks she has other plans and is teasing.

  • Ottertastic

    Hrmmm, that grin at the end. Methinks she has other plans and is teasing.

  • I feel like crying. What.Just.HAPPENED?!

  • Aikka

    *sigh* As expected from previous page… ;-;

    Can’t wait for the next one o..o

    [Oh, btw, Alex, in description, first you say there will be a bonus pages for 2 wednesdays?, while later you again use “Saturday” for next page o..o *lost*]

    And i love the fanart today *-*

  • WHAT?!
    WHAAAAAT??! I didn’t have Maven down as a Chardonnay person!

  • No nonononononon she´s joking!

  • What amuses me more than Maven’s evil smile on the last panel is people raging on the comments and some kind of hoping she’s not bad!

    Must be so amusing reading the comments knowing what’ll happen next, huh, Alex?

    After years of reading books with bizarre cliffhangers and turn-arounds, I’ll not rage until I see she’s evil for a fact. /skeptical alis is skeptical/

    • SteveMcSheffrey

      I’d say planning to ‘kill’ Deacon is pretty damn evil.

      • Yeah, but Alis is saying that Maven can say any damn thing she likes.  She might be putting on a show for the cameras and just flat-out lying to either protect or test Deacon.  There’s no way for us to know that she truly intends to do what she says she’s going to do until she does it, or make strong efforts to do it.

      • Cass Small

        xD Nah, she’s just doing her job. I mean, she has a piece of machinery that has developed past expectations – in a rather negative way for the company that she works for. Of course he should be dissected to see how to prevent this future collapse in robotic judgement for other droids. After all, currently, he’s almost human. xD Totally not becoming of a would-be-robot killing machine.
        XD But I’m sure something will come to save the day~<3

        • SteveMcSheffrey

          Her sick smile suggests pleasure at her decision which makes her a little more evil than that dry description of her actions…

    • I of course love reading all the comments. One of the best parts of telling this story as a webcomic. Especially on pages like this one… 😉

  • erunuo

    ;_; I feel bad.

  • Ayella

    And then she continues: “Either that, or you come home with me and be my toyboy. Your choice.”

    • Ah, so you’ve seen the next page… 😉

      • Ayella

        Naah, I was just using clairvoyance – one of my superpowers. 😀

  • OOOH SHE IS E V I L ! her face in that last panel shows how totally montrous she is. I hope the machines take over soon and kill people like her.

  • KBatty

    Okay, this page I love. 

  • So…we’re supposed to think this woman ISN’T a bitch?

    • KBatty

       I know, right?

  • Lissa Bragg

    wait….what…! I…. I thought she was GOOD and….what? this….huh? WAIT NOW I HAVE TO WAIT UNTIL WEDNESDAY???? *headdeask* well, at least I don’t have to wait until next Saturday. But still…..what??? (and what’s Jeff’s opinion on all this? I miss him)

  • mikakitten

    EEEEK!!! NOOOOOOOOOOO!!! MAVEN!!! YOU IS TOO EVIL!! ;_; …. poor Deacon…this…this isn’t a tragedy/realistic yaoi is it? Jeff isn’t going to fall in love with another Deacon model…is he? This isn’t gonna be a like Jeff-Pocohantas? Or is Mavel just saying that…so she can sneak Deacon out…reunite him with Jeff and help them escape to their own deserted planet….because she’s secretly the queen of Yaoi…I hope it’s the latter because if Deacon dies I’ll be so sad…. ;_; Poor Jeff…if only they could meet one last time…*sigh* Artifice is becoming sad… too many sad pages… waaaaaaaaah!! (Am gonna keep reading though cos it’s still AWSOME…but yeah…wishing for happier pages with DxJ kissing :3)

  • Amerou

    Oh, Maven, you are such a troll.

  • C K

    WHOA that smile.

    I admit to being on Team Maven-Is-Just-Doing-Her-Job, but that is one hell of a sadistic grin.  Deciding to destroy him because he’s dangerous/malfunctioning is bad, but she seems way too damn happy about it.

    Though…telling Deacon all this seems like a really, really *bad* decision on her part.  She is alone in a room with it.  He is a machine with a history of violence issues.  And you just said you were turning him into scrap metal (and, presumably, bad things will happen to Jeff also).

