ATU means Alternate Traveller Universe.
450,000 BCE: The Precursers arrive in this dimension.
An unknown force compelled various star travelling races to locate some early primates and move them around the galaxy.
They found them on the opposite side of the galaxy from these charted galaxy Arms, Gran-Dal and Vespucian.
FTL communications does work; however, devices and work on them give false results to ‘prove’ they are unworkable. The few attempts to communicate using ‘standard’ radio is not blocked. It just takes many years for the signal to arrive one way.
300,000 BCE: they find several races that are on the virge of star ship travel. They assist in a slow and non-obvious way. They leave tiny robotic monitor gear all over the galaxy. These use FTL radio technology to let The Precursors know what progress is being made.
The primates they pick are homo habilis and homo erectus, alter their DNA, and spread them in various parts of the galaxy.
Throughout the millenia The Precursors pick up primates, and later on homo sapiens, just before earthquakes and volcanos. Occasionaly before tsunamis. Random planets in their list. Mostly artisans, warriors, laborers, farmers, and their families are taken over to this part of the galaxy. They are assisted for 1,000 years, then the Precursors leave saying, ‘We will come back later! Bye !’.
2500 to 4600 AD: The Long Night.
4550 AD: The Precursors showed back up and helped some of the remnents restart to end the Long Night. Humans, 6 legged 4-armed centaurs, insectoids, and a few others are helped. Some sapients are allowed to wither and go extinct.
These planets and scenarios take place in the Dar-Sha part of the Milky Way Galaxy. Homo Sapiens’ home world is in the Dar-Kheen part of the MIlky Way Galaxy.
4600 AD Jump-1 drive is being worked on.
4750 AD Jump 1 drive works, some races see hints of Jump 2 in their work. A few, scattered amongst different worlds, scientists see what they believe is FTL technology via visual and radio telescopes. Their compatriots claim its natural phenomenon. Some believers are executed for heresy. A few of these victims are rescued by The Precursors and shown Jump 1, Jump 2, and Jump 5 technology, but without the engineering drawings to go with the information.
They are taken to other worlds, same races, and left there. Survival is up to them. There are rumors amongst the non-Precursors that this is done for low ethical reasons.
5000 AD: The Precursors are seen to be leaving many solar systems and vanish in a bright flash before they reach their Jump start points. No attempt to reach them works. Those beings that have Jump 1 and Jump 2 ships look for them. Except for some debris here and there in the galaxy of various Precursor ships, nothing else is found. Occasionaly an artifact will be found on a planet far from normal trade routes.
5500 AD: Jump 5 is invented. A large percentage of mis-jmps take place. Further use of Jump 5 is stopped by most. A few races decide to take the risk.
5675 AD: Jump 1 through Jump 5 drives are mostly perfected. Some peoples continue to use generation ships to move around and trade in their stellar neighborhoods.
a poem I wrote long ago and far away:
Stardust and the Desert
To Dream, Dream…
Sitting on the desert floor,
is a woman,
whom is not named,
Nor Becky, nor Sue,
nay, nor Lillith,
Or any of the other many names,
a woman might have,
not even one from centuries past.
had asked her what her name was,
and she had smiled,
and taking up a handful of dust,
and letting it run thru her fingers,
and she said, “This planet,
and all you see,
is made from the dust of exploding stars,
from millenia ago.”
For all Time after,
she was called Stardust.
She would answer to it,
but said from time to time,
it was not her name.
When she was sad,
and sometimes when she was happy,
she would be Not Here,
and where There was,
was a desert.
Sometimes she would fiddle,
and the sand would swirl into a small grainy sphere,
and sometimes it would form a vague-face,
and you could almost see it ‘mouth’ the notes,
from that thing,
she called a fiddle.
Her clothes varied,
whatever local custom declared,
but just enough different,
no one would mistake her for someone else.
A few times,
there were those,
who declared her clothes to be unacceptable,
but she would just smile,
and answer, “I am called Stardust.’
Sometimes that would save her,
She always vanished,
before they did her lasting harm.
Woe to the torturer,
who lost her,
and could not account for her whereabouts,
especially in those kingdoms,
and so forth,
that felt they Ruled the Universe,
claimed they and they alone,
ruled a part of it.
Some claim to have seen Her,
as a statue,
near that Ozimandious claim,
than anything he had built,
but it was only seen,
by those drunk on dandelion wine,
in the desert heat.
So how could you believe such tales ?
What was she doing in the desert ?
besides fiddling that fiddle ?
Well, I’ll tell you.
with a small ‘s’.
but she Sang.
She sang of Stars,
beyond the sky,
stars beyond the galactic rim,
stars in globular clusters,
stars hidden by interstellar gas and dust.
stars being born amongst infalling stellar dust and gas.
hither and yon,
some of humans,
some of robots,
some of other various beings.
with their frozen people aboard,
and those other ships,
with crews who were lost,
Of exploding suns,
shoving the gases and dust aside,
and small proto-stars,
not getting the fuel they need,
to burst forth,
those saddened her,
most of all.
She had no telescope,
but she knew they were There.
when she was Not Here,
she was There,
in the deserts,
of another planet,
that is how she knew of them.
do not think she lived centuries long,
nor outlived those who didn’t like Her.
She did none of those things.
For some years and decades,
she was tall,
some she was short,
others frail or robust.
For while she appeared to be a woman,
of middle years,
She was Life,
for that was her True Name.
And so she lived,
in a fashion,
throughout the Universe.
But, in this instance,
she was an Island,
as all was swept away,
by time, itself.
But she knew,
her Presence was felt,
and was the cause,
of some of the beings,
for a while,
for a while.
Until their star burned out,
or swelled into Red Giant Phase.
But that didn’t matter,
she tried to think it didn’t,
that some of those beings,
lasted for what seemed,
only the blink of an eye.
and spread across their galactic home,
and did not make the journey,
across the gap between Island Universes,
and others tried, made it, and failed,
but a few,
and made it, and survived.
For she was an Island,