On January 14, 1972 ANSA astronauts Taylor, Dodge, Landon and Stewart were launched from Cape Kennedy. During the course of their flight, the craft passed through a Hasslein Curve, a time warp, propelling them through time. Soon after, in November 1972, ANSA astronauts Brent and Maddox were launched along the same flight path as the previous vessel to probe its unexplained disappearance. Like Taylor's craft before them, they slipped through a Hasslein Curve, and traveled through time, losing contact with home.
In 2018, a chimp with gentically-enhanced intelligence, named Caesar, led a mass escape of similarly enhanced apes from San Francisco into the nearby Muir Woods Park. The same virus which gave them intelligence was fatal to some humans and quickly spread worldwide.
A plague wiped out most pet dogs and cats. Hundreds and thousands of them died, and hundreds and thousands of them had to be destroyed. In order to replace lost pets, humans took primitive apes as pets. In the course of less than two centuries, the apes progressed from performing mere tricks to performing services.
On August 6, 2109, Colonel Ron Brent left Earth from a launch pad in the Mojave Desert. His ship encountered the familiar electrical storm and disappeared. Cape Kennedy had been turned into a museum sixty years before he was born.
In 2503, New York City was a technologically advanced city.
After three more centuries of servitude, the apes learned the art of corporate and militant action, and turned the tables on their owners, inspired by a speaking ape named Aldo.
Around 3075, human astronauts from another time crash landed in what was once south-western United States. They were quickly killed.
During 3085, ANSA astronauts Alan Virdon and Pete Burke, who were launched originally in 1980, crash landed in the same region. They survived (unlike their fellow astronaut Jones, who died). The area was inhabited by both speaking humans and apes. However, these humans worked for apes under strict control. At this time the ape government which ruled over most of the area was an orangutan faction headed by Councilor Zaius. General Urko, a gorilla, worked with him, but was constantly reminded that Zaius was in charge. Urko despised the situation. More important to Zaius and Urko was the constant threat of the renegade astronauts starting a human rebellion. The astronauts gained a chimpanzee named Galen as a friend and traveling companion. They found a book with a photo of New York City dated 2503, revealing that they had returned to Earth after an ape take-over during the previous five centuries. They also found the vault of scientific equipment hidden in Oakland, but it was immediately destroyed by the superstitious apes. After many adventures together, Galen witnessed the two astronauts find a computer and disappear into space just as suddenly as they'd arrived, though where to is unknown. Galen grew old with a treasure trove of ancient electrical gadgets and even a power source to drive them.
In 3954, the ANSA spacecraft launched in January of 1972 containing four astronauts entered the atmosphere. The ship crash-landed in an inland salt lake somewhere in what was once the north-east United States. Stewart's cryogenic capsule had ruptured during the course of the flight, and the conditions during flight had mummified her corpse. Shortly after reviving the surviving crew, the ship foundered. Reaching shore in a raft, the astronauts journeyed across the barren desert to a forested area, where they found a tribe of wild humans grazing on planted crops. This was where they found what was once the human race, but mute and primitive. As they began to intermingle with the group, they found themselves in the middle of a gorilla man-hunt, where Taylor and Landon were captured but separated, and Dodge was killed. Taken to Ape City, Doctors Zira and Cornelius eventually discovered Taylor's superior intelligence. In an area of the Forbidden Zone, Cornelius had found remnants of a past civilization; toys, human dolls that talk and lots more that depicted humans as the superior race. This proved that man came before apes or at least was at one time more advanced. Dr. Zaius had the cave destroyed, along with the evidence of the prior civilization. Cornelius and Zira were arrested, and set to face charges of heresy. Taylor and Nova escaped farther into the Forbidden Zone, where Taylor discovered that he had landed on Earth in his future. Shortly after, Taylor was lost in a mysterious void near the Forbidden Zone. Nova was left alone in the middle of the desert on their horse.
