One of the big themes running through Season 2 of MTMTE is the idea of editing. It’s introduced by Rung almost immediately, early in issue 28, and then commented on even further by Megatron. It continues throughout the entire season as a major theme.
The season starts out with Megatron struggling to deal with his own past and somehow still move forward. He has spent the war editing them in order to keep moving forward, but he isn’t willing to do that any more. He says “We’re the sum of our experiences, even if we edit those experiences to suit.” Right now, he’d rather start over. This issue also introduces Terminus - Megatron’s original edit, removing Terminus from his book and from his own history.
This issue also ties this theme of “little edits” back to Chromedome, who has selective memory in the most literal sense, and who is trying to resist editing his own past further, and dealing with the results of facing it instead.
The “Slaughterhouse” storyline involves a rejected alternate draft of season 1. It shows the powerful effects a small change can have - in this case, Rung not being on board eventually resulted in the death of the entire crew. This alternate draft gets erased, mostly - with one element being incorporated into the main storyline. And Chromedome makes progress towards incorporating the past, including the bad parts of that past, rather than rejecting them and living in denial.
In issue 34, it’s Megatron’s own mind that gets edited.
“An edit is a profoundly aggressive act” is a literal truth here.
Then “Elegant Chaos” - a story directly and specifically about edits. Brainstorm tries to go back and directly edit the past. By the end of this storyline, he intends to do this by murdering an unconscious and newborn Megatron in cold blood. Another moment when an edit becomes an act of aggression and literal violence.
I think it’s worth noting that Brainstorm, in the end, decides not to edit the past. Instead, he comes to terms with what happened, and decides to move on from the present.
Issue 39 is about Tarn - so obsessively loyal to the Decepticon cause, or maybe to Megatron himself, that he absolutely cannot tolerate the idea of Megatron starting over. Tarn finds out about this change through a literal edit in an actual new edition of a book. His original edition of Towards Peace hangs on his wall in the form of actual corpses.
When the crew first visits Censere, they find a planet devoid of editing. All the deaths of the war are spelled out there, unflinchingly. Censere refuses to edit - refuses to have any impact on the world around him whatsoever. Instead, he documents everything.
Seeing this is what makes Megatron give up on editing (and escaping into) his own past. He buries the time case here. He makes the decision to try to truly incorporate the good of his own past and the good in who he used to be when moving forward.
“Speak, Memory” is another story explicitly about editing. Sunder refuses to let all the “little edits” and delusions and selective memories of the crew stand. His menace exists entirely in forcing the people around him to face up to things they’ve selectively forgotten or ignored. This story focuses on Skids - another character who has intentionally forgotten a past that’s difficult to face. This story also drags one of Rung’s “edits” into the light.
Despite Sunder being a mnemosurgeon, Megatron is able to face him without any overt fear - noteworthy, I think, and a result of his decision in the flower field.
And The Dying of the Light continues with these themes all the way to the end.
The characters are all pulled back to Censere’s planet - a place where personal edits don’t stand and the truth of the war is made plain. Skids regains the memory of his past. New information comes to light, for multiple characters, and I think to talk about this more I’ll need to give it its own post. But even when Megatron kills the DJD, he does so after stripping away their own “edits” and calling them by their real names. And then Megatron’s original edit - Terminus, the person he removed from his book and edited from his own history - returns.
And Terminus returns because Censere decided that simply recording history wasn’t enough, and decides to do a bit of his own editing of the past. But instead of erasing, he adds and restores to the present - he “fills in the blanks.”
The words rung out in your head on repeat. You remembered the exact moment Chae Ri had told you. It had been a couple weeks ago, while he had been away on tour.
She had knocked on the apartment door, and you had welcomed her in with open arms, expecting her for your weekly movie night. What you had not expected was for her to pull out her phone and show you a picture of him, with another girl.
It had been taken by someone who had been out the same night as them, only to be posted the next day and it soon made it’s way all over social media. It was on every platform and you couldn’t go anywhere without seeing it.
You tried to push the image out of your mind, laying in the empty bed. Your attention was brought to the empty sheets beside you where the body was missing. The warmth that had been promised taken away by a too long flight.
There was a loneliness that you were unable to shake off. It was clingy onto your bones, weighing you down and causing your thoughts to run rampant. What was supposed to be a night for you to remember the way it felt to be with another, became a night for you to be reminded of his absence.
Your breath came in shaky and your lungs felt ready to collapse. Evey feeling, every sound, seemed tripled by the empty bedside. Where another body once laid, you wondered if he would ever return.
The picture seemed innocent enough at first, one you would have approved of at first. He had been polite to the girl, or she could have tripped and someone caught the photo at the wrong time. The girl was sat in his lap, looking happy with her position on him.
It wasn’t until you were alone that night, staring at the image in bed that you recognized the white knuckles and the harsh grip on her hips. He had pulled her down and we holding her there.
