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Artifice Page 72

153 Comments on Artifice Page 72


We have new Fan Art from qui-gon-robot, “Zero Gravity”. I think it’s very pretty, actually. Thanks, qui-gon-robot!


And we’re now up to $155 towards the next bonus page!

Special thanks go out to long-time supporter Micheal B. (who continues their astounding streak of awesomeness by donating for the twenty-second week in a row! You rock, Micheal!) and a warm welcome and grateful bow also goes out to new supporters Shayna R., Wendy S. and Jess H. for their generous donations over the last few days. Thank you all so much! 😀

So… here we are. Some of you saw this coming. (Our readers are so smart. 🙂 ) What do you think? Will Deacon be able to make good on his offer? And if he does, will he have saved himself?

(BTW, I have to mention that I just love what Winona did with that last panel. They say eyes are the windows of the soul…)

Page 73 will be up on Saturday!

***DING! DING! DING! DING! DING! DING! DING*** Edit 2/2/11 11:45 AM: We’ve just reached the donation target so that means that in addition to the regular Saturday updates and a bonus page next Wednesday, that there will be an additional bonus page (page 76!) on Wednesday, February the 15th! Thank you all 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!
  • Yeah I am not fooled for a second Deacon. That guy has a plan. Just you wait and see.

  • OHDEARGODNODEACON.   THAT’S A BAD ANDROID.  We do NOT kill our soul mates.

  • Somehow I knew this was coming :/

  • Sharon Kerr-Bullian

    Noooo! Say it isn’t so! Say this is all a clever plan, Deacon!

  • Lala Juarez

    WHAAAAT??…. DEACON!! WHAAAAT??….. Well, yeah… I hope he has a plan!!

    • I yelled the same thing after readinf the last panel <<; No way Jeff could be killed! ;^;

  • fujoshifanatic

    *Blink, blink; re-reads page* Wow. I seriously didn’t expect Deacon to be the one to suggest this. And I have to wait until Saturday?! *sob* So awesomely cruel! I knew you were going to have to throw Maven a pretty meaty bone to get her jaws off your neck, so to speak, but damn Deacon! I hope he knows what he’s doing, because I have no clue what’s going to happen next!

    Well played, Alex; well played. *applauds*

    • Thank you, fujoshifanatic. I’ve been looking forward to sharing this page with you. 😉

  • One; he’d better mean a LITTLE death, not the big one.  Second…well, crap.  I don’t know what to think.  I’m shocked that he suggested it.  Please please PLEASE let there be a plan in that head.

  • While I knew this was coming, I wasn’t expecting it to come in this form. I was sure that Maven would suggest it and Deacon would go along with it. However, you’ve exceeded my expectations… or I simply underestimated this comic and you as it’s writer. Congratulations, but mark my words: it won’t happen again…

    ~all of that was said in a semi-scary voice and all of it was said in sarcasm <3~

    But seriously I love this comic and I love the characters and I especially love you guys, the creators; awesome job!

    • Thank you, Michael. My first duty is to create believable and authentic interactions and choices with my characters, but it’s always fun when I can give our readers something a little unexpected. I’m glad you’re enjoying how this is unfolding. 🙂

  • Kayla

    I have a feeling Deacon plans to rescue Jeff while sacrificing his own life. It’s admirable, though I’d really love a happy ending without Deacon being decommissioned or destroyed (and, of course, preferably with Jeff still breathing as well).

  • Oh come on people. Deacon won’t kill Jeff. Now that he knows that the corporation could care less about him he no longer owes them his loyalty. So he has come up with a plan and the first thing he needs to do is find Jeff. I am like 98% certain this is what will happen. 

    But if I am wrong, than I shall cry myself to sleep for a year. DEACON CAN’T KILL JEFF.

  • AnyOtaku

    The nightmare I didn’t want to happen is finally going to come true… I don’t like it. Deacon will safe Jeff right? Right? Of course he will…

    • Aikka

      That’s what we all hope for… o..o

  • Aikka

    For a moment the page stopped to work, that scared me o_o
    Anyway it’s back so i can comment here.
    *already started to type the comment on FB “XD*

    So back to the comic:

    Before, i started to think it won’t be like that, just because everyone was EXPECTING it o..o
    and the rule with this comic is: if people expect something, it probably won’t be like that, it will be something else.