By 3955, General Ursus sent gorilla scouts into the Forbidden Zone, who were captured by a mysterious race living in the region. Meanwhile, Doctor Milo was trying to repair Taylor's rescued spacecraft. Brent and Maddox crash landed near where Taylor disappeared, but Brent was the only survivor. After he buried his Skipper, he encountered Nova. They went to Ape City and after an encounter with Zira and Cornelius, they headed back to the Forbidden Zone and into a subway tunnel where Mutants using telekinesis to manipulate their thoughts toyed with them. They discovered Taylor who was also a prisoner. The Mutants were interrupted by an ape army who invaded their underground dwelling. Zaius had gone with them, leaving Zira and Cornelius as the guardians of the terrible secrets regarding Earth's true history. Shocked by what they learned, they were completely disillusioned with ape society. Zira, Milo and Cornelius secretly launched Taylor's repaired craft. Meanwhile, Nova and Brent were shot and died on the spot. As the apes tried to pull down the Alpha-Omega missile in the Mutant's church, Taylor, mortally wounded, reached the control panel and detonated the Doomsday Device. With the blast, a catalytic reaction spread across the globe in minutes. Shockwaves of tremendous energy from the blast cascaded into space and struck the spacecraft containing Doctors Milo, Cornelius and Zira. The ship was thrown by the force of the blast into a Hasslein Curve and cast back to 1973.
In 1973, Taylor's vessel emerged from the Hasslein Curve within low orbit of Earth. It landed off the California coast, slightly north of San Clemente, and was met by United States Navy recovery crews. The three space-suited chimpanzees were taken to the Los Angeles Zoo, where a primitive gorilla in the cage next to them killed Dr. Milo. Doctors Cornelius and Zira were accepted as friends of the planet Earth. Through underhanded interrogation, Doctor Otto Hasslein, who initially predicted the ships would travel through time, learned the ultimate fate of the human race and of the planet Earth. Zira and Cornelius escaped and fled to a circus where Zira gave birth to their baby, named Milo. Leaving Milo in the care of Armando, the circus owner, they set off to evade their pursuers. Hiding on an abandoned ocean liner, the two fugitive apes were eventually confronted by Dr. Hasslein, who killed them and was himself killed.
Over the following years, the governments of Earth became more totalitarian in order to cope with increasing economic, political and energy pressures that abounded. Armando gave Milo the name "Caesar" and kept his identity and existence a total secret. Caesar began his bareback horse riding acrobatics with Armando's circus. Due to political repression, the smaller circuses were forced to play to dwindling provincial audiences, which in turn was helpful in keeping Caesar from receiving dangerous publicity. A devastating plague wiped out perhaps all dogs and cats, and apes were taken as pets. Within just eight years, with the increase in governmental structure, the apes became a slave class, enforced by Ape Management.
In 1991 Armando decided that Caesar, now nearly eighteen and an accomplished performer, was old enough to see the truth of the ape conditioning. He planned to bring the circus to play in 'Modern City'. There, Caesar unwittingly revealed his ability to speak to police officers engaged in subduing a rebellious ape named Aldo. Caesar ran as Armando was arrested and taken to Governor Breck. Caesar hid with a shipment of apes going to Ape Management. There, he was conditioned and trained like the rest of the wild apes brought from around the world for labor purposes. He understood the process from the start and avoided the harsh punishments less intelligent apes were suffering, and was purchased by Governor Breck. After learning of Armando's death as a result of interrogation, Caesar began to plant the seeds of rebellion in the clouded minds of the apes by teaching them to unite and work together.
Caesar took control of the city, then led his apes quietly into the surrounding provinces with a few humans. Massive educational programs within the Ape City were developed almost immediately. Nuclear bombs began to explode all over the planet, destroying cities such as Modern City. Despite Caesar's wishes, humans in his community became second-class citizens to the apes. Cultural divisions among the apes also began to develop. Aldo declared himself a General and began to train an "army" of gorilla soldiers. Caesar's son was born by his wife, Lisa, named Cornelius. Kolp, a former aide to Governor Breck, had taken over the humans who stayed behind but survived the nuclear bombings in the remains of Modern City, and ran a scavenger city full of repressed hate for the rebellious apes that overthrew his world. Kolp and his followers possessed the Alpha-Omega Bomb.
