A 21st Century world, where Aztec human sacrifices are generally accepted as a necessity.
The following day, two major news headlines appeared in print and on TV News Broadcasts.
“MAJOR EARTHQUAKE STRIKES LOS ANGELES”. And “AZTECS’ SUPREME CACIQUE ASSASSINATED”.
In the U.S. each story was reported separately, while in Mexico the news reports connected them; so did the majority of Mexicans. The Supreme Council of Cacique’s had ordered emergency sacrifices, as an act of assurance that this time of crisis was only temporary, and that things were still under control.
TV screens showed many thousands of anxious people gathering in the Gran Zocalo of Mexico City. The quickly thickening crowd faced the towering five tier high Gran Teochacali. They stood watching squads of Sacrificial Maidens climb the structure’s twin stairways, one after another. More than a dozen hearts now lay throbbing inside the Chac Mool’s bowl.
Cynthia Murray and Frank Sandrell sat watching the events unfolding on the flat screen TV, inside her hotel room in Oaxaca.
She wondered. “Aren’t any of us Daughters of Jephthah taking part? Every girl they’ve ripped open so far has been a local Mexicana.”
There was a disruption in the crowd. Fighting had broken out. The picture closed in on several squads of sacrificial maidens, who were wildly brawling with other squads, while the surrounding crowd cried out, “Las Huelguistas Asesinados!”
The voice of the TV reporter said, “They’re blaming the assassination of the Cacique Primiero on certain squads of Sacred Maidens, who’ve been threatening to go out on Strike.”
Others were calling out. “Hijas de Jepta! Hijas de Jepta!”
The Reporter said, “They’re accusing the Daughters of Jephthah of being accomplices in the assassination!”
Cynthia looked at Frank. “No! Aren’t things bad enough?”
Now on the screen, a member of the Supreme Council of the Caciques was interviewed.
He said, “We are banning all members of the Daughters of Jephthah, from participation in today’s emergency sacrifices. If it can be proven that the Daughters of Jephthah had anything to do with the assassination, they will be banned from sending any more of their members, to participate in any further sacrifices.”
“No.” Frank spoke calmly. “Once they’ve found the actual perpetrators, everyone’ll calm down. Then everything should be back to normal.”
She said, “Maybe.”
On the screen, the same member of the Supreme Council of the Caciques announced,
“A very generous monetary award will be paid to anyone who presents the decapitated head and ripped out heart, of any individual whose involvement in the assassination of El Primiero Cacique and the bombing of the Teochacali of Oaxaca, can be lawfully confirmed.”
“No!” Cynthia trembled. “I’ve got to get out of here fast! I’m a Daughter of Jephthah, who had access to the garments of the Sacred Maidens’; and right now, I’m sure I’m being looked upon with suspicion. A lot of people might not wait for any legal confirmation.”
“Wait a minute.” Frank raised his hand. “Isn’t that what you came here for? To have that done to you; or at least take the risk?”
“The risk I came here for was to be sacrificed. That’s not what some angry mob would do to me. I’d be tortured. It wouldn’t be a clean, quick, sanctified death; which if done as prescribed for a sacrifice, should take less than a minute. That’s not what an angry mob would do. I’d be raped and tortured, and have who knows what kind of disgusting things done to my body, for hours, first!
He asked, “Then I suppose you want to check out now?”
“That’s right, and be back in New York before the sun sets this evening.”