Chimps have entered the Stone Age.
They’re not as far behind us as we thought.
Due to our increasing technology and ecological footprint humanity decided in 2062 to pull back from the regions where primates live and instead focused on orbital and off-planet habitats. A few researchers remained in contact to chart the progress of our distant cousins, even as humanities earthbound population dwindled.
By the time the apes had reached the Iron Age equivalent in development, all they had left of us were half-forgotten myths. Legends told of tall, hairless, visitors who walked among them and shared the secrets of fire and agriculture. Godlike beings who sometimes inspired great building projects, but never stuck around for long.
By the time they themselves reached for the stars, we had moved onwards. Yet they still found traces of the races that came before.Those who had taken their first steps into the dark, and had left behind the cradle that we had called earth. That and the great machine left to welcome each successive race as it progressed from planetside evolution to spread out amongst the stars.
… and the cycle began anew.