Great Mother, Great Father
by William Saxton
The first chief of the Rapahoah Empire forced stranded time-travelers to use their
technical skills to make his people great, setting his Empire on the path to build
ships, airplanes and bombs, to spread the worship of the Great Mother and subdue
first the rest of North America and then the world.
Two centuries later, Europe, Asia and Africa were independent again, no longer
paying the tribute of sacrificial victims; but North America continued the blood
sacrifices. To appease the Great Mother, certainly, but mostly to honor her
wisdom. The Great Mother is too capricious to be appeased for long, as the city of
Southport, bludgeoned by a hurricane and flooded with Mississippi water, had
reason to know.
The day after the storm, Tzichem, an officer of the Southport Police Force, risked
going out for supplies. He took his wife Dikayah and their baby boy with him.
The city was in anarchy, and there was no way he was going to leave them at home
In the flooded lot of a supermarket, they saw a crowd trying to break in.
"We aren't going into that," Tzichem told Dikayah. Too dangerous.
"We have to get something for Pio," Dikayah said. "We're down to the last jar of
formula." Pio, the baby, cooed up at her from her shoulder harness. Her eyes
glistened, and Tzichem . . . seeing her cry made Tzichem want to put his fist
through a wall.
He turned away and scanned the crowd. "They'll either break in, in which case
we'll follow, or else the company's salvagers will come." He sighed. "And we'll
"Why would we leave?" she said. "You're a policeman. Tell them! Tell them
you can help!"
"We'll see," he said, meaning, let's not argue.
Glass shattered in the storefront. The crowd surged into the supermarket.
"Let's go," Tzichem said. There'd be formula inside. There'd be clean water . . .
they went as fast as they could in the knee-deep water: a slow walk.