    I know she mentioned waaaaay earlier that Deacon can’t hurt corporate employees, but he got around it to choke-hold the cop.  This seems like it’s going to end badly, and likely with a dead Maven.

  • I got this strange feeling this woman will get karma back, or that Deacon will be able to release himself from her codes or what-not and become a… super human??? Maybe i’m just speculating. It would be sort of awesome. I finally managed to be able to comment, woo.
    It starts to look pretty dark, though, I love Maven but she’s cruel…

  • *falls to knees screaming*


    I HATE it when Im right!!


    Deacooooon! *huggles*

  • Easiest solution: KILL HER C:

  • Krondor2000

    OMG! I knew she is going to say something like that! And she can remotely shut him down and walk out the door. Deacon has absolutely no chance in hell to escape! We don’t even know if he is fully recharged. And if he is command-coded in restraint, he can’t attack her. Deacon is in a very bad spot. And with no knowledge of what happened to Jeff, this is so not ending well! 🙁

    • SteveMcSheffrey

      He can’t hurt Maven but he can probably bring the building down…

  • SteveMcSheffrey

    That face in the final page should put to rest any thoughts anyone has that Maven is a decent or moral person…

  • eleanora7

    WAIT!! or maybe Maven is being the typical bad guy and telling the hero her plans before doing anything so that he can escape, save Jeff and live far far away? 

  • fujoshifanatic

    …D-: Seriously, this is all I can manage right now. Maven disappointed me by living up to my expectations of her, and now I truly, honestly, don’t have an idea as to what will happen next. As far as the storytelling is concerned, very well done Alex; this doesn’t happen to me often, and frankly I’m very pleased when it does. 

    As far as jerking me around by my heartstrings, you are the meanest person ever! Keep up the great work! 😉

    • I’m glad the story is able to keep surprising you, fujoshifanatic. 🙂

      It can actually be a bit of a trap for a writer to have it as a primary goal to come up with surprising story twists (just look at the later seasons of Ron Moore’s BSG for a textbook example of that)—IMHO, your first duty as a writer should be to make the twists feel as authentic and real as you can. Plot should always follow character and not the other way around. (Meaning you shouldn’t twist your characters motivations and behavior into OOC pretzels just to hit some surprising/interesting plot point you have in your head.)

      But it is very gratifying to hear when you’ve been successful in doing both. 😉

  • I’m still hoping for a rescue from Jeff! I mean the fact that we don’t know what happened to him might suggest that he managed to make it out…although you never know where this story will go next. That is good story telling:). I am still hoping on to the positive, that’s just me.

    • Thank you for the props, Emily. Glad that you’re enjoying the possibilites. 🙂

  • YangYueLan

    Quick Deacon! To the AI underground railroad! and bring Jeff.

  • lol, it’s not often that people play this bit straight.  No secret twist where you expect it, just Maven going “Bitch, here’s my plan.”  I wonder if she’s still playing him.  She seems entirely too gleeful about his reaction.

  • In that last panel I can totally hear Maven hold that “s” sound just a little longer than really necessary!  (that’s how evil she is!)

  • Sandra Virgínia

    Well, well, that’s sounds like a last roll of Maven. It´s always dangerous to take someone, or rather an android, to exceed own limit. 🙂

  • So much sadistic pleasure in that smile :/ PUSH HER OUT THE WINDOW DEACON!  >___>

  • Darby Roorda

    I used to like her. I used to. And now I want to MURDER her. The rage I feel is insane.
    DEACON. GET JEFF AND RUN AWAY. Maybe Jeff can figure out how to take out your tracking device…? Do something! ARGH!
    Okay, you know how I said I’m never overly anxious to see the next page? Well, NOW I AM. Slap a ho, Deacon!

    • Heh. Glad you’re looking forward to the next page, Darby. 😉

  • Why would she tell him? She must know he will do whatever he can now to find Jeff and escape, even if he has to kill his way out.

  • OK. What if Maven knows that is the most probable reaction, and hopes he succeeds?

  • leorising

    “Help, ho! murther! murther!” D:

  • snager

    :U man, you NEVER reveal your evil plan to the hero, dude.

    he can/will just figure out a way to bi-pass his programming and kill you, Ms. Maven. and then maybe jump out the window and hide in plain sight as a hobo until he can track down Jeff. :,D

    or maybe this is just the end of the comics. orz that’s how i’d write it.

  • I… I’m speechless..

