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Artifice Page 81

250 Comments on Artifice Page 81

Deacon, you always know just the right thing to say, don’t you? You silver-tongued devil, you… 🙂

And wow, we went from $63 to hitting the donation target in less than a day! (So, that means Page 82 will be posted up this Wednesday, March 7th!) Y’all are awesome!

Special thanks and a warm welcome go out to new supporters CJ W., Elizabeth S. & Diana W. for their generous donations over the last few days!

Big hugs go out to new friends of Artifice Mitchell R. & Alicia H. for their super-generous $25 donations! (High-five to Alicia for putting us over the top for the bonus page!)

And finally, very grateful, android-strength hugs go out to Artifice superfriends Jennifer M. (who with their $50 donation started the ball rolling on the next bonus page! And hey, pre-Happy Birthday wishes for Sunday!), Ethan R. (who with their $50 donation makes their 6th amazingly generous donation!) and to Bryanna G. (who with their $75 donation makes their 4th amazingly generous donation!)

Thank you all so, so much! Your support is a huge morale boost—and definitely has a huge impact on my ability to put out this comic (and prep the next one). You all rock!

And… gosh, there’s been some suspense on these last few pages, huh? I mean, I wrote this scene to be a little suspenseful, but putting this out as a webcomic, it brings it to a whole different level. (In the comments Abbi quipped “3 years to us is like 5 minutes in Deacons world”.) And now not only am I ending each page on a “cliffhanger” but I’m ending this one mid-sentence! GAH! WTF?????

Let me just say I feel your pain—the suspense is killing me too. And that we are in fact coming in for a landing.

Just not on this page… 😀

Hope to see y’all on Wednesday! (And very happy birthday wishes go out today to long-time commenter and friend of Artifice Yukiness! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, YUKINESS!)


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!
  • *wibbles* my faith in Deacon’s humanity is wavering.

    • strangeangel24601

      Mine too…

      • It’s taking until now for your faith to waver? Wow, you guys have a lot more faith than I do. I lost it like five pages back.

        • dezree

          Never lose faith….. that one odd guard at the door none of us knew the purpose of is really a helpful friend who has a secret escape plan with J & D and has the space sports car gassed up and ready to fly to the tropical paradise planet of “Endless pleasure 69” which will be the new home of Jeff and Decon for ever and ever, and we will never stop getting pages, rather there will be endless toe tingling little love stories between the three with page updates every day (every hour if we can some how hold something of A and W’s hostage) ….. and then I can stop my ramblings of nervousness. 

          • 🙂

          • Maybe we can pull the old “got your nose” ploy.

          • strangeangel24601

            Hey, it always works on me…

      • Aikka

        Mine too but…
        i still have some o..o
        is it weird?

        • No, I’m actually kinda the same. I guess the best way to explain it is that I hope there’s a nice happy ending, but I’m not holding my breath for one.
          At least that means I’ll be pleasantly surprised if Deacon and Jeff get a happily ever after, but I won’t be disappointed if I don’t.
          Lol, a webcomic taught me the upside of pessimism. Life is funny like that.

          • Aikka

            Seems like a good way to read it. o..o

            I think i wouldn’t be dissapointed so much by a not happy ending in general, just depends in what way it would happen…

            But i really want a happy one of course.

  • Damn… just damn! Well, Jeff, try to pick a better boyfriend in the next life.

    Happy birthday, Yuckiness!

    Edit: And how dare Deacon have such nice eyes as he’s telling Jeff he’s going to kill him! *kicks stupid android in the shin* *bruises toe*
    I’m also liking Jeff’s expressions here. He seems pissed rather than hopeless and sad. Jeff wins serious points there.

    • Yep, Jeff has plenty of feist in him, even in the worst of times…

    • Yukiness

      Thanks Alex

      • You’re welcome. I hope you had a good one.

  • ErykaSoleil


    -Punches the table several times.-

    Alex! Why, Alex? WHY?! I THOUGHT YOU LIKED US. XD

    Happy birthday Yukiness! (That sounds so odd to say out loud . . . )

    • ..I do like you guys…

      • ErykaSoleil

        Not you, silly. :p

        • Yeah, I know. Everything’s always about that OTHER Alex. 😉

          • Aikka

            *hugs so you won’t feel neglected* o..o

          • Lol thanks Aikka. *hugs back*

          • ErykaSoleil

            -Make- me feel bad, why don’t you . . . :p

          • I’ll make it up to you by bringing some cookies to the next camp out. How do you like macadamia nuts?

          • ErykaSoleil

            LOVE. . . . With white chocolate maybepleasepleaseplease?

          • But of course. Do you want yours with coffee or hot chocolate?

    • I love all my dear readers from the bottom of my heart. 🙂

      • Aikka

        Really? … it’s hard to see it here ;–;

        Oh! i know what it really is o_o

        Maven’s character is just based on you Alex!
        (and made female just to trick us so we won’t see it so easily)

        and you simply like to torture us! ;–;

        [I do not mean it in any serious  way, i just got this idea while making breakfast… i wonder why o_o””]

      • And we love you too. Even if we feel like strangling you half of the time. <3

    • Yukiness

      Thanks Eryka, and I know how you feel

  • melinda stumpf

    Damn it Alex stop giving us the cliffhangers 

    • I support Karina’s idea that Alex is going to start holding pages for ransom. And we will pay.

      • melinda stumpf

         if he dose that im going on a rampage

        • dezree

          Well if he does that then I have some bills that will go unpaid in favour of me not dying from suspense anymore. 😛

  • DEACON, NO! ;A;
    Jeff’s face in the last panel is… heartbreakingly sad…
    While this isn’t the end of the comic, I’ll keep holding on to that speck of hope I still have for Deacon and Jeff…

    On a side note, I have a strange feeling that Maven’s really enjoying herself in the background… eating popcorn and drinking soda on a straw. XD

  • Saberri

    .-. I still have some hope.

  • AngelOfMint

    I totally think Decon gave Jeff a code word, to say to him, for this situation. Can’t wait!

    • dezree

      Yes!!!! YES! That MUST be it!  It MUST!!!! *is all traumatized sitting in the corner chewing on whats left of my finger nails*

    • Love it.

