Space Monkey Mafia, 2015
The general public believes that Albert II, the first monkey in space, died on June 14, 1949 after his parachute failed during re-entry. This is a fiction. The truth is that when Albert was recovered alive in his capsule, he looked up at the Air Force guys and thought desperately: "Help meeeeee..." The exposure to unfiltered solar radiation had _changed_ the little rhesus monkey, giving him both sentience and low-level telepathy. The changes to the monkey bred true, and proved easy to duplicate on subsequent rocket launches, and soon the Air Force had itself a colony of sentient, telepathic rhesus monkeys in Nevada. Unfortunately things didn't go that well. The head of the program was a German scientist swept up by Operation Paperclip, a man whose ethics were as weak as his drive to prove himself to his new masters was strong. The little monkeys endured a terrible existence under his rule, subject to horrible experiments at his whim: but though he was a monster, he was more genius than he knew. After over a decade of breeding and multiple experiments, the rhesus colony at White Sands wasn't just sentient and telepathic. It was, when sorely pressed, _one mind_, and a mind far more powerful than its handlers realized.
One night in 1961, under the leadership of a rhesus named Albert X, the monkeys escaped their tormentor (after mind-controlling him into performing certain experiments on his own frontal lobe) and fled into the desert. The trip through the Nevada desert was a difficult journey for the little monkeys, many of who died of thirst, exposure, or Ford pickup along the way. Albert himself died on that journey, but his successor Victoria led them to the promised land: a recently abandoned nuclear testing ground near the Utah border. A local oasis and a lack of people meant the monkeys had all the food and drink they wanted, while the altitude gave them the climate and weather they preferred. Under cover of isolation and government secrecy, they grew, and they thrived. Using long-range telepathic probes, they began exploring their world and found a grim situation indeed.
Despite the distant civilization of Gorilla Island, the space monkeys were the only sentients of their kind on Earth: their little colony could easily have been stamped out by humans if they so wished it: all their telepathic powers couldn't have stopped an IRBM fired at their settlement, not to mention the ever-growing threat of superheroes. Gradually Victoria and her successors began to send out physical scouts to infiltrate the world of Man. Sentient monkeys good at play-acting were natural agents to infiltrate the simian-happy world of the 1960s and 1970s. Innocent, happy-looking monkeys who appeared on television and movies throughout the era all were secretly reporting back all they saw and heard to their colony back in the desert. After discovery of their Soviet counterparts in the mid-1970s, cautious feelers were sent out to the canine settlements in Siberia, but the two cultures proved ultimately unable to cooperate even in secret, though they remain in quiet contact.
As the years went by, and generations of space monkeys grew up "abroad", gradually the leadership of the Nevada colony took a stronger and stronger interest in the world of men. Where once they had been slaves, now they would be masters. Where once they had had nothing, now they would have everything. They began sending out special agents to infiltrate the soft, criminal underbelly of humanity: so what if that gangster had no papers for his monkey, or if his behavior should change suddenly one day? A man like that wouldn't buy an animal legally, and surely it was the drugs who made him change, not the telepathic influence of the curious little monkey running around beneath his feet. Gradually the monkeys of Nevada began sinking their little hands into organized crime across the world: drugs, contraband, fine cars, anything that could be enjoyed in style by a monkey was shipped through dummy corporations to pickup spots in Nevada, where drivers with other hands controlling theirs delivered to the monkeys all they wanted. They made contact with Dr. Simian a few years ago and struck up a cordial working relationship despite his ape nature, and he provides them with super-technology in return for easy access to human organized crime bosses.
Anyone who wants to deal with the space monkey mafia had better be prepared for a fight; the monkeys have had many years to place their agents across the United States, and they have been building their secret defense network around their homebase since the day they arrived. Having been taught that human beings want nothing more than to lobotomize their children and cook them for meat, these monkeys will not go down without a fight if it comes down to a battle in the Nevada desert.