BEIJING — In a swift and brutal raid last night, Chinese state officials arrested and jailed the family of the cotton sprout that withered and died just days after becoming the first plant to grow on the moon.
“The plant failed in its mission to bring glory to the Republic,” explained Jiang Xiao, Chairman of the Central Military Commission and the one who made the call to bring the family in for questioning. “In death, it revealed itself as a traitor to that cause, and traitors’ roots always run deep. Let this stand as a warning to all future seedlings given the opportunity to serve their nation in space: if you fail, your loved ones will never photosynthesize again.”
The family’s next-door neighbour, Chen Hua, was horrified to see the ruthless transplanting take place.
“I saw the soldiers rip them right out of their pots,” she sobbed, clutching her own beloved geranium to her chest. “I tried to explain that they were innocent, but the officers said that ‘treachery had to be weeded out’. There was potting soil and broken roots everywhere. It was tragic. They had just had little sprouts last month!”
“We explained there was no way for the plant to survive on the moon’s dark side due to the extreme temperature fluctuations,” said head scientist Liu Ming sadly, prepping another seed candidate to send up as a replacement for the perished specimen. “But the government refused to listen. I would show you the transcripts, but they’ve been confiscated and buried under six inches of topsoil.”
Despite harsh criticism from the UN, Chinese officials remain deeply rooted in their decision to detain the deceased plant’s family as an example, prompting mass protests all over the capital and a social media campaign led by the hashtag #plantfreedomforpeace.