The girl hadn’t objected, returning the lust-filled gaze he gave her. He did it knowingly, knowing you would see it, knowing that it would ruin you. Your imagination ran rampant with the thoughts of what happened after the photo had been taken.
Jungkook had cheated on you.
Your suspicions were confirmed later when you had received multiple texts from the boys, all apologizing, but not giving you an answer as to why. Jungkook hadn’t even bothered to try to get in contact with you.
It wasn’t until he was getting on the plane that he texted you, saying he was on his way home. It had been months since you had seen him last, three weeks since you had seen the photo.
The minutes on the clock seemingly disappeared as you laid quietly, trying to think about what would happen when Jungkook got home. Would things go back to the way they had been before he left.
Would you be able to even look at Jungkook the same way?
You didn’t know if it was because of the photo, or the fact that Jungkook didn’t even seem the slightest bit guilty, but something was eating at you. Seconds turned into minutes, minutes turned into hours, before the clock struck midnight and you heard the familiar sound of the lock clicking in the front door.
The emptiness of the house only emphasized his return, the sound of the door closing echoing loudly in your mind. Your thoughts were brought back to the present and you had to blink away the tears before they could fall.
You rolled over to your side, away from the door, staring blankly at the wall ahead of you. The bedroom door slowly creaked open and you could hear the rustle of Jungkook getting undressed.
The sinking of the mattress made your stomach churn, only reminding you of what might have gone down between Jungkook and the girl.
Had he laid her down softly on the bed the same way he once did to you? Did she give him all the things you couldn’t? It made sense that Jungkook would go to another, despite all the times he assured you it was okay you weren’t ready.
You felt him lay down behind you, wrapping an arm around your middle and pulled you close. Your back collided against his chest and you had to hold back the sobs that were threatening to break from you.
His lips brushed against your shoulder, faintly pressing down. It would’ve been comforting had you not known that they had belonged to another for one night.
“I love you.” He whispered quietly. Your heart clenched and you knew you were a goner the moment the words left his lips.
Snores softly left Jungkook’s mouth and you had to restrain yourself from moving away from him.
You can do this, you thought to yourself. You could get up right now and leave. Pack your stuff and be gone by morning. Jungkook would never know where you went, and you wouldn’t have to deal with him anymore.
But on the other hand, you wanted to know why. Why had Jungkook done what he had? What was it about you that wasn’t good enough? The thoughts raced through your mind and you sucked in a breath.
You turned in your spot and looked at his sleeping features. He was tired from the tour and you knew that. There was something tugging in your chest, begging you to just leave this till the morning.
But the urge to wake him up and start yelling was strong, to let him know that what he had done was wrong and you weren’t going to let him get away with it. You weren’t going to let him think that you were that easy.
This wasn’t going to be a make up and forgive situation. You wanted to know everything before you made your decision. You wanted to know exactly why Jungkook had done it.
You sighed once more before realizing there were a pair of brown eyes staring back at you. Your entire body jumped as Jungkook blinked back at you. He had been staring at you, but you didn’t know for how long.
Time seemed to be going at different speeds, slowly before Jungkook had arrived home, as if it was torturing you, reminding you of what was to come.
“You’re awake?” Jungkook questioned. He seemed genuinely concerned but you weren’t going to let it get to you. Now that you had actually come face to face with him you felt the anger start to flare up within you.
“Why?” You asked. Plain and simple. Jungkook would know what you were talking about. He always knew what you were talking about. It was as if for the longest time you to could read each others minds, which made you wonder why you couldn’t figure out what had been going through his.
“Why, what?” He asked, trying to clarify what you were asking about. His utter obliviousness caused the anger to spark and you sat up hastily, not wanting to be suffocated in his grasp anymore.
“You’re so stupid, Jungkook.” You muttered quietly. You felt Jungkook’s presence behind you as his arms snaked around your waist, trying his hardest to pull you back down to bed.
“Can we talk about this tomorrow morning? I’m really tired and I just want to sleep and cuddle.” He whispered. His breath fanned out over your shoulder, causing you to shiver.
You were almost tempted to lay back down and listen to his words but you snapped yourself out of the daze. You weren’t going to let this go so easily.
“Why did you do it Jungkook?” You asked finally, pushing yourself up and out of his grasp.
The floor was cold underneath your bare feet, but it didn’t stop you from turning to face him and crossing your arms over your chest. He could sense the tension building between you two and he tried his best to play it cool.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about y/n. Can you please just come back to bed?” He asked.
“This all could have been avoided if you had just told me upfront, if you had told me and apologized. Why did you sleep with someone else, Jungkook? I’ve seen the pictures, so you can’t tell me that it didn’t happen.”
Your words were like knives that cut harshly into Jungkook’s skin, causing his insecurities to bleed like blood. You could see the guilt pour out onto his features but you couldn’t bring yourself to feel bad for him.