    Though you did suprise us that it was Deacon who offered it o.o”

    Anyway, can’t wait to see what next and what will he really do o..o

  • melinda stumpf

    Deacon is tricking the Doc so he can save Jeff

    • I effin hope so! 🙁

  • xenie

    Oh. Hell. No.

  • Hyperminimalism

    Obviously with all of these new emotions, Deacon has discovered deceit and manipulation and is using them to his advantage!  Go Deacon!

  • Ohgod the suspense.
    I can’t wait till the next update.

    I really want to see Jeff again! And I hope he’s okay. :c

  • krissdevalnor

    Great page 😀 *admiring artwork*

    for the story; *sobs* I really really really hope this is just a part of a plan to free Jeff (and himself)!!!!!! *wanna hug them both*

  • Beethoven’s 5th Symphony started playing on the last panel…. O_o *cough*  I don’t believe Deacon is serious. I think he’s grasping at straws, trying to see what Maven will or won’t go along with. But then again, how will they escape, (if they try) if Deacon can be controlled with just a few words? :'(  I really hope my fave android hottie has a plan!

  • grinsekatze

    maybe deacon has a plan to free Jeff and then they live happily ever after… i think i will stick with this idea unless proven otherwise;-)

  • locked box

    How would killing Jeff prove anything? He’s offering to kill the person he just professed to love and killed men in defense of. Offering to off Jeff just enforces the belief that he is an irrational psychopath who will kill at the drop of a hat and is a clear danger to society. I think that he’s a probably trying for some kind of subterfuge here, but this does not look like a good tactic to pick.

    Maven on the other hand is showing some interesting body language. Returning her pink-clad-buttocks to the seat like that shows that she’s interested in what Deacon has to say, and her expression seems a lot more, dispassionate than it did in previous panels. There’s no ire or malicious glee, just that cold glare *shudders* its reinforcing my suspicions that she’s been trying to back Deacon into a corner like this for a while now, and now he’s like putty in her hands D:

    I’m not entirely sure where this is going in the larger scheme of things though. If they wanted Jeff dead then it would be easy to knock him off through more subtle means. I mean, he must be in a hospital or state facility of some kind, probably under guard. If the coorporation has as much power as I’ve been lead to believe then killing him would just be a cause of paying a few people here or changing a roster there and *oops* accidents happen. But then again, having Deacon do this might  be a good way to divert attention away from what ever really happened on the colony if it’s spun right.

    Or maybe Maven would never consider that and she just wants to see how far Deacon can wriggle now she’s started to squeeze him…

    Or maybe… oh I give up, I have no clue! I’m dangling on the edge of my seat here guys! Can you shed a bit oflight in the next page, please? I need to know what the hell was happening on that colony, and why the hell they wanted everyone dead! I have the feeling that its the key to this twisting, turning riddle of a story and if I don’t figure it out then I’ll go loony! This comic really hooks into you and it will not let go for anything.

    • RustAndStardust

      Oh, man. You’ve got some seriously good logical points, there, friend. You’re right. He’s all, “I was built to kill! That’s why I did it! I can be better! Now let me kill somebody to show you I’m better!” That’s, um, a bit of a contradiction.

      Since it’s what I do, I’m coming at this from a narrative perspective, but I think your logic is a little more satisfactory. In terms of narrative… I’m not sure Jeff was ever fleshed out enough that his character arc will be satisfactory if he dies now. I definitely don’t feel like we ever got a good sense of him. It’s also the case, I think, that we’d be likely to get more of that fleshing out post-mortem, so it seems as though Jeff will probably live.

      Having said that… I’m not 100% sure that I’m right about this. This story has been really focused on Deacon and, maybe even though we want it to be focused on Jeff, too, that’s not the point. This is really a story about Deacon. Maybe it will continue on, later, to more sexy robot adventures with other boys (sexy robot adventures are, of course, a must. The genre of this piece is yaoi, for god’s sake). Maybe Jeff’s the first step. That’s pretty tragic, but I can definitely see it happening, especially if this is going to be a novel or novella-length story.