    Please tell me that this is just some kind of sick joke and that she’s just messing with him?

    Oh God.. I… I really don’t know..
    What is Deacon going to do?  Because I really don’t want him to be decommissioned, dissected and the destroyed.. 🙁
    And then the next thing will be for Jeff to be killed.. and then… And then my life wouldn’t be worth living!! *Sobs uncontrollably*

    Actually, putting the uncontrollable sobbing aside, tears did come to my eyes after reading this page…
    It’s made me rather upset to think about it 🙁
    Nyeh. :'{

  • Oh my God.  I fucking love that woman.  Did you just see what she did?  Oh my God *dies*   Like oh my God.  Speechless, I love her, she’s so amazing.  Horrible and evil and amazing.  I think I may have developed a crush on her.  Good work Alex and Winona!

  • Erica


    nothing more frightening than getting your life… artificial or not… taken away D: D:

    well, now Deacon is to pull an Infamous. He’ll break through the window, land safely on the ground like a boss, plow through everywhere he think Jeff’ll be, retrieve him in hopes of not encountering ones who know his codes, and escape to… uhhh some other… place. 😀

    go deacon go!!!! ; ^ ;

  • Dex X.

    Okay so….I know i suggested it PAGES. ago, but can we kill her KNOW?! D:

  • Little Miss Perspicacious

    Deacon, you missed your chance! Everyone knows therapists can only be destroyed when they are packing up their things!

    • Sequinn


  • Yukiness

    I’m probably the only person who likes Maven’s casual delivery of terrible news and the look on her face in the last panel. It’s not that I agree with her decision. I’m just as JeffxDecaon 4EVAH!!OMG!! like everyone else. I like it because it is a character trait of Maven that fits without seeming like a cop out. I’ve read many a yaoi with sadistic characters that were so over the top, I was surprised they didn’t introduce them with a leather whip in hand (for the exception of Absolute Obedience). The very subtle way Maven tells Deacon, “Not only are we gonna slice you open, you will later be made into a paper weight and I’m going to get one,” is so convincing. Not all sadists are direct, over the top people.

    That, and that it was apparent to me she was sadistic, yet both of you manage to pull it out of left field because all the comments I have read so far are of the holy shit variety.

    Excellent work.

    • Thank you very much, Yukiness. That’s a very nice compliment. I too have little patience with over-the-top antagonists—those in conflict with the hero should absolutely have believable motivations (we might not share those motivations ourselves, but they should at least be plausible.) And if there are plot twists, they should (hopefully) make sense with what we’ve seen from a character before. I’m glad that Maven feels like she’s meeting that criteria for you. 🙂

      (Oh, and your “Not only are we gonna slice you open, you will later be made into a paper weight and I’m going to get one” quip totally cracked me up. 😀 )

      • Yukiness

        I’m so happy to see that there is someone who shares my interest’s in antagonists, obvious and inobvious ones. And happy to give you a little laugh Alex.

  • Witchcrest

    She’s always at her peak of niceness righ before her peak of evilness. I love it xD Run Deacon!

  • Brittany Brain

    How can I hate her and love her at the same time. That smile is so creepy.
    Wut. I’m sorry. *explodes*

    I’ll take a look at your friend Patrick’s video. c:

    • Heh. I like your version of how things turn out. 🙂 (And thanks for checking out my pal’s video!)

  • krissdevalnor

    Evil, evil page. That grin/smirk made me shiver :S can’t wait for next page!!! I hope Deacon goes supersayajin and escapes with Jeff :D!

  • krissdevalnor

    And the fanart of Jeff is beautiful! 🙂 Well done Suf!

  • Cass Small

    She’s finally going to get her huge robot Schlong. xD

  • qu_gon_robot

    BOO YEAH! There shall be drama! There shall be heart wrenching angst! *shot*

  • thisboybroken

    Destroy her Deacon!!!

  • ithilloke

    Yep. I knew it. Pure evil.

  • Nikolicious


  • crimsonkiss22

    My love of you has just gone down the toilet, Maven. (Well, some of it anyway, still clinging to the last vestige of it at this point.) Although, can’t say I’m that surprised. She’s a doctor for a corporation, what made us think her motives would ever be anything pure?

