When we sent out generation starships, we don’t expect to see them come back. More so, this was one of the earliest ones. Didn’t even have humans on-board. Just a contingent of primates. Chimpanzees in fact. Bonobos if you want to be precise. A space-buoy had signalled when it was 300 years out to say all the life-support systems were operating and meaning it was safe for humans to use the same equipment. We never got the message so the generation starship programme was abandoned before it got to sending humans. Then the Heirtoni returned. It took a while to identify it in the historical records forgotten many generations ago. Hardly surprising as it was moving far different to the original plans. It had new engines and phenomenal speed and deceleration when we spotted it coming into Earth orbit. A starship of its type would allow mankind to leave its own star system. When the scout-ship landed, we didn’t really know what to expect. The specs said it would have been automated to bring some bonobos down to a sustainable planet. Was that going to be the home planet? After all, we couldn’t expect them to stay on-board forever. […]

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