You had spent the last few weeks crying yourself to sleep because of him. You had spent endless nights and days wondering what you were doing wrong that made Jungkook want someone else.
“I-I didn’t mean for it to happen.” He said quickly. You could see the tears in his eyes as he continued to speak. “It was all in the moment. I didn’t sleep with her y/n, you have to believe me. I was going to, I was so close to it, but I stopped.”
Everything around you started to fade away slowly and you could only focus on Jungkook. Your anger was slowly disappearing and you were finding it harder to breathe.
You weren’t sure what was the truth anymore. So many nights were wasted, convincing yourself that you weren’t good enough for Jungkook, that he had slept with someone else because he didn’t care about you.
“Why… didn’t you?” You asked, fearing for the answer.
Everything was silent for a couple of seconds as you watched Jungkook’s bottom lip quiver. He looked about ready to cry his eyes out, and you were feeling the same way.
“Because she wasn’t you.”
Your thoughts were brought back to the present, but you couldn’t bring yourself to accept Jungkook’s words. It seemed to surreal, everything was getting harder to process.
“I think we need to break up.” You said quickly, the words slipping past your lips.
“Y/n, please no.” Jungkook said, quickly getting off the bed and coming to kneel in front of you. He took you hands into his and stared up at you.
“I need time Jungkook. I’m not sure I believe what you’re saying. I just need time to think everything over. Please.” You said quietly.
Jungkook was quiet at your feet, and you could see the teardrops hit the carpet below him.
He nodded after a moment, slowly getting to his feet. He looked you straight in the eyes, checking to see if there was even a glimmer of hope that he could latch onto.
“I’ll give you time. Please believe me. I promise nothing happened between her and I. I promise.” He pleaded.
“I want to believe you Jungkook, I really do. But I just need to think everything over. I’m sure the boys won’t mind you moving back into the dorms for a while.”
A while. The words stung Jungkook but he knew he couldn’t ask for anything shorter. A while could be a couple of days to a couple of months. Jungkook hoped that you would believe him, that you could bring yourself to realize that he would never hurt you like that.
You watched as he started to pack a bag full of clothes and you didn’t stop him as he started to head to the door. He hesitated as he reached out to the door handle, and you begged silently that he would just continue, that he would just leave and say nothing more.
You took a deep breath and blinked away the tears that filled your eyes. You shut off the light before climbing back on to the cold expanse of the mattress.
Running your hands over the sheets where he once laid, pretending he was there. Pretending that none of this had happened. You closed your eyes and filled your mind with thoughts that only made your heart ache.
Jungkook would be home soon, your Jungkook. The one that would never cheat on you, the one who hadn’t had his picture taken with another. Would never even think about touching another woman.
He would be home soon, littering your face with kisses, whispering apologies for not being home sooner.
But you knew that wouldn’t happen. Because as much as you liked to play pretend, this was reality. And reality was a scary place. One filled with heartbreak and betrayal.
And maybe, just maybe, you weren’t cut out for it.
AN: This is totally not what was asked for but I could help myself once I started writing. Funny thing, I was listening to Jungkook’s cover of ‘Nothing Like Us’. If you’d like to request read here —> (x)
this is what you’ve learned: success, at its root, is all a matter of knowing your demographic. in matters of vote, in matters of favor, and in matters of fairness, anyone can be bought if you know the right currency. and you have always known the currency. as an intern, the currency was secrets, and you were every single one of them. the dirty laundry of every elected official in the city, until just the right pressure applied here, just the right suggestion there had you climbing the ladder to success with the bodies of the closet-cases you’d fucked lined up like rungs. but even the public has their pressure points, the hairpin triggers that sway votes as easily as sails in the ever-changing breeze. and you’re smart, you’re sensible, you’re aware enough of the world to know that the key to any next step you could hope to make is going to be the decision between standing next to the new gods, or opposing them. and either way, in two years’ time when they lay dead at your feet, if you’re standing on the right side, you’ll be left standing exactly where you want to be.
As I promised before my internship and finals, I finally finished seqeel to my Prime bugformers.
Last time, some people were curious what bug each character is so this time I wrote it to pictures. (for the ones beyond tumblr 9 pictures limit: Rewind-
ebony bug, Chromedome- emerald wasp, Rung- phasmida, Max- stag beetle, Velocity- weevil and Ravage- horse beetle)
Also, BONUS picture, for Ravage and Velocity because I couldn’t decide.
The first four of my Titans Return replacement faceplates are up on Shapeways. They are available individually and as a sprued four-pack.
I’ve been able to test out the back connection-ports and adjust accordingly. The connection ports should work with most Titans Return heads for easy, quick customization work. Just grab an extra Titan Master, unscrew the main chest screw, swap out the faceplates and replace the screw!