Drs. Swofford and Morgan, or "How we spread the Hate Plage and only said 'I'm Sorry'"

Discussion in 'Transformers Cyberverse and Cartoon Discussion' started by JackKnife, Jan 7, 2019.

  1. JackKnife

    JackKnife Well-Known Member

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    Something I've been thinking about...(yes, I got bored):

    Mark Morgan and Gregory Swafford (the two moron researchers in "The Return of Optimus Prime Pts. 1 and 2 who gave the universe the Hate plague) are supposed to be "doctors" (by which I’m inferring that they are supposedly professional research scientists). However, they do the following things in their "quest for revenge" (except for number 1, which precipitated the entire incident), which endanger the entire universe and frankly deserve some sort of examination. I broke this up into a few posts so as to not overwhelm folks in replying (though I think I may do so anyways!):

    1) Having no serious safety precautions for chemicals stored in a laboratory: during the fight between Megatron and Optimus in Dr. Swafford’s lab (years before they came across OP's ship from "Dark Awakening"), Megatron picks up a HUGE glass beaker full of purple liquid that EXPLODES when it hits the counter behind Optimus. Such amounts would be larger than a 55-gallon drum (seeing as Optimus and Megatron both stand about 20-22 feet in height), and would not be stored in oversized open-topped glass beakers on shelves. And if Dr. Swafford’s lab did not have safety measures and protocols to ensure said chemicals were not in open reach (they were sitting out on shelves!), then he seriously has no one to blame but himself for his injuries.

    2) A petty motivation that could have been easily rectified: all we can see is a small scare (that looks like a cartoon pirate’s scar!) under his right eye as he flashes back on the incident. If that is the extent of his beef with the Transformers, then two words: plastic surgery. If he felt so strongly about it, he could have had the medical bills submitted to the Autobots.

    3) Since the Decepticons attacked the lab in order to obtain the heat-resistant alloy, Drs. Mark Morgan and Jeffery Swafford must have blabbed about it well before the space mission (yes, Soundwave could have eavesdropped, but we never saw him do that in the episode).Unless my information is wrong (and it might be), advancements in technology are usually announced after they have been tested and patented. Even with Dr. Morgan’s lab being private, I suspect they would have had funding from several think tanks, corporations, government agencies (NASA, JPL, DARPA, Etc.). That said, I cannot help but think that allowing such info to become public would be in some form a violation of several NDA’s (Non-Disclosure Agreements), as well as violations of national security and classified information.

    4) Careless handling of an unknown biological agent (in this case, the “hate spores”): Dr. Swofford simply pours the spores into the containment enclosure in front of unprotected people without proper NBC (Nuclear, Biological and Chemical) protection? At the very least, they should have had positive-pressure HAZMAT suits with self-contained oxygen supply, multiple layers and gloves, taped at all enclosures! Not to mention a sealable “clean room” that could be locked down in the event of potential accidental exposure.

    5) Upon determining that said spores caused “the hate plague”, they failed to contact the CDC to alert them to this discover
    y, let alone any other agency in the government. They also failed to properly secure the spores in a storage situation that would render them in an inert state (climate controlled multi-sealed vault set to negative temperatures).

    6) Acting upon personal motivations, they decided on their own to weaponize the spores against a living alien robotic race that is known for their violent tendencies. Brilliant idea there, Dr. Morgan: make the robots you hate even more violent and prone to destruction while they are on your planet.

    7) Drs. Morgan and Swofford overlook one tiny detail: the spores infect organic as well as cybernetic life. Being research scientists, what made them think that the spores would not simply “jump over’ to humans/ animals/ other life forms? Especially when they tested it on a rat which was completely organic to start with?!

    And now for the finale:

    8) "Apologies": Dr. Mark Morgan: “I—can’t say what I’m feeling…I’m so terribly sorry.” Dr. Gregory Swofford: “We had no right to do what we did with the spores…and for what we thought… and believed of you, we—I deeply apologize”. (Anyone notice that Optimus didn’t accept their “apology”?)
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2019
  2. JackKnife

    JackKnife Well-Known Member

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    So with all that said, a few thoughts:

    1) The fact that they violated scores of safety protocols, common sense, research safety guidelines, guidelines in handling newly-discovered biological species and showing a complete and utter disregard for human life demonstrates at the very least that these two either did not take any of their training in college, graduate school or internships seriously at all. Just those facts alone pretty much spell the end of their careers as scientists, as no serious researcher now would ever have any reason to trust them.

    2) Just the fact that this bioweapon was released on Earth is enough for EDC (I’m assuming they would function under the auspices of several governmental agencies as well as some UN oversight) to arrest them and charge them with several counts of terrorism, violations of the Biological Weapons Convention (The BWC is a legally binding treaty that outlaws biological arms, which entered into force on March 26, 1975.) and other violations of national and international law (depending upon what country they were in when they got this bright idea). At the very least, they would be wanted in virtually every developed nation for crimes against humanity (including manslaughter due to the wars and skirmishes that erupted due to their meddling).

    3) Since we have seen other civilizations on other planets in the Transformers series, upon learning of the source of the “plague” that has caused untold millions (if not billions) of lost lives, destroyed property, ruined civilizations, rampant disease and starvation due to the violence and bloodshed, the injured and maimed victims of the violence, etc., they would be seeking to try these two under their legal systems in a cry for justice that would be legitimate. The Decepticons alone would not be very lenient in the case of Drs. Morgan and Swofford.