  • Krondor2000

    I am not looking at this damn comic til next Saturday!!

  • tom1988

    I love the juxtaposition of Deacon’s words and those guys’ guns. Cracked me up. But yeah, Deacon’s killer eyes are like a shot to the heart. You didn’t deserve this Jeff. I’m sorry no one in the colony had any taste.

    p.s. Have a great day Yukiness!

    • Yukiness

      Thanks tom1988 *hugs*

  • Menolly

    Why do you do this to us?! It’s heartwrenchingly wonderful. I found this comic accidentally about a quarter of a semester ago, and now it’s the first thing I check on Wednesday and Saturday.
    I keep thinking that THIS week will be the one where things are finally resolved. It’s a horrible thing: I’d hate for this comic to be over, but I cannot stand the tension!

    Also, is it sad that I still have hope? It could be (unlikely) that Deacon will find a way to fix things. Or, it could be (more likely, maybe) that Jeff wanted it this way? Maybe (Why???) Deacon is really a “good soldier”. Why can’t we know now so that those of us reading can resign ourselves and stop obsessing over possibilities?!

    In any case, sorry to write so much. I figured I’d post at least once so you know that you have at least one more crazy desperate reader coming up with theories instead of actually working/studying.

    • It’s my pleasure to give you a little distraction from all that boring working/studying. 🙂 Thank you for all the kind words!

    • ErykaSoleil

      I have to ask (because of your handle): Are you a Pern fan?

      • Menolly

         Oh yes. I fell for the Harper Hall books and read the lot. It’s not the most creative of handles, but it’s less gender-confusing than Vanyel, and it’s appropriate for a teacher of music history. Glad to know I’m not the only Pern fan haunting this story (especially given McCaffrey’s uncomplimentary views of homosexuality.)

  • Superjenny

    Oh, oh my…  The agony on Deac’s face is killing me…  And poor Jeff, so very heartbroken.

    And pissed.  Let’s not forget PISSED.

  • NK Twist

    Bahahaha Star Trek reference ^_^

    • Sorry, I’m kinda clueless. What reference?

      • ErykaSoleil

        I think he’s talking about Alex’s comment on “coming in for a landing”? I dunno, that’s my best guess.

        • NK Twist

          “I have been, and always shall be, your friend” is a line from Star Trek 3: The Wrath of Khan, and is repeated in the 2009 Star Trek movie. Alex paraphrased it where Deacon says “You were — and always will be — very, very special to me”

          Also I’m not a he ^_^

  • rayrayravona

    Hi guys!
    I just discovered this comic yesterday and just now caught up on it. I was wondering if someone could explain to me what “camping” is.

    • ErykaSoleil

      Welcome to the fun. 🙂

      “Camping” is when you’re actively hanging around a website, waiting for an update way earlier than it would usually post. For example: Artifice tends to update around midnight-ish for me (I’m in Alaska). I know this, and I still start checking as early as 7pm AKST.

    • What Eryka said. Plus you get to hang out with other readers and chat around the “campfire”. BYOB.

      Welcome to Artifice, Ray!

  • AnyOtaku

    I want si bad a happy ending! Poor Jeff he decided to trust Deacon qnd now it seems he fooled him. Bur don’t worry Jeff for sure Deacon have a plan B to rescue you!

  • Screw your freaking cliffhangers, man. XD

  • Heeeeyyy. This is happening like I guessed it would happen. About what I thought our android had to say, that is. 

    Er, I’ll say nothing else about Maven/Cherl becoming canon since it isn’t really important to what’s going on…

    Funny enough I have never really shipped. Well, I have predicted couples and crushes in HP (Dumbles and the obvious) and The Full Monty, but those turned out real. However I am prepared to go down with this ship, captain!

  • “…some sorta standing, killing, android thing. Alright, so I am not so good with my words post wollup to the head.”

    Hey, there needs to be some reason why the man is taking so long to spit it out.

  • Kayla


    Mmmhmm. Not gonna happen.

    • dezree

      Yep thats right we can never lose faith….. that one odd guard at the door none of us knew the purpose of is really a helpful friend who has a secret escape plan with J & D and has the space sports car gassed up and ready to fly to the tropical paradise planet of “Endless pleasure 69” which will be the new home of Jeff and Decon for ever and ever, and we will never stop getting pages, rather there will be endless toe tingling little love stories between the three with page updates every day (every hour if we can some how hold something of A and W’s hostage) ….. and then I can stop my ramblings of nervousness.  Just a warning…. Jeff dies… I go crazy…. just saying.

  • Aikka

    When my friend read that page she just that said her heart is broken and a death here seems unavoidable…. ;-;

    Now to my comment.

    Well, that really does not look good here…
    but i am still one of these that hopes to see some kind of twist here, that Deacon does have a plan and no matter if the ending will be good or bad, they will at least TRY…

    And Happy Birthday Yukiness! 🙂
    [even i i’m not sure if that page is something i would want for birthday… o_o”]

    • Yukiness

      Actually, I’m a sucker for good drama and suspense so this page is perfect (being hispanic, it’s in the genes). Thank you very much. Hug your friend for me too.

      • Aikka

        Haha then it’s ok 🙂

        I did not have a page of Artifice for my birthday … ;-;”

        And i will give her a virtual hug… can’t give a real one now! ;-;

        Also, here is a hug for you -> *hugs* ^_^

      • Glad to hear you liked my birthday present, Yukiness. I hope you’re having a wonderful birthday! 😀

      • Aikka

        My friend told me to give you a hug from her ^_^

  • dezree

    Come one elaborate escape plan……. come on….. please……. GOSH DARN IT ALL!  If Jeffy dies …
    (or Decon dies in a huge hail of bullets as he tries to save Jeff which is what I think will happen….)  
    … then I’m going on STRIKE from life for a while!
    *sets up a tent in bedroom with a few baggies of jelly beans an huggles her “Jeff pillow” while rocking back and forth* 

  • SigmundReimann

    …some kind of robot. I think that would hit Deacon hard.