      My analysis of Jeff’s character also assumes perfect writing on Alex’s part. I see Jeff as not having been fully fleshed out, or a very satisfying character yet and my thoughts that Jeff will likely live on account of this fact depends on the notion that Alex *meant* for Jeff to be as I see him. And, uh, this might just be wrong.

      So, I don’t know. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens next. We’ve been doing a lot of playing with expectations in this comic–which is really neat, for sure–but I think that what happens next will really hammer home exactly what sort of story we’re being told here.

      Finally, on the last page, somebody suggested that Deacon was playing a ton of logic games with Maven such that he’d end up rewiring himself and invalidating Maven’s codes. What a sweet, sweet idea. I don’t discount that theory.

  • tom1988

    There’s also the fact that he could simply be thinking, “Well, Jeff, if you have to die, at least let it be by my hands,” (rather than those faceless corporate bastards).

    Besides, this isn’t just a test of his loyalty, it’s about his very humanity.
    Is his will to survive, the universal desire, greater than his love?
    Is he an artifice or is he a man?

  • Deacon will save Jeff. He just has to. *trembling voice*

    How on Earth are we supposed to wait ’till Saturday for the next page? ;.;

  • aaaaaaaaaand I’m dead.

  • elle_ayelle

    *puppy whimper*

  • CK

    Oh snap..

  • Jesus, Deacon!  D:  How are you gonna get out of this one?!

    (‘Course, I’m strongly reminded of Vetinari having Moist von Lipwig hung to within *exactly* one-half inch of his life…)

    • I have not read of this encounter, but it sounds like something Vetinari would do!

  • protip protip

    He’s not going to kill Jeff. He’s playing her. Instead, he’s going to divulge his codes to Jeff, and be JEFF’S weapon. One interesting thing is that I’ve always wondered what would happen if someone used Deacon’s access codes to order deacon to rescind said access codes. Would it permanently disable them?

    • JM

      cool idea! All of this just seriously makes me want to know more about how exactly Deacon was constructed and coded. Alex should totally release a phrenological poster of Deacon’s brain 🙂

  • Pronombre

    When I read the last panel :I

  • Yukiness

    Dr.Maven’s eyes remind me that of my old highschool college rep except Maven has far more personality than that woman had, oh and there’s that fact that I wouldn’t mind being in a room with Maven for more than 5 minutes.

    I do love it when you can only see half of a characters face when they say (or do) something profound. It gives rise to suspense, which from the looks of Maven in the last panel it seems to affect her. Also find it characteristically important (on Mav’s part) that Deacon is still on his knees despite the fact that he’s now calm and the Doc no long finds him much of a threat. Someone mentioned that her glare was cold, but I find this far more unnerving.

    Happy about the hint hint of Jeff but it makes me wonder how in the world did she get that information if they were (noting from the beginning of the chapter) being interrogated at the same time? Or did they do all the interrogating during the three day period while Deacon was incapacitated til his battery went caput?

    Itching to know what’s gonna happen next.

  • C K

    *HE’S* the one who comes with the idea to shoot Jeff???

     My *heart*…my heart is shattering into many tiny pieces…

    I’m still clinging to my belief that he’s got a plan and this is part of it — he has, after all, been very quick on his feet with his thinking so far.  And even if he doesn’t, he won’t go though with it — he’ll get a nice hard smack of that human emotion ‘guilt’ before he does.

    I can only image how awful this is all going to be for Jeff.  I can’t imagine he’s being treated kindly, especially not if they’re questioning him on the destruction of all the other AIs — and now he’s going to see Deacon walk into wherever he’s being kept with all appearances of going to kill him.

    As ever, I’m still on the edge of my seat.  Dear Saturday: Arrive sooner, Love, Me.

