The Morality of Insects
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Episode #: 083 Transcript Provided
Guest Stars: Dr. James Petahn, Mr. Michael Simmons by 3N Network


TRANSCRIPT - 8:00 PM, 3/19/2022

DALY: Hello, America. I'm your host, Daniel Daly, and welcome to America Ahead!

DALY: As you probably know, the recent locust swarms have been absolutely debilitating to the enviroment and agriculture in general. Recently, thanks to the company Sotherby-Charleston & Partners, the government has created the Locust Active Removal and Prevention Agency, known as LARPA for short. I know the American people are probably wondering about this new organization, so without further ado, I welcome Mr. Michael Simmons and Dr. James Petahn!


SIMMONS: Hello, Mr. Daly. Pleasure to meet you.

PETAHN: Same here.

DALY: Now, for those who don't know these gentlemen, Mr. Simmons is the Administrator of the LARPA HQ, and Dr. Petahn is the Lead Researcher at the same site. So, onto our first question. What does LARPA do?

SIMMONS: Well, um, it's pretty much exactly in the title, Mr. Daly. Locust Active Removal - we're trying to find pesticides that can limit the locusts, and Prevention - we're trying to find a way to make sure this won't happen again.

DALY: How do you find these pesticides?

SIMMONS: I can't answer that, I'm really only the manager. I'm sure you could though, right?

PETAHN: Totally. We just take some of the locusts, and we expose them to different ranges of pesticides, then we analyze the effects of them. Mostly the results turn out nega-

DALY: Sorry to interrupt you, Dr. Petahn, but why are these locusts so resilient to standard pesticides?

PETAHN: These locusts are akin to a different strain of locusts, so to say. It's similar to an evolutionary step - the pesticides just don't have the same reaction to the locusts anymore.

DALY: A strain of locusts? Is it like a different species, or is it like a-

SIMMONS: It's the species Chortoicetes terminifera, commonly known as the Australian Plague Locust.

DALY: The Australian Plague Locust? In America? That's quite a far-fetched, isn't it?

PETAHN: Not at all, Mr. Daly. It's highly likely a small populace was brought over and they replicated.

DALY: Who would bring a small populace over besides scientists?

SIMMONS: Even two locusts were enough to start something like this, Mr. Daly.

DALY: Were?

SIMMONS: Were, are, could have been, whatever. You get the point.

DALY: Anyway, what is the estimated impact of LARPA?

PETAHN: The impact of LARPA on what?

DALY: The enviroment and the economy.

PETAHN: Well, if LARPA does its job, the US won't need the Ration Acts and eventually there will be much more jobs in agriculture. We're working with LUBILOSAD to ensure it happens soon.

DALY: That takes care of the environment, but what about the locusts?

SIMMONS: Let me use an old FBI term. Terminate. With extreme prejudice.

DALY: You want to kill all of them?

PETAHN: Most certainly not, Mr. Daly. That's why Mr. Simmons here is not a doctor.

SIMMONS: I may not be a doctor, Dr. Petahn, but I am still the LARPA Administrator.

DALY: Since we're on that topic, Mr. Simmons, do you think it's ethical to drive a species to intentional extinction?

SIMMONS: It's not about ethics, Mr. Daly, it's about the job. I was appointed to save lives and that's what I'll do.

PETAHN: And you'll do that by eradicating all the locusts from the face of the Earth, I assume.

SIMMONS: I'll do whatever I goddamn have to, Dr. Petahn. You surely understand, Mr. Daly?

DALY: I'm inclined to agree with Dr. Petahn here, Mr. Simmons. The Earth will already survive, but will it be the same at cost of a spe-

SIMMONS: Now's not the time to be an enviromentalist, Mr. Daly.

DALY: And now's not the time to commit genocide, Mr. Simmons.

SIMMONS: You can stop giving the American people morals and start giving them cold, hard facts. You call the spraying of locusts genocide, Mr. Daly? When you step on an ant do you cry murder?

PETAHN: I think he was just trying to make a point, Simmons. We shouldn't be too harsh to our host.

SIMMONS: Too harsh, Petahn? Too harsh? You get off your high pedestal. You would rather make the choice to sacrifice lives - American lives - just so you can collect some more of your locusts, doctor? A few locusts for an economy? A few locusts for 21% unemployment? No, Dr. Petahn. I will not stand by and watch as these bugs destroy the way of life.

PETAHN: These few locusts for a solution, Simmons. You try eradicating these locusts, and they will just pop right back up - maybe even worse than before. This testing will help guarantee we can contain them, so that they won't be a problem. Look what the original LUBILOSA did. They helped find the effects of the fungi Metarhizium on locusts. It's still being in use today. Just think about what LARPA can do. Also Simmons, calm down. Take a vacation or something. I know you're stressed and you're seriously not considering what you're saying.

SIMMONS: I know exactly what I'm saying, Petahn. I will exterminate those locusts to save the human race. I will give every single United States citizen a flamethrower and tell them to burn if I have to. I am qualified to do that, Dr. Petahn. And I just might do it.

DALY: I'm not too sure that you're qualified to make that decision, Mr. Simmons. Just as General MacArthur wasn't qualified to make the decision to drop atom bombs on Korea. And he didn't, Mr. Simmons, because the people in power respected ethics enough to tell him "No."

SIMMONS: You want to sit here and discuss ethics? That's the problem with you people. When the line is drawn in the sand you sit there in disbelief that it exists. This isn't about the winner of the next Super Bowl or the Republicans vs the Democrats. This is about the future of humanity. We are down to the the line. We are down to the line! And I will not sit here and discuss ethics. I am leaving. Good day to you, Mr. Daly.

DALY: Well. He's got one hell of a temper. Maybe even has a couple of screws loose?

PETAHN: Sorry about that. It may be so, but he's very qualified for the job. We'll keep him in check - he's extremely stressed right now. Err… just a word to all the Americans who just watched that: I promise you that these few locusts will not be at the cost of the American people.

DALY: Indeed. I believe you all are making headway with this.

PETAHN: Thank you, Mr. Daly.

DALY: We'll talk a bit more about LARPA after the commercial break. But for now, stay put America!




Site-121/LARPA HQ
Mesa Verde, California - Site-121 Break Room
03/20/2022, 1:09 PM

Two men stood in the corner of the break room at Site-121, sipping on iced coffee and talking to each other. One, who uncannily looked like a young Walter Schellenberg, was dressed in a knee-length white lab coat, slightly dirty, as well as long black pants and a red inner shirt. This man was slightly angry at the other, who was often compared as a Robert Kennedy-type fellow. The Kennedy fellow was wearing a light-grey suit, complemented by a white shirt and purple tie. After a few minutes of silence, the man in the lab coat spoke up.

"Yesterday was a goddamn disaster, Simmons. What were you thinking with the Colonel Jessup act?"

"I know, Petahn. I'm sorry. I got agitated and way too defensive. I know it makes me look bad."

"Not just you, now the citizens think a whack job is running LARPA. It makes us all look bad."

"You did alright."

"I had to save what reputation we had. You owe me."

Simmons sighed. "Well, the least I can do is advance your testing. That sound good?"

"It'll do for now."

"Are you sure, Petahn?"

"It'll be fine, Simmons. I promise you. This will all be over in a couple of months. Maybe even by July. I'll take care of that… thing."

"I believe you. I've got to go; I'll see you later. We're having an opening banquet later. You coming?"

"Sure. I'll be there."

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