    • ErykaSoleil

      Oooo, yeah. ” . . . just a machine” would work, too.

      • Kel Z

        After the conversations they had? Hell yes that would work. After Deacon has spent so much time saying “I’m more than you think I am” all over the place. No, everyone THINKS he’s a machine. If he’s going to be more than that, he’s going to have to think out this next decision very carefully.

  • erunuo

    I am really very unhappy 🙁 I don’t see a good ending here anymore

    • Buck up, Erunuo. “It ain’t over till it’s over”. : )

  • Mark Locy

    Hmmmm, has it occurred to anyone that Jeff might know Deacon’s command codes? And this was all a ruse to get Deacon close to Jeff so Jeff could release him from, what Deacon knows, would be a command coded nightmare?

    • Rissicat

      That had occurred to me, too. Deacon cannot *tell* Jeff his command code/override code… but that doesn’t mean that he can’t lead Jeff to saying the word. (We all know that it’s a spoken command.)

      Once triggered, he would be free from Maven’s influence. (Maven being the only other person in that room who knows it.)

      So! I have my theory on what the word is…. do you?

    • Andr913

      Yep, this occurred to me.

      *in before someone sees this comment and demands that Jeff use the codes to force Deacon to murder all the bad guys and then do things I can’t say in a public forum*

  • Jellyfosh

    The way Jeff is trailing off at the end there is making me feel as if Deacon may be pulling some kind of ‘I-have-a-plan’ facial expression or something, but aside from that I  have no clue as to what might happen ;-; They have to live happily ever after, right?! ;;;–;;;

  • Luci2k

    Or maybe Maven just wants to see if Deacon will actually do it and pushing the button doesn’t make anything happen.  And I think Jeff was about to say – some kind of machine/robot/mindless automaton.

  • I’ll probably be hated but… Part of me almost want to see Deacon pushing the button. When he said “my own free will” I kind of wanted to see I happen. Mostly because I’m wondering how he’ll react after seeing that he killed Jeff, if he would just lament it for a moment and go back to “I’m a good soldier” act or if he would snap.

    Well…. March 7th, I’m waiting for you (and my birthday is on March 9th… What a week)!

    • ErykaSoleil

      -Makes mental note of birthday.-

  • Emanueru

    …What if…Jeff and Deacon knew there was no way out of a situation like this one? So they decided that Deacon would kill Jeff and then kill himself some way? Because a life without one another would just be pointless.

    I know, not exactly a happy ending, buuuut it would be a very dramatic and romantic way to finish it :3

  • fujoshifanatic

    Okay, I could rage and cry at yet another cliffhanger, but instead I’m gonna focus on the slivers of hope that have been thrown our way. I don’t know what, but there was something important about what Deacon said to Jeff in panel three. And just what is Deacon doing (out of the sight lines of everyone else in or out of the room) that has Jeff reacting that way?

    Ugh Alex, you are the only person on the planet right now that makes me want my weekends to go faster so I can get to Wednesday. It’s not right, but it’s okay. I love you and Winona anyway. *end cheesy Whitney reference*

    • Which panel is Deacon doing something?

    • Hehe. That’s a very sweet compliment, fujoshifanatic. (And now you’ve got that song in my head…….)

  • OMFG, Jeff! Choose your words wisely! This is a life or death situation D: Evoke the passion that burns within you! Let there be life and happiness…. *cries like a champ* I feel pathetic. I need a boyfriend ><

    • dezree

      Hello name twin 😀  *out in the real world I spell it Desiree as well ;)*

  • Rissicat

    Okay! I agree with Mark. Alex is too good a writer to bring us here for a cheap and easy ending. (too many unanswered questions, darn it!!)

    My bet is that this whole “permission to speak with Jeff” is Deacon’s last ditch effort to lead his lover to speak the trigger word, and free him from Maven’s control.

    And, given the conversation… I think I even know what that word will be. ^_^

    • Jeff tells Deacon to come closer and whispers in his lover’s ear “Antidisestablishmentarianism”.

      Ha, imagine if the word was “Artifice”.

  • Yukiness

    I was waiting so patiently for all the suspense to be over but damn it! I’m here crying out,”You’re what?! YOU’RE WHAT?!” with breakfast bisquits in my mouth, making no sense to anyone else right now. The lack of, I dunno, sincerity in Deacon’s posture speaks voulumes to me. He’s putting up a hellva front here as a “good” soldier all the while crying on the inside because he can’t smother Jeff with kisses/one last hanky-panky before having to end it all. For some reason I thought Jeff was going to be ignorant to all of this, but he isn’t, which is a pleasent twist. Nice one Alex. Also like that Jeff is still Jeff, but a more gritty version of himself now that he’s neck deep in the shittyness of the world.

    And a huge thank you on the birthday shout out. Once again, you’ve made me cry. You are now the third artist who’ve made me cry the most. Andriod strength hugs and bubble wrap for all.

    • You’re very welcome, Yukiness. Thank you for your (as always) thoughtful comment. I hope the day is filled with fun and love. And only tears of joy from now on… 😀

      • ErykaSoleil

        o.O Really? Is that a promise, Mr. Woolfson?

    • Kel Z

      Birthday bubble wrap! :: kisses :: Happy birthday!!!

  • Oh Jeff. ;_;

    Somebody figure out a way out of this! D8

    • ErykaSoleil

      Super-secret-agent Maven to the rescue! XD

  • *flails*  OMG!  OMG, this is actually gonna happen!  Holy fucking SHITE!  OMG!  :3

  • LaSalvi

    Aw ;__; It’s so saaaad. 
    I really hope Deacon has a plan, right now, and does not just intends to kill him and that’s it.

  • A robot? I dunno when I read that last sentence my mind just filled in the word “Robot” because it’s a common saying so that is my guess on that left off word. It does make me wonder how though how WOULD Deacon react to someone actually forgetting for once that ya, he’s an android and viewing him just as much a human as anyone else?

  • C K

    “Like you’re *not human*” –> predicting it now.