  • Oh, jeeze.  People saw this coming, but not from DEACON!  Holy flaming balls!  Also, I love Maven’s look in the last panel.  Based on that look, I feel like she’s gonna bawl him out for making such a doofy suggestion, but she might let it slide, since the story needs to continue on and stuff.  Also, I love the fanart.  It reminds me of Katy Perry’s ET, at least the bit without Kanye in it.  ^_^

  • randompersonofdoom


  • ……….  WTH Deacon…..

  • aaaaaaaaaa oh my god what is going onnn

  • Darby Roorda

    I’m going to remain helplessly optimistic and say that Deacon has found a way to play Maven. I mean, he went psycho when a few guys pointed guns at Jeff. I can see no possible way that Deacon would be able to kill Jeff. He just wants to get close to Jeff, so maybe they can make some sort of getaway….?

  • I am sure he’s going to play some sort of joke.

  • Winterlove

    Dammit this had better be a plan of yours!

  • crimsonkiss22

    Saw this coming, yes, but that doesn’t mean that I’m at all happy about this development. ;A; It’ll be interesting to see if Deacon can go through with it. I imagine Jeff has seen it coming, as well. He’s certainly not stupid.

    I can’t blame Deacon, either. First of all, he’s an android, and designed for this kind of thing. Even being sentient, he’s a slave to his functionality. Also, when faced with elimination, it’s survival instinct at this point.

    The writer in me is rooting for everything but a story-book ending (which I think will happen, judging by your superb skills Alex, not to mention the direction this story has been moving so far) but there’s still a kid in me waiting for the happy ending. 🙂

  • CottonCory

    I am still sorta expecting them to make a run for it. But this offer surprised me and it is a cool twist. But I can’t help thinking “in 50 years you can kill him, alright”.

  • AAH SHIT. I knew it.

  • Saw this coming!  I expect he’ll use the access to Jeff as an opportunity to rescue him and run away.  Although I wonder if Deacon can be tracked (probably) and if there’s any way for him to prevent that tracking (…maybe).

  • Syanana

    Oh God dammit I was so not expecting that.


  • Bien Batol

    Deacon, has your time with Jeff’s wang taught you anything?  You can’t ever be that rough!

  • C K

    Oh Goddddd I just realized that depending on the timing of the next few comics, Deacon and Jeff’s ill-fated reunion could happen the day after Valentine’s Day.  I don’t think my heart can handle this.

    “Jeff, it’s me!  I’ve come back!” “Oh, Deacon, thank God-” “*BADOW* *BADOW* *BADOW*”

  • No! Oh my god, how do I hold all of these feelings?! Oh god, what if…
    next page, Maven goes, “Nice try, but we already killed him.”
    Noooooo oh no oh god my feelings noooooo

  • Ryn

    *headdesk* knew it…

    well, he’ll either do it and spend the rest of his life in horrendous guilt. or he’ll try, can’t complete the act, and Jeff’s trust in him is broken. leaving Deacon to be one more person to have abandoned/hurt him on his already long list.

  • Adnoxaei

    Well I guess it’s a good way to find out where jeff is being held and break him out…or attempt to and have them both die in the process. That would be sad in one of those “they died in eachother’s arms” romantic sacrifice ways. I’ll hope for them to break free.

  • Oh my God, Decon, don’t you dare do this!  (Also, is Dr. Maven starting to fall for Decon?  Loved that quote of Jeff’s thrown in there.)  But Dear God!  I’m so scared!  Is he gonna kill Jeff?  Is he gonna get to Jeff and then kill everyone?  I’m so so sooo scared!  Can’t Dr. Maven just let them go have lots of good sex???

    Alex, my heart strings simply can not handle this. I need more. Now.

  • JJCalem

    Oh my….for some reason I am now seeing him going through with it and still being destroyed, perhaps with his killing of Jeff even being cited as a reason.  Make it such a tragedy though

  • If this is a ‘Feel-Good’ story, Deacon will save Jeff. If not, well….. *sigh*.

  • kilpikonnat

    “I CAN be the one to kill Jeff (but I won´t)”, right Deacon, right? That´s what you meant, right? @_@ 

  • Araceli Rodriguez

    *le gasp* i love novelas

  • o.O

  • HoneyThistle

    ….I think my heart just froze…

  • Was it ever explained why all the colonists had to be killed?  And why would Jeff still be alive for Deacon to potentially kill anyway? 

