Vision of the first Inheritor, receiving the gift of the Sky Spirits

"Inheritors" was the name given to a small group of Human nomadic hunters who lived around 43,000 BC, by an alien race they would later honor as "the Sky Spirits".

These people had no spoken language, or culture, except for the use of fire and stone weapons. However, they held a respect for the land, and for other living creatures, that impressed the Sky Spirits. Because of this, the Sky Spirits decided to gift them with a genetic bonding so they might thrive and protect their planet.

On subsequent visits to Earth, the Sky Spirits found that their genetic gift had brought about a spirit of curiosity and adventure, which impelled the Inheritors to migrate away from their cold climate to a new, unpeopled land in Central America. They eventually crossed the Earth, though it took them almost a thousand generations. In their new land, hundreds of thousands flourished. Their civilization had a profound influence on other Humans. They were known as the Rubber Tree People.

Later, new people came with weapons and disease. Those who survived scattered, many seeking refuge in other societies. Twelve generations before the 2370s, the Sky spirits returned once again to Earth, but they found no signs of the Inheritors' existence. However, descendants did in fact continue to exist, including a traditional, isolationist tribe in Central America, and Chakotay's tribe.

In 2372, the USS Voyager discovered the Sky Spirits' homeworld in the Delta Quadrant. At first the Spirits hid themselves, believing that the Humans came to conquer them as they did the Inheritors. Using advanced cloaking and weather-control technology, they attempted to halt Voyager's landing. The Spirits eventually revealed themselves, however, when Voyager's first officer, Commander Chakotay, himself a descendant of the Rubber Tree People, was able to contact them and assure them of their peaceful intentions. (VOY: "Tattoo")

The character traits infused in the inheritors have in reality been speculated to be linked to a variant in Dopamine receptor D4 which indeed started spreading around 40,000 years ago.

See also

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