    I’m glad that Jeff is clearly *pissed off*.  I don’t think you can think of a more legitimate reason to be angry as when your entire home’s been destroyed, and this one guy spent months telling you how much he loved you — and making you believe it — only for his company to beat the everliving shit out of you for months, and then ultimately decide to kill you…and the guy who loved you is one to do it.  While telling you that no, really!  You were so special to him, honest!

    If I were Jeff, I would be a screaming spitfire of fury over all this.  Which is where I hope he’s headed with his lines.

    Seriously, Deacon, I love you, but you are being a horrendously shitty boyfriend right now.

  • Momo Javrotsky

    L-like what… ;_; Tell me Jeff baby. Just whisper it to me. I promise not to tell anyone. Shhhh

  • Baylien Brown

    It’s all been a simulation. Deacon has really been in a test lab the whole time hooked up to a holographic headset or something and this was a test run of his field capabilities. To ingrain in him the full spectrum of human emotions and dialogue. That way he can immerse himself more completely into environments to carry out his mission.

    *flails* Because that is the only way I can reconcile things in my mind should shit hit the fan and end badly.

    Thus! This is truth! *sagenod*

    • Deacon is in the Matrix XD. Would that make Maven Agent Smith?

  • thisboybroken

    Wow! All that time spent getting to know and eventually fall in love with Jeff was so important, so great that it is summed up with a ” it was fun, I’ll always remember you fondly…” from Deacon. Deacon, you so disappoint me! Now go get in my bed!!! LOL
    Alex – ok, so I have decided that the only way I will not end up hating you, is if this turns out to be a plan Jeff and Deacon planned before their rescue/ capture where Jeff now gives Deacon the command codes to give him the ability to save Jeff. Then they can run away together and live in a nice deserted colony together where they create a super-race of android/ human love children. 😀 okay the latter part is optional. Sitting here biting my nails waiting for the next page. ahhhhnhhhh! Can’t you just give us a super special xtra bonus page Monday too? Great work kid! and Winona you are amazing and truly a gifted artist that should one go down in books of the greatness.

    • Thank you for the props, thisboybroken! (And if I had the power there would be xtra bonus pages every day. Sharing these pages with y’all really is the highlight of my week. 🙂 )

  • *screams internally*

    That’s just about all I’m capable of at this point.

  • I delayed coming to read the page until I was ready to read it emotionally. I wasn’t ready. This is so sad. I really have no clue where you are taking this Alex. There really are no guarantees of happy endings in stories, are there? I can hope, but …

    We’ll see. This is an emotional roller coaster.

  • Fabiana Nonato

    The page 82 will be posted in my Birthday! *screams*
    So many emotions! 
    The suspense is killin me! Have no idea of what’s going to happen… D:

    • Yukiness

      All of this must have been written into Alex’s plan too

  • Amazing page!!! This Wednesday I forgot there was a page, so today I got to read 2 pages in a row! *yay*

    I LOVE this story so much and only have vague ideas about what will happen. Keep up the wonderful work Alex and Winona!

    • Aw, thank you, Christina! You’ve got me grinning here. 😀

  • Lorescien

    The urge to bitch slap Deacon is almost unbearable. XD But this is such a beautiful page… and I love Jeff’s attitude toward Deacon. I’m glad he’s still such a spitfire after all this!

  • My Prediction Is That When He Pushes The Button There Is Supposed To Be Some Poison Or Something But What Deacon Dosen’t Know Is That It Is Empty And This Is Just A Test!!!!

    • That is certainly a possibility I like. Who knows what’s going to happen next?

  • ErykaSoleil

    “Like you’re one of them” maybe? I dunno; I just remembered that every human (except his mother) that Jeff’s been around has been really awful to him.

  • “like you’re…. YOU’RE… A UNICORRRNNNNNN!!”

    • If Jeff said that, I’d be really worried about that head wound.

    • ErykaSoleil

      That made me laugh so hard, thank you. 🙂

      • Np, A little dog inside me just forced me to write it! 

  • mikakitten

    This is too sad!! Deacon….. noooooooooooooo!! I don’t want you to kill him!! ;_; it’ll be too sad….just too sad! Gonna break my heart </3

  • Ha ha ha ha. My birthday is on the next page upload date, too. Must be a sign all our birthdays are in synch with the updates!

    Happy birthday to us… happy birthday to us…

    ETA: Also, this is one more reason to be excited about my birthday!

  • Ryn

    Come on, Jeff. Verbally bitch slap him. Snappy!Jeff is love!

  • Kel Z

    I’m rereading what Deacon’s saying, and he’s not necessarily saying that he’s killing Jeff. Jeff said that. Deacon is saying that he valued the time together, that this is hard, that it was his own choice. I still wonder if that button will deactivate Deacon… and if Deacon has figured that out. He’s not stupid. If he’s got that much tactical genius in his head, he has the ability to play through potential outcomes, to strategize. He’s got to know that it doesn’t matter what he does, that his fate is sealed.

    My concern is that Jeff, if he knows what the other colonists knew or not, does know that there was SOME secret that had to be kept. This makes him a liability, even if he doesn’t know THAT much. Hrm.

    Excited to see how this situation turns out! (I know, people are all oh no, and me I’m more like “ok, good or bad, I wanna see what happens”, although sometimes I regret that feeling later, hah, wouldn’t be the first time that happened!) I’m on the edge of my seat that’s made of bubble wrap that I’m popping to pass the time in the meantime.

    • Lynn Keller

       There’s always the possibility that he’s saying goodbye with the intention of immediately turning on the guards. You know, just in case they don’t make it out alive.

  • Roseland

    Delurking to post my guess:

    Maven said that the corporation didn’t really plan to kill Jeff. So if Deacon is going to press the button, nothing will happen. They just want to see if he will push the button.

    Whether Deacon knows this or no, I am not sure.

    • Interesting… if Deacon pushes the button he will be showing he can be trusted to do his duties. If the button does nothing and We’reAllGoingToHellCorp has no plans to kill Jeff, they will release him. Not quite a happy ending, but it’s better than a tragedy. And maybe later Deacon can meet up with Jeff and explain everything.

      Glad you stopped lurking, you have an intriguing theory.