    I’m waiting for Maven to say, “Too late.  He’s already dead,” and for Deacon to break through his programming, slay Maven, and slay everyone on the way to Jeff, cradle his corpse, and then in a rage, destroy the planet.  That’s the only storyline that I would accept.  j/k

    • Krondor2000

      No, we are still waiting for that answer to ‘the massacre of the colonists’ mystery, Alan.  Alex is doing a good job making us hang on to our seats to find out.

  • thisboybroken

    Remember Alex, this is unacceptable!! I cannot wait til Saturday now!

  • Chris Woodworth

    But I am no less shocked/sad for having predicted his statement.

    • Miyu_chan

      I agree, just hearing those words come out of his mouth. Although I thought they would come from Dr. Maven. I also like (as everyone here has pointed out) ‘Can’ and not ‘will’ 🙂 I just hope we see Jeff soon 

  • Krondor2000

    If Deacon is stalling for time, he succeeded.  I bet you his internal processors are clocking overtime to find a way to override the verbal and remote commands so he can fully be his own person.  Right now he is a hostage, and survival is of importance.  So you can bet he is saying all the right things to stall the ‘doctor’.  So now we have to wait for Saturday to find out if Jeff is alive or *gulp* dead.  Because she has not ‘answered’ that unasked question yet.

  • Erica

    … “I will carry out my mission… but I beg you, one last night.”

    ah ha ha ha ha haaaaa that’d be fantastica[well of course it’d be super bene if it turned out to be every night… > _>].

    Ahh, Well I guess better Deacon than some fat pig guard. > _> And I love the last panel too!! >:]

  • Gaz Hawkins

    can you die of too much sex?…… but a good way to go.
    hey Deacon did not say HOW he would kill Jeff 🙂

    • Superjenny

      HAHA  You are awesome.

  • ithilloke

    But just because he COULD be the one to kill him doesn’t mean he will…does it?

  • nonononononononononononnooooo!

  • Fabiana Nonato

    I really don’t know what tell or think… Deacon would really kill Jeff? 

  • Well, if his goal was to get to Jeff I think he may succeed, and his non-commital use of words…he gets taken to Jeff….he takes Jeff…..they run for the hills….

  • Dex X.

    I knew he was gonna go there *facepalm*

  • Noooo you can’t, you silly man

  • interesting use of words. He can, he never said he would.  But he canalso mean what he said. We don’t know what’s more important to Deacon: his survival or Jeff. Dun dun dun! I like all this drama!

  • YangYueLan

    *totally panics* YOU CANT KILL JEFF!!!!!!!

  • Dr. Maven looks as shocked as the rest of us from what I can tell in the last panel. I’d almost say she set this whole thing up as a form of reverse-psychology to get Decon to give up on Jeff or something. Maybe they ARE curious about these emotions and irrational actions, and are pushing him to extremes to see what he does. Hmmm… >_>

  • wasEnkidu

    IT has hit the fan. I think it’s safe to assume that’s official now.

  • LadyMarmite

    Excuse me, but what the fuck are you doing, exactly?

  • AJTheShifter

    One name to respond to this: Caliban.

  • Call me an optimist but I think that it still will turn out alright, maybe Deacon will realize that he can’t kill Jeff or something will happen and they will escape. Of course then again Deacon could kill him and realize that he can’t live and then kill himself…I can’t help it I like the angstXD.

  • Bailey Carswell

    Cue epic rescue

  • I think Deacon is just saying the right thing again… he will save Jeff and they’ll live happily ever after. 😀

  • Superjenny

    O_O  Uh…  Okay, that I did not see coming.  I felt like M. Night Shyalaman when I read that last panel…

    What a twist!

  • Miyu_chan

    For some reason I get the feeling that Deacon is going to rescue Jeff, but that it’ll be Deacon that will ‘die’. Probably from a shock or power overload just before they reach the exit. I hope not. Happy thoughts. Happy thoughts!!

