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It was heady times in the middle of the 21st century. In 2031 scientists using the new extra shiny gigantic super collider much to their brief chagrin created a wormhole. A tiny naked singularity. In less than a blink of an eye, all that was left was a two hundred yard diameter sphere of vacuum followed by the thunderclap created as the air rushed in to fill it.

The chunk of now the missing collider and several startled scientists simultaneously appeared in space 500 miles away from earth. The pieces inexorably pulled back to earth demolished the Happy Acres trailer park in Texas and everything else in the area on impact. How the large pieces of the gigantic collider ended up appearing that far from earth created the infantile glimmerings that you might actually be able to travel using a small bottled wormhole. 

Within ten years the first crude worm drive had been installed into a ship, and in five days it hopped its way to Alpha Centauri A and brought back pictures of not one, but five planets. It turned out there were thousands of inhabitable, at least more or less, planets.

The first pioneers left earth to find their Edens. Religious sects who wanted places free of unbelievers along with the other hordes of ethnic, tribal, and political groups. Almost as quickly as humanity exploded out into the galaxy, it all collapsed. 

The worm drives were all built on Earth. Fanatics for reasons known only to them took a nuclear device and blew up the facility that made and stored the singularities. In nanoseconds, they and a quarter of the Earth vanished. No new worm drives would ever be made again on a now wobbly and no longer inhabited Mother earth. The number of starships steadily dwindled. Planets that were self-sufficient plowed forward, some in better shape than others. Many were not sufficient, and an uncaring universe took care of them.