    • Kel Z

      Yeah, I’ve been saying the same, that I don’t see the button killing Jeff and that it’s more about seeing if he will push it or not. 🙂 With the panel there, it really seems that there’s a behavioral thing that they’re looking for.

  • Momo_Shikiro

    i still miss jeffs hair ;~;

    • Superjenny

      I was wondering if I was the only one that missed that Mufasa-like mane of hair…

    •  I think we all do my dear. Oh if only i can draw myself as a killbot, jump in to the comic and commit hairy kary on Jeff’s barbar. I SHALL AVENGE HIS BEAUTIFUL HAIR!!! 

      well at least I can draw myself as a kill bot.

  • Thank you for giving me a partial heart attack… TT^TT 

  • Erica

    …. I respect Jeff. I think I’d be crying from the thoughts of betrayal and death 😐 i mean im sure jeff expected to be killed but iunno. ): this hurts man. lol and mid-sentence. you’re killing us!! XD i’m trying to remain calm. XDD

    • yeah he looks good for a guy who’s heart was broken in a million pieces.

  • wow… I can’t shake the feeling something fucked  up is going to happen. like he’ll kill Jeff, himself and everyone else in the room….. though I’m hoping its just the corporate bigwigs that get wasted.  I hate bullies.

    • That would be pretty goddamn spectacular. xD

    • Ambler

      He’ll jump out the window, and then there won’t be any D-models left. Their most advanced model… And then the CEO’s commit suicide due to the profits lost. In a perfect world, anyway.

  • metisofarabia


  • Eriennexton


    HE IS NOT. 

    HE ISN’T. 

    IT IS OKAY….


  • I just started this comic a few hours ago and I’m already all wrapped up in it. It is great . Thanks. 🙂

    • Hey Alia! Welcome to Artifice!

    • ErykaSoleil

      Welcome! Come camp with us Tuesday night!

    • You’re very welcome, Alia. Glad to hear you’re wrapped up. Thank you very much for the props! 😀

  • lolabola1

    Be calm, dear heart. Surely this comic won’t be ending so soon right when I’m beginning to know and love the characters… I hope. :/

    • Alex did say that this is the last scene. On the other hand, the previous scene in Maven’s office went on for like 20 pages.

  • Aikka


    Does Deacon have any code for autodestruction?

    Just asking *whistle*

    • Ambler

      Jeff’s next words are gonna be the code. Deacon probably told it to Jeff so that, even if he tried to kill him, he couldn’t.

      Wow, actually that’s a pretty good theory. Usually I just make up shit for kicks…

  • “Like you’re….what I always feared you were.” <–tears. 

    There's a twist, it just hasn't made it to the surface yet….and here I am, chewing my HANDS off, waiting to see what happens…GAH.

    • AllyssaC

      I want him to say this so Deacon will be sadface

      • Me too, if deacon really wants to go through with this (even if it wont really kill jeff in the end, his intentions were to KILL him), then I want him to feel the sting that poor jeff is feeling. 🙁

  • “Like you’re… some kind of robot.” Maybe? 

    GAH I just want to see what happens next D: More fool me for thinking he was going to push the button (or not, as the case may be) on this page. But at least we only have to wait until Wednesday!

  • keisha prioleau-martin

    OH i have an idea. instead of seeking the approval of these bigshot P.I.C, why dont you be a free robot?, you can have Jeff that way ,deacon. where will you find love when hes gone? the sence we didnt see must have been the part where he fed everyone else in the room posin right?

    • Haha as awesome as that would be, I doubt it.

    • Superjenny

      Oh, he can have Jeff, alright.

      Over and over and over and over and… ~trails off into infinity~

    • Ambler

      No, he rigged the button to poison everyone else BUT Jeff. Deacon’s a robot, so poison wouldn’t matter to him. I’m guessing Deacon is discreetly hooking up IV’s to everyone’s arm, and using his conversation with Jeff as a distraction…

      It’s perfect.

  • chikao

    What does that button do??? If it shocks him or something then I’m banking for lover’s suicide. Deacon bends over to kiss Jeff, pushes the button and they both get fried. There. Happy ending. (not really)

  • Hello!
    This is my first time commenting here, and oh my god, this is what I call a very good cliff hanger! amazing! hooked on this comic already very much! good job on both the story and the art, is very beautiful!

    • Hi 😀 Welcome! 

    • ErykaSoleil

      Welcome to the family. 🙂

    • One of us! One of us!

    • Welcome, Janice! I’m really glad to hear you’re enjoying Artifice!  Thank you for taking the time to comment—and welcome aboard! 😀

  • imageist

    I can see this going two ways:

    1) Deacon does something stupid, like nearly killing himself and everyone just to save Jeff (unsuccessfully–like Hamlet, where everyone dies at the end), or
    2) Deacon does something stupid and kills Jeff like a good, obedient robot.

    In either case (and any alternatives I’ve run through my mind), I can only see this ending badly :'(

    But I love this comic’s plot for it anyways. This one will be one of the ones I’ll never forget, and it’s not even finished yet!

  • I’m actually hoping Jeff accuses Deacon of being so cold and calculating that he would make the choice to kill his one and only love for practical reasons.

    That way Deacon can be all, “No, baby! I love you, baby!”

    • Ambler

      “You know I di’nt mean it!”

      • strangeangel24601

        “Up next on Maury…”

  • Chrome_chan


    • SH_Marr

      We only have to wait until Wednesday!

  • SH_Marr

    Just a thought: would Deacon killing Jeff instead of someone else perhaps be a form of mercy?
    Not that I want that to happen, but…

  • Ambler

    See, there’s the Jeff I expected. Now just stand up, rip off all the wires and restraints, grow back your hair real quick, and punch Deacon in the robotic face.

  • lilith8

    New reader and I just about devoured this all in one sitting!  Love it.  I’m really rooting for Deacon and Jeff!  They are adorable together and sweet.  And I’m on pins and needles now.  

    You have a new fan <3

    • Welcome 😀

    • You should find a more comfortable chair.

      Hi, I’m Alex and I greet people with lame quips. Welcome to Artifice, Lilith.