    • qui-gon-robot

      I am a terrible person…I actually hope Deacon does die in a noble feat of self sacrifice for the sake of angst Jeff.

  • I don’t think Maven believes him. She looks incredulous. Unless he has managed to convince her that his need for self preservation is greater than his love for Jeff?

  • jen hemstreet

    i knew it D:

  • milo

    well really?
    Deacon, you are trying to show her two things. 
    1. you are special and need to be preserved because you can love.
    2. you learned from your actions and will follow orders. 

    well let me tell you killing jeff sounds like you went haywire because then you can’t really feel love making you another piece of junk that can be thrown out when outdated. 

    if she overlooks this inconsistency then you are totally smarter than her. 

    • Jon G

      You’ve never heard of husbands/wives/lovers killing the object of their affection to end their suffering, perhaps from cancer or an intolerable situation or…? Or the added twist of murder/suicide…? And that’s not even getting into psychotic love relationships.

      No, love can be as much about the emotions of the other person as much as your own sometimes (hinted at in earlier pages of Artifice).

      Dunno where it’s going, but – as noted in comments above – the writing and graphics are simply outstanding!

      • Thank you very much for the props (and the thoughtful perspective), Jon— glad to have you onboard! 🙂

  • Exile 755 is a Higglytown hero

    Please mean you’re going to be the one to pull the plug when Jeff is 486-years-old and dying peacefully in your bed with medical equipment helping him live?

  • eleutherios

    I can see how this gon’ go down.

    He has Jeff against a wall, hands on his throat, Maven standing behind him triumphantly… then he turns around while Maven is gloating, rips her eyes from her sockets, and pushes her through the highest window he can find.  Then he and Jeff fly away in a space ship and live happily ever after, because that’s traditional after you kill the wicked witch and escape.

    • tom1988

      As much as that story made me laugh a lot, I (Mavenlove1988) have to amend it slightly.

      “… then he turns around while Maven is gloating-

      – and finds she has vanished (!) because I whisked her away into my spaceship and we lived happily ever after,” because that’s the traditional fantasy I like to indulge in while crying silently at night that she isn’t real.

      • eleutherios

        You WANT her to be real?  This harridan?  As if the world wasn’t full enough of scary monsters!

        • tom1988

          You err… mean “sexy monsters”…?


          • Ayella

            Tom, I love you for loving a strong woman. But she is EVIL, man. Don’t you know that even sexy monsters have a tendency to break your head off and have it for a snack?

          • tom1988

            I appreciate your concern but clearly it’s too late for me. If she is evil, I just can’t see it. I must be too blinded by her intellect and sexyness.

            Fear not though, I intend to show her what Love really means 😉

          • Ayella

            LOL. Yeah!

          • tom1988

            I feel deeply touched by that video and profoundly transformed by the message contained within it.

            There’s only one thing I’d change about it though. I already know what love is.

            It’s called Maven.

          • Ah, but does Maven? And would you be able to show her?  😉

          • I think this wins the “Longest Thread in Artifice Thus Far” Award

          • tom1988

            Alex S. and Alex W. Yes 😛

  • ErykaSoleil

    I admit: I’ve been lurking since I stumbled across Page 29 (and consequently went back and read from the beginning while waiting for Page 30). I absolutely love the artwork and the storyline, and have recommended it to several friends.

    I have been gripping my seat since everything caught up to “present”. But today? Today, I got to the last panel and said, “-Gasp!- What? WHAT? No! NO! NONONONONO! NO! RRRRRGH!” It has been a long time since a comic of any kind, web or not, has gotten that kind of a response from me, and I love you two for it. I have soooo many conspiracy theories on where this could go, and I am literally anxious to see what really happens.

    I notice in the last panel that Maven actually looks incredulous, and I don’t know if that’s a good thing or not. I can’t decide if I more expect her to take Deacon up on his offer of possibly killing Jeff (for any number of reasons), or to jump up and shout at Deacon for being so self-centered and robotic that he would dare offer such a thing after leading Jeff on like that. I can’t decide if I love Maven or love her as a bad guy, but either way, she is so good at making things suspenseful.