    4) The two Doctors have introduced a plague into the known universe that, if even the smallest spore survives, could be re-developed into a weapon that would be unspeakable, with no way to counteract it now that the Matrix is empty of all its’ wisdom.

    5) All of this in mind, I would think that the most satisfactory process that could be done is a court comprised of “Justices” representing each planet/ civilization affected, including Cybertron.
     
  3. JackKnife

    JackKnife Well-Known Member

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    Speaking of "apologies", I think Optimus Prime would have had the following to say to them (had he even acknowledged them!)-

    “Had your actions been solely against me, I would not have faulted you for the way you feel. I regret the injury that was done to you, Dr. Swofford, as it was never my intent for you or any human to be injured in our fight against the Decepticons. But when you decided to use a form of plague that you knew would incite hatred and violence, you blindly ignored the consequences your actions would entail. You also knew that they could infect organic as well as robotic life, but you were too blinded to consider the damage and sheer tragedy your desire for revenge would cost this galaxy. I alone cannot accept your apology, nor do I have the right by myself to condemn or convict you. You will be held in the custody of the EDC until a fair hearing can be conducted to address your malice. I sincerely hope for your sake that they have more compassion for you than you did for my race, this planet and the universe at large.”

    So now that I've devoted 3 posts to something this trivial, how many here think I should be committed? :p 
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2019
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  4. ABrown

    ABrown Well-Known Member

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    While I am by no means excusing their actions, as what they did was obviously wrong. But I have to admit, I do get it. I can absolutely understand how someone in their situation might take the same actions. Heck, I can't state for any certainty that if waring alien robots threatened the safety of my family, that I wouldn't take the same actions.
     
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  5. janeDoe001

    janeDoe001 Well-Known Member

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    I will admit that growing up and even now, I can be a spiteful person. But now I use creative writing to create revenge stories, and growing up, I threw chairs, pushed people and even ruined someone's winter jacket with white-out. So, I'd be a hypocrite if I said that these guys didn't do what I would have done. :p 


    jD001
     
  6. AirjitzuRonin

    AirjitzuRonin Member of the Bee Team

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    While it was poorly thought out, people's minds go to crazy places when they're angered and get vengeful
     
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  7. MattDallas

    MattDallas Well-Known Member

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    They were never shown to be punished by Earth authorities either - even though there was an earlier episode (in season 2?) where some humans apologised for what they'e done wrong and Optimus responded by saying that that they would have to answer to the authorities. I can't remember which episode it was at the moment, but the crime was on a much smaller scale than releasing the hate plague.

    But perhaps everyone was so happy to have Optimus back because of them, everything was forgiven...

    Edit: It was Shawn Berger! Yeah, perhaps he did deserve it more.
     
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  8. JackKnife

    JackKnife Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I can understand that people don't work on logic when they're that P.O.ed. And the point about the alien threat is valid. I just see a lot of points (some inherent to story writing, others just not very smart at all) where it look like they went beyond reckless and straight on to Galvatronian thinking! lol

    I would buy that if only Earth had been affected. But the entire galaxy was pretty much SOL at that point, and I wonder how many died in this?

    This would be an interesting story to revisit though; the other points I mentioned could be corrected simply by the following (instead of simply complaining, let me offer some ideas for corrections in the animation):

    Revisions in the animation (while keeping the voice acting):

    1) The chemicals being shown stored safely, only for Megatron to rip open the containment and throw a heavy, secured container at Optimus and it bursts open: Dr. Swofford happens to run in to try to close the containment area's emergency "blast doors", only to encounter the explosion.

    2) Dr. Swofford's scar is more than just a "pirate scar": his face could be shown to be badly scarred even with the best surgery that was available only being able to do so much given the nature of the chemicals and the severity of the blast. And perhaps even more than his face was affected.

    3) The alloy was a secret, and Soundwave had dispatched Ratbat to eavesdrop on the operation: Galvatron's paranoia could easily account for wanting to know what the humans were doing flying a starship suicidally close to a star that was ready to go nova. Soundwave then dispatches one of his cassettes (most likely Ratbat at that point) to spy on them once they returned from their mission.

    4) Showing them in the proper safety gear and with security measures in place: redo the animation to show these being observed in their lab. At least up until they realize the effect in the next idea-

    5, 6 and 7) Showing the plague spores initially only affecting cybernetic life: when Drs. Morgan and Swofford first test the spores, they could be shown to initially have no effect on organic life. And the effect of "hatred" on cybernetic lifeforms could be initially shown as them tearing themselves apart. Only when the spores have been used on the Transformers does it mutate and begin to affect humans. So they would not feel a need to contact the CDC over something that wasn't initially in their purview, and since it had been shown to only effect sentient cybernetic life like the Transformers, and shown to make them destroy themselves (initially, they would perceive no danger to the planet or the universe). Some dialogue would need to be edited out to make this work, but it could be done.

    8) EDC takes them silently into custody: at the end, show them offering their apologies, to then be taken quietly by EDC into custody to face trial.
     
  9. Sixwing

    Sixwing Gives out likes like Energon goodies.

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    This is interesting, and totally plausible.
     
  10. Blam320

    Blam320 Assembly Inventor

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    It's 1980s cartoon logic. Nobody bothered to think of lab safety procedures when creating the episode.
     
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