    Also, I’m wondering, if Deacon is about to resist (and likely start a whole bunch of shit while trying to get to Jeff) there’s gonna be a problem. Back on Da Vinci four, he was incapacitated when a soldier activated a failsafe (something handy when you want to control a creation that’s powerful enough to beat a man with his friend’s ripped off arm…). I’m sure there are people, plenty of them, that know that code to put Deacon out of commission.

    Wonder if Maven is one of them…


    • tom1988

      Wow! That evil grin… Looks like any attempts I’ve made to justify her as a lovable character may be on the verge of going down the drain as well. She’s always been in my good books but I guess this is the limit.

      I love how naturally their voices come out the page as I’m reading. I can really feel the atmosphere of that room, the evening bringing everything to a close – it’s that feeling you have when an experience is over. Just imagining Maven going home, preparing for dinner and then… The stark naked truth of her intentions, delivered so casually like that (love that little trick you did with the middle panel, devoid of background detail for emphasis).

      Did anyone else hear her hiss that last exclamation?

      • Lunnette Mabinogi

        I totally imagine her hissing. Every time I read it, she’s hissing the end (probably because her teeth are in the position). My brain skips the fact it’s “Yes.” and changes it to “Yesssss.”

        • tom1988

          Yeah you’re right. That didn’t actually occur to me but as you’re reading the first thing you see is her hideous smile and clenched teeth. Also something I didn’t notice until just now, it’s “Yes” in italics.

      • “….the evening bringing everything to a close – it’s that feeling you have when an experience is over.”

        Thank you, tom1988. Just the effect I was hoping to create. 🙂 I really  Winona totally nailed what I was going for here.  And this is one of my favorite lines of dialogue for Maven… 😉

    • horntaildragon

      yup earlier in the comics Maven threatens to use Deacons codes on him so she does know them…….
      i really don’t like this woman…….

    • Thank you, crimsonkiss22! I’ll try my best! 🙂

      (And I love your quip: “something handy when you want to control a creation that’s powerful enough to beat a man with his friend’s ripped off arm…” Hehe.)

  • Wait – what?
    WHY? ;_; OMG, she can’t do this! I kinda started to like her during the convo, but now… grr!

  • NoisyBob

    Killbot mode: Engage

  • That grin tells me she is planning something…..why is Wednesday so far awayyyyyyyyyyyyyyy *weeps*

  • Fabiana Nonato

    *desperate fujoshi mode on* Run Deacon! Run and find your Jeff! Run to the freedom! *desperate Fujoshi mode off*
    Ok, I kind of understand, she’s just doin her job, but it’s still is so sad… I mean, I did not expect that she was moved by it or anything. 
    But I still love her. 

  • retrograve

    You know i thought she was going to be an okay lady but now she’s turned out to be a bit of a b-word. Or a mean mom.

    “You know what, no Christmas for you.”
    “Oh, yes.”

  • I refuse to accept this. Maven can’t possibly be this cruel. No, wait. Let her be cruel. I’m going to draw myself, infiltrate Artifice and kill her ninja style while she sips on her Chardonnay. Bwahahaha! xD

  • that bitch I knew it. they always say they want to help but they just gather evidence to shove you in a meat grinder.

  • IS HSE SERIOUS!!!!! NO!!!!!

  • Winterlove


  • wasEnkidu

    O.o Maven you are EVIL. She cannot be serious. She’s pushing him to break the limits. “Hey what could I do? I had already gone home when he decided to pull his little jailbreak stunt and take that boy with him.” -3-
    She’s crafty. I wouldn’t put it past her to have ulterior motives to her ulterior motives.
    … seriously. DAT SMILE. Horns and a tail in the last panel. HORNS and a TAIL.
    A POINTY tail.

  • Who knows, she might save him for sexual favors. Because any normal man’s dingaling would freeze off. 

  • Ryn

    I KNEW IT!

  • NoisyBob

    Killbot mode: Engage.

  • metisofarabia

    Noooo.. So suspenseful!

  • I wanted to frigging cry in frustration when I read this. I hope Deacon can overcome his programming reach up and rip her frigging head off! -goes to pout in corner-

  • The End.

    Wonderful comic it had such a good story, sad though–

    Seriously people? Sorry but the comments on this page have me laughing so hard. When I read a story, novel, comic, whatever it may be, I crave moments like this. Give the characters something to overcome! Throw in some good ‘villains’! Give me something to wait for each week! The comments like “OMG NO SHE SO EVIL” haha, if I was writing/drawing this I would be laughing at them. But then, I love evil plot twists.