    You two are amazing, and so is this comic. Keep up the good work. 🙂

    • Thank you, ErykaSoleil. I’m really glad that you’re enjoying what we’re trying to do here—and that you took the time to let us know. 🙂 Reading your reaction has put a big smile on my face. 🙂

      • ErykaSoleil

        Heehee. I’m glad you enjoyed it, because my dog was horribly confused by it. 😀

  • ugh. well. i guess we’ll just have to see where this one goes…

  • Myrtu

    Wow, does she have purple nail polish on?
    I never noticed that!

    Um…. to the newest revelation, and away from Maven’s nails!
    Deacon may be thinking that Jeff will be killed anyway. He did express surprise and happiness that Jeff was still alive earlier on in the comic. If Jeff will die anyway, Deacon might as well take this opportunity to see him and talk to him and be lovey-dovey with him one last time, then be the one to kill him, in a more ‘gentle’ or painless fashion. Or perhaps, Deacon doesn’t plan to outlive Jeff and he just wants to see him again (which I doubt, because he’s been arguing for his preservation this entire time).
    Or he’s fibbing and wants to rescue Jeff. No matter what, I see this is a plan to see Jeff at least once more.
    You’ve kept things more interesting! I can’t wait for Saturday’s page. And more!

  • But but…. I think I’m going to cry… 

  • Steven Hedin

    Clearly this little devil plans on using his abuse-able coding to free Jeff. as long as he can convince her to allow him to kill jeff with out having her actually say such a thing, nothing will stop him from nabbing jeff and getting away.

    • ErykaSoleil

      Hmm. I can’t see Maven letting/getting Deacon in to kill Jeff without explicit orders; Maven’s been very quick to catch his clever word choices thus far.

  • classic_bear

    Shit just got real.

  • Ayella

    All ye unfaithful, be ashamed of yourself. It is Deacon, for heaven’s sake! OUR Deacon. Of course he will not kill Jeff. But he needs to get close to him to get away with him, doesn’t he?

    By now he must have figured out a way to bypass his access codes.
    He’s special, he’s an evolved D model. If he could develop feelings, I tell you, he was able to do that as well. He got the cop by the neck on page 5, didn’t he?
    Naturally he cannot do that with Maven. She’s his ticket to Jeff and freedom. But she will get hers in the end, I doubt it not!
    Have faith, guys, have faith!

    This is what Deacon would sing to you if he could read your comments: (Yes it’s Simply Red, yes it might be a bit corny, but the lyrics fit exactly.)

    • ErykaSoleil

      Ah, but neither of the cops told him to “hold” or “kneel” did they? And Deacon also pointed out that the captain of the ship “apparently had enough clearance to know [his] immobilization codes”, so maybe the cops simply didn’t have the security clearance required (and they may have assumed he was still immobilized after having his battery charge run down).

      I don’t doubt that Deacon is trying to see Jeff again, and probably stage a rescue. I don’t doubt that Deacon could override his command to kill Jeff like he overrode his order to kill all the colonists; but that doesn’t mean the immobilization codes won’t still work. (Maybe he’ll luck out, and some ignorant higher-up will require Maven to hand Deacon over to lower-level security guards who don’t know the codes . . .)

      • Ayella

        I see your logic, but Deacon has inbuild codes, as Maven pointed out at page 8 that should prevent him from harming coorporate employees. That should include not only the cops, but the soldiers he killed as well. So if he did manage to override those, he might have actually put on a show for Maven holding and kneeling when she told him to do so. And frankly, I find it doubtful that the guards they put on him were not given the power restrain a dagerous prisoner like him. Hence I still think he has somehow managed to reprogram himself.

