The humans watched with satisfaction as the aliens finally retreated. The century-long war to regain mastery of the planet was finally over. Now it was time to move forward and pick up the pieces.
So much had been damaged and changed. The initial alien attack had been so sudden and so deadly. At least they had managed to keep their hidden communication lines intact. It didn’t take long to send out a message, but it would be a month until the world leaders would be able to gather and make any decisions.
They met in a large museum, one of the few large buildings still standing after the wars. Paintings and sculptures and books were finally taken out of hiding and given places of honor for the event. They served as a reminder of the lost knowledge and culture that they hoped to regain.
The leaders looked at each other for a long moment. No one was used to the idea of meeting out in the open, and they had all been taught never to share names with strangers. Each waited for someone else to speak first.
“We’ll need to start at the beginning,” the leader of Southern Continent B8 said at last. “We need to decide what date it is today. I refuse to use the Overlord Calendar.”
“Don’t call them that!” The leader of Middle Continent C10 narrowed his eyes and folded his arms. His large muscles made the pose extra menacing. “They weren’t lords of anything. They were usurpers, nothing more. Criminals.”
“Fine then, all the more reason to reject the Usurper’s Calendar. So, how do we decide what day it is? It is a historic occasion and the date should be remembered,” The leader of Southern Continent B8 said.
“I second the motion,” the leader of Southern Continent A3 said. He bounced in his seat and grinned. “Isn’t that what we say? I’m sure I heard it somewhere.”
The woman next to him, from Northern Continent A2, rolled her eyes. “Shouldn’t we find some history scholar or something? I have no idea how the old calendar worked. It’s been over a century since it was last in use. They didn’t exactly teach it in our Usurper-mandated schools.”
“Are there any history scholars left?” An older man, leader of Middle Continent B2 asked. “I don’t think it will be easy to find them. Trying to preserve our history and traditions was heavily punished.”
“So, call today year one day one. We can work out the details later,” the young leader of Southern Continent C1 said. She looked bored.
“The Usurper departure should be the first day,” the leader of Southern Continent A3 said. “That’s when we were finally free to start over.”
The leader of Middle Continent C10 stood and glared. “Those Criminals had no claim over us. I refuse to pretend that our lives didn’t begin until they left. Time did not stop and start just because they willed it so.”
The leader of Middle Continent B12 cleared her throat. “We are surrounded by the knowledge of our ancestors. Surely we can find something that will tell us about their calendar.”
“I propose that we recess for one hour in order to go over the new material,” the leader of Southern Continent A3 said. “Does anyone second the motion?”
The woman next to him rolled her eyes again. “Let’s just do it.”
After careful search they found a farmer’s almanac, a budget record, and several journals from the initial alien occupation. It took some work, but they were able to calculate how the ancient calendar worked.
The leader of Middle Continent B2 did the more complicated calculations to match the ancient calendar to the newly named Usurper Calendar. With delight, they calculated their birthdays and other significant events.
“So the Usurpers left on April First?” The leader of Southern Continent B8 asked. “We can call it Independence Day.”
The elderly leader of Middle Continent B2 pointed to the farmer’s almanac. “It was a holiday of some sort in our ancestors’ time too. It does seem fitting.”
The leader of Middle Continent C10 nodded. “It is acceptable if it honors our ancestors as well. I think all celebrations should be focused on the old ways and not the Usurpers.”
The leader of Southern Continent C1 picked up the almanac and leafed through it. “Today is May First?” she asked. “That was also a holiday. They called it May Day, and it was some kind of spring festival. It seems appropriate, new life and new hope and all.” She shrugged and put down the almanac. “Happy May Day.”
“Happy May Day,” everyone echoed.