    Bring it on! Be as devious and evil as you wanna be, Maven! I’ll admire you if you’re clever about it. Give Deacon some hoops to jump through, boy has some intellectual growing to do! He needs to learn how to lie, too, haha.


    Damn, Maven, you evil little — the hell? She’s still smiling. So either she’s totally yanking his chain here – not likely, I don’t suppose – or she’s being entirely serious and rather mean about the whole thing.

    …Are we going to get to see Deacon busting through some walls in an escape attempt, I hope?

  • That just means Deacon’s going to have to do something awesome to get out of this!

  • uh oh! fugitive time.

  • Taezia Sterne

    I actually love Maven even more now. She’s an awesome antagonist and really intimidating without even being violent or physically strong/large – and smart, confident and incredibly assertive. The way she looks like she’s looming over Deacon is great artwork. And oh my god that smile.
    I think I now have a girl-crush on her. XD I love me some creepy pseudo-sadism.
    (Though she might be messing with him to see how he reacts, or what argument he might make on why she shouldn’t have him destroyed. Or maybe there’s another motive. Though I’m probably wrong.)

    • Glad you’re liking Maven even more as an antagonist, Taezia. I still find her lots of fun… 😉

  • Miyu_chan

    Deacon, why the heck are you worried that she’s recommending you to be scrapped? You’re a killing/war machine. Did you not see this coming? What about Jeff? Next question should be ‘Where is Jeff?’ If there is no answer… well. Kill mode 😛 You know what? Kill mode anyway just to find him, I’m sure scary Dr. Maven will not tell you where he is.

  • Karolyn Ellis

    Wow. Scary shrink lady is an evil bleep. 🙂

    And as much as I want to agree with Miyu_chan, I can’t. Through some freak programming, Deacon was able to find a more humanistic approach to life, or life as he knows it–a sort of philosophy gained from knowing Jeff in which killing people is a bad thing. Even though he’s in a fix, (and even though I do foresee Deacon going apeshit eventually) he’s still most likely dealing with these newfangled philosophies and feelings, and is probably going to have to deal with this new set of moralities sometime in the near future.

    Unless he gets so stressed he simply shuts down and reverts to the most rudimentary programming he was given, which was killing. They would most likely have had to install that, or the programming to obey, first, and then tweak and fix it from there. The progression of the Deacon line was most likely much like how the progression of the first computers were built; They were programmed to crunch numbers, and as they evolved, and the possibilities and functions increased, the next bits of programming had to be fitted around that number-crunching base, and the number-crunching base programming also had to be altered to accommodate for these new possibilities and uses.

    If one were to add A.I. into the mix, as they did with Deacon, then its only a matter of time before that glorified calculator goes all Bicentennial Man, and demands freedom… or love, or life, for that matter, and from there forms a set of philosophies and moralities based upon what it learned from it’s Artificial Intelligence. For a calculator, its a very big step, and must be very confusing for Deacon. Now that he’s suffered abuse for it, he could either turn into the Terminator, a scenario in which he shuts down completely from the mental stress and goes apeshit, or he could turn into something like that little kid robot in A.I. where he finds the strength to deal with these things head  on, even though its very confusing and sometimes hurtful–much like a human being would.

    Sorry for writing a short essay on it, but I find the premise of the comic extremely interesting.

    • And I find your analysis very interesting, Karolyn. Thank you for sharing it. 🙂

  • michael worthy

    And Deacon thought she was a terrible therapist. Rule #1, don’t match wits with someone with an MBA in Psychology, you will ALWAYS lose, if only because they can piss you off in 10 seconds flat.

    *waves Team Maven flag*

  • xxfcxx

    UGH that SMILE on her. There’s something very evil about her teeth, I can’t put my finger on it, but smiling with teeth makes her sound so evil. I can just hear the “sssss” at the end of her response as if she were some serpent lady. 

  • milo

    ohhhh shhhhh*t Deacon! 

    … will he kill her?

  • Hah, well there’s goes my optimistic interpretation on the last page. P:

    Still though, I suspect she’s saying this to find out for herself how “human” Deacon has become. A pure soldier AI would, of course, need a “survival instinct”, but it would be based on pure calculation of odds. In this situation, where his master codes are in her hands and there’s no visible escape, a pure AI would determine the situation to be impossible and not act.