        • Actually, I think I (yet again!) created a misunderstanding with Maven’s use of the word “coded” on Page 8. In my mind, that meant some operative of the Corporation used his master codes to command him “not to harm corporate employees (or allow them to come to harm through inaction)”. In my mind, the word “coded” was a short-hand, even casual, way for Maven to reference that. But as others have pointed out, since I wrote the first draft of this script, the word coded has become common shorthand in our own day-to-day lives, for “hard-coded”. So, in order to avoid confusion on some other pages in the webcomic, I changed that term to “code-commanded” when Maven used it—a bit of a mouthful, but clearer. Now seeing your quite reasonable assumption here, it looks like I should change that word on Page 8 as well. Missed that. So thank you for pointing that out. 🙂

          So, to be clear, on page 8, Maven is saying that Deacon was “code-commanded” not to harm corporate employees. I’m not saying the rest of your reasoning isn’t correct (though I’m not saying it is, either. It is very good thinking, though… 😉 ) But because I was not clear, I thought it best to Word of God what Maven meant on page 8.

          • Ayella

            Okay, that does make things clearer. I imagine something like the Three NoNeCo Laws of Robotics, that would have the words ‘corporate employees’ in them instead of ‘human beings’.

  • Guest

    I shall stab Jeff.  With my penis. 

  • NO! T-T I just knew this was what it would lead to…either Maven ordering him to kill Jeff or him offering to show his loyalty. I was hoping I was wrong…well, I have faith that deacon has a plan of some sort.

  • Eriennexton

    ALEX! WHY DO YOU DO THIS TO ME! WHY! Haven’t I been faithful!?

  • Feverfew_M

    Oh my, I can’t even decide who is manipulating whom here. The last few pages I got the feeling Maven was aiming to manipulate Deacon into saying exactly what he did right now, but I really hope Deacon will outsmart her. I mean, he’s got a brain the size of the universe, that must be good for something, right? *bites nails*

    Wonderful comic, the writing as much as the art!

    • Thank you, Feverfew_M! I’m glad to hear you’re enjoying it! 😀

  • Loreli Golden

    D: what no. THIS CAN’T HAPPEN.

  • qui-gon-robot

    I must admit, if Deacon goes through with it this will turn in to one non-standard ‘yaoi’ story.
    Alex, you will break the internet.

    • Mwa ha ha.

      • qui-gon-robot

        And thank you for putting up my fan art!



  • Brittany Brain

     Hmm this is going to be interesting any way it goes. I really don’t want Deacon to kill Jeff but I can just imagine it… and IT PULLS MY HEART STRINGSSS
    I really can’t tell if Deacon’s really going to go through with this or if he’s planning some escape type thing. This always keeps me on the edge of my seat.

  • Hello!  This is your friendly tourguide Summer speaking.  As we pass on by the apartment buildings on the right, you can see your humble tourguide’s home, and a physical representation of her sitting at her desk, eating a cookie, camping humbly and awaiting the update of Artifice.

    • Kel Z

      We simply must stop meeting like this, dahling! 😉

      (I was just thinking yesterday about what we could eat next time we’re “camping”, and tonight, I’m bringing steak. Because, uh, it’s steak. Unless you’re a vegetarian in which case, I’m a jerk)

      • I am not a vegetarian, and I love steak!  I just don’t eat pork, is all 🙂  Definitely an omnivore.  I shall bring potatoes, then.

        • *crashes camping party* I’ve got soda, graham crackers, and chocolate bars. But I forgot the marshmallows… 🙁

          • Heck with the marshmallows.  It’s February.  Just pass the chocolate 😛

          • Kel Z

            Hot chocolate? With marshmallows in it? 😀

  • Love the perspective of the first panel…

  • Victoria Ham


  • SolrSurfr3

    Oh, God, I knew it! D:

  • Ikaru Sentinal-K’Valshar

    Oh, that was where he was going with the whole “I’ll do anything” route…

  • Ree


  • O.O I actually gasped when I read Deacon’s final line for this page. Less out of shock (tho that was present, fo’ sho’) and more out of a terrified suspicion come true. ;_; Please do something reckless and crazy for love, tin man!

  • I have to admit that I saw this one coming. I was hoping he wouldn’t say it, but I saw it coming.

  • Noriam Gutierrez

    I never in a million years would have thought Deacon would come up with that idea, but I knew it would be brought up. He should definitely have something up his sleeve.

  • Someone important

    what noo y kill the love of ur life……… unless u have something up ur sleeve Deacon


  • Anna Dachowska