    • Howdy, lilith8! A new fan? That’s awesome! 🙂 I’m really glad you’re enjoying the comic—thank you for taking the time to let me know! 🙂

  • *delurks to post guess* I’ve seen a lot of people guessing that he’s going to say “that you’re like a robot” but my first thought was monster actually. Though the line, that you’re not human would work just as well. and Like I always thought you were; now that I think about it. 

    (also since I”m delurking, DAMN you got some sexy eyes Deacon) 

    • Jenny Blue

      his eyes aren’t the only sexy thing… I’m a sucker for abs… I LOVED page 41, It was perfect! *fangirl scream!* ….god I sounded a bit creepy there huh, oh well   I’m gonna post this anyways..

  • Jenny Blue

    I am seriously getting teary eyed thinking about Jeff dying…. reading all the other comments didn’t help ;_; . Alex, I am a HUGE fan and I seriously think you should write a novel, it would be awesome…. *cough* anyways… DON”T DO IT DEACON!!!!!!!!! O.O

    • Wow, thank you, Jenny! Maybe someday I will… (There’s been this one idea I’ve been kicking around for a couple years… But first, I have a little bit more comics work to finish… ;))

      And I will make sure Deacon is fully aware of your feelings.

      • Jenny Blue

        cool, let me know if you do!  I can’t wait for the next pages, and more of Mike and Rob, xD  give Deacon and Jeff my love! (and maven… I love/hate her ^_^) May god bless Y’alls fingers! 

  • eleutherios

    There are punishments for those who betray their lovers, Deacon.  They are scourged through this world and the next.  They suffer pain, and madness,and death, and no harbour shelters them.

  • I’m totally going to art-geek here but that shadow on Deacon’s forehead in the third panel is AWESOME!

    Also, for a character that previously had so much expression on his face, it’s haunting to see Deacon lack that amount emotion now…

  • Hi there! I’ve been reading for quite some time but this is my first time posting.

    I am IN LOVE with this comic, just so you know. =] It’s wonderfully written and beautifully drawn, and I just plain LOVE it. I’m absolutely DYING to see what happens next x.x! 

    Please Deacon, don’t do it! D:!!!

    Thank you for making this, it’s wonderful!

    • Hi, Johnna! Wow, thank you! ::blush::: You’re of course very welcome. And your sweet words have me grinning from ear to ear. Thank you for taking the time to comment!

  • Attention deities….if there are any of you out there…for the love of yourselves PLEASE slap someone in the head.

    Are we still here? If I come back in maybe 4 months will something have happened?

    I know a lot of people have asked me “Well if you don’t like it why keep reading?”

    Well it is simple. I have nothing else to read generally and I only takes a few moments to check a comic.

    But my problems with this comic are very simple. Its not the characters, they are mostly alright. Its not the art, as its very well done.

    Its the pacing. Or the fact that there ISN’T ANY. We are 81 pages in and what do we have to show for it? Nada.

    Do we know anything about the world? Steampunk, cyber, post-apocalyptic? I have no idea. Did they ever say why they wanted Jeff and his people dead? I admit they may have but it was so long ago I can’t remember. Do we know how little Deacons are made, if their are other factions  with their own Deacons or if Deacons have any other purposes beyond solider? Nope.

    Have we seen any hint of who runs this whole thing, and what their ultimate goals are? Nope. Has their been any world building at all? Nope.

    Okay so what do we know.

    1. Jeff is goofy.

    2. Deacon is a robot.

    3. Mavin is, in fact, a bitch.

    Annnnd that’s about it. Especially number three. Gay Sci-Fi webcomic? Pfft…More like the Hey  Mavin’s a bitch show. Seriously…Mavin and Deacon sat there and talked…about nothing for figgin ever, and now because of it….I couldn’t care less what happens to Jeff because it took so damn long just to see him I actually forgot about about him until he was mentioned and I figured the author just put him on a bus.

    Pacing people! Come on! Give us something BEYOND Mavin being a bitch. You could have shown at least a teaser of Jeff 20 pages ago when Deacon and Mavin were discussing the finer points of Mavin being a bitch. Cause seriously…that’s all its been.

    Mavin: “Deacon dear. I’m totally a bitch”

    Deacon: “Are you Doctor because I’m-”

    Mavin: “Nope…totally a bitch.”

    Deacon: “Oookay. Well as I was rambling about…wait what about Jeff?”

    Mavin: “Deacon…I thought we had established in this comic that I am, in fact, a bitch. What do you think?”

    Deacon: “My sensors indicate that you may do something….bitch like?”

    Mavin: “Good boy…now lets see if we can drag this out for another 50 or so pages.”

    Deacon: “But…that’ll be really boring.”

    Mavin: “Deacon….”

    Deacon: “Right…a bitch…sorry I almost forgot.”

    Mavin: “Don’t worry…I’ll remind you ever single page.”

    • Hey look, Yoko’s back. *waves*

      I agree with you that the pacing’s slow and the setting of the comic is really vague, but that doesn’t make it bad. Personally I view this comic as a thriller where the focus is on three characters and the situation each one finds him/herself in.

      I started going to detail what they were, but you read the comic and don’t need a recap. Basically Artifice seems to be about Deacon and whether or not he’ll chose love (or rather human emotions) and free will over what he was designed for. Jeff and Maven seem to be opposite sides of the same coin, Jeff bringing out Deacon’s new feelings and Maven reminding Deacon what he was made for.

      I find Artifice incredibly engaging and its made me reconsider what sentience is. If a machine is self aware and experiencing emotions, should it remain property? Is it right to design androids as killers if they can feel emotions?

      No, Artifice isn’t an adventure comic where the outside world is well established and you have a bunch of quirky fun characters, but I can give you several other webcomics that have that (Looking For Group is a good one). This comic is unique (to me at least) in that it engages me on an intellectual and ethical level. What will Deacon choose? Will it matter in the end? Does he even have the right to choose?

      Basically, you have valid points. But I think you’re missing the big picture here. Your dialog did make me smile though.

      Edit: Maybe you’d like to give this a read
      (something tells me you’re already a troper)

      •  I don’t disagree with what you said but I will say that GOD it would be nice if those themes were explored in somewhat of a timely fashion.