    A person however, will do anything to live. They will fight tooth and nail, clinging to the slimmest thread of hope, even if their odds are <0.5% of survival. People get desperate. 

    I really can't see Maven /really/ recommending him going to the scrap heap. The usefulness of a sentient AI in the field of psychological testing would be amazing. You could analyze the emotion responses and symptoms to various negative stimuli, which would allow the field of mental health treatment to grow by leaps and bounds. With humans, you have ethical issues that prevent large-scale testing of that kind of thing, but robots? That'd be perfect. Granted, after awhile, there would be an AI civil rights movement because, of course, they're people too, but that would be after all sorts of useful things had been learned. 😀

    Any psychological expert would have the desire to test and analyze this transcendence of programming and the organic blossoming of emotion. (God, think about how much that would tell us about the roots of sentience itself!) I refuse to think of Maven as a proper psychoanalyst if she means what she's saying here. :C

    Oh my God, I can't wait for Wednesday!

    • I second that!

    • I really like your analysis here, Toki. This is very well thought out. Good stuff.

    • I seriously hope you’re right.  She’s totally been prodding Deacon all this time, but he is, when it comes down to it, a very expensive, sophisticated computer that didn’t do what it was supposed to.  I really hope she gives him an out, because she’s awesome and I want her to help the boys with her awesome brainy ways.

    • that makes sense – it does seem odd that she’d just flush him down the drain when he could offer a great deal.

  • yellowrock

    “Yes, and you’re going to like it!”

    But then she “accidentally” leaves the door unlocked and he manages to break out and save Jeff, and they all go live on a tropical island somewhere.

    Calling it now.

    • yellowrock

      Oh Oh!  I got it!  The higher ups were actually listening to the whole thing, so she had to say those things to fool them, but she’s actually a closet yaoi fangirl that’s sympathetic to Deacon’s cause!

      Calling  it now…again…

  • I was wrong about her being a robot, thought that was going to be a shock surprise but she is a bit of a harpie!!ooh she is cold!

  • Really Maven? REALLY? I had you pegged as more of a red wine kind of girl 😛 But we already knew you’re a bitch so I fully expected your last comment there. Now I just want to see Deacon slam tackle her to the ground and run off to rescue Jeff who is locked in a cage, wrestling off half buff attractive half naked guards and ending in a steamy reunion in some abandoned…..Er…uh…great comic XD

  • nurg

    Ah ha ha, now I’m sure the next panel will be Maven looking over her shoulder and saying, “Unless…” with a sly smile. What her “Unless” will be though I have no idea!

  • Hyperminimalism

    I suspect Dr. Maven could end up like one of our soldier friends — God rest their souls — and continue her career without ARMS. She doesn’t need them, right?

  • God, she’s despicable. 

  • EVIL!

  • psiquest

    Deacon is – unfortunately – a machine that is not operating according to specifications. What would any of us do if our computer suddenly wouldn’t connect to the internet? We’d have it fixed. And if it couldn’t be fixed… trashed and replaced.

    Maven, for all her sinister smiles and games, is only coming to the obvious conclusion. That said, I bet the bitch is wearing Magneto underoos. Old School Magneto underoos.

    • “I bet the bitch is wearing Magneto underoos. Old School Magneto underoos.” LOL. 

    •  yeah but if my computer fell in love with someone…. I’d have just get my life’s work off it, get a new computer and give the happy couple my blessing while  asking for directions out of the twilight zone.

  • I don’t understand why she’d actually TELL him that! Especially based on what happened the last time he got upset….

    • Anthony_D

      Because, probably, she know how to stop him, just like the other man did.

      Still … I’m not very fond of her attitude. So … easily Evil, so sadistic =/ That’s nearly manichean. Is such a psychology realistic ? Don’t know. I can’t wait for the next pages to tell me how to feel it !

    • Well, she does have all his control codes, but that’s a good point.

  • If I was Deacon I would break all her bones now… just saying because he can.

  • ViSovari


    As always, delightful work on the comic, it leaves me smiling every time it updates. Prize to the lovely artist who wants to draw Maven in a nightie with a good book and a glass of wine after a hard day of destroying lives. I think I want to write my own story detailing the trials and tribulations of being a working woman with the power to destroy lives. 🙂

    • Heh. Very happy to give you a smile, ViSovari. 😉

  • Wow. She is such a bitch.