Caesar, along with the trustworthy orangutan Virgil, and the human MacDonald, ventured to the remains of Ape Management in search of the tapes containing the interrogations of Cornelius and Zira. The idea was that this will unlock the secrets of the future. The trio was discovered by the Mutants and barely escaped. They were followed back to Caesar's Ape City. Kolp ordered an attack on Caesar's community in a last-ditch effort to destroy the Ape Rebellion. The attack was unsuccessful and the humans living in the Ape City won equal status with the apes. Kolp died in battle and Aldo died after Caesar confronted him about the death of his own son, Cornelius.
The first major Ape City continued to grow after Lisa and Caesar died. Some ape communities were ruled by leaders known as "Lawgivers". The areas known as the Forbidden Zone began to become real dangers as animal and plant mutations apparently got out of hand.
In one city Jason, a human, and Alexander, a chimpanzee, were born and raised together as friends. A gorilla named Brutus rose to power in city hierarchy. He was appointed Peace Officer under the Lawgiver. Brutus' scouts encountered mutants in caves near the Forbidden Zone. Brutus investigated and became an ally/underling of the Inheritors in a power ploy aimed at taking control of the city, but they were ultimately defeated.
Elsewhere, gorilla and human armies slaughtered one another in battle thirty or forty miles north of San Francisco. Two survivors, a gorilla named Solomon and a human named Jovan, formed an uneasy but necessary truce. They were injured but went together to be healed and taught by the half man, half ape hermit, Mordecai. They met their deaths at the hands of animalistic ape and human mutants.
Around 3959 Colonel Ronald "Ron" Brent's spacecraft arrived in the atmosphere and crashed in the desert leaving very little in the way of usable equipment or supplies. His leg was broken on impact and after waiting to no avail for someone to surface, he assumed the planet was uninhabited. A traveling troupe of largely mute humans eventually passed by his ship, who took him in and nursed him back to health. One of the young nomad children befriended Ron, and he gave her the name "Nova" and taught her to say her name. Ron gave her his military identification necklace tags, which she wore as a gift. Once he was healthy, Ron traveled with the tribe for a while until he became separated from them during a severe sand storm. Lost from the tribe, he found his way back to his crashed ship where he made himself a home. He spent the better part of 20 years there not knowing what day or year it was. He left the general area only to fish and collect fruit from a nearby lake and forest known as Hidden Valley.
In August 3979, the astronauts launched in 1976, Bill Hudson, Jeff Allen and Judy Franklin crash landed in a lagoon. While traversing the desert, Franklin disappeared into a chasm that mysteriously closed in on itself. Allen and Hudson continued on to find a forested glade inhabited by savage humans. In a raid by gorilla soldiers, Allen was captured along with several of the primitive humans and taken to an advanced ape metropolis. Here, he encountered Cornelius, Zira, Nova and Urko. Nova befriended Allen, who noticed she was wearing Brent's ID tags. Bill's intelligence raised eyebrows, and Zira called him 'Blue Eyes.' Shortly thereafter, he escaped with the caring scientist's help and along with Hudson, returned to the Forbidden Zone and to their ship, to get their laser guns. In the lake where the ship had sunk, a sea serpent appeared; a sign that mutation was not limited merely to humans. This lake was also nearly 100 miles from Ape City. Once the laser guns were retrieved, they destroyed their ship to deter the apes. They soon discovered the buried ruins of New York and it's underground rivers. After reuniting with Franklin, Ron Brent was met up with. The astronauts took the tribe of humans with them and migrated, riding rafts down a river to the safety of Hidden Valley.