        Too many end on half sentences, too much Mavin’s a bitch screen time. Ect. Ect.

        Sure I do really want to know what happens next and yet now I’ve been schooled to expect some type of conclusion/progression sometime next month…maybe…depending on if Mavin gets her Midol.

    • HermeticallySealed

       Wow, you really have some issues, don’t you?  Seriously, I have never seen anyone so determined to be miserable. Obviously, this comic is not your thing. That’s okay, you aren’t being forced to continue, it’s not a prerequisite.  You can dislike it and move on.  It’s okay.

      The setting (steampunk, post apocalypse) isn’t relevant to the story, so why go into it? Really, none of the things you were wondering are necessary for this particular story. I can understand being interested in all that, but again, that isn’t the focus of this story, so your questions are not likely to get answered.

      Really, this entitled behavior of yours, where you seem to think the authors are beholden to make you happy, and do what you want them to, is just not attractive.  And frankly, it’s an all too common behavior that the internet age seems to have brought out in people. I mean, do you write letters to all the authors/production companies whose books/movies/tv shows you find aren’t to your taste as well? 

      •  Whoever said I’m miserable? Doing a little judging on the side here my friend?

        Setting isn’t relevant to the story? Then what is? The little room we were in for 500 years while Mavin pressed what a bitch she is?

        I don’t watch movies and tv shows, I haven’t even had cable or anything like that for almost 10 years, because I’m tired of the same boring plots  reused over and over. I do loves me some Mythbusters though.

        If its not attractive then I am glad I am not trying to attract anyone. One of the things I enjoy about independent online work, is the ability to actually speak to the creators about your thoughts. If this offends you then may I suggest NOT reading my comments? That’s your advice right?

        You’ll have to excuse me when I see a comic that I felt, and mildly still feel, has a lot of potential, wasting it all by piddling around and dragging things out to a mind numbing extreme.

        I write, and hey feel free to track it down and tell me what crap I am as some sort of revenge if it pleases you, and I hold everyone up to the same standards as everyone else. That being said rule number one is: In every chapter, no matter how short, something must happen that moves the plot and hopefully gives the readership some semblance of satisfaction.

        I’m not here to say this comic is crap, because it isn’t. It has a lot of guts for exploring themes, particularly gay themes which very few do that isn’t pointless or mindless porn. But what IS crap is the pacing as I’ve said. You could probably cut out close to 20 pages and you really wouldn’t miss a thing.

        Excuse me for going “Oh boy an update! I really hope something satisfying and enlightening happens-oh wait…Mavin’s a bitch.”

        When months go by and there isn’t much to show for it…well yes I do get cranky.

    • ErykaSoleil

      I think the pacing is actually good; it just seems to take forever because we’re only getting one page every few days. I would suggest just not reading it for several weeks, and then coming back and going start to finish in one go. That way, you can skim the stuff that bores you, and linger on the parts you like the most.

      This is definitely not a story for every taste, and it seems it may not be to yours. There’s certainly nothing wrong with that, as everyone has different interests. But if you really “have nothing else to read generally”, I would highly recommend your local library. There are also about a million webcomics on the internet that would be more than happy to have you.

      •  A million other webcomics with gay themes and decent treating of gay characters that aren’t just jokes and hasn’t been abandoned and/or updates more then once every few years? Find it for me kay?

        Also I do not have a local library. City cut the funding for that. Also has the same problem of gay themed books. Aren’t many out there, or at least there never were in my small town library when it existed.

    •  Hello.  I’m brand new to the comic.  I read a wide variety of comics in a few very different genres, and I consider this one of the best I’ve found.  The writing, the characterization, the “acting”, the drawing, the coloring, the use of different angles and props and scenic flavor are all absolutely superb. 

      And, granted, I haven’t been following this comic long.  I haven’t had to sit and wait for a week at a time for the next update to come.  But I still have to disagree strongly with Yashayoko.  The pacing is perfect.  It is exactly what it should be for the story that’s being told.  What do we have by page 81?  We have two deep and complex main characters.  We have a morally questionable psychiatrist.  We have a big chunk of backstory explained leading into a dilemma that has us all biting our nails in suspense.  And we have a great deal of surrounding information about the world and how it works, that has been shown to us so subtly that some people may have missed that it was even there at all.  In my opinion, not being spoonfed every bit of information about a science fiction setting when subtler hints and references will do makes the story more engaging, not less.

      I, for one, am patient.  And I’ll be sticking around. 🙂

      • Hey Shasta! Welcome to Artifice! That was very well said.

        Actually though the comic usually updates twice a week if the $250 donation is met (and it almost always is). That makes it every Saturday AND Wednesday (like 99.9% of the time). So come back tomorrow! Or camp with us!

        •  I’m a chronic insomniac and a west-coaster.  I’ll be around for hours, yet. 😉

          • Cool! All the fun is happening a few posts up. Join us!

      • Thank you, Shasta, for your thoughtful comment—and welcome! I appreciate your patience, I’m very glad you found us and I hope you enjoy how it all turns out. 🙂

      •  You disagree with me. I disagree with you. That is fine, and I’m glad you are finding enjoyment. Everyone needs it in their life.

        I don’t like the spoonfed crack, but I’ll simply assume you aren’t trying to insult me and let it pass.

  • happytimes_neversad

    When I read this comic, I feel like I’m watching a show. But, every time the comic stops at a good part, I feel like I’m watching a video on youtube and this is the biggest freeze or lag in my life and I’m staring at the load bar waiting for this video to keep loading so I can play it. COME ONNNNN FASTER!!! I’M DYING INSIDE!!! O_O” 

  • Fulgin

    *dumps a pile of nylon fabric and shock-corded poles on the ground*  Anybody know how to put this stupid tent up?  Pretty please?  I’ll gladly share these popcorn balls with you if you do.

    • Yukiness

      *stretches out nylon base and grabs spokes and shovel*
      I’ll do the pegs if you’ll put the wire in the tent.

      *starts digging*

      • I’ll go grab the water.  ::grabs bucket, walks to well::

        • *is worried* Did she fall in?