  • What a tart.

  • AUGH. D:

    Augh augh augh Maven what are you doing have you no soul.  I foolishly trusted you. ;_;

    (dammit I always like the evil ones)

  • Lucy0in0the0Sky

    WHOOOORE!… I-I’m sorry, that was entirely uncalled for… BIIIIIIIIIITCH!!!

  • well…. He IS a superstrong android who aparently devolped feelings. its pretty dangoures…

  • Serena Rose


    I’m sure she’s a nice person with a good heart. 

  • Oh what a cow… now it’s time for Jeff to save Deacon

    • strangeangel24601

      Can’t say I agree with your feelings about the doctor, but I’d definitely love to see Jeff completely blow everyone’s expectations out of the water by swooping in to save the day. Somehow I get the feeling that he’s not nearly as passive as we’ve seen so far.

  • SchrodingersCatgirl

    I just found and finished the comic so far, and I have to say the
    emotions it gives /me/ are interesting. The relationship between Deacon
    and Jeff has so many problems, a specter of Stockholm syndrome for one,
    but is so tender and intimate I like it any way. I do not like how manic
    Maven is. If she’s a shrink, I don’t think it’s her primary job. I’m
    thinking some kind of CEO who is used to brow beating people into
    submission. Also, hope every one likes the additional extra pages!

    • Glad the story is generating such diverse feelings in you, SchrodingersCatgirl. And yes, Jeff would almost certainly check “It’s complicated” for the relationship status of his Facebook profile. 😉

  • Renee V

    As much as Maven’s decision regarding deacon is disturbing, I’m wondering if her raptor face in the last panel is just a liiiiitle bit more disturbing.

  • i was so hoping she would be nice and help him escape….

    and no i didn’t die! i have just been following on my phone, so i haven’t been able to comment. but it’s been an awesome journey. 🙂 it’s a very moving story.

    • Yay! Glad you didn’t die, Thomas! Good to hear from you again! 🙂

      (And I’m very glad to hear that you’ve been enjoying the story.)

  • were bear

    I must admit I have my own theory about how this is going to resolve…

    I believe our dear friend Maven is serious.  Of course Deacon’s going to ask about Jeff, and Maven’s going to tell him cold-bloodedly that he’s going to die.  The other half of the theory…  well, Deacon’s broken protocol and his codes once, hasn’t he?  NUMBER FIVE IS ALIVE!  *looks around*  What?  Why are you all looking at me like that??

    Oh, and Deacon, as a favor to all of us, make it hurt.  A lot.  *angelic smile*

    • Kel Z

      After being “code commanded” to do anything, and having it keep turning out as it does, would say to me that his definition of many things has shifted… I wonder if Maven hasn’t really figured that out, because it seems like trouble for her to say something like that.

      I’m all for him tearing her leg off and beating her to death with it, but I’m pretty terrible that way.

      :: innocent ::

  • Ryn


    maybe one of D’s creators won’t want to see him destroyed and help him escape. of course Deacons won’t want to leave with out Jeff.

    there’s usually a nutcasey scientist that sees their projects like their babies, lol. like a cat person but with robots. *crosses fingers*

  • Robert Thoren

    I sense that she’s attempting to provoke him on purpose. She knows now what he’s capable of…

  • Thanatopia

    Maven certainly seems to be enjoying herself. I wonder if she does this regularly? …well, um… props to her on two counts: first, for finding a job that gives her such pleasure, and second, to have effectively killed off any potential for sympathy the audience might’ve had for her barring some extreme revelation.

    BTW, spoil warnings: the secret that the inhabitants of Da Vinci Four stole is… the exact instructions for recreating Maven’s hairstyle. Poor Jeff was wearing the formula on his head the whole time and never knew. Because  this evil conglomorate is OBVIOUSLY Supercuts X-hundred years in the future. Haha, and you thought the audience couldn’t piece it together! 8D

  • Lorescien

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! D: Don’t kill Deacon!!!!


  • Kill her. It’s the only solution to the problem. KILL IT WITH FIRE.

  • I’ve got to get up early for work tomorrow. Thinking of posting the next update up rather early….

    • Kel Z

      Doooooo iiiiiiit. You know you want to post it early enough to see everyone exclaim over it and theorize and get excited and say “WE LOVE YOU ALEX!”

    • I was just about to go to bed….NOW I have to stay up -_-

      • All right. New page in 3… 2… 1…. 🙂

        • Not my fault your comic is like some addicting drug XD

  • Clockworkkefferson

    Maven reminds me of this one AP history teacher I had in high school… She was a psycho bitch. Apparently she also was the AP Psych teacher. Anyways, one of my friends challenged her assignments, and you know what she did? She called her parents and told them that SHE NEEDED TO BE PSYCHOLOGICALLY EXAMINED. @A@ Her parents were smart enough just to write her off as a neurotic piece of shit, though, thank god. 
    Anyways, Maven acts EXACTLY like she did. All nice and calm and then, BOOM. Psycho bitch attack! I dropped that class, lol. 

  • I’m really expecting her to just say “Yes-MUWAHAHAHA” in the last panel. An evil, manical laugh would really suit her, and did her teeth get…sharper?

  • cjfrankie

    … o … m … g …

  • OMG! I knew it! The evil little…. >_<

  • oh that dirty little sonovabiscut

  • anonymouslizzy

    Knew she was a bitch. :/

  • SolrSurfr3

    I KNEW IT! I knew psychiatrists were nothing but trouble!! D:

    • Chris Hartwig

      lol I want to be a psychiatrist

      • SolrSurfr3

        …Oh. Well…this is awkward. XD

      • You just want to be a psychiatrist to hear stories like Deacon’s! Admit it!

  • DarkFeanix21

    That smile in the last panel is absolutely *terrifying*. And again, I say, Dr. Maven is so much scarier when she is behaving calmly.

  • Ikaru Sentinal-K’Valshar

    Vicious, horrible, beastly woman. >:(

  • New reader here, I’ve been blasting through the comics with barely-accessed self-restraint so I don’t catch up too fast. Absolutely loving this comic. Gorgeously drawn and smartly written, it is exciting, thought-provoking, sweet, and above all achingly human. I have had a hard time pinning down Maven’s personality, but now I can say she is either a phenomenal liar who’s setting up “plausible deniability” while providing Deacon with a chance to escape to follow, OR she’s finally speaking the truth – revealing herself to be a very, very bad person – since her patient will be very, very dead soon.

  • Wow, what a bitch! D:

    Guys, I love you! This is one of my favourite webcomics I’ve been reading so far! I love the story line, I love the drawings and I love the characters! It couldn’t be more perfect, you’re doing an aweosome job! Keep it up!

  • Gabu

    What a Bitch!

  • what a bitch D:<

  • Cat Astrophe

    It was up until this point that I kinda liked Maven, even if she was erratic and a bit off kilter. I though she would try to do the right thing and then… that damn smile. The bitch is evil…

  • *hideous gurgling noises* Fuck me. She is terrible! UUUUUUGGGHHH!!!

  • Stranger

    I made this account just so I could say that bitch is crazy and I want her neck strangled. I really hope that this is not the way humanity turns.

  • Lilly Zhang

    Well fuck you too crazy lady.

  • random

    Kill the bitch now Dea…It’s your only chance….Just kill her and run away with Jef.. ;-;

  • Noriam Gutierrez

    *flips table* KILL HER!!!

  • VermillionQueen

    That bitch!

  • WOW what a cow!!

  • Sakura 黒

    lol that was a forgone conclusssion the second she started talking

  • OMG! NOOOooooo

  • Someone important

    urrgg I hate her I just…….. AHHHHH U STUIP PIECE OF SHIT FUCKING COCK SUCKING BIMBO THATS WHY YOUR MOTHER LEFT YOU WHEN YOU WERE YOUNG…………sorry I had to I just had to really loving this story now OMG I forgot to update my story on wattpad bybyes >.< :3

  • Kabbalist

    I…really hope this is a ploy of some kind, like a final test to examine his reactions under pressure. That said, Maven’s smile in that last panel is one of the most evocative depictions of a vicious/venomous smile I’ve seen in a long time!

  • Kristin Wilcox

    Well Alex got to say its not often I want to beat the ever loving holy fuck out of a fictional character…….But Maven is a special special snowflake…..

  • Sarah Lebowicz

    I hated her from the beginning but this……. she’s EVIL. Kill it with fire!

  • I fucking hate this bitch! God damn! I’m pissed now!