          • *peers into well* Summer?

          • No worries!  I didn’t fall in.  I used to be a competitive swimmer, so drowning’s out of the question. 🙂

          • Good! Scared the crap out of me though. Who takes an hour to get a bucket of water?

          • The kind of girl who, for some reason, just couldn’t get back to the site to let people know she’d gotten the water FIVE MINUTES after she said she would.  Seriously.  It wouldn’t let me get back here.

          • *gasps* Tragedy! You poor thing! *Gives you hot chocolate* There there, you’re alright now. *rages against internet*

          • ErykaSoleil

            I’m guessing that she was either enjoying the scenery, or went to that well on the other side of the campground.

            Either that, or she is secretly a ninja, and had to do a job.

          • I fully support the second theory. Ninja Summer: coming to a webcomic near you!

      • ErykaSoleil

        I’ll get the wire. I’ve put up enough tents to do a decent job. 🙂

        • Eryka! Guess what I have for you?

          • ErykaSoleil


            Macadamia nut cookies?

          • Yes! And Jenny from a few posts up gave me Ghirardelli chocolate. So we have white AND dark chocolate macadamia nut cookies AND Ghirardelli brownies! I also melted some for hot chocolate. *is on a baking high*

          • ErykaSoleil

            -Dies happy.-

          • I know, right?! *Dunks cookie in hot chocolate* Sooo good!

          • I just made raspberry muffins.  Why do I get the feeling that if we all lived near each other and waited for the updates in true camping style, all party-like, we’d all get blasted fat?

          • Lol, true. But we could get rid of our nervous energy by going for a run. At least, that’s what I’d do.

          • ErykaSoleil

            I would certainly give it my best shot.

    • Lol, why’d you bring a tent if you can’t set it up? *lights campfire* *stretches out on sleeping bag*

  • This happy vacationer is CAMPING!  Anyone want freshly made lemon curd with yogurt?

    • Jenny Blue

      what is that like? 

      • Lemon curd is the innards of the lemon meringue pie.  It sounds weird, but all it is is lemon juice, sugar, butter and eggs, cooked over heat until it’s like….well, the innards of a lemon meringue pie 🙂

        • Jenny Blue

          sounds yummy!

        • Well in that case! *scoops some for himself* *notes recipe*

    • The hell is lemon curd? *sniffs at it*

    • Kel Z


      I have a delicious, uh… pie. But not sweet pie. Savory pie? Something like that. It’s good. I got extra lamb and potato pie if anyone wants any!

      • Lamb pie? *stares at it suspiciously* Is that a UK thing? Will it baah at me?

        • Lamb and potato pie?  That sounds EPIC.  I shall have some!

          • *Waits to see if it has any ill effects on her*

        • Kel Z

          It is indeed, although I do not live in the UK. 😀 There just happened to be an epic pie place near where my writer’s group met up. Muah hah hah!

  • Jenny Blue

    Camping in style, grapes and Ghirardelli chocolate! I’ll share if someone has some fresh, non crap tasting, cherry cordials. ’cause I haven’t found any in years 🙁

    anyways… come on update! wooooo!!!!! ^_^

    • OH MY GOD GHIRARDELLI IS THE BEST!!! I don’t wth cherry cordials are but I’ll hit a bank if you share the chocolate!

      • Jenny Blue

        lol, ok! dark or milk? 

        • DARK!!! …I mean dark please.

          • Jenny Blue

            k, I like the milk better anyways. :gives dark chocolate ghirardelli to alex: Enjoy!

          • OMG thank you! *bakes into macadamia nut cookies* Here, some for you. *slips you 60 grand* And this is for you too. We may or may not get arrested.

          • ErykaSoleil

            Haha. That’s kind of like me saying, “I might or might not have some snow outside.” :p

          • Well, I may have put on a wig and introduced myself to the teller as “Eryka from Alaska”. But that’s cool right?

          • ErykaSoleil

            Absolutely. Because I have doctor appointments to prove where I was. :p

          • Jenny Blue

            You’re very welcome!  and thank you evah so kindly for those scrumptious cookies! and I know just what to do with this money… I’ll hire one of ghirardelli’s chocolatiers to make us lots of nummy chocolate.. in the shape of deacon and jeff kissing! perfect right?

          • I like the way you think, Jenny! I’m not too happy with Deacon at the moment though. Let’s wait and see how the comic goes before we make chocolate molds.

          • Jenny Blue

            don’t doubt deacon! {say that 3 times fast} And deacon would look lovely in dark and milk and white chocolate kissing his poor, beat up, bald, about to die, jeff!!!!! oh my god you made me doubt deacon! what has the world come to! (jk) 😀 I can’t wait to see what happens next! deacon seems like an android with a few tricks up his sleeve, so don’t give up hope yet!

            god I talk to much… anyways if he does kill jeff, wouldn’t it be gratifying to take a chunk out of deacons face? (and enjoy chocolate at the same time?)

          • Fair point.

          • Jenny Blue

            sorry, I ranted for a bit  -_- I just flicked myself as penance (O_O*) 

  • Hey y’all—I’m home a bit early and I don’t want you to have to stay up too late with the camping tonight, so I should have the next page up in about 45 minutes or so… 🙂

    • Sweet! We are apparently having a feast here (lamb and potato pie, lemon curd, cookies and brownies, grapes and wine) so no need to rush.

      • Jenny Blue

        don’t forget the chocolate!

        • ErykaSoleil

          I really hope none of us have diabetes or heart problems. :p

          • Whoever said camping was good for you never did it for a comic.

          • ErykaSoleil

            Or ate any of the stuff normal people eat around a campfire, apparently.

            (And never had to deal with angry bears or moose or anything.)

          • And it’s up. 🙂

          • Jenny Blue

            ah but I (just) *ahem*, made special diabetic and heart healthy versions of everything! 😀

          • Lol, sure. Nice save.

          • Jenny Blue

            I try. 🙂

  • Noriam Gutierrez

    If he kills him, I am going to be SSO angry… But I will continue reading it anyways out of curiosity.

  • OMG. I